For reasons that I’m not entirely sure can’t be attributed to an impending alien invasion, South Africans have developed a bit of a frenzy for food-orientated reality TV shows. It started off slowly with Come Dine with Me SA, grew into a full-blown obsession with MasterChef Australia, and imploded on itself with the as-yet unimpressive MasterChef South Africa. But besides frequently doing some really weird shit with strange ingredients, these shows have had one major thing in common: they take themselves just a leetle bit too seriously (MasterChef is definitely the main culprit here).
Enter Mike Sharman and the Dream Team from Retroviral, who pretty much do everything but take themselves too seriously. In keeping with a fast-growing reputation for pushing out wildly popular viral content, they’ve just unleashed a brand-spanking-new offering on behalf of food and lifestyle brand Nomu: the Half Arsed-a Chef . Spoofing everyone’s favourite “reality” TV culinary competition, the video effectively takes the piss out of everything (and everyone) it can, and comes out grinning on the other side.
Retroviral definitely knows its stuff when it comes to creating content that practically shares itself, and this one is no different. Particularly as, in addition to being hilarious (the opening credits, set to the tune of Katy Perry’s “Hot ‘n Cold”, had me in stitches), the piece also cleverly has buy-in from major players in the online and cultural space – expect not-so-thought-provoking cameos from comedian Siv Ngesi, Arno Carstens, and (oddly), the Madam of the Western Cape herself, Helen Zille.
*runs and hides from the wrath of Helen’s cursed Twitter wand*
But seriously, it’s a lot of fun, particularly as the “contestants” are given the ultimate South African challenge of constructing a ‘boerie tower’ (spoiler alert: few of the entries actually resemble a tower, although the “Alsatian” speaks for itself). But what I love most about it is that, if whispers around the interwebz are to be believed, we can expect more episodes in the series – it is a reality show, after all. I foresee much YouTube watching in my future …
Half Arsed-a Chef – hitting a Twitter feed near you soon (you can count on it).