Few weeks ago was our national day and on that same day, I felt an urge to do something that I haven’t done since started this blog; write something related to my country. I thought it would be easy, just sit down in front of the PC (yes, I don’t have a laptop so I cannot blog anywhere) and expect some ideas for a topic relating to my country would just pop into my head. I was mistaken and this can be seen with this post where it went off topic pretty quickly.
Now, I have an idea. I’m going to write about Radio Television Brunei (RTB), our very own national TV channel. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny it’s one of those things that has a special place in your life as a Bruneian.
So how did I get this idea? One night, it was raining hard and I couldn’t watch ASTRO cable channels. To make matters worse, the living room TV was controlled by my mom and her indonesian dangdut satellite TV channel. So bored, I watched RTB in my brother’s bedroom. WOW! Quite cool Hehe.
I watched the local news for the first time in years and I see all these new young faces reading the news (except for the lady who recently won the best female newsreader award). But I know they’re not new, it’s just that I haven’t watch RTB news in ages thus I didn’t recognize any of the news readers. Gone are the familiar older newsreader I grew up with (the guy with the moustache and glasses, the guy who sort of looks like my friend’s dad, the lady with contact lenses eyes doing the ‘Consumer’ section and THE sports guy…Hj Malik, I think that’s his name..he’s THE MAN when it comes to SEA games or football coverage).
I’ve noticed that the local channel have changed in it’s nature over the years. When I was young, RTB aired sitcoms like Friends and weekly movies ranging from made for TV quality to blockbusters (eg. Sunday matinee, Wayang pilihan). Then there was X-files. That show was the highlight of our local channel in the old days. It made all of us glued to the channel every week. We always talk about it in morning at school after each episode Haha.
Then RTB seems to change its focus towards more of an educational direction. You start having more documentaries (of which most of them are fascinating) and religious shows. I think they try to balance it out between entertainment and educational programmes but found it difficult hence the expansion recently: RTB1 and RTB2
I heard about this RTB2 long time ago but never bothered with it. So I checked that channel recently and I see all these commercials for shows that they’re airing:
The Office?! That’s a really funny show and it’s in our local channel. NCIS?! i’ve seen some episodes of this show and enjoyed it. Bones?! That’s the David Boreanaz show. Everybody Hates Chris?! Wow another good comedy Psych?! Lost?! you mean THE LOST?! my favourite show with that Crazy island, that one?! Every Friday 9pm?! LOL
But let’s not forget about local drama. In the old days, local dramas were kind a fake. You know, the characters talked with Malaysian accent instead of a Bruneian accent. The dialog seems forced. But things have improved. Sure, it’s not top quality but it’s improving and it’s more Brunei-ish. I saw this local drama about the Anti-Corruption bureau and I enjoyed it. The cases looks like something that would probably happened in Brunei. They talk in Bruneian dialect and even the dialog sounds like how a Bruneian would talk. For example, this old boss talks about having a surgery in Singapore. THAT’s so Bruneian. I love little touches like that. I found out later that this show is actually old and it was a repeat telecast. Ketinggalan zaman banar aku ani . The show is called KOD 468 and if only they release it on DVD 🙂
Speaking of local shows on DVD, I was a big fan of Catatan Misteri. That show was a big hit few years ago and I want to see that on DVD. Whoever I talked to and the subject of locally produced drama comes up, they always talk about this show. The episodes ranges from frightening (the 1st episode with the Balau ghost and another episode with exorcism), dark humour (the one with young guys playing darts and saw hantu pocong), unintentionally funny (the unemotional reaction of the father who lost his daughter), brilliant (the roti panas episode) and downright stupid (the kung fu scene between two ‘makhluk halus’). Now I want to see that on DVD.
And then there are the commercials. People always laugh about the quality of the local commercial but that’s what makes it memorable. Who could forget catch phrases like “Anu lain mana durang suka tu!” or “Murah kali ah!” from a Sabli sauce and a Pizza hut commercial respectively. Speaking of the Pizza Hut commercial, there was a line where the guy was complaining that he couldn’t a afford the normal price meal because of ‘Bulan tua‘ LOL ‘Bulan Tua’ refers to a period of time between paydays for many workers here. In other words, it’s a time when most people don’t have money. Like I said earlier, I like the little local touches.
So yeah, I’m not saying that I’ll abandon my cable channels forever but it was nice to watch RTB again. Kinda like meeting an old friend you haven’t met for a long time. Like the slogan says, Sentiasa Bersama Biskita/ Always be with you.