All good guys get killed off
Soapies work on a sense of familiarity and empathy. Most of us relate to decent characters, fallible perhaps but with basic integrity.
They become our "friends", the ones we root for, while the baddies are a necessary evil, there to create the drama.
But with the revamp of Isidingo too many of the characters we've come to know and love have been sidelined or axed and the baddies outweigh the goodies.
Goodies Harriet (Grethe Fox) and the endearingly annoying Maggie (Karin van der Laag), have vanished, while Parsons (Tshepo Maseko), Priya (Leeanda Reddy), Rajesh (Jack Devnarain), Vusi (Meshack Mavuso) and Daniel (Stephen van Niekerk) have been shoved into the sidelines.
Eddie Holmes (Paul Buckby), Frank (Kevin Smith), Lolly (Kim Englebrecht) and Ma Agnes' (Keketso Semoko) roles have shrunk and three likeable Le Rouxs are history.
So who are we left with?
The Le Roux family has been replaced by the filthy rich Sibekos, a pretty rotten bunch apart from Nikiwe (Linda Sokhulu): Jefferson (Vusi Kunene) will even pull a fast one on his niece, his wife Katlego (Kgomotso Christopher) is pure evil and his late son Sifiso (Katlego Ramaphakela) was an obsessive sociopath;
The evil Benjamin (Arno Marais) is the only Le Roux who still has a reasonable profile.
Skhumbuzo (Sisa Hewana) is a spineless ladies man;
Eddie's daughter Charlie's (Jay Anstey) sweet young flesh is exploited for all it's worth;
The scaly Sechaba (Motlatsi Mafatshe) is always trying to pull a fast one, while his selfish dad Zebedee (Mlangeni Nawa) is hanging in;
Papa G (Darlington Michaels) and the shebeen folk offer some light relief, though the sinister Slu is an ominous presence;
Cherel's back after a short break, along with Len's drug-pushing bro; and
Barker (Robert Whitehead) and Kimberly (Marisa Drummond) will be back.
Of the sympathetic characters:
Forever victim Ayanda (Letoya Mangezi) is drugging again;
Bianca Booysens (Kim Cloete) has lost her moral compass and common sense; and
Frank suddenly became an alcoholic, while his son Calvin - who had morphed into a decent young man - got into a sleazy affair with Katlego;
At least the loveable Prada (Ashish Gangapersad) is a beacon of light, while Len (Chris Beasley) has evolved into a decent chap.
Isidingo has always reflected the checks and balances of Mzansi life pretty well, with a good mix of ordinary and exotic, rich and poor...
But now, with the bad guys outweighing the good guys and some of the good guys turning into wusses, all this soapie tells me is that I live in a society in which the majority of folk are selfish, nasty, sleazy people.
The opening title sequence says it all - it's been sexed and blinged up to reflect a sex-crazed, greedy and status-driven society.
I don't know about you, but I don't watch soapies to get despondent.
I've given up the show for Lent and I doubt whether I'll switch on again after Easter.