After the underwhelming premiere of the Toolz-hosted web series The Wrap Up, its second episode amps up on character and depth, with a non-contrived, fresh brew of humour. In the fairly furnished Living A Life Behind Bars, Toolz and the bartender Mix Chievous, whose presence strictly revolves around drinks-supplying and timely, fleeting unsolicited opinions, says to Toolz, “And there’s Ghost from SDC,” to which Toolz perks up, “How can I forget? I am a SDC stan. I love love love Show Dem Camp.”
It’s the longest conversation they have both had, which technically isn’t long at all, and it gives Mix Chievous a dimension that the first episode didn’t project. That they chose to discuss on the unforgivably underrated rap group Show Dem Camp (I’m a fan too!) before anything else resonated with me, and suddenly seemed, in my eyes, like a brand-new show. But it’s beginning to sink in that Toolz will never unseat herself from that high bar stool that makes her look like she’s ruling a kingdom. And, by extension, makes the arrival of her guests appear as if they are paying homeage.
Idia Aisien, who describes herself in an interview with Elle South Africa as “Smart. Strong. Funny. Complicated. Deep.” doesn’t exactly convey all those attributes. Though negligible, her narration of the married couple with the wife greedily diverting money from house rents suffers from Idia’s susceptibility to posh celebrity TV spotlight. With a new topic titled, “Should Wives Hide Their Money?,” Idia’s first input isn’t a smooth ball. Juliet Ibrahim, no stranger to the camera, is commended by Toolz on her V-necked ankara peplum as she sits next to Idia upon arrival (can the third episode not have guests trickling in one at a time?).
There’s a chance for Toolz to rehash the perennially old Nigeria-Ghana feud but her sentence is half-finished, forgotten, and repurposed for an all-girl, Juliet Ibrahim-led trip to Ghana. Juliet Ibrahim’s comments in response to the directness of the topic is predicated on feminism, differing from Idia’s trite essentialising of gender that overburdens men with the responsibility to cater to women in relationships.
“I am an independent woman,” Juliet says, “I like to do my own thing. I don’t want any guy to think I’m relying on him for survival or anything.”
Furthermore, Juliet subtly fashions the discourse after the languorous, male-type beer parlour mood with her differing opinions. Though letting Idia air her views, she makes a counterpoint on the oppressive idea about men claiming women as property because they have financially invested in them. At its heart, The Wrap Up with its second episode communicates nuance, even in tightly-knit sisterhoods. And it has got Juliet Ibrahim to thank for that.