Shaken Not Stirred

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Nightmare Cable

My parents get a Filipino network via satellite cable. Although I don't understand the language very well, I can still see how poorly some of the programming is. It also makes me laugh at how slap stick or how corny some of the shows are. But I guess, they might say the same thing of our sit-coms (however, I don't think so, seeing that some of the top shows over there are Friends, Fear Factor, and some other American shows. Oh yes, 90210 is also popular there. While going to medical school there, I saw a poster advertising some shop using a poster of Brandon, Brenda, Dillon, Kelly--the early years. Brandon still had the Farrah Fawcet wave going in his bangs).

I also find it hard to believe that my mother is hooked on one of the soap operas. It's so obvious how it will turn out. Their soap operas, unlike ours, do have an ending. Most only last one season and tell a story from beginning to end. So unlike Saturday Night Live skits, they know when to end a bad thing. However, from one I could understand, these stories all seem derived from the same root. The basis of each soap seems to be a wealthy family, a poor family, the priveledged child falling in love with the not so lucky child, some sort of closet skeleton which ties both familes together. We all know boy gets girl, closet skeleton exhumed for repair and a huge wedding at the end. It's like that for almost every one of the soaps. The newest soap however seems to be even more far-fetched. The latest one has a mermaid. Yes a mermaid. She has fins (not as beautifully done as Daryl Hannah's in Splash--but she has gills, long hair which cover her breast, and seashells dangling from her neck). I didn't even bother to ask my mother for the story.

Another thing I wonder about is the music. Did they pay for the copyrights to use some of the music they do? I remember seeing a lot of CD's for sale on local corners for less than a dollar. For instance, they love the song by Stephen Bishop "Maybe It's You" (theme from Tootsie). It seems to waft in the background of balcony scenes and dreamy walks along the beach. You wanna talk barf? I don't understand what they are saying, but by their actions, or should I say over-acted expressions, the couple is really in love. They also get into a heated argument where someone always gets slapped and there is a lot of crying. Not just sobbing, but heart wrenching, intestine twisting crying. And it isn't the girl doing the crying--it's the boy. He is usually begging for love and forgiveness. Now I'm not chauvanistic and I do feel it's alright for a guy to cry. But like this? The only time I think it's alright to let that emotion out is when one's testicals get run over by an eighteen wheeler. But these guys can cry--red eyes, tears, snot flying every which way and heaving chests. It's pathetic. Not very manly. Some of them need to watch Spike Television, not Lifetime.

Speaking of used music (whether the copyrights have been paid for or not), I have found where Air Supply has been hiding. Not that I was looking. But while I was in school over there, people still liked the music. It was played on the radio a lot. And it's in some of these soap operas too. So if you wanna hear them again, go to the Philippines for vacation. You can also get some of their music really cheap...less than a buck.


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