It's been an interesting week of channel-hopping and binge-watching.
I finally caught the finale of "The Act", a very disturbing true-life crime drama about the suffocating and troubled relationship between Dee Dee Blanchard, who suffers from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and her seemingly sweet-natured daughter Gypsy Rose.
It was one of those shows that were so unsettling that you can only watch one episode at a time. However, I will say this, the cast is brilliant in their respective roles. As unsettling as the premise might be, especially with the cinematic liberties taken, it’s a compelling story. Perhaps even a wonderful cautionary tale.
Interestingly, Patricia Arquette, who plays the mother, recently bagged the Best Supporting Actress honours at the Golden Globes.
Moving onto the announcement of "For Better or Worse with Mo and Phindi" airing on Mzansi Magic. I remember the delightful couple from KwaZulu-Natal when they appeared on M-Net’s reality show, "Power Couple SA", a few years back. They were chilled, confident and so very in-love even after being married for more than a decade. To call them endearing was no understatement. Their energy was most infectious, too.
Imagine my pleasant surprise to find that Phindile and Monwabasi Grootboom, who are the authors of "Love Isn’t for Cowards!", were the executive producers as well as creators of the show. Curious to see what the relationship coaches had up their sleeves, I tuned into the first episode, which aired not too long ago.
The first guests were Shota Mdabe and Phumeza Mdabe, a stunning couple, who encountered several hurdles that made them even stronger. Theirs was an inspiring story. My one criticism of the episode, though, was not feeling as if the co-hosts were doing their bit in owning their role. Mo was a little too reserved for such a bubbly personality. And the conversation was dominated more by the guests.
Of course, there are times when you have to give a show a second chance. And Mo and Phindi deserved it for all their hard work. I missed the second episode but managed to catch episode three on Tuesday. The guests were Msilelo and Somikazi Boltina, who shared their journey of love with the country. It was uplifting witnessing this modern-day "Beauty and the Beast"-esque tale. I loved it. The Boltinas galvanised support by sharing their romance, which faced life-changing setbacks along the way. Their love and respect was powerful enough to survive and flourish as well. Gosh, it was like something out of a fictional love story.
Mo and Phindi steered the heartto-heart with unadulterated grace, genuineness and respect. I take my hat off to them. They are doing a marvellous job of spreading hope and encouraging couples to stay together, for better or worse.
By the way, "American Gods 2" is back on our screens. In other words, the delectable Ricky Whittle returns as Shadow Moon, a former convict who becomes Mr Wednesday’s bodyguard.
Once again, the battle for power between the old and new gods rage on. While one tries to hold onto teachings of ancient mythology, the other is using technology and globalisation to make them obsolete. It is summed up perfectly by this quote by Technical Boy (Bruce Langley), who said: “Wednesday is history.
Forgotten and old. He should just let it happen. We are the future, and we don’t give a f** about him or anyone else like him anymore. They are consigned to the dumpster. Now we have re-programmed reality. Language is a virus. Religion, an operating system, and prayers are just so much f*****g spam.”
With so many fascinating characters weighing in on this battle, viewers are going to be kept on their toes trying to figure out what’s coming next, especially with Shadow captured.
This series will probably resonate more with the geeks and superhero fans out there. For me, it’s a win-win, it’s got an eye-candy lead and a bizarrely fascinating narrative.
"For Better or Worse with Mo and Phindi" airs on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161) on Tuesday at 9.30pm. "American Gods 2" airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Saturday at 10pm.