“Blood & Water” has potential, due to its kidnapping mystery, but whether it’s potential will be realized is hard to say.
|Directed By||Nosipho Dumisa|
|Written By||Daryne Joshua|
|Genre(s)||Crime, Drama, Mystery, Young Adult, Non-English|
|The Hook(s)||The Lead’s Sister Being Kidnapped|
|Introduced This Episode|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
Despite being taken 17 years ago, Puleng’s mother, Thandeka, and dad, Julius, continue to celebrate her sister’s birthday. This, for Puleng, is embarrassing, weird, and makes her feel less than. But perhaps the biggest issue is that it leads to Thandeka pretending things are alright with her and Julius, for a short time, but they aren’t and may never be. So, to escape the masquerade her mother puts on, Pulent goes to hang out with her best friend, Zama, who takes her to a party. One which leads to her encountering a girl, Fikile, who not only has the same birthday as Puleng’s sister but does look like she could be her family.
And then when Julius is arrested for human trafficking and even accused of selling his own daughter, so comes the question if Fikile is Puleng’s sister and maybe the key to Puleng obtaining some form of normalcy.
It’s A Short Season
We believe that if a show drops all of its episodes at once, there is no reason for it to be a full 10+ episodes. Binge-watching has created a bridge between films and television that makes what can be seen as multiple half or full hour episodes be an 8+ hour movie. Especially if you never mind the credits and keep it pushing. So with “Blood & Money” only doing 6 episodes, there is hope it is going to be quicker in getting to the point and unraveling its mystery. That is, in comparison to other shows that lose its luster early on and heavily rely on the charisma and looks of their leads to carry its audience.
The Kidnapping Plot
Does anyone else ever wonder why so many teens find themselves in legal issues on TV? If it isn’t hardcore drugs or murder, it is something else that may make you glad you are “normal.” So with a kidnapping plot, “Blood & Water” feels a bit more tame than what we often see and slightly different. Also, as you take note with Julius could be involved, if not Thandeka as well, despite appearances, there is an attempt to stand out beyond focusing on a different local, language, and the characters’ skin tones.
On The Fence
It Lacks Strong Characters
Most teen shows don’t necessarily push themselves hard in terms of story or performances, and “Blood & Water” is no different. They are about entertainment value and hooking you however they can. Sadly, for most shows, this means a handful of cute characters to get you to invest in the story. “Blood & Water” flips this. “Blood & Water” doesn’t seem to want to relax on the appeal of its actors. Instead, it wants to focus on its story. However, while props is given because kidnappings aren’t overexploited in teen mystery media, especially as “Blood & Water” handles it, the characters may not draw you in.
The reason we say that is “Blood & Water” seems to operate off of a checklist. A “normal” person as lead with a wild best friend – check. Parents who aren’t together and the father is pushed to seem like the bad guy – check. One boy who seems a bit goofy who you know is going to be used and screwed over – check. Then, another boy, who is more so eye candy than anything else – check.
We could go on and on, and while we can see an audience is there for “Blood & Water,” I think the audience it will get may strictly be the type who love shows like this. Those who don’t, even with its attempts to be different, I don’t know if they may stick around. Never mind see if it gets better or what we see is what we get.
Continue To Watch? – It’s Not For Us
First Impression: Divisive
I feel like we need to put binge-watch series to a higher standard. That having a network dump all of the episodes isn’t a sign it doesn’t want to make it a multi-month investment in advertising, but it thinks it will elicit the fans needed to be talked about for months. Thus getting free advertising through word of mouth. Now, as for “Blood & Water?” It’s not for us. This isn’t to say it is bad, but we do believe unless you are a diehard fan of teens in crazy situations, it may not click for you. Granted, it has a decent story but, without the type of characters and performances it needs to back such a story, it begins with potential that you can only hope gets realized – eventually.