Power, privilege and secrets from the past heat up this titillating family drama set in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, the real-life playground of the Black elite. Based on Lawrence Otis Graham’s bestseller Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class, the show stars Chicago Med’s Yaya DaCosta as Angela Vaughn, a new arrival to the Martha’s Vineyard enclave—whose mother was once a maid on the island.
“It’s fascinating: There’s this whole pocket of people we haven’t seen explored before [on television],” says showrunner Karin Gist (Star). “[The show] is a peek behind the curtain. It’s meant to be a celebration of [Black] success and beauty, but the stories are inclusive. It’s about family and relationships—and that is universal.”
Below, Gist plays tour guide.
The Franklin-Dupont dynasty represents Oak Bluffs’ generational wealth
Led by matriarch Olivia (L. Scott Caldwell), her son Raymond (The Resident’s Morris Chestnut) and his socialite wife, Leah (Nadine Ellis), the Franklin-Dupont family is a loving one “with a lot of drive, a lot of history, a lot of legacy to uphold,” says Gist. Despite an often testy dynamic between mother and daughter-in-law, “they pull together when times are tough and they support each other,” she notes. “They want each other to win.”
Angela is seen as a “disrupter”
Hoping to make some prominent connections for her hair-care line, she breezes into town with her daughter, Nikki (Alana Bright)—who will mingle with Leah’s influential twins (Rhyon Nicole Brown and Kyle Bary)—and her aunt “Piggy” (soap icon Debbi Morgan of All My Children), “a sexy, sassy” force of nature. Look for the Vaughns’ ties to the island to factor into a “huge, huge mystery,” teases Gist. “We’re building to a big reveal later in the season. It’s gonna be super juicy and worth the wait.”
The housekeepers and assistants are the ones to keep an eye on
They know all the inside scoop, Gist hints. “They have a front-row seat to a lot of things.”
Our Kind of People, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 21, 9/8c, Fox
This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2021 Fall Preview issue. For more inside scoop on the new fall TV season, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.