Say the words “reality TV” and the first thing that comes to mind is one family, their non-stop drama and the uncanny way they’re famous for being, well, famous.
But the genre is broad – it’s everything from ordinary people documenting their weddings (Our Perfect Wedding) to living on a deserted island and fighting for a million (Survivor) and switching from acting to dancing (Dancing With The Stars) and everything in-between.
Here’s what you’ll find on Showmax.
Radio celeb Dineo Ranaka has moguldom on the mind and inviting viewers into her world in this fly-on-the-wall doccie is just the start. Expect the usual – work, play and family time – but on a whole new level. Plus, the rest of her fab fam pop in for a holla-holla every couple of episodes.
Who doesn’t love a fairytale wedding? Whether it’s the traditional white wedding, something with traditional colour or the full cultural experience, Showmax has the perfect solution with Our Perfect Wedding. But here’s the best bit: they’ve got three franchises on their catalogue!
There’s Our Perfect Wedding South Africa seasons 1-7, Our Perfect Wedding Kenya seasons 1-10 and Our Perfect Wedding Nigeria season 1. Go behind the scenes with the bridal pair as they put together their big day, with everything from the décor and music playlist, to the flower arrangements and all-important cake testing taking place onscreen. I do, I do, I do!
The only thing better than seeing a happy couple is seeing them work through their drama and fix things. That’s the plan in this South African reality show, but as we know, things don’t always go according to plan. Couples who’ve gone their separate ways for any number of reasons are locked – literally – in an apartment together overnight.
They get to talk through why their romance failed, confront the reasons they needed to break up and also profess their reasons for wanting a second chance, perhaps. Episodes are filled with edge-of-your-seat crazy stories, from staying in the closet and hiding sexual orientation from a partner who isn’t your type, to hiding another ex’s love letters, and faking a pregnancy – one night with an ex has more real-life drama than you thought could possibly be squeezed into 42 minutes.
They love money. They love drama. Binge-watch both seasons of this riveting reality series of the richest housewives in Johannesburg.
Besides the drama, you can also expect a lot of champagne sipping and a whole lot of fabulous lunches, brunches and the occasional teary moment from Mzansi’s most glamorous ladies.
Nico Panagio is the main man and he always seems so calm – even at tribal council in the Philippines, you’d never know that he’s being eaten alive by mozzies. And it’s a good thing we don’t have smellevision just yet, because you know that those Survivor castaways are funky as they come by the end of week 1.
Singing/acting siblings Bobby and Karlien are taking cameras along to find out “how the other half live” – they’re just about swapping everything in their lives and experiencing first-hand the struggles that us ordinary folk go through in our day-to-day lives.
Watching Bobby being blindfolded and trying to manoeuvre as a blind person is eye-opening (pun not intended) for both him and viewers.
Expect big business, big bucks, big family and most of all, big big big personality in this SA series! Shauwn Mpisane is on a mission to live it up now that she’s divorced from her power-couple partner S’bu and ready for romance, business, family time with her kids and showing off the lavish lifestyle she’s worked hard for.
Expect more designer handbags, clothing and footwear than at Paris Fashion Week, the fam-damily shouting at each other across their sprawling mansion, and a look into the life of one of SA’s most flamboyant businesswomen.
What’s better than watching your favourite actors doing their thing in-character? Watching them being thrown into the deep end and asked to tread water. And that’s what you get on Dancing With The Stars – celebs like actor Frank Opperman, TV personality Thembisa Mdoda and singer Connell Cruise go shoe-to-shoe on the dancefloor, learning new dance routines week in, week out, and being critiqued by dance-expert judges. Some of them shouldn’t give up their day jobs…
Enter the fabulous life of choreographer and television personality Somizi Mhlongo. From Seasons 1 to 4, Somizi invites us into his world of busy schedules, industry parties and, most importantly, fatherhood and his journey into married life with his husband Mohale.
Plus, stream their three-part wedding special on Showmax, featuring his late mother, superstar Mary Twala.
Every episode is a glamorous event filled with laughter, celebration, luxurious experiences and, of course, fashion and champagne. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Bonang Matheba is a national treasure that has set the bar high when it comes to reality shows.
If you think that dating someone is stressful, imagine the ordeal these singles are going through on this South African reality show, which first aired in 2017 and has been a twitter trend with each episode. In it, singles looking for a relationship don’t meet their potential match first – instead, they’re sent to visit the family. And it’s not just to quiz the family group about the would-be significant other, but also for the singleton to get grilled themselves, to see if they’re worthy. Expect the unexpected, because on this show, anything can and will be said – from “Oh she doesn’t cook at all”, to “I know these Zulu men – they’re trouble”. Drama aplenty and sometimes a happy couple going on a date in the end.
Get a front-row seat at actor Dineo Moeketsi and rapper Solo’s jaw-dropping wedding, a star-studded day filled with love.
14. I Blew It
Meet the people who’ve received large amounts of money and spent it unwisely. This show takes a closer look at the sudden changes wealth has made to their lives and relationships. It became an instant fan-favourite, and is the ultimate guilty pleasure.
15. Madam & Mercy
Evodia Mogase and her daughter Mercy have waved goodbye to The Real Housewives Of Johannesburg drama and hello to their own local reality show. Don’t expect anything different from the pair though – there are hoity-toity as ever, splashing cash on designer everything, working out together and most importantly, living their best lives as a close-knit mother and daughter team. If you want a recap of their Real Housewives stint, prepare for catfights, nails coming out, loads of eye-rolling and backstabbing left, right and centre with fake smiles for the frenemies.
Ten farmers are looking for love, and, breaking new ground in the 12th season is the show’s first gay farmer who’s looking for the ideal male partner. “I love meeting the farmers and spending time with them,” says host Leah. “They are all so passionate about farming and it’s a pleasure to see how proud they are of what they do! I have immense respect for them. And, of course, if they find love, it’s the cherry on top.”
The boys are suited and booted, looking for eternal, true, undying love – in front of the nation. Season 1 features Lee Thompson from 2019, followed by Bachelor #2 Marc Buckner from earlier this year. They’re hunky, romantic, business savvy and have a soft spot for pets. So why are they single and looking to settle down? Neither has had time to find Ms Right and they’re hoping that their special someone is waiting among the 22 ladies who’ll each be vying for their hearts. Expect drama, backstabbing, tears, cat fights and more from the women. And a tear or two from the Bachelors.
Also watch: US dating show Finding Prince Charming Season 1 as singer Lance Bass helps one bachelor find his match among 13 hand-picked guys.
And a special mention for…
Huisgenoot journalists look back at some of their most iconic and talked-about stories with exclusive behind-the-scenes info straight from the horse’s mouth as they reveal what it took to go from tip-off to printed article in the weekly magazine.
Can’t get enough of reality show shenanigans?
This video counts down the top 10 reality shows in the United States. We’ve got our own SA versions of some of these, such as The Bachelor and Survivor, but others are so crazy not even us South Africans could pull them off!