We were disappointed in Dolapo (Oni) Sijuwade’s The Marcy Project. That’s putting it mildly, really, but because we acknowledge the effort that went into her trying something different, and because we generally think she’s a cool person with lots of potential, we’ve been checking out her latest offering.
The first thing you’ll notice about “So You Wanna Get Married?” is most likely how similar it is in appearance, to EbonyLife TV’s Moments. Which isn’t to say, of course, that there was anything particularly inventive about the format to begin with, as we’ve seen variations of the same everywhere from The View to The Talk. But given that Dolapo was once a prominent member of that panel, it’s a little hard for us not to wonder if it was a conscious decision on her part.
Moving away from that, the most important thing to say about the show is this: it works. No, it’s not groundbreaking or revolutionary in any way, but it does its job. Maybe we’re grading Dolapo on a curve here, maybe our expectations were already so low after the mess that was The Marcy Project that we were bound to be more receptive to whatever she put out next, but we’re hard pressed to find serious fault with anything here.
Sure, there’s the head-scratching issue of the videos being uploaded in 240p resolution (in 2016? Are we here to play?) but all of that can be brushed aside because the actual product succeeds at what it aims for.
To be fair, that might be a function of the fact the show doesn’t aim for too much to begin with, but given how The Marcy Project failed largely because it tried to be too many things at once, we see this as a strength here. There are no pointless segments to shoehorn into other segments that barely work. There is little room to mess up editing.
And that’s what it has going for it. It isn’t trying too hard. Also, Dolapo isn’t struggling to make herself the point of this.
This isn’t, as you might be tempted to assume from the title, an attempt by Dolapo to dole out marriage advice based on her own experiences. That wouldn’t be entirely terrible, of course. It would be interesting to know how, for example, as a young person, she’s adjusted (or adjusting) to married life, about expectations versus reality, etc. But either way, she largely stays out of the way of her guests here. Like a good host, she steers them in the right direction, engaging with them but letting their conversation be the focus.
We do wonder about the choice of going to YouTube straight with the show, and if there’s a larger plan for a play at a broadcast slot later on, and how it could possibly carve a niche for itself among the mass of talk shows on TV already. But for now, we say good job.