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18 Best South African TV Shows in 2018 (So Far)!

We are living in somewhat of a Television golden age, and South African TV content has just about everything for everyone to binge on! Here’s our list of the 18 Best local TV shows in 2018

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THE RIVER 

When you launch a Premium channel despite overwhelming opposition from subscribers who feel unimpressed by your current offerings for their coins, you’ve got to go in for the kill. And The River is one hell of a winner for 1Magic.

Best TV shows in South Africa

Photo Credit: IOL

The telenovela premiered in February this year, along with M-Net’s newest (or rebranded) baby. The channel’s flagship hit follows the lives of two families; the Khumalos and the Dlaminis. The Dlaminis are led by the fiercely ruthless Lindiwe (Sindi Dlathu), who’s married to Zweli (Hlomla Dandala), with whom she’s raising a beautiful family.

They lead a beautiful lavish life while the Khumalo’s struggle to make ends meet. The families may exist on different economic continuums, but a past with a diamond that built the Dlamini dynasty’s wealth binds them as much as Beauty, the Khumalo’s adoptive daughter, is in fact Lindiwe’s abandoned biological daughter!

ABOMAMA S1

An all female main cast is everything we keep asking for, but Abomama Bomthandazo is certainly that and so much more! The latest Parental Advisory Production sees them stepping beyond their love/dating show formula to bring forth a refreshing take on themes of sisterhood, survival and morality in South Africa.

Best TV Shows in South Africa 2018

The show follows four women who soon turn their stokvel into a money laundering scheme when they they find themselves plunged int o the dark crime underworld. The ladies soon find themselves having to straddle their old innocent worlds and their new roles as calculating participants in the dark worlds of illicit dealings. In order to survive, they must also play the game and topple old devils in their turf!

LOCKDOWN S3

The worst thing that can happen to a show you love is when it loses the plot, which typically takes somewhere between the second and third season. Fortunately, Lockdown S3 is arguably the show’s most gripping yet.

Best TV Shows in South Africa 2018

Hunger for power and revenge in prison. Image: Supplied

And the appearance of US actress, Tichina Arnolds, merely added to the working mix of perfect ingredients for this prison drama, which chronicles the lives of South African from different walks of life as they navigate the harsh and gritty realities of life in prison.

UNMARRIED S1

A breath of fresh air, this was! First of all, Thembisa Mdoda nails her character as a certain Thembi, unsatisfied with her ‘mediocre’ hubby and struggling with the chankuras as she is raising two kids with him. Then there’s Brenda (Renate Stuurman, what an actress. She cries on cue!), the embodiment of a successful, driven and fierce badass. But as it happens, her love life is a nightmare.

Best TV shows South Africa 2018

Unmarried follows the lives of three friends Brenda, Thembi and Lesego. Photo: Supplied

Slay Queen Lesego starts off being the girl who leading a lavish lifestyle financed by transactional relationships with men, until we step into a dark, traumatic past that informs her decisions now. And until season, boy will we miss Bodyguard Bae!

THE QUEEN  

The Queen has become that show where everything that can possibly happen actually does happen, just not how you thought and, certainly, not to who you thought! This year came with a few high profile deaths, bomb attacks, gun shoot downs and of course, that showdown between arch enemies Harriet and TGOM.

Best TV Shows South Africa 2018

If we could summarise this show, we’d say its a representation of how we are living right now. That’s what makes it work!

MUVHANGO

Long before the current wave of television shows centered on the portrayal of the unexplored traditional themes and realities in various South Africa cultural frameworks, Muvhango was already a refreshing thrill for viewers who sought something different. They did it first, they did it well. And they’ve been doing well enough to inspire a whole era of creative synergy focused on telling stories that take it back to basics.

Departing from popular mainstream narratives, the drama turned soapie started out chronicling the lives, relationships, family conflicts of vhavenda families. In it’s near two decades on air, the show has both sustained its position as the most authentic soapie – thanks to its transformative traditional anchor, explosive storylines and stellar direction – as well move things forward to reflect the life we are living right now.

ISIBAYA  

The critically acclaimed Mzansi Magic telenovela-turned-soapie is a beautiful portrait of South African life at its most exciting to watch. The award winning Mzansi Magic ratings smasher came in, blew up the game and shifted the whole landscape.

Best TV Shows South Africa 2018

Exploring family disputes, royal rifts, taxi violence and many other multi-layered themes central to the South African black experience, the BOMB production continues offering viewers a rare cinematic glimpse into the families behind the R90 billion a year taxi businesse, complete with feuds over taxi routes, royal squabbles, polygamy and more. Although admittedly, some of the soapie’s main storylines have become a bit malarkey, the show holds still as a solid fave. For now.

KHUMBULEKHAYA

This show can be on air for decades. Having already been on air for over ten years, the show is premised on the search of long lost family members and reuniting them with their loved ones.

It doesn’t matter how far apart they are, or how long the ties were cut, Andiswe Gaelesiw will travel to the ends of the world to reconnect loved ones. There’s obviously the fair share of drama because these are real people and real stories.

But the show’s focus has not been to exploit that trauma, but rather to act as a neutral platform for reuniting families, and sometimes a support system for those involved. Khumbul’EKhaya has also led to a surge in similar shows being commissioned

REAL HOUSEWIVES OF JOHANNESBURG 

The show aims to get viewers privy to the lives of Johannesburg’s most pampered housewives, and they’ve done so quite impressively! The NBC Universal franchise has already peaked in the US, and continues being popular with most of the Housewives shows now having been on air for almost and over ten years, depending on premiere dates.

Real Housewives of Johannesburg

The RHOSA production presents a lush picture of the most lavish lifestyles in this part of the world, along with a good dose of shade, enviable wardrobes and, from what we’ve seen so far, sufficient champagne for those dramatic dinners where the girls typically confront each other. The show features monied housewives Brinnette Seopela, Evodia and Mercy Mogale, Christall Kay, Lendy Ter-Mors, and DJ Naked’s wife Naledi Willers. Salute to Sonia Mbele for nailing the format.

PROJECT RUNWAY SOUTH AFRICA

If you’ve been following the American edition of this design competition since the first season, you will relate to how elated I was finding out it was being brought to South Africa! Although that excitement came with a dash of anxiety thanks to how we’ve tortured the design/fashion show format in a few botched attempts (except amongst other gems The Intern, though!), the fact that Khanyi Dlomo and her Ndalo Media had secured the rights to produce the show locally calmed my nerves and restored good chakra.

Best TV Shows South Africa 2018

Presented by Lerato Kganyago, judged by xxx with Gert Johan-Coetzee taking on Tim Gunn’s coach/mentor role for the aspirant designers, the show has been such a delight to watch! The production quality is through the roof and the level of talent in the building is mind blowing. The hallmarks of a fun competition show are all here – with the right hit of adrenaline in the mix because of the workroom pressure the faves must endure and surmount to get closer to those career launching prizes.

BEING BONANG 

The first season of Bonang’s reality television was yum, but barely went past entrée. The SA media Queen addresses this on the very last diary session, which she shares with her cousin Pinky Girl, saying “we were a bit nervous the first time.”

Best TV Shows in South Africa 2018

Photo Credit: Supplied

The second season delved a little bit deeper and we got so much more juice! Partnering with Legend Manqele to bring us the second chronicle of South Arica’s most powerful celebrity, Being Bonang distills her adventures, both professional and personal, in the most exciting and fun way.

There was barely a Sefiso this season and much less AKA, with whom she broke up in between the seasons, but there was more Lorna Maseko, more potent quotables, more PinkyGirl and her adorable personality. There were less photoshoots and more laughs and goofing around with the girls. More family, more glam and more splits… thanks to the acrobati Lorna Maseko, who kept the supply open in that flexibe department. We want a season 3.

LIVING THE DREAM WITH SOMIZI  

There’s absolutely nothing not to love about Somizi. He’s an energetic and infectious in real life as he is on television and elsewhere, by the way.

The much celebrated Media King, who has stood the test of time more than we’ve come to know to be possible in our show business, brings his larger than life personality to everything he does. Living The Dream with Somizi continues down this path and invites viewers to every aspect of Somgaga’s vibrant.

Best TV Shows in South Africa 2018

With his cute AF fiancé in tow this season (the two are said to have signed a multi million rand deal for a wedding special in the next season), things have gotten even realer. Less talked about is how his relationship with Mogale, and how navigates that with the hectic demands of the spotlight, really trails as the single most mainstream representation of queer romance on primetime television right now. We love ourselves Somgaga, who’s as unfettered on the show as he is unrelenting in being as loud about expressing himself as you can get!

IMBEWU: THE SEED

The Best Shows in South Africa 2018

Photo Credit: Supplied

One side of the Bhengu family has been keeping a secret from the other for many years, with treachery and tumult never more than a step away… is how the drama begins its plot line. One side of the Bhengu family has been keeping a secret from the other for many years, with treachery and tumult never more than a step away.

SURVIVOR SA 

It’s not easy nailing a format so popular already. Still one of the highest rated shows ever, with 35 seasons and counting, you are adapting for local audiences a turf that has become a playground for the most dedicated following there is! Yet Survivor SA is really holding its own.

Shot in the stunning Phillippines, the sixth season of Survivor South Africa saw 18 locals try to outplay, outwit and outsmart each other during this once in a lifetime opportunity. Blindsides, conniving, plenty of backstabbing, alliances and of course that breathataking scenery made this one bingeworthy. Oh, a couple of hotties in here and I think most of you know who we are talking about so let’s leave it there.

IDOLS SA

The original version of the show revived this year and still missed the mark. In Madiba land though, Idols SA is still very much alive with possibility!

Best Shows in South Africa

Idols SA judges Somizi, Unathi and Randall, as well as host ProVerb. Photo: Supplied

The singing competition has just about every right ingredient for a fun Sunday watch ahead of the new week. The judges critiques (or just laughs and, or tears) are just as entertaining as the many attempts at belting that open themselves for wide circulation in MEME streets.

It’s not just all laughs though, the show continues unearthing some pretty fine gems, with some pretty breathtaking vocal talent blowing audiences away during the live shows. There may be nothing exactly wow on the show anymore, but the little elements make for some super fun, family friendly viewing.

TAKE ME OUT MZANSI 

The dating game show returned with an elevated texture on VUZU AMP last year, wrapping up the season in February this year.

Best TV Shows in South Africa 2018

Hosted by the hilarious Phat Joe, who’s jubilant butt jiggles whenever someone gets a date are a dead give away that he really is a ‘Prince of Passion’, the revived show was a good for laughs as it was for some romantic, wishful thinking! Unlike other dating shows (there seems to be one of every channel, for every hour, now.), Take Me Out Mzansi was fun, cheerful and funny without having to humiliate anyone for it. Just saying.

UTHANDO NESTHEMBU S2

Two years ago, a reality show chronicling the worlds of spouses in a polygamous marriage blew up and became the highest rated show on Mzansi Magic! It also became the most talked about, trending at #1 for every episode.

Best TV Shows in South Africa

In 2018, the show kept its cool and gave us just the right in bites in every single that makes you want to grab popcorn. The show is about businessman Musa Mseleku and his four wives, namely MaCele, MaNgwabe, MaKhumalo and Mayeni (application for 5th which was shut down by the ladies this year). We get to see the dynamics of the marriages, the sisterhood of the wives and the reality of everything most aren’t expose to.

OUR PERFECT WEDDING 

Some people are tired of the wedding reality show, but there’s no turning away. A firm Sunday fave, Our Perfect Wedding distills the exciting journey into marriage, as each episode features a couple as they prepare for their traditional nuptial and white wedding ceremonies.

Along with the drama and hysteria that comes with this high pressure arrangement is plenty to chuckle about. A lot has happened on OPW; iconic moments involving everything from unforgettably ‘overwhelming’ kisses to dramatic cake topples, but the show still centres on love. We will be watching still, for a little while longer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awards

Full List of All SAFTA Nominees 2021

Check out the full list of SAFTA Nominees for 2021.

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The River Gets 12 SAFTAs Nominations

Despite the pandemic disrupting most of the television production last year, Mzansi actors and actresses pushed through the extremely taxing conditions to deliver jaw-dropping performances every week. It would only be fitting to award each and every one in the industry with an award for the sheer commitment to the craft.

But since this is not a perfect world, only those that displayed Herculean resilience to keep us gripping our seat have received nods for the 15th South African Film And Television Awards (SAFTAs).

It was an exceptional year for content on the streaming service Netflix, with a total of 45 SAFTA nominations. The front runner is How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, leading the pack with 10 nominations. They go up against viewer’s favourite The River and Legacywhich earned 12 nominations on their debut season. Its quite telling, since both shows are from the local production house, Tshedza Pictures.

 

Here is the full 2021 SAFTA nominees list:

Best Supporting Actress – Feature Film

Ira Blanckenberg, Toorbos

Jane De Wet, Griekwastad

Tarryn Wyngaard, Stam

Best Supporting Actor – Feature Film

Hakeem Kae Kazim, Riding with Sugar

Justin Strydom, Dust

Nicholas Campbell, Gat in die Muur (Hole in the Wall)

Best Feature Film

Griekwastad

Riding with Sugar

Stam

Best Short Film

Heirloom

The Stranger

Uxolile

Best Student Film

Binding Adventures from The Animation School

Flower in the Subway from The Animation School

The Boy and the Robin from The Animation School

Best Made for TV Movie

A Christmas Chorus

Home Affairs – A Christmas Tale

Loving Thokoza

Best Documentary Feature

A New Country

Days of Cannibalism

Day Zero Films

How to Steal a Country

Mother to Mother

Best Documentary Short

Lefu – The Funeral

Lindela under Lockdown!

When the Flame Speaks

Best Made for TV Documentary

Badimo S1 – Music and Trance

Chasing the Sun

Evolution of Mzansi Street Culture

My Story of Kwaito – I am Still In Love with Kwaito

Best Structured Soapie Reality Show

Lebo M: Coming Home

Life with Kelly

Somizi & Mohale: The Union

Best Variety Show

Motswako

Mzansi Magic Music Specials

Republiek van Zoid Afrika

Savanna Virtual Comedy Bar

Best Online Content

AFI Fashion Week 2020

Duiwelspoort

Noko Mashaba – Lockdown Shandis

Best TV Presenter (Public Vote Category)

Devi Sankaree Govender, The Devi Show

Dineo Ranaka, Yimlo

Entle Bizane, Hectic on 3

Palesa Tembe, Afternoon Express

Katchie Nzama, Come Again

Katlego Maboe, Tropika Island of Treasure Curacao

Waldimar Pelser, KN Verslag in Gesprek

Best Actress – Feature Film

Elani Dekker, Toorbos

Inge Beckmann, Stam

Tinarie Loots, Gat in die Muur (Hole in the Wall)

Best Actor – Feature Film

Andre Odendaal, Gat in die Muur (Hole in the Wall)

Gideon Lombard Lombard, Stam

Tshamano Sebe, 8

Best Actress – Telenovela

Crystal Donna Roberts, Arendsvlei

Mary-Anne Barlow, Legacy

Sindi Dlathu, The River

Best Actor – Telenovela

Dawid Minnaar, Legacy

Menzi Ngubane, Isibaya

Presley Chweneyagae, The River

Best Supporting Actress – Telenovela

Rami Chuene, Isono

Michelle Botes, Legacy

Quanita Adams, Arendsvlei

Best Supporting Actor – Telenovela

Andrew Buckland, Legacy

Lawrence Maleka, The River

Meshack Mavuso, The River

Best Actress – TV Soap

Cindy Swanepoel, Binnelanders

Petronella Tshuma, Rhythm City

Shoki Mmola, Skeem Saam

Best Actor – TV Soap

Clint Brink, Binnelanders

Cedwyn Joel, Suidooster

Bongile Mantsai, Scandal!

Best Supporting Actress – TV Soap

Mapula Mafole, Rhythm City

Masasa Mbangeni, Scandal!

Portia Joel, Suidooster

Best Supporting Actor – TV Soap

Molefi Monaisa, Skeem Saam

Mothusi Magano, Skeem Saam

Roderick Jaftha, Getroud met Rugby

Best TV Soap

7de Laan

Rhythm City

Scandal!

Best Telenovela

Gomora

Legacy

The River

Best Actress – TV Drama

Kate Liquorish, Still Breathing

Tiffany Barbuzano, Still Breathing

Tina Jaxa, Erased

Best Actor – TV Drama

Abduraghman Adams, Melody

Brandon Auret, Still Breathing

Zolisa Xaluva, Kings of Joburg

Best Supporting Actress – TV Drama

Jay Anstey, Inconceivable

June van Merch, Sara se Geheim

Lorcia Cooper, Housekeepers

Zola Nombona, Lockdown

Best Supporting Actor – TV Drama

James Ngcobo, Queen Sono

Lindani Nkosi, Housekeepers

Michael Richard, Still Breathing

Best TV Drama

Agent

Blood and Water

Inconceivable

Lockdown

Trackers

Best Actress – TV Comedy

Busisiwe Lurayi, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

Chanelle de Jager, Kniediep in die Warm Water

Mari Molefe van Heerden, Die Vlieende Springbokkie

Best Actor – TV Comedy

James Borthwick, Hotel

Keenan Arrison, The Riviera

Mandla Jwara, Black Tax

Best Supporting Actress – TV Comedy

Chantal Herman, The Riviera

Clementine Mosimane, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

Martelize Kolver, Hotel

Best Supporting Actor – TV Comedy

De Klerk Oelofse, Hotel

Desmond Dube, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

Motlatsi Mafatshe, How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

Best TV Comedy

Black Tax

How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

The Riviera

Mark your calendar’s so that you don’t miss the event that will take place on Saturday, 22 May. The award ceremony will be broadcast on SABC 3, DStv Channel 193.

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Streaming

WATCH: Official Trailer of The Underground Railroad

Check out the trailer from The Underground Railroad starring Thuso Mbedu!

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The Underground Railroad Thuso Mbedu

If you needed another reason to flex about the crop of talent that South Ah exports to the U.S., Thuso Mbedu is the latest case study.

The actress is set to feature on an Amazon Prime Video’s limited series as lead on The Underground Railroad. She plays the role of Cora Randall in Barry Jenkins’ 10-episode series that is adapted from Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel.

The novel follows the story of Cora, a slave who concocts a plan to escape from a plantation in Georgia with the help of her trusted companion, Caesar. The duo’s journeys out of the Antebellum South sees them make a run for it though the rumoured underground railroad.

RELATED: THUSO MBEDU MAKES VOGUE UK’S LIST OF EXCITING NEW ACTORS

While on the run, hot on the heels of her every turn is a bounty hunter that is intent on catching her because the only other slave that evaded his clutches was Cora’s mother. Cora flees from state to state, passing North and South California in search for freedom – a journey that leads her to Tennessee.

The series will drop next month May 14 on the streaming platform. The thespian has been dropping scenes from the series on the socials as teasers. Cav

Watch the official trailer of The Underground Railroad below:

 

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Reality Shows

Bonang on another ‘Being Bonang’ Season “I’m Over it”

“They owe me money”

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Bonang Matheba has squashed every last fantasy of ‘Being Bonang’ ever coming back on our screens.

The South African media personality responded to a fan on Twitter, who pleaded with her to revive her popular reality television series. It’s not happening, Queen B confirmed. “I’m over it”, she revealed, because also “they owe me money.”

It’s unclear who owes Bonang money. But the the show, which aired it’s third and last season in October 2019, was produced for BarLeader for M-Net. We’re guessing it’s somewhere there.

The news wouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know that she’s already said no more. On the last day of its airing, Bonang shocked fans when she announced that she wouldn’t be making herself available for another season. At the time, she did not get into the details of why she had opted to discontinue the series, despite its popularity.

As soon as the final episode had aired in 2019, the media personality went ahead and described the filming of the third series as “one of the worst experiences in my life”

And then went on to confirm that it’s “finished, finished, finished!”

Matheba did however tease the possibility of reloading B*Dazzled, the web docu-series she did in 2011. If she shops that around, we could still basically get ‘Being Bonang’, under a different title.

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