Generations: Soap gets in your eyes

2014-09-04 18:45

The ongoing spat between the 16 Generations cast members and the TV soapie’s producers, MMVS Productions, has reminded me of a few wise words told to me by an elderly man when I was in my youth.

He said something along the lines of when somebody throws sh*t at you and you pick it up to throw it back at them, you dirty your hands in the process.

My observation has been that no one has won the accusation and counter-accusation battle between the actors and the production company, which seems to have the SABC squarely in its corner.

But in the more than 50 years I’ve spent on this planet, I have learnt that there is usually one winner in a fight between an individual, or individuals, and an institution.

Fighting an organisation tends to be like farting in a pool?–?you cause a few bubbles, but that’s about all.

Generations has become an institution, and so has the public broadcaster. The soapie has built and broken many an actor’s career.

But life goes on. Just think of the actors whose star has continued to rise after they left or were fired from the show.

While the protagonists among the 16 have contributed immensely to making the soapie a hit, the creativity and interesting story line the creators, writers and producers have managed to conjure up over the years have ensured that it remains a hit.

It is the first time there has been such an exodus from a TV show.

As a result, no one can actually tell what the ramifications will be.

My humble opinion is that Generations might take a knock, but will continue to be popular, even if the 16 actors do not return to the show.

Take the famous US TV soapie The Bold and the Beautiful, which premiered on March 23 1987.

It is still going strong despite certain characters being replaced with a new crop over the years.

It has even survived the death of veteran Darlene Conley, who played Sally Spectra from 1988 until 2007.

But such is this industry that producers have learnt to grin and bear such bumps and even come up with solutions.

In fact, it is not only in the entertainment industry where the dice are usually heavily loaded against an individual in a fight against an institution. It is so in almost all spheres of life.

For instance, Orlando Pirates still remains one of the two most popular clubs in South Africa despite several breakaways since it was founded in 1936.

It has even survived the departure of iconic star players Kaizer Motaung and Jomo Sono, who went on to form their own clubs.

Need I say more?

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