Wilmington, North Carolina stands in for Martha’s Vineyard in ‘Our Kind of People,’ a soapy, sexy drama that delivers intrigue between Black upper class characters and a working class protagonist.
“Our Kind of People,” Fox’s new Tuesday night drama about the Black elite of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., has all the buzz you’d expect from Lee Daniels. The creator of “Empire” assembled a cast that includes Yaya DaCosta, Morris Chestnut, Joe Morton, Lance Gross, Debbie Morgan, and Nadine Ellis.
There is plenty of eye candy, and not just from the stars. The premiere is the latest television show filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina’s own coastal Hollywood that’s been the setting for numerous films and TV shows. Here are some spots you may recognize in the first episode.
1. Fire Station No. 2 at 602 S. 5th St. was built in 1915 and now serves as a charming, historic events venue. During taping, it set the scene as the home of Angela Vaughn (Yaya DeCosta). Angela’s late mother willed her the property and Angela plans to use her new proximity to power in order to establish her own business. But will family secrets destroy her before the plan gets underway?
2. Cape Fear Country Club, at 1518 Country Club Road, is the oldest private country club in North Carolina. Founded in 1896, the club features a sprawling golf course that hosted the PGA Azalea Open from 1949 to 1971. The opulent structure provided the backdrop for meetings of an uppercrust club Angela is desperate to join. Life imitates art.
3. Carolina Place Apartments at 420 Market St. serves as Angela’s childhood home, and the setting of happier memories.
4. Wilmington International Airport is featured, if only to remind viewers that the rich and powerful don’t fly coach. Private jet, anyone?
5. Brooklyn Arts Center Annex at 516 N. 4th St. used to be the old St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, but found new life as an events venue. For the show, it was highlighted in a scene for an exclusive fraternity gathering.
“Our Kind of People” promises intrigue, drama, and a delicious frisson between the classes. It’s title refers to the book “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” by Lawrence Otis Graham. When it debuted in 1999, the book pulled the curtain back on the insular society of old, African-American, monied families and their privileges – as numerous as their rules about who could belong and who couldn’t. With a title like this, the television show has a big promise to deliver.
Will you be tuning in?