As the headline suggests, Netflix’s next African original (Blood & Water) set to grace our screens real soon, is indeed fresh. Recently confirmed to start streaming on Wednesday (20 May), Blood & Water is a Young-Adult, African Original series that is set to be broadcasted across 190 countries, globally. Thanks to the Netflix team we got to see it much earlier and unlike our comments on its predecessor, Queen Sono, we were more than impressed with this one. Before we go into that though, let’s give you a bit of lowdown on what it is and who it includes:
The drama series, created and written by Nosipho Dumisa, introduces breakout star Khosi Ngema and features known talent such as Ama Qamata (Gomora, My Perfect Family, Rhythm City), Natasha Thahane (Skeem Saam, The Queen), Gail Mabalane (The Road, The Wild), Cindy Mahlangu (The Queen, The Heard), Thabang Molaba (The Queen), Arno Greeff (Binnelanders) and Dillon Windvogel (DanZ).
It centres around the exploits of Puleng Khumalo (Ama Qamata), an intelligent and impulsive 16-year-old with a secret to hide. The teenager engineers her transfer to Parkhurst College in a desperate bid to investigate the 17-year cold case of her older sisters disappearance. Abducted at birth, Fikile’s disappearance has cast a shadow over Puleng’s life, and she’s determined to solve the case.
From the very first scene you lay your eyes on, it becomes clear that there’s a lot to like about Blood & Water. As we’ve learned before though, first impressions sometimes don’t end well, luckily this doesn’t apply here. What we liked about it is there’s no pretense and it very much feels and looks South African. From the different settings, the choice of background music, to the accents and languages used – aesthetically this one goes down very well.
The story line also presents some mystery and like most good TV, it encourages you to comeback to find out what happens next. With the cast it has, including some local veterans who offer the occasional appearances, the acting is also quite good and solid. In her debut, the breakout star Khosi Ngema who the story line centers heavily on, delivers a great performance which makes it hard to believe she has never been on any other official television acting gig.
Like it claims to be, Blood & Water is very much a Young-Adult series and no doubt it will find the most favor with that crowd and such is the way that it’s styled (background music which is mostly local Hip Hop, topics of discussion, the setting of the scenes and much more) that it will go down well with a youthful audience. Full credit has to go to Nosipho Dumisa, the lady behind the entire thing. Of course a lot goes into making something like this come to life but you can’t deny that without there being a concept to start (from Nosipho) with then this wouldn’t have been.
Saying all of that though it’s not completely perfect but nothing rarely ever is generally and in this instance the good more than overcrowds the few niggles we found. Complete with 6 episodes in total, judging by how it ends, there’s no doubt in our minds that we’ll have another season of it. We’re definitely looking forward to that and there’s no doubt once more that Blood & Water is another massive win for local content and is one to be proud of. Make sure to check it out when it lands next week on Netflix.