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Saturday August 19th 2017

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VR Man: Fall from Grace (Part 1)

There are 13 episodes of VR Man. If you don’t know what or who VR Man is, he’s the first Singaporean Superhero on channel 5 premiering in 1998. This post isn’t going to be a listicle like everyone else trying to talk about. Bla bla ohohoh VR Man so funneee, ha ha hee hee ho ho.

No.

This post is going to be a review of each episodes because I AM ABLE TO WATCH IT AND WELL, it’s actually not as bad as what everyone remembered or perceived it to be. If you ever want to watch this, go petition to Mediacorp or something. Go FB/Tweet/Email them to bring it back onto Toggle. Heck, I bet a lot of people will actually get onto Toggle and increase their KPIs or something.

I’m going to split each episode into 2 parts because oh man. It is so wild.

Not as wild as Singapore’s NDP but wild enough because you guys. You guys, I wish you could just watch it for yourselves to see. I’m not going to be a pirate and upload the episodes somewhere, so yeah, go ask Mediacorp.

I can’t fit all my comments and screenshots for one epi in one post but here we go. PART ONE.

Get on wifi. There’s gonna be a ton of pictures. The first episode is when they try to pack in all info of the characters since I watched the other episodes and it feels “faster”.

You get the opening of VR Man playing and if you don’t know who the main cast are, this is them.

What’s your status? Hers is food vendor.

KK. Kinda like Lois Lane. LL.

CLICK CLICK man. In all caps.

And we have totally no idea who this guy is. HMM so mysterious.

And we begin with a totally random scene of Singapore life. Guys fishing, HDB flats and I have no idea why they brought their cameras to look into people’s houses through the window as they watch tv or iron clothes.

Yeah ok. I guess trailing after a car seems normal?

Oh hey! Here we are for the episode title. Fall Into Grace.

Guest appearance by Marcus Mok as Agency Doctor. If you’ve watched “old” ch5 shows, you’ll see him a lot.

Here’s Alex hanging out with his bestfriend at… fort canning? Where they heck are they? I don’t know but they’re overlooking the scenery. He teases Bee Bee by telling her that he only brings someone important in his life there often. And apparently it wasn’t her.

Bee Bee conveniently holds up a can of drink as she asks who it is.

I checked the credits, apparently F&N is a sponsor so we’ll be seeing a lot of drinks in the show that you won’t see in current dramas now due to advertising rules or something like that.

ANYWAY, Bee Bee looks around and spies upon another couple. Congrats you two calefares. You got paid for just a few seconds on screen for that night.

Alex admits that someone important in his life was actually “My mommy” AWWW. He’s such a sweet boyboy. So, it’s totally not her and his family instead. Such a cheat feelings comment.

And then he tries to lighten it up because she got annoyed by saying that there’s an ice kacang stall on the other side that he used to go.

This episode was written by Tan Tarn How. Um, yeah that’s it. Interestingly the people in the credits list have gone on to bigger and much more impressive projects now if you read their resume since this is so 1998.

I would like to know who this Gladius Kulothungan is because this is really the first time “3d animation” had to merge with video footage and how did they plan the shots for it.

At who knows what time they are at night, Bee Bee met him on this freaking hill(??) overlooking Singapore to return his comic illustrations.

“I love the drawings, the story, the name VR Man, Virtual Reality Man. Very catchy”

Oh Bee Bee, even in 2017, you have no idea how catchy it got.

And after returning his portfolio, Alex tells her that she is special to him and wants to ask her an important question.

A FREAKING VOICE OVER goes in her mind as she says “He’s going to propose!”

The important question was that he wanted to quit his job as a manager in a computer company and start up his own business. Of course Bee Bee said it is a good idea. “Sometimes I think you’re the only one who understands me” says Alex.

BUT DO YOU UNDERSTAND HER ALEX? DO YOU? She had the most cheat my feelings expression because you didn’t propose to her ok!

Next scene begins with someone wearing headphones and binoculars stuck in some “H.E.A.D.G.E.A.R”. Oh no, so ominous.

The Agency Doctor!!

The guy is “barely alive” and they are wanting to zap him with gamma rays. He is the 97th subject and the doctor is concerned if it will work because all the rest have died.

Zap, zap.

“I don’t think he’s going to make it”

“Don’t worry, he will!”

“Sir! It’s no use!” And then Peter snatches it away and zaps the guy himself.

Let’s appreciate the details they’re going through here to make things believable. Anyway, Peter zapped the dude with a defibrillator and he lives once more. Hurray for Subject 97.

“It works! It works!”

“It’s called faith…” says Peter.

And then Peter orders the doctor to let the guy go once stabilized to see what effects he will have in public. Oh and that they’re going to go ahead with Subject 98.

I WONDER WHO COULD THAT BE.

It’s Funan back in 1998, I think, because that’s what the ‘thanks to’ credits wrote, so we get to see how it was like back then before it reopens in 2019.

This is the part where I get confused. “I’m sure the interview will work out, VR Man will be a hit!” in a voice over by Bee Bee as Alex ‘remembers’ and walks through the mall.

What kind of job is Alex applying for?

A comic artist?

We all know he quit his job as a manager but what the heck is the job he’s going for if he wanted to start up his own company?

WHY INTERVIEW IF YOU OWNSELF WANT TO MAKE JOB????

He’s wearing his lucky red jacket too but it looks like pink to me. Maybe magenta?

Anyway, Peter is lurking non-suspiciously nearby in his coat even though Singapore is hot as heck.

Oh no, a suspicious guy in all yellow.

Wh-what was the wardrobe person thinking though. Maybe it was the fashion for 1998 but that full yellow outfit…

/flashbacks

Ok maybe it was. I wore a full blue outfit back then.

Someone is calling out Alex’s name randomly in the mall and telling him to look down.

Like a nerd, he looks around suspiciously trying to find the source.

Ok, the guy in yellow flipped him over the railing and somehow no one sees it.

I would like to take this moment to appreciate this scene because the stunts are directed by Jimmy Low. Lately, I haven’t seen awesome stunts like these in our current dramas. Just “normal” ones like police shows and chase scenes but no longer elaborate ones like jumping off things and explosions.

Maybe cause of the lack of budget and extensive paperwork…

After a multi-angle shot of Alex falling down from the top floor of a mall…

Peter seems satisfied as he looks down and a couple of calefares smile and point at Alex.

I’d actually be concerned and be running for the payphone to call the ambulance and no smile and point at someone who fell down from the railings?!

Oh bonus: Chilli sauce looking blood.

That’s the end of this episode.

 

 

HAHAHAHAH OF COURSE NOT.

 

You get a full ‘nightmare’ sequence of the main characters looking down on ‘Alex’ and telling him to live. They’re all sad and what him not to die after that fall.

Alex wakes up and oh ok, so he is alive.

His bedroom looks so funky but anyway he woke Bee Bee up.

Does… does she have her own home? Or is she just staying in his place somehow with full approval from both parties’ parents?

SHE IS SLEEPING ON A MATTRESS NEXT TO HIM?? That little bundle in the bottom of the screen is Bee Bee.

 

Anyway she gives him some herbal soup his mother made to get better.

Apparently it’s 2AM in the morning and Alex asks her if he woke her up.

Gee.

What do you think.

She says he didn’t wake her up.

OK LOR. What comes next is the best dialogue ever. They did a narrated summary that he had been recovering for nearly one month.

And the most romantic dialogue happens.

“I’m looking for a space to rent”.

Alex is still wanting to open his computer business (with comic strips of VR Man??) and Bee Bee reveals to him she actually paid for a deposit for an office space while he was in a coma.

“How are you sure I was going to recover?”

“I wasn’t. I thought if I pay first then you won’t die lor. You know, give Buddha no choice”.

WEEEWWW. WEEEEWW. Such confidence and so much money to pay office deposit. But back then the prices weren’t as ridiculous as now, I guess.

Alex is happy and thanks her and they end the scene with her smacking him because he called her kaypoh.

It’s now properly morning and two gangsters are going up to a kopitiam to stir up trouble!

Nowadays you won’t see smoking scenes where people light up on screen and even showing the packs for local TV.

We learn that Alex’s mother is indeed awesome and his sister does study hard but she takes money from her mother instead because her dad likes to gamble.

Enter Alex and Bee Bee.

Alex picks up his dad’s 4D ticket which he dropped and passes it to him sadly.

His dad asks him what is he up to today and Alex wanted to go to his shop. Unfortunately his dad tells him that he should just go work in his previous job instead of the new shop.

SO SAD. Never support his son and this is actually the first documented tech startup in a fictional show for local tv?? That’s what Alex wanted to do!

“I’m restoring computers”

“Yah, repairing computers”

“No, not just repairing” Alex says in that tone most of us would know when the other person has no idea what the heck it actually involves.

Oh no the gangsters came! And that’s some blatant ads for soft drinks.

They ordered “Two Tiger peng”s. Singlish was still okay-ish to use back then.

At least, this show sounded normal. AND YEAH, while nowadays you might see ‘wine’ scenes you don’t have blatant product placement for alcohol because we don’t want to promote irresponsible drinking.

The gangsters stirred up trouble and hit aunty (I’ll call Alex’s mom as aunty) with a crushed can. How dare!!

They wanted her to apologize for staring at them but no. Alex tells them to stop bullying aunty cause they’re mean.

Then he stares at a poster once the gangsters challenged him.

I don’t think photoshop with layers came out back then so this is a pretty impressive advertisement from the props department.

Bodybuilders: Robin Goh and Ismail Tahir.

They just appeared out of nowhere and stood there like that. Then disappeared… Without anyone else noticing when the gangsters ran away.

Oh no, he feels weak like Jean after she uses her telekinesis.

He refreshes himself in the toilet and FINALLY we get a commercial break.

FINALLY. THIS IS JUST 15 minutes in.

Bee Bee gives Alex a ride in her truck.

I’m actually scared cause even though it looks cool with all the flames, she drives like she wants to hit people with it.

He’s going to get his shop! Yay! And no, I don’t know why he wore a cap over his bandage.

Happy music starts as models of all races start strutting around a catwalk.

The ang mos are there to make it look international.

I’m actually impressed there’s a tiny bit of diversity here.

KK scolds the model in yellow as she walks down “Anna, mother nature gave you nice buns, so start using them” and then smacks her butt. In fact she scolds all the rest too (“Charmaine, why are you walking like an Ah ma?”) so I guess she’s the chief supermodel?

Alex enters and sees this picture of KK (Kristal Kong) and the camera pans down to her.

When you decorate your own place yourself with yourself.

“Never seen a beautiful woman before?” she says because he keeps staring at her and the pictures.

So he says hi and she thinks he’s one of the people who want to books models until he lets her know he’s the one renting a place nearby.

Apparently she’s the new manager for the current model place and calls the previous owner about it.

Actually that part is pretty believable even if for some reason all the models are sitting like a rainbow together.

New place! So nice, covered with newspapers. I’ve never seen a to let office space covered in newspapers before… They usually just put a real estate agent sign outside and that’s it.

It’s supposed to look like it’s a dump but I see the set manager or props people just put newspaper and random boxes all over the place.

KK reads the form and asks him that his new shop is “Computer business?” and he replies “Yes, I’m small scale”.

Somehow she’s disgusted but he explains this is a start and leaves him to his new office space.

Meanwhile Peter meets the gangster in some Chinese cemetery for maximum creepiness and listens to what had happened in the kopitiam. He’s intrigued about the random men that appeared out of nowhere and tells the gangster to do what he says and not to ask questions.

Peter orders the gangster to go back to the kopitiam.

AND NOW YOU HAVE SEXY SAXOPHONE MUSIC.

This whole scene is he’s moving all these boxes with one broken arm in a cast, ok.

Oh my.

KK walks by, probably to go buy food for lunch or something and pauses by the door.

Me likey.

AND WITH THAT. End of this part 1 because we’ve finally passed the 20 minutes mark of this 47 minutes and 54 seconds episode.

THINGS I LEARNED SO FAR:

  • F&N is a sponsor and we’ll calculate how many times their drinks appeared in an episode in part 2 of Fall from Grace.
  • Bee Bee lives with Alex but he calls her his bestfriend.
  • You need to interview yourself for your own business.
  • Don’t look over the railings when someone calls your name suddenly or you’ll end up on the floor with chilli sauce.

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