Heroes is a big hit in Asia. We get it that series on three different stations: Two Asian cable networks and on a local Manila network so far. There is a local contest to meet the heroes when they travel to Singapore, and fans are looking forward to “Heroes Ringtones” for their cellphones.
What makes the show Heroes popular? Is it Hiro, or is it the blond cheerleader? I don’t know, but it’s all over the tube.
Then we have JACKBAUER JACK BAUER JACK BAUER. Newer shows in English, but older shows in Tagalog.
DePalma and Hollywood might be busy making anti american films, but Bauer rules the airways here….at least until the new improved politically correct Jack Bauer comes out next season…can’t have reality mirrored by a tv show, can we?
One has to remember that English is a second language, so action films where philosophy is not important is the way to go. Or it might be that at the end of a hard day, people like to have someone to admire. And so the biggest shows are of heroes, be they Jack Bauer, Hiro, Captain Barbell, Darna, or the latest Anime.
There are a lot of serials on television, often locally produced (with costumes on the gals that Lolo likes) or from Korea. I love Korean soap operas myself. Always a beautiful maiden, often a beautiful but evil woman trying to part the lovers, and love conquers all.
But one of the big hits is the original Betty La Fea…in Tagalog, and and the American spin off, Ugly Betty, in English. Ah, but like Bridget Jones, Betty is beautiful at heart…
Hollywood seems to be sliding into another “antihero” era, with directors determined to rejoice in sliming the American military, a tactic that will probably backfire on both Hillary (who I support) and in the pocketbook.
What they need to remember is the advice of an old Hollywood hand: If you want to send a message, send a telegram.
Those espousing “realism” don’t mean the realism of ordinary folks, but the mud of the criminal as hero. But for the rest of us, we prefer good old fashioned escapism, a reminder that sometimes those trying to do right do succeed, and that good does triumph over evil.
When critics blasted Tolkien for writing escapism, he blithely dismissed them by saying: You are mistaking the escape of the prisoner with the desertion of the coward.
Escapism allows us to have hope, to return to the duties of our daily life refreshed, and with an example for us to follow in our own small battles.
So let’s hear it for Darna, Hiro, and Jack Bauer.
They remind us that the good guys sometimes win.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Phiippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.Â