Reasons to watch comedy-drama series News Just In, now streaming
Some TV shows, however great, never get the attention they deserve. One such show is the Kenyan comedy-drama that was first released in 2017.
Produced by Historia Films (House of Lungula, Fundimentals), News Just In follows the lives of employees in one of the most popular news channels in Nairobi – Habari Channel, a dysfunctional, quirky, and hilarious world where office banter, gossip and drama meet news. In this world, there is no such thing as boundaries or inappropriate office romance, and gossip travels faster than real news. It helps that everyone in this show is a little bit out of their mind.
Award-winning director and a star-studded cast
News Just In is directed by Aggie Nyagari, an award-winning filmmaker whose other notable works include Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) nominee Jane and Abel, the film Lisilojulikana, which won the Special Mentions Award and the Dodie Spittal Award at the 2018 Picture This Film Festival (PTFF) in Canada, Kalasha Award winner House of Lungula, and, most recently, the Janjaruka web series.
Those who have missed seeing Lizz Njagah-Konstantaras (How To Find a Husband, Tinsel) on our screens since she moved to Greece will fall in love with her character Lavenda Nyota. Lavenda is an over-meddling diva mother who spends most of her time trying to fix every problem in her daughter’s life.
Melissa Kiplagat (This Is Life, Pieces of Us) plays her daughter Justine Nyota, the News Editor at Habari Channel and the object of fascination between the two top news anchors at the channel. She’s married to one of them – James Were, played by Njoro wa Uba’s Joe Kinyua. James is a philandering husband who can’t seem to learn from his mistakes until it’s too late, or rather until his wife Justine sets her eyes on the newly appointed hotshot news anchor Simon Mambo (Lenana Kariba, Selina).
Unending love triangle and rivalry
For a station like Habari Channel that thrives on drama and gossip, nothing gets the story going like a tumultuous marriage, an unending love triangle and competition between two men who have no problem showcasing their rivalry, even on air.
Both Lenana and Kinyua are great in their roles, especially since they embody the kind of machismo that doesn’t mind being silly and petty, each trying to prove they are worthy of Justine’s love. It’s hilarious and sometimes face-palm-worthy to watch these two men plot and do unimaginable things to win the love of a woman who can’t seem to make up her mind on who she wants to be with.
Caught in the middle, like the rest of us, are the other three employees at Habari Channel (played by Gerald Langiri, Angela Nancie and Asha Mutuku), who are often used as pawns in this James-Simon-Justine on-and-off love affair. And Lavenda, of course, who cleans everybody’s mess or digs them further down into it.
Throw in Mumbi Maina (Sense 8, Kati Kati), who plays herself, and a hilarious cameo appearance by Likarion Wainaina (director, Supa Modo) and you are reminded why Alex Konstantaras’ Historia Films needs to make a comeback in the film industry in Kenya.
You’ll also realise that News Just In needs a Season 3, because we have to see how far James and Simon are willing to go in their solidarity and scheming to sabotage any new relationship that Justine has. The last we see of them, they are spying on Justine with binoculars while she’s on a vacation with her mother. And they say women are the crazy ones.
News Just In S1 and S2 is streaming now on Showmax.