Greatly Annoyed~

I am inspired to write this post after watching yet again another illogical, stupid episode of the Safa dan Marwah sinetron showing on Prima 105. Well, I may as well include most of the sinetrons being aired on Astro and TV3.

First and foremost, I am not a strong hater, I only dislike something. And it is a strong dislike at that. Secondly, I am not a fan of sinetron. I only watched it because my family love sinetron. I am the only one in the house without any same interest in something (my parents love the wrestling show which I don't share, my siblings and nanny love K-drama which I also don't share, my mom and nanny occasionally love watching Bollywood together, you get the point). I am the ONLY one in the house who have no interest whatsoever in line with their interest. Sad? Yeah, it gets lonely... *sigh* Which is why I sometimes sacrifice my brain cell into watching things like sinetron. I don't watch all episodes, and I never finish an episode without running off playing with kittens and stuff.

Ok. Enough rant. Here's why I have a passionate dislike towards sinetrons. 

1. Plot

Sinetron usually starts off with the introduction of main characters; the goody two shoes gal, or an unrealistic tomboy, or a poor girl... you get the gist. Apart from the main characters we are also introduced to the friends of the characters and the family, and sometimes the villains as well. Then we get to see what the story is going to be about; sometimes it is girl meets boy then they have sparks of love or something. Usually it starts off with that. 

     Then the plot will develop and we see problems arise whether in the main characters' love problems, the family's darkest secret threatened to spill, the villain starts being real jerks and so on. Alright, still harmless family entertainment. No problem there. Until the episodes start to drag to like... 300 (?)... and the plot went from realistic plain ol' things into something absurd and bizarre. For example, in the sinetron Safa dan Marwah. It started off about two friends having the usual love triangle problems, then some family problems come in, then everything escalates into dying and mysteriously coming back to life, ghosts of love ones walking around and giving advice to living people, airplane suddenly crashes and more angst ensues. 

      The entire plot becomes pointless. No one really need all those supernatural stuffs. The story does not start off as being involved with supernatural at all, the story starts off with family-friendship based theme so nothing makes sense in the end. And I am surprise people still think this is enjoyable. The plot itself underestimate the audience's intelligence. It has no continuity and it has no substance, and Astro is showing this on TV for what? 

2. Characterization

This is perhaps the main big problem with all sinetron. I don't get why these sinetron directors think that the main character (who is usually female) must be weak, whiny, and a big crybaby. I cannot count how many times characters like Safa, Kejora, Kamilla, Intan, Cahaya and much more cries for EVERY SINGLE PROBLEM they have in their lives. They cannot even stand for themselves, they need to be rescued by someone (mostly the guy they're romancing with, or the other guy who has a crush on her) all the time. And the main heroine usually has to be poor so people will sympathize with her, must have a good heart, is klutzy, is oblivious to all the pretty boys having a crush on her and so on. This type of characterization used to work, but right now, no main character should be depicted as such anymore unless one has a good reason for it. 

      The villains on the other hand are almost inhumane. Villains are usually females too (this comes to mind about how sinetron perceived of women but that's for another post). They must be pretty, rich (sometimes poor as in the case of Safa dan Marwah), and filled with unexplained hatred towards the main character. Villains are smarter as they shows their capability of scheming all evil plan without a sweat. They spend their time thinking evil things, planning to hurt the main characters when they are bored, hovering around anywhere near places or people with important information they can use to torment the heroine. Yeah. Their whole existence is either to make us pity the heroine (which doesn't work), to make us hate them, to torment the heroine, to progress the plot if the director has no idea what he's going to do next and so on. Yeah. That's the whole point of being a villain. Reminds us of the cartoon villains we watch when we were 5 whose sole purpose is to destroy the whole world. And that don't even make sense.

        Heroes, or the main characters' love interest, are all handsome men with good education, good job, and everything. Their hobby is pondering about the girl they love. Their job is to make the girls happy, flattered, sad and so on. They step in whenever the girls get into trouble or are being bullied by villains. Boring...

      Other supporting characters are also poorly thought out. Mothers of the heroine are kind, weak, sappy, wise (yeah right), sappy, crybaby, useless, and did I mention sappy? Mothers of the villains are evil, vengeful, hateful, scheming, evil... Fathers either support their wives whims or defend their children. Other than that, nothing else. Well, getting angry at their children is another thing too. Non-supporting characters like the driver, the doctors, nurses, teachers are all paper cut-out. You won't care even if they get run down by a truck.

3. Character development

Except from the villains who see the errors of their way and changed to better people (some who don't go into the jail or into hell), none of the characters develop AT ALL. Even if they did develop, they still sucked.

     Safa is still the weak crybaby that she is even after 200+ episodes, Intan is the same dumb oblivious person to the end of the series... The same can be said to most heroines of sinetron. The characters that I know experience character development; 

a)  Melody
Starts off as a capable lady with positive attitude who turns into a sappy mother who is clingy to either this guy or that guy for emotional strength. 

b) Kirana
Starts off as a no-nonsense independent tomboyish girl who demand respect from everyone despite her social status, turn into another huge crybaby who lost complete control of her life and need support from either this guy or that guy.

c) the girl from Benci Bilang Cinta (forgot her name)
Starts off being an interesting brat with an attitude who later turn into a whiny woman who have difficulty standing on her ground whenever she got into a fight with her husband. 

Now you see, none of the character developments are good. You get to like the character one second and couldn't stand at her sight at the next. 

4. Logic
Logic is important whether a story is set on real world or in fantasy world. But in the world of sinetron, reality and fantasy collide in an amusingly confused way. For instance, I remember a scene from Cahaya where the heroine was hit by a mannequin and fainted with a bleeding head. Then her boyfriend (who else would it be) carried her all the way to the hospital on foot because none of passing car wanted to give them a lift. Seriously? Maybe I'm over-reacting but actually in most sinetron, almost all scenes involving the good guys in dire need of medical attention will get a convenient 'I'm sorry, I'm not free" just to make the situation a lot more pathetic. Apparently no one in Jakarta is 'free' to help an unconscious woman who is bleeding on the forehead.

     Other than the illogical aspect of reality mentioned above, now come the illogical in the fantasy element of sinetron. Now I'm sure none of the directors have any intention of making a fantasy sinetron when they started one. But when they decided to get wild with their imagination things go awry. For instance, the sinetron Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah used to be such a hit among my friends during high school. It started off with the usual teen-flick premise; the good gal, the bad gal, the hunk who's in love with the good gal bla bla bla you know the gist. Then after 50+ or more episodes of ridiculous conflicts, suddenly there is a fairy godmother and a witch. If the idea of fairies and witches and magic are introduced or hinted as being as part of the sinetron, I won't be having any problem with it. But these elements just appeared out of nowhere and the story goes more stupid than when it was only about reality. It's like Gossip Girl for 100+ episodes, then Gossip Girl+Supernatural. 

5. Negative message about God

Most sinetron I've watched have Muslim characters but still I don't think what I'm going to talk next is without truth. 

First of all, the good guys are usually religious people while the bad guys have no qualm about God. They expresses their belief in God through prayer scenes and appropriate situations. It's all good until the bad guys made the good guys miserable, or a series of unexplained misfortune befell on the good guys. Makes you think why the bad guys are always lucky on sinetron. 

     When the good guys get miserable, instead of watching them still standing strong you see them break down, cries for an hour, self-pitying themselves excessively and talking things in line of "Why do you let this happen, God?" Or much worse, when someone comfort them they will say this; "These [misfortunes] are all God's test..."

     God is the Almighty in everything. He's compassionate, understanding and forgiving. Good things come from God, not bad things. And the good guys keep saying things like this every time something bad struck them. I cannot bear this stupid drama. By using these shallow dialogues throughout the sinetron is like sending message to the whole audience that God never help those who pray to him. Besides that, all the misfortunes won't even happen if the character actually have brains to figure things out to solve their problems. By brains I mean thinking. The good guys are all dumb and weak as proven by how easy the bad guys trick them. And it happens all the time in the sinetron. Now, there are two sides to being passive: one is that you are strong enough to control your pride and turn to the other cheek, and the other is you being an unwilling dumbass in distress who will do nothing but cry. Unless it's the good guy's OWN choice to let themselves be wronged, there is really nothing admirable about them.

So, sinetron directors, please do not give TOO much unfortunate events on the good guys lives and have them give the impression that God is to be blamed for everything. 

6. Kill your darlings, just please kill your darlings and be done with it.

They die, got buried, but later we get an explanation that it was not actually s/he who died. S/he will either lost memories, or ended up somewhere healthy and alive. And they will find their way back to their love ones. Boring.

     They got heavy injuries, admitted into hospitals and doctor said "S/he only has a few hours to live", love ones will go "No.. NOOOUUUU.. WHY GOD WHY?", the life machine gives off teet teet teeeeeeeeeeettttttt sound, more crying, spirit came out from the body, spirit looks at crying love ones and goes "They need meh!", spirit enters body back, and life machine goes teet teet teet, and love ones will exclaim "OMG, IT'S A MIRACLE! THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU!"

      So far, in the sinetron Safa dan Marwah recycled both of the scenes above more than 20 times. Showing the spirits of the dead persons crying are one thing, but bringing them to life over and over again makes it stupid. Besides, there's no substance at all with these idea. The director seems to use these kind of scenes whenever it is convenient to the plot. But they don't matter much. Directors, if you really want 'em dead, kill 'em. Don't magically bring them back to dead just to make the story more sad. 


I can list a lot more negative things about sinetron. But doing so take too much space. So yeah, you guys can go and watch some sinetron for yourself to grasp what I'm talking here. Don't worry, it will only kill a little bit of your brain cell.

Now, I am in no way against those who do love sinetron. I only express my opinions and I desire for better sinetron, better drama and such. For now, I'm going to stay as far away from sinetrons.