Lest you’re not aware, Netflix has a whopping 158 million paying subscribers by the third quarter of this year. In other words, its’s safe to say that they’re the biggest “TV channel” in the world.
And also, if you’re not a Netflix subscriber, you might not know that the streaming giant produces their own shows: it’s an expected move since production studios have started their own streaming platform to compete against them, and any sane businessman would know that depending solely on other studios’ content is a recipe for bankruptcy.
So, on 22 November 2019, Netflix dropped a show that they’ve produced, and it’s about Singapore. That’s not normal as all their original shows are catered to the global audience, so it shocked both Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans alike.
Called Singapore Social, it’s a reality TV show about six people in Singapore struggling with…erm, their problems.
I highly suggest that you watch this video we’ve done before moving on:
(Also subscribe to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss our lousy videos lah)
Ok, so what is Singapore Social, and why are Singaporeans complaining about this show?
Singapore Social, a Reality TV Series
Here’s a brief idea of what the show’s all about: it follows the lives of six Singapore influencers, and it comprises interviews with them and skits (or maybe those “skits” are real-life footage lah; read on and you’d understand).
Throughout the show, we get to know more about the characters personalities, and the problems they face in their lives.
An example would be Ms Nicole Ong: the 28-year-old started a blockchain consulting company, Athena Advisory, and well, it’s not exactly being smooth-riding, according to what she said.
But trying Googling the company and you’d find nothing. I don’t know much about business, but maybe the first thingy is to at least get some online presence instead of networking in atas events in beautiful pink dress?
You get the gist: the show switches between what they do (e.g. in Nicole’s case, there’s footage of her networking in some event) and then an interview (whereby she said that due to her age, some people thought that she’s an intern).
The problems they faced are, to put it bluntly, all first-world problems that we laymen would never have the chance to face.
But is it real?
It’s Allegedly Real
Then again, all the contestants in Survivor and The Amazing Race said the same thing, so it’s really up to you to decide.
But according to an interview, those “skits” I mentioned earlier aren’t skits but real footages. It’s “not scripted” and cameras are allegedly capturing their lives.
Goody Feed makes lousy videos as well, so here’s what we can say: capturing those “unscripted” moments on camera is certainly easy, but getting such good audio is near impossible unless they’ve a wireless mic with them 24/7.
But many times they’re not wearing a lot so I don’t think that’s possible.
What Are Singaporeans Complaining About?
When Netflix dropped the trailer in their YouTube channel, the complaints Singaporeans had were that it doesn’t represent Singapore well: everyone seems so freaking rich with first-world problems, their accents are definitely not Singaporean and the entire show seemed to imply that Singapore is only about MBS, Newtown Food Centre and Chinatown.
After watching the entire show…well, let’s just say that it fitted into our expectations.
With the trailer getting 1.9K Likes and a whopping 1.5k Dislikes, the numbers kind of reflect the comments.
But then again, do remember that Netflix is doing this for a global audience, and they know what people like…which brings us to the next point.
Netflix’s Strategy for Original Shows
Here’s something you might not know: Netflix is extremely secretive about numbers.
You’d never know how many people have watched a certain show, and they won’t even disclose them in media interviews. Obviously the numbers are large and any sane company would flex them, but Netflix’s refusal to disclose the numbers mean they’ve a winning edge: they know what people like to watch and won’t let their competitors know.
You see, even with numbers, their system can detect how long you watch a show—that also determines whether a particular genre is popular. I certainly don’t think it’s a coincidence that they bought over Designated Survivor after the TV network cancelled the show: it’s a political thriller and House Of Cards has proven that people love that genre.
So, despite all the hoo-ha and whatnot, big data does show that it’s going to be a success; maybe not in Singapore, but in other countries.
Which brings us to the next point: who made the show?