WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Arendsvlei is the story of a semi-private high school on the Cape Flats that is managed by the Cupido family. We follow a brother and sister, both teachers who are committed to making a difference by exposing as many learners as possible in the community to a quality education.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Telenovela’s get a lot of flak for being cheesy and predictable – kykNet &kie's Arendsvlei is nothing like that.
Who would have thought that a high school would be the perfect backdrop for thrilling drama? Well, Arendsvlei has drama on steroids from the very start as it opens with a school shooting.
While there are the usual telenovela tropes like the archetype hero versus the villain, it also explores social issues that are rife and topical like: depression, addiction, teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, toxic masculinity and homophobia.
The main story is that of Beatrice (Jolene Martin) and her family. After her father’s death she runs the school established by her parents alongside her husband David (Oscar Petersen) and her brother Thys (Sherman Pharo).
David battles with alcohol and a gambling addiction which makes him turn to local businesswoman and money lender Wendy (Rehane Abrahams). Through David’s unholy alliance with Wendy she asserts herself into the governing body and uses the school for her own shady dealings.
Other plotlines revolve around the learners and the extended Cupido family and it is thrilling viewing.
As the hero of the story Jolene is simply phenomenal in her portrayal of Beatrice. She is my favourite character. She is not perfect and that is what I like in characters.
As for the villain, Rehane is pretty convincing – she’s definitely coming for Michelle Botes’, Cherel De Villiers-Haines spot as one of most loved/hated characters on SA TV.
What I enjoy most about the show is its authenticity - it holds true to the dialect spoken in Cape Town and the characters and issues explored in the show are very relatable.
Another great mark of a good telenovela is its theme song, and Arendsvlei ticks that box too. Idols winner Karin Kortjie performs the song, Liefde en Leed in Arendsvlei. (Listen to it here)
Arendsvlei is local television at its best, it’s well produced, has great storylines and characters that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Arendsvlei airs Monday to Wednesday at 20:00 on kykNet & kie (DStv 145) with an omnibus Sundays from 16:00 - 17:30. It's also available on Showmax.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: