Friday, April 15, 2005

Subversive TV

Watched Mediabore last night to check out the buzz on Desperate Housemums...oops...I mean First Mums just so that I'd have something to blog about. Hmmm...It was actually quite engaging...well for the most part of it.
What was most interesting, actually, was the fact that despite the propoganda that any show guided by the MDA was inevitably bound to display, it had elements of subversion in it. Let's start:

When was the last time you saw a Singaporean TV show display the following?

  1. A central character who's an ex-addict (Muscle relaxants...unfortunately not the topical cocaine) who's been to rehab. *
  2. A central character who was a mistress. (Who, after being dumped by her (ang mor) boyfriend, becomes a surrogate for a couple who, because they cannot go through the legal channels, is forced to get her pregnant by having the hapless husband sleep with her.)**
  3. A 16 year old student who gets pregnant (by her hunky 19 year old boyfriend) and subsequently storms out of her parents' house when they call the police and arrest the would-be father for statutory rape. (An allegation that I still feel is ridiculous)***
It blows the mind. It's Singapore television. It's must see television. Amazing.

To top off Subversive Thursdays, there's Chase. A programme that started off last night with a fake ad of a guy standing there thinking. "What's he thinking of?" one wonders. Two thought bubbles appear around his head in succession.


And because it's Singaporean TV, and all we can get away with it a little bit of cheekiness, it turns out he's thinking about Fried Chicken. (Yum) But here's the clincher. As it fades out into the logo of the fried chicken chain that they're advertising, we see one word that had me laughing my head off...


Along with mammary-shaped knockers under the logo.

Wow. That actually was quite clever. I mean, aside from the fact that Knockers Fried Chicken spells out KFC, it's also a wink and a nod to the fact that, really, that's what men really think about innit?

But there's more. Utt, who plays a central character in the show has a mom who is carrying the baby of a man who they call "Uncle John" but is actually a man who is about the age of her son. Oooo....And they're not married.

This is all pretty much "in your face" through the programmes...and one wonders, has Singapore truly started shifting to the left? Are we becoming more liberal? More tolerant to alternative lifestyles? Have we, for the love of Lee, truly developed a sense of humour?

So many questions...and only time will tell. In the meantime, it's all good and I think that Mediabore 5 on Thursdays will become "must-see-TV".


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