I'd already been waiting two weeks for it when Mutual Friends finally premiered on SABC1. The previous show, which lost my interest about four episodes in, was seemingly running longer than expected? What? Shouldn't someone have a handle on these things? When it finally did the manyisa onto my TV 56cm my interest was piqued. It had a clean look and offered VMash as a washed-out 80s bubble gum pop star who, surprisingly, still has enough money left to raise a spoilt brat within the first ten minutes.
We meet Sizo (Neo Ntlatleng), who's trying to get his parents to pay R15, 000 Dibas and some change of a three-bedroom flat just for him when his home is very close to the university he'll be attending. We also meet Jabulani (Jafta Mamabolo) who's getting a nagging from his dad about how he doesn't appreciate all the spoils of freedom he has because he doesn't know the other side. His mum (played by Carol Behane who hasn't had many grown roles) wants his dad to leave Jabu alone and the good doctors start arguing about some stuff. I couldn't see Jabu's piercing clearly so I thought he had something gross on his lip for over half the first episode. Badanile (Zimkhitha Nyoka) is leaving her village in the Eastern Cape to go and attend uni eRhautini. She got a lot of distinctions and a bursary and wants to become a doctor. He parents probably spent a lot of their money buying her a phone with gprs. She gets to Jozi and is told that they gave her bursary to someone else. That's it.
Now for some random observations.
First kid-to-go-to-university syndrome is so real. When your whole family puts a lot of money and hopes into your future you have a lot ridding on your success. I think I cried during the first episode when Badanile found out she's lost her bursary and nobody had bothered to tell her to stay home. And when she talks about not having had money to go the internet cafe to send the bursary people a response.
Luthuli Dlamini should be the brand ambassador of dilfs pty. He features on the show as my eye candy and, like, a doctor or whatever.
Sizo the all-Jozi boy with the model C aka Danny K accent is hilar. I adore me some bornfrees but I know exactly zero model c people and it's pretty interesting watching one. So far, Sizo is pretty much a white boy with lots of Melanin. A lot like what I imagine Siv Ngesi is like, broer. I'm a Neo girl through-and-through -- throwback to Heartlines and his first season of zone 14 *swoon*
The battles of being the only second generation anything is another unexplored facet of the lives of some bornfrees. The whole you have to be twice-as-good because you're black thing mixed with the pressure to be more than just a teen trying to figure it out because you have brilliant parents. The way some well-of parents, people who 'got out' of the township holding it over their kids' heads as a sort of sick motivator because you don't ant to be in the township. And the divide between ubucheeseboy and the 'ghetto' boy. When Phila Madlingozi's character called Jabu out, FAM.
When Badanile is interviewed by "abazalwane" and they tell her she completes them I laughed so hard. They pretty much raised the potential roommate mack game with that line. Done. They had a contouring and transformation session but still landed on like the second pic. And they go and tell her "You're messing with our brand" gurrrrls. I'm confused are they the anti-Jozi girl orrr? And that daddy who dried to touch Badanile's hair? Euw. I just saw date rape play itself when that dude came back with a drink for her. So triggering. Her face listening to the post-Phuza Thursday trysts her roommates were having was priceless
When Jabulani meets and then decides to live with his high school bully post-high school was more of a mindfuck than it was portrayed on screen. Does anyone even think of their bullies as complete people who function outside the environment they use to try and break you? Am I buying Jafta as this nerd kid with the lip piercing and stutter? Not really but the charactersation underneath reads pretty genuine to me -- it's like Othelo Burning all over again.
How many people have met a stranger who could help them out with their problems? Let alone a rich kid with a rich dad who's a big deal in your field of study with serious money to pump into your academic pursuits? I'll wait. It's so lofty.
Lastly, TV has been trying to integrate social stuff into their shows as sort of plot devices (tempy pushas, intersexions, soul city and now mutuals) I'm not much of a fan but I can't exactly make it go away.
I like this show, I hope it continues to hold my attention for the full season.
Have you been watching the show? What are your thoughts on it?