What’s a soap without the customary trappings of high-strung drama, blind deception, heartbreak, sweeping romance, fairy tale weddings (some not quite) and death? This year, viewers experienced the full gamut of emotions via the OTT storylines of their favourite – and sometimes volatile – soap characters. Debashine Thangevelo reflects on the stories that held us captive during the year…
THAT BIG DAY
• The year started on a blissful high – Isidingo’s Frank Xavier and Lolly de Klerk tied the knot in a really charming ceremony… until a psychotic Sifiso, who was in love with Lolly, decided to take matters into his own hands. By the way, the couple eventually split when Lolly cheated on Frank with The Deep’s bad boy, Len Cooper.
• After numerous obstacles, Binneland’s Pippa Venter and Conrad Bester decided to walk down the aisle. But his guilty conscience – over an indiscretion – put a spanner in the works of their big day. Shame, she did look stunning.
• Talk about playing musical chairs; Ridge Forrester and Taylor Hayes decided to make it official once again in The Bold and the Beautiful. These two are just suckers for punishment, as is Brooke Logan.
• Despite her parents’ misgivings, a willful Tshidi Khuse and William, an Congolese immigrant doctor in the country illegally, exchanged their vows in a traditional ceremony in Rhythm City.
• Some marriages are meant to be, others are just convenient. And that is exactly what Daniel Nyathi and Shakira Willemse’s union was in Scandal.
WHEN THE CLAW CAME OUT
• There is really nothing like a good catfight to keep viewers glued to their screens. And when Swazi Luhele decided she wasn’t impressed with Noluntu Moletsane bedding her husband, David, when their divorce papers haven’t been signed, she decided someone had to pay. Literally. But Noluntu was tired of her extortion and decided to take matters into her own hands. Generations fans lapped it up.
• Personally, I never got the attraction to Rhythm City’s Miles Vilakazi, but it was enough for Lucilla and Noami to have a go at each other – on several occasions. More so, with Naomi and her pretend baby saga.
• Shakira’s obsession with her half-brother Tino is sick. And his wife Erin has made her feelings on their incestuous bond known. But it hasn’t prevented Shakira from slipping a contraceptive pill into her wine, knowing full well the couple have been trying to have a baby in Scandal. Oops!
• When Nicole lost her baby – she had to think fast and come up with another plan to save her relation-ship with EJ. So she simply found a way to switch Sami’s baby with another in Days of Our Lives. But such secrets never say buried…
• Khetiwe’s past came back to haunt her in Generations. A vengeful Belinda returned to take back everything she took from her – including her baby and her life. A lesson learnt about being the “other woman”, eh Khetiwe?
HOTTIES ON THE SOAP SCENE
• Casey Jon Deidrick joined Days of Our Lives as Chad Woods-Peterson. His mum Madeleine and Kate Roberts used to turn tricks and he arrived in Salem looking for his dad.
• Mark Hapka debuted as Nathan Horton in the same soap. His mother is Melissa Horton and he was starting his internship at Salem University.
• Jessica Heap joined The Young and the Restless as Eden. After a short stint in rehab in Paris, she returned to Genoa City in the hope of reconciling with her first love, Noah Newman.
• Hayley Owen joined The Wild as Angie Palmer, Dinaledi’s sexy new game ranger.
• Khabonina Qubeka joined The Wild as über-bitch Khabonina.
BRING ON THE DRAMA
• And so the drama arrived in both comic and thrilling situations. 7de Laan’s Marcel, while doing research for Ryno’s book, found herself embroiled in a deadly rhino poaching syndicate.
• On the same soap, Zinzi’s exploration of internet dating threw up a few comic moments. And she learned that stretching the truth isn’t always a smart move.
• The ghost of Abigail returned to haunt Shakira into telling the truth in Scandal.
• Muvhango’s James was distraught when Thandaza moved to Japan with their daughter. Adding insult to injury, she appointed her cousin Thuli as acting CEO.
• A trusting Gail didn’t realise that she was closer to the Red Rose Rapist when she befriended a charming Collins in Rhythm City.
• The baby saga between the Sibekos and Bianca turned ugly when she lost the baby and they decided to lay charges against her and her accomplice – Ma Agnes – in Isidingo.
• There was a major tug-o’-war over Noluntu’s baby with Senzo in Generations. Sibusiso couldn’t be more excited for his grandchild, while Caleb tried his best to get his daughter to miscarry.
• Isidingo was turned into a mini-series for a month (following the set burning down). And so The Deep’s residents were in quarantine following a virus scare.
OFF SCREEN DRAMA
• Sophie Ndaba, Queen in GGenerations, tied the knot to Bishop Keith Harrington. They split not long after.
• Meshack Mavuso, Vusi in Isidingo, grabbed headlines for his alleged affairs with student Naledi Gcwabe and Nomfanelo Sotshane.
• Luthuli Dlamini was rehired as Stan in Scandal and tried to redeem himself after his controversial exit.
• Production ground to a halt when the Isidingo sets at the SABC burnt down, resulting in millions of rands worth of damage.
THAT’S SO SCANDALOUS
• Thomas and his stepmother Brooke got rather steamy for a photoshoot and his father Ridge was far from impressed by the little “stunt” in The Bold and the Beautiful.
• With things rocky in her marriage to Jefferson, Katlego turned cougar on Calvin Xavier in Isidingo. He wasn’t complaining much, though.
• Katie wasn’t impressed with Steffy, the homewrecker, seducing her husband Bill in The Bold and the Beautiful.
• Despite being in a relationship with Ayanda, S’kumbuzo couldn’t fight his feelings for Bianca. This time he can’t ace his way out of his dilemma in Isidingo.
• Rhythm City’s S’bu got more than he bargained for when, after falling into bed with Stacy, he had a one night stand with Eve. Her mother. There is nothing like a woman scorned – he learnt that the hard way.
• Real-life couple Connie and Shona Ferguson enjoyed their first on- screen romance as Marang and Itumeleng on The Wild.
• Dr John Kani introduced his magnum opus telenovela offering, iNkaba, in April.
• Strini Pillai left 7de Laan. He played journalist Sanjay.
• Ridge Forrester announced his exit from The Bold and the Beautiful.
• Mike Mvelase’s character in Generations was killed off last month.
• Zane Meas left 7de laan in October. He played Neville Meintjies.