EARLY reviews are glowing, with YFM’s resident critic Yazz the Student comparing DAM to HBO’s The Outsider and saying the “eerie” and “unsettling” show feels “different to the South African television landscape.”
Fortress of Solitude similarly calls DAM “South Africa’s answer to Sharp Objects and The Outsider.” Reviewer Sergio Pereira praises DAM’s “outstanding production quality… It rivals any international production, and actually looks better than most of the Netflix shows that dominate the Top 10 list,” adding, “More importantly, the cast delivers an equally exceptional performance to rival the production quality and script. They suck you into this small town’s drama, as you fall in love with some, pity others, and detest only a few… you’d be a fool to sleep on this eight-part miniseries. It’s simply a must-watch show that promises to fester in your mind long after the credits roll.”
TV Mzansi says, “DAM is loaded with compelling performances and moments that will leave your skin crawling… From the very start, it promises to stand out from the TV pack.”
And GQ proclaims, “This new show is going to be seriously epic.”
Silwerskerm Best Actress winner Lea Vivier (Wonderlus, The Day We Didn’t Meet) stars as Yola, who returns from Chile to bury her estranged father. To her surprise, and her sister’s irritation, he’s left his farm to her, but this may be more of a curse than a blessing, as the house seems to be trying to tell her something. But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head?
“It’s a story of how you can only start rebuilding yourself once you have faced your inner demons,” says Vivier. “Yola has run away from her past but now she’s coming back to face her demons. She wants to understand why she is the way she is, which ultimately is a very powerful thing to do – and very brave.”
Vivier says she was careful to play Yola as broken but not weak. “One of the main themes of DAMis that there’s strength in vulnerability, and there’s strength in being open about being broken. Yola is anxious, and traumatised, but she’s also one of the most proactive characters in DAM.”
DAM’s all-star cast includes Neil Sandilands (The Flash, News Of The World), Natasha Loring (Beaver Falls), Gerald Steyn (Meisies Wat Fluit, Fiela Se Kind), SAFTA winner Siv Ngesi (Still Breathing, Knuckle City, Tali’s Baby Diary), SAFTA and DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award winner Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo (Baby Mamas, Unmarried, Our Perfect Wedding), Fiesta winners Tarryn Wyngaard (Noem My Skollie, Raised by Wolves) and Andre Odendaal (Swartwater, Dwaalster); Fleur du Cap winner and three-time SAFTA nominee Jennifer Steyn (Goodbye Bafana); and David James (District 9).
DAM, a Showmax Original made in partnership with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the Amathole District Municipality and Picture Tree, is one of a record three Showmax Originals launching this week: Kenyan police procedural Crime And Justice, a co-production with Canal+ International, also launched today, while the long-awaited second season of the SAFTA-winning comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary launches on Friday.