Love Like This on NCR

NdaniTV has cemented its place as one of the GOATs of entertainment hubs in the country, churning out relatable, beautifully crafted, and duly researched content. The series they have released have been top-notch, and with LOVE LIKE THIS, they definitely did not disappoint.

LLT chronicles the love life of young individuals in the city of Lagos. It mirrors the complexities of emotions, the true definition of love, the effects of “breakfast”, and the nerve-racking decisions one has to make in order to forge ahead.
It details an intricately woven web of a series of relationships and reflects the deep-seated issues that are prevalent in our society, albeit silent, in some cases.
Whilst highlighting the different ways by which the complexities of emotions are dealt with by different individuals, it portrays underlying issues that need to be discussed in our society, and in my opinion, this is one of the beauties of the series. It depicts relatable issues in society – the aftermath of heartbreak, the guilt of moving on, the importance of healing, the lack of emotional intelligence, the effectiveness of closure, the complexities of emotions, and the selfish interest each individual displays in their relationship.

LLT tells the story of Nimi (Nonso Bassey), an enthusiastic young man who was dumped at the altar by his wife-to-be, Abiye (Chisom Agoawuike). Abiye would call off the wedding after she had a one-night stand with her runaway ex, Kamal (Chibuzor Iheukwumere), a night before her wedding.
This singular event would lead to a string of events and revelations which opens up the audience to several other relationships, and how they are all woven together.

The plot opens up with a tense beginning – Abiye dumping Nimi at the altar. This keeps the audience glued and triggers a plethora of questions plus a rollercoaster of emotions. These questions will eventually be answered, and the emotions purged as the series progresses, revealing several other relationships in the series.
As the story progresses, the plot twist is a shocker! This helps to magnify the beauty of the series.
Ultimately, the series evolves, delving into other parts of the lives of Nimi and Temi, introducing new characters such as Teni (Eva Ibiam), who is Teni’s cousin; Remi (Jude Okey), who is Nimi:s best friend, and ‘Maka (Gbemi Akinlade), Remi’s “Gen Z” girlfriend.

The series is woven around different relationships and the complexities of each of these relationships – Nimi and Abiye; Abiye and Kamal; Abiye and Teni; Teni and Nimi; Teni and Chidi; Nimi and Tamara; Tamara and Jimi; Remi and ‘Maka.
As stated earlier, one of the beauties of the series is the portrayal of underlying societal norms in which members of the society are not properly oriented or are just ashamed to talk about. Abiye dumps Nimi at the altar, and in my opinion, it was the best thing she could do, at the time. Better her dumping him at the altar than living a miserable life, and most likely, cheating.
This event reveals the entrenched emotional baggage that individuals carry, but are not even privy to.
A salient theme portrayed in the series is the theme of family. This is exemplified by the relationship between Abiye and Teni, both of them, cousins. The conversations they have is one to live for. Teni, while acting as the shoulder to lean on, does not, however, mince words for Abiye. She tells it to Abiye as it is. This is noble, and something to work for.
Teni soon becomes the star of the series as she captivates the audience not only with her beauty but her flawless acting and smart mouth. She embodies the role of the “hard girl” meanwhile she is soft on the inside. She also is the number one go-to person of Abiye. She carries Abiye’s matter on her head. Whilst this is a noble thing, the producers of the series helped portray the downsides to it. She represses her feelings and instead lets herself get caught in flings with Chidi (Jay Charles Ujomu). She does not let anyone into her personal space, and the burden on her as the go-to person is not usually talked about in society. She loves Nimi, and cannot even go for him. She will eventually “settle” for Chidi but not for long as she serves him premium breakfast.

In addition to the theme of the burden placed on the go-to person, there is the issue of “shame” that seems to accompany a guy who is dating a lady way younger than he is. Remi, a 32-year-old man, is dating ‘Maka, a 23-year-old lady. The age difference would lead to a throng of issues in their relationship as Remi would not introduce ‘Maka to his friends or colleagues so he is not seen as a “cradle snatcher.” Ultimately, this issue is ironed out as Remi eventually garners courage, takes the bull by the horn, and introduces ‘Maka to the ones that matter as his girlfriend.
By the way, this relationship is one to live for. The chemistry between these two is unmatched! They both synced well into their roles and perfected them. Brilliant!

Also, one of the issues portrayed in the series is of the guilt of moving on. Abiye would not move on if Nimi does not. And, this is a genuine feeling. Society has portrayed the chef who serves the breakfast in a relationship as a bad person, even if it were the right thing to do, as is the case of Abiye and Nimi. If Abiye had gone on to marry Nimi, it would have spelled doom in their marriage. Sometimes, a breakup is the best thing for every party involved.

Furthermore, in close relation to the above theme is the importance of healing after a breakup. For one’s sanity and that of the other persons who one would meet, it is essential that one heals completely after a breakup. Nimi has not completely healed yet he ventures into a relationship with Tamara (Debby Felix). This engenders a lot of trust issues and eventually, their newly formed relationship suffers from it.
The lack of emotional intelligence and recklessness displayed by the characters is worrisome. This is a microcosm of society today. No one is taking time to learn about themselves and know themselves before delving into a relationship. The saying “Hurting people hurts people” is exemplified in the series by Nimi.

There are several highlights to look out for in the series.
Episode 1 – The flashback scene to when Abiye was having sex with Kamal while Nimi recited his vows;
Episode 3 – Nimi trying to kiss Teni;
Episode 6 – Remi shows up at ‘Maka’s friend’s house after their argument; Nimi calls Tamara, Abiye;
Episode 7 – ‘Maka meeting with Nimi – Hilarious!
Episode 8 – Remi stands up for ‘Maka in the presence of her Mum;
Episode 9 – Chidi’s joke at the restaurant while he was out with Kamal, Abiye, and Teni;
Episode 10 – The conversation between Remi and ‘Maka’s Mum;
Episode 11 – The breeze that blew Teni’s hair, and she eventually engages in a kiss with Nimi;
Episode 12 – The shock on everyone’s face when Nimi opened up to kissing Teni.
Lastly, every scene in which Nadia (Nancy Philips) was in. That lady killed every of her scene! She aced it all! The sarcasm in her talks is top-notch. Her display of emotions, is fantabulous! She’s such a brilliant actor!

The casting directors did excellently well with the choice of actors, especially because these faces are new to our screens, safe for a few of them.
The chemistry between the actors is so real. Teni and Nimi, also, Remi and Maka.
The characters evolved in a good way, and as the series progressed, so did the acting.
However, Kamal (Chibuzor Iheukwumere) probably needs more acting classes. He was devoid of emotions for the most part of the series. Coupled with the fact that his acting was not so good, his character had a lot of red flags. I believe he can do better.

The production crew is excellent. They paid attention to details and that is brilliant. The lighting helped heighten or dampen the emotions needed to be portrayed in the scenes; the details of the wedding – were awesome!
The soundtrack – the violin, strings, and keyboard lightened the mood as well and is usually infused at the right time. Touche!
The interior decoration is absolutely beautiful!
Throughout the series, the simplicity of the costume and makeup stood out for me. They did not try to “overdo” the costumes. It was simple yet classy.

In conclusion, LOVE LIKE THIS is expedient for a time like this – a season of breakfasts. Left, right, and center, we hear of breakfast, and this series helps portray the effects of this event, and the complexities that come with moving on.
Whilst we await season 2, several questions come to mind…
What will become of Teni and Nimi?
How will Abiye react to the revelation?
How about Chidi? Will he go back to Nadia?
Will Tamara be able to forgive Nimi?
All of these, we will know when Season 2 eventually drops.
Love Like This, an 8 for me!

Solomon Eneojo

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