Should Parents Allow Their Children To Watch Anak Metropolitan?
So the current season of Anak Metropolitan is almost over (We’re down 12 episodes and I suspect the show will be ending soon since there’s not much left to explore content-wise, unless they’re about to expose the little known gangster-underworld happening in kindergartens next – they’ve already infiltrated secondary school kids and primary school kids this season, so I don’t see why not!) but this season has experienced phenomenal popularity so far and I believe that it would serve us well to mentally prepare ourselves for a fourth season somewhere in the horizon of our already petrified lives.
It’s hard for me to imagine ANY parent who would knowingly allow their offspring to soak in the rich immoral travesty that is Anak Metropolitan 3 but I’m sure there are many working moms and dads out there who aren’t aware of this little television show and what it blatantly promotes, so that’s where we come in!
Here are 7 things you should know about the Anak Metropolitan 3.
1. BLING, and you’ll miss it.
I find it hard to believe that our men in blue aren’t catching more of these bad boys because here are a few things I’ve learned from this show. Firstly, these boys usually operate at night and secondly, they wear huge chunks of jewellery so they’re usually very shiny and you can see them coming from afar. When they’re fighting in a group, it’s like the Marina Bay Sands light show.
I’m not kidding, these gangster boys apparently don’t have enough money to feed their kid sisters but they’ve got necklaces and bracelets and earrings your mom can only dream of while she’s scooping nasi briyani at the void deck on a Sunday afternoon. I’m surprised the producers don’t pause the playground fight scenes and have Rilla Melati roll out the Golden Chance lucky draw box to announce weekly winners in the middle of every episode.
On the other hand, if you ARE a makcik and your makcik friends ever diss you for not having enough bling at the weekly nuptial gatherings, you are now fully authorized to swing back with a, “Please, that is so anak metropolitan.”
So if you’re okay with your kids equating masculinity to a fully decked neckline and the ability to sparkle in the moonlight, then you can let them watch the show. Otherwise, please refrain!
2. A whole new language awaits you.
I have learned so many new words from this show and let me tell you, it has opened up a whole new world for me. I now have absolutely no problems communicating with elderly Chinese folk at the Senior Citizens Center. This is an example of how one might chit-chat with one’s Anak Metropolitan buddy on the show.
Friend 1: Lu nak tengok movie sama gua?
Friend 2: Okay but first, mana loo?
Friend 1: Gua depan mata lu kan!
Friend 2: Loo where got eyes![/box_dark]
And then, they fight. Obviously, this dialogue is purely fictitious and there’s no gangster on earth who would ever use the word ‘loo’ in reference to the toilet, but you get what I mean. Before I watched this show, I’ve only had uncles selling newspaper speak to me this way with the “lu” and the “gua” and it was both pleasant and friendly. Now I see kids at bus stops speaking in this manner and I find it both horrifying and appalling. It would be vaguely threatening if it weren’t for the McDonalds Hello Kitty in their hands.
And I haven’t even gotten to the actual vocabulary yet! Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far from the masterful dialogues.
*Anak metro lingo alert 1* – Police is also known as “berok” which means ape or giant monkey, please take note. So if you’re ever going camping in the woods with any Anak Metropolitans, please discuss beforehand how to alert each other when actual apes attack. If they think it’s the police, they will not help you and you will have berok scratches all over your face and Suria will never cast you in Anak Metropolitan because obviously a flawless face is their most realistic requirement when it comes to casting gangsters.
Your dreams of competing in princess sparkles competitions with your fellow gang-mates to see who can wear the most neck jewellery will be over before you know it. Anyway, I’m really glad this show came with subtitles, because for a minute there I was like, huh really? There’s an ape? At the park? How big is their budget?!
*Anak metro lingo alert 2* – I swear, this show has been more informative than 4 years of writing Malay compositions back in secondary school. Spilling blood during a gang fight is termed “kasi kicap” which means blood is referred to as “kicap”. So when you’re eating out with your anak metropolitan friends, PLEASE DO NOT ask them to pass you the soya sauce! You have been warned.
*Anak metro lingo alert 3* – The leader of each gang is known as PAPA and his girlfriend is officially called the Mama, how sweet right? So please take special note of this when you’re inviting your Anak Metropolitan friends into your home and introducing them to your parents. Make sure you emphasize the word ‘biological’ before saying papa and mama.
*Anak metro lingo alert 4* To “picit” someone is basically to call someone on his or her handphone. So please use your fingers wisely when your anak metropolitan friends ask you to picit them! Otherwise you might end up with kicap all over your fingers. (Revision: “kasi kicap” means to spill blood, so we’re not talking about ayam brand soya sauce here)
So basically, if you allow your kids to watch this show, prepare to feel like you’re having brain surgery every time you talk to them henceforth.
3. Touching, all over the place.
If there is a lap on this show that hasn’t had the special honor of having another cast member’s head rubbing against it in intimate fashion (and these are not even sex scenes, that’s just how these kids chill out on a normal day at the park – apparently crotch is the new head-pillow) then that lap must have been born on a very special night under a very special falling star because that lap is a mighty lucky lap to have escaped this strange new teen habit of lying on each other’s laps. And you know you’ve entered a very strange and rarefied world when you can consider yourself lucky if your lap hasn’t performed pillow-duty for one whole day.
So back to my main point, there’s a lot of boy-girl fondling and touching going on in this show and this is definitely not something you want your primary school kids to be watching. Teenage hormones are crazy enough without the extra push they might get from the hormonally charged catalyst that is Suria, Mediacorp.
4. Fighting, but not all over the place – only at every playground possible, and only past midnight.
These gangsters have a very specific theme to their event planning – fights are always at playgrounds after midnight, illegal cigarette-selling happens at playgrounds in the afternoons and crotch-pillow naps mainly occur at playgrounds in the mornings. Basically, they’re at the playground all day long. So after watching a few episodes, your kid might either become fully traumatized by the prospect of going to the playground ever again or start going to the playground with a personal first aid kit and a weapon of choice.
5. Many leopard preenz were harmed in this production.
Part of me is actually super impressed by how these girls are so deeply committed to their relationship with leopard prints. Bravo! You know, girls, if you put even half of that commitment into your schoolwork, you might eventually one day find the scientific key to unlocking human-leopard transformations and become actual leopards full-time – which I’m pretty sure is their main goal in life. There was this one episode (the one where Nita’s friend reaches the pinnacle of Bras Basah bookstore celebrity by getting molested) where Nita sashays in with a whole dress made out of leopard prints and then we see her friend and she’s wearing a totally normal-looking top but then suddenly, the camera pans down and she’s got leopard prints lining her pockets and shorts. It’s like a widespread addiction and there seems to be no cure.
Hmm I’m not sure how this will negatively affect your kid’s lives but somewhere deep in my heart, I just know it that nothing good can ever come out of over-dependence on leopard prints.
6. A heavily romanticized view of gangsterism.
Now, let’s get real for a minute here. The portrayal of gangsterism on this show is nothing like real life. Everything is watered down. They’re constantly drinking Pokka green tea and let’s just say real gangsters would prefer something a little less halal that lives in the tiger family. What’s portrayed as a molest scene in the show could easily have evolved into a rape scene in reality. And finally, gangsters in real life do not have pretty faces or perfect skin. The hieroglyphics on the side of their heads are not always perfectly manicured and their tattoo artists don’t use marker-pens.
And this makes sense because it’s a television show and they want you to relate the subject matter without shocking your system and to a certain extent, they want you to be seduced by it. But your kids don’t know that. All your little girls are going to see are the mega long lashes on these sensitive new age gangster boys and your little boys will quickly observe how every gangster girl seems to be mentally programmed to ignore every single chair in the room and sit on a guy’s lap instead. That’s not a bad deal for a highly hormonal teenager, you know.
I mean, this show features an entire 5 minute sequence where a gang member walks out of prison and the way they styled that scene was SO GLAMOROUS, I half expected Fergie to pop out from the bushes and start singing her song. I’m not saying that ex-criminals should be pelted with sambal sotong as they’re walking out of prison – finishing your sentence and turning a new leaf is a wonderful thing. It’s just not something you want your kids to look up to and idolize, obviously. Plus, I feel like not only is this show portraying Malay teens in such a bad light, it’s also dealing a low blow to ex-criminals by showing this gang member jumping back into gangsterism right after his runway catwalk out of jail!
7. A cautionary tale?
Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking. The show will ultimately punish all the evil gangsters in the end and the kind, sensitive gangsters will find the right path, “taubat” and turn over a fresh new leaf. This is a great lesson for the kids, right? Well, not really. As with most tv series, this whole turning point only happens at the very last episode when everything suddenly and magically changes and the characters either realize the error of their ways or take a one-way trip to prison. That’s like eating 5 packets of nasi lemak and counting the vigorous act of chewing and swallowing as your cardio workout for the day.
I hope that I’ve given you enough reasons to keep your young children away from this show as much as possible! My personal opinion is that Anak Metropolitan 3 is truly entertaining and hilarious at times, but that’s partly because I’m a fully-grown adult and I’m privy to the fact that if this was real life, 80% of the scenes would either be playing out in a hospital ward or a police station of some sort and the main character would be more likely to end up with a prison sentence rather than a budding romance.[divider]
If you’d like to read more of my reviews on Anak Metropolitan 3, please visit http://omgsianz.org/tv-movie-reviews/
A big fan of movies and television, Rafiq is a freelance writer who blogs at www.omgsianz.org