Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Episode 1471: Swimming With Sharks

Let's get my only issue with Swimming With Sharks out of the way first, which is with the unevenness of the American accents across the cast. George Young pretty much nailed it, and Adrian Pang sort of did as well, but Janice Koh tended to sound like just a well-educated Singaporean. The supporting cast was similarly a mixed bag. That aside, however, I enjoyed the production. I'll admit that the first half actually didn't quite 'click' for me, which was a bit weird because I've seen all three leads act together on The Pupil, and they had great chemistry on that. Everything after the intermission worked though, especially the scene where Young's Guy tortures Pang's Buddy. In retrospect, all the pre-intermission stuff that sometimes felt like it was retreading 'boss from hell' clich├ęs made complete sense. It's a play about show business, and show business thrives on its archetypes, right down to the sob story that Buddy busted out towards the end of the torture scene. Like Guy, I'd been a bit of a schmuck, willing to take everything at face value, including buying into the overt betrayals happening onstage, without considering that Buddy was playing us all for a sucker with a long con, right till the final scene's twist, which considering the amount of American TV that I watch, I really should have seen coming. I won't spoil it, since the production is running till the end of this week, but it's a clever one. Not by any means original, of course, but in this context, it's hard to deny that it's fiendishly clever.

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