The Best Man: Final Chapters
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

The Best Man: Final Chapters is a worthy close to the franchise

Peacock brings Malcolm D. Lee’s iconic Best Man franchise to television in The Best Man: The Final Chapters. It’s been nine years since we last saw Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs), Robin Stewart (Sanna Lathan), Lance Sullivan (Morris Chestnut), Jordan Armstrong (Nia Long), Julian Murchison (Harold Perrineau), Candace Murchison (Regina Hall),Quentin “Q” Spivey (Terrence Howard) and Shelby Taylor (Melissa De Sousa).

The last time we saw Lance and Harper, they had repaired their relationship, and Q announced that he was getting married. A short recap of the first two films precedes Harper’s voiceover as the series opens in 2024. Preparing to receive a prestigious award, Harper has finally made his mark on the world. The series then takes us back to 2015 as the group travels to the islands for Q’s wedding as the group prepares to travel to the islands.

Initially, Malcolm D. Lee planned to close the franchise with a feature film in the spring of 2016. The cast’s schedule and Lee’s work on Girls Trip prevented this. Lee directs and writes the series’ first two episodes with Insecure alum Dayna Lynne North. From the tone and pacing, I felt that Lee used much of his original script with North’s input in the first two episodes.

The characters in the first two episodes are in the same mood as when we last saw them. Especially noteworthy was Lance’s character and how he dealt with grief after the untimely passing of his soulmate, Mia. Likewise, the other guys have changed. Murch is more outgoing and confident, Harper isn’t as judgmental, and Q is… you’ll have to watch.

The core female characters still have the same traits we love. Jordan and Candace still have Black Girl Magic in their respective careers, Shelby is still the life of the party, and Robin still loves cooking. The first two episodes introduce some new characters. Yvonne Pearson plays Jasmine, who works at the island resort and takes care of the group. Moreover, we get two characters who connect to Q. Nicole Ari Parker portrays Q’s future wife, Xiomara Amani. At the same time, Ron Canada steps into the role of Q’s father. Each of them seamlessly fits into the cast and interacts with the characters.

The remaining six episodes take place in 2022 after the wedding. The writers and Lee did a great job writing a variety of stories. To respect the fans, I won’t get too deep into spoilers. However, plot lines include rebuilding after the pandemic, Harper’s first book becoming a movie, finding your passion after retirement, a mid-life crisis, and raising teenagers. The storylines are generally substantial, and everyone can relate to them. 

Brandon Victor Dixon and Eric Scott Ways are among the newly added cast members in the second half of the series. Dixon plays Demetrius, an old flame from Jordan’s past who is back in her life. Dixon gets the chance to somewhat go against type, and I liked his character’s arc. Ways has the role of Lance’s son LJ, who carries his father’s image. However, he may have other aspirations besides football. 

I was engaged throughout the eight episodes of The Best Man: The Final Chapters. I disagreed with a few plot points in the later episodes and thought they were there for shock value. However, the narrative choices I disagreed with in my first view made sense upon reflection. Additionally, Robert Townsend directed a few episodes, and it’s always a joy to see his name in the closing credits.

While we get a definitive ending for all the characters, I don’t want to say goodbye. Here’s hoping the series is a success and Peacock orders a prequel series.

 

Grade: A

The Best Man: The Final Chapters will premiere on December 22 on Peacock.

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