/ 1 September 2009

Take2: Pay your TV licence, it’s the trite thing to do

Anyone unfortunate enough to only have access to SABC1, 2 or 3 will know the pickings have been getting slimmer.

But on Monday night they hit their all-time thinnest.

Besides the news, which I watch on e.tv, my television is used to play the hundreds of DVDs my housemate collects — and to gather dust.

The only show I watch on SABC3 with something close to dedication is Survivor: China. For months I have been watching the bitching and back-stabbing, the tears and melodrama.

I cackle with glee as people are duped and double-duped into alliances and allegiances that crumble at the altar of Jeff Probst’s tribal council. I booed when plain-talking straight-shooting Superman grave-digger James Clement was outwitted by conniving air steward Todd Herzog. I gasped as New York waitress Courtney Yates got ridiculously thin and I hurrahed when whiny jeweller Peih-Gee Law was eventually booted off the island.

But the biggest loser of the series has to be SABC3, who, in what they claim was a technical error — but I consider to be unmanned idiocy — screened the reunion show before the final tribal council episode. So instead of the build-up, the climax and the ”Will he, won’t he?” tension of the final tribal council, and the piercing questions of the recently voted-off jurors, we have an advert break and Probst’s rather flat: ”And we’re now speaking to Survivor: China winner Todd Herzog.”

By that point I had tuned to another channel and started watching Leleti Khumalo in Yesterday. It was almost uplifting next to the SABC’s reality blooper.

It makes me wonder if their catchphrase shouldn’t be, ”Pay your TV licence, it’s the trite thing to do.”

I’m giving up on television.

Disclaimer: Lisa Skinner has worked on three seasons of Survivor.