New TV Shows But We Are Still Not Getting It

First television season of 2017 has kicked off and channels are introducing their new shows. Last week we kicked off with SABC2 and this month SABC1 will start rolling out their new shows. So far... I am not impressed. 

I am all for new shows. I support local productions. What I refuse to co-sign is the regurgitation of content and recycling of talent. This is a played out song but deal with it, until the channels listen and make changes, I will keep singing it. 

Just as we are still dealing with #OpenUpTheIndustry and salary issue, a new trend is emerging that will have just as much negative impact on the industry — I call it; Cut and Paste Content!

There is nothing wrong with copying content from abroad or being inspired by old ideas but the point to revamping and reimagining concept is to bring them back to life or make them connect with a different audience than the original. 

Sadly, we are dismally failing at achieving some semblemblence of originality with our new Cut and Paste concept shows. 

Take Trending SA for instance. The show has the potential to be AMAZING. You now have a platform on a public broadcaster where conversations about the most topical issues in SA can take place but none of that is happenibg on the show. 

Week after week, the Trending SA panel feed their viewers myopic content with commentary that has no depth or any sense of gravitas. To top it all the show is clearly censored in some way because there are topics that make the headlines, yes TREND, that will not be mentioned on the show. 

How Weekend Edition ended up on air is another baffling thought. 

This week I saw a trailer of a new fashion competition show coming to SABC1 called Raw Silk. The show will be hosted by Pearl Modiadie and will see few aspiring designers vie for the title of being the ultimate winner and walking away with R100 000. 

Unfortunately, not even having seen the show, it fails on two fronts. One; I love Pearl Modiadie but the show could have given some sense of freshness to the channel and content by having a different host — someone associated with fashion somehow. Two; the show looks and feels a lot like Project Runway without the South African flavour of The CUT. 

While concept for The Cut was not completely an original idea, the show was created with a clear intention to feel South African without losing any production quality one would expect. 

Having people speak South African languages is not enough. I would have loved a completely reimagined concept for a fashion competition show. We've seen Project Runway, we've had The Cut. Something completely fresh would have been great... but I digress. I havent seen Raw Silk, it may just surprise me. 

More new shows will be coming out this year, and that is a good thing. I am not taking anything away from the men and women who work hard to put these shows together. However, the whole point of the creative industry is to put your work out there and have people give opinions on it. Our industry in built on that principle. 

We need to keep trying to produce more local shows but that does not mean we have to just accept mediocrity and sub-par concept. We have the talent. We can do so much better.   

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