Review of Family Reunion Part 3



Family Reunion Part 3 came out on April 5th, and it seems Netflix is still just doing what works.

Hailey A., Dilnoor K., and Nicole D.

Family Reunion Part 3 

Family Reunion is a show based in Columbus, Georgia about a famous football player, Moz McKellan, (played by an actual retired football player, Anthony Alabi) whose family moved from Seattle, Washington to be more community-oriented. McKellen’s family works to respond to the day-to-day challenges of different sets of circumstances. Instead of having a mansion and going to parties, they now live with Moz’s parents and go to church. At least they still have the cars. Each episode ends with a dedication to someone close to the writers, finishing off the formula for a textbook ‘family feels’ genre of a show. While this show is good-hearted and full of laughter, it doesn’t authentically address or portray serious events.

One word of caution: lookout for some brief mature scenes including cursing. There was also a scene with roleplay that had everybody shivering. The adult humor may be difficult for children to understand. 

At the end of season 2, Jade portrayed by Talia Jackson, the daughter of football player, Moz,  and his wife Cocoa (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) run away from her 15th birthday party with her unapproved boyfriend because he was kicked out of the party. It also ends with a second cliff-hanger, where the family is bankrupt from overspending. Darn, just as they were gonna buy their own house too! 

The family’s finances made the cut for a huge return in Part 3, but Jade’s running away doesn’t. The first episode jumps over the subject, as it’s revealed in the second episode that she was grounded for three months. It skips over the general excitement that viewers had been waiting to see for months. 

But this show has a history for that. At the end of Part 1, a police officer racially profiled two of the young black main characters, leaving one of the parents wanting to move back to Seattle. But instead of showing the struggle, Part 2 kicked off with a celebration after the cop was fired and indicted. It skips the struggle of the firing like it bypassed finding Jade. Strangely, the writers decided to give it five minutes in an episode before cutting it off. There was a later episode about not trusting Jade after she ran off, but it’s dismissed once the episode ends. 

The show approaches difficult topics, ripe with emotion: grief, black history, bullying, and debt, but the storylines fail to fully take advantage of them. Storylines are often repetitive and viewers can safely assume that if something serious occurs, it won’t be long before laughter returns. Undoubtedly, viewers appreciate heartfelt shows, but Family Reunion writers too often take the easy road and follow with jokes. 

With this, there’s little excitement left in the show.  At its onset, the episodes were exciting and suspenseful. Now in its second season, topics are predictable and boring and scenes feel forced. 

While Family Reunion brings a lighthearted touch to heavy topics, it needs something more. The show would rediscover its initial success if it followed through with its original intentions in providing a strong and emotional, more serious show.