The Media Blog: But let’s say the truth, The Marcy Project is a hot mess

We are very reluctant to use those words ‘hot mess’. To be honest, it’s lazy. And it’s what critics do when they can’t be bothered to actually commit thought to the material they are descending on and actually explain why they think what they are thinking.

So we avoid it. Except today, there are no other words.

People have been telling us about how inchoate The Marcy Project by Dolapo (Marcy) Oni (or Sijuwade now) is. And we assumed it was the normal Nigerian everything-is-bad-and-I-know-better-than-everyone-doing-it-now bad belle.

So we decided to watch this week. The show is 7pm, Sunday on Africa Magic Urban.

First, because we really like Dolapo. And we really think she is a great human being. And we really wanted to like the show. And we really understand that she tried to do something different. So some good news first – in a land where it was few and far in coming. She looked good.

She looked really good. Her set also looked lovely, like some thought went into the space, and the chairs, and the overall aesthetic.

And we like how she tried to think through the format, and do something different from everything we are usually punished with on the Nigerian talk show circuit, and it did appear that she put her heart into it.

Sadly, it didn’t work. The show is confusing. What is it? Ellen? Please don’t say so. We already have Ellen. And this doesn’t even come close. It doesn’t have anything that glues it together into a coherent thought proposition. It’s just a collection of badly conceived parts that find it impossible to gel.

First she intros with news about twins from a country and city that she didn’t take her time to properly make us care about. Then somewhere in between, we go to an interview with Jimmy Jatt that was dry and cliché and reveled nothing new and actually diminished interviewer and interviewee.

Then she went to a skit that was intermittently funny (because Dolapo is actually a competent actor – we also saw her in Wakaa! The Musical) but didn’t completely work out because it wasn’t written properly and then wasn’t directed at all, and then didn’t completely have a point.

We hear that this segment is the entire point at which this show is supposed to be different. Her playing the role of different people every week. Well, it’s not strong enough to be impressive, or memorable, and just looks like no one was really prepared to do a show that actually makes any sense.

Then at the end it pivots into Dolapo’s Diary, where she tells us about new film projects as if she were Oprah and we were truly interested in the minutiae of her life. Which also didn’t quite make sense because the show was supposed to be about others and not her.

It ended with a whimper. And it made us terribly sad. Because this show doesn’t deserve to be on television. It’s not yet ready for any screen. Sorry, Dolapo. Sorry.


PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, op-eds etc) send us a mail on [email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!

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