R is for Reba #AtoZChallenge #PandemicAlphabet

April 21, 2021

Reba is currently streaming on Hulu, and it is the perfect comfort watch. I know because before she left to go back to school, my daughter started a rewatch of the show, and it made both of us so happy.

reba tv poster

First of all, it stars living queen emoji Reba McEntire who you may know from such things as being a country music legend.

If that isn’t enough to get you to watch (it wasn’t for me, back in 2001) I guess I should tell you a little about the show.

Reba and her family are in therapy because her marriage is falling apart. In the opening therapy session (with a therapist played by Nell Carter!), we find out that not only is Reba’s marriage falling apart, but it is officially over because her husband Brock knocked up his mistress (Barbra Jean, a good Christian woman) and plans to marry her. Oh, and her 17-year-old daughter Cheyenne is pregnant. I know, it’s a lot, and it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but the show absolutely works (as a comedy, no less!) and here’s why:

The casting of Barbra Jean.

(And the writing, obviously, but let’s focus on the casting here.)

This series lives or dies by how much the audience likes Barbra Jean IN SPITE OF the fact that she’s a hypocritical homewrecker. Melissa Peterman is effing brilliant in this role because, hand to God, I want to punch Brock in the face more than I dislike Barbra Jean. And the thing is that because Brock is a decent dad and involved in his children’s lives, he is around A LOT, which means Barbra Jean is around A LOT. And even though I feel very deeply for Reba in all ways, Barbra Jean is actually very funny and sweet, and if she weren’t a homewrecker, she would actually be a pretty delightful person to have around most times. (The show actually addresses this in a later season when Kelly Clarkson–yes, that Kelly Clarkson–guest stars.)

The casting of Van, Cheyenne’s boyfriend and then husband is also super important because he is also very sweet and a good kid and so the audience really wants him and Cheyenne to be happy.

Also, the show is super funny. I think about this moment with Van and the Hot Pocket often because I, unfortunately, accidentally reenact it more than is probably healthy for a woman my age.

I burnt my mouth on a potato this morning, so I feel this on a spiritual level. ANYWAY.

Also, you already know the theme song is perfect, and I dare you not to sing along every time.

So, yes, the show is super funny and smart and actually kind of wholesome despite the inciting incident. I highly recommend it if you need a fun show to get you through the rest of this pandemic.

For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on comfort reads/watches as we enter our second (!) April in the pandemic. Tune in tomorrow to see what I choose for S!

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  1. The Widow Badass

    I’ve caught bits of this show back when I had cable TV, and I still remember how much I liked it AND the Barbra Jean character! THAT is saying something.


    • Akilah

      Right? It’s kind of miraculous.


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