Letters: Testless TV shows
Paper Edition | Page: 7
For a very long time, several Indonesian TV stations have aired shows they themselves consider entertaining and humorous, “absolutely guaranteed to amuse the viewers”, so their ads proudly proclaim.
The fact is, however, that most of the shows were and still are so boring and so steeped in tasteless attempts by the actors to be hilarious, that even those with scant education, such as household helps, becak drivers and public-minivan drivers prefer not to watch them. Many sinetron (Indonesian serials) aren’t any better: they feature a large amount of verbal and physical abuse, are shocking and vulgar, and do not offer any real mental and spiritual sustenance for the viewers, many of whom include small children.
Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring should be aware that Indonesian TV shows and films play a large part in influencing and shaping of the characters, manner and behavior of all impressionable Indonesian TV-viewers, children and adults alike.
Low-quality TV shows which repeatedly feature crude language, tasteless jokes and abusive behavior negatively influence countless Indonesian adults and children. No wonder so much unrestricted violence is now happening all over the country!
On the other hand, TV shows and serials with high-quality content, where good Indonesian (or any other local language) is spoken, and where the actors and actresses behave decently and are well-mannered, will help to positively shape the characters and behavior of the present and future generations of Indonesians.
Those of us who know Javanese and Sundanese fondly remember the Mahabharata and Ramayana Wayang performances that we loved to attend, where the elegant and stately language spoken by our heroes such as Gatotkaca, King Rama, King Yudhistira, as well as their valiant and chivalrous behavior, used to influence us as children and helped form our characters.
Bogor, West Java