Braxton Family Values – Season Two
While Toni continues to release new music (her last album, Pulse, was released last year), she has made a name for herself as a reality TV star with her sisters, Traci, Trina, Towanda, and Tamar, as well as her mother, Evelyn. The first season of Braxton Family Values introduced another side to Toni as well as us getting to know her sisters, who were all formerly one music unit called The Braxtons in 1990, only for Toni to become a solo act. While her sisters became backup vocalists throughout Toni’s career, we never got to know them until now. Viewers of the show in the first season were sure glad they did as we met Trina, the drinker with a DUI charge; Traci, the so-called “hoodrat”; Towanda, Toni’s assistant and the level-headed one; Tamar, the diva with a mouth to match; and Evelyn, the matriarch who keeps it all together…unless her ex-husband is involved. The 6 women became reality TV darlings on We TV as soon as the show debuted earlier this year. Months later, we arrive at the second season premiere of the show.
The show begins with each of the Braxton sisters and their mother talking about life since the first season. Toni moved back to Los Angeles to be closer to her doctors. Traci is still trying to figure out if the Braxton family album will ever get started. Trina and her husband, Gabe, are trying to work through their marital issues and she’s also working on her own solo work. Towanda has quit being Toni’s assistant and her husband, Andre, and children have moved in with Trina and Gabe. Evelyn tries to keep each of their daughters humble with the newfound stardom. Tamar, being rated the fan favorite of the Braxton sisters after a poll taken before the season one reunion show, is enjoying her newfound fame and is working on her own solo project.
Soon after, we follow each of the family members wrestling with these issues. Evelyn and Traci visit Toni at her new house in LA as she discusses her second bankruptcy filing recently, upon which Traci amusingly comments, “If this is what bankruptcy is like, sign me up!” as they look around her very lavish new home (though she says it’s only a temporary location). Toni also discusses with Traci and Evelyn about the Braxton family album, which Toni had previously stated that she wouldn’t mind being featured on, but won’t work on the whole album with them. She also reveals that Tamar has been working on her own solo album that both Traci and Evelyn were uninformed of.
Later on, Tamar comes over to Toni’s house and calls her out for the fact that she just had her ex-husband, former Mint Condition member Keri Lewis, over at the house. Toni had separated from Keri in 2009 and divorced him last year, but the two have recently started dating each other. While Toni is actually annoyed at Tamar not minding her business, she informs her that she should let Traci know about the solo project she’s working on, but Tamar is pretty hesitant in doing so, because she knows that it means a lot to Traci. However, Tamar refuses to work on the album if Toni isn’t also going to.
We then cut to Trina and Gabe as Gabe tries to deal with his increasingly loud house with Towanda and Andre living there with their two children. Gabe reveals that Trina never asked Gabe for his thoughts on the matter and just moved Towanda in because they’re sisters. As Gabe works at home, he finds it difficult to work since the walls are so thin. He reveals that Towanda and Andre don’t really help out with the bills or chip in money for grocery shopping. Fed up, he goes to Trina while she’s rehearsing for her solo debut (which she says has been her get away from dealing with her marital problems).
Trina feels that he only went to the rehearsal studio to check up on her due to Gabe’s jealousy and his insecurities about the male band members. Funny thing though: Gabe had cheated multiple times on Trina, as revealed in season one. Trina and Gabe later go see their marriage counselor, Dr. Sherry, to talk things out. Dr. Sherry reveals that Trina and Gabe should have talked about Towanda moving in as a couple and that Towanda living in their home while they have marital problems is only adding more problems to the already strained marriage. This later leads to a diner meeting between the two couples as Trina and Gabe ask them when they’ll move out. Towanda and Andre completely understand the situation and are not upset at the asking. Towanda resolves that it’ll be another month, while Andre thinks it’ll be far longer.
We then return to LA as Traci, Evelyn, Toni, and Tamar meet to have a discussion about Tamar’s solo endeavors, though she only slightly alludes to it in the conversation as Toni tries to push Tamar to spit it out. Tamar says that she no longer wants to be a backup singer and wants to focus more on her own career rather than the Braxton sisters acting as a unit. However, Toni, Traci, and Evelyn take it as an offense that Tamar is talking down to their profession. As Evelyn puts in her two cents about the situation, Tamar, angry and upset, leaves the house and goes back home in case she says something she’ll regret.
Later on, at Tamar’s house, she and Evelyn discuss what had happened at Toni’s house. Evelyn, sick of Tamar’s spoiled attitude, definitively tells her that she’ll smack Tamar if she has to because of the disrespect towards her while they try to talk things out. After the confrontation, Tamar speaks to her husband, Vince (Toni’s producer) about the situation and Vince puts things into perspective for her as Tamar is unable to be understood when she puts her opinion out there. Tamar realizes this and decides that she should reconcile with her mother.
This show actually has a lot more heart to it than your typical reality TV fare because it shows the bonds of a family that loves each other endlessly and are clearly there for each other if need be. This show is realistic and isn’t overly dramatic. Of course, reality TV wouldn’t be complete without its share of drama, but the Braxtons deal with relatable problems. Toni has lupus, has filed for bankruptcy a second time, and is reconciling with her ex-husband. Towanda tries to raise children with a father who is a deadbeat both as a husband and provider. Traci copes with trying to find her place in amongst her multi-talented family. Trina deals with marital problems. Tamar wants to break out and do what she wants to do. Evelyn tries to keep her daughters together and tie them all down to earth. In each member of the family, we see a small piece of ourselves.
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