“The Wrap Up,” a new web series on Accelerate TV hosted by Toolz, is the faux-prestige TV that will take its reign over our lives. Or so I thought. That I struggled to articulate what was good about the show’s first episode is an indication that something was wrong. Was it the bar setting? Was it the fact that the bartender who goes by the blandly unfunny name “Mix Chievous” with his occasional interjections reminded me of how men always still manage to insert themselves in the affairs of women? Was it Oreka’s make up? Was it the way Toolz remained supremely seated on that elevated bar stool like a rock? Was it how the whole show heavily channelled “3LiveChicks” but with Oreka as a resurrected member?
“Make it fairly strong, not super strong,” Toolz quickly tells Mix Chievous how she wants her Irish cream, and then she hugs Oreka who arrives the bar late, a tribute to the peculiarly African lateness culture. Soon enough, Toolz and Oreka are on the subject of their mutual friend Funke whose boss made a pass at her at work. They are having glasses of Irish cream as they chat; Oreka plays the devil’s advocate, subscribing to the idea that sexual harassment isn’t sexual harassment if the man perpetuating it is good looking.
It’s languid bar humour, meant to be light and forgotten. Even so, Oreka’s cheeky, unpopular opinion undercuts the seriousness of workplace sexual harassment on women. As someone who has heard real-life accounts of women being sexually harassed at the workplace, even having to forgo their jobs due to the toxic environment, the show misses a great opportunity to fully and critically address such issue. Taymi B arrives then, whose post-radio humour simmered but never quite broke through the surface. Now three women with an air of relaxed composure, “The Wrap Up” vaguely morphs into something familiar—the dead and buried “3LiveChicks”. Their conversations, though imbued with the heart of woman-specific issues, bristles with peak feminine lipstick superficiality. On the whole, the humour on the show doesn’t particularly feel spontaneous and organic. Oreka’s fun-poking is as brittle as it is contrived, especially in the scene where she dramatically interjects with the story of some boss who inserted a PowerPoint slide of his X-rayed penis during a presentation by his female employee.
Published on The Guardian Nigeria, “The Wrap Up” is reported to feature “a wide range of interesting personalities including Damilola Adegbite-Attoh, Do2tun, Idia Aisien, Juliet Ibrahim, Stephanie Coker, Ajebutter 22, Emma Nyra, VJ Adams, DJ Obi, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Lami Philips, Dolapo Oni and others.” Apart from the recycling of the usual celebrities as guest appearances, “The Wrap Up” is basically Nigerian celebrity culture jerking itself. It lacks the gritty punch for it to be taken seriously, and that could be its intention anyway.