By : Hamdan Suhaemi.

Soap operas, among mothers, are the most popular shows, and young women are no exception. From school children’s drama soap operas to soap operas that visualize the lives of Betawi residents.

I don’t know, whose idea was originally that the soap opera with episodes started to be shown on TV. I consider them creative to be assessed as a result of acting. What amazed me was the reason and imagination that wrote the scenario. It’s great and extraordinary, so that there are soap operas like Tersanjung I used to watch for 4 years, or maybe more. This includes Cinta Fitri, and historical genre soaps such as Tutur Tinular. All this is considered entertainment only. The lesson is that family can always be together.

Now, soap operas with historical backgrounds have sprung up, such as the soap Raden Kian Santang, the soap Mount Merapi (new edition), and most recently Jaka Tingkir. It is this connection that I highlight with criticism.

There are, several critical notes on the spread of soap operas with historical backgrounds. In the soap opera Kian Santang, the story is inconsequential, of course also far from the actual history of the character. Coupled with the eccentric costumes, the history of Kian Santang seems to have been dragged into a fairy tale.

Jaka Tingkir’s soap opera has a friend dressed as a ninja turtle like Donatelo in Ninja Turtles (a Hollywood product). What kind of soap opera is this? I think it’s better to take fairy tale plays as well as Panji Koming, or fictional stories by Asmaraman Khoping Ho that are also serialized, or Bastian Tito’s works such as Pendekar Kapak 212 (mang Wiro Sableng), or like Ghanes TH such as Si Buta from Goa Hantu. Maybe even this should be according to what was made by the author.

This is a historical problem. Soap operas should not only chase broadcasts and be market oriented. Non-fiction is made like fiction. Those of me who are fond of history feel humiliated, because years of reading, tending to memory, and keeping history books seem pointless. History has been hijacked by unscrupulous soap opera business actors, historical records and fragments have been destroyed for the sake of ratings and for the sake of money, once again for the sake of money.

Remind that it is not just a mere market need, not just chasing dollars or piling up rupiah, nor is it merely entertainment. But history must remain seated in its history. Soap opera producers should not fail to understand history or be “knowledgeable” about history, they need to be selective. It’s good if you have a background in a historical figure, so you should stick to historical references, don’t go too far.

Hopefully, “smart” soap opera activists will read this sharp criticism. **

* Kramatwatu, 22 Februari 2023.

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