Saturday, December 16, 2006

Indon drama copycats

Indon drama copycats
(long entry)

Just how many of you Singaporeans out there manage to get Indonesian tv channels at home?? How many channels???

I manage to get Indosiar, STV, TPI, RCTI, SCTV & Trans (I live on a high level, you see).

It's such a delight, I know. And Indonesians just LOOOVVVEEE watching their tv (or nongkrong as they call it), don't they?

If you notice, there's a pattern as to the timing and the kind of shows shown. Gossip shows and mega soap-dramas in the day when only the housewives are home, cartoons in the afternoon when the kids are back from schools. And news when the husbands reach home. Family tv will mean their endless list of drama series (or sinetron as they call it).

And these tv stations are forever competing with one another. I tell you, ALL of them have the same contents. Their programmes are all similar, be it their news, gossip shows, religious-themed, teenager-themed, horror-themed or love-saga sinetrons. Someone just need to set the trend and the others will follow cos' it's just sooo well-received by the viewers.

And yes. The said 'TRENDS'. They're freaking irritating.

I remember, sometime ago there's this fantabulous show, Gentayangan (Haunting) on TPI, where they investigate sites all over Indonesia that are known to be haunted. Then they have this 'dare' where a lone contestant will sit overnight at the said haunted site, either in total darkness or dim lighting. There'll be an infra-red camera focusing on them and the surroundings. Those who make it through without giving up gets a cash reward.

I LOVE that show. On many occasions, I was sure that I saw ghostly beings on screen. And it was all spontaneous (usually shown live), adding to the authenticity of such sightings. That show was immensely popular.

Then come the copycats. Another tv station, Trans came up with a similar show. So does Metro TV. And they show at THE SAME TIME! Every Thursday night becomes a battle between my fingers and the remote control with my eyes mere inches from the screen as I frantically try to catch sight of any ghostly beings (hardly in clear form) on these different channels.

These horror-reality shown also spawn horror-themed dramas highlighting the 'Gunderowo' (a type of djinn), Kuntilanak (female vampires), pochong, toyol and black magic. ALL channels have AT LEAST one of these shows.

Maybe it's because of guilt or that religious leaders all over had warned viewers about getting too obsessed with these ghosts and other what-nots, so they launch the religious-themed series about ultra religious people who made it through the worst obstacles in their lives. It was supposedly inspiring, I know.

Until other channels have these shows too. Shows like Hidayah, Takdir Illahi, Rahsia Illahi etc. (which are based on true experiences/instances). There's also the drama versions like Hikmah, Ikhlas, Taqwa (usually during Ramadhan; about the cliche good-triumph-over-evil). Then there's the celebrity kiyayis (religious preachers); with one popular kiyayi for one leading station.

Sigh... And I thought that was it.

Now it's a tirade of teenage-romance. DON'T even ask me to list the names. They're best left forgotten.

Then I discovered this show Kau Masih Kekasihku on SCTV. Upon reading the sysnopsis online, I discovered that the storyline is adapted wholly from this popular Taiwanese drama At The Dolphin Bay.

At The Dolphin Bay

I was thinking, "Wah, now they dare to do that, ah?"

Right then, I was hooked on this other show, Benci Bilang Cinta (Hate Said Love). Rich teenage guy made to marry poor schoolmate whom he finds to be irritating. He has a girlfriend previously and his cousin fell for his young wife.

Right then, S'pore's Ch U screen, Goong, the popular Korean drama. It then struck me that both have similar storylines!!!!


Then there's Benci Jadi Cinta (Hate Becomes Love) on RCTI. One scene where this badminton player ex-girlfriend of the leading character had her hands wrapped around this diamond key-shaped locket that she wore. I recognised that locket to be that worn by this TENNIS player character in another korean drama, My Girl.

My Girl

I also realise that they localise the storylines too. For eg. in My Girl, there had been an issue surrounding tangerines. In the indon version, it had been starfruits. Geez!

Then there's this other new Indon show on SCTV, Pengantin Remaja (Teenage Bride) which I was quick to suspect that it remind me of yet another Korean show, 18 Year Old Bride.

18 Year old Bride

Lately, I noticed yet another show aptly called Sepatu Kaca (Glass Shoes). Goodness, doesn't that just remind you of this Korean show called Glass Slippers?? They're making less effort to change the name now, huh?

The sister characters from Glass Slippers

And then there's this up and coming series on RCTI called, Darling. Excerpts from their first few episode are reminiscent of those in the popular korean drama series, My Lovely Sam-Soon.

What's happening to the Indonesian sinetron industry? Are the writers running out of (original) ideas? gah!

oh, I just discovered one which is just sooo far-fertched and absurd that i just have to inform those who might view it.

One thing though, it's not a Koren drama adaptation. or even an Asian drama adaptation for that matter. It's from an American series.

It's shown on SCTV and it's called Gue Sihir Lu! (I Put A Spell on You!).

A girl, who at her 16th birthday, was informed by her mum and aunt that she had magic powers.

Familiar??? So is it any surprise if I tell you that it's adapted from Sabrina the Teenage Witch??

Gotta check if she has that black cat called 'Salim'.

Gosh this is a darn long entry. Well, just me at my infotainment (what Indon tv called celebrity/entertainment information) best.

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