Tlale’s boasts drama, qual­ity

A re­al­ity show as stylish as it is good, The In­tern a must-watch, writes Buhle Mbonambi is

Sunday Tribune - - TV -

I’VE al­ways known to ex­pect drama when­ever David Tlale is in­volved. Af­ter all, that is his MO when it comes to brand David Tlale – an over­load of drama. When I watched his re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion show, The In­tern by David Tlale, where he is on the search for a new as­sis­tant de­signer for his ate­lier, I wanted to see drama – and did I get it.

From the first episode, which aired in July, un­til now, the show has more than ex­ceeded my ex­pec­ta­tions. It’s shot and di­rected well, the chal­lenges are in­ter­est­ing and force the de­sign­ers to pull out all the stops, and the host (Nico Pana­gio) lets the con­tes­tants have their shine. And Tlale? For­get Tim Gunn from Project Run­way – Tlale makes sure he pro­vides the dra­mat­ics, the WTF and OTT mo­ments on the show. From mak­ing the de­sign­ers tear up their sketches, to chang­ing his mind about a chal­lenge, mak­ing them scram­ble, the show re­ally is about him and his search for an ap­pren­tice.

Sure, he is mostly rude to the de­sign­ers, which some­times makes it un­com­fort­able to watch, but they have since grown a thick skin and they give as good as they get in the con­fes­sion­als.

Ear­lier this year, SABC 1 had a sim­i­lar com­pe­ti­tion called Raw Silk, which was hosted by Pearl Mo­di­adie and judged by fashion de­signer Ole Led­imo, make-up artist Nthato Mashishi, and style mav­er­ick Yas­min Fur­mie. I fol­lowed it, ex­pect­ing Project Run­way qual­ity. Sadly, I didn’t get that. And the show’s for­mat was so sim­i­lar to the Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum hosted show, you could not help but com­pare the two. When I heard that SABC 3 was go­ing to be air­ing a sim­i­lar show, I had fears. But I need not have feared a thing. The In­tern by David Tlale de­liv­ers. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see whether SABC 3 will have a sec­ond sea­son. It should think about it. It’s the kind of high brow lo­cal life­style pro­gram­ming the chan­nel has been look­ing for. The show is good enough to be shown across mul­ti­ple ter­ri­to­ries and also show­cases our de­sign­ers’ tal­ents. The best part of the show? The chal­lenges, no doubt. While Raw Silk showed the con­tes­tants fight­ing among each other, there’s no time for that on The In­tern and that’s be­cause Tlale makes sure no time is wasted on petty squab­bles. The chal­lenges push the de­sign­ers and take them out of their com­fort zones. They have done ev­ery­thing from un­der­wear, wed­ding dresses for Tlale’s celebrity clients and flower gar­ments; to de­sign­ing stationery, dresses us­ing pa­per and a five-piece col­lec­tion that was shown at Joburg Fashion Week. And here I thought the col­lec­tion would have been the fi­nale, but no. The In­tern by David Tlale steers away from Project Run­way and has more of a Rupaul’s Drag Race feel. While the clothes are of bet­ter qual­ity than Drag Race, but the vibe? Def­i­nitely Drag Race. There are a few episodes left and if you are look­ing for a lo­cal re­al­ity com­pe­ti­tion TV show, then The In­tern by David Tlale is it. The In­tern by David Tlale airs Wed­nes­days on SABC 3 at 7.30pm

Nico Pana­gio, left, hosts The In­tern by David Tlale. While Tlale can be rude to the de­sign­ers in the show, they give as good as they get in the con­fes­sion­als.

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