Sunday, August 20, 2017

HBO Asia: Singapore-based Sitcom "SeNT" premieres 17 September

In recent years, HBO Asia has been actively committed to the Asian region, giving local and regional talent a chance to shine, and providing avenues to put original Asian stories on the international stage.

Dark fantasy series "Halfworlds", which used Indonesia and Thailand as backdrops, continued for two seasons. Earlier this year, "The Teenage Psychic', HBO Asia's first Chinese-language drama set in Taiwan, received high ratings locally and in Taiwan for its first episode.

Now, HBO Asia has ventured into comedy. Their first English-language comedy series "SENT" (#HBOSeNT) will premiere across Asia with two episodes aired back-to-back on 17 September, 2017 (Sunday) at 9PM.

"SeNT" features local talent Alaric Tay's directorial debut for a TV series. The comedian, best known for his hilarious scenes as Andre Chicak and reporter Xin Hua Hua in the Emmy-nominated satire, "The Noose", is also co-producer of "SeNT". The series is produced in partnership with the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Jay Bunani (Haresh Tilani of "Ministry of Funny") is a regular financial compliance officer who writes scathing emails to his boss and colleagues whenever work frustration strikes. These emails were stored only in his drafts folder until one fine day, an unfortunate incident caused the highly inappropriate emails to be sent to everyone who had aggravated him.

The aftermath was brutal. Jay was fired from his job, his fiancee left him, he lost most of his friends, and became an overnight internet sensation. However, his old college friend Max Wong (Alan Wong) sees that this could be a chance to re-invent Jay's profile. Later on, Jay gets a job working for Zacheus Lee (Adrian Pang), a business man with wide connections and shady intentions.

In his desperate efforts to redeem his reputation, Jay begins to find out more about himself, and what he has to do in order to turn his life around.

For Red Dot Diva, what is most appealing about "SeNT" is that the series is filmed and set entirely in Red Dot Island, with a diverse cast of recognizable local actors as well as locations, like the ubiquitous HDB landscape. The work frustrations that Jay Bunani faces are also so relatable. Who hasn't fantasized sending searingly honest email bombs like these?

Just check out the trailer for the series below.

The script sounds snappy, the accent is genuine and not annoying, and the production values look sharp. With his big brown puppy dog eyes and varied facial expressions, Haresh Tilani invites  empathy from the viewers, and has wonderful comic timing. The rest of the cast seems to provide enough amusing antics to keep the humour going as well. 

Red Dot Diva is sold!

Red Dot Diva also has to admit that one of the reasons she will be watching this series is because one of her favourite local actors Adrian Pang, is acting in it. (Diva can't help it, lah!) He has such a charismatic screen presence, and always looks super-spiffy in a suit. W00t!

"SeNT" also features actors Carla Dunareanu as Zoey Wong, Roz Pho as Charley Siew, David Asavanond as Sebastian Cilantro, and an ensemble cast that includes Dhanya Nambiar, Indi Nadarajah, Anuradha Chandan, Laanya Asogan, Emil Marwa, Mike Leeder, Nikki Muller, Stephanie Carrington, and Crispian Chan.

If watching the "SENT" trailer has inspired you to send your own uncensored and honest emails, HBO Asia has built The Inappropriate Email Generator to assist with your endeavors.

You can choose the intended recipient and intensity of those emails, and the generator is pretty spot on.

Here's Red Dot Diva's sample email which she wishes can be SENT without horrible consequences! ;)

"SeNT" runs for a total of 8 half-hour episodes, with two new episodes premiering on subsequent Sundays at the same time. The series will wrap up with two back-to-back episodes on October 8, 2017.

You can catch "SeNT" exclusively on HBO channel (StarHub TV Ch 601), and via streaming on HBO on StarHub Go and HBO On Demand (StarHub TV Ch 602).

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