Singapore dramas 1 – Our forefathers

15 Sep

jamieguo48 asked about Singapore dramas in one of my previous post and I’ve decided to make a few posts introducing these dramas that I grew up with. Singapore has a pretty short history even if you include the years before independence so there isn’t enough material for sprawling historical epics ala Three Kingdoms. The ‘history’ dramas we do have are focused on our forefathers who came to this little island from China (for the ethnic Chinese) in search of a better life and the struggles they faced.

The earliest one I remember is 雾锁南洋 The Awakening though it was actually first aired before I was born! Heeh. I must have seen one of its reruns because that classic scene of the cover of the boat opening to reveal the migrants huddling within is etched in my memory. That drama also spawned Singapore’s first on-screen golden couple of Xiang Yun and Huang Wen Yong.

There were a slew of such dramas from mid-90s onwards when I was at the drama watching age so I have fond memories of them.
Based on the Japanese occupation of Singapore:
和平的代价 The Price of Peace
何日君再来In Pursuit of Peace
Based on the dialect groups:
潮州家族 The Teochew Family
客家之歌 The Guest People
My personal favourite. I was really invested in the love lines of the leads for this one.
琼园咖啡香 Hainan Kopi Tales
Based on places:
五脚基 Five Foot Way
豆腐街 Tofu Street
河水山 Bukit Ho Swee
I think this drama did ok ratings wise but it wasn’t popular like Tofu Street and I don’t remember it winning any awards. Also, it was Allan Wu’s (the main lead) first time acting in a Chinese drama and his diction was so poor his parts had to be dubbed plus his acting was mediocre at best. Yet the simply story of two bickering neighbours who fell in love caught my heart and I remember rushing home after school to catch its re-runs because it was impossible to find it online. only clip I could find of the drama

And finally, I’ll introduce 出路 Stepping Out , the 90s equivalent of ‘The Awakening’ in its classic status. It has my favourite theme song of all time because the lyrics are so well-written and touching. The women really shone in this show. They were all dealt a harsh hand by fate and they had neither education nor skill to fall back on yet they pulled through with sheer grit and determination. synopsis found here

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4 Responses to “Singapore dramas 1 – Our forefathers”

  1. o_galen_o September 15, 2011 at 6:11 AM #

    Coming over from dangermousie’s LJ.

    You know, I don’t remember most of these. Either I have a crappy memory or I stopped watching local tv much earlier than I thought I did. But ahhh, nostalgia… Makes me want to rewatch some of them. The current shows are largely unwatchable, though. Sad.

    • J September 15, 2011 at 6:27 AM #

      There are still a couple of sg dramas in a year that I do bother watching but ya, the overall quality has sadly been going down.

      • o_galen_o September 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM #

        So what do you suggest as a re-entry drama? I shall try out my new discovery – xinmsn! :p

      • J September 15, 2011 at 9:26 AM #

        I’d recommend 最火搭档 Unriddle (police drama) and 乐在双城 A Tale of Two Cities (romcom). 🙂 Yea, xinmsn is my good buddy for catching up on shows I’d missed, not just for sg dramas. heeeh

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