AV Club: EP 3 of OBFW was basically a badly made drug abuse PSA.
Crack is wack, but so are stereotypes
Crack is wack, but so are stereotypes
Now I understand that making serialized tv shows specifically for Youtube comes with its own limitations and one of them is having to compress complex stories into simple arcs. Sometimes it works and sometimes what you have is a hot mess. Episode 3 of OBFW was largely more of the latter.
If you haven’t seen the new epiosde of Our Best Friend’s Wedding, do so here, and if you have, let’s get to the dragging then.
After a pretty decent second episode (save for that fake accident cliff hanger that they tried to explain away as a dream) that set up the rest of the season quite nicely, I was expecting a straight forward third episode. We got a straight forward episode but not a good one.
The episode starts with Promise, remember him? He had a passing scene in episode one, the ‘brother’ Charles confides in about his suspicions of his mother having cancer. We see Promise sitting on the lip of his ensuite bathtub, looking bleary eyed and staring blankly at his mirror. Just in case you weren’t sure he was a druggie.
He flashes back to himself calling a client to demand payment for a job that has lagged for more than five months, so we are clear that Promise is not only a druggie, he is also a broke one. The flashback continues with Promise seeking to drown away his broke sorrows with more drugs (marijuana) when someone comes banging on his door. Of course, when Promise kills his blunt and opens his door, the landlord is on the other side, fuming. He serves Promise an eviction notice to leave his house at the end of the month, and reiterates again, (just in case you weren’t sure) that the neighbours have been complaining that all Promise does is smoke weed and fog up the entire building. The landlord was pretty funny, but I just couldn’t get past the disturbingly lazy writing in this scene.
Thankfully they move on to Kemi and Jade who again have left their busy lives to come and wait hand and foot on Charles. But seriously though, what do I have to do to find two male friends who I can ask out of the blue to drop all their shit and help me choose a husband and they’ll do it. Or is wait, is it that only women do this?
Anyhow our otherwise jobless OBFW supporting characters ask Charles how his date with the problematic ‘Thirsty’ Tara went and he shows them Tara’s wedding invite. When the girls prod him, he confesses that he had sex with them and goes ahead to antagonize Jade who apparently is a prude. When Jade tries to chastise Charles, he out of nowhere drags her for not being able to find or keep a man. Jade is understandably hurt and leaves, suggesting that if Charles won’t follow the rules of the game, there’s no point. Kemi follows but not before berating Charles and asking that he ‘fix this’.
It is only the person that leaves their house that you can see finish.
OBFW returns to Promise, who is in his car in some abandoned stretch of road. If you’ve seen any gangster films + all the heavy foreshadowing that he is drug addict you should know what is coming next. But the writers decide to waste precious minutes showing us anyway. Charles calls and he rejects the call and flashes back to him at home. His dealer (played by rapper Ozone) shows up and tries to sell him drugs, which he refuse because he is broke and the dealer suggests a ‘job’ he can do. Because you know drug dealers will trust a broke, desperate druggie with hundreds of thousands naira worth of cocaine.
Do I have to tell you what happens next?
After burning his bridges with the OBFW girls, Charles goes to visit his mother at home, and when he gets there, she is on her way out with a man who Charles has never met before. Turns out he is a doctor and Mama Charlie’s date. Charles tries to get her to talk to him but she blows him off for her mans. Why do I get the distinct feeling that this is foreshadowing, that what Mama Charlie was hiding from Charles is that she has a new man. Because if it is…
Jade finally gets some alone screen time and her own subplot (cos you know she is Charles’s eventual bae) and she is at home as usual doing nothing. Tunde’s been calling non stop (because the only way for to get a woman is to harass her into compliance) and when Jade finally caves and takes the call and agrees to go on a date with Tunde, she does so because she is pressed that Charles said she couldn’t get a man. What the fuck is this; High School Musical?
And of course, the episode ends with Promise, in the bathroom doing a shit ton of Cocaine. He snorts his last line, looks into the mirror and after conveniently filling the tub (do you know how hard it is to fill a bathtub in Nigeria) loses consciousness and falls into it. He is sitting on the side of the tub and falls backward but somehow managed to turn mid fall so he doesn’t hit his head on the wall and falls perfectly into the belly of the tub.
Na feem trick?
Isn’t it is also highly convenient that just then, after being ditched by his mom, Charles shows up at Promise’s? Just in time to see him overdosing and create episode three’s ‘dramatic’ cliffhanger.
Clap for yourselves everyone.
Now that we’re done with the episode perhaps we should point out that this episode of OBFW perpetuates every stereotype there is about drug use. Don’t believe me, let’s count the ways.
Delaying on rent: Check
Creative without a real job: Check.
Shady dealer who pulls him over to the dark side: Check.
Drug overdose: Check.
To be honest all that was left was a ‘This advert is sponsored by the NDLEA’.
And also there was this.
None of the female interactions on this show have passed the Bechdel test.
It is actually pretty bad, Kemi and Jade have both been portrayed as successful women running their own businesses yet, we never actually see them do anything or even interact with each other if it isn’t about a man or finding a man. Even Charles’s mother seems to only get screen time if a man is involved. The writers need to do better because this is unacceptable. DO FUCKING BETTER!
This week’s OBFW gem is Owo’s What So Not (Touched). Glorious electro pop.