Introducing new programmes on prime time spots, we take a look at the new kids on the television block.
So this past weekend I got the opportunity to exclusively watch Ashes to Ashes and Umlilo, two dramas that will make their debut on e.tv tonight. They are both going to be taking up prime time slots with Ashes to Ashes at 20h00 and Umlilo following at 21h00. If you’re curious about what they have in store, make sure to reserve your seat on the couch tonight.
Centred on a family that owns a funeral parlour, Ashes to Ashes is the drama that everyone has been anticipating to rival SABC 1’s Generations: The Legacy. The cast includes former Generations actors Patrick Shai, Nambitha Mpumlwana, Zenande Mfenyana, Maggie Benedict and Mandla Gaduka who play convincing roles in this new series. Without giving too much away I can confidently say that you can definitely expect some drama in this one. What I enjoyed is that I felt the performances in the debut episode were authentic, and stripped of the glamour that sometimes overshadows and disguises real talent. I’ll have to give it a week or so to formulate a proper opinion, but based on the first episode I’ll be back for more.
And then you have Umlilo, which sees a polygamous family, led by Mnqobi Simelane played by the talented Hamilton Dlamini, navigate life together. For me the cast of Umlilo is fresh and the storyline got me hooked from the get go. I love that it genuinely portrays tradition yet still keeping things modern. The first episode sees Mnqobi’s two wives, Cebisile and Dumile, organise a birthday party for him that has some interesting twists. Through it all, their true characters are revealed helping you formulate whose side you’re on. Nomzamo Mbatha also stars in this one, along with another former Generations star Thato Molamu, who gives an honest portrayal of Mnqobi’s business partner TK. What I enjoyed a lot were the plots within the main plot, you’re constantly thinking. And it’s done seamlessly, without the feeling of being disjointed.
Competition is getting tougher on South African television and I really think it’s a good thing. Because there are now so many more options for people to watch, content creators are being pushed to go further than ever before with their stories and scripts. One thing is definitely sure; it’s going to be an interesting year for TV.