Dear makers (producers / directors) of ‘The Hostel Serenity’ TV Show on NTV Uganda,
I honestly feel like your show could be better, but after months of excruciating pain as we tolerate watching that poorly scripted, mechanically acted and poorly planned TV Show in the name of patriotism or hope that it could get better, it is finally coming home that getting better is not an option for you guys.
The first casting of ‘The hostel’ which starred Hellen Lukoma and Daniel Omara alongside a couple of other pioneers was pretty substandard too at the start, but shortly after that team pulled their act together and gave us real TV moments and a story to look forward to. It wasn’t outstandingly great, but it was a commendable crusade.
Now you guys are handed that legacy, what is supposed to be a landmark in Ugandan television but you decide the best approach to it is complete carelessness; – in the script, in the acting, in the story, in the drama, in the suspense, in the… everything.
Sometime last year I was in Nairobi and I was surprised at how popular ‘The Hostel’ was there. My workmates and random people I met were constantly complimenting the acting and drama the show presented, with utmost admiration for Annette’s (real name Daniella Kahunde) performance which was frankly remarkable.
Without mincing my words, now the story is horrible. I’d know because I am a dedicated viewer, of this one and the previous one, and I actively participated in the excitement when its return was announced. But now the realization that you are just wasting our time is unavoidably upon us and I don’t think we deserve this sort of visual torment.
Here is the thing; why don’t you give us something different. Nobody said the show has to be restricted to the characters being in their rooms at the hostel with unbelievably petty grudges that you try to sell us as drama. We’ve been to hostel and we know what actually happens, we know what grudges sprout drama. Take a different approach with it, get out of the clichés of production and stop playing by the book. Go crazy with it, get innovative, give us real entertainment, and make us addicts to the show.
Imagine if we all tuned in to watch a bunch of University students throwing lifeless room parties, having no stealth in their drug business, sharing poorly kept secrets and dramatically dating each other’s parents, only to find that this time none of this happens and all the action and drama doesn’t even materialize at the hostel. (I have a full-fledged idea on this, ready to dispatch at your call) You give us a different setting, under the same theme, with the same characters and their character traits, but with a different angle.
Learn this, twists sell the story, unpredictable flowering of events is such a turn on for the audience, incorporate cleverly built twists, well-constructed dialogues, a plot whose loopholes are not that obvious to spot and we will have a show that’s not as offensive to entertainment as the one you have now.
It’s not too late to turn your fate around, it is a young show that has so much potential to grow and eventually pick up to see it carry forward the bequest. I respectfully applaud the effort that goes into making the show, the time and funds invested, it’s not easy and that i understand. But with such a brilliant idea, why not go all the way with it. Why get too tired to explore all the avenues and opportunities that could come from spreading the wings of this show and flying with the idea?
You need to learn from Television in the USA, if that’s far-fetched, borrow ideas from our neighbors here in Kenya. They have TV shows with simple but well thought of and well-built stories, for example Mali, Shuga etc. In fact they are so good, Mali was or is shown on NTV Uganda as well. They are stealing your spot in your habitat where you are supposed to be king. How do I know this? Mali is more acclaimed than The Hostel Serenity which shouldn’t be the case. Exploit all your advantages over foreign shows; you have better airing time, it’s your home audience and you have an idea that’s guaranteed to trance viewers all-over the continent.
I am not here as a critic, am here as a disappointed fan that’s frustrated about how much you’ve neglected a superb idea. I am hoping this gives you something to put into consideration. Look at it this way, people diss the show already and think it’s absolutely awful, if you gambled with a different approach, you have nothing to lose but an immense bundle of opportunities to gain.