Look, I love me a good Drama and telling me that not only is it a Netflix original but it’s also set in South Africa had me foaming at the mouth with interest. So it’s probably my fault for ignoring the signs given to me by the promotion of the show into thinking this was going to be some really good mystery show. It was not, well not entirely and frankly, that was my problem with it.
If this show was supposed to be doing a Puleng and Fikile are two sides of the same coin type of show then they missed the mark here. Instead of painting Fikile as a needy and naive over-achiever, they should have tried to show us the plentiful similarities between her and Puleng. I also felt like the way Fikile was portrayed was very contradictory. If the idea was to have Fikile be demure in front of everyone but her friends then that should have been more obvious, instead. Could this be naivety or immaturity? I don’t know but they need to do better with her character.
I loved the moments, at the beginning of the show, when Puleng was imagining Fikile, cause she couldn’t get over the idea that maybe she was her sister. More of that in Season 2, please. It reminded me so much of the early seasons of Pretty Little Liars back when they thought they were hallucinating Alison. I loved it so much and if they had added a suspenseful score layered on top, it would have shown how fixated and focused Puleng had become.
I loved the investigative side of Puleng and Wade. I mean Puleng needs to get better at her sleuthing but Wade came through with some detective-level work ethic. I was here for it. I wish they had created their sort of mystery board because that would have been something nice the audience could also see and refer back to. The best shows are the shows where the audience circle around making theories in the off-season.
So this brings me to my last point of the show. I think it was extremely premature to have Fikile find out about what Puleng’s suspicions were in the final episode. Like you could have thrown a curveball into it and no, I don’t mean that Puleng’s dad was suspected to have tried to abandon his children. I mean something like finding out that maybe one of her parents is friendly with one of the people Puleng thinks are involved like B Jaxa? Maybe by B Jaxa giving one of her mom a call? Or maybe being able to do a DNA test but finding out that she too doesn’t match the DNA of her father?
Look, I think was a great introduction into what South African teenage shows can be. It had great acting standouts being: Ama Qamata who plays Puleng Khumalo (she’s good at acting fixated) and Natasha Thahane who plays Wendy Dlamini (we love to hate her and you can count on her to look out for herself).
If this show gets a second season I hope it decides what it is trying to be a regular teenage drama or suspenseful mystery focused on teenagers. I NEED some more detectives club and Zama joining Wade and Puleng in too. Something tells me that those two together would make for a hilariously wild combination.