Television, like any form of storytelling, has its life cycles. Series rise and fall, characters evolve or regress, and narratives build to climactic peaks or descend into abyssal valleys. In this complex ecosystem, one TV drama series that has stretched its longevity to questionable limits is DSTV’s ‘Tinsel.’ Created by Yinka Ogun and having hosted a constellation of stars who have then fled the coop, the series presents itself as a tale of drama, romance, betrayal, and triumph. Yet, it leaves the discerning viewer wondering, just where has all the originality and dynamism faded away?
‘Tinsel’ had its seeds sown around a compelling premise, an age-old rivalry between two film companies: Reel Studios, led by Fred Ade-Williams (Victor Olaotan), and Odyssey Pictures, commanded by Brenda “Nana” Mensah (Funmilola Aofiyebi-Raimi). This potent setup could have paved the way for a complex exploration of personal and professional struggles, but instead, it has devolved into an exhausting recycling of redundant plotlines. When can we expect ‘Tinsel’ to reinvent itself and treat its audience to a fresh and intriguing story arc?
Speaking of redundancy, the exit of numerous actors from the series is as noticeable as a glaring red warning light. While it’s not unusual for actors to leave a show, the fact that such a significant number have waved goodbye to ‘Tinsel’ is a worrying testament to the show’s fading vitality. One has to ask: what’s driving these departures? Is it the result of the stagnation of character development, or is there a deeper issue with the management of the series?
Talented actors like Ireti Doyle, Benjamin Joseph, Linda Ejiofor, and Kalu Ikeagwu all graced the series with their vibrant performances, only to eventually depart. Even more alarming is the string of other actors – including Gideon Okeke, Osas Ighodaro, Damilola Adegbite, Chris Attoh, Timini Egbuson, Joseph Benjamin, Blossom Chukwujekwu, and Femi Jacobs – who have likewise made their exits. Are these exoduses indicative of the creative rut ‘Tinsel’ is stuck in? And what does it say about the show’s capacity to nurture talent and story arcs?
Now, about the characters. Whether it’s Sheila Williams, Tega, Bimpe, or Masters, each one was initially painted with broad, engaging strokes, only to eventually become flatter and flatter until they were mere shadows of their initial complexity. Is this a result of the creative team losing sight of the characters’ arcs, or a symptom of a deeper malaise in the writing department?
It’s also worth noting that ‘Tinsel,’ despite its claim of being a riveting drama, has repeatedly failed to live up to its genre’s potential. Where are the shocking plot twists, the heart-rending moments of tragedy, the triumphant victories? Why does it seem like we’re watching a monotonous loop of overplayed emotions and predictable revelations?
Let’s turn our attention to the ratings, a metric that clearly demonstrates the viewers’ waning enthusiasm for the series. Despite the drop in numbers, ‘Tinsel’ clings to its prime time slot, seemingly oblivious to its dwindling appeal. Are the showrunners not reading the tea leaves? Or are they deliberately ignoring the writing on the wall?
Despite all its shortcomings, ‘Tinsel’ holds the title of being the longest-running TV drama series. But one must question whether such longevity is truly commendable when it’s accompanied by a steep decline in quality. Are the showrunners mistaking longevity for excellence, or are they underestimating the viewers’ demand for quality content?
‘Tinsel’ seems to be in desperate need of a creative overhaul. With its key actors leaving, storylines stagnating, and ratings plummeting, it’s high time the series’ creators take a step back and ask themselves: is it time for ‘Tinsel’ to take its final bow? Or will they continue to flog the proverbial dead horse, hoping to squeeze out one more season from this weary titan? The clock is ticking, and viewers may not be as patient as the network believes them to be.
Image source: The Nation Newspaper