BY ANDREW OKE
About a year ago, the Nigerian blogosphere was flooded with posts and a poorly cut trailer for what was touted as a “blockbuster series” and the best web series Nigeria had seen; Indigo. The series was said to offer its viewers good music, betrayal, vengeance and an engaging story.
All I got after watching the first season of Indigo was a headache and a heart filled with regret.
Indigo tells the story of two rivalling record labels run by Myra Goodman and her creepy ex-lover Desmond Okoye (who for some reason is always in her house), played by Muna Abii and Baaj Adebule. After watching an episode of reality TV singing competition, Myra decides to quit whatever job she has to start her own record label and create a boy band; Indigo. This annoys her ex-boyfriend for reasons unknown and leads him on a warpath to bring her down and steal her band.
There’s nothing exactly wrong with the premise of the series. It genuinely sounds like it could be entertaining, and in more competent hands, it might have been. However, in creator/director Imoh Umoren’s hands, drivel doesn’t even begin to describe what Indigo has turned out to be.
The first thing you notice in Indigo is the terrible acting performances put out by every single member of cast. Non-actor, Muna Abii says her lines with the charisma and presence of a plank of wood. She gives the worst performance by far in this sea of gut-wrenching, unwatchable acting performances. It is almost as if the director, Imoh Umoren instructed his actors to dig deep down and give him their worst possible performance, because I cannot understand how a real life director can see those performances and think them good enough to be seen by other human beings. Maybe he just wanted us to share in his pain. Just maybe.
The next glaring issue is Indigo’s clunky and borderline unintelligent writing. Almost every line of dialogue in this series’ twelve episodes is cringe worthy. Every episode is written by Imoh Umoren’s merry band of drivel peddlers who call themselves “The Insomniacs”. Maybe if they slept once in a while, they would have created something that wasn’t both headache and sleep inducing. Maybe if they watched an episode or two of Indigo, they would get some of that much needed sleep.
Indigo is marketed as a musical, which may lead people to draw parallels between Indigo and a show like Empire. I’m not a big fan of Empire, but to compare Indigo to it is like comparing a table knife to a katana and calling Indigo the “poor man’s Empire” would be an insult to Empire. The music in Indigo will make you cry but for all the wrong reasons. The songs are so poorly written, produced and performed that listening to them is more punishment than entertainment.
As terribly boring and unbearable as the pilot episode was, the gifted and visionary creator/director, Imoh Umoren managed to do what I didn’t think was possible: he managed to make every episode even more unwatchable and incoherent than the last, which directly affected the series’ viewers. Indigo dropped from 8000 views in its pilot episode down to 2000 views in its second episode and finally to 990 views for its finale. Meaning that only a maximum of 990 people cared enough about the story told in this Web series to watch it’s entire run.
Indigo has a myriad of problems; from its clunky and borderline unintelligent dialogue to its sloppy editing to its paper thin characters with no motivation and its horrible acting. The show is a disorganised, incoherent mess that resembles a project carried out by a first year film student that’s failing out of school; and if you are not a sadomasochist who enjoys massive doses of pain along with little pleasure, perhaps you should give Indigo a miss.