BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
One of Nigeria’s fastest growing entertainment and interactive online platforms, Accelerate TV recently introduced to its fans a new talk show titled The Shade Corner. The weekly show features five outspoken, urban and lively young people who discuss almost everything you can think of using huge doses of sarcasm. These young professionals are well-rounded in topics ranging from pop culture to politics, Nollywood, fashion and of course, celebrity lifestyle.
You’d know AkahNnani from Akah’s Bants. His quick wit and fun persona makes him a good fit as host of the show and moderator of the Shady Bunch. The others who make up the cast -Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Makida Moka, Noble Ezeala and Camille Shaiyen – are selected from various segments of the industry. Bayo is a designer so there should be an authority whenever fashion makes it to the table for discussion. Makida is an actress and model, Noble – a lawyer and blogger, while Camille also known as King Cam is a podcaster and brand management consultant. This lineup, you’d think, is versatile enough to make the show as informed as necessary for what it threatens to deliver. But well, does it?
Watch the first episode of Accelerate TV‘s Shade Corner below.
From its very first episode titled The Worst Music Made By Nollywood Stars, the stamp of Accelerate TV is unmistakable. Fun, quick, entertaining and easily appealing to a mass audience. You find yourself chuckling at the satire and how spot on the banter is on several occasions. The five characters also known as The Shady Bunch focus on the attempts by Nollywood stars to dive into music, with some proving more unsuccessful than others. As they take a look at each star from Genevieve Nnaji to Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, the Shady Bunch does not hold back in giving their opinions on the various musical adventures. A thin line separates insults and personality attacks and fun shades. It is a good thing that, in this first episode at least, they do not stray over that line. It is immediately evident that a conscious attempt is made by the hosts to keep insults away from the corner. Good thing.
The set is as simple as it is communicative. It is casual, like the attires of the presenters. The management of space is quite commendable. Ray Charles’ impression sitting nonchalantly on the wall is quick to announce to the viewer that this is mostly about entertainment. “You’re here to be entertained,” it says. It is balanced successfully on the opposite side by the woman with her finger on her exaggerated red lips in a style that asks you to keep what you’ve just witnessed to yourself. Five friends have gathered to gist, talk about and ultimately critique some of the most random topical issues. To them, they are locked up in their world, taking on those issues no-holds-barred style. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen. This is a critique show. But unlike most critiques, even the artiste whose work is being discussed on The Shade Corner is also welcome to enjoy the entertainment on show.
Akah’s performance is good. He does well coordinating the discussion; knowing when to be the host and when to be the “first line of audience”. Bayo is perhaps the most hilarious of the collective while it will take next to no time before King Cam becomes every dude’s crush. But the fact that at certain periods during the show it seems like everyone, apart from Akah, is talking at once, not listening to one another can be a quick put-off to people who place a premium on organised discussions regardless of whether it’s an informal gathering or not. Hopefully, the cast adjusts accordingly as the episodes progress. Not a lot of people will want to be reminded of one of the characteristics of that mob gathered in Abuja from constituencies across Nigeria; feeding fat on taxpayers’ money.
A better job can be done by the lighting designer in eradicating the shadow cast by the host’s very conspicuous “throne”. And, why does he have an exaggerated seat making him look like he’s acting the part of King Lear in that timeless Shakespearean tragedy? Also, the stand behind Akah’s seat could be done without as part of the set. The throw pillows too. It is understandable that the discussants need something to keep them busy as they await their turns to contribute but those pillows won’t be missed if they are yanked off. Noble wearing pink and playing with a red throw pillow isn’t a very pretty sight.
In all, Accelerate TV is delivering on its content promises. Long may it continue. The Shade Corner is commendable entertainment, a slightly different shade from the web series flooding YouTube these days. One can feel, very strongly, that the show is a member-of-cast-who-appeals-to-the-not-so-prim-audience away from being a smashing hit. Are the producers willing to make it happen? Who then gets dropped?