Malay Dramas – A Complex Love/Hate Relationship

One wholesome meal, never disappoints, unless served without the iconic sambal, that is just blasphemy! Pixabay image.

Watching a Malay drama brings out many emotions in me.  I grew up watching many malay dramas. Malay dramas of my time could not be compared to the ones being shown on tv now.

Right, the dramas that I grew up watching had these elements in them:

1. Had different genres and are distinctive of each other. Comedy, romance, horror, slice-of-life kinda thing, religious.

2. Comedy dramas are light-hearted and relateable, non of the slapstick of the current generation. Never try to be politically-correct, which sadly contributed to the many stereotypes or common misconceptions about the many different races in Malaysia (including Sabah & Sarawak) Hahahahahah!!!

3. Common settings ; lives in the kampungs, struggles in family relationships, younger generation leaving the elderly to look for jobs in the city.

4. Mystical elements and people using dodgy practices to ruin other people’s lives.

Malay dramas nowadays…..

Most definitely flashy lifestyles, people/family with high social status, lowly main character being paired up with someone from a higher social status, desperate attempt for wealth accumulation by a second wife for her child/ren, characters being made to date/engaged/married by force by their family and later on fall for each other only for their past lovers come back into the scene.

I try to catch up with malay dramas just as much as I watch other foreign language dramas – Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese. But the selection on offer is lacking in diversity.

Now this is why I think why this is a problem and also not a problem.

Problem : Audience are going to eventually feel some sort of a fatigue with this stereotype storyline. No new ideas or growth of creativity in the industry.

Not a problem : Popular dramas will draw more audience and more revenue. Not a bad combination.

Film makers don’t make stuff that people won’t watch, and people expect to be served with a certain type of drama that will induce a certain happy feeling inside.

Movies or dramas are a type of escapism.

People want to escape from the harsh realities of life.

Some people have complained in the past about how degrading it is to be watching current malay dramas just because it does not reflect realities of life.

This is what I think how things could be done.

1. If you don’t like what is on the tv, just turn it off and live your own life.

2. To experience diversity in viewing selection, be more open to different views.

3. Audience and popular preferences might change, but don’t hold your breath.




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