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Batswana give the thumbs up for ‘Go Lala Go!’

Batswana give the thumbs up for ‘Go Lala Go!’
November 29
10:30 2018

What makes thing go viral? What makes things catch on? Such questions can ring in one’s head, particularly when online. What makes people cling to certain ideas and not others?

Marketers will tell you about emotional resonance and the ability of the consumer to connect. One such industry that has this down to a science is Asian cinema, particularly the Chinese and Korean varieties. Though they communicate in their native languages, Asian actors’ keen sense of timing, their ability to project a range of emotions and their penchant for melodrama makes communication beyond subtitles effective.

Coupled with well-developed instrumentations in the score and use of cinematographic markers, Asian dramas have managed to get a global appeal outside their territories, such as in Botswana. Btv currently airs one such programme, the Chinese drama, Go Lala Go, which premiered on mainland China in 2010 and has since spun off two movies.

In true Asian style, the drama tackles friendship, filial duty, love of country and honour. The characters’ principles are tested while traditional customs are at the core of each episode. The protagonist, Du Lala, played by Wang Luodan, is an administrative assistant in a multi-national corporation in Shanghai. With misadventures in abundance, viewers watch as she climbs the corporate ladder, learning how to use status, leverage relationships and apply strategy in the cutthroat business world.

Global Post Lifestyle pounded the pavement to probe Batswana about the phenomenon combining slap stick comedy, tear-jerking drama and action in a single episode every Tuesday night.

 

Seneo, a 23-year old student at Ba Isago University, says the series is addictive. “Chinese dramas are always very catchy and you follow what the story is about very quickly,” she enthused.

 

Thirty-one year old Irene describes them as “interesting” as soon as one gets used to them. “Which is after only a few episodes,” she said.

 

Others, reflected through other people. One such person is 34-year old Letlhogonolo who spoke of has a sister being so obsessed with Asian dramas that she can watches them throughout the night. “I know a lot of people, mostly girls, whose lives depend on these shows,” he said. “My sister is one of them.”

 

Another Asian cinema enthusiast, 23-year old Sylvia, said Chinese dramas are an escape with more twists and turns than Western soapies and dramas. “Asian actors have more range than Caucasian actors because so much can happen in one show,” said Sylvia. “I think more is asked of actors there because they do a lot of emotionally demanding scenes.”

 

Most people contacted said there is a considerable amount of Chinese culture to learn through watching their soapies and dramas. Many said they appreciate the range from indigenous culture to life in the modern world.

 

Go Lala Go is only the second Asian drama series to capture the hearts of Batswana. The Korean drama, Boys Over Flowers, which aired on Btv in 2011, had girls fawning over the character Jun Pyo. Go Lala Go! airs on Btvc every Tuesday at 10pm and repeats on Fridays at 10pm.

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