Munyaradzi Vomo

We are two episodes into our first big-budget reality series, ‘Clifton Shores’, and already people are talking about it. The best way to learn more is to go on Twitter while the show is being screened. Here is what a few people had to say after the last episode:

@kuliroberts: Clifton Shores! Whoop!

@katedesmarais: Clifton Shores makes me embarrassed to be a human.

@jeanjordaan: If they called Clifton Shores Klipdrift Whores… and got the right cast… now I’ll watch that. (sic)

@CapeTown_Girl: I’d watch Zumaville Shores.

@Jacob_G_Zuma: I can identify with this show, it’s a group of women sharing one Sugar Daddy.

@madaboutwine: May the ticks of 1 000 buffaloes infest the armpits of all #CliftonShores followers.

Now you must understand that this writer tried hard to find balanced comments, but it seems one side outweighs the other. People are livid about the show getting the nod. Having seen it from the first episode, I had reservations, but in some places this team did a fairly good job .

First the good.

The fish-out-of-water concept is a great idea and what better way to teach the world about SA than to take some obnoxious Americans from their comfort zone and throw them into our wilderness?

The idea was brilliant as once the US cast realised there are no lions on Kerk Street and Ebola is not present, they appreciated their surroundings.

And now the bad.

The possible reason why people reacted the way they did is that despite the unique idea, the great cinematography and the effort put in, the cast lets everything down.

The executive producer, Quinton van der Burgh, said they took several months to find the right people, but by the looks of it the search was in vain. The girls of ‘Clifton Shores’ are either shallow or, if they are acting shallow, they are doing a great job.

For instance, driving through Gugulethu, they passed comments about the shacks as if they live in Trump towers back in the US.

Come on, we all know about the projects and ghettos in the US so it was just disrespectful of them to act as if they’ve never seen poverty.

They have van der Burgh to thank for showing them the high life in SA – a thing they cannot afford back home.

Then there is the issue of the show being ad-libbed, not scripted. If these girls were good actresses then this claim could’ve held some water.

But you can literally see through their act as they follow the so-called invisible script. For example, when they first arrived at their hotel and one girl had lost her luggage, she is assured everything will be sorted out and one of the other contestants offers to share her clothes with her.

But she snaps at that girl for what seems like no reason. Who shoots down a Samaritan, anyway? Unless you are looking for drama, because drama sells TV shows.

’Clifton Shores’ could be the gateway for naive Americans to see who we are as a nation, but many changes have to be made to the cast and the show’s direction. It is a learning curve for those behind it, so we will give it some time to grow.


’Clifton Shores’, Tuesdays at 9pm on Vuzu (DStv channel 123).