SINGAPORE: A dialect drama aimed at seniors will return for a second run in February after its first season received positive reviews from viewers, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and broadcaster Mediacorp announced on Wednesday (Nov 9).
Titled Eat Already?, the series aims to better communicate Government messages and information to seniors in a vernacular they are comfortable and familiar with.
The first season was shot primarily in Hokkien, and highlighted specific issues relevant to Singapore's seniors, such as healthy eating, active ageing and lifelong learning, through the story of an elderly widow working as a cleaner.
“We have received positive feedback from many Singaporeans on Eat Already? and how the show has helped them to better understand different Government policies and initiatives,” said Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State for Health and for Communications and Information.
The 10-episode season, which airs its last episode this Friday, saw an average of 250,000 people tuning in to Mediacorp's Channel 8 for each episode and garnered more than 1.6 million online views in total, MCI and Mediacorp said in a press release.
"The catchy music video, with lyrics focusing on healthy living and active ageing, has been very popular with audiences from all age groups, gathering more than 1.1 million views online," they added.
Local director Royston Tan, who helmed the series' first season, will also direct its second run.
“Weaving Government messages for seniors into a dialect TV drama while keeping it entertaining has been a challenging but meaningful experience," he said, adding that he tried to weave humour into the screenplay, crunching "complicated policy terms into witty, memorable bite-sized information".
"I’m glad the drama has resonated well with seniors, and hope they will continue to follow the series into the new season."
JACK NEO TO DIRECT NEW DIALECT VARIETY SHOW
A new dialect variety show directed by another prominent local director, Jack Neo, will be aired before the second season of Eat Already? begins.
Titled Happy Can Already!, the variety show will be aired on Channel 8 from 12pm to 12.30pm on Fridays from Dec 2 this year to February 2017.
“The new dialect variety show allows us to try out a different concept to reach out and communicate with seniors," Mr Chee said.
"Similar to Eat Already?, the end in mind is to enhance our communication with seniors using an entertaining format and in a language which they are most familiar with, without changing the existing policies on dialect usage in broadcast media.”
Each of the 10 half-hour episodes will use elements such as songs and skits to reinforce messages relevant to seniors on topics such as healthcare, retirement, skills training and security, according to MCI and Mediacorp.
Neo said he was excited by the opportunity to engage seniors in a variety show.
"I hope to translate topical issues and key Government initiatives into ‘snackable’ bits for our seniors so that they can chew on it and stay well informed. I hope the show will help them access the various help schemes available, and more importantly, keep them well entertained and happy,” he added.