Sneak peek: the set of Absolute Woman

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 16 Nov 2009
Favourite this post

* Please note: the show changed name to Let's Chat... with Mel, after this first-look feature was originally published on 16 November 2009.

The name change was announced on Friday, 27 November 2009.
No-no - not Melanie Bala's but rather fashionista Dion Chang's - one of the first guests on Absolute Woman.

The new Melanie Bala talk show Absolute Woman premieres on M-Net Series in the new year - on Wednesday, 6 January 2010.

The show started filming the first episodes this month so that it's ready to debut after the holidays. Filming began with Episodes 2 and 3 and on Thursday (the 12th) the show recorded the first episode, which I caught as a member of the studio audience*.

The result ... these sneak peak pics of the set:

Dimly lit. Waiting for lights, camera ....

Mel and first-up guest Dion Chang in between takes, both flashing someone an: "OMG, we can't believe she's daring that."
The topic of the first episode: life choices.
Tashi: How do you come up with the topics? Are you involved in it all?
Mel: Yes I'm involved with the process - I didn't want to be the type of host who just arrives and gets the questions. I'm working with the production company (Clive Morris Productions), coming up with suggestions, putting forward contacts and we come up with the shows together.
Mel on set with another guest: actress Natasha Sutherland, who's just written a book about Life After Steve called Bittersweet. She was married to Steve 'I smack journalists' Hofmeyr for 10 years.

Other guests in the episode are: someone from an Earth organisation who's involved with eco-awareness and gives tips on how to go Green easily; and a Life Coach who sorts out a viewers' problems when it comes to the clutter in her life.

Between-us juice: After the Life Coach was on there was a break in filming so I went over to tell her about a friend of mine who has a Life Coach who ... get this ... couldn't see him the last time he needed her advice 'cos she was having a Life Crisis. True story, ha! 

Needless to say she wasn't impressed with either me or my friend's Coach.

Tashi: What are some of the other topics we can look forward to?
Mel: The first episode we filmed was about earth angels - people who are angels on earth. We chatted to a woman who's set up a house in Soweto for children, we look at how she's been an Earth Angel to them; and a story about another woman who helps her daughter through something very difficult.

Then the next episode's about style - so we have emotional shows and then lighter ones so there's real variety.  In the style episode we look at fashion, make-up, style tips and so on.
Mel on a break in between filming.

Tashi: Is there any topic that you definitely know you have to tackle?
Mel: The mommy-thing. In the sense that there's this whole thing about how mom's have to be perfect. Where everyone has an opinion on how to be the best mom. I'm a mom and the minute I had my kid other people were like: "Oh? You're giving him a bottle? *disapproving voice* Why?" Everyone tells you how to do it.
Lights dim as Mel wraps

*I was one of those peeps you see on Oprah: whoopingly getting giveaways. I scored:

1 x Natasha Sutherland book
1 x cellphone airtime in a box
1 x package of shower gel and cream by The Victoria Garden - eco-friendly. You could either get this pack or a body-scrub/body-butter combo ... you couldn't choose but you could swap afterwards. I didn't.

There are two rows of audience who sit on pink, purps and orange cushions.

The cam that stares up the audience's nostrils:

Actors in this post: Natasha Sutherland, Melanie Bala, Dion Chang

Shows in this post: Let's Chat... with Mel

Channels in this post: M-Net Series


16 Nov 2009 08:28

Interesting & Mel looks divine!!

16 Nov 2009 09:57

hao Tashi...u didn’t even give the sister heads up! U know I got some attachment to the show! It looks good though. I love the colors...But you dint say nothing bout Mel...We all ADORE her but is she good???Does she have the Oprah thing majika???

16 Nov 2009 14:01

! Hey Ms Dee - yes she's groovy - she very much gives the sense she gives in the pics. She's different from Oprah (and Noeleen thankfully!) - more chilled, with more of a sense of humour too I thought and also, she's contrasting - she ebbs and flows as the mood changes.

When she's asking questions there's the sense that it's all chatty - not like she's planned all the questions and can't stray from them - she really listens and goes deeper with the questions - obviously genuinely interested in what people have to say.

Also, she seems to assess herself  alot - that's the impression I got from her quips to the audience in between takes - so I imagine she's never going to reach a stage where she's going through the motions - as more episodes get filmed, I reckon she's gonna approach them from a fresh perspective each time type thing.

16 Nov 2009 14:14

Another interesting note that I've realised by contrasting different talk shows - it's clear from the show's set-up that there isn't gonna be any sort of atttempt to get guests on to make them cry. Like get them on to share their deepest, darkest secrets or things that really upset them just for the spectacle of it.

16 Nov 2009 15:12

16 Nov 2009 15:14

Mel is hot.What a smile she comes across as vary sincere.Go Mel go 

16 Nov 2009 15:30

I would hate to watch another Oprah, Tyra or Noleen for that matter.

i hope you're right Tashi, I do hope it's different

16 Nov 2009 15:42

It is GML - she doesn't try to be like anyone else, she just is. It's much more sincere to who she is than the Gareth Cliff Show is to Gareth. To me Gareth's been waaaaaaaaaaaay too stifled whereas with Mel she's more free - could also be the subject matter.

One thing though - now that I think about it - she could listen to her guests less, cut them off more so that she speaks more. NOT like Oprah who gives too much advice but to give herself more space to give her opinions and so on.

18 Nov 2009 10:01

You Go Mel. Big ups, looking forward to your show. Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only TVSA members can reply to this thread. Click here to login or register.


Skeem Saam Teasers - September 2022

Kat gets struck by gut wrenching betrayal and there's a battle of the sexes at the Grade 8 debate.

New on TV today: Friday 12 August

True drama Five Days at Memorial releases on Apple TV+ and comedy This Fool loads on Disney+.

Top Shows on TV: July 2022

No high note for Idols despite Somizi's comeback.

uBettina Wethu 2 Teasers - August 2022

Back! Get a taste of the opening episodes of the new season, starring a new cast.

Durban Gen Teasers - September 2022

Dhlomo turns Sne against Phumeza and there's a new superintendent. Who?

New on TV today: Thursday 11 August

Mystery series Holding starts on BritBox and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills return to 1Magic.

Die Put 2 Teasers - August 2022

Back! A first look at what to expect when Die Put returns to eExtra once Die Binnekring ends.

Scandal! Teasers - September 2022

Javas crosses a line, detective Dintle investigates and "off-limits" becomes a turn on.

New on TV today: Wednesday 10 August

Netflix builds you an Instant Dream Home as Curiosity investigates Super Slime.

New on TV today: Tuesday 9 August

Gentleman Jack returns on M-Net and I Just Killed My Dad drops on Netflix.


More activity at TVSA Central




You browser doesn't have Flash, Silverlight, Gears, BrowserPlus or HTML5 support.