If you haven’t seen the episode, you should get to it right now, or don’t, the review covers all the juicy bits anyways.
There is obviously a God up there because he has heard our collective prayers and somehow convinced the good folks over at Accelerate TV to call it a day with On The Real. That’s right, On The Real just announced unexpectedly that episode six is the season finale.
I’m crying but only tears of joy.
If you look at how the show’s complete absence of a main plot and how its side plots have progressed (they have shown no progress at all), then you’d be right in assuming that this finale will be one hell of a cluster fuck.
I only find strength to go on with this review because hopefully this will be the last one I have to do, till Accelerate TV gets its shit together.
The finale of On The Real is sooooo bad (and I know I always say that, but compared to this finale, those ones look like Oscar worthy scripts) I’m not going to torture you with a dragged out review. I’m just going to give you the Key Points version.
The finale starts with a diary session, Faridah is telling us what happened after the fiasco that was her birthday dinner; Lolu shouted at them, threatened to dock their pay, the usual. The scene cuts to B.J and Wana hanging out at Samantha’s Bistro. Efosa and Amaka join them and the world’s most awkward make up scene ensues (and I barf in my mouth) and all is well.
We go back to Faridah, at home on the phone. She’s booked a getaway for her and Lolu to celebrate the end of the season and he curves her, reminding her he is a MARRIED man. After Efosa goes to see Lolu (for why we have no idea) and Lolu breaks it to him that Auta has successfully negotiated bringing someone else on to the show to play her own love interest after she dumps Efosa.
B.J meets up with Amaka at work, asks her out on a date and she goes off to clock out, handing him her phone to hold. A call comes in, with a child’s voice on the line, calling Amaka ‘mommy’. This is supposed to be a twist, but I can’t even bring myself to give a shit.
They all congregate at Faridah’s house to shoot the last scene of the season. Wana and Faridah call a truce, then she takes a very flirtatious call from Lolu in front of inquisitive Wana, who discovers their affair.
And that is your season finale.
So here’s what ground my gears about this season of On The Real.
Who in God’s name thought Lolu was a great idea. It’s bad enough that Tamara Aihie and the other writers of the show have binge watched Ari Gold on Entourage and thought they could pass off their badly written copy of the character as an original. But David Jones David, the actor that plays the character is does what he thinks is ‘method acting’ but actually looks like he’s constantly seconds away from an epileptic fit.
It takes a truly ingenious writer/actor combination to pull off an unlikable character who the viewer is at least able to respect, and On The Real fails at even creating a passable character. He is the worst thing on the show.
Closely followed by WANA.
If you asked me to choose a character with the same acting range as Wana in On The Real, I would say Igwe Tupac. Her accent might sound more authentic but it is still a crutch, and if you ignore it, you quickly realise that woman cannot act her way out of a kindergarten class. Her lines are always off, her delivery is always late/riding on the wrong emotion/facial expression and she is just another one in the line of horrible stereotypes about ‘party’ girls who schooled abroad and cannot reintegrate.
Let’s segue for a bit to the show’s actual plots that were introduced and abandoned with no respect for the viewer.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF LOLU
Lolu could have been a proper plot device whose excesses could be overlooked if they didn’t put him front and centre on the show. I have never heard of a reality TV show where the producer does diary session. Not one. But that didn’t seem to matter to the show runners. It also didn’t matter to them that after consistently referencing Lolu’s wife and children the entire show, giving them screen time would have been an excellent way to answer most of our questions about Lolu, and just maybe humanize him.
What kind of woman (except for vapid Faridah) would voluntarily stay with a volatile man like Lolu anyways.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CAST WHEN THEY’RE NOT FILMING
The whole point of a behind-the-scenes documentary of any reality show, is to show us that the actors have lives outside of their public personas. But the show runners become so immersed in creating ‘drama’ between the cast mates that they miss this pivotal point.
All through the show, the writers keep hinting at the cast’s inner lives. They tell in the very first episode that Efosa is doing reality TV because he wants to become an actor but never show him actually pursuing real acting opportunities. They tell us Amaka has rent issues, but never visit that again. B.J is supposedly homeless, yet his clothes are always pressed and clean and he never actually struggles. And Wana is supposed to be 19 years old according to the show’s own synopsis yet, she has her own mansion and no parental supervision.
What gives though? What gives?
Auta has literally filmed only one scene in the entire reality show and she is already having private meetings with Lolu and brokering her contracts to bring other people into the show?
Lolu is supposedly shrewd and paranoid, and we’re supposed to believe he would agree to a contract with someone he has never met?
SHAMELESS PRODUCT PLACEMENT
It is telling of a production company when they start plugging themselves shamelessly in their own show. The writers at Accelerate TV have no idea how to sell a product to someone without basically bashing their head in with it. Even Instagram bloggers know better than that.
Sumbo is supposed to serve as comic relief, a common trope in shows with dark humour. We laugh at the antics of the long suffering assistant and his abusive relationship with his boss. Sumbo does a great job, but he is bogged down by seriously bad writing. And in all, nobody actually thinks that it might be a good idea, to give us back story on him, perhaps even tell the entire thing through his all-seeing eyes.
I won’t even get into the shoddy scripting of the scenes and the atrocious dialogue between the characters, otherwise this will turn from a review into a thesis.
AMAKA HIDDEN CHILD
Not once during the entire season did B.J ever hint that he didn’t want children, or hated them. Not once during the entire season did Amaka ever tell anyone she was single and childless. She has a child, so fucking what? I understand the show writers were at a loss for what to write to justify their shit show of a finale so they decided to dash Amaka a child.
Frankly, it changes nothing. And does nothing for any of us. They should have killed her character off, or put her in hospital. Now that would have been a twist.
But I will say this; On The Real (as it currently is) should be shelved as a failed project. They should take what can be learnt from this fiasco and cut their losses. And only revisit it with a fresh cast and crew. Because this one didn’t work, not by any stretch of the imagination.