HOLLYWOOD—The power of channel surfing is a great gift. With the summer months in full-force, it’s difficult to find something worthwhile to watch on TV, but behold a new drama that will have audiences talking. Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” is a drama that brings a nice balance of comedy that keeps the audience intrigued.  It’s a tale that follows a family of wealthy individuals versus a family of those without.  The center of the drama revolves around Candace Young (Tika Sumpter) who is sleeping with the matriarch of the Cryer family, Jim (John Schneider).

Jim doesn’t have the best marriage with his wife, Katheryn (Renee Lawless) whose penance for revenge is menacing.  She doesn’t bite her tongue when it comes to confronting her husband about his philandering ways.  The interesting aspect is the charade the couple put on in front of a public audience. For two people to be so disgusted with one another, the audience would expect them to get a divorce, so what gives?

Jim’s theory of his one-time fling turns into much more debauchery after he discovers that his mistress happens to be his daughter Amanda’s (Jaclyn Betham) friend from college, and hence the entangled web begins.  Candace gets the shock of her life when she discovers that her estranged mother Hanna (Crystal Fox) is now working as the maid for the man that she is sleeping with. Hanna is a holy woman and prays that her daughter’s evil ways will come to light, but her new BFF Celine (Eva Tamargo) informs her to keep quiet for the sake of her job.

In a twisted set of events, Candace calls her mother’s bluff by ignoring the fact that her mother is alive and standing in front of her. To pay her daughter back for her devious ways, Hanna spills a drink on her daughter. For every wicked child, there is also the golden child, and for Hanna that comes in her son Benny (Tyler Lepley).  He is every mother’s wish for a child: respectful, loving, generous, could Hanna ask for anymore?  Ms. Young is caught off guard when she discovers that her son has been conversing with her estranged daughter without her knowledge. No family is perfect and it appears there are more skeletons in the Young’s closet than the audience knows.  There have been rumblings about Candace’s child, but we have yet to see the little one.

Speaking of children, the Cryer’s have their own little minions.  Amanda is a bit of an overachiever who battled with her issues involving cutting.  She holds a strong front for her family, but secretly she is battling those demons inside. Amanda is a golden child compared to her drug addicted brother Wyatt (Aaron O’Connell).  Wyatt speaks the truth, not something his family cares to hear, but the truth is a tough pill to swallow. Wyatt has already spent three stints in rehab and is close to relapsing again, but has his life coach Jeffrey (Gavin Houston) literally by his side.  Where Wyatt goes Jeffrey goes.  Wyatt is on to the fact that Jeffrey may be gay, but the only other person to suspect so is Candace.

Jeffrey has not yet revealed the news to his overbearing parents David (Peter Parros) and Veronica Harrington (Angela Robinson), both good friends to the Cryer family. David is a judge who is a close ally to Jim, while Veronica is a recovering alcoholic who is BFF’s with Katheryn.  Veronica is quite nasty to the help to say the least, but she should be well aware that frowning upon those less fortunate is never a good idea.

The series which is directed by media mogul Tyler Perry has a wit to it that sets it apart from the everyday drama.  The balance of drama with just enough tinge of comedy makes the series quite watchable.  It’s filmed in a format that comes across as a soap opera, but in my opinion, it’s not really. The one element of “The Haves and the Have Nots” is its ability to tackle the issue of secrets.  Every member of the rich and the not so rich have secrets; secrets that they harbor to keep others from discovering, as the backlash can be alarming.

Tyler Perrry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on the OWN network.

By LaDale Anderson