Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Malay Drama 101: A Starter Guide

It would be an utter nonsense if any of you have not at all bumped into at least one Malay drama they keep on showing on television these days.

And I believe that many of you have already knew about how stereotypical the dramas are, especially on the plot and the way things go much to a point that when you happen to watch one, you can easily tell how it will end from just watching the first five seconds of the show right after the dramatically-tuned intro theme ends.

This has somewhat created a pattern from which the stereotypes could be used as an ultimate guide to making a whole lot of superbly entertaining, family-friendly prime-time Malay drama that could suit all range of age. As to recap, I hereby list down all the common patterns that one could easily notice throughout the show for a quick view, strictly in the name of local entertainment.

So here goes.

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1. If it is about love between a pair of straight human, one of them has to be a child of a kick-ass, super-filthy-rich Dato' or Dato' Seri who owns a fearsome mega-company that sounds as if it collects more than 700% clean profit at each business year end and is the main critical cause of the country's economic growth. The child soon will inherit the company regardless if he or she is the first, second or fifteenth child of the Dato'/Dato' Seri.

2. The love partner of the kick-ass, super-filthy-rich Dato'/Dato' Seri's child however has a completely upside down features of life. He or she has to be either an orphan or a child to a single mother/father who suffers from a terrible disease not even a doctor on earth or anywhere within ten light years radius from have the solution to. If there is ever a solution, the price of the medical attention has to exceed the price of a completely-armed, nuclear-powered main battle cruiser, from which the child will never ever could afford because they both live in an extreme poverty that fried chicken is nothing to them but just a sweet dream.

3. The kick-ass, super-filthy-rich Dato'/Dato' Seri has only one kind of clothing set - a white, long sleeve shirt, a pair of dark pants, a blazer and a pair of necktie that looks completely gibberish. If he ever wears a Batik shirt, that will be a bonus.

4. Either one or both kick-ass, super-filthy-rich Dato'/Dato Seri and/or his wife will hate the love partner of their child more than Hitler hated the Jews. The poor love partner will be accused of befriending their child for the sake of money to save his/her dying mom/dad.

5. Soon when the kick-ass, super-filthy-rich Dato'/Dato Seri awards his company to his child in the name of inheritance, out of a sudden around fifty people who claim themselves as his family members will come and try to win over the company from the child.

6. Sometimes there will be crime-doers too. These scums will really look like scums; they are oftentimes posses one gruesome-looking mustache and some awesome hairdos or bald, smoke cigarettes, wear non-matching night market sunglasses even at night, put on leather or denim jackets in the middle of one flaming hot tropical afternoon, and walk in a group of three or more. They only converse in just one style - shouting.

7. If a nightclub is present as a venue of the show, commonly for the crime-doers to chill or do business at, it will be full with people who awkwardly dance in pair when the music goes kedush-kedush-kedush. Even more awkward, there will be this old-school disco ball that has no earthly business spinning around in this time of the year. Most awkward is when the crime-doers still wear that non-matching night market sunglasses all the time while in there.

8. At the hospital, no matter if the patients suffer from a common flu to a critically severed head, they will nevertheless die. The doctor will come out and he will either say, "I'm sorry, we tried our best" or worst, he will just shake his head and walk away, just like that, while the family members of the deceased will be crying as if they were hungry babies.

9. Should there be a fighting scene, the fighters will move around and about screaming at each other for five minutes and the fight soon ends a minute after from a straight blow to the cheeks from one of them to another. The one who loses the fight will lie on the ground rubbing his cheeks while the winner will stand beside him and give him a series of lecture about life and good deeds.

10. If a fight occurs between a man and a woman, there shall be a slap or more. If a fight occur between two girls, there will be some serious shit catfights. And hell lots of screaming. And tears.

11. Usually the hero/heroine will have to go through some grave and grim series of unfortunate events that normal human usually have died halfway through. But since they are hero and heroine, they will manage and in the end pop out at the end of the tunnel; they went through a river of shits and came out clean at the other side. Let it be the loss of loved ones, total bankruptcy, being slit open in the throat, severed a limb, or even in a coma, they will succeed and justice will prevail; they always will.

12. To add more insult to the drama, the script has to be conversed in bahasa baku, none of which really is practiced in this country during everyday conversation.

13. Should there be any girl from oftentimes wealthy background, she will be the closest definition of a real bitch depicted in a pure human form. Just looking at her face makes you want to punch her in the stomach real hard and slam her face into the toilet bowl soon after, just for the after-effect. If not bitchy, she has got to be excessively annoying that every time she opens her mouth you'd wish she was born a mute.

14. If the scene takes place at home, the home will either be a castle if the family is rich, or something similar to an outdoor standalone toilet popular in the sixties years if the family is poor.

15. For telephone conversations, it takes less than a second for the caller to get response from the other side of the phone after dialing. Sometimes, the reply is received when the caller is still dialing.

16. Only poor ladies get the real beauty while the real rich ones is covered in foundation powder, 3-inch thick.

17. In every series, there has to be a village idiot that acts monkey, just so that everybody else looks intelligent. He will always be poked at and made fun of, and he will never fight back, as to prove that he is indeed a genuine idiot.

18. The antagonists are be the most fucked-up human ever to live on the earth surface, and they will only learn their lessons when it is already too late. This has got to be something to do with their mental state and disability to learn.

19. A loving couple will only eat at a fine dining restaurant, using spoons and forks and knives. There has got to be at least one glass of orange juice on the table. In married couple, the wife will greet the husband whenever he is back home with the usual, "oh you're home". If he isn't, then just why the hell he appears at home?

20. When in doubt, pray to God. Or straight away go to some serious shit bomohs/dukuns and ask help from the Underworld. The bomohs/dukuns will always be surrounded in junks and craps, and are oftentimes played by strange, scary-looking old men. And there must be smokey burning incense in a clay pot and sometimes a kris too.

So...what do you think? What else is there to be added in? Let's contribute more to this ultimate guide to Malay soap drama, people!

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