10 local shows that stood out in 2019

10 local shows that stood out in 2019

These are our top 10 guilty pleasures of 2019. 

The Bachelor SA

South Africans followed the journey of Lee Thompson, SA’s first bachelor - as he embarked on finding love. It was a guilty pleasure for many as we watched how Lee romanced the ladies. Eventually there was only one rose left, although we thought that we had it figured out, Lee shocked the nation, when he revealed his decision to be with Gina. 

Although the two aren’t together anymore, viewers are eagerly awaiting the second season.


This jaw dropping story of raging kingdoms, power-hungry kings and their deceptive kin as epic. It enthralled viewers with its dramatic succession of events after a clash between two formidable nations, the Okuhle tribe who wage war against the Khanya people. The 13 part drama series is set in pre-colonial Southern Africa and dives into African history, mythology and leadership.

The River

"The River" is one of the best produced, with numerous awards behind the name, including an International Emmy Award nomination in the Best Television category. Staring heavy weights like Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Lawrence Maleka and Presley Chweneyagae the thrill-a-minute show stopper balances the tightrope between soapie and drama. It tells the story of ill placed love, greed, betrayal and blood bonds.

The Queen

This fast-paced show is not new, this year, however, script writers bumped it up a notch. The story-lines left us wanting so much more, that the show took up a five day spot on the schedules. Set in contrasting worlds of the rich in Waterfall and the middle-class of Tembisa , The Queen strips bare the insatiable lust for power amongst the rich and the victims that find themselves at their mercy. It also uncovers the power struggles women are faced with due to cultural practices and beliefs.


 The show depicts South African life in which its villains and heroes play out the complex twists and turns of their lives in their home, business and recreational environments. Judging by its every so often trending status on Twitter, its safe to say that the show was quiet a success this year. 2019 also saw the arrival of a host of celebrities, like Mpho Sibeko making their debut on the show. Nqobile Khumalo, who plays Hlengiwe Twala also won an international award at The New Vision International Film Festival for her storyline on Black Tax.


The crime- thriller series was filled with action, drama, romance, twists and turns that left viewers at the edge of their seats for five amazing episodes. The exhilarating adaptation of bestselling author Deon Meyer’s crime novel, proved its worth when the show shattered viewership records to become the most popular show on M-Net in 2019. Shot in Cape Town, Loxton in the Karoo, Swartwater in Limpopo and Beitbridge Border Post, Zimbabwe, it tells the story of diamond smuggling operation and a terrorist group all intertwined with lies, love and justice.

Imbewu: The Seed

Set in KwaZulu-Natal with a storyline that stretches from the most affluent parts of Umlazi to the humblest street in eNquthu, and includes the suburb of Chatsworth, "Imbewu: The Seed" explores cultural and racial relationships. There are many diverse story lines and this year viewers was hooked to a storyline that played out during Women's Month, where Mira played the part of an abused girlfriend.

The Throne

 The drama series was created and produced by Ferguson Films. Set in a fictitious BaTswana kingdom it revolved around a royal family in turmoil after the discovery of mineral deposits on their land. The show recently came to an end, but while on our screens, we enjoyed watching character like Odirile cover up murders or storylines from Queen Mosad, Mme Naledi and Goitseone.

Isithembiso Season 3

This hit soap followed the lives of young students in Johannesburg, as their lives intertwine with some very dangerous people. Isithembiso was the most awarded soap opera at this year’s South African Film and Television Awards, taking home four awards and is created by legendary South African director Angus Gibson.

Giyani: Land Of Blood

This was SA’s first Xitsonga television series airing three days a week. The show opened up the Xitsonga and Balobedu culture for all to experience. Its riveting story-lines brings to life the ageless themes of love rivalries, forbidden passion, stolen land and corruption. And follows the Mudau and Baloyi families in the town of Risinga. It was recently announced that the show has been cancelled.