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Despicable acts are relative when you're desperate to protect your ultimate desires

Infidelity, threats of harm and the abduction of infants. Everyone is determined on mutual destruction if they don't get their way in Inconceivable
Thu, Nov 12, 2020

Keeping hydrated and minding one's business may bring one peace of mind, but it sure ain't half as riveting as peering over your fence and watching your neighbours squabbling or scheming.

If there is anything we've learned from watching the women of Monterey in Big Little Lies, Shaker Heights in Little Fires Everywhere, or even Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives, it is that you must always be weary of white suburban women.

Apart from the fact that they're likely to be undercover Republican voters (they sent Donald Trump into the White House IRL, remember), their unprincipled *sses are also not above exploiting you to get their way.

Yet, those shows made me realise that suburban unrest is my favourite indulgence. So, it stood to reason that I would find gratification in watching M-Net's relatively new weekly drama, Inconceivable. What a thrill!

The show follows four girlfriends who met at the University of Cape Town and ultimately all found love and made their way up to the Jacaranda tree-lined suburbs of Johannesburg.

There is Busi and her husband Sisanda Nkosi, who make an ambitious and sexy black couple at odds over parenthood. Natalie and David Stein are struggling to conceive because the former has "a hostile uterus", while her man's semen effectively contains no sperm.

There's more: Natalie and Sisanda have found more than just adventurous f*ck buddies in each other, but generous and curious listeners. In David, Natalie has a committed but "beige" and accident-prone husband. While in Busi, Sisanda has a wife who's determined to make partner at her law-firm and has zero aspirations for motherhood. For her part, Busi reminds Sisanda that she made her position clear before they even decided to tie the knot: she will never change her mind on starting a family.

Rachel Bishop and Marieke Meyer (married to James and Wesley, respectively), who've known each other since they were in primary school, make up the scandalous foursome.

Indeed, family and legacy – for better or worse – is the central theme of this show. Because of this, every character is either desperate to start or keep their family together, or is fiercely opposed to the idea of procreation. There is no in between.

That's why privileged Rachel, so determined to have a baby with James (who has been ambivalent to the idea all along), believes Marieke (and the manipulable law) will side with her when she discovers that Rachel swapped her stillborn baby for a stranger's newborn overnight while in hospital.

All the more so because the stranger is a struggling young woman named Tamsin (played by Jay Anstey), who is trying to look after her adolescent son, Rodney, and lousy drunkard boyfriend, Nick – while also battling alcoholism and joblessness.

When Marieke, who happens to be a gynae, tries to convince Rachel to give the baby back or risk going to jail for abduction – not to mention Marieke losing her medical license – her bestie earns her silence by blackmailing her with something that threatens the dissolution of her own family.

In Rachel's world, if she can't have a family, nobody should. Sadly, it's not inconceivable that she could get away with this crime.

  • Inconceivable is on M-Net (101), Thursdays at 8.30pm