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New on TV today: Wednesday 14 December

Written by Shows Editor from the blog New Shows and Seasons on 14 Dec 2022
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Tom Swift

Channel: 1Magic (DStv 103)
TX Time: 20h30
Genre: Mystery, Drama

Tom Swift

As an exceptionally brilliant inventor with unlimited resources and unimaginable wealth, the devilishly charming Tom Swift is a man who many men would kill to be, or be with – a man with the world in the palm of his hand.

But that world gets shaken to its core after the shocking disappearance of his father, thrusting Tom into a breathtaking adventure full of mysterious conspiracies and unexplained phenomena.

On his whirlwind quest to unravel the truth, Tom finds himself fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale cabal hellbent on stopping him.

Tackling this treacherous pursuit armed with his vast intellect, his roguish wit, and an endless supply of designer sneakers, he will also rely on his closest companions.

These include his best friend Zenzi, whose unabashed and unvarnished candour keeps Tom grounded while she forges a path for herself as a business visionary.

Then there's his bodyguard Isaac, whose fierce commitment to his chosen family is complicated by his own simmering feelings for Tom.

And finally there's his AI, Barclay (voiced by Star Trek star LeVar Burton), whose insights and tough love have been a constant throughout Tom's life.

At home, Tom's relationship with his mother Lorraine becomes conflicted as she urges him to take his father's place in elite Black society.

But unbeknownst to Tom, his mother's request is driven by deep secrets of her own.

What's more, the mysterious and dangerous Rowan intersects Tom's path with hidden motivations and undeniable mutual chemistry.

While Tom navigates these emotionally-charged dynamics, his missions will require his genius and his flair for innovation guided by romance, friendship and the mysteries of the universe yet unsolved.

The character of Tom Swift was originally introduced to audiences in Season 2 of Nancy Drew.

The series is inspired by the Tom Swift book series.
 

This Is Pop

Channel: S3
TX Time: 21h00
Genre: Documentary Series, Music

This Is Pop

From Auto-Tune to boy bands to the rise of country pop, this documentary series dives deep into some of the most pivotal moments in pop music history over the past seven decades.

The eight-part docuseries features exclusive interviews with the biggest names in music – including Shania Twain, Boyz II Men, and T-Pain – and explores their impact on the industry and pop culture.

Each episode has one common goal: to look at how these seminal moments unfolded, and left long-lasting legacies on pop music and culture which continue until today.

The eight game-changing moments that This is Pop explores are:

Auto-Tune

Love it or hate it, Auto-Tune has changed pop music.

From Cher's "Believe" to Kanye West's "Love Lockdown," the sound has penetrated the globe and revolutionised music since its invention in 1997.

Some say the pitch-correction technology has ruined music, while others have found fame by using the tool creatively.

Tracing Auto-Tune's roots to predecessors like the synthesizer, the good, the bad, and the ugly of this game-changing technology is revealed, grounded in a personal account of Auto-Tune's most famous user, T-Pain.

Hail Britpop!

Britpop. The word can elicit an eye roll, an itch to get on the dance floor, or a sudden urge to cry and sing "Wonderwall."

In the early '90s, when America was hooked on grunge, The Brits retaliated with a return to catchy, witty and downright fun pop, speaking to their own stories and cultural roots.

This musical zeitgeist known as "Britpop" went far behind the headlines of "Oasis vs. Blur" – bands like Elastica, Echobelly, Pulp, Lush and Suede became international exports with a unique sound.

With musical scenes in both London and Manchester, Britpop was the "perfect storm" of creative songwriting, eclectic personalities and cultural forces behind some of the catchiest tunes on the planet.

Stockholm Syndrome

Since 1974, when a little-known group named ABBA won Eurovision's song contest with their track "Waterloo," Sweden has been a global force in exporting pop music.

Cassette players and bedroom walls have been filled with the likes of Roxette, Ace of Base and Robyn, and '90s playlists featuring Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC would be obsolete without the work of Swedes Denniz Pop and Max Martin.

Today, Swedish producers and songwriters continue to be the powerhouses behind the biggest pop stars.

Featuring interviews with ABBA's Benny Andersson, Ace of Base's Ulf Ekberg and The Backstreet Boys' Brian Littrell, this episode explores how one Scandinavian country came to dominate global pop music.

The Boyz II Men Effect

Before Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and 98 Degrees, there was a "boy band" from Philadelphia called Boyz II Men that ruled the charts.

With their incredible vocal harmonies and preppy-cool style, Boyz II Men became the soundtrack to our lives with hits like "End of The Road", "I'll Make Love To You", "Motown Philly," and "One Sweet Day" – heard at weddings, proms, karaoke bars and funerals alike.

Going back to the band's humble beginnings in Philadelphia, this episode pays homage to the influential R&B group who set the template for '90s boy bands.

When Country Goes Pop

It's a tale as old as time – a country song goes "pop" and country music fans protest.

From Dolly Parton to Shania Twain to Lil Nas X, the scrutiny around what makes a song "country" has been a raging debate that shows no signs of slowing down.

Featuring renowned Canadian musician Orville Peck, pivotal and controversial moments of the Country Pop genre are examined in this instalment, as artists including Brandi Carlile and Twain herself share their stories to help demonstrate why country music has such a fetish with authenticity.

The Brill Building in 4 Songs

New York City's Brill Building and pop music go together like bread and butter, or in this case, like King n' Goffin, Leiber n' Stoller, or Barry n' Kim.

In the 1950s and 60s, songwriters, record producers and wannabe pop stars flocked to 1619 Broadway in New York with dreams of churning out the next big hit.

Full of small rooms with upright pianos, The Brill Building was labelled a "song-factory", but its true spirit grew out of a community that collaborated and challenged each other to achieve greatness.

The result would culminate in an incredible musical era known as The Brill Building Sound and would define pop music to this day, delivering hits like "Leader of The Pack," "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," and "Sugar Sugar."

What Can a Song Do?

For decades, musicians have been using music as their weapon of choice against social injustice, discrimination and marginalisation.

From Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" to Kendrick Lamar's "Alright," a song is one of the most powerful ways to transmit a message to a large audience.

This episode explores the idea that music actually be a catalyst for change, with musicians like Chuck D, Arlo Guthrie, and Hozier sharing their unique approach to writing about injustice.

Festival Rising

There is no rite of passage quite like the music festival.

Millions of people attend them each year and now more than ever they infiltrate our culture from "festival wear" clothing lines to playlists.

Taking a journey from '60s counterculture to modern-day "selfie" culture, the evolution of the music festival is explored to examine deeper ideas about the importance of collective experiences, and they act as a cultural mirror that reflect interests and ideals.

Focusing on some of the most iconic festivals in history including Monterey Pop, Glastonbury, The US Festival, Woodstock 99, and Bonnaroo, accounts from Jefferson Airplane's Jack Casady, Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, and Bloc Party's Kele Okereke bring to life to all the sights and sounds of the pop festival.
 

Don't Pick Up The Phone

Channel: Netflix South Africa
TX Time: 10h00 (all episodes)
Genre: True Crime, Documentary Series

Don't Pick Up The Phone

This docuseries follows the investigation into a hoax caller who talked managers into strip-searching employees at fast food businesses across the US.
 

The Renovator

Channel: HGTV (DStv 177)
TX Time: 21h00
Genre: Reality Makeover, Home Improvement, Reality

The Renovator

Entrepreneur, designer and television personality Marcus Lemonis, who has made a career of fixing business chaos, will use his talents to improve families' lives and homes in The Renovator.

The series will follow Marcus tackling the business of home.

He identifies problems with their home, and through a series of honest conversations and activities framed by the design process, he will provide solutions for each family's physical surroundings and personal trials that will lead to spectacular reveals.

In the end, Marcus will get these houses in order - leaving families better connected and living in a beautifully renovated and functional home.

The series premiere will follow Marcus to Orange Park, Florida, where he will help a family of six find solutions for their home's disorganised spaces, as well as its outdated style and cramped floor plan.

During the initial tour, Marcus will uncover the owners' very different household priorities and set out to resolve their tension through thoughtful design.

The three-bedroom house will be rearranged to better accommodate the kids, and the process will tear down both physical and emotional walls.

A dramatic backyard makeover completes the improvements, as the small home gets turned into a neighbourhood showpiece.
 

Unmarried 3

Channel: Mzansi Magic (DStv 161)
TX Time: 21h30
Genre: Drama

Unmarried 3

Mjolo? It's complicated.

Especially in the age of social media fame and when you're a woman in her 20s, balancing finding yourself with finding Mr Right (or Mr Right-for-social-media), all the while hoping your real life keeps up with the one you're selling online.

That's the central theme of Season 3, which makes a return with a new cast, new storyline and new problems for its characters to tackle.

While the first two seasons dealt with women in their mid-to-late 30s navigating motherhood, romance and careers, Season 3 follows three friends in their 20s trying to survive the concrete jungle and all its predators.

This season explores what it means to be unmarried in your 20s in South Africa, from sexual liberation and the freedom to choose who you want to be with, to relationship statuses that range from 'just vibing' to polyamory.

It's a tough dating landscape, especially when relationships are put under social media scrutiny.

Dating in the millennial and Gen-Z pool is a dog-eat-dog world.

This season we meet social media darling Enzo (Khanya Mkangisa), proud troll Rea (Mapula Mafole) and Confidence (Florence Mokgatsi), who is the heart of the threesome's sometimes rocky friendship.

Other cast members this season include Kabelo Moalusi, Jesse Suntele and Lulu Hela.

TVSA Show Page: Unmarried 3
 

Power of Plants

Channel: Curiosity Channel (DStv 185)
TX Time: 19h00
Genre: Nature, Documentary

Power of Plants

Far from being passive or boring, plants have evolved a host of tricks to beat the elements, predators, and other plants.

Escaping Predators and the Elements

We think of plants as inanimate objects, but they are anything but.

Plants have cunning tricks, from shedding their leaves to producing antifreeze to escape the weather.

They will cover themselves in thorns and produce toxic chemicals to try and defend themselves from animals that want to eat them.

Race to Grow and Breed

Like animals, the lives of plants are a race to grow and breed, to make sure they leave a genetic legacy.

They must race to beat their communities to the best light spots or to make the most of short seasons.

And to breed some catapult offspring around the forest, some use the wind.
 

Power Book III: Raising Kanan

Channel: Me (DStv 115)
TX Time: 22h00
Genre: Drama, Period Drama

Power Book III: Raising Kanan

Set in South Jamaica, Queens, in 1991, Raising Kanan is a prequel to the original Power franchise.

It is a sprawling family drama that revolves around the coming of age of Kanan Stark; Ghost and Tommy's mentor, partner and adversary, who ultimately dies in a hail of gunfire in the eighth episode of Power's penultimate season.

When we catch up with Kanan here, he is the 15-year-old only child of Raquel "Raq" Thomas, a cocaine distributor with an emerging network of dealers across the city.

Much like the original Power, Raising Kanan explores themes of identity, violence and legacy, but it is also a deep dive into the very pathology of family; the unique, complicated and fraught dynamic between parent and child, mother and father, brother and sister.

In an increasingly fractious world, family often feels like the only refuge from all the divisiveness and discord and yet, at the same time, we often discover that it is those closest to us who betray us and our values most.

The first season of Raising Kanan is an exploration of these betrayals, the secrets and lies that accompany them and the ways in which they fester, metastasize and ultimately erupt.

The overarching theme of this first season is "You reap what you sow."

In other words, actions have consequences; betrayals are always uncovered; secrets are inevitably revealed; chickens come home to roost.

Every character in Raising Kanan is hiding something - from the world, from each other, from themselves.

And as the story unfolds, they each will have to grapple with the unintended and destructive consequences of the information they've hidden and withheld.

And while the ways in which these betrayals, secrets and lies reveal themselves will vary, one truth will remain constant: no one can be trusted and nothing is ever as it seems.

In the series premiere, "Back in the Day": It's 1991 in South Jamaica, Queens, and 15-year-old Kanan Stark is eager to join his family's growing drug business, led by his mother, "Raquel Raq" Thomas.
 

National Treasure: Edge of History

Channel: Disney+
TX Time: 00h01
Genre: Action, Adventure

National Treasure: Edge of History

This Disney+ Original series is an expansion of the National Treasure movie franchise told from the point of view of a young heroine, Jess - a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer in search of answers about her family - who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

Jess Valenzuela's life is turned upside down when an enigmatic stranger gives her a clue to a centuries-old treasure that might be connected to her long-dead father.

Jess has a knack for solving puzzles, and her skills are put to the test as she and her friends follow a series of clues hidden in American artifacts and landmarks.

But can Jess outsmart a black-market antiquities dealer in a race to find history's greatest lost treasure and unbury the truth about her family's past?
 

Kangaroo Valley

Channel: Netflix South Africa
TX Time: 10h00
Genre: Nature, Wildlife, Documentary

Kangaroo Valley

Journey to a secret valley in Australia, where a nervous baby kangaroo named Mala faces hungry dingoes and winter snows in this coming-of-age adventure.

Kangaroo Valley follows Mala as she learns what it takes to survive her incredible first year.

The odds are not in her favour: only one in five joeys make it to their first birthday.

Mala's greatest enemy is the dingo pack that stalks her family.

Among them is the young dingo, Miro, who turns out to be her greatest mentor.

Narrated by Succession star Sarah Snook.
 

Animal Senses

Channel: S3
TX Time: 17h00
Genre: Nature, Wildlife, Documentary

Animal Senses

In Animal Senses we trace the evolutionary history of all the senses, from tiny bacteria to the most advanced sensory organs in the animal kingdom.

It all started with chemoreception, the first sense that eventually developed into a sense of smell.

Sharks first started using chemoreception more than 400-million years ago.

Invertebrates and reptiles built on that powerful chemical sense.

Touch is used by some animals that have extra sensitive skin or whiskers to help them navigate their world.

Sight is one of the most important senses that animals use to find food.

We tell the evolution of the eye from its original source - fish eyes.

While hearing, the ability to feel vibrations in the air has been developed from early amphibians.

But hearing over land and in the water, is completely different, so animals had to adapt different types of ears to help with this.

 

Shows in this post: Unmarried



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