Which shows kept us talking in 2020?

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Bonang Matheba's second episode of A Very Bonang Year broke viewership records when it was watched by 2 million viewers of SABC1 - a first for any reality show on any of the SABC channels. Picture: Instagram
Bonang Matheba's second episode of A Very Bonang Year broke viewership records when it was watched by 2 million viewers of SABC1 - a first for any reality show on any of the SABC channels. Picture: Instagram

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Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Wear a mask. Stay home. How easy this has been depended on your threshold for surviving Fomo.

For many, the stay-put requirement has been a challenge. For others, staying at home meant a chance to begin or rekindle an intimate relationship with ... TV.

I know what you were thinking; the sex talk is on page 9. Right, now that we have that out of the way, here are five small-screen shows that kept tongues wagging in 2020.

1. A Very Bonang Year

Your girl B had a significant year as she returned to television on her own terms. Bonang Matheba produced A Very Bonang Year, a documentary that chronicled a year when she set her sights on conquering markets outside of South Africa.

It aired on SABC1 in August and the first part of the documentary was watched by more than 1.86 million people, while 2 million people tuned in for the second part. Both times, she broke SABC1’s viewership records.

2. Black is King

Like the live-action reboot of the The Lion King, Beyoncé’s accompanying The Gift album was met with mixed reviews last year. While some people loved the “Africa-inspired” soundtrack, others thought of the artist as a culture vulture.

This year, she followed up this soundtrack with a film of her own, Black is King – a timely visual in a year that saw more light shed on cops killing black Americans.

Starring Beyoncé and our very own Warren Masemola and Nandi Madida, Black is King received a royal reception.

3. Queen Sono

Pearl Thusi starred in Netflix’s very first original African series, Queen Sono.

She was not only the eponymous character – a spy with a complicated history – but also the director of one episode.

The visually compelling series that was filmed in a myriad of locations, such as Tanzania, was widely reported to have gained viewership from other parts of the world and opened doors for Netflix series such as Blood and Water to thrive.

4. Cheeky Palate

Phat Joe returned to our screens this year. On Cheeky Palate, he played dinner host to a variety of people who came together to discuss a specific topic in each episode.

And, in true Phat Joe style, before the first season had finished airing, there were five complaints to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA.

In one incident, two guests on his show were accused of being homophobic. MultiChoice elected to remove the episode from DStv Now.

5. Dinner at Somizi’s

If there’s anyone who can make the pots get done, it’s Somizi Mhlongo Motaung.

This year, the multihyphenate artist took that seriously and starred in his own Mzansi Magic cooking and conversation show, Dinner at Somizi’s.

It was a fan favourite, but it got too hot in the kitchen when Hastings Moeng accused him of stealing the concept of the show.

Somizi denied the allegations.


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