TV Guide: Clifton Shores hots up Mzansi screens

2012-08-31 14:43

It has finally happened. South Africa has embraced the shallowness of Hollywood via the new reality show, Clifton Shores.

For a while, it seemed like our local “reality” shows were just teasing audiences with mindless and overly dramatic shenanigans without paying much attention to quality production.

From Nonhle Goes to Hollywood, which fell short when it came to giving us a true money meets fame tale, to Running with the Reps, which had the drama but none of the class and money.

Then there are e.tv productions – the bland Blame it on Fame and Kenny Kunene’s So What, which has all the money but none of the glamour.

Continuing on a trail of failing to meet expectations, Vuzu also launched Forever Young, which created buzz for the first two episodes and was tedious thereafter.

And currently, Dineo’s Diary sets tongues wagging but has that darned problem that just won’t go away – quality production.

Most of these shows look amateurish, they are badly shot and the sound quality is below par.

Enter Clifton Shores. Revolving around a young, hot, local billionaire and some pretty young things with great bodies, it is a feast for the eyes. From the onset, the show already promises oodles of money, glitz and glamour.

Plus the quality of production is impressive. It is slick and polished and nary a license-plate number or cell number shown by mistake.

The show is about four young American women whose lives are “changed forever” when they’re hired by South Africa’s coal mining magnate Quinton van der Burgh to come work for him in Mzansi.

So they leave their homes and are soon embroiled in all the drama that will unfold in the 15-episode show.

Van der Burg, the 34-year-old Witbank-born tycoon is also the show’s executive producer. He says he created it after realising that when he’s in Cape Town, he has to entertain business contacts through Quintessential, his events company.

When Clifton Shores started a fortnight ago, there were complaints about why he cast Americans as leads and he explained that because many of his clients are international, he wanted employees with experience of having worked in clubs and the entertainment scene of Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

I’m not complaining because it’s a brilliant idea which some academic quarters would call a “social experiment” but since this is not that, it’s an idea that’s going to earn this guy more money overseas.

US audiences will relate to the women while seeing a whole new side of South Africa. Clever, no?

The show is supposedly “unscripted” but the conversations are not too contrived – although sometimes their cluelessness about life in South Africa can be annoying. From the two episodes I’ve seen I think you will enjoy watching this one.

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The show airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on Vuzu, DStv channel 123
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Follow me @Mokgads

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