TV REVIEW: Tropika Island of Treasure is worth watching

2017-04-03 17:02

Johannesburg - The local reality competition Tropika Island of Treasure returns for a seventh season after having channel-hopped from to SABC1 and eventually finding a home on SABC3.

Finally, the Clover-sponsored programme is looking and feeling like a proper aspirational reality competition.

Make no mistake, Tropika Island of Treasure Seychelles is still filled with product placement, but the extreme hard-sell element has been diluted through a crafty and dramatic improvement in the overall production value and tone of the show.

The storyline and set design is much better, so the show will be something viewers can actually enjoy – unlike previous seasons, which felt like one long infomercial.

Instead of dry and one-dimensional contestants, Tropika Island of Treasure Seychelles contestants have energy, purpose and direction as they team up with celebrities including actor/musician Anga Makubalo; comedian Siv Ngesi; actors Maurice Paige, Zakeeya Patel and Jessica Nkosi; and musicians NaakMusiQ, Karlien van Jaarsveld and Emtee to win the R1m grand prize.

Watch the trailer here:

Better editing, games and challenges, as well as drone shots of the beautiful ocean, contestants with interesting backstories, the addition of a taskmaster, a heightened infusion of drama mixed with reality and a more sophisticated on-air look make this competition more like the original Survivor than an amateur show filmed on a handycam in grandma’s garden.

In fact, an experienced game show construction consultant, who had previously worked on reality competition Survivor, worked on this new season.

Much of the credit should go to the executive producers, Patience Stevens and Bradley van den Berg of Cardova Productions. Lars Schwinges directed the series and was also in charge of post-production.

Instead of the slog it used to be to watch, the minutes will now whisk by.

TV host Minnie Dlamini doesn’t just stand around looking good, but feels present as the host of this season. A true professional, she manages to hold back her big personality and doesn’t overshadow the main focus – the contestants.

Similarly, the addition of Top Billing’s Jonathan Boynton-Lee as taskmaster was a genius move to bolster the style and production value of the show.

Tropika Island of Treasure Seychelles manages to look and feel like an enticing, beautifully filmed travel video one would find on screens at travel agencies – it’s not selling a hard product this time, but an experience and a dream.

After almost a decade on our screens, island-made television is finally where it’s supposed to be!

Catch Tropika Island of Treasure Mondays at 19:30 on SABC3 (DStv 193).

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