You will remember the anticipation with which we welcomed Hustle (Weekdays, 9.30pm, Africa Magic Urban). And then the disappointment with its first cliché-ridden episode.
But remember, also, what we told you? This was a show that would grow on you. That checked out.
Exhibit A: Us.
We have watched every single episode of the two-week-old series, sitting down on Saturday to watch the Omnibus version and catch up on all that we missed.
Because, to be honest, the series ultimately works. You see the faults but you like it anyway, because it works. And its, for want of a better word, real.
Oh and Seun Ajayi (Dayo), its central character, is SOOOOOO likeable.
Actually, likeability is the one thing this series has going for it – Uzo Osimkpa (Uzo) is tres likeable (and abundantly better than she is in that good-for-nothing Do Good – also on Africa Magic), Seyi Law (Ose) is abundantly likeable. and of course Sola Sobowale (Mama Secant) is completely and utterly loveable.
The chemistry between Dayo and his roommate Acid (Chukwuka Anozie) is actually the magic that ties all of this together.
And then the supporting cast of characters is true-to-life. At least if you grew up in the neighbourhoods where this story was set, like some us. We can recognize everyone from the nieghbourhood drama king, Razaq to the bullying woman selling ‘provisions’ somewhere around or down the road who becomes a part of your life even though you hate her guys. And you HAVE TO watch out for Kudi, the delightful 7-year-old niece to Mama Sekinat – a veritable Immanuela, served with verve.
The extras are poor – many of them shouldn’t be anywhere near an acting production – and some of the storylines just bend ‘one kain’, but it delivers on the one thing it promises to deliver: it is funny. And it is earthy. And it is compelling in a way that keeps you coming back, because you have fallen in some kind of love with this characters.
We are still looking at Casino askance, we are the minority in that we think Hush is overrated, and Do Good is simply not funny. But this latest offering from the good guys at AfricaMagic? We worry about whether it will sustain the laughs over the next few weeks, but for now, it conquers all of its flaws because it has a soul.
It’s a hit. And we are #TeamHustle.