As everyone smacks their lips in anticipation of Braai Day, I thought I would also be fitting to whet appetites with binge-worthy offerings on the local is lekker front.
In the past decade or so, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds. The proliferation of gifted storytellers has manifested in award-winning and pioneering offerings.
Don’t even get me started on the first-rate calibre of cast, crew, directors and producers or the noticeable boom as actors transition into producers by starting their own production houses.
Aside from the return of popular cooking reality shows returning à la SABC2’s “The Taste Master SA” season 2, M-Net’s “My Kitchen Rules SA” season 3 and e.tv’s “The Ultimate Braai Master” and SABC3’s - M-Net’s “MasterChef SA” season 4 is currently in pre-production - there’s plenty of TV and movie offerings on the small screen as well as streaming platforms, too.
We picked out a few shows that are bound to pique your interest:
BLOOD & WATER S2 (Netflix)
This hit teen crime-drama series is back, and boy, oh boy, does it hit all the right notes with fans. The script is sublime, laden with plenty of suspense and drama.
The actors are truly mind-blowing. If this is the next generation of actors in SA, I’m so here for it.
If you missed the first season, the premise revolved around Puleng Khumalo (Ama Qamata), a high school pupil who, in being invited to a party by Fikile Bhele (Khosi Ngema), suspects that the popular athlete might, in fact, be her sister Phumelele, who was abducted at birth.
In season two, Puleng, who is now a student at the prestigious Parkhurst High, is dealing with the aftermath of actions at the end of season one as Fikile takes out a restraining order against her.
Meanwhile, there are personal tensions within her clique at school, which snowballs into chaos and a few realisations, too.
Streams from September 24.
UMAKOTI WETHU (Showmax)
One of my favourite actresses, Fulu Mugovhani, is at the helm of this film.
She plays Khatu, a woman who finds herself grappling with a crisis when her husband Sizwe’s (Melusi Mbele) new job also sees him cross paths with an old flame.
Another interesting fact, Nozipho Nkelemba, who starred in The Forgotten Kingdom, directed on Gomora and wrote Emoyeni, has spread her wings as he makes her feature directorial debut on this project.
Streams from September 23.
GOODBYE GOGO (Showmax)
This feature film was produced by Quinton Jones and Minnie-Dlamini Jones, who also co-wrote the original story.
At the heart of the story is Safta award-winning veteran actress Thembi Mtshali-Jones, who plays Gogo Dlamini. Her dying wish is to have her estranged family reunited before she passes.
As they come together to say their final goodbyes, hidden secrets are revealed, which threaten to tear them further apart.
The cast includes Gagasi FM’s Hope Mbhele, Keke Mphuti, “The Throne”, and Sizwe Khumbuza , “Uzalo”.
Streams from September 23.
UNITED APART SA – LOCKDOWN REMEMBERED (Showmax)
This documentary unpacks what went down when SA when into a hard lockdown in March last year.
It does a deep dive into how it affected the nation and threw them into a state of unsettling uncertainty.
It asks those tough questions: Did they go too far? Can a developing economy follow the lockdown models developed for fiscally sound countries? What fault lines did Covid-19 expose? What more could have been done to effect change while fighting a devastating pandemic?
Experts featured include Professor Glenda Gray, president and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, and deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, Rashad Cassid, as well as various editors in the media industry.
The doccie includes video clips and voice notes that paint a vivid picture of a watershed moment in history.
By the way, it is directed by Anton Burggraaf, best known for producing “My Kitchen Rules South Africa”, and produced by the multi-award-winning Ochre Moving Pictures, (“Spoorloos”, “Lioness” and “Housekeepers”).
NYAN ‘NYAN LATE NIGHT EDITION (SABC1)
A six-part series hosted by Luyanda Potwana, who is joined by Dr Nomcebo Mthembu.
They help couples, whether married or in a long-standing/committed relationship, address intimacy issues that are driving them apart.
While the medical expert provides insight on the health front, the host creates a safe space for them to discuss their struggles, as communication is also a challenge.
The end objective is to save relationships from going down that road of no-return by helping them put the spark back into it.
The show airs on Tuesdays at 9pm.