Chaos ensues when a housewife suspects her husband of cheating in the brilliant black comedy, ‘Koek’

Ashley de Lange and Cindy Swanepoel in ‘Koek’. Picture: Supplied

Ashley de Lange and Cindy Swanepoel in ‘Koek’. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 2, 2024


After all the noise around “Koek”, I decided to binge-watch the new Showmax series.

It didn’t disappoint. The streaming platform is onto something with the genre, especially on the back of “Trompoppie”.

In a media statement, the series, penned by Christiaan Olwagen, has been compared to the Coen brothers.

Having watched four episodes, I would have to say it is the best way of contextualising the script.

It has all the hallmarks of a black comedy.

The series opens with Christelle Smit (Cindy Swanepoel) suspecting her doctor husband, Adriaan (Stian Bam), of being unfaithful after finding a second phone containing some saucy messages.

Sandra Prinsloo in ‘Koek’. Picture: Supplied

The suburban Cape Town housewife is overcome with emotions and hires private detective named Mervyn (Carel Nel) to track down the other woman.

Unburdening her troubles to her feisty younger sister, Lulu (Ashley de Lange), the two head to the adult club, Koeksusters, to confront Candi Floss, the stripper behind the messages.

Things don’t end well. Candi doesn’t entertain her rants and this incenses a wasted Christelle to take drastic measures. She asks Mervyn to kidnap Candi, to teach her a lesson.

When she wakes up the next morning, she realises her error in judgement and tries to call off the kidnapping off. But it’s too late.

Stefanie (Llandi Beeslaar), the daughter of club owner Moekie Koekemoer (Sandra Prinsloo), who is madly in love with Candi, ends up following her, not realising that she has been kidnapped.

When she cottons on to what was happening, she chases Mervyn, who ends up crashing the car and killing Candi.

Not long afterwards, Ryno (Jacques Bessenger), the club’s camp manager, and an enraged Stefanie pay Christelle and Lulu a visit.

Moekie summons the sisters to the club. They learn that their actions put a spanner in the works of Moekie’s black market operation involving human organs.

Turns out, Candi was not just a stripper. She was also a medical student who was crucial to Moekie’s operation.

However, Moekie has a solution. After overhearing Christelle’s rant about her medical training the night before, she blackmails Lulu and her into working as strippers, while Christelle replaces Candi in their black market business.

What makes the situation even more tragic is the fact that the phone Christelle found belonged to Adriaan’s best friend, Daan (Laudo Liebenberg), who has been stepping out on his wife Esme (Hannah Borthwick).

Meanwhile, Adriaan is baffled by his wife’s strange behaviour and late nights out with Lulu.

While Christelle is uncomfortable stripping on stage, Lulu is a natural.

Things go pear-shaped at the club when Sarel (Cedwyn Joel), an elderly man, has a medical emergency while Lulu is giving him a lap dance. His church-going wife, Bybie (Vinette Ebrahim), takes drastic action after finding out about his shenanigans.

Unbeknown to the sisters, Daan and Adriaan were at the club. When Daan spots Christelle, he uses the opportunity to blackmail her into stepping out on her husband.

With her world spiralling out of control, especially with her nosy German neighbour meddling in the situation, Christelle decides to teach Daan a lesson by operating on him, which pleases Moekie.

The unfolding chaos extends to Stephanie, who is enraged to learn that Candi was “cheating” on her with Daan. She also catches Ryan in a compromising position with Pitbull (Clayton Evertson), who is Moekie’s henchman and lover.

The situation goes from bad to worse as everyone faces different struggles.

Christelle feels terrible about not wanting to be intimate with her husband and she has daddy issues that she has yet to deal with. Lulu has a secret that she can’t bring herself to come clean about.

Moekie is feeling pressured by her Russian partners. Stefanie’s rage is spiralling out of control. And Ryan and Pitbull are worried about Stefanie telling her mother of their affair.

“Koek” is laden with chaos as every situation snowballs into something worse. The casting is sublime.

Swanepoel is marvellous in her prudish role. Her character flits from a fiercely protective mother, troubled wife and angry daughter to Moekie’s frustrated puppet. The seasoned actress channels the emotional range demanded by the unfolding drama.

De Lange shares amazing chemistry with Swanepoel. Her character is endearing as she tries to be there for her sister while figuring out her own issues. She’s loyal and is her sister’s ride-or-die.

As an industry veteran, Prinsloo’s performance is a masterclass for actors. She plays her ruthless character to perfection. However, she isn’t without vulnerability and balances both traits wonderfully.

Bessenger is brilliant as he channels the bitchiness of his character.

The conflicts of the characters are relatable as some of them walk a fine line between right and wrong.

Overall, the series is adroitly directed and well cast. Every episode leaves the viewer on tenterhooks.

∎ “Koek” is streaming on Showmax.