For the past three weeks, my mum and Harold have been on a Sinetron rampage.
After our renovation works have ended about a month ago, I have subscribed the bundle plan from Singtel so that the three of us are able to get a free home line, surf the internet on a ridiculously fast fibre broadband connection and is at the liberty to watch over 300 channels 24/7, at the tip of our fingers.
I obviously chose the "Desi Pack" which included 11 Hindi channels (that to me is like the entire Ramayana and Mahabharata combined), Harold his sports channels and my mother who chose everything from movies to channels in Chinese, Tagalog, Indonesian, Korean and on top of that, home improvement channels to National Geographic.
Oh, my mum LOVES National Geographic. She finds the act of a lion pouncing on a poor antelope absolutely gratifying and satisfying. I think this highly reflects her personality and inner psyche but then again, I could be wrong.
It could be worse.
So naturally I figured that National geographic would be the channel that she would be glued on to but boy was I wrong. At any given time whenever she is glued in front of the television, it would be an Indonesian Sinetron on the screen.
A Sinetron is the equivalent of a Soap Opera, a Telenovela, only that it is in Indonesian and in true drama serial style, it is filled with scandals, villains, a tortured girl...somewhere, a bit of magic and demonic possession, lots and lots of face close-ups and dramatic slow-mo effects and ridiculously over the top acting.
But what is more baffling to me is that Harold, my fully grown twenty-two year old heterosexual brother is also addicted to it. I am talking about pre-recording, online episode searching kind of addiction! Mother and son is so obsessed with Sinetron that discussion happens even on the dinner table, like yesterday.
"Mum, I recorded the latest episode of Si Kulit Putih (The Fair Skinned) for you already," my brother told my mum in between chews.
"Oh thanks! Please don't tell me what happened to Soraya, don't kill the suspense for me!" my mum excitedly replied.
"They made her drink it, and she drank!" my brother dramatically said.
"Nooooo!! Oh my god, are you serious Harold?!" my mum flipped.
"Yes, stupid right?" my brother rolled his eyes like a middle aged bored housewife talking about her impotent husband.
I just had to butt in.
"I'm sorry but what are you guys talking about?" I put down my cutleries and looked at them intently.
"It is about this girl in the Sinetron that we are both watching right now. There is this villain, a super bitch, the stepmother of Soraya this orphan, her name is Melly. She asked Soraya to drink a glass filled with rat's poison to prove that poor Soraya is innocent when her necklace was stolen. But Soraya didn't die. Last time when she was stuck in a jungle, a pack of wolves tried to attack her but back down suddenly," my brother explained in great detail.
"I think she might have powers or has a guardian angel," my mum nodded, adding on.
"What kind of hobby are you guys getting yourself into? What kind of twisted story is this?" I shook my head in disbelief.
"You wouldn't understand," my mother said.
Ah, I don't wish to.