After watching the first episode of Netflix's new series Blood & Water, I was hooked. When I got to episode two, though, my anxiety kicked in and I had to turn off the show. I've been living with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) all my life, but I'm never entirely sure what will trigger an anxiety attack or cause me to become so stressed that I cannot function. While Blood & Water's story is compelling and the actors are amazing, it's the way the story begins to unfold that caused me to turn it off in favor of something "fluffy."
Blood & Water follows high schooler Puleng Khumalo (Ama Qamata) as she searches for her sister, Phumelele, who was kidnapped at birth. At a party, she ends up bumping into a girl named Fikile Bhele (Khosi Ngema) who bears a striking resemblance to her long-lost sister, though it isn't until her father's arrest and her transfer to the prestigious Parkhurst College that things truly get started. It's also right around this time that we get a glimpse into just how Puleng is going to go about discovering whether or not Fikile is truly her sister.
Between stumbling across Fikile in an intimate moment, stealing her mother's credit card information for a DNA test, and trying (and failing) multiple times to collect DNA unknowingly from Fikile, I couldn't help but cringe. Not only that, but the stress of not knowing just how the show would proceed had me on edge. Even drama I would normally live for — like a potential love triangle between Puleng, Wade Daniels (Dillon Windvogel), and Karabo "KB" Molapo (Thabang Molaba) — had me struggling to follow through due to all the extenuating circumstances hinging on the characters' actions.
Does this mean I won't give the show another shot? Not entirely. As I stated earlier, the actors are phenomenal and the story is worth telling (plus the soundtrack is absolute fire). While I'm a fan of true crime, I'm just now coming around to fictionalized versions. Much like I avoid gore in horror movies by reading their Wikipedia pages, I'll likely end up checking out a spoiler-filled recap so that I can be aware of what's coming on the show and will be able to fast forward without the fear of missing something important.