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‘The Kings of Napa’ Review: A Vineyard Full of Success, Secrets and Tribulations

Picture waking up every day and looking out of your bedroom window to a picturesque view of acres of grapevines. Then picture having the opportunity to work with your family to create a brand that would eventually grow into something that you couldn't imagine even in your wildest dreams. Then you see yourself grabbing your favorite bottle of wine and seeing your family's name printed on the bottle. This show, The Kings of Napa, creates that picture as this Black family navigates through loss, love, and life while trying to keep the family business intact.

(Spoilers below)

During the show's premiere episode we get the chance to meet all of the players in the King Family who all have a role in the family business, a Napa Valley, California Wine Vineyard. The immediate family includes patriarch Reginald King, played by Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Wire), his wife Vanessa King, played by Karen LeBlanc (Jack Ryan), the oldest son Dana King, played by Rance Nix (Zero Issue), middle daughter August King, played by Ebonée Noel (Wrecked) and youngest son Christian King, played by Ashlee Brian (Family Reunion). We also meet Bridgette King, cousin of the family, played by Yaani King Mondschein (Saving Grace), and her mother Melanie Pierce, played by Devika Parikh (Grey’s Anatomy).

As the scene opens we get to see August King enjoying a nice afternoon out with friends, where we learn that she is the business' marketing genius who is always looking for new ways to expand the brand. She soon hops on a call with her younger brother Christian (who is managing the bottling facility but has aspirations of his own) and her oldest brother Dana (who is the CFO of the winery and hopes to one day take over) to ensure that everyone will be present at that evening's family dinner where she plans to announce something major she has been working on. When the family gathers, you notice they enjoy great food, laughter, and of course, wine. Over the course of the evening, an argument ensues between August and Dana after she announces her plan to add a new dessert wine. The father, Richard, is seen clutching his chest and we lead into the next scene, his funeral then the reading of his will.

During the reading of the will, Richard ensures everyone that his family is taken care of but in ways that some didn't expect. Once he makes August the president of the company, it enrages Dana who always thought that position was his Birthright. As we know in any series, when we lose someone who is the glue to the family, eventually that glue begins to loosen and all of the family secrets start to come out. Vanessa's sister Melanie arrives back in town to reclaim the $10 million dollars that she loaned Richard over the years. More questions are asked regarding the true nature of their relationship and it's during this that we learn that not only did Richard and Melanie have business dealings but they also share a daughter, Bridgette.

August finds out her ex-boyfriend, played by Curtis Hamilton, is back in town representing her aunt in her attempts to reclaim her money and ensure her daughter receives her rightful piece of the family fortune. During deliberation, the question is, "Does Aunt Melanie settle for what's offered or will the family end up in court threatening to tarnish the legacy?" As the show draws to a close, a mysterious caller reaches out to August to inform her that her father was in debt and if they don’t keep up his payments all hell will break loose.

I don't know about you but they got me at hello. I actually watched the first episode a few times and although I am sad to see the role of the patriarch abandoned so soon, I am still looking forward to the twists and turns that the King family will take us on this season.

The Kings of Napa airs Tuesdays at 8 PM EST on OWN.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN.


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