I cry whenever I watched a touching scene on TV or the movie. I’ve cried watching Oprah, together with her and her live audience, but I’ve never ever cried watching Mediacorp drama. Yet, last week, I cried during an episode of RenovAid, my first time watching the documentary, where Quan Yi Feng and Christopher Lee, together with a group of volunteers, visit a dysfunctional family’s home to renovate and clean for them. It’s abit like Nate Burkus doing a home makeover in the Oprah Show, except these families are often sidelined to the fringe of society.
Last week episode, they visited a mother and son. The son (probably late teens or early twenties) is suffering from a muscular waste disease and his mother takes care of him, carrying him from bed to wheelchair and doing everything for him. The team from Mediacorp came and spruced up their house. As a last reward, they took them on a tour of the filming studios. When the actors heard that no one has ever hugged the son, except the mother, all the actors and actresses, like Cynthia Koh and Huang Wen Yong gave him a hug. It was a kleenex moment for me, and also for my yoga mates when we spoke about it the next day at Yoga.
Last night episode was about a family of six. The mother had left the family and the father has to support his brood of five (4 girls and a boy). The whole house was filty, as no one had bothered to clean the house. The vounteers painted, scrubbed and presented them with new furnitures, school bags and shoes. The father is non demostrative, often too tired to be caring. The family had not sat down for a meal together for the past three years. Through the interviews, all the kids, from the teenage eldest daughter who left school, to the youngest one, were deeply affected by their mother’s departure. The stars of the show were the two younger girls, age 6 and 9. Although cheerful outside, they broke down as soon as they were asked about their mother. The kids did not feel loved and were embarrased by the fact that they have no mother. So other than renovating the house, Quan and Lee also advised the father to pay more attention to the kids, and to assure them of his love by hugging them and telling them ‘I Love You.’ For a Chinese man, I could tell it was a difficult task for him, much more to do it in front of so many and on camera. The two kids, however did it spontaneously and they were clearly delighted and amused to hear their father tell them ‘I Love You’. The scene was so touching.
RenovAid stars Michelle Chia. She works with a designer to help house owners. Last week, they helped a single woman to renovate her house so that she can rent out one room for better profit. The designer had a budget of $10K and a week (i think) to do everything. At the end, not only did the owner have a beautiful hotel-like room to rent out, she also have her own brand new bedroom. Michelle found out that no one had ever celebrated her birthday for her and surprised her with a birthday cake.
I like the programs and these are some of the better shows from Mediacorp. I’m glad Singapore have our own home makeover shows, shows that not only transform homes, but lives as well.