Written in the stars: 5 reasons to binge-watch Dwaalster

26 April 2019

Written in the stars: 5 reasons to binge-watch Dwaalster

All 13 episodes of Dwaalster can be streamed on Showmax, centring on the community living in fictional Karoo town Maanhaarsdrif, a dorp with colourful characters living under a canopy of constellations in the clear night skies.

And with top local actors like Tinarie van Wyk-Loots, June van Merch, Albert Maritz and Jacques Bessenger, it’s pure quality entertainment with a storyline that’s never been done in Afrikaans.

Things in Maanhaarsdrif aren’t as peaceful and quiet as they seem at first glance. The locals have a weird obsession with the moon and stars. There is town mayor Ivy (June van Merch) who lives for her rugby games, and there’s something weird about couple Luan and Ruan (Neels van Jaarsveld and Terrence Bridgette). They own the Piering Hotel and really go out of their way to lure guests to their pozzie. Like, really out of their way…

Dwaalster is on Showmax

Amid the shooting stars and strange occurrences, Dwaalster focusses on what exactly happened with Annabel (Tinarie van Wyk-Loots). She fled from the Mother City to her hometown Maanhaarsdrif after she exposed a corruption case and her life was in danger. But the little dorpie isn’t the complete haven that this investigative journalist hoped it would be.

The eerie undercurrent in town is more tangible when you binge the series. It gives you a clearer picture of the dynamics between the characters and the role the skies play in their lives.

Here are five of the quirky and creepy details that will make more sense if you watch one episode after the other…

1. Tannie Lettie’s Milky Way milk tarts

Tannie Lettie (Joanie Combrink) is the local agony aunt. She’s BFFs with mayor Ivy and owns the local home industry store. She can read tea leaves, but her main talent is baking the extraordinary number of milk tarts that she sells daily. And she decorates her Milky Way milk tarts, as she calls them, with the faces of aliens in cinnamon – but why?

2. Gina the deaf waitress

Gina (Tarryn Wyngaard) is a deaf waitress who serves her patrons at the Piering Hotel on rollerskates.

“Gina doesn’t stay in one place for long,” says Tarryn, but she seems content in Maanhaarsdrif.

In episode 3 we learn more about her background when a motorcycle club roars into town – one of the bikers is her ex Charlie (Albert Pretorius), also an avid star gazer. He wants to reconcile with her, but Gina doesn’t see a future for them written in the stars.

3. Stian and Annabel’s budding romance

Annabel is surprised to find that her first love is also back in town. Stian (Jacques Bessenger) moved back to Maanhaarsdrif after living in Canada for years, returning to take over his dad’s medical practice.

“And there is still a strong bond between Annabel and Stian,” hints Jacques.

(If you like their chemistry, also watch drama series Fynskrif, where Tinarie and Jacques play husband and wife).

4. Stian’s skilful brush strokes

Stian is just as skilled with a paintbrush as with a scalpel. In each episode, he invites one of the residents to his house so they can sit for a portrait. But that’s not something Jacques can do in real life. “I’m creative and I can make collages, but I can’t do magic with a brush like Stian,” Jacques admits.

When he read the script, it tickled his imagination. “I was immediately captured and couldn’t put it down. Dwaalster tests your imagination and that’s precisely what I experienced when I read it.”

5. Children mysteriously drowning during full moon

While in hiding, Annabel’s journalistic detective senses urge her to investigate the bizarre drowning of children that has been happening for years in the otherwise placid town. She knows first-hand how devastating it was – she lost her childhood friend Willem to a water death.

Willem’s mom Tannie Lettie still mourns his passing. Annabel tries to figure out a pattern or a link between the drownings and it seems like the moon may have something to do with it. More specifically the blood moon…

Start watching now »

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