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Monday 26 November 2018

My beef with Indonesian Religious Soap Opera

There is a reason why someone hate something, especially for something inevitable that we can't run away. That is television and it's program. No matter how far person don't want TV present at their home, people still are attracted to glowing screen with moving object that tells many stories. I know that YouTube is not TV or even Netflix. Both are still have TV characteristics where TV is more cheaper device that completes somebody house like living room and bed room. I am not a TV person but still use it as backdrop sounds from silence whenever I need noise to feel something accompanied. 

Since I have a wife who likes watching TV and it's soap opera. I tried to step in to her entertainment level where like it not I have to tag along accompanying her watching her show which is mostly teenage soap opera and one particular thing I really hate that “religious soap opera” which gets my nerve every time its broadcasted and ironically this makes me hate-love relationship with the show that I am gonna write here about my beef. 

I realize that TV show I like are basically enhanced soap opera that caters the targeted audience who are considered as “smart” enough for a show with great production value and I can recognize what makes “do and don’t” in presenting storyline where cliche’ and overused tropes that always exist in all of soap opera. 

Indonesian is basically loves supernatural elements in its society and its still related with symbolism that wrapped in religion. Something good vs evil, believer and non-believer, logical and illogical in their entertainment. The last characteristic does not exist in Indonesian religious soap opera. The trope where the main character is usually what you can find it on :how to make shitty character 101” book which seems always depicted as consistently good and have no character development, and this applies to antagonist characters where later is being punished by his/her deeds after doing evil stuffs to our main character in the last 10 minutes before the show is over. 

So why I bother I am writing about this, its simple because watching these soap opera rots my brain and its like a cancer for eye that never stop projecting the stupidity of religion representation as plot solver on mass media that majority from low to middle class Indonesia who watch all day. 

The soap opera I mention is serialized soap opera that arises among the popularity of ghost horror show with conventional formula like ghost haunting people and chase them. These show producer wanted to adapt new things in their supernatural show where eventually they use religious aspects (in Islamic teaching) where the storyline consist of troubled and corrupted main character who is overly evil where later his/her funeral procession get trouble and punishment from “god” that often depicted as many various absurd way to our evil main character fate where the god become so hostile toward his/her body. You will find scenes something like exploding graves filled with blood or insects, shrinking grave while being smited from storms and thunder are particular major plot reasoning why the after effect from our main character deeds in their life that depicted as despicable, horrible, and the most shittiest person ever live in thematically background that are targeted toward lower class of audience which happens in viewer reality something like sneaky traders, cheating or being cuck, greedy powerful person, or simple ungrateful little piece of shit main character who can’t handle living in poverty where later the main character will do anything to get what they want. 

In each episode that insults viewer intelligence, everything looks like cheap way to reflect the audience lack of critical thinking on how someone’s life judged based on funeral procession. “god” here is nothing than thunder and storm who will kill the bad MC and punish them by using ridiculous unexpected plot device that related with MC sins before punished in funeral procession. The bad guy usually get broke if they are corrupt traders, getting poisoned, getting road kill or getting special personalized natural disaster. Moreover if the MC is adulterer who cuck, it’s usually getting un-curable genital disease. 

Strangely, I usually end up watching the show and barely can’t stand into middle of episode because I feel sick with character writing and how stubborn the good character (they are often being supporting character). The bad guy probably read this kind of “The subtle art of not giving a fuck” as guidance in evil way. So I changed my TV channel and ask why wife to tell me when our main character will be punished where this part is something I will laugh my ass off watching the bad guy getting played by god awfully writer depicting how hard and suffering for bad Moslem people after they die. Sometime I feel more like watching comedy than supernatural horror religiously wrapped torture, just imagine watching SAW but with dead body. 

Not to mention that almost all of episode there is “Ustadz” or religious figure which happens to be there fighting god wrath by asking people to forgive the bad guy sins where in the earlier show everyone getting a flashback about the despicable dead body in front of them. The ustadz ask people to pray together and magically its calming the universe and nature. Later he just copy-paste any verses from Islamic scriptures saying and preaching with rhetorical and full of Arabic buzzword reminding everyone to not doing the same thing like our bad guy or they will end up the same. 

In the end, this kind of show is about reflection of morbid reality on how shitty person may exist in real life too. And how the writer makes religious symbolism to become a joke for “woke” viewers but also torture porn at the same time for regular viewer replacing the horror element which can’t be distinguished in the title true message. Is is pure religious or just entertainment, one thing I am pretty sure its just actually a cash grab milking the reality into a fantasy. 

 9 September 2018