If you haven’t seen the first episode of this is it, you should probably just watch right here, right now. But if you have, move on up to the review.
It’s finally here. After months and months of watching the glorious trailer for Dolapo Adeleke a.k.a Lowladee’s debut web series, THIS IS IT has finally debuted. Now I had my worries about it, because first off, it was yet another rom-com, and in rom-coms you eithe get it right or you totally miss the mark. When you factor in that is a rom-com about newlyweds, the hardest of sub-genres to master, I was right to worry.
But praise all the glorious angels the first episode just dropped and I dug my teeth in.
First off Nick Mutumu is a dream, and I’m just really glad to see him back in front of a camera, after his spectacular turn on the Kenyan production of MTV Shuga. He is the main lead, alongside newbie Chiagoziem Nwankanma. Apart from Stan Eze who has done some work in Nollywood and was on the cast of Ndani TV’s Rumour Has It, the cast is very, very green.
So let’s get to it then.
This show’s first mistake, is that it falls to the stereotype we’ve come to expect from EVERY black movie/series; a voice over that basically dumps a lot of information and back story about the main characters instead of just shutting the fuck up and showing us. Nick Mutumu is great as a voice actor and he leads us through a cliff-notes of his life before marriage pretty smoothly but it is still a voice-over and I am not amused.
He is bi-national, half Kenyan, half Nigerian, raised by a single parent and is currently a startup CEO. He met Dede where she was interning in a company he went to pitch for funds, they ‘dated’ for three years (Lowla Dee somehow crams three years into 45 seconds) and because he ‘knows’ he proposed.
Now after breezing through their entire relationship, they break the voice over/showreel to show us the ‘proposal’. And Oh My God, what a proposal.
So Tomide shows up at Dede’s house, married best friend Sam in tow, in the middle of the night with no preamble. He drops to one knee, and best friend stumbles awkwardly trying to provide mood music on his mobile phone. Tomide asks, Dede burst into laughter, then panics because she isn’t ‘ready’. And then she takes the ring after all.
Honestly LowlaDee, I could have lived without this awkward proposal, the show would have been better for it. I don’t know any woman (real or fictional) who wants to be proposed to at her front door, with your best friend playing Marvin Gaye from his phone and his wife watching.
After showing a time lapse of their relationship and the proposal, the episode starts proper with Dede and Tomide spending their first day after their honeymoon in Zanzibar.
Tomide gives us some press ups (which I didn’t mind), makes himself a morning snack and plops down in front of the television, typical bachelor shit. Dede wakes up and chides him for being an tiny bit of an asshole and asks if he made breakfast. He didn’t, because you know, he has a wife now. Also he didn’t turn on the heater.
Dede is showering and I think the shower head gives her masturbatory ideas, cos she suddenly flashes back to a week before her wedding where she’s having drinks with Carey, the wife of Sam, Tomide’s best friend. Turns out Dede is a virgin and Kerry agreed to go celibate while he was dating her. Dede is a bit (okay more than a bit) of a prude. She’s never watched porn, has no idea how to have sex and thinks great make outs= great sex. What could go wrong?
So Kerry proceeds to give her advice for her first time.
“Whatever you do avoid the bed… do it on the kitchen table…”
“Give your down there a name, and talk dirty about it to him…”
Maybe I’m wrong but I’m not quite sure anyone wants to lose their virginity on a kitchen table.
Dede finishes her bath and ambushes Tomide lingerie and knee high boots that she can barely walk in. She crawls onto his lap and initiates sex talk which goes something like this.
“Do you want breakfast or would you rather have my ‘viva la kunda?”
Tomide, logically, breaks into the shits and giggles. Dede feels hurt and Tomide tries to get into the mood when next thing, there’s a knock at the door. Nobody is supposed to know the newlyweds are back, yet here are Dede’s single friends. Tomide escapes to the bedroom shirtless, and Dede lets her friends in, who immediately make themselves at home, literally barging in.
Dede tries to explain to them that she’s married now and they can’t just show up unannounced, and her friends all overreact, reminding her she promised them she wouldn’t ‘change’ when she got married. Then they leave not before letting her know quite viscerally that they are disappointed.
Tomide and Dede just got married, and just moved into their matrimonial home. A house her friends have probably never been in. Yet they come there and somehow know where everything is, and even ask if she had sex on her new sofa.
How does that make any sense?
Afterwards Dede calls her mom and gets her mom to conference connect her to her dad who is in Abuja (and has a mobile phone of his own). She tells him what happened and he offers her advice about how to fix the new rift between her and her friends. All the while her mother is hovering in the background with a British accent and a super annoying attitude. I like her, a lot!
The episode switches to the flat that Ndidi, Folake and Tina (I have no idea who is who) Dede’s friends share, they’re just hanging out and the one with the faux locs, tells the others she’s been reading about space and newlyweds and the internet has sided with Dede. It is great somebody actually bothers to use Google, and sad that she didn’t think to Google this before showing up unannounced to someone else’s house. While they’re having this conversation, the doorbell rings and it turns out to be Dede, bringing a peace offering of Pizza to smooth out their rift. They make up and the episode ends with another awkward moment with a second delivery of pizza from a dodgy restaurant.
Phew! What a ride.
A little tone deaf but it was a decent first episode.
The writing is pretty dense though, and somewhat unrealistic, especially when it comes to Dede’s interactions with her friends. And also I’m a little disappointed that so far, Adeleke isn’t taking advantage of having bi-coastal lead characters to bring in Kenyan audience and contrast Nigerian and Kenyan cultures.
But the show is still young, we’ll give it four episodes.