For those who have not yet heard, as promised, the first episode of the award-winning television/web drama series, Shuga Down South, is now available on their YouTube channel. And, of those who are yet to see it, I AM NOT ONE OF THEM. As such, I would be sharing a few of my thoughts on the first episode of the new season. That said, shall we now get into some thought sharing? Fine.
Unlike the third and fourth installments of the show, both of which were set in Nigeria, the fifth season of Shuga is set in South Africa. Following antecedence, this move was expected. And I would have thought I was prepared for the switch. But then, episode one of the new season was finally made available, and it turned out I was not as prepared as I thought I was. It was just a whole new experience – new language, new culture, and lifestyle; hopefully, it turns out to be an interesting one. One thing I am absolutely certain about is this, for core fans of Shuga Naija, Shuga Down South will definitely take some adjusting to.
Save for the familiar faces of Femi (Emmanuel Ikubese) and Bongi (Mohau Mokoatle), every other face – and there is a whole lot of them – in the first episode are new. For the twenty-one minutes running time of the episode, I felt like getting used to that much new characters was just too much to handle. Of the many new faces, if I were to pick a favorite, it would have to be Ipeleng (Thuso Mbedu), described as a #BornFighter by the creators of the show, she has already done enough to prove she is indeed one. And she is pretty too. *winks*
However, apart from the change of characters and settings, not a lot has changed about the style and focus of the show. The theme of sex education, while not sacrificing on entertainment, amongst teenagers and young adults is still predominant. While this is not really pronounced in the first episode, subtle hints are present everywhere. Also, one of the dominant features of the show, music, and nightlife, is still an integral part of the show, which sees its first episode close with a performance by Praiz at Club Surge. As the show progresses, I will be looking to decide if Nigerian music and nightlife, or South Africa’s rocks best – do expect some bias here.
In all, judging from as much as the first episode had to offer, I would say this new season does look promising. And I want to put my faith in the creators of the show to deliver on their promise – they have done a good job at that so far. I cannot wait to really get to know the characters and connect with them and their struggles on a deeper level.
You can watch the first episode of Shuga Down South below. The second episode is expected to be available online on the 24th of March.