If Ferguson Films isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when I mention Igazi, The Queen and Rockville then you have been wasting your TV time on the wrong shows.
Not only are Connie and Shona Ferguson #goals in every way, but they have managed to build and maintain a large audience with each of the shows they have developed and produced for DSTV channel Mzansi Magic.
It took no less than two episodes of their latest show, The Queen, to see exactly what their secret was; compelling storylines with plot twists big enough to rival the bombs dropped by Shondaland producers and scriptwriters.
I was sold on the show after I watched the first episode but I didn’t want to be too hasty about declaring my fandom so I waited until the second episode to tweet the hell out of the official hashtag #TheQueenMzansi.
I guess I have the script-writing team (made up of Gwydion Beynon and Phathu Makwarela, Lebogang Mogashoa and Duduzile Mabaso) to thank for all those plot twists and “oh shit” moments which began before the show’s opening credits even rolled.
The anticipation leading up to the The Queen on Mzansi Magic was palpable but the fan response was proof that none of us could have ever expected what Ferguson Films (along with producers Lauren Nell and Amanda Quwe) managed to deliver.
In addition to the gripping story line, viewers have fallen in love with the wardrobe, the set design, the cinematography and the cast – which features a mix of seasoned talent and fresh faces such as Natasha Tahane and Katlego ‘Kat’ Mohuaduba.
Viewers were also incredibly excited to see Connie star alongside Sello Maake-ka Ncube as his sister (reminiscent of the type of duo they last played during their time on Generations as Karabo and Archie Moroka). While some argue that Harriet could be described as a more gangster version of Karabo Moroka, Sello’s character, Kgosi, is a departure from that of Archie Moroka. The Queen see’s Sello playing the part of a middle-aged gay man – a portrayal which I find refreshing because I appreciate seeing variations of homosexuality shown on TV. Not just the over-the-top stereotypes that most straight male actors fall back on whenever they are required to play the part of a gay man.
*Fun fact: their daughter, Lesedi Matsunyanye Ferguson, worked on the project as cast coordinator.
The show is not without its criticism though, and from fellow producers and videographers nonetheless, but when a production house has managed to create a show that surpasses the viewership record set by one of the channel’s most successful shows, can you really dispute their winning formula?
I have yet to see the viewership numbers for The Queen but I can safely assume that it is doing quite well which hopefully means that Ferguson Films will provide us with more of the same in the near future. I also hope that this success in numbers translates into a few nominations and wins in the upcoming (2016/17) awards season.
As The Queen and Rockville wind down and come to a season one and season four close respectively, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll do with my time come 9pm.
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @mediagirl_za and let me know what you think of #The QueenMzansi