Some of these South African shows are newly announced, and others have been renewed for follow up seasons. This selection of 10 South African series with the most buzz leading up to 2021, is not exhaustive. You’re just going to have to be a regular around here for the freshest in local TV and streaming content.
REAL HOUSEWIVES OF JOBURG SEASON 3
The explosive season 2 Reunion Special of the Real Housewives of Joburg was far too lit for us to be left fumbling in the dark with no answers.
Too many shady mysteries still need to be solved. Is there any truth to the tea spilled by Brinnette about Mrs. Mops’alleged affair? Who really paid for LeJoy’s hotel room after the Durban July shindy? Was Lebo’s wedding cake really 80% plastic fillers all the way out in Mauritius?
We aren’t making any of that up, but we were concerned for a hot minute that none of this good mess would be coming back.
Fortunately, despite the reality series skipping a year in-between seasons thanks to the pandemic (and the closure of the original production company ‘RHOSA’), QuenchSA has reliably heard the ladies are making their sparkling return to 1Magic in early 2021.
What we need this season is the beautiful gowns continued, if you catch what we are throwing. We also need all the girls to return this time because starting over with half a new cast will be a lot.
Mrs. Mops must come back and read them for filth as usual. Lethabo must yell and keep up the drama. Christall must keep us in stitches. Brinnette can continue eating these girls up with her lewks, but locals will be looking forward to an update on her moving out from her mother’s house. And not to forget, the soft-spoken Lebo can continue whispering her harmless shade.
Anything that puts us in a time capsule containing a pre-colonial visual of life in the age of Shaka Zulu’s reign can only be good. It’s even better that Bomb Productions, who have given us timeless greats like Yizo Yizo and Isibaya through the decades, are behind the making of a looming project based on this era.
In partnership with Mzansi Magic, the production company announced in 2018 that they would be working on a prime retelling of the story of Shaka ka Senzangakhona.
The filming of the series already is underway as we speak, with locations for filming said to be spread all over the country. Bomb Productions is tasked with the assignment of scouring the country to find the best scenery that can be best transformed into iconic landscape reminiscent of the times in which Shaka lived and reigned.
Teboho Mahlatsi, executive producer and co-creator at Bomb Productions, revealed how the show intends to explore different clans. “We will depict the great kingdoms of the AmaThethwa, the AmaNdwandwe, AmaQwabe, AmaHlubi and AmaZulu amongst others, and on this epic canvas, we will see the heroic rise of Shaka. We are telling an African story about a great African empire”, he said in a press statement.
According to News24, the series is expected to premiere on Mzansi Magic sometime in 2021.
Pictures on set from the filming of Blood Psalms were enough to trigger a frenzy earlier this year.
It’s the closest we are getting to Game of Thrones, the producers have said. Multichoice in partnership with CANAL+, has gone all out with the budget for the production of this pre-colonial epic piece.
Shot on various locations through South Africa, including the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West province, Blood Psalms chronicles the powerful story of a fierce teenage African queen, Zazi, who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through complexities, politics and endless wars.
The series results from a co-production partnership between global broadcasting TV operator Canal+ and Multichoice Group. Several shots have been released showcasing the set and cast in character, and from the glimpses, a Games of Thrones-ique texture can be seen.
The series will be premiering on Showmax in 2021.
BACHELORETTE SA S1
Those passionate kisses might have not guaranteed Qiniso Van Damme a happy ever with The Bachelor SA season 2’s Marc Buckner, but the girl is having the last laugh.
Following the reality show’s success in South Africa, M-Net in July announced that they’d commissioned a local version of popular international Bachelorette franchise. Qiniso now has the bragging rights of being the first-ever bachelorette on the upcoming series.
The lady will be inviting South Ah to come along her journey as she embarks on a romantic search for her Mr. Charming, and we are here for all of it!
“I’m still single, so clearly I haven’t found that guy,” M-Net’s first Bachelorette admitted. “I’m really open to meeting all kinds of handsome hunks with beautiful personalities who think I might be their gal. I want someone who isn’t afraid to be themselves, is a citizen of the world, proud to be South African and willing to grow with me.
If he can make me laugh, he will definitely score some extra points. And being tall would be a bonus. But c’mon guys, surprise me. Don’t be afraid, as long as you’re caring, kind and honest and think we’re a potential match, I want to meet you and get to know you”.
We’ll be tuning in when the reality show premieres on M-Net, channel 101, in 2021.
BLOOD & WATER SEASON 2
The South African series soared to #1 on Netlfix across several countries when it premiered on May 20th this year. The series, which centres around the life of a Puleng Khumalo, was renewed for a second season just days after the highly buzzed debut.
Fans will be thrilled to follow the 16-year-old as she navigates her way around the prestigious Parkhurst College to investigate the cold case of the abducted-at-birth older sister she’s never met. The teen mystery, which is airing to viewers in 190 countries around the world, also propelled a few of the young cast to instant fame.
LOVE ISLAND SOUTH AFRICA SEASON 1
If you are into the popular ‘Love Island’ international franchise, you will be delighted to know that a local version is currently in the works. M-Net announced last month that they have opened the casting for the reality show, which will be filmed in Cape Town by production company Rapid Blue.
The first season of Love Island South Africa is set to launch on M-Net 101 on DStv in February 2021.
If you’ve never seen the format, it basically centres around a group of single ‘Islanders’, who come together in a stunning setting, ready to embark on a summer of love, friendships, and, ultimately, relationships. Every few days, the Islanders must couple up – those who fail to find a partner to couple up with risk being dumped from the island.
The Islanders are on the lookout for romance, but the road to love doesn’t always run smoothly. Challenges abound with new Islander arrivals and dramatic twists as friendships and relationships form.
Further to choosing their partners wisely, Islanders must also win the hearts of viewers who have the opportunity to shape events on screen and ultimately crown one lucky couple the winners, who will then have the chance to walk away with both love and the cash prize of half a million rand.
We recently talked to you about Reyka, an upcoming drama series that will be coming to M-Net in mid-2021. Production has already begun on the Fremantle produced eight-part contemporary crime drama.
The series, which stars amongst others South African-born actress Kim Engelbrecht (Isidingo, Dominion and The Flash) and Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen, is scheduled to premiere sometime in July 2021.
Reyka tells the story of a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (portrayed by Enge Engelbrecht). She’s haunted by her past while drilling down to the bottom of a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar fields of Kwa Zulu Natal.
Having been abducted as a child by a farmer named Speelman (Iain Glen), Reyka is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out.
M-Net is putting a lot of money behind this one. We are waiting.
SHARK TANK S2
We were starting to think they’d never say anything! But on Tuesday, a brand new season of Shark Tank was announced and we need to freshen up our minds with some old episodes already. The award-winning reality show will sure get your entrepreneurial instincts put to the test.
According to Bizcommunity, the looming season will be featuring an all-new lineup of ‘Sharks’, who are tough, self-made, multimillionaire and billionaire tycoons. They will begin their search early in 2021 as they seek to best business innovations that South Ah and the rest of Africa have to offer.
The Sharks will be looking to offer a diverse group of driven minds the opportunity to chase the ultimate dream, and potentially secure a business bag that could transform their lives and, of course, turn them into millionaires.
The current lineup of sharks includes South African billionaire, Quinton van der Burgh; UN Global Award Honoree, Dr. Jasmine Pega; serial entrepreneur, Lebo Gunguluza; and tech entrepreneur, Prashanthi Akaloo.
A Cape Flats ‘neo-noir’ is billed to debut on Showmax sometime in 2021, with exact dates to be confirmed closer to launch. It’s one of the local original production the streaming platforms has commissioned for the coming year.
After the murder of owner Glenn Fortune, The Oasis jazz club becomes the centre of a power struggle between two brothers, a scorned widow and an organised crime syndicate.
SAFTA winners Kevin Smith (Isidingo, Arendsvlei), Ilse Klink (Stroomop, Isidingo) and Brendon Daniels (Four Corners, Sara se Geheim, Arendsvlei) lead the all-star cast as Glenn, his wife Shireen and his brother Trevor respectively.
OTHER SHOWS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021
- Production has just wrapped for a new series called ‘Dam’. Set to launch in 2021 on Showmax, the small-town psychological thriller shot in the Eastern Cape stars Pallance Dladla and Lea Vivier.
- Our ears are hearing about a Real Housewives of Durban that’s shooting, but nothing has been confirmed. You are going to have to be a regular around here because it’s not cute not knowing.
- The Bachelor SA season 3. Go ahead girls, break a heart.
Squid Game Ending Explained; We’ve Been Scammed
We’ve been had, and Squid Game is here to prove it.
When the end of the South Korean horror drama arrives on the ninth episode, the winner finds himself harrowed by what the coveted prize has cost his soul. In the rat race for survival, along with a better life that hinges on the never ending hustle, there’s no time to stop and see the horror our lives become. By the end, we see how the winner has sold his soul for a crappy deal that came with a few toys, and a happy meal.
A group of 456 players are mysteriously invited to take part in a set of children’s games for a grand prize of $38 million, which will be enough to give the winner the financial freedom they desperately need. The players are selected from different walks of life, with the burden of excessive debt being their biggest motivation to give the Game a go.
The first of deepening terrors comes during the first game, when the players discover that penalties for losing in the challenges will be death. DEATH. Horrified, the players initially vote to leave and return to their lives.
This noble departure doesn’t last long; their material realities as fugitives on the run from debt collectors only highlights the glow of the precious promise they’ve now left behind. When they return for the second time, they now consent to their highly probable deaths.
Led by Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, a taxi driver with a gambling addiction, the South Korean series has become somewhat of a global phenomenon. Now the most streamed Korean series of all time, Squid Game is also said to be on pace to dethrone Bridgerton as the most streamed series in the history of Netflix. And it’s with good reason. Squid Game is a trip.
Survival is the drive. The blues of a broke life pile up for Seong Gi-hun, who’s daughter is being taken away to the US by her mother and step father. His mother is battling deteriorating diabetes and even in her frail condition, is still working hard to make ends meet. It’s during the peak of his frustrations that Gi-hun is randomly invited to take part in the Game.
After accepting the offer, he finds himself in a discreet location along with 455 players, who are also drowning in debt. The players are kept under an authoritarian system of surveillance. Masked guards in pink suits keep the scene under control under the supervision of the Front Man. Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, as a the most strategic way to survive the bloody challenges.
Amongst those that end up in this team is player 001, a frail old man who who became his “gganbu”. Sae-byeok, who was also in the team, was killed by Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend, team member and flip-flopping ally. Several other team members had to be killed by their team mates, which revealed the wickedness of the games.
In the end, Gi-hun’s victory came without an apology. He had to defeat a close ally in the games, the old and frail player 001. They’d bonded throughout their time, but in the end he had to advance himself against those he’d built alliances. As the games progressed, the players found themselves having to face tough calls. Someone else has to die for you to make it another day.
After a series of brutal games, it comes down to childhood friends Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo. They’d played different games, with Sang-woo having played hard and stopping at nothing to win. Gi-hun is mad at Sang-woo for a series of betrayals, including him stabbing Sae-byeok to her death. In the end, Gi-hun wins when Sang-woo apologised and kills himself.
Yet despite emerging a winner, Gi-hun finds that the cost of becoming an overnight billionaire has bankrupted his soul. For a year following the day his bank account was loaded with a nine zero figure, he didn’t touch the money. After all, he returned to find his mother dead on the floor. One of his motivations was getting the money to get her medical help over her advancing diabetes.
Gi-hun is clearly troubled by the bodies upon which his new wealth rests. A year passes and he hasn’t touched the money – even oddly reverting to old patterns of asking for loans to get by. It might be late to be so concerned about the moral questions surrounding the games now – the long and short of it is he won and his life has changed.
Later, he is shocked to find out that the “gganbu” who had to be killed after losing to him in a game of marbles, was never really killed.
In a shocking plot twist that changes everything – he also finds out that the old man is in fact the creator of the games! Finding him in a medical bed after receiving a mysterious invite to the location, Gi-hun discovers that the man’s real name is Oh Il-nam, an obscenely rich fella who created the games in 1988 (the same year Korea hosted the Olympics for the first time) purely for their entertainment. We already know by now that ‘the VIPs’ are a bunch of morally bankrupt elites who find pleasure in watching the poor masses slaughtering each other for money in a broken system. Where have we heard that before?
Although his participation in the games as player 001 was a farce, what he told Gi-hun back then, that he had a brain tumour, had been true. And of course, he challenged him to another sick game. A man had been freezing to death on a street pavement, and Oh Il-nam challenged Gi-hun to guess to bet on the odds that someone who help him when the clock strikes 00:00 at midnight. As Gi-hun wins, Oh Il-nam dies.
We assume this marks the end of the games. However later in the episode, Gi-hun sees the man who recruited him doing it to someone else. He runs to stop what is happening, but arrives at the exact scene late, the train has already taken off. Later on the way to boarding a flight, he turns and calls a number. “I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing,” he tells ta man we assume to be In-ho. He turns back, clearly about to begin his new mission.
What we know now, is that Oh Il-nam created the games to tickle the sick tastes of his sick rich network. But he is now dead. Who is now behind the games? This, and Gi-hun’s passionate manifesto, are strong indications that next season of the series is already shaping up to a different arc. It’s his final transformation, and he is ready to take down the operation and those behind it. He won’t allow people to be “horses” for the entertainment of wealthy elites.
We know that In-ho shot Jun-ho in a bid to stop him from alerting the police about the games. The signal was bad, delaying the delivering of the evidence Jun-ho had been trying to send in several texts, right up to the moment the moment he plunged from a cliff and hit the water. What we don’t know is whether the messages were really not delivered. There’s also no conclusive evidence that Jun-ho is dead.
Potentially, the biggest lesson from season one is that our relentless pursuit for material success in a punishing money system kills us.
First Look at HBO’s Game of Thrones Spin-Off ‘House of The Dragon’
Things look promising for HBO’s upcoming drama series, The House of Dragon. The highly buzzed Games of Thrones prequel’s first visual teaser has been met with much fanfare, raking in more than 8,6 million views on Youtube within two days of its arrival.
First reactions and buzz around the epic teaser have been strong indications that the series, slated to premiere in 2022, is off to a good start despite the infamous final season slump suffered by G.O.T. And it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the world ready to let old baggage go.
The House of Dragon, created by an entire different team, will arrive about three years since the cold winter. The cast includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine and Sonoya Mizuno who will be bringing to life a different era of Westeros.
Midnight Mass is Creepy With A Dark Subtext and You Need To See it
‘God’s angel’ had sinister plans for the town.
The reign of terror plunges a small and quiet town to ashes when the arrival of a charismatic yet mysterious priest coincides with the return of a disgraced young man who has just been released from prison.
While Riley (Zach Gilford) initially finds that Crockett Island and its 127 residents – along with his childhood sweetheart Erin (Kate Siegel) – still conduct a mundane existence, Pastor Paul (Hamish Linklater) soon changes that.
When the island’s much loved Roman Catholic senior priest takes a trip to the pilgrimage and never comes back, an energetic new priest takes his place at the Holy Land church. And while his arrival brings with it a new wave of spiritual revival amongst the island community, something sinister begins to haunt the town.
With each episode, the esoteric occult that powers Paul’s ability to perform astounding miracles and mesmerise the islanders, slowly gains dominion over the unsuspecting community. Instead, they begin taking up a renewed interest in the church as word of mouth spreads about the signs and wonders. Much like Jesus Christ was able to draw crowds wherever he went, the appearance of Paul’s supernatural power is able to attract even those who’d remained sceptics their lives.
It’s the blending of the sacred and the sinister. The taking of communion that has been contaminated with demonic blood, which functions as the miracle drug promising eternal life.
We soon find out the miracles come at an unthinkable cost.