SPOTLIGHT | Another turn for 'Mean Girls'; inventive 'Poor Things' is a wild ride; streaming platform offers variety

Tina Fey adds new twist to hilarious comedy, while Emma Stone garners awards for Yorgos Lanthimos's imaginative and odd fantasy; stream local and international shows from African platform Viva Nation TV

18 January 2024 - 13:54
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Spotlight is our entertainment bite-sized snapshot featuring new entertainment releases in SA, exclusive film trailers and much more. New episodes are out every Thursday on Sunday Times Lifestyle, Sowetan Entertainment and on YouTube, plus you can follow Spotlight on Facebook.

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Spotlight kicks off the new year full of inspiration and excitement. This week’s episode has awards buzz, sees the return of some Mean Girls and has a smorgasbord of entertainment options to stream on Viva Nation TV.

On at cinemas is Mean Girls, yet another twist on the modern musical teen comedy classic from the comedic mind of Tina Fey. It is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on the 2004 comedy film, both of which were written by Fey.

Starring Angourie Rice, Auli’I Cravalho and Christopher Briney, the 2024 version also has Renee Rapp, Tina Fey and Tim Meadows reprising their roles from the original film. It’s a hilarious portrayal of the social food chain of an elite group, the “popular girls”, called the Plastics and, of course, their queen bee.

If you have your eye on the cinema award season, then Poor Things is a welcome arrival. It is a strange, fantastical tale of a woman resurrected from her death by suicide by an eccentric doctor, but not entirely as herself as her brain is swapped for an infant's, and she must learn to navigate the world again. She runs off with a lawyer on a series of wild adventures which expose her to hedonistic behaviour and liberating life lessons. As she is free from the prejudices of her time, she gladly absorbs these as her intelligence matures and grows.

It has already won Emma Stone the Golden Lion, Critics' Choice and Golden Globe awards as lead actress in a movie. The film, by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite, The Lobster), is scooping up multiple other accolades and co-stars Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley.

The growing platform of Viva Nation TV offers exclusive and original local content to sink your streaming teeth into. Some highlights include Tastemakers, following the lives of fashion designer Craig Jacobs and culture guru Emmanuel Tjiya as they mingle with rich and famous A-listers while attending and curating the “It” events and launches around the country.

Also streaming on Viva Nation TV is the popular local series On the Couch with Taz, with Taz the clairvoyant guiding various personalities and delving into local matters of interest. Other original options include the three-part docuseries Catching Rosemary, Crime Time (Thabo Bester: Dead Man Running episode) and Sexology. To access this platform, you can register on

Next week a bold new take on a beloved classic will hit the big screen with the arrival of musical drama The Color Purple. To celebrate this iconic film, an exclusive by-invitation-only women's event and pre-screening will be hosted on Wednesday January 24 at MonteCasino, which promises a day of great networking with the industry's leading businesswomen and influencers. You stand a chance to be at that event, as we’re giving away 3X double tickets. Go to Spotlight South Africa on Facebook to find out how you can win.

For full interviews, breaking news, trailers and clips, visit our Spotlight Facebook page. See you at the movies!

Presenter Collette Prince is styled and dressed by Claris by Gerrit Pienaar when attending premieres and special events.

Facebook @Claris by Gerrit Pienaar/Instagram: gerritpienaardesigns.

Competition giveaway: Movie hampers up for grabs

This week we’re giving away Mean Girls movie merchandise hampers.

To stand in line to win, answer the competition questions via the Spotlight Facebook page, and DM your answers and contact details by January 25 2024.

Terms and conditions apply.

Winners will be drawn randomly and notified by SMS after the competition has closed. Entrants’ personal details will not be retained for marketing purposes. Winners have to provide proof of age (ID/driver’s licence) and cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. By entering participants agree to have their names published on TimesLIVE, SowetanLIVE and Spotlight South Africa on Facebook. Employees of Arena Holdings and their family members are not eligible to enter.

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