Reality TV offers escapism and panders to the aspirations - and sometimes delusions - of malleable viewers.
Of late, the genre has been having a great run with shows like “Love Island SA”, “The Bachelorette SA”, “Date My Family”, “The Real Housewives of Durban” and “Temptation Island” turning viewers into die-hard fans. Some of these shows trend on social media, too.
But sometimes, a break is needed from the genre, especially when it reaches that nauseating level.
And so I turned to “The One” on Netflix for some relief and found the premise, which centred on people being matched through DNA, most fascinating.
Since we live in a world where dating has become heavily reliant on online websites and apps, matches are a hit-and-miss.
If there was an option to be matched according to your DNA, would you sign up? And if you prefer not to meet your soul mate because you are already with someone, would you continue to live your life without being plagued by curiosity?
That is indeed a conundrum and, in “The One”, it is ingeniously explored from polarised views.
Rebecca Webb (Hannah Ware) is at the heart of the futuristic series. A scientist-turned-entrepreneur, she built her empire with fellow scientist and friend, James Whiting (Dimitri Leonidas), who has since stepped away from the company.
Rebecca is a confident and successful businesswoman. But she is also ruthless, cold and dangerous.
It depends on whether you are a foe or a friend.
What started out as a noble act quickly snowballed into a bedlam of lies and backstabbing.
Now that she has sold this ‘soul mate’ dream to people and built an empire around it, she is determined to protect her investment at any cost, especially when a dark deed from her past threatens to ruin everything.
Meanwhile, Kate (Zoë Tapper), one of the detectives working a murder case linked to Rebecca, is matched with a Spanish beauty.
Openly bisexual, she finds her world thrown into turmoil when she learns that the so-called love of her life isn’t exactly single.
Then there is Hannah (Lois Chimimba) and her journalist hubby, Mark (Eric Kofi Abrefa).
This couple seems to have it all until Hannah submits her husband’s hair for a match. Let’s just say, curiosity got the better of her.
But she wasn’t quite prepared for the result and does her best to then keep him from his match, who happens to be her super sexy yoga friend, Megan Chapman (Pallavi Sharda).
Of course, this plan backfires on her as she tries her best to save her now strained marriage.
“The One” looks at the consequences of love, from finding it to losing it to trying to hold on to it.
This stylishly-shot series has compelling characters that live in the grey areas, sometimes by choice and sometimes due to circumstances.
“The One” is currently streaming on Netflix.