I had hoped to begin the first column of the year with some exciting news about what’s happening in the ever changing world of TV.
However, I couldn’t without addressing the mess that is Real Housewives of Johannesburg. It has left me wondering why did 1Magic even bring back the show.
For a Real Housewives show to be successful, viewers need to feel like they know the characters on the show.
Like, know them really well. Sometimes better than they know themselves.
We want to know about their careers (or lack of) and what they are working on; we want to know who their wigologist and their make-up artists are; the fashion designers and stylists they have on their speed dial. We want to know their favourite restaurants, their families. We want it all.
Franchises like Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Potomac, etc. give us all that and more. We feel like we are embedded in the lives of the housewives from those cities.
Instead of all that juicy content, in the Real Housewives of Johannesburg we get nonsense about people’s sex lives, financial status, petty confrontations about ridiculous things and constant walkouts.
Oh and don’t get me started on the many unnecessary, clearly scripted soirées these ladies host on the show, clearly efforts to drum up drama where there is none.
The one problem with South African reality shows is how we love to copy US and UK formats and yet we do not have the content to back it up.
Take Brinette for example. She has a spa and it’s currently being refurbished. We only saw a few minutes of that, early in the season. Why introduce it to us if that is not going to be the focus on her storyline this season?
We got a sneak peek into Christall’s struggling music career, also in the earlier episodes, and then nothing came of it. Even her hastily put together music video (which I am certain was an idea of a producer on the show) showed that everything is being forced and nothing is genuine.
Mpumi says she’s a “ride or die like no other…” and to “ask about Mrs Mops, honey” and yet we know nothing about Mrs Mops and her relationship with Mr Mops and their children. The less said about Lethabo, Tarina and Mpho, the better.
The saving grace was Lebo and simply because she was the most genuine of the ladies, hosted a number of events and tried to share snippets into what happens in her life.
The rest of the ladies did not come to the party, hence the reunion (hosted by Phat Joe) has been all about files, tea and people’s sexcapades. Do better or don’t bother renewing this show, 1Magic. They clearly do not have the range.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.