Back from the beyond

Back from the beyond
Michelle Chong is back

Couch Grouch

I see dead people.

To be precise, I see dead American small-town people coming back to life in serious return- from-the-grave drama, Resurrection. But more of that later.

In Singapore, the best return from beyond has to be Michelle Chong's comeback in The Noose Season 7.

Her one-season absence left a gaping hole in the show.

Now, thankfully, the mistress of mimicry is back. Her cheery Filipino maid Leticia Bongnino and Singapore grouch Nancy Goh, who complains about poor-man issues while living in posh Nassim Road, crack me up like a coconut.

She is also sharp, smart and wicked, and she simply makes everybody in the team seem better when she dives in - like Luis Suarez in Liverpool.

This season's big hits for me include this week's funny report about adding more buses to our public transportation-congestion system, a great skit about HDB satellite towns (actress Siti Khalijah is hilarious griping about lousy satellite TV reception), and, gasp, Chong's exuberant China girl alter-ego, Lulu, waving a scary pink IC, hence making her free to work outside the "keh tee wee" (KTV) now.

But there are misses - the team had a golden opportunity to make an angmoh run comically to the hills like Anton Casey did, but they missed that by a mile when they disappointingly brought in four Caucasians for a lame cultural lesson in the classroom.

Other laments about The Noose: A pool of better acting extras is needed and it is time to get out of the guerilla-style low-rent look. MediaCorp should really build this deserving series to a swankier, classier Saturday Night Live level.

Detractors will want the series to hit harder, but remember, this is still merry Singapore and The Noose, I think, is tightening its rope a little more this season without everybody getting arrested.

As it is, its cast members' impressions of cringe-worthy official people really do leave me with my mouth dropping to the floor out of fear for their longevity.

Meanwhile, as real life goes on in tandem with reel life, I am following The Noose as the twisted-sister version of The News here. Singapore, a hotbed of change, is becoming funnier, nuttier and infinitely newsier by the minute as a minefield of the absurd. We need to record our parody of such changes for posterity.

Now, on to the dead who return to life in Resurrection.

First of all, this deathly patient, melancholic event-series, based on a novel called The Returned by Jason Mott, has nothing to do with a French supernatural drama series in 2012 also called The Returned.

That show was about dead folks popping up quite wholly and sprightly too.

The French, of course, have an existential attitude to such sudden re-existence.

The Americans, on the other hand, at least those in the religious small town of Arcadia, Missouri, tend not to ask too many questions.

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