BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
If you thought the first season of Lowladee’s hit web series was good, then the second season is bound to confirm your thoughts.
Where we left off, Dede was contemplating accepting a job that would take her away from Tomide to Netherlands for two years. Without telling her husband, she turns it down to be with him and his sick mother, and decides her marriage is worth making the huge sacrifice for, a decision some of her friends believe is unwise. But Dede is Dede and when she tells Tomide, hoping for a pat on the back, she is met with a disappointing reaction that sets them on a malice-keeping expedition, to a point where they begin to sleep apart. This is brought to an abrupt end by a pregnancy scare that leaves Dede broken when she finds that it is only a scare. She now wants a baby and might even be worried she has a problem, and having Jide, Tomide’s teenage cousin over for a week gets the yearning stronger.
Then Sam and Kerry receive news that requires them to relocate to the US, and this leaves Tomide depressed and Dede nostalgic. But the Mwendas put their emotions aside and leave their friends with a parting gift that means the world to them, and this is where the tears begin to rush. The rest of the season is episode upon episode of heavy emotion, deep heavy emotion with heart and meaning, laden with lessons for everyone, single or married. The season comes to an end on their first year anniversary as Tomide and Dede write letters to each other, renewing their promises to love each other selflessly and for all eternity.
With this series, Lowladee, the writer and director, speaks to the heart of her audience without being preachy about her messages but building her characters to the point where it is easy to believe anything. Occasionally, she infuses humor too, like in episode six where Tomide is made to see a therapist for his drinking problem. Ozzy Agu plays the therapist and cracks you up silly from start to finish, while still addressing the issues his client has.
With This Is It, you relate to a lot of things. To the enthusiastic young cousin, to the father who knows no other way but the hard way, to the siblings who speak the same language in the room and leave you out of it, to the crush on that person who isn’t your spouse or partner. Everywhere you turn, Lowladee plants a real life situation in your face that feels like your life is being played out.
In Season 2, Kerry has less screen time but still manages to make us smile. Sam is a lot more natural, probably because he has a baby on the way and needs to take life easier while still working even harder. Tomide is sweeter, seems more invested in his marriage than he was before, and Dede is more mature and adventurous. The actors, Nick Mutuma, Chiagoziem Nwakanma, Stan Nze and Bimbo Ademoye attack the new season with their A games and make it a delight. Also featured are Olumide Oworu as Jide, Kenyan actress Joyce Maina as Shiro, Teni Aladese, with Kevin Ushi and George Priye as Sam’s parents.
This Is It is not perfect, with some scenes taking too long and some, like the scene where Dede’s friend ‘carries’ a laptop to come google cheating when a phone would have sufficed, or where the younger Sam and Tomide look exactly the same, are a tad unrealistic. Still, This Is It gives us beauty in its writing and execution in a way that we almost are unaware of its shortcomings and embrace it with love in our hearts.
I love what Lowladee has done with this series, and look forward to even bigger and better projects from the filmmaker.