When I learnt there would be a spin-off to Single Guys that would follow the lives of three, vibrant, beautiful, black women in the jungle that is Jozi I was thrilled. When it's women-led I'm there! I loved the international series Lipstick Jungle (my Sex and the City,) Girlfriends will remain the GOAT and after recently watching iBrides Maids, which I am now obsessed with, I was just marinated and READY. And as a feminist, I'm constantly on the look out and hoping for complex female stories and female characters - none of which, to my disappointment, I have found in the show.
Premise // First Episode
Lerato (Zola Nombona) whom we met on Single Guys as Khaya's love interest moves back in with her best friends -- presumably after they break up. We meet the vivacious Sonto (Vele Manenje) who's trying to make the vintage treasures -- oh who am I kidding... Scrap-- shop she inherited work. We also meet the timid Ntsiki (Xoli Zondi -- she's come so far since her Family Bonds days) who's been in a long-term relationship for seven years. The first episode is Ntsiki's anniversary and she's convinced her boyf is going to propose. He doesn't. He dumps her by tacking on a "nami" to a break up speech a dude was telling Sonto.
I'm not impressed by how desperate and "crazy" the women I made out to be. They're in a rabid race to find a man (anyone will do), marry and start having babies. All. Three. Of. Them.
They're not afforded any complexities. They're made out to be these three women who are afraid no one will want them. At twenty five the "clock" has been mentioned a number of times. They're also extremely competitive with each other for the attention of men and the like. Meh. The only person afforded any sort of humanity is Lerato but barely. She's this woman who's just (reluctantly) got out of a relationship, she's broke, she's bumming on friends, her gorgeousness is giving her a "pretty hurts" narrative.
All in all I feel very let down by this show. They could have done so much with the characters. This is Jozi for crying out loud. These women are young and free, in 2014! And what's up with the sound? :/ My sister said "it's like we're watching a dream sequence."
The only saving grace is Austin Shandu (Austin x Carrie x Sami anyone?) of Intersexions fame who plays Mbu (a friend of the women and is in lurve with Ntsiki) on the show. His comedic timing is lovely. I also find the Anthony character (also featured on Single Guys) played by the incomparable Warren Masemola interesting. It's funny watching someone who is not Zulu-speaking playing a parody of a Zulu character.
On a side note: it feels as if this series (and Single Guys) is the fruit of AFDA buddies finally getting a chance to get together and make stuff they care about and getting it out there, which gives me the warm and fuzzies. If only these buddies would do ground-breaking work now. I'm ready. In fact, more people need to have more imagination and tell varied narratives that have dynamic characters.
They didn't even give the galz a cast photo shoot for promo. LOL.
I don't want you to waste your time but if you're alos on Welfare teevee with zero options then catch Single Galz Monday 19:00 - 19:30 on SABC 1
Have you been watching what are your thoughts?