Reasons we tuned in - and out

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By Munyaradzi Vomo

2012 has been a good year, maybe the last of our time if the hype is to be believed. Before we sign out, we should look back at the moments that made TV worth watching (or not). Munyaradzi Vomo rewinds time through the screen of your TV to see what made our TV viewing memorable.

MUSIC

There are those who enjoy nothing but music in their TV viewing time and to make it worth their while a few shows have done well this year.

Who’s That Girl?

• MTV Base VJ Search: Since Fix Moeti appeared on the scene, MTV Base seemed to lose interest in looking for another VJ. But 2012 saw them have other ideas and we were introduced to Nomuzi Mabena.

The VJ search was highly publicised and the talent seen was beyond our expectations. Industry experts and celebrities Azania Mosaka, Sizwe Dhlomo and Bonang Matheba were the judges and they loved Mabena. Now that she is one of them, that should ensure their jobs are secure.

Although she did not make it on to Live as a presenter in the talent search, and came second, Mabena picked herself up and worked hard at the MTV gig. It is no surprise she came first.

• Mzansi Music: Local Drums And Horns

Let’s face it, no one was doing anything to promote local music on TV. SABC1 and Channel O have a slot or two, but if we not Gaga-fied then we’re drowning in yet another Beyoncé video. This, of course, happens at the expense of local talent.

So kudos to MultiChoice for coming up with Mzansi Music (channel 321), a channel dedicated to promoting local music with no international interference. Next time you are at the Samas you will not be wondering who the act that won the accolade is.

• Joyous Celebration: Another Reason To Miss Church

Okay, my preacher is going to give me some lip about this, but it is true: if you can’t make it to church, then Joyous Celebration can be seen every Sunday as a condensed praise and worship show on Mzansi Music.

With the group’s work starting as early as 1994, there is a lot we have forgotten which returns on this show and you can see the growth in both the music and the members of the choir.

• Idols SA: Year Of The Golden Boy

Khaya Mthethwa just wanted to be known for his music after entering Idols. For him it was never a case of actually winning. Coming from a religious family, with the whole country looking at him, the young singer had to watch his step. It is sad that he will always be regarded as the first black Idol as that should have never been the issue in the first place. However, this season of Idols SA was by far the most successful yet, giving the brand a few more good years.

REALITY

After Nonhle Thema pioneered into the local reality TV scene, a plethora of shows made by local stars aired. Some made the right headlines, while others should never have been made at all.

As Real As It Gets

• Dineo’s Diary: When Dineo Ranaka was reportedly fired from YFM, most people thought it was the end of the road for her. She might have said she’d bounce back, but they all say that so no one bought into it. She then proved everyone wrong with her hit reality show Dineo’s Diary. As the title suggests, Ranaka gets as raw as possible, bringing in her family – a thing few local reality series do.

• Mo Love: Just when we thought the success of Ranaka’s show could not be matched, Mo Love appeared on the scene. The show centres on comedian Tol A$$ Mo and his fashionista wife, Mome Nale.

The two are inseparable, but they manage to tell their story in a not-so rosy fashion, making you hang on to their every word. Couples have issues and Mo Love does not shy away from that.

Obviously Scripted With Bad Acting

• Clifton Shores: Okay, Twitter aside, this show was not a bad idea. Well, partly. It must have looked good on paper to demystify the “lions roaming in the streets” myth, but the execution was poor.

First, Quinton van der Burgh appeared to be interested only in showing off his money to the girls. It was more like daylight pimping than employing the young girls to work desk jobs in the country. That said, the least they could do was respect the reality genre and do less acting and give more natural reactions.

That stuff about looking down at the shacks in Gugulethu doesn’t fly because we all know the US has its own housing issues. The fights that emanated from nowhere also became a bit annoying because as adults we could not determine the root of certain feuds.

The unpopularity of the show proved only one thing – money is no substitute for substance.

How On Earth Did This Get The Nod?

• Celebrity Apprentice: If, say, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown made their way onto Celebrity Apprentice, then maybe we would be happy to watch them go head-to-head against each other in the name of charity.

But that’s not what happens on Celebrity Apprentice. Instead, we get washed-up celebrities we don’t even remember and they use the last shine of their glory days to organise donations for charities of their choice.

Doesn’t Donald Trump realise that even the celebrities he calls in need the money as much as the charities they are giving their winnings to?

Encore

• Come Dine With Me SA: Until this show appeared on our screens, it was unknown how much we as a nation enjoyed our culinary activities. More than 2.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the pro-gramme and the social networks were abuzz with people saying they enjoyed the mouth-watering show.

Almost every episode was trending on Twitter and the feedback was amazing on Facebook. There’s no doubt another season will return as soon as possible.

Well done to the team.

• The Only Way Is Essex (Towie): Even I can’t believe I am writing this, but let’s face it, this is one show many people enjoyed. Watching the rich kids of Essex blow the pounds in the fast lane is like window shopping for some, so this show will always be with us, even if only for those aspiring to be filthy rich.

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