Episodes 4 to 6 of The Wife loaded on Showmax on Thursday (18 November) after the series debut the Thursday before. You'll find my review of the first three episodes here
In episodes 4 to 6 we see one of the brothers going John Wick on the Majola taxi faction, Hlomu gives it up and Sandile is kicked out of his home by the loving Zulu boys.
Although, on paper, it feels that the story is moving along quite quickly, there are still some issues that one can't overlook.
Let's dig in...
There are some very disconcerting moves in the series, especially the triangle between Hlomu, Sandile and Mqhele. The glorification of bad boys and making "the good guy" look like a total wimp in our pandemic of GBV is worrying.
Are we looking for more supportive partners or bad boys who beat up a boyfriend who has been faithful to someone for years? I haven't read the source material to see where it's going, but it's worrying.
It doesn't help that the writing and directing do not give a clear context on character motivation or why certain things happen within the context of the TV show.
For example, Hlomu's lingerie and readiness to give it up so quickly after holding out for so long is not properly set up or explained within the story.
Was she holding out because of religious motivation? Or was it cultural or maybe she didn't find Sandile exciting as a dude? None of that is explained and her giving it up is explained even less.
There's no context given to her motivation. Boyfriend gets chucked out by thugs and she laughs it off but in the same episode she was gung-ho to find the truth about the protest and yet her character didn't care about the treatment of her boyfriend at all... it don't add up.
There's a lot of that in the directing and writing thus far, where there is no sufficient nuance given to set up the characters, which ends up with a series about plot points being thrown at us with little to no effect on the character.
Another example: Hlomu's disappearance - we don't see the effects of it on her boyfriend. Hlomu sleeps with Mqhele for the first time but we don't see the effects of it afterwards either. Was she happy with the sex? Did it bring them closer? All we got is the plot point and then the show moves on.
The biggest issue I have though is that we live in a country where extremely problematic ideas are widely held by us guys around ladies and the glamour of so-called bad boys... where ideas of being a good person to your lady = being a wimp.
That a guy can't be faithful to his wife or girlfriend, nor just wait for someone who's a virgin. The latest three episodes feed into the negative association.
I really want to see if future episodes of the show are self-aware about this or will it just exploit it for ratings without thinking of the context or where this content is going to be consumed or the ideas it reinforces.
Production-wise, the show continues to struggle to be harmonious in shooting consistently, setting up actions and paying it off. Half the time we see the action unfold with little to no insight into the motivation and why it's happening now?
Although the edginess and pace need to be commented, the series is seriously not consistent and if these inconsistencies continue, they're going to take a lot away from what could be an industry brag piece.
* trash ** you are on your own ***it tries ****Almost perfect *****Instant Classic