Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sinetron vs Bajaj Bajuri

The interest of Indonesian television viewers in electronic cinema or the so-called sinetron or a kind of soap opera had been decreasing some years ago. The situational comedy or sitcom namely Bajaj Bajuri was becoming the favorite of people's choice. The sitcom appeared on television when the viewers were eventually fed up with the excessive production of sinetron. Shortly after its initial appearance the sitcom drew people's interest all over the country. Even then the popularity of Bajaj Bajuri had 'inspired' those who formerly were known for producing sinetron. Bajaj Bajuri then became the new model for some opportunistic producers who soon tried to imitate it. But unlike Bajaj Bajuri no success was gained by these producers.

There were some characteristics in Bajaj Bajuri which made the sitcom appealing to television viewers. In contrast to most sinetron shows which were known for their portrayal of luxurious and almost dream-like lifestyle, Bajaj Bajuri concerned with the life of ordinary people. Indeed, common people take up the majority of the Indonesian society. Until nowadays, in sinetron, some characters are presented as physically perfect individuals who live in a mansion and drive fancy cars, while Bajaj Bajuri presented humble surroundings of a community along with their idiosyncrasies. Unlike sinetron, there were no 'perfect' characters in Bajaj Bajuri. The characters in Bajaj Bajuri were people who also possessed imperfect qualities. All of their human sides including the bad ones were explored and revealed to the viewers. For example, a respectable character may also behaved negatively at one time.    
Both sinetron and Bajaj Bajuri were entertainment television shows. But while sinetron was trying to entertain its viewers by spoon-feeding them with dreams of fake glamorous lifestyle, Bajaj Bajuri entertained by showing the reality, the face of ordinary life. And that was not only entertaining but also enlightening.