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The TV Snitch: #Isidingo, #TCA14 and #XfactorSA

 Buhle Mbonambi talks the good, bad and interesting that’s on our TVs

Welcome Back, Isidingo
It’s with great joy that I can report that Isidingo has recovered from its slump and is slowly getting back to its edgy goodness. And it’s all thanks to head writer Rohan Dickson for breathing new life to the SABC 3 soapie. The AK and Bradley Haines storyline is reaching its peak, with some great acting from Justin Strydom who plays the murderous AK.
The Sibeko storyline is also quite gripping and the news of Jeff’s death and how the family handles it, is sure to bring interesting situations in the next few months. But the best thing about Isidingo is that it’s returned to its small-town community ethos, which has been missing for the past few years. I have been calling for the return of some key supporting characters such as Maggie and Stella (we still need gossips in Horizon Deep), Lerato, Sechaba, and the Kondile family, who brought balance to the soap which has been focusing a bit much on the exploits of the wealthy Sibeko and Haines families.

X-Factor Judges
X-factor South Africa judges were announced two weeks ago. If you missed it, Zonke Dikana, Arno Carstens and Oskido are the judges of what could be the best singing reality show since Idols South Africa. However, I have my doubts about the judges. Oskido is a great music man. He’s found some of South Africa’s great music talent, owns one of the biggest indie music labels and is a popular radio and club DJ. But I have my doubts on how he will translate on TV. He is famous for his lax attitude and |for generally not caring what the public thinks of him and while that is great in his career, TV is another game altogether.
Will he be able to guide |the talent? Will he have a big enough personality to work for a |TV audience- and not just personality, but look like he is enjoying being on the show? Will he, Zonke and Arno have the right chemistry for the show? It’s still one of the weirdest casting decisions and I guess we’ll have to wait until the September premiere. With the show being hosted in Durban, we’ll be bringing you exclusive news |and backstage gossip when it premieres.

TCA Reveals

The Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour ended on Tuesday, after two weeks of the US TV channels and networks teasing new shows and new seasons of their shows to TV critics. Some big revelations were made during the panels:

Fargo will return for a second season next year and the show is still in the process of casting its new stars. The anthology was one of the best shows this past TV season and has seen its stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Allison Tolman earn Emmy nods. The second season will be set in 1979 and will also be a new story, focusing on Molly’s father Lou Solverson.

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep is returning to TV after a decade and will be playing Maria Callas in HBO’s adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play Master Class. Production begins early next year and will be about the masterclasses that the opera diva gave to hand-picked students at Juilliard during the 1970s. I guess the Emmy for Best Actress in a TV Film for next year is already sorted.

Glee, like Gossip Girl, will only have 13 episodes in its final season and this is why: “I think Glee is one of the great shows in television history and it was so hot and so big… it burned so hot and so fast”. This is what Fox chief executive Peter Rice said to critics. It’s no secret that the show has overstayed its welcome on TV, thanks to trying too hard to have a social message every week. Now I hope that they go back to the season 1 template to give us what was a great show and some great music.

HBO is once again, doing a documentary on Jay Z and Beyoncé Knowles. The couple, who are currently on their sold-out On The Run tour, will be featured in the doccie, which will have footage from their Paris concerts during the tour. The Carters have a good relationship with the cable network, thanks to their fans tuning in every time there is a documentary on them on the channel. I hope Beyoncé’s personality shines through. She really is boring to watch if she’s not performing.

This column first appeared in the 27 July 2014 issue of the Sunday Tribune SMtv 

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