Everything In Between feels a little like the now-cancelled Netflix show Sense8, but starkly without the foundational science and action. For one thing, the TIERs-produced show sets itself aside from low-content mainstream fluff; by putting queer characters in major roles, Everything In Between obligatorily pivots into the nuances of human sexuality and societal pressure. With a modest red-carpet premiere and three episodes so far released, we are introduced to the quietly turbulent lives of Emma Okoye (Michelle Ashionye Raccah), whose first scene is a post-sex ejection of a nameless man from her house; Dayna Elliot (Zara Udofia-Ejoh), the lesbian TV host with a divorced-husband-turned-blackmailer, and Demola Ogunjimi (Ayo Ayolola), a gay human rights activist whose mother has just delivered the news of his dying homophobic father to him.
Michelle’s Nollywood movie catalog may not have reached prestige, god-tier status, but as Emma, she superbly plays chic-adjacent rebellion to the pressure mounted by her parents to get married. Emma is relationship-averse and exercises her sexual agency to the fullest, “generously distributing herself left right and centre” as her mother almost bitterly puts it in episode three, in Emma’s apartment, with her father present. Before her parents’ unannounced arrival, Emma is astride on another nameless man’s lap. That Emma hardly remember the names of the men she sleeps with reinforces her position on marriage and commitment. In a vivid sense, she represents a fictional portrait of Nigerian women subjugated into marriage culture. The proximity is profound. Cult shows like Skinny Girl In Transit gained popularity with the theme, aside its low-brow humour, satirizing the lives of young “marriageable” women in twenty-first century Nigeria.
Dayna Elliot’s talk show, fitted into a small, claustrophobic space, needs a little more presence and glamour and millennial flair. Divorced from Eyimofe (Bucci Franklin) with a daughter between them, she’s caught in the ugly teeth of Eyimofe’s blackmail. She wriggles free in episode three though, transferring a sum of money to keep his mouth shut and, by extension, to keep her life from splintering to pieces. Her model girlfriend (Tobore) Omotu Bissong, a now-jobless lipstick lesbian, has provisionally decided to be a game show assistant in Dayna’s talk show studio, but only if Dayna pushes some buttons.
In the Everything In Between trailer, Demola reveals that he is gay to his father, rendering this revelation with a tinge of emotion. More scenes in the trailer reveal Jimmy (Denrele Edun) and Demola as lovers. These are plot textures and layers that the show is yet to get to. This isn’t the first LGBTQ-minded work from TIERs. TIERs stands for The Initiative For Equal Rights, a non-governmental organization advocating for sexual health and rights of LGBTQ persons in Nigeria. Hell Or High Water, a LGTBQ short film about a gay pastor, was released last year with a premiere to boot.
Even more, there’s Untold Facts, a talk show-esque discussion series that bridges the gap in human rights education, especially sexual rights. Everything In Between is TIERs’ latest offering. Released every Friday by 7pm (Nigerian time), it suitably ticks the box of a pre-weekend filler.