Get a window into other people’s dramatic dating lives with these South African reality shows that explore the pitfalls of falling in love. Some recently divorced women attempt to move on with their lives; some eligible guys hand out roses; others have to grapple with disapproving families; some relationships are just beginning, while other couples are walking down the aisle – or trying to figure out why it just didn’t work. Whatever the storyline, we all know that all’s fair in love and war.
The Bachelor SA S1-2
The boys are suited and booted, looking for eternal, true, undying love – in front of the nation. Season 1 of this reality show franchise features Lee Thompson from 2019, followed by Bachelor #2 Marc Buckner from earlier this year. They’re hunky, romantic, business savvy and have a soft spot for pets. So why are they single and looking to settle down? Neither has had time to find Mrs Right and they’re hoping that their special someone is waiting among the 22 ladies who’ll each be vying for their hearts. Expect drama, backstabbing, tears, cat fights and more from the women. And a tear or two from the Bachelors.
M-Net recently announced that the first season of The Bachelorette SA is coming soon, featuring Qiniso Van Damme, who was on Season 2.
Date My Family S1-5
If you think that dating someone is stressful, imagine the ordeal these singles are going through on this South African dating show, which first aired in 2017 and has been a twitter trend with each episode. In it, singles looking for a relationship don’t meet their potential match first – instead, they’re sent to visit the family. And it’s not just to quiz the family group about the would-be significant other, but also for the singleton to get grilled themselves, to see if they’re worthy.
Expect the unexpected, because on this show, anything can and will be said – from “Oh she doesn’t cook at all”, to “I know these Zulu men – they’re trouble”. Drama aplenty and sometimes a happy couple going on a date in the end.
Our Perfect Wedding S1-7
Who doesn’t love a fairytale wedding? Whether it’s the full-on white wedding, something with traditional colour or the full cultural experience, Showmax has the perfect solution with Our Perfect Wedding. But here’s the best bit: they’ve got three franchises on their catalogue! There’s Our Perfect Wedding South Africa S1-7, Our Perfect Wedding Kenya S1-10 and Our Perfect Wedding Nigeria S1. Go behind the scenes with the bridal pair as they put together their big day, with everything from the décor and music playlist, to the flower arrangements and all-important cake testing taking place onscreen. I do, I do, I do!
Madam & Mercy S1
Evodia Mogase and her daughter Mercy have waved goodbye to The Real Housewives of Johannesburg drama and hello to their own local reality show. Don’t expect anything different from the pair though – there are hoity-toity as ever, splashing cash on designer everything, working out together and most importantly, living their best lives as a close-knit mother and daughter team. If you want a recap of their Real Housewives stint, prepare for catfights, nails coming out, loads of eye-rolling and backstabbing left, right and centre with fake smiles for the frenemies.
Kwa Mam’Mkhize S1
This might not be a conventional dating show, but this is as real as it gets! Expect big business, big bucks, big family and most of all, big big big personality in this SA series! Shauwn Mpisane is on a mission to live it up now that she’s divorced from her power couple partner S’bu and ready for romance, business, family time with her kids and showing off the lavish lifestyle she’s worked hard for. Expect more designer handbags, clothing and footwear than at Paris Fashion Week, the family shouting at each other across their sprawling mansion, and a look into the life of one of SA’s most flamboyant businesswomen.
One Night With My Ex S1
The only thing better than seeing a happy couple is seeing them work through their drama and fix things. That’s the plan in this South African reality show, but as we know, things don’t always go according to plan.
Couples who’ve gone their separate ways for any number of reasons are locked – literally – in an apartment together overnight. They get to talk through why their romance failed, confront the reasons they needed to break up and also profess their reasons for wanting a second chance, perhaps.
Episodes are filled with edge-of-your-seat crazy stories, from staying in the closet and hiding your sexual orientation from a partner who isn’t your type, to hiding another ex’s love letters, and faking a pregnancy – One Night With My Ex has more real-life drama than you thought could possibly be squeezed into 42 minutes.