BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Online skits have really become a thing, and we almost cannot remember what life was like before them. My first encounter with hilarious online skits began with the Vines with the likes of America’s King Bach and Reggie Couz, creating videos for thirty seconds or less with so much creativity you literally dropped your jaw to the ground in wonder while still tearing up in laughter and nearly choking on it.
Then I discovered the Nigerian skits too, the ones from comedians like Basketmouth and Bovi, and more recently Falz, Maraji, Emma Oh My God, Twyse Ereme, Broda Wasiu, The Real Femi, Craze Clown, Klinton Cod, to mention a few. These guys have taken creativity to a whole new level, and more people keep arising, breaking frontiers in humorous creativity and setting new records.
One distinction Twyse Ereme’s skits have is the uniqueness of the characters he creates, even of the women, old and young. It isn’t that there aren’t other people who play multiple roles in their skits, but Twyse’s characters are like entirely different people, with intelligent backstories. It is amazing how he is able to do this so well not just in the acting, but also in the planning and writing. The characters sound different, look different, behave differently and are still completely in sync. If this isn’t impressive, I’m not sure what is.
Meet the Twyse Family series is a three-part series of about ten minutes per episode. It is something of an interrogation of all the members of the Twyse family – Daddy Tobi, Mummy Tobi, Tobi, Taofik, Sade, Ridwan and Grandma. It also features AphricanApe. From previous skits involving these characters, the viewer already has a basic understanding of how the Twyse family is set up. But the Meet the Twyse Family series brings this characters closer home, explaining why they act the way they do and going back in time to the stories that brought them all together.
Another allure this series has is how, while they seem to be holding individual interviews, their lines complement each other perfectly. Everyone tries to present themselves in their best light: Daddy Tobi lies that he met his wife in church and courted her for two years before getting her pregnant. Mummy Tobi’s interview intercepts his from time to time, telling her own side of the story, of how she met him at the club at age fourteen, drugged him and got pregnant by him that same night. Tobi thinks Taofik is a terrible singer and says he has told him to quit to no avail; Taofik says he is grateful because Tobi believes in his talent and nudges him to not give up. We do not know whose side of the story to side with, but from their track records, and even by their body language, we can tell who is adding extra sprinkles of exaggeration to make their stories sweet.
In the first episode, we learn about a mysterious visitor. It is revealed in the second episode that it is the much-disliked Grandma, the one nobody but Daddy Tobi likes. We are excited about the drama that is about to ensue, especially between her and Mummy Tobi who are arch rivals competing for Daddy Tobi’s love. But this expectation is quickly taken away, and a new conflict is introduced mid-season that jars us a little: Sade is missing! This new development seems to take precedence over the last in the writer’s mind, so he pushes grandma out of the way on the excuse that she had something important to attend to in Ibadan. With that settled, we go on to find Sade.
An unexpected twist in the tale involving AphricanApe is born, and we find that Sade isn’t the culprit, but her boyfriend Ridwan. The series ends with a heartbreak and a message; through the entire drama, every member of the dysfunctional family seems to have an opinion about their love story, but Tobi’s is the most balanced when he says everyone should be allowed to hold on to their values.
Twyse struggles with his resolution a bit when he tries to create another conflict between Tobi and Taofik that comes clearly across as an afterthought. In spite of this, the series winds up a thoroughly entertaining piece.
More outstanding is the fact that Twyse basically did everything in this production without compromising the quality of it, from the writing to the cinematography to the acting to the editing to the makeup. Everything! And with the humour intact.
This is good work, and we can’t wait to see where this takes the brilliant internet sensation. In the meantime, we’ll keep having our laughs with tea, thank you.