Soap gets in your eyes

S’bu­siso Mse­leku

CityPress - - Voices -

The on­go­ing spat between the 16 Gen­er­a­tions cast mem­bers and the TV soapie’s pro­duc­ers, MMVS Pro­duc­tions, has re­minded me of a few wise words told to me by an el­derly man when I was in my youth.

He said some­thing along the lines of when some­body throws sh*t at you and you pick it up to throw it back at them, you dirty your hands in the process.

My ob­ser­va­tion has been that no one has won the ac­cu­sa­tion and counter-ac­cu­sa­tion bat­tle between the ac­tors and the pro­duc­tion com­pany, which seems to have the SABC squarely in its cor­ner.

But in the more than 50 years I’ve spent on this planet, I have learnt that there is usu­ally one win­ner in a fight between an in­di­vid­ual, or in­di­vid­u­als, and an in­sti­tu­tion.

Fight­ing an or­gan­i­sa­tion tends to be like fart­ing in a pool – you cause a few bub­bles, but that’s about all.

Gen­er­a­tions has be­come an in­sti­tu­tion, and so has the public broad­caster. The soapie has built and bro­ken many an ac­tor’s ca­reer. But life goes on. Just think of the ac­tors whose star has con­tin­ued to rise af­ter they left or were fired from the show.

While the pro­tag­o­nists among the 16 have con­trib­uted im­mensely to mak­ing the soapie a hit, the cre­ativ­ity and in­ter­est­ing story line the cre­ators, writ­ers and pro­duc­ers have man­aged to con­jure up over the years have en­sured that it re­mains a hit.

It is the first time there has been such an ex­o­dus from a TV show.

As a re­sult, no one can ac­tu­ally tell what the ram­i­fi­ca­tions will be.

My hum­ble opin­ion is that Gen­er­a­tions might take a knock, but will con­tinue to be pop­u­lar, even if the 16 ac­tors do not re­turn to the show.

Take the fa­mous US TV soapie The Bold and the Beau­ti­ful, which pre­miered on March 23 1987.

It is still go­ing strong de­spite cer­tain char­ac­ters be­ing re­placed with a new crop over the years.

It has even sur­vived the death of vet­eran Dar­lene Con­ley, who played Sally Spec­tra from 1988 un­til 2007.

But such is this in­dus­try that pro­duc­ers have learnt to grin and bear such bumps and even come up with solutions.

In fact, it is not only in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try where the dice are usu­ally heav­ily loaded against an in­di­vid­ual in a fight against an in­sti­tu­tion. It is so in al­most all spheres of life.

For in­stance, Or­lando Pi­rates still re­mains one of the two most pop­u­lar clubs in South Africa de­spite sev­eral break­aways since it was founded in 1936.

It has even sur­vived the de­par­ture of iconic star play­ers Kaizer Mo­taung and Jomo Sono, who went on to form their own clubs.

Need I say more?

Fight­ing an in­sti­tu­tion tends to be like fart­ing in a pool – you cause a few bub­bles, but that’s about all

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