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alex tan.

March 8, 2009

i want a re-re-run of part 1. this drama is so.. sporean-ish!! all the inside jokes, sacrasim, so intelligently spore. (which we seldom see in our dramas..) maybe that’s why they are not selling it out of spore. unlike you know the one which they sold to tvb..

from newpaper:

Even The Little Nyonya can’t compare to top TVB dramas
MY love affair with TVB dramas began with the magnificent Man In The Net – a serial about filial piety, righteousness, love between family members, love between friends and love between man and woman.
By Maureen Koh
02 February 2009

MY love affair with TVB dramas began with the magnificent Man In The Net – a serial about filial piety, righteousness, love between family members, love between friends and love between man and woman.

There’s a good chance that people reading this would have watched it or recognise the title. This despite it being a 1980 production.

And many will be able to name the lead actor and actress who became household names not only in their native Hong Kong, but also in Singapore and other parts of the world.

Yes, they are Chow Yun Fat and Carol ‘Do Do’ Cheng.

And that is how the magic of TVB dramas work: Weaving the skills of the scriptwriters with fine acting from an often stellar ensemble.

It’s a skill that MediaCorp has apparently yet to master.

Yes, not even with The Little Nyonya, even though one in four Singaporeans followed it, making it the highest-rated drama in 15 years.

To be fair, not all TVB dramas are compelling and I’m certain there have been some flops with porous plots.

So what is it then that makes the dramas more compelling than our local fare?

Top on the success list has to be superior content – and here is where the Hong Kong team excels.

TVB dramas are usually – if not always – made for family watching. Like last year’s mega-blockbuster, Moonlight Resonance.

Viewers – such as myself – will swear in indignation at the injustice suffered by the protagonist, and laugh till our sides ache at the hijinks by the unwitting joker.

Or cry in anguish at lovers torn apart by misunderstandings, jealous rivals or just plain circumstances.


If you ask me, its formula did not differ much from Man In The Net. Yet, nearly 30 years down the road, it still strikes a chord.

Which is something that I can’t say for The Little Nyonya, though I do like new Ah-Jie Jeanette Aw.

I found myself snorting at some of the impossible scenes. Remember the famous – or is it infamous – parting scene between Chen Xi and Yue Niang at the railway track?

Well, some of the lines raised more goosebumps than tears.

Scorpio East’s chief operating officer, Mr Lim Teck, said: ‘TVB is very good at reinventing their dramas – be it through the themes or even, the artistes.’

Again, the Hong Kong team shines here. Veterans and established stars are given roles which suit them and match those of the young and more popular ones.

And when veterans return to the screen after even a decade, they still look wonderful.

Think Michael Miu and his wife, Jamie Chik, Ray Lui and Yueh Hua, even Gallen Lo.

Another of TVB’s strengths is its theme-dramas. The extensive genre ranges from cops to cooking. Last year’s serials included a tombstone-making trade and the current one is on the salt business.

Sure-win formula

Last year’s top three dramas – Moonlight Resonance, Forensic Heroes 2 and D.I.E – attest to the sure-win formula.

Such dramas are the reason that despite Scorpio East’s best efforts, viewers still resort to pirated DVDs because they just can’t wait to catch the next episode.

It makes me wonder whether there will come a day when MediaCorp serials can command the same fervour?

even our good friends on tudou cannot tahan this show.

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