Realiti – The TV series

Posted: 16th April 2008 by Jacky Yong in Movies and TV Shows

Have you heard of the TV series that was shown in 8TV a while back in 2006? I thought it was a very good show. I managed to download the complete series and watch them all during my wife’s 4 days confinement period in Tey’s Maternity and Gynecologist Centre.

If you haven’t know yet, the show is about a singing reality tv show, but the characters are fictional. It was obviously a show made to ride on the Malaysian Idol and American Idol wave that was hitting Malaysia at that time. There is the character called Nickson (Alvin Wong) who is a gay, Baby (Melissa Maureen Rizal) who is a typical dumb-blonde type of girl, Melody (Chelsia Ng) the goody daddy’s girl who has a golden voice, Burn (Ashraf Sinclair) who is the bad boy that all girls like, and Amir (Zizan Nin), the kampung kid who turns to be a great singer on his own rights. The show is produced by Ng Ping Ho and Anne Low. You might remember Ng Ping Ho who produced the immensely popular Kopitiam back in 1997.

The thing that hit me about the show is how Malaysian the show is. Everybody talks in Malaysian language, as what everyone in Malaysia talks. For example Nickson talks in English and Malay with the other contestants and his coach in the show, but in Hokkien with his parents. The Malay language is spoken in very layman kind of language, with a mix of Chinese and English. I remember Burn saying things like “Gua sudah pokai!”, and Coach Mac saying “Bukan senang nak dapat custody.” when a typical Malay show will surely say “Bukan senang nak dapat hak penjagaan.” All languages are mixed and blended in perfect harmony, just like in real life. Kudos to the producers and script writters for making this so close to the real thing!

5 years ago, I would have brushed off any Malaysian show, one of the reasons is that Malaysian movies are notorious for making lousy movies just for the sake of making them. Since the era of P. Ramlee and Sudirman, there has never really been a really good movie made in Malaysia, both by Malays and non-Malays alike. That all changed the moment I watched just one episode of Realiti. I was immediately drawn to the depth that each character portrays. Take for example the character of Nickson (a.k.a. Chee Soon by his parents) played by Alvin Wong. Apart from being the comic relief of the show, Nickson managed to bring out the many emotional play that you would expect of a son who tries to defend his mother from his torturing father, and the anguish he felt when his boyfriend Calvin was locked out from seeing Nickson during one of his concerts. Baby’s character seems simple at first, but as the story unfolds, you will see that she hides a deep dark secret that eventually put herself in grave danger. Despite her goody-girl-next-door image, Melody also hides a skeleton in her closet, just like Baby. I am just so impressed that each character manages to be so 3 dimensional and life like. I can actually feel Nickson’s pain when the society is so unforgiving towards gay men. Or cry when you hear Melody’s painful howl in Burn’s 3 saved voice messages. And the crushing dissappointment when Dayang saw his boyfriend Amir consoling Baby in front of her. Believe it or not, in the cold dark hospital room when I’m watching this show, I was on the verge of dropping tears! Each character’s story is inter-woven with intricate details.

Alas, the ending of the show was left hanging. You never really found out what happened to the rivalry between Joe and Burn. Or the result of the relationship between Burn and Melody. The producers also seems to have inserted mild elements of sexual tension between Wahida and Coach Mac. Although this has never been clearly seen, I felt that it was deliberate, and it could have been explored further. But I must admit, both of them should never have been together. If they were, it would only mean the end of the guessing game that the audience would like to see, much like what happened between Agent Scully and Agent Mulder in The X-Files.

And oh, did you notice the amount of product placement that the show advertises? Coach Mac and Wahida both uses a Sony VAIO notebook. Both of them also drives a Mitsubishi Colt. All of the characters use Motorola handphones. Others were not so evident. Burn once shows off his shirt with Nike brands on it. How many others can you point out from the show?

I now hereby attach the entire series here for your convenience, in case your wife goes to a long labour and you have nothing to do in the hospital like me! Enjoy!

Episode 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 2: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 3: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 4: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 6: 1, 2, 3, 4

Episode 7: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 8: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 9: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Episode 10 (Conclusion): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This is another great site to know more about the show. I am now officially hooked!