Netflix original series Shadow

“Shadow”: Netflix’s South African series everyone’s raving about

The South African series, “Shadow”, and Netflix original will make you applaud and doff your hat for South African television. “Shadow” is a crime and action series and it follows the story of the titular Shadow (Pallance Dladla).

Shadow, an ex-cop turned vigilante, is taking justice into his own hands in Johannesburg’s criminal underworld. He has four people in his life who make up the main cast. Firstly, his paraplegic sister, Zola (Tumie Ngumla). Her friend, Ashley (Amanda Du-Pont). As well as his friend and ex-colleague Max (Khathu Ramabulana).

The first season of Shadow has eight episodes. But what makes it interesting is that each episode has a new story. It’s series fun and refreshing.

Additionally, the writer of the South African series “Shadow” gives a good underlying story. We have a hero to root for. And we know what his motivations are. Our hero’s friend, Max, complements him perfectly. We also love how his relationship with Ashley is unfolding and love the sacrifices he is making even more.

Although the stories in each episode is unique, the excitement increases as the season progresses. By the time you’re halfway through, you’re stuck. And “Shadow” truly becomes binge-worthy. Episode 4 titled “Man Down” is electrifying. It is an absolute delight to see bad guy Hugo Shaw played by British-Nigerian actor Anthony Oseyemi. What is more exciting is the brilliant end to the episode’s showdown. Shadow makes a heartwarming sacrifice in episode 6, “There’s Something in the House”. Thankfully, his reward is not in heaven.

Certainly, Motion Story Productions has done a good job. They assembled a stellar cast who delivered on the action and entertainment. Oh Max! He is hilarious. We can’t forget his warning, ‘Stay away from tall buildings!‘ The action sequences are also well choreographed. And cinematography is top-notch. Sound effects are appreciable – Shadow’s heartbeat though? Sigh!

We were in love with this series until the season finale. The treatment of Shadow’s emotions in the initial hospital scene is great. Max and Ashley are touched by how sentimental Shadow becomes. But it is deeper than they know. Shadow has a personal score to settle and he settled it in grand style. Our grouse comes after this.

Granted, after Zola’s pep talk we expected Ashley and Shadow’s relationship to take-off. But not the way it did. It was quite disappointing how Ashley rushed into Shadow’s arms. That is to say, we had hope their relationship would blossom in season 2. More so, Zola’s recovery was rather quick. Neither is there anything to suggest that much time had passed nor did we see a recovery process. For instance, physiotherapy.

Regardless, you’ll love the South African series, “Shadow”. And when we talk of South Africa putting it’s best foot forward, it is series like “Shadow” that we are talking about.

We don’t know if there wasn’t a plan for a season 2 perhaps that’s why season one finale was rushed. However, we are looking forward to a second season and we’d be expecting Zola to come into her own.



Image: Netflix

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About the author

A lover of the arts who sees film and television through the prism of the Nigerian viewer.