Opinion

‘Home Sweet Home’ – No Sweet!

Ten years ago, Revele Films was the most-talked-about production company in the country, purveying quality television drama series and producing world-class motion pictures but inactivity, loss of direction and misplaced priorities have seen them slump in terms of effectiveness, relevance and popularity in the sector.

The production company was responsible for some of the most enthralling and riveting TV dramas in ‘Home Sweet Home’ and ‘Hotel St. James’ that graced our television screens and the same company was solely responsible for the much-needed renaissance we  are experiencing in our film-making today. With the release of ‘Run Baby Run’ in 2006, Revele once again, brought hope and conviction in our then-debilitated industry that quality movies can be done here and promoted in international settings.

Nowadays, almost every movie in Ghana aside the local movies, is premiered whether it is low-budget or high-budget, and guess who brought this enlightenment to our industry? Revele Films with the very successful premiere of ‘Run Baby Run’ at the National Theatre.

The Apeas, Emmanuel, Julia and John, were the go-to guys when it came to quality productions for TV which was parlayed into the successful making of ‘Run Baby Run’ which won several awards at the AMAAs in 2008, once again, setting the pace for Ghanaian movies to start winning something at the awards show. After the huge success of ‘Run Baby Baby’, expectations were so high for a follow-up hit movie, but instead, they changed direction and ventured into the local film-making terrain with ‘Fire for Fire’ which was a flop, nothing compared to the achievement of the previous outing. Loss of direction right there!

After the failure of ‘Fire for Fire’ to make meaningful impact, Revele floundered to compete, leaving room for the likes of Sparrow and Venus to take charge and excel. That’s inactivity right there!

And then, instead of concentrating and bettering their niche in quality film-making, the very hard working Julia Apea came out with her own talk show produced by Revele Films, and I still can’t figure out how many episodes of  that show was telecast on TV. Such misplaced priority!

My issue with Revele Films this moment is with the production and direction of ‘Home Sweet Home’ nowing showing on Viasat 1 Television. ‘Home Sweet Home’, a family-based TV drama was loosely based on shows like ‘The Cosby Show’, ‘The Fresh Prince of BelAir’, ‘Parenthood’ and ‘My Wife and Kids’. The drama series was centered on the Sarpong family and it was such a big hit on television. After watching all these international family drama, it was refreshing to have our own family drama, set in our own environment and with our individual family settings portrayed in the series. The series were extremely fun to watch and on GTV, it was a hit across the country.

After a couple of years, kids in the show were growing, some had to travel and others had different priorities and the inability of the producers to quickly alter the storyline to accommodate the changes ensured that the show was kaput. In TV Series, changes are bound to happen: characters die, actors grow up, others move on and some refuse to sign contracts to continue the show, yet, the producers are such quick-thinkers that they always find a way out to change the storyline, not too drastic change but a change that allows viewers to follow the setting, a change that allows the introduction of new characters without confusing followers – just like the Cosby Show. The ‘Huxtables’ in Cosby Show went through many phases yet, every phase of the show was much loved.

After years of no-show, ‘Home Sweet Home’ returned to our screens and much to our disappointment, the setting was no more a family drama, but centered around Enoch Sarpong Jnr, the eldest son of the Sarpong family living in the UK.  Seriously, you took away such an impressive TV drama only to return with this bland comic torture? We just didn’t know where they were going with the story and oh, the LAFA was horrible, such a total put-off. Without mincing words, the second coming of ‘Home Sweet Home’ was a debacle; just a waste of filming tape. Interest for the show went from sublime to ridiculous.

Thank goodness, the show has been yanked off our screens and the producers have gone back to the typical family settings the show was built upon. We are now seeing that Mr. and Mrs. Sarpong have gone through some physical changes, Nina is all grown-up, Junior is back in Ghana but unfortunately, the producers still can’t get a hold on the Jessica character. Just like the first outing, Jessica again, has gone overseas.

It is clear that the momentum, drive and excitement that accompanied the first showing of ‘Home Sweet Home’ are missing in the latest edition. Mr. and Mrs. Sarpong look frail and that pulsating banter that existed between them is disappointingly missing. Nina is no more that charming, mischievous and fun- loving little girl anymore. She’s grown up and talks grown up business. The sweetness in ‘Home Sweet Home’ is gone; people careless if they miss it or not, the zeal and alacrity attached to it by viewers is obviously not there.

There’s hope though: if the producers stick to the family setting and inculcate more vivacious interactions with the Sarpongs, gradually they will win us over again, just like the first time.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR TV/FILM EDITORS?

When television series and movies fail to impress, the persons who take the most bashing are the directors, producers and the actors. The editors are rarely mentioned for blame. The oversight of not putting the spotlight of blame on the editors have allowed them to always act a fool, repeating their mistakes over and over again. Not anymore.

You watch a movie and a microphone pops up or you watch a movie or TV show and clearly, the actors mess up with their lines, or some unwholesome nude parts show mistakenly and then you watch a movie or TV show and the spelling of the names of actors or some translation is done wrongly. You expect the editor at the bench to see these blatant errors, correct them or draw the attention of the director and producer to it, but no, such silly mistakes are allowed into the final cut sold and shown to the public.

I watched an episode of BNS (Barber and Shoe Shine) on TV3 produced by experienced producer, George Bosompem and a biography was shown on all the major characters in the comedy, and to my indignation, the word ‘ ambission’ was used instead of ‘ambition’. The word was used for all the characters and repeated severally and I was aghast. So, the editor didn’t see the error? The Director didn’t see it as well? What about the producer? Was he asleep when the final copy was done? What kind of sluggish and unprofessional attitude to work is that?

You guys are already feeding us with lots of garbage as television shows and movies and you want to kill us with unpardonable spelling mistakes too?  You all need lashes. Some persons must be responsible to check the work of the editors because obviously, based on their works, most of them are dim and if the director or producer also fails to realize the mistakes of the editor, then he/she is as dim as the editor.

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