Every now and then, the TV world is graced with a show that redefines the game. Imagine my surprise to discover a homegrown gem from Showmax with enough flair to shake up the scene. Spinners (which launches in November) isn’t just a nod to Mzansi with its local vibes and tales; it’s the kind of story that’s gonna have international movie bigwigs sitting up and taking notes.
Let’s not front, South Africa’s ad game has been tight for ages, bagging global recognition and awards like it’s child’s play. But when it comes to the film scene, it’s been a different story. No lack of talent, just a bunch of hurdles – budget issues, and the like – keeping our filmmakers from reaching those heights.
But enter Spinners, the brainchild of Showmax and Canal+ with Ramadan Suleman on the production end. This eight-part rollercoaster of a series manages to stay rooted in South African soil, but its tales? They’re universal. Spinners isn’t just about spinning rubber on tarmac; it’s a narrative that’s gonna click with peeps from Jozi to Japan.
At the heart of this tale is 17-year-old Ethan, played by the talented Cantona James. The young gun is trying to steer clear of Cape Town’s notorious gang scene using spinning, the very dangerous, adrenalin-pumping motorsport. Think high-speed driving, but with a twist – stunts that’ll have you gasping, like drivers leaning out windows or chilling on rooftops — you know, the stuff our youngsters find themselves doing over weekends.
Marrying elements of gritty gang tales with the thrills of a sports drama, Spinners is a masterclass in storytelling. It’s got all the right ingredients: a fire cast, visuals that are on-point, and writing that’s sharper than a blade. This is what local TV should be like — every shot and every scene crafted for cinematic magic.
Furthermore, the narrative isn’t just a far-off story. These characters are our neighbours and our friends and the stories we come across in the dailies. Ethan’s struggles hit close to home. We feel his pain. We are completely engaged in his journey from beginning to end.
That said, keep an eye out for Elton Landrew’s Damien, the gangster with a soft side. The word on the street is that this role is set to skyrocket him to stardom, snagging awards left, right, and centre. And it’s easy to see why. Landrew steals every scene he is in.
Props also goes out to Brendon Daniels, Braeden Buys and Chelsea Thomas, whose top-notch acting takes Spinners up a notch. This isn’t just a show; it’s a journey – raw, thrilling, and filled with messages for our young ones in SA. Spinners is the real deal, and it’s telling Mzansi’s stories like they deserve to be told.
I’m reluctant to say it, but it has to be said: This is South Africa’s Breaking Bad. It’s just that good.