Family Time follows the lives of the newly relocated Stallworth family from the “hood” to a tight-knit suburban community of Windsor Hills. In the beginning Tony ( Omar Gooding) a struggling contractor is doing his best to support his wife Lisa (Angell Conwell) a stay-at-home mom and their two children Devin (Bentley Kyle Evans Jr.) and Ebony (Jayla Calhoun). Family Time is in it’s fifth season and in a unique league of it’s own. It’s part of Bounce TV, a network that broadcast signals of local television stations meaning that it is viewable without viewers needing to have cable! That’s only one of the great factors about it.
I got a chance to visit the set and speak with the cast and show producer. This particular day, everyone was in and filming. There is great chemistry amongst them. I spoke one on one with Omar Gooding and asked him about carrying the weight of portraying the black man and head of the household in a positive light. He explained that he pulls from what he knows, his own family. His father was a great influence, but his greatest influence is his fifteen month old son. This is his first child, so it gave him a better understanding of his role as a father. Having an older brother, Cuba Gooding Jr., with adult aged children also has been an inspiration because he’s watched him not only as his brother but as a father and gained knowledge from his experiences. Gooding says he grows every season as his character evolves on the show.
Here’s the cast of Bounce TV’s Family Time. They sometimes film more than one episode a day! Bentley Kyle Evans, producer/writer/director for Family Time wanted to do a show that was about the Black Family. Evans lamented on how he wanted to bring back a spirit in television that does not have to be so heavily censored. Families can come together on a weekly basis and tune into Family Time with confidence that their children are not going to be subjected to questionable content. He also created Family Time so that the current generation has the memory to fall back on. They can one day say, I remember watching Family Time and have positive memories attached to it. He’s wrote for Martin in as a twentysomething year old man, Jamie Foxx in his thirties and now Family Time took him into his forties and fifties as a father. The focus was also to teach that family is the most important thing that we have. This was the strongest message that I took away from the day and from Family Time.
I spoke with the lovely Angell Conwell, Lisa on the show. She’s known for her role in Baby Boy as Omar Gooding’s love interest and ironically she portrays his wife on Family Time. Conwell’s character on the show is somewhat complex. She shifts from wife to mother to daughter-in-law and baby sister. I asked her how she creates the many facets to bring to life Lisa Stallworth and she replied that Lisa is a matriarch! She incorporates a lot of her mother into the character and reacts to the situations as if this were really an experience that she was having off camera. The point is to show her character as being authentic, graceful, clumsy, powerful and funny.
The kitchen and family dinning room….as seen on television.
Camera crews and press in position.