The really pretty-looks-25-years-younger-than-she-is-smart-and-hard-working wife and I were watching a Cantonese soap opera the other night. I get the impression that it is hugely popular in Hong Kong and she seems, at times to find it funny. My inexcusably poor for someone who has lived in Hong Kong as long as I have Cantonese prevents me from following the dialog. However the plot is pretty transparent and I can normally guess whats going on. I even have my own derogatory nicknames for the characters like "Fat legs," "Hot to trot," "Helmet," "Cute Fat," "I'm so gay," "Mr. Snake" "Triad Guy" "Tom Boy" and the like.
Recently the wife has been complaining about this show however. She thinks that the plots are overly simplistic, poorly written and predictable. But her major complaint is that the characters lack depth. She used an interesting comparison. Yesterday we were watching a DVD of an old Star Trek movie and she commented about how the characters had consistent personalities. How they have depth and personalities that are consistant from movie to movie and you knew how they'd react and how it was very different from TVB soap opera. Captain Kirk and friends were believable people and the TVB characters are not. She then commented that what made that even more startling was that she could see how well the characters were developed and she didn't really like that movie.
She thinks she could write a better script for TVB soap operas than whoever is currently doing it. I actually don't think that would be so hard because the plots look rather stupid but had assumed they are supposed to be because it is a soap opera. However, she has spent a few idle minutes looking at the TVB website devoted to this program and told me that the fans of the show have huge arguments about the plots and who they want to see married to each other and what not and this and that. So, she was wondering if the show was better written would it be less popular? Is the average HK TVB watcher too stupid or ignorant for a higher quality program? I had no answer on Friday but today I do!
I think the low level of scripts exhibited on TVB and ATV Chinese programs is because they are trying to provide a very important service to the city! I read in one report, I wish I remembered where and could link to it, that this woman was watching TV when the police broke down her door.
TVB and ATV are allowing the social welfare department to not keep track of paranoid schizophrenics by providing them with mind numbing entertainment so that they do not require anti-psychotic drugs. What a wonderful group of broadcasters we have in Hong Kong! York Chow should give the executives of TVB and ATV a medal.
But then I wonder, how many of the fans of this show are paranoid? It's probably just me.
Until Next Time
The Blogger who would rather watch a DVD of an old movie