tankards2“Thicker than Water”
Season Two begins
Sunday, January 4, 2015, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT
Bravo Media

By Bob Marovich

If last season’s premiere of the Tankard Family’s reality television show, “Thicker Than Water,” was about lifestyle, the opener of the second season is about life.

The opening episode, to air this evening, opens with the wealthy extended family of gospel jazz artist Ben Tankard preparing for daughter Cyrene’s high school graduation party at the self-proclaimed Tankard Palace in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (although I think I heard son Benji refer to it, with tongue in cheek, as “Bentown”).

Several Tankard children rue, but not overmuch, that this is the first graduation party any Tankard kid has ever had. Ben himself admits his past drive to become a millionaire musician prevented him from being more involved in the family. He and wife Jewel are making up for lost time, though if you ask the children, like Cyrene who is heading to Howard University in the fall, they have become a little too involved.

The Tankard gossip mill, however, is focused on the general absenteeism of Jewel’s sister Junice, who has relocated to Texas, entered a graduate program, and has missed important family events, such as Cyrene’s graduation party. She does attend the July 4 party at Jewel’s sister Junetta’s new home, a Mount Vernon-like mansion in Baltimore, and her one-on-ones with the camera suggest she has a more honest understanding of the family than her sisters might suspect.

In any event, it is at the July 4 party where the fireworks take place—in the kitchen, not in the sky.

“Thicker than Water” has its flashes of ostentatiousness, but I’m pleased to see that the drama is centered on the family struggling to find common ground between closeness and independence than about the next big bling.

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Written by : Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.