MediaCorp is a group of commercial media companies in Singapore, with business interests in television and radio broadcasting, interactive media, and, to a lesser extent, print publishing and film-making.
Currently, MediaCorp runs 7 television channels and 13 radio channels, making it the largest media broadcaster and provider in Singapore, and the only terrestrial TV broadcaster in that city-state. It is wholly owned by Temasek Holdings, a government-owned investment arm.
MediaCorp celebrated 30 years of local Chinese dramas in 2012.
Aside from missing the old dramas, I also loved their old sitcoms a lot. They used to have really funny sitcoms like Don’t worry, Be happy, Right Frequency, My genie etc. But they seem to have totally stopped producing such sitcoms all together. And if you do a google search of the lists of dramas of the 2000s, it would certainly bring back many fond memories. I would like to end off with a few of my favourite dramas that I am missing! Wok of Life (Fu Man Ren Jian), Condor heroes, The Legends of the Eight Immortals, Looking for stars….. Strikes a chord?
I attended a job preview there recently. The compound was rather foreign. It was submerged in the hub of ginormous custom made houses. The satellite dishes there seemed to be calling out for a sponge soaked with Mama Lemon. Caldecott Hill was definitely no Beverly Hills. Oh, maybe the houses nearby were but definitely not the Mediacorp infrastructure.
There were flights of stairs everywhere. Elevators and escalators, where are you? There seemed to be no trace of technology anywhere apart from the satellite dishes. I ventured further into the compound and discovered the customer service centre. It was air conditioned! How refreshing. The area seemed like a separate planet as compared to the staircase zones outside. The lighting exuded a cosy aura. The people behind the counter greeted with a welcoming smile and efficiently provided me with the visitors pass.
The workers strutting there generously provided me with the directions towards my destination. The radio building. It was humongous. Unfortunately, everything there screams "Old!". I was intrigued by the radio deejays at work. One was even nearby, on the line with another person via his iPhone. He sounded exactly like the voice that seeped through my speakers in the morning.
I approached the elevator there. Yes, finally! An elevator present there. The elevator seemed like those banal ones that workers use to transport goods in shopping centres. It creaks too. The doors opened and Jean Dankers voice boomed throughout that level. How intriguing. I glanced around and was appalled by the window located nearby. It was rather moldy and the hinges seemed to be rusting away.
Mediacorp is certainly a venue which brims with interesting activities that may lead your eyes ablaze with star-struckness. However, why dont't they renovate it? This vintage architecture is eerily intimidating. Even the dusty vending machines available there didn't seem trustworthy in terms of age.
After experiencing all the ups and downs through 70 episodes of the show, you want everything to turn out well and reach the proverbial happy ending. Especially when the dam show is called Double Happiness and the plot revolves around a restaurant named Happy Fish. What happened was the exact opposite. The details are so forgettable that I've already forgotten them. But it involves a series of bad news hitting the poor old mother who then had a heart attack, adding to the collective sorrow and melancholy of the show and eventually culminated into a cry fest where every single character, if not outright bawling their eyes out, is standing around looking forlorn and miserable.
With lasting images of those anguish faces etched in our minds, the show ends. I was shocked. Is this what we have waited 70 episodes for?! I understand that they wanna set the stage for the second series of the show, but TOTAL DESPAIR?!
I resolved to temper my expectations for any shows by mediacorp hereafter. I still watch local dramas now and then, because I feel that it is still funny and engaging. But I am no longer tempted to follow a show from start to finish. Mediacorp have an annoying habit of ruining the last episode of a great show. Nowadays, whenever I hear people complaining of some shitty open-ended ending following a great series, I nod my head sagely and say,' I told you so.'
If you think TV is really free, it is not. Every household will need to pay TV and Radio license, although this payment may be to the government and not to Mediacorp. Since I am paying and so many other households in Singapore are paying, then the amount should be significant enough for us to ask for viewable programs. I think Mediacorp is spreading itself too thin to branch into the new media and thus placing less emphasis on TV.
Right now, when I watch locally made dramas, I find them to be repetitive, unimaginative and not at all intriguing. Besides, some of the young actors and actresses that are employed by the company have way inferior acting abilities as compared to those I saw during my childhood.
If Mediacorp is to continue having the popularity it now enjoys, it sure needs to think of new ways to entertain.
Of course, in delivering local shows, mediacorp does well, and I think it's good that they are trying to promote local television, but their advertisements for these shows are horrible. They show the wrong footages and the announcer is just bad. They do not know how to give the right amount to the audience so as to create suspense.
Well, since mediacorp is free, it's not that bad if you aren't into television shows and movies. If you are, best to get a pay-for set of channels. Much better. Or turn to the online world, becaause shows that pass into Singapore often get badly censored by the MDA.
MediaCorp attempts to keep up with the times by constantly churning out replicas of gameshows from other countries like America or Japan. However, what this only manages to achieve is make the company look like a complete poseur as those gameshows are usually a flop when it comes to local context, and it can get quite tiring to constantly see those shows on repeat.
Furthermore, with MediaCorp's tight industry of actors and actresses, it's getting quite a bore to constantly see the same few faces on various dramas. In fact, it's hardly surprising to see Jeanette Aw acting in a 7pm drama, only to see her lovely face once more during the 9pm one.
With the introduction of Cable TV into my home, MediaCorp channels have definitely taken a back seat. However, I still flick through Channel 5, Channel 8 and Channel U on occasion when I'm bored, and looking for some local humour. Locals shouldn't be too quick to diss MediaCorp though. Although the media company is on the decline, some of the TV productions are definitely better than certain Hong Kong dramas on Cable TV, and it's always refreshing to watch some local satire!
Maybe because I've grown up now - maturity sets in, and storylines churned out by the scriptwriters are becoming a complete bore to me.
Maybe because I've watched too many of Mediacorp shows - the same old faces in the drama serials are becoming less and less appealing, tiresome to even watch on. I'm sure many others out there can empathize with me and relate closely to my thoughts. Imagine watching Rui En in two separate drama serials that have their screening timings approximately only one hour apart.
There are obviously (abortive) attempts by the company to rescue the slowing declining population of Mediacorp's fans - the 30 golden years event held recently to commemorate the achievements and good old memories of Mediacorp. There were crude remarks that the event was simply redundant. (Ouch! But yeah, I agree.)
Instead of wasting time and efforts channelizing all of their resources to organize such frivolous and useless events to retain their viewers, why not spend it on grooming the new talents or increasing the budgets for the drama serials to allow greater variety and novelty in the plots? Is Mediacorp placing focus on entirely wrong areas?
I shall seek solace in drama serials that Mediacorp import from other countries for now. Thank god, at least they provide alternatives to the local shows.
They do not have the horror of american shows, they do not have the drama of Hongkong dramas and they do not have the emotional factor of korean shows. But thank god for channel U and channel 5 by them for putting up these shows to give me a platform for comparison.
i guess we just can't compare to other countries.
If it did though, it would be swallowed up whole. Delivering misses again and again, Mediacorp has proved itself utterly inadequate. The television programmes it produces are lackluster, the actors and actresses aren't a particularly talented bunch, it's just an utter trainwreck.
Sure, Mediacorp may have a few plus points that are its saving grace, but on the whole, it's a cliched little excuse for a media corporation and an utter disgrace for a media monopolizer in Singapore.