TV review – Skeem Saam: New soapie has its work cut out

2014-08-11 14:00

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Skeem Saam


Weekdays, 6.30pm

As the battle for eyeballs heats up between the various broadcasters, viewers are spoiled for choice.

As part of its strategic brand repositioning, SABC1 has entered into the hotly contested and lucrative weekday 6.30pm soapie slot, which has been dominated by since the days of Backstage and today’s Rhythm City.

SABC1 has reincarnated its youth drama Skeem Saam as a soapie in the ilk of’s productions; and now, after a few weeks of watching, it’s time to take stock.

The new soapie is produced by Winnie Serite – that on its own deserves applause as black female producers rarely get a chance to shine.

In addition, it is written by black writers who know and live the lives they are writing about. It makes the show more authentic.

What sets Skeem Saam apart from the competition is its location shoots, and although they might not have multiple cliffhangers to keep me at the edge of my seat, the storylines are decent enough and have some funny moments to be treasured.

On the downside, the show comes across as targeted specifically at the Polokwane market. The nuances and in-jokes are very regional.

The show is not as hard-hitting as its competition. Young viewers want gritty storylines, not soft, rosy ones.

Rhythm City fights ferociously for its piece of the 6.30pm pie. Its producers won’t simply roll over and let a new show take over.

If Skeem Saam is to stand a fighting chance, it will have to do more in marketing and brand visibility. At this stage they are not doing enough to be noticed.

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