BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Dolapo Adeleke, aka Lowladee, is the writer, director and producer of some of the finest Nollywood content we have seen in the last three years (re: Brave, re: A Place Called Happiness). Upon setting up her own TV station on YouTube, Lowladee blesses us with this exciting ten-part series called This is It, and boy are we grateful.
This is It is about a newly married young couple, Tomide and Dede. Tomide is twenty-seven, has a deceased Kenyan father and a Yoruba mother. Dede is an only child of slightly pampering parents. She is twenty-three. They love each other very much and have friends who love them, Kerry and Sam, but who have problems of their own in their marriage. Tomide and Dede must learn to navigate the bumps that come with marriage and keep their love sizzling while at it.
Tomide is played by Kenyan actor, Nick Mutuma. He has the looks, the lover-boy-ness and the believability his role demands. He could be better, but he doesn’t try too hard and this works really well in his interpretation of his role. Dede is played by new actress Chiagoziem Nwakama. It would seem she was made for the role, the way she goes about it. Sometimes, her diction is a little too assorted, and her acting slightly overdramatic, but it doesn’t take away from the perfection that is her interpretation. Kerry is played by Bimbo Ademoye who is perhaps the best act in the entire series. Her husband, Sam, is played by Stan Nze who is a tad unimpressive.
The ten-episode first season is a story of their wedding into six months of marriage, and in just that length of time, they have more drama in their lives than most have in a lifetime. They have to deal with nosey friends in the first episode; friends who cannot comprehend why they are not allowed to barge into the new couple’s home unannounced just because they are married. Further into the series, they have to deal with other people they find attractive, the decision to have children, a bad friend from their past, ailing parents, money issues, secrets and frustrations in their careers. They have to tackle these issues and find a way to keep their love and friendship intact in spite of them.
This is It doesn’t try to be deep. It doesn’t try to create things that don’t exist. Is it as real as real gets, and very sincere. When Nick Mutuma has to speak Yoruba, it doesn’t come off as contrived. He speaks the little he can and bursts into Swahili, and his mother immediately tells him in Yoruba that he should stop speaking his father’s language because it takes her a while to get.
Lovely as it is, there are a few minute lapses. Toby, for example, who is introduced in the second episode as Kerry’s old lover, and later as Tomide and Sam’s old friends who betrayed them right after university is a terrible actor. In episode 5, a flashback is done, but everyone does not look younger. Well, except Kerry, whose makeup brilliantly cuts out ten years from her age. Sam would eventually say a lot of ‘freakings’ before every statement because he is mad, and the viewer would roll their eyes twice for each one. In episode 7, new actors are introduced; three child actors and one mum. When the woman says she was pregnant for Debbie (who is her daughter), one wonders why no one immediately stopped her to fix her English with a ‘with’. The child actors are horribly unbelievable. I think Nollywood’s child actor problems can be solved by auditions. There abound many kids who can pull off make-believe, but haven’t been given a chance to. Popular brilliant actors like Samuel Ajibola and Wole Ojo were discovered as kids, and that says a lot.
Picture quality and sound are great. The continuity in the story calls for a round of applause. The romance is ooh so beautiful you begin to root for Nick and Chiagoziem to be married in real life. And Lowladee’s directing is beautiful. This is It is a total package of fun, love and everything in between. The series will soon air its second season, and if it is anything like the first, we are definitely here and rooting for it.