Here is our review of the 2023 South African Netflix series Miseducation Season 1, which does not contain significant spoilers.
Miseducation comes after plenty of success. The 6-episode season brings the well-tread themes of social issues, teen drama, and comedy into one. With a vibrant cast and plenty of marketing, a lot was expected from this series.
Miseducation Season 1 Review and Plot Summary
Mbali Hadebe (played by Buntu Petse) is at the height of social success. She was beloved by peers, plenty of friends, and an influence that thrived through the college campus.
Enjoying the riches of her family, Mbali feels unstoppable at the start of Miseducation and is the life of the party. Brimming with so much confidence, she christens her jewelry with expensive champagne. If anything, Mbali is intolerable to the more introverted. She represents a generation of young adults with zero idea of the hard work needed to live a content life.
However, Mbali’s life is turned upside down at the same party she shows off at when her displeased mother is arrested for corruption. It’s public humiliation for Mbali. Her social credits diminished within a minute as social media is rife with sensationalism.
The crux of the story is when Mbali has to enroll at a small-town university, where she needs to replenish her social life. She takes a liking for her new crush, Sivu Levine (played by Lunga Shabalala), and befriends Jay (played by Prev Reddy).
The university elections are coming, which means new enemies, new challenges, and a reputation to uphold after disassociating from her mother’s actions.
However, Miseducation foolishly does not build on the opening. While the premise enticingly grips, the follow-up at the small-town university is basic and generic. It doesn’t help that the students at the new university quickly learn that Mbali is the daughter of a corrupt family, which contradicts the entire point of the story.
Essentially, Mbali needed to save her reputation either way.
The series does attempt to lure the audience with a good time, but the cast is not compelling enough to allure. Sure, Mbali’s lust for Sivu may gain fans, but the superficiality of the series is not backed by impressive writing or performance.
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The story does try to ramp up. Sivu’s on-campus enemy, Raeesah, brings some early tension, but it’s clear the writers wanted to keep this series surface-level, to keep an air of comedy.
However, it doesn’t work. Not even university elections are compelling enough to save a watery script.
Miseducation is a seen-before teenage drama, but it doesn’t do anything to propel itself in a Top 10 list.
Is Miseducation good or bad?
Even if you are a sucker for generic teen dramas, this series is still not enough to be the next craze.
Clearly, a formula was looked at, but the delivery and execution are next to none.
Is Miseducation worth watching?
Netflix South Africa was always going to drum up a dud eventually, and they’ve found one.
Unless the series drums up a formidable fanbase, I’d be surprised if Miseducation gets a second season.
What did you think of the 2023 South African Netflix series Miseducation Season 1, and how would you review it? Comment below.