The South African public have made their displeasure known of the repetitive nature and similar story line in soapies besides their disgruntled grunts made in many living rooms. Nowadays the use of Twitter and Facebook have transcended the trivial self-obsessive convos to active critique and support for shows that offer variety and unscripted drama. In short, reality television.
Granted, the soapies still boast of a large viewership but how long is this going to last. We reported of the suspicious similarity between Generations and Muvhango story line before and such cases of lack of creativity and predictability has led to the shift towards reality shows. (Read more here)
Alternatively, the public actively follow, interact and support reality shows as seen on Twitter trend list each time a reality show comes on with the use of hashtags. In some instance, the public literally designate a portion of their day on Sunday for watching back to back episodes of reality shows on Mzansi Magic.
Moreover, Big Brother Mzansi housemates have seen their fan base reach unexpected heights as their supporters have turned their admiration of the reality stars into cults. The eventual winners, Ntombi and Ace have seen their Qaba Nation endorsed by hordes of fans which led to the creation of their own reality show. (Read more here) Fellow housemates, Blue and K2 have also had their fair share of fans dubbed The Royals that supported K2’s music career to levels previously unspoken of for a South African debutante rapper.
The introduction of Utatakho was met with much enthusiasm as the promise of reuniting broken families and finding closure for children whose fathers disappeared was a nice change from the norm. The show is very popular as it also trends with each episode. Khumbulekhaya also caters for the same market, whose viewers may harbour hopes of finding relatives that disappeared.
The shock factor is everything. Reality shows cater to that intrigue. Watching a
soapie show religiously with hopes that it may once again reach the same level of entertainment as before will only lead to one watching the resurfacing of previous characters from the dead. It’s happened before…It’s happening again…will it happen at a later stage?