It is still early August 2014 but if there is an award for Telenovela of The Year or to use the Malaysian version, ‘Drama Tahun Ini’, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), if it were to be a production house, must be a strong contender for the award.
With numerous twists and turns in its main plot (but just what is the main plot is a subject for debate) and sub-plots and sub-sub-plots (how many sub can one have in a plot?), it has just the right ingredients to make for a riveting telenovela – a slow start followed by an upping of the tempo, a short lull and then comes the storm with bursts of activities, disclosures and revelations coming at you thick and fast. If one can keep pace with it, that is.
If not, then one will be hard pressed to remember what was the storyline in the first place? Was it a case of sorting out two party strong men locking horns in the same state? Or was it to set a record of sorts by being the first state in the country to have the Speaker of the State Assembly and the Menteri Besar (or Chief Minister) being of the same gender? Or was it to have a dress rehearsal of sorts, for the party’s dream of lording it over at Putrajaya?
So riveting it is that it makes the Terengganu episode just that – an episode. Or more like a short story. Maybe not in Jeffrey Archer’s league but still, a short story. Even contender for Raspy of the Year, if they have one that is. Fizzled out before the whole thing could get going.
It is imperative, for a telenovela to do well, to have a good cast of characters. There is always The Underdog, who doggedly proving that even if he may not be top dog, but he is no more the underdog, AND no-one and, I repeat, no-one is going to take him for granted anymore especially when he proves that he does actually have a pair of solid steel ones. Proverbially speaking that is. And being the Underdog, the sympathy card is with him and with it. And rightly or wrongly, you can’t help but root for him. Afterall, he is one against many.
Then comes the Manipulator – charismatic, ambitious, full of self-confidence and speaks well. Too well that whatever he says, like it or not, goes. Constantly on the look out for gullible minions to do his bidding and has, from the very start, has mastered the art of throwing stones in glass houses. And how is that done? By looking at the next person that is or any other person but himself.
Then comes the Minions. Now these minions are not anywhere cute like those likeable yellow minions but minions just the same. And minions comes in all shapes and sizes.
Like the one who had a moment of epiphany and wised up as a result. Not a minion anymore, that one.
And then there is the one that wants to call the shots and thinks he does actually call the shots. After all, does he not model himself on the Manipulator in every way possible. But will he be able to call the shots? Would not the Manipulator be offended? After all, there can only be one Boss. Is it not so?
Then there is the minion who just do whatever the Manipulator tells him to. And why not? Is not the Manipulator the boss man? Defacto or otherwise, whatever the boss man say, so shall the minion do.
But what is a telenovela without female characters?
Le femme No.1 is the wildcat. Don’t do any wrong by her and by extension, her boss, lest you want to feel the agony of having scratch marks on your person. These scratch marks are no less passionate than the other type, but they are full of venom. Loyal to a fault. But in the world of politics, you can do with having loyal aides.
Then there is the dutiful wife, who looks up to her husband so much that she’d readily do his bidding and cannot do without his say so. You can’t fault a dutiful wife, for a dutiful wife is never at fault. Just infuriating especially when she is actually the boss. Elected that is.
Since there is a wife, then there must be a daughter. Filial daughter she may be but where her loyalty lies is itself a plot by itself. She may be no angel but then again, are there angels in politics?
And never forget the man of the cloth, in this case some come complete with robes and the mandatory skull caps whilst some with a book on one hand and a guitar slung on the other shoulder. He may, at times, opine differently to yours, and he may, at times, opine in tandem with yours but never you doubt his commitment to his beliefs. Steadfastly and regardless.
Of course, what is a telenovela without the Mischievous One? A cameo here and a cameo there, a line here and a line there, all to add spice to the whole affair.
Just how the telenovela will end and when it will end, we will never know. Or should the question be ‘ do we want to know?’?
In the meantime, stay tuned for more twists and turns and maybe, just maybe, you get to answer the all important question, “What was the main plot?”.
In the meantime, does anybody know how that other telenovela ended? The one with the never-ending party elections. That one does not qualify for ‘Telenovela of the Year’, cos after all, it did cross over two years, did it not?
Date : 12 August 2014