Ama Qamata and Dillon Windvogel in Blood & Water S2.
Blood & Water S2
WHERE TO WATCH:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Parkhurst High returns with a rocky start between Puleng and Fikile following the revelation of the DNA results, and the drama ensures to test old alliances and forging new and unlikely friendships. A new school therapist joins the staff, and a new hunk, Sam, joins the Parkhurst gang, with both bringing a few secrets of their own.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
16-year-old Puleng Khumalo’s (Ama Qamata) investigation into her long lost sister’s disappearance continues in season 2 of Netflix’s teen mystery drama, Blood & Water. She is convinced that Parkhurst High School’s it-girl Fikile “Fiks” Bhele (Khosi Ngema) is her sister, Pume, who was abducted at birth 17 years ago. Puleng sets out to uncover the truth about her sister’s kidnapping.
Season 1, which dropped on the streaming service in May 2020, still left many unanswered questions when Fikile was confronted with Puleng’s findings, and Puleng’s father saw his day in court for his alleged involvement in Pume’s abduction.
Although season 1 ended with a clear set-up for season 2, the second season takes a different approach and focuses more on fleshing out characters and delves deeper into the students’ lives at Parkhurst High School. And at the end of the season 2 finale, viewers are still left with lots to ponder about the show’s big mystery.
With several subplots running concurrently, including topics concerning mental illness, drug abuse, and sexuality, Puleng’s kidnapping investigation appears to take a back seat. Instead of heightening tension and enriching the main plot, secondary plotlines detract from the primary story. The series starts off slow and drags in places with unnecessary plotlines, only to frantically kick into high gear in the season’s final minutes. Although I appreciate the writers’ intention to flesh out characters further and explore the complex issues teenagers face today, five episodes were simply not enough to bring their character arcs full circle and successfully unpack the serious nature of these topics.
Season 2 tackles substance abuse, sex, sexuality, sexual identity, and parent-child relationships too, looking into the modern high-school experience and the pitfalls of being a teenager, which had me breathe a sigh of relief that that particular chapter in my life was already far, far behind me.
Although I had concerns about the storylines and character development, the camerawork, cinematography, and soundtrack are excellent, especially when considering the challenges of filming during Covid-19. The on-screen pop-up text message conversations, video calls and other “Hollywood-style” editing could have quickly become a distraction or annoyance to the viewer, but it was handled superbly and in a way that enhanced the viewers’ experience.
From idyllic seascapes to spectacular views of the city’s iconic architecture and mountains, Blood & Water once again paints a breathtaking picture of Cape Town, and it’s no surprise that the Mother City has become the film capital of the country. The local soundtrack, dominated by hip hop, amapiano and gqom, featuring artists like Sho Madjozi, Youngsta CPT, K.O, Benny Chill and Jah Prayza, adds an extra layer of African flavour and an explosion of energy.
The young cast delivers a stellar performance, both returning and new, holding their own next to the seasoned actors. And the series shines when giving the supporting cast a piece of the spotlight too. Greteli Fincham, who portrays Reece van Rensburg, stole the show this season after taking a backseat in season 1, and her performance stood out, alongside Cindy Mahlangu’s portrayal of Zama Bolton.
I’m certain fans of season 1 will enjoy the second season of the much-anticipated series. And leaving us with more questions than answers, I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of the Parkhurst crew.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: