Johannesburg - The new drama series on e.tv, Harvest, sees three women forced to take the reins of a dagga-growing empire after the deaths of their husbands.
Sitting somewhere between Weeds and Empire in the US, 1 May’s debut episode featured a provocative script and great performances by the lead actors.
Celia (Masasa Mbangeni) and her husband Mandla (Mutodi Neshehe) went from rags to riches by dealing and later growing dagga, but now the business is in dire straits and Celia must deal with her unfaithful, abusive husband and his gambling problem. Helping maintain the marijuana farm is Clementine (Vatiswa Ndara) and her husband Zimba (Simphiwe Mini). The happily married pair were planning to get out of the business until everything went belly up.
Celia and Clementine are dismissive of business partner Mxolisi’s (Nat Ramabulana) young wife Tshepiso (Khanya Mkangisa), who they see as a gold-digger and call “the blessee”.
At the end of the first episode, Mandla, Zimba and Mxolisi die after being poisoned. It is now up to Celia to save the bankrupt business, and she’s forced to enlist the help of frenemy Clementine and the naïve Tshepiso, who didn’t even know her husband was in the weed business.
Celia also has to contend with the matter of her spoilt teenage daughter Ndoni, who spits lines such as “don’t worry, mummy, I won’t fall pregnant at 16 like you did” after her mother comments on her midriff-baring clothes.
Mkangisa is a lot of fun to watch and Ndara plays the somewhat typecast role as the long-suffering older matriarch well. But it is Mbangeni who shines the most. The consummate lead, she’s a regal and astute performer.
Though the show suffers at times from overacting – a problem that dogs most of our series and soaps – the cinematography is lovely and the characters are interesting. It’s great to see a narrative-driven, 45-minute production, somewhat like Mzansi Magic telenovela The Road, on our screens.
The running time gives the show space to breathe and develop – making for more immersive viewing. Let’s hope audiences give the show the support it deserves.
WATCH A TEASER FOR THE SHOW HERE:
Watch Harvest Mondays on e.tv (DStv channel 194) at 21:30