Recently I have been inculpated by my father to watch a dated soap opera set in HongKong. First it behooves me to point out that soap opera is perhaps an understatement of the underlying moral brunt of the work to the public audience. The impression the word gives me nowadays is the kind of ephemeral lazzi-faire dating adventure present in many Hispanic or American soap operas.
I have to admit a deeply entrenched sympathy towards the 3 stage plot development prevalent in many of those old films. No matter how salient the new movement away from such archetypes might be, my aesthetic sensibility is beholden to the fact that the intrinsic flow of emotion seems to jibe best with such simplistic and causal unfolding.
HK is in itself a great setting for exploring the most hidden and hideous aspect of human nature. It is unthinkable that a place so congested and oppressive could produce heroic characters, with greater preponderance than those found elsewhere in the world, simply owing to the diametrically contrasting setting those heroic actions take place. The closeness of interpersonal contact as well as the hustle and bustle of everyday life spawns a multitude of plain yet energetic stories, whose causal flow and moral justifiability are abstracted and idealized significantly by film makers. But to inchoate audience who regard such allegorical work as absolutely fanciful and unrealistic, it is better to educate them with idealized truth than dope them with a sense of chaos and instinctual desire whose sprawling presence in contemporary media and popular "art" has been a vitiating factor in the precipitated debauchery of our generation.
Of course one may rightfully argue that we have no control over the general societal trend in the large, and to insulate fledgling young people from social debris is not going to solve the problem in the long run. So I bravely propose the introduction of HK soap opera as an antibody to many social vices. From those long-winded and entertaining shows, one will get a sense of how to distinguish the right from the evil when there is a lot of background noise to distort the picture. Sometimes good characters can arise from rather satanic coterie, but there are well-supplied cues for recognizing prototypes. When a devious person is presented in a condensed fashion on the screen, the film helps summarize all of its traits and origin for the inadvertent audience.
To be continued when I have the incentive to…