Too Close to Home: Is Tyler Perry's TLC Drama Just Crazy Enough to Work?

Too Close To Home Recap

Monday night marked the debut of TLC’s first-ever scripted series Too Close to Home — a political soap created, executive-produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry — and after spending the past 19 hours in quiet reflection, we’re finally ready to talk about it.

If you didn’t catch the two-hour premiere, the show centers around Anna, a jittery little minx toting a veritable Mary Poppins bag full of secrets. Not only are her fellow White House interns clueless about her trailer-park roots, but they also don’t know she’s having an abusive, Fifty Shades-inspired affair with President Fitzgerald Grant Thomas Christian!

When the Commander in Chief suffers a heart attack (I think) during one of their late-night rendezvous, Anna’s secret is revealed to the world, causing her friends — who seemed cool at first — to turn their backs on her. To make matters worse, the no-nonsense First Lady (played by Heather Locklear, whose “special guest star” credit was not lost on this Melrose Place fanatic) makes it her personal mission to destroy Anna.

And then there’s Anna’s family back in Alabama: Her poor sister Bonnie is shacking up with a d-bag named J.B., while secretly pining for a hunky Tarzan-cowboy hybrid named Brody. Out of the goodness of her heart, Bonnie allows her other sister, a hot-mess drug addict named Shelby, to spend the night — one night! — on her couch, and how does she repay her? By screwing J.B. and stealing his rig. (“She took both your loads now, didn’t she?”) Bonnie’s mom is also pretty messed up, but her trailer smells, so we never get to see the inside.

OK, this next part is for people who did watch Monday’s premiere. We’ve got a lot to discuss…

* Why were Anna’s friends so mad when they found out she was sleeping with the president? I mean, I’d be a little annoyed if a friend kept that secret from me, but then I’d be like, “Tell me everything about sex with the President of the United States of America!”

* Was that theme song written specifically for this show? If not, was the show named after an existing song?

* Also, can we talk about this credit? Like, save some jobs for the rest of us, Perry:


* The president’s judgmental secretary is our favorite character, yes?


* Is it just me, or did half of the premiere consist of establishing shots? I’m pretty sure we watched Locklear walk down that hotel White House hallway for a good 45 seconds. Of just walking. In silence.

* The basic premise of the show — pretty woman sleeps with POTUS, makes enemy of FLOTUS — reeked of Scandal, but did Anna’s friends remind you of another Shondaland pair?


* When the bartender refused to take Anna’s friend’s drink order, he said, “Sorry, last call.” Doesn’t “last call” mean it’s your last opportunity to order drinks? As in, you can still order them?

And those are just a few of the points I’d like us to talk about. So grade the premiere below, then drop your full review in the comments section.

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