On the 9th of June 2018, Linda Ikeji put out an announcement. She was launching a streaming platform which would feature a ton of movies and reality tv shows. The announcement was met with a lot of hype and some ridicule. What did a gossip blogger know about TV? Turns out, enough to get 10,000 subscribers in 3 days, according to Linda’s publicist.
Before the launch of the platform, Linda went on an aggressive marketing campaign. Teaser after teaser was released across social media for what promised to be entertaining, ratchet TV; not unlike her blog.
It took me 4 months to get sold, but I finally signed up. What was supposed to be a couple of hours of TV turned into a 24-hour binge of LiTV.
The first thing that drew my attention to Linda Ikeji TV was the numerous shows which she touted as Reality TV. I dove into those first, starting with Girls Squad.
Girls squad is about 6 girls with an average age of 20, who somehow move in together into a fully furnished flat in Lekki, in what seems to be a 48-hour period (?).
The show chronicles their lives as they navigate living together. It is highlighted by endless hours of mindless chatter amongst the stars of the show. Asides an introduction in the first episode, we have no real clue as to who they are, what they like, what they do.
The whole two-episode season spans a little over an hour and nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. There’s no build up or climax or any form of character development. Where is the drama? Why aren’t wigs flying? Why aren’t faces being clawed at? Where is the drama I was promised?
From watching the show, you do get a sense that the conversations are genuine and non-scripted. Whether they do live in an apartment they paid for or whether they were just thrown together in a house big brother style is what I’m not sure of.
Most entertaining? Oyinbo Wives of Lagos
The first season of Oyinbo Wives starts slow. It opens with Kenny. A Nigerian woman married to a French man having breakfast with her husband. Who happened to be her French tutor before they somehow ended up in the bedroom. Right off the bat, we see her tell her husband the breakfast is just a ruse to get money from him. This is followed up with an aside where she says she was surprised he used a condom the first time they have sex. And that sets the tone of the whole show.
Next up is ‘sexy feisty’ Mitchelle, who sounds an awful lot like Bobrisky. Next is Linda with a y, the resident diva. And then Beatrice who dominates in the bedroom because apparently – “when you’re married to an expat the competition is crazy”. Then there is Oby who is married to a Croatian and isn’t after her husband’s wealth. We meet Oli later who has just come back from vacation later in the episode. The episode is highlighted by a series of dramatic face-offs between the wives. Unlike with Girls Squad, you are guaranteed to be thoroughly entertained.
King Tonto is here.
I went from Oyinbo wives of Lagos to King Tonto, which starts of with the star of the show–Tonto Dike, promising a drama filled show. Disappointingly the most dramatic thing to happen in the first episode is Tonto Dike reacting to an interview (which just happened to air on Linda Ikeji TV). In the interview, the split between her and her ex-husband was discussed. We are then made to suffer through a grating clip where we hear Tonto Dike’s manager telling her to ‘just move on’ and ‘let it go’ instead of speaking out on domestic violence. Tonto uses the opportunity to speak against domestic violence.
Throwing it back with ‘The Classics’
‘The Classics’ is an interview show with some of our favourite music and movie legends. From Sunny Nneji to Baby Fryo to Segun Arinze. And it’s arguably one of the best things to watch on LiTV. Even though the first episode I watched started with the Interviewer mispronouncing Baba Fryo’s name then asking where he was from, I’m looking forward to more episodes.
Magodo Moms And Their Single Friend
Linda Ikeji is not the Queen of Clickbait for nothing, and LiTV is proof. And it’s the only reason I found myself watching ‘Magodo Moms And Their Single Friend’ at 2 in the morning. As you already guessed it is about 4 mums and their single friend. I was hoping for an ‘Oyinbo Wives of Lagos’ level of entertainment with the show. Turns out your life is a whole lot less exciting when you are not an Oyinbo wife.
Nigeria’s Tallest Man
Another personal favourite is ‘Agoro’ a documentary focused on the life of Nigeria’s tallest man. Growing up I’d run into him during supermarket runs with my mum or stops at the filling station and stare in awe. It was a pleasant surprise to see that someone had finally decided to tell his story.
By the time I was done I had so many questions for the team at LiTV? Who did the casting for these shows? When did shooting happen? Where did she find the cast? How can so much bad TV exist in one space? Could she be modeling her strategy after Netflix’s ‘bad TV strategy’?
It was super annoying that one episode didn’t run into another on the mobile app. And I had to go back to the home page to select the next episode. Felt a lot like a bootleg version of Netflix.
I was however impressed by the fact that Kannywood was given its own section, with more than half a dozen movies.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhat entertained. Will I be renewing my subscription? Maybe for the Second Season of Oyinbo Wives of Lagos.