Shush…it’s taboo

Beneath the everyday façade of normality is an unusual side of the human psyche waiting to be released behind closed doors.

Spousal abuse , Transsexuals , Paedophiles , Mental illness, Incest , Bigamy , Abortion, Elder abuse, Child abuse, Toy boys, Sexual harassment, Impotence, Geylang Girls .

We know they’re there, we’ve heard of them, or even experienced some ourselves. Yet, none of us is comfortable to talk about it with friends and colleagues for fear of offending someone or being judged for our moral ethics. In spite of it all, these are very real familial and personal issues that are happening in the privacy of our homes. The fact that these taboo topics aren’t widely acknowledged by ordinary members in the society doesn’t make them illegitimate problems. The existing law protects us from domestic violence or sexual harassment, provided that we’re aware of our rights, of course.

For Singapore , a conservative Asian Society that frowns upon deviant behaviours, it’s certainly a sign of social progress to have taboo materials highlighted on national TV.

Behind Closed Doors is the informative and educational 13-part series that brings these taboo issues to the glaring TV screen of every household, ending that long-term silence of sufferers and perpetrators.

By giving insight into social malaises, Behind Closed Doors serves to heighten public awareness of their occurrences in society. It’s a powerful tool towards gaining social recognition for taboos, as many might be hearing it for the first time. Plus, it could clear public misconceptions of these domestic issues and help bridge communication between the affected and their loved ones.

Deja Vu

If the concept of this show rings a bell in you, that’s because it’s been tried and tested in Tab TV 1 (hosted by Evelyn Tan) and 2 (hosted by Vernetta). Apparently, the response for both instalments of Tab TV was well enough to follow up with Behind Closed Doors with the same workable concept of tracking shameful and bizarre phenomena going on in Singapore. Unlike Tab TV, Behind Closed Doors is strictly about issues confined to home and not privy to the public.

Behind The Programme

BCDvernettaHosted by Class 95 deejay Vernetta Lopez , Behind Closed Doors explores a different issue each week. Two-thirds of the 30-min programme is devoted to drama illustration of the issue, followed by a Question and Answer (Q & A) session that is tackled by a panel that may comprise a lawyer, psychologist, counsellor and victim.

Don’t expect a celebrity-studded cast for the drama. Rather, plain and ordinaryBCDacting people are chosen to convey the message that these less than glamorous problems can happen to anybody and at the most mundane of places, i.e. at home. It’s set in the heartlands or most notably inside HDB flats – the most common dwelling in Singapore. It’s worthy to note that the actors and actresses have acquitted themselves well in the acting department, despite being non-professionals.

Where direction of photography is concerned, UrbanWire notes how the director combines 2 camera takes at 1 frame to show there’s interaction going on between the host and guest during the Q & A session.

Music-wise, it is apt that Behind Closed Doors chooses rap music for its theme song, as the rap genre is infamous for giving blunt and graphic opinions about society.

It’s rare that Channel 5 allocates airtime to such candid discussion of taboo issues that we mightn’t dare broach it ourselves. Behind Closed Doors is definitely worth your 30 minutes that would otherwise be wasted on watching another dumbed-down Hollywood drama.

Behind Closed Doors is shown on Channel 5 every Tuesday at 10pm from June 10 onwards

It is subbed in Chinese and Malay.