Things that I hate about Malay TV Drama

My mom slapped my head with a newspaper last weekend night. It’s my fault, anyway. I rudely changed the channel while ‘The Empress of the house’ was watching a ‘sad scene’ in TV3’s ‘Cerekarama’ . I was itching to click the remote because I cannot bare to watch it anymore. You know, i used to love watching Malay TV Drama when I was a kid. I love to watch RTM’s ‘Drama Minggu Ini’ slot and ‘Opah’ TV Series. But right now, I’m never a fan of our own local Malay TV dramas. Not because I’m not supporting our own ‘Bangsa’ product .It;s because the drama are so cliché and so predictable nowadays. Just give me the title and the synopsis and i can figure out what it’s all about.

1) The Theme and Topic:

Almost 90% of the topic or the story in any typical Malay TV drama , is about love ,and love and love again. Just wondering when are we going to see an ‘extra’ different topic in our TV drama other than ‘kasih sayang’ theme?. Maybe some story about how this guy found out that his wife is an alien which preparing to invade a ‘kampong’ , or perhaps a story about a secret government agency that investigate paranormal activities and protect Malaysian from witchcraft. With some creativity and ‘out of the box’ thinking , it wont cost any ‘big-hollywood-scale’ budget to make those kind of TV drama.

2) The Title:

The most visible lame thing in Malay TV drama is the title itself. The titles was soo obvious to show what the drama is all about but off course they must put the word ‘Cinta’ (Love) in the front ,for example like ‘Cinta Medik’ , ‘Cinta Korporat’ ,’Cinta Kolej’ ,’Cinta SMS’ ,’Cinta Dari Seberang’ ,Cinta this and Cinta that. And if the drama was made in the overseas, they’ll put the title like ‘Salam Taj Mahal’ or ‘Salam Cape Town’.

3) ‘I love u , u love I’:

As ‘love and romance’ theme are the favourite in Malay TV drama , it takes no brainer to figure out the storyline. First, it will revolve around the Triangle Love Relationship (TLR?) or ‘cinta tiga segi’ or whatever you called it. Then, It will be a forbidden love, maybe because of different social status or perhaps the family favours their own relative as in-law. And of course , one of the character (especially the ‘Girlfriend’..) will always have a chronic ill or disease like a cancer or tumor in her head and only can live less than a year. For some unexplainable reason, she won’t tell her boyfriend about that. Later, the ‘Boyfriend’ only knew the disease after she collapsed in his arm and with the blood coming out from her mouth (even though she have a brain tumor!) ,she now explained about the disease ,why she kept it as a secret, and last word before she died, she ask the ‘Boyfriend’ to promise to be always be happy without her . That will take about 5 or 10 minutes and enough time for the ‘Boyfriend’ to rush her to the hospital. Without any effort to do that , the ‘Boyfriend’ then will shout her name and said “NO!! Don’t leave me!!” and cry crazily, hug his girlfriend’s body and blaming himself for her death. My point here is , if you are the character in those drama , you will either live or die in the most suffering way. It always will be soo melancholic and with infinite sadness.

4) Urban Vs Rural:

“..The development of rural area in Malaysia is a progressive effort since the launch of National Agriculture Policy and ‘Green Book’ by Tun Razak in the 60’s, hence creating economic activities for the people, thus allowing them to have higher buying power…” (Malaysian Economics 2001, Dr Ahmad Zaki )

Regardless what the economists said about rural development ,there’s always a wide gap between Urban folks and rural folks (orang kampong) in Malay drama. In those drama , Urban folks (or ‘Orang KL’) are always portrayed as rich , wealthy and educated people who coming back or visiting a kampong who its people are poor and stupid. The kampong folk never seen a big car or people with nice and clean shirts before. The ‘Orang Kampong’ will always live in sad and dull and boring life because they are so poor and got nothing to do. Our TV drama forgot the fact that , the majority of ‘Orang Kampong’ are actually financially stable. They are the majority of Middle-Class Malaysian that contributed to the economy. They also owned acres of land lots! They have excessive disposable incomes because they don’t have to pay tolls and other surcharges. They also can have their food ready on the table with less worrying about the stupid price hikes. The most important thing is, they live in their own house of big front lawn, and not rented.(Now, how many of ‘Orang KL’ can live in their own house with big lawn? and don’t forget about urban poverties in KL)

Other prejudice is , success only waits you in KL and not in kampong. That’s why in the drama, the ‘Orang KL’ will always be ‘so clever one’ and the saviour and will always have the solution for the problem in that kampong. The Orang Kampong are so stupid to think that for themselves.

I.T and gadgets? Forget it. ‘Orang Kampung’ in Malay drama are so backward and ‘left behind’ to know computers or internet. I remember one scene where this ‘KL boy’ aged 12 something,proudly explained to his kampong-boy-cousin, same age , about Playstation and then sadly, that kampong boy asked back ,” Playstation? Apa tu?’ .Now, I remembered I did saw a ‘kampong boy’ playing a PS 2 when we’re visiting dad’s old friend in a ‘far-far away’ kampong in the east coast. While his daughter were too busy surfing the net and never noticed us.

We can see other obvious prejudice towards kampong through the characters for the teenagers. Kampong gals will always fall in love with a KL boy, who is the hero, (or the protagonist) who came to the Kampong. And why she have a crush with that KL boy? Well, because he is from the city ,from KL off course!! .Then the kampong guy, who is the bad guys (the antagonist) will always become envious and do anything to get rid of the KL boy. Because his mentality are so low (unlike the smart KL boy), he did nasty and stupid things and then get caught or ‘kantoi’ and then they lived happily ever after.

And here comes the names for the characters that will differentiate city kids and kampong kids. For rich city kids, their names are Zack, Jeffry, Joe, Danny , Syafiq, Tasha or Maisara, while for kampong kids; Mamat , Din, Jali, Milah or Munah. Not to forget the names for bad guys . Ramano,Castello, Capola or Alexis for the bad guys in the city (they’re Malay!) and Gojeng, Bachok ,Bakar or Botak for kampong’s bad guys.

Also in the drama, You always can spot almost the same line/ dialogue like this from a city folks or kids who visiting a kampong:

1) “best nya duduk kampong , udara bersih dan segar ,tenang je..tak macam kat KL..”

2) “..bosanla duduk kampong, takde shopping mall,takde tu…takde ni..”

And also in the malay drama ,to show the kampong scenario, you always can see an old and small stall or ‘warung’ beside the small road or a paddy field with bunch of guys who got nothing to do but playing checkers (dam aji) and drink coffee all day.

5) Business/Corporate:

In Malay drama ,the business people got nothing else to do but always want to ‘take over’ or buying other company’s share. Like always, the ‘Company’ will buy majority shares in their nemesis or competitor’s company. This so-called acquisition then will create feud or ‘corporate war’ and lead to sabotaging and then death.

And in any typical malay drama about business , the ‘succesfull Malay firms’ will always involved in CONSTRUCTION.,.and construction.,.and construction.They are the.’Property Developer’ with luxury projects!!. And off course ,there always a ‘site-visit’ scene where the actor will wear safety helmet and neck tie!! , (in the burning Malaysian sun !!!) , talking to the engineer or contractor while pointing his/her finger to the construction site and holding the building plan. The question , is there any industries other than CONSTRUCTION? Just wondering because I think we also have manufacturing, agriculture , plantation, I.T and trading, oil and gas and so many Malaysian industry to show in the drama.

I ‘accidentally’ watched this ‘Datin Diaries’ drama. In a scene , a Dato’ (played by Jalaludin Hassan) go and meet his young-hot- delicious-MILF second wife (what else do you expect?) and she (Nasha Aziz) nagging about how she miss the romantic moment with his filthy fucking rich Dato hubby. Nothing’s wrong with that. It is just that the next line from that Dato’ that really makes me laugh hysterically.

"..I penat tau..I baru balik dari London .ada projek..".

Now, with our exchange of 1 pound sterling = RM7.5 , i don’t know what kind of ‘project’ this Dato’ involved in London and why the hell is he investing in a ‘project’ in London,anyway? Either he is a really-really-really fucking rich or he just a fucking idiot and never do his research on current business trend. Correct me if i’m wrong but global business people nowadays are talking about Dubai , Abu Dhabi ,Shenzen or Guangdong , as a new booming cities for economy which is the promising places to invest and get good R.O.I. Even Vietnam or Cambodia are flocked with Malaysian business ventures now. London is totally out-of-date. Well, unless you going for study or you are a government retiree who like to spend your pension money for holiday or perhaps you are investing in London’s Profitable Plot.,i don’t see any reason that London really attract Malaysian business people. (Yes, we have LimKokWing College and Eden Group’s Hotels and restaurants in London but do u heard anyone else?)

6) Family Matters:

In any typical Malay TV drama, you’ll see ‘A Family’ in these situation:

a) A son/daughter became so ungrateful and insulting their own parents who is probably poor or sick ,and they only will repent and regret their wrongdoings after the parent died.(off course with a scene where they cried in front of their parent’s dead body or at grave yard)

b) A siblings torn apart because of their parent’s will and property.

c) One of the children will lost and after a few years , he/she will surprisingly return home as an adult.

Also if you can notice in any Malay drama, the children of a rich family who live in KL will call their parent as ‘Daddy-Mummy’ or ‘Papa-Mama’ and they ‘ll use fork and spoon during dinner. Also don’t forget that they talk in ENGLISH to show how rich and urban they are. (That’s why i really missed the good old ‘OPAH’ TV series. It shows the real-life of a big Malaysian Malay family.)

7) Teenagers:

In Malay TV drama , teenage life only start at college or university level. Their characters are either wacky or crazy (konon ‘gila-gila’ la ),which looks really kinda stupid. Then, they only will talk about love and their crush on someone. It’s kinda hard to see a scene in the lecture hall where they could discuss about more serious thing with their lecturer. I know we are facing the brain-drained-crisis now in our universities , but it doesn’t meant that our ‘U’ students are really so stupid like what we can see in Malay drama. By the way, most of the characters in the drama will take Performing Art or Mass Comm as their programme course. So ,it’ll be easier for the characters to discuss about their ‘subject’ and ‘thesis’.

Now, lets talk about the TV drama about the real teenagers ; the secondary school or the ‘high school’ kids. BUT, WAIT A MINUTE! , we don’t even have a drama or TV series about our own high school!! I don’t want to compare our local TV-Malay drama with those Hollywood- US TV series like One Tree Hill , The O.C , Roswell, Dawson Creek or perhaps even Smallville as example but I can’t help myself but to say it. In those TV series, their teenage life starts at High School. They start to develop emotions and minds. They start to show their talents and interest ,especially in SPORTS!! It was the most confused time of their own with so many problems. They’re alive ,rebellious , noisy, kicking and stubborn. Now, don’t you think that ,it does sounds like you when you were a teenager in secondary school?

But in our local TV drama, our secondary school (high school ) kids were portray as so ‘nice’ and ‘schema’ ..so ‘manja’ one.. a 17 or 15 years old in Malay drama can talk like a 12 years old and 12 years old can talk like a 5 years old. We hardly can see a drama that really focus on the school because our school is not alive and romance in college is more interesting topic to watch. Sports in High school? Forget it.In our drama, the school kids never play sports.

By the way ,to show immoral act or indecencies by teenagers, the drama will always associate them with ‘Mat rempit’ or illegal race (for the boys) or free sex (for the girls) and for clubbing and partying, they will go to some cheap ‘dangdut’ disco that play old Dance music from the 90’s.

8) Women:

In Malay drama ,women are always highlighted as nossy, so ‘kepochi’, and they like to bitching and ‘mengumpat’ all day. They also like to fight among them. The favourite scenes in Malay drama is always about 2 women doing some ‘catfight’, pulling hairs or scratching each other face because of one same guy. Their character also like so ‘blur-blur’ one .They’ re the ‘Demsel in depress’ or the weak and vulnerable creatures that always need to be rescue by the hero (the guys la). Or perhaps, they will live in suffering or being oppressed by the men or the society because maybe they are the old spinster , a divorcee or a ‘janda’ .So far I cannot recall any Malay TV series or drama that show how strong our women are. The reality is, our women are the leaders in the companies ,society and also play a big part to generate the nation’s economy. I am from Kelantan and I definitely know what I am talking about when I said ‘women contribution in economy’. While most of their men are so busy with Ayam Serama, Burung Ketitir ,Cengkerik and the latest was that stupid Flower Horn Fish, Kelantan’s women are busy making money in business. From selling fruits and vegetable to selling handicraft, jewelries and batik. From multilevel or direct selling to a formation of a Sendirian Berhad (Private Limited) entities.

9) Religion :

In Malay drama, if you see most of the women or the main character are wearing Tudung or hijab, it means that, the theme is about religion. And off course , they’ll put some nasyid or Arabic tune (Irama Padang Pasir??) as the background song just to show how ‘Islamic’ their drama is. In the opening montage or the intro of the drama ,they’ll put some excerpts from the Holy Quran with the translation in a fierce voice. It’s like another reminder that you are going to watch a religious drama so you need to be serious and don’t play-play in front of TV because the drama will preach and teach you about Islam. But the storyline is so predictable. It’s always bout ‘Good versus Evil’ thing. No, its not about fighting the satan or the ‘Lucifer’ but it’s always and mainly about a person, a family or a group of Moslem who didn’t live in the Islamic Way of Life which the characters are usually portrayed as the alcoholic drinker, vice-doer and drug addict. So , they’re the bad guys. Ironically , other biggest sins in Islam like corruptions, power-abuse and unjust or even destroying the environment are rarely (or never?) shown in the Malay drama. ( I wonder when we can see the ‘corruptors’ charged under Syaria’ Law? I think it’s fun to see how they’ll be execute if we run Hudud. I am sure no one in the government will dare to take bribes again and we will have only clean ministers in parliament )

Then off course the ‘karma’ or ‘Payback Time’ scene…’The bad guys’ then will only repent or ‘taubat’ after something bad happened to them. Like they had a freak accident or paralyzed or something. It’s not that I didn’t believe in God’s wrath but because as a Moslem, I also believe that our God is mighty Merciful, Just and Loving. Just because some Moslem are really ‘naughty’, doesn’t mean that He will make them suffer first before they could see the ‘Light’. Hey ,I saw a friend who repent and leave all those ‘vice’ or ‘maksiat’ in one day. Just like that. How he received the ‘Light’? Well, only God knows why and how…

By the way, our religious drama is always so serious and heavy. Loads with preaching and lessons. It’s supposed to be fun for the kids and also for the adult to watch. I think it wont hurt if we can have a drama about Ustaz or ‘Orang Masjid’ who are funny and wacky. Kids like comedy and fun, and they’ll see the Masjid (Mosque) as a fun place to be.

Anyway,as for me ,the best ‘religious’ tv series so far is the classic ‘Rumah Kedai’.It was the popular TV series during the Ramadhan in the late 80’s.In that show, there’s no bad guys, or bad Moslem. It’s all just about a Malay Moslem family who run a retail business and how they cope up with the challenges as a moslem. So simple to understand without long preach about Islam from the characters and because it also got some comedy, It was my favourite show while waiting for ‘Buka Puasa’.

10) Idling the time.

If you can notice this, a same scene in a Malay drama can take you almost like 10-15 minutes. talking and talking..and talking. Or perhaps they will put a song segment .Its like a karaoke video clip inside that drama. Portraying how that boyfriend really miss his girlfriend or showing the past suffering the couple or the person had. They will use a flashback footage with a sad song as a background song to kill the time. It’s obviously shows that, the director got no more idea to create the story.

11) Comedy

Here are some example of things that makes the ‘comedy scene’ in Malay Drama(or a sitcom):

  1. Old flirty-ham sap- gatal old man want to get into polygamy but ‘kantoi’ and being chased by his old wife around town .
  2. The hero or the heroine (main characters) will always have these kind of people as a side-kicks or friends to be the joker:
  • Big sized or obese people.
  • People with darker skin.
  • People with ‘not so good looking’.
  • People with not that smart brain.

And many more….(add your number here )

I’m maybe not a genius and not that smart. My IQ is less than 100 so i cannot be part of MENSA, and my CGPA is too low to be employed by Petronas. But I do have a brain and one thing for sure those Malay drama really insulting my brain and i fucking hate that. …Now, how can I explain all that to ‘The Empress’?

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9 Responses to “Things that I hate about Malay TV Drama”

  1. ok ow!! panjang lebar sungguh

  2. anda ni memang byk berpikir..

  3. Dude, u watch too much man hahaha

  4. Dude, u watch too much TV man hahaha

  5. berjela! huhu but agreed.

    but its not just malay dramas dat r guilty of these. omputeh pun sama je. esp num 11… remember norbit? then there’s white cops yg skema2 ayam, black cops who only listen to hip hop, somehow they get paired and blablabla… geddit?

    btw, its only TV. it shows only what ppl wants to see. lgpun, klau drama melayu tak mcm ni then probably u’ll run out of things to maki2 about.. and dat is an entertainment by itself.. tak gitu? =)

  6. Well, couldn’t agree more. It’s just so frustrating to watch mainstream channels nowadays. The only option left is to watch Maharaja Lawak.. sigh~

    I bet if I were to direct a film (with my own story & plot twist), it will be a big turning point in Malaysia. (lol)

  7. Totally agreed!I’m tired watching malay drama thus they likes to make romance drama.it is not working!i think they should make drama like pinoy drama because they don’t have much romance in the drama and there is more accident or something tragic happen.even thought,we’re sick of the cliche part but it make us want to know what is the end.okay,if they still want to do romance drama,they should add more interesting part and not just act according what is written in the novel.. Besides that,the actor seriously don’t know how to act.mostly in malay drama,the hero will be a playboy who likes to go to club but his face and attitude not like a playboy nor a rich naughty boy.right know,i love to watch korean drama not because there is kissing part but there are so many genre and theme.for examples,the drama Arang and the magistrate that is about ghost who want to know why she died and a drama that i just finished watched it,Cheese in the trap,it is about how to face people that always step on us.i totally recommended this drama!that’s all,i want to share.it is too much i think.lol

  8. Pretty much the same in Filipino dramas here, except that the main character either gets amnesia from an accident, or is adopted by a poor family and his/her real family is rich…though, I notice that they’re slowly breaking away from the stereotype (except a few TV dramas). The most recent stereotype existing today is the “mistress” antagonist, where a mistress destroys a family and acts like as if she is the legal wife. Plus, we have this so-called Love Team where you will see them often when they have their own show. Just make sure not to say something bad about their idols or you will get bashed 😂

    And here, you’ll get like 150+ episodes (or last for 2 friggin’ years) as long as the rating is high but the story is not there anymore. They will make you dizzy and confused and you could only curse the director and writer 😂

    Btw, do you guys have TV dramas whose main characters are kids? Or maybe even fantasy-based? I’m currently looking for a Malay drama to watch that’s not about romance ☺

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