A humdrum start to ‘The Real Housewives of Durban’
By Debashine Thangevelo 5m ago
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Since “The Real Housewives of Orange County” debuted on small screens in March 2006, the spin-off shows have been popping out like freshly-baked banana loaves during the Covid-19 lockdown.
To date, there are several international offerings from New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, D.C., Beverly Hills, Miami, Potomac, Dallas to Salt Lake City, and counting.
In SA, we’ve already enjoyed two seasons of “The Real Housewives of Johannesburg”, with talk of a third instalment being on the cards.
Although I’ve not been able to catch every episode of all the different franchises, I’ve watched enough of the international offerings as well as SA’s first local version to understand – and even appreciate – the hype around the reality shows.
By inviting viewers to be a fly-on-the-wall in the lives of the rich and famous housewives, the show also taps into their aspirational goals.
The bonus is the entertainment value as the backstabbing, catfights and egos go into overdrive.
And now “The Real Housewives of Durban” has debuted on Showmax.
What’s the verdict?
It’s mellow. So mellow that it is prosaic.
The calm start ended in a small storm. But that was the only exciting thing.
Let’s chat about the cast, who are also successful women.
Sorisha Naidoo, 43, is most graceful in how she carries herself. The mother of two is married to Durban businessman Vivian Reddy. She has a very zen personality and clearly wields much influence on the social scene.
This was most evident by Kgomotso Ndungane’s reaction when she arrived at her lavish Umhlango mansion and saw all her luxury vehicles.
Kgomotso, the owner of Oak Celebrations, which is an event and floral business, also launched a luxury home, body and bath product line, Lelapa. Married to former Sprinkbok player, Odwa, the mother of two is very easygoing.
Annie Ludick, 28, is a real spitfire. The mother of three runs Annaesthetic, a luxury beauty salon, an events and marketing company as well as a dance agency.
She is married to businessman Kgolo Mthembu and is in the process of planning her white wedding in April.
With Annie, I must admit, I love her chutzpah and the fact that she can read the room unlike most of her co-stars.
Ayanda Ncwane is CEO of Ncwane Communications and president of The Africa Gospel Awards. Her husband, Sifiso, is late. Her time is split between Joburg and Durban but she appreciates her quality family time with her two sons and brother.
She loves being the centre of attention but her bubbly personality puts those around her at ease.
Well, that’s unless that person is Nonku Williams, who is brought into the fold at Sorisha’s Diwali soiree. Turns out that Nonku has a daughter with Ayanda’s late husband. Talk about jaw-dropping moments.
She has a close bond with via Nonkanyiso Conco (the bride of former President Jacob Zuma), who runs Laconco Naturals.
Nonku is the founder of Ashes to Beauty Winery and has business interests in construction.
Here’s my opinion of the first episode.
The awkwardness between several of the housewives is palpable. But that’s not the only level of discomfort.
Aside from Sorisha, who is au fait with cameras given her acting background, many of them had their guard up in front of the camera and, as such, there was this constant unease.
There are a few characters who might blossom into full-on divas and, in so doing, propel interest in the show.
The fact that the show was shot in lockdown clearly worked against it, too. But the production house’s hamfisted handling of the series also had a strong hand in the outcome, too.
I mean, this show is built around those meltdowns and misunderstandings that often happen during those la-di-da events, hanging out sessions and girls weekend trips.
We can only hope the cast step up the pace, keep it real, speak their mind and stop pussyfooting around each other.
Come on, show us those well-manicured claws!
“The Real Housewives of Durban” is streaming on Showmax.