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Thinus Ferreira

Dineo Ranaka's dismal TV disaster

2012-07-10 09:41
Dineo's Diary on Vuzu is a shockingly amateur trash production, marred by multiple spelling mistakes, erratic camera work and a self-indulgent, self-obsessed, egotistical and narcissisticly vapid Dineo Ranaka so full of herself that it leaves no room for the viewer to get anything out of it.

Just like the hapless Nonhle Thema before her, the dear self-delusional Dineo – through desperate posturing and trying to play it up for cameras to perhaps try and cast herself in the mold of a Kimora, Kendra or a Kenny Kunene – comes off more as a "mess in the making" than any kind of a mogul.

While Dineo's Diary literally seems as if it has narratively and dramatically speaking no place to go, at least Nonhle went to Hollywood.

Dineo's Diary is executive produced by Sibusiso Ndebele from S2 Multimedia, and Nomusa Mzima was the commissioning editor who greenlit this underdone mess to television for Vuzu. This clearly low-budget production will do nothing to elevate or build Vuzu's brand.

What viewers are subjected to in this incredibly boring new local reality television low, has to it the distinct feeling of almost being a rough cut of dailies with bad editing that was done by incompetent film academy students and pushed to broadcast without any final cut or attention.

How else do you explain Dineo's Diary making multiple on-air spelling mistakes like "restuarant", ''entrepeneur" and "independant"? How else do you explain the rickety, blurry, zoom-in, zoom-out camera work like a student who just got a handycam? How do you explain the mess of a narrative that's over the course of an episode, everywhere and yet nowhere?

Pavement special

Similar to the atrocious production values of Nonhle Goes to Hollywood, no number plates on cars are even blurred out in this pavement special and there are other "mistakes" no expert TV producers would ever let slip by. And either Dineo Ranaka is poor and doesn't have a lot of clothes or it's bad editing, but suddenly the jacket at the beginning is back on right at the end.

The half-hour reality show is nothing else - and for the viewer has nothing else - than a self-obsessed and wig poking Dineo Ranaka talking about herself, showcasing herself, her child, and her boyfriend, and talking about showing herself.

She makes a point of it to irritatingly "e-nun-cia-te" - oh so overly-vowely every sentence - with a trace of the fake American accent. The soundbytes the producers and editors chose are of Dineo Ranaka making inane, rubbish statements (possible to fill dead air since cameras are hanging around) like "I'm a free person". What do you mean Dineo, and why is trash like this on television?

To help prop up the boring, basically non-existent narrative devoid of drama and to help make Dineo Ranaka's day(s) look busy, stale dateline interstitials are inserted between pre-arranged events. There's "Meeting" and ''Magazine cover shoot". The best self-aware quote probably comes from "friend" Sihle who remarks about Dineo Ranaka: "She's not Whitney Houston, she's not Jennifer Hudson. She must just get it together, you know."

Dissing Nonhle in a Smurf costume

A blatant diss (and probably hoping to cash in on artificial and fake self-referential hype) is Dineo Ranaka appearing in a party costume store with a Smurf head on in the first episode. "I am a Nonhle Thema follower on Twitter" she says as she plays to the camera. Says a coy Dineo immediately after that also to camera: "Don't you like smurfs? ..."

As a confused viewer you have to ask yourself: Why is a so-called mogul doing the low-level task of costume shopping in a costume store anyway? What is the actual premise of this low-budget realitrash? And why is Vuzu making it look so difficult to produce just a passing grade of local South African television content?

Dineo's Diary is devoid of any depth. There's no inkling of a promise that as a viewer you're going to actually be learning more about anything or anyone else, or actually be entertained by getting a real glimpse into someone's life. The rest of the people around Dineo Ranaka come across as one dimensional reality television accessories. Ironically, for a show with the word "diary" in the title, no diary was ever seen.

Too much Hollywood cool-aid

It would seem as if Dineo Ranaka, just like Nonhle Thema, drank too much of the Hollywood cool-aid. Dineo Ranaka seems to believe her own hype and comes across as having a huge sense of self-entitlement. She can be late for 90 minutes without consequences for her unprofessional behaviour, but when her boyfriend is late she gets upset and starts with emotional manipulation. What an unrealistic portrayal of a South African businesswoman.

Dineo Ranaka's fake pretension shines through when she remarks "I don't like being in the media". Yet she says it in a reality show in which she is willingly the star, while she is showcasing her boyfriend, her child and showing viewers how she fights in front of her boy, cursing and with doors being slammed.

'He grates my tits'

Dineo's Diary has little respect for the TV audience. Utterances like Dineo saying "he friggin grates my tits" - talking about her boyfriend - shows the type of person Vuzu has really decided to put on the air. One wonders what her toddler son, casually included in the glare of the reality cameras, will think one day when he watches mommy trying to be a reality TV star. Or what goes through his mind when he sits next to mommy when she fights with the family and uses the ''F" word as cameras capture it all. A real classy mom, this one!

Dineo's Diary edits Dineo to come across as an angry black woman either fighting, being passively aggressive, pondering what wig she'll be wearing next, or crying. How Vuzu can think this is uplifting entertainment to show to viewers, truly boggles the mind.

Dineo's Diary is boring television with no redeeming qualities and shows the dangers when a broadcaster decides to keep indulging ego-obsessed personalities with badly produced reality shows which are nothing but empty calories for viewers.

Dineo's Diary airs on Vuzu (DStv channel 123) on Wednesdays at 19:30.

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