Yet another not too sharp SABC3 show
AFTER weeks of advance fanfare, SABC3’s new local reality show, Sharpshooters, has finally hit the tube.
It was meant to highlight the skills of 15 promising photographers – a mix of amateur and professional snappers – in getting that stunning shot that takes your breath away.
What a let down! This was no absorbing, action-packed reality show as promised. It might more accurately have been called the Craig Urbani Show – he almost never stopped talking in the just on 90-minute plodding programme. He chose to deliberately use a ponderous voice, with many weighted pauses, obviously trying to create tension and intimidate the contestants. It didn’t work. Period.
The programme format turned what could have been an imaginative and original concept into yet another doccie.
Surely one of the secrets of a successful reality show is to get some emotional reaction from the viewer, to involve them, to get them arguing viewpoints.
What we got was a series of fire drills – firemen, set blazes, hosepipes, water and smoke – and sharp, confusing shots of contestants running hither and thither, ducking and diving. These were interspersed with more talking, this time by participants reeling off their CVs. Again the doccie format.
And all the time the viewer was waiting for something to happen, to grab his/her attention. Alas, this was not to be.
We were not drawn into what little photographic action was discernible, too much time and kinky graphics were given up to meaningless shots of teams choosing their best pictures – we never actually got a good look at their efforts; a dreary finale showing the three judges weighing up the entries, remarking on and referring to shots that, again, we caught the merest glimpse of and so could not relate to.
For heaven’s sake, what commissioning editor worth their salt accepted a product which lacked all the elements of a reality show, but was in fact a doccie and a blurb for the Joburg fire service?
How much did the SABC cough up for this abortion of a reality show? And what does it say about a sponsor being so easily duped into throwing away good money on a sour lemon?
It is so tragic to see the once proud channel drowning in a quagmire of sewerage, caused by ill-considered SABC policy changes, poor judgment by schedulers, and bosses with the say.
A flood of talk shows, even more repeats of programmes ad nauseam, DVDs by certain entertainers like Shaun Jacobs played over and over, sometimes back-to-back... This is the level it has sunk to.
What distressingly highlights the lack of professionalism across all channels is the deplorable English subtitles put up on production house, as well as in-house corporation programmes and even the news – grammatical errors, misspelling, inaccuracies of fact, inaccurate translations, and wrong tenses.
Distressing primarily because young viewers, already battling with poor education in state schools, are likely to internalise what they see, and then wonder why they struggle to learn the language. Blairgowrie, Randburg