Chinese dialect drama for seniors to return for second season; new variety show on the way

Aileen Tan (right) and Li Yinzhu (second from right) and local filmmaker, Royston Tan (left, with dark glasses) on the set of Eat Already?.
Aileen Tan (right) and Li Yinzhu (second from right) and local filmmaker, Royston Tan (left, with dark glasses) on the set of Eat Already?. PHOTO: MCI

SINGAPORE - A Chinese dialect drama meant to enhance communication of government messages and information to seniors has been renewed for a second season, with another dialect variety show directed by Jack Neo on the way.

Jiak Ba Buay or Eat Already? will return for another 10-episode season in February (2017) following a strong showing, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said in a release on Wednesday (Nov 9).

The drama, a collaboration between MCI and Mediacorp, in partnership with Chuan Pictures and Tribal Worldwide, will air its ninth and final episode of the season on Friday (Nov 11) on Channel 8.

Director Royston Tan, who will again helm the lens for season two, said: "Weaving government messages for seniors into a dialect TV drama while keeping it entertaining has been a challenging but meaningful experience. We adopted a humorous approach to the screenplay, and tried to crunch complicated policy terms into witty, memorable bite-sized information."

A new dialect variety show, titled Happy Can Already! will debut on Dec 2. Each half-hour episode will incorporate messages on healthcare, retirement adequacy and other information relevant to seniors into songs and skits.

Said Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Chee Hong Tat: "The new dialect variety show allows us to try out a different concept to reach out and communicate with seniors. Similar to Jiak Ba Buay, the end in mind is to enhance our communication with seniors using an entertaining format and in a language which they are most familiar with, without changing the existing policies on dialect usage in broadcast media."

Full episodes of Jiak Ba Buay are available for streaming at http://sg.sg/eatalready and Toggle.sg.