September 11, 2008

#35 Localized Reality Shows

Malaysian people take themselves seriously and need attention like John McCain needs the fountain of youth. But there isn't always an avenue or platform for them to show the world how talented, intelligent and charming they are. For this reason, Malaysian people decided to adapt foreign reality shows. You see, this is a win-win situation for Malaysian people, it takes both their liking for adapted foreign influences and self promotion and churns it into a half hour TV programme for mass consumption. This is a surefire way to propel someone normal and average into the public spotlight and add to the list of local celebrities Malaysians adore.

The type of reality shows Malaysia produce mostly revolve around dating, modelling, performing and even business ala The Apprentice. However the term "reality" on these shows is used very loosely since most of the participants are anything but real. However, any Malaysian reality programme produced must adhere strictly to the Three Malaysian Principles of Reality Programming:

1) Piracy - the concept which is borrowed and reinvented
2) Pretense - the prerequisite attitude of participants
3) "Perasan"- the Malay term which carries the connotation of being conceited

These three principles are key to ensuring the success of a Malaysian reality programme and in giving birth to the careers and prominence of more Malaysian talents. The path of a Malaysian reality TV star is one that is slowly gaining credence as it does not require any work or any skill as compared to a Badminton player or Politician but ensures a certain level of visibility.

If you should ever come across a Malaysian reality star, immediately acknowledge that they were your favourite contestant on the show and (if they didn't win) assure them that they were robbed of the win because of production politics, biased editing or technical voting errors. You will then be invited to their local theater debut or next showcase at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Thanks to Ms.Lime for advocating this piece.


kaioucat said...

Sometimes, it's not just the participants who were pretentious or perasan. The hosts also often lack professionalism. Malaysia is also not ready for reality TV shows based on the popularity voting system, because we're not as racially united as what we portray to the world. Not yet, at least.

fooi said...

Great sharing. Malaysia benefit part of the reality show in term of economic and talent. In term of society, youngster would given more choice rather than "lepak" council.

Grace said...

Malaysian reality shows are like the B movies: title and plot seems interesting, but overall they fail to deliver. Lousy cast, lousy production, very cliched.
Come on, we need some originality.

Ms Lime said...

apa boleh buat? we still like to follow people. aih... follow also cannot follow properly.

Anonymous said...

aren't malaysian people of malaysia? why say malaysian people?

B.H. said...

Anonymous 8:35 pm,

To highlight the fact that there are some Malaysians who I would not term as "people".


Wanie Idayu said...

Haha this is funny and true. Hey, flattery will get you almost anywhere right? ;) Not only to reality show contestants. I really won't do the "OMG u're my fav contestant" or "you've been robbed" bit, unless he's really really cute! Haha.

Anyway, reality shows does make a loooot of money -with all the voting and stuff -I believe the producer made millions! (Tho' for Malaysian Idol / Project Runway -they have to pay some sort of royalty fee to the original producer). They are catering to what audience wants or like to see. And right now those are the types that Malaysian audience likes. And they have to chose contestants whom they think Malaysian audience would like. No matter how, people are still voting so whatever it is, it works I guess ;)

B.H. said...


Most of the contestants on these shows should go for Survivor Malaysia on some remote island instead. Nobody would bat an eyelid if they didn't return. It's a win-win for sure.