Skeem dream

Skeem saam pro­ducer Win­nie Serite re­veals the show’s big­gest chal­lenge for the year so far.

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ac­cord­ingly,” win­nie ex­plains. luck­ily the writ­ing team doesn’t have any ma­jor tonal switches to deal with since the show’s now back in its old slot. “our big­gest chal­lenge is to find more thrilling sto­ry­lines that will res­onate truth­fully with our au­di­ence. we also need to main­tain a bal­ance be­tween tur­floop and uni­ver­sity sto­ries,” says win­nie. that’s no joke. higher ed­u­ca­tion didn’t do shows like gos­sip girl (2007-2012), gil­more girls (2000-2007) and glee (2009-cur­rent) any favours. it’s such a showkiller that one tree hill (2003-2012) opted to skip the uni­ver­sity years com­pletely.

but the skeem team don’t scare eas­ily though. “at our show’s heart is a friend­ship be­tween three boys [kwaito, katlego and tbose] and the ex­pe­ri­ence of grow­ing up. will the two who moved to joburg out­grow tur­floop? we don’t know,” says win­nie. fans have al­ready seen kwaito (cle­ment maosa) ques­tion this when he re­jected his “girl back home” rachel (le­sego marakalla) on mon­day 9 fe­bru­ary. but that’s def­i­nitely not the end of their story. “the boys still rely on their tur­floop­based par­ents to pay for the cost of their tu­ition. they still have friends and girl­friends in tur­floop. it’s th­ese fam­ily and ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships that will help us keep the story tied to­gether,” win­nie re­veals. “we’ll con­tinue to tackle is­sues that every­body faces, not just stu­dents. with skeem saam, we’re proud that we have al­ways cre­ated char­ac­ters that our view­ers recog­nise from their lives – from work and school… and best of all, home.”

skeem school

off-screen, the skeem saam team will keep learn­ing too. “we’ve al­ways run act­ing work­shops for ac­tors who’ve never been on tv be­fore and we’ll con­tinue hav­ing those. we also have pub­lic­ity work­shops where we ad­vise ac­tors on how to an­swer ques­tions and how to deal with this beast called fame,” ex­plains win­nie. and that will in­volve things like learn­ing to deal not just with the work­load and the in­tense film­ing sched­ule (skeem saam shoots seven days a week with four breaks in the year), but also with sit­u­a­tions like the one that actress mak­gofe moagi (char­ity) faced in oc­to­ber 2014 when a face­book fan sent her nude pho­tos.

eyes on the prize

at the end of the day, the skeem team will be watch­ing and learn­ing from their rat­ings as in­tently as we’ll be watch­ing their show. “our goal is to in­crease our view­er­ship to 4 mil­lion in the 18:30 slot,” says win­nie. with mil­lions of gen­er­a­tions view­ers dis­cov­er­ing skeem saam and mov­ing rhythm city from 18:30 to 19:00 as of mon­day 2 march, we sus­pect that the skeem saam cast and crew will beat that num­ber and then some.

skeem saam’s big boss win­nie serite.

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