Today was a difficult day. For a lot of us. The husband of a longtime (and way underappreciated!) South African TV writer and critics sadly passed away in the very early hours of this morning. It's very hard when someone you share a history with and who is a joy in life, hurts. And this hurts a lot.
Robert - the dearly beloved
husband of Genevieve Terblanche
who is a TV writer, soap gossip getter and all-round true true
lover of all things television at tvplus
magazine - very sadly and unexpectedly passed away in the early hours of this morning from possibly a heart attack in his sleep.
To say that publishers, editors, assistant editors, TV critics and writers, publicists and longtime friends across South Africa were shocked when they heard the news early this morning would be an understatement. Gen truly loved that man, that I can tell you. And a lot of people love Gen, which makes the news of her husband's very unexpected passing very difficult news.
When I was at tvplus
magazine as senior writer and later news editor I would
often daily hourly
run to Gen's desk to share a latest TV titbit, scoop or story.
There really is
a place, and there really do
exist people, where you show up at work (imagine!) in the mornings and you talk about Bold
and Brooke and whatever TV shows and the characters in TV shows as if they really exist. It never grew old for me.
You talk about them on a first name basis as if they're our friends (because, actually, they are) and you talk about them with people like Gen. Because she truly gets it. Gen knows them all, and she knows what they've done and what they're going to do and she loves them, and I love her for loving that.
Gen loves and have seen every single episode of Star Trek The Next Generation
. In the same vein we cannot wait for the start of Honey Boo Boo
on TLC in March because we're not above trash. We're about television.
In the half a decade I've spent at tvplus
magazine, that woman was a veritable fountain of news about television and full of laughter and excitement about all of it. I would get to work in the morning to hurry over and tell her that fat-again Sammy is having Austin's baby, secretly impregnated by aliens!
Gen would just smile, because not only does she know it already, she already chucked stuff of pages, have downloaded exclusive photos, tossed copy out on page 56 and the new copy and gossip was already on the page. It never seized to amaze me.
Besides our love for television, Gen and I also share an oh so crazy delight in (and we had many laughs) TV Guide
magazine adverts. The overseas magazines about television came to the office for our perusal (an awesome
but now gone perk). TV Guide
has schmaltzy trinkets, often adorned with fake jewellery bedazzling that takes your breath away. Oh what would the world be without Zarconite!
What's not to love about a gold-plated porcelain plate of a Native American boy praying on a cliff at nightime with stars above as smoke rises from a wigwam in the background and a true and guaranteed real cubic zarconium "star of Bethlehem" in the sky above? (Easy payments of $1,99 over 88 months, customer satisfaction guaranteed - unless you want a figurine and not a plate).
Or baby dolphins jumping and leaping for joy in the moonlight on faux crystal waves? During work Gen and I would constantly make jokes or reference those trash trinkets and honestly just be amazed at what adverts every new issue had inside it.
If you love television and like to read about it in South Africa, chances are you've read something Genevieve Terblanche
wrote, got an answer to something television because she asked it,
are get quality All My Children
information (because she loves
that soap!) or just know more about the medium because she demands to know more and then tells about it.
Thank you Gen for loving television. Thank you for always, always
getting excited about it. For knowing about it. For being as curious as I am when we run into each other at press junkets for shows and channels and launches and laughing hysterically when we hear that Honey Boo Boo
and her pet pig Glitzy is finally coming to South African TV screens.
I'm incredibly sorry for your loss. A lot of people really deeply are. I don't have words. Not even really great Honey Boo Boo
ones. But a lot of people are thinking of you, and we're really sorry and sad and distraught at your loss. You're in our hearts.