Boring Listing Cape Town - too much glossy brochure with too little heart

Written by Tashi from the blog Tashi's TV on 16 May 2024
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What a yawnfest! BBC Lifestyle's Listing Cape Town is radically different from what I imagined it is - or what it could and should be.

I caught Wednesday's episode of Season 2 to see The Bachelor South Africa's Marc Buckner who was billed as being in it as a buyer. Of course I was quizzy to see where he gets so much moolah considering Season 1 bachelor Lee Thompson went through a homeless stint.

But my question wasn't answered and the only conclusion I could reach is that Marc doesn't have R28-million to buy the place he viewed and might rent it for R50,000 a month.

He made no commitments and just sort of grunted and "mmm'd" his way through the properties he looked at, agreeing with everything the estate agent said. By the end I wondered if he was featured simply to promote the episode or if he actually wanted a property because I didn't trust the show.

The worst part was that they wouldn't say how Marc is known. When he was introduced he was referred to as a "TV celebrity" with no mention of The Bachelor, as if mentioning an M-Net show is advertising "the enemy".

It was ridiculous because loads of viewers wouldn't know this important piece of information about him and it's a key perspective to have.

His scenes were extremely disappointing but not a surprise by the time they arrived towards the end of the episode because they were symptomatic of the whole show which drags on and on, with no reality TV component to it at all.

To prepare for Marc's appearance I watched Episode 5 two weeks ago because I wanted to get a sense of the series, which I haven't watched before. That episode had the exact same problems: no drama, no humour, not a moment of tension, NO heart.

Just talking heads selling properties in a glorified brochure, walking at the same pedantic pace from one room to the next.

It's like watching the property tour videos on Property 24 except those are better because they're much shorter. The Listing Cape Town ones don't stop and the way the agents sell to each other is highly annoying.

Hardly any buyers are featured and I couldn't believe it when I saw that they take each other for staged tours around the houses, and speak to each other in brochure speak with no authentic, actual chatty conversation between them.

There are no dynamics in the relationships between them, they don't speak to each other realistically and there's no human interest factor in how they’re portrayed.

They don't argue, they don't express diversity of emotion, we don't see their challenges or victories or losses, they just plug the properties, in the properties.

We don't see them connecting with each other outside of selling or in any real world context. We should join them as they sit having coffee or drinks after a long day expressing their true selves and their genuine experiences. Instead we see them sipping champagne on rooftops in the same staged pics you see in real estate ads.

This lack of human connection permeates throughout the show, including the actual properties. Only one owner and one family relation of an owner was featured in the episodes that I watched but they were also superficial and bland.

The big empty properties with no-one in them and no perspective on the souls who've lived there makes the show feel cold and overly materialistic. It's all very well to showcase the schmancy homes and furniture, but what do they mean without the people in them? People and their stories bring context and meaning and this doesn’t exist.

We should be meeting the owners selling the properties, hear their story, share their memories, explore the photos on their walls, understand the emotional landscape of their lives in the property and why they're leaving.

I understand that buyers might not want to be a featured but it should be a requirement of being a seller on the show: if your property is featured you need to be in it. You need to want to be on the show.

Otherwise it's nothing more than an advertorial targeted at a minority of people who can afford the homes instead of TV viewers who want to watch a captivating TV series. 

Also, they only reveal the price of the property after you've already zoned out through the long tours. It should be done before, giving you have a clear idea of its value beforehand so you can see if you can work out why it's priced as it is.

You'd stay more engaged as they show you the next bathroom with a loo in the bedroom. If nothing else, the episodes should be cut by half!

Rather than that though, the show needs a dramatic overhaul because right now it makes you feel how you feel after watching the documentary Life After People. As if the human spirit has disappeared.


Actors in this post: Marc Buckner, Lee Thompson

Channels in this post: BBC Lifestyle, M-Net


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