A local teen uncovers her family's secret past and navigates the complicated world of a South African high school.
Movie Rated: 18+ (Language, Sex, Substance)
Genres: Dramas, Mystery
Digital Premiere Date: 20 May 2020
Digital Premiere Date: 20 May 2020
After the huge traffic with Queen Sono, Netflix produced its second African Original Series - Blood and Water which released yesterday with huge expectations. Watching the trailer of the show before the release, any netizen would have got into an idea that the show is going to be school special-esque like 13 Reasons Why and Riverdale. The show is directed by Nosipho Dumisa, and he gives us the feel of watching a combination of an American Family and School Drama (Since I'm not sure whether African Families would follow the same culture as the US) happening in South Africa. Also, the drama is more inclined to the school's side where we get to see what we see in the high schools: chic uniforms, uncertain friendships, half-baked dates, bullying in the quad, and of course a lot of emotional explosions.
What Is the Story About?
Ama Qamata who plays the lead role as 16-year-old Puleng Khumalo is a clever, energetic and emotional teen on an expedition to find her lost sister - Fikile Bhele played by Khosi Ngema). The show unfolds in the very first scene where the family mourns for her 17 Year lost child. Puleng, the lead character gets hunches about her kidnapped sister and moves to a new school where the elite class of the city sends their kids to study. In the discreet process of confirming Fikile as the missing sister, Puleng also has to bear the pain of her father undergoing trial in court. The story travels in the drama route at times and mystery route at times.
Every actor in the show fit in perfectly for a school drama but they hardly gave us the feel of watching a mysterious show. Puleng (Ama Qamata) with her innocence scores at places whereas the topper would be Wad Daniel played by Dilion Windvogel. His scenes in the show are not only just fun and engaging but also, he is the only one who takes the story forward. With too many actors in the show, you can hardly find a natural performer. Even a few intense scenes in the show turn out to be a bit artificial due to the lack of solid performances.
The six-hour-long half school-esque drama tests your patience level at too many times with engagement issues. The show does not offer anything new except the interesting storyline of going in search of a lost person. The climax's predictable twist might interest a few audiences to watch the next season. Though the story starts in the very first scene of the show, it doesn't move at a rapid pace as a mystery thriller is supposed to. An important reason for the sedate pace of the screenplay is the drama happening in school which we all have seen 867 times in other High School-based TV Shows. Another downer the show holds is the screenplay planned in a way where only the first and last ten minutes would engage you.
Music & Other Departments
The biggest corroborative factor of the show is music and the themes. They just lift up your mood many times. At times, they are the saviours. Other than the RR Work, it is the lens work which scores a positive point. Any audience would just be stunned by the beauty of time-lapse shots of Cape Town. The technical team has delivered just what is required for this show with a very petite budget.
The most enjoyable scenes of the show were when Wade was there in the frame. Wade, partly being a nerd plays a role very similar to Clay Jensen from 13 Reasons Why. His one-liners are super cool and fun in the whole show.
Apart from the performances being weak, the show is dressed up in an American style. If they have executed it in a more realistic way, the show would have been more engaging (of course with a better screenplay). The screenplay has too many sub-plots holding some usual romance which eventually makes the show a boring one. The climax is very predictable as even a pre-school kid would answer it at the end of the first episode. The series would definitely have worked well if it was taken in a shadowy thriller's motive.
Did I enjoy It?
Definitely, a no. I liked the basic plot of the show, whereas the foreseeable screenplay with deficient performances made it a sterile examination.
Do I recommend?
If you are a fan of 13RY and Riverdale, give it a shot (Also only if you have abundant time to waste).