We’re taking Malaysians back to a time before streaming services even existed. An era where JARING Internet and movie DVDs were still a thing. While we definitely don’t miss the inconveniences of life without auto-complete and the sound of loud dial-up modems, we do miss the amazing TV shows and movies that were on our local channels.
This Malaysia Day, Netflix’s Rekaan Rakyat collection (available from 10th September) puts the spotlight on over 50 Malaysian films, series, and animated series, including well-loved classics. Take a trip down memory lane with us with these 5 nostalgic shows that Malaysians grew up watching:
1. “Leftenan Adnan”
The very example of courage and heroism, generations of Malaysians have read about the historical figure’s bravery and valour in school. First released in 2000, “Leftenan Adnan” is a film based on the real life of Adnan bin Saidi, a member of the celebrated Malay Regiment, who fought the Japanese at the Battle of Pasir Panjang in Singapore during World War II.
Fun fact: The Lewis gun used by Adnan in the movie is actually a model of a standard general-purpose machine gun with a circular bullet magazine added on. The magazine of an actual Lewis gun is in fact slim, thin and disk-shaped, unlike what we see in the movie.
Directed by Aziz M. Osman, “Leftenan Adnan” is now streaming on Netflix.
2. “Senario The Movie”
Another nostalgic favourite from Director Aziz M. Osman is none other than the “Senario” franchise that saw a group of multi-talented actors, singers, and comedians begin their careers on TV3 in 1996 before moving on to the big screen. The Senario troop includes recognisable faces like Wahid Mohd, Lan Pet Pet, Azlee Jaafar, Shamsul Ghau Ghau, Farouk Hussain, Ilya Buang, Hamdan Ramli, Saiful Apek, and Yassin Yahya.
Brace yourselves for a good laugh and follow three of your favourite friends who get drawn into the orbit of a wily conman, whose schemes stir up trouble and endanger those around them.
Fun fact: Between 1997 and 2005, the group also released six successful albums. Popular songs include: “Sebelum Dan Sesudah,” “Kerja,” “Cinta Berkarat,” “Lip Lap Lip Lap,” “Anje Anje,” “Motor Kapchai,” “Zapin Usik Mengusik,” and “Dikir Barat Siang Malam.”
“Senario The Movie” launches 14th September on Netflix.
3. “Best of Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu”
Relive the good times with one of the most beloved and longest-running sitcom series from the 80s, “Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu”, that follows the lives of the residents in Flat Seri Wangi.
Fun fact: The show made such an impact that Malaysian sweetheart Angeline Tan, who also starred in Netflix’s “The Ghost Bride” as Madam Lim, admits that people still call her ‘Lucy’ when she’s out and about.
Keep up with Pak Uda, Mak Ngah, Ana, Lucy, Budin, Mat Deris, Mat Over and Ravi in iconic episodes from the “Best of Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu” when it launches 30th October on Netflix.
The late Yasmin Ahmad’s final film Talentime is her first teenage-centric story since Sepet and brings a story of love, family and the trials of everyday life. The award-winning filmmaker was well loved for her thought-provoking films that celebrated difference and diversity.
“Talentime” stars Pamela Chong, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Mohd Syafie Naswip, Howard Hon Kahoe, Azean Irdawaty, Noor Adibah, Jaclyn Victor and Harith Iskander.
Fun fact: “Talentime”, like Yasmin Ahmad’s last four films, also begins with the Bismillah verse, only this time it’s in Tamil.
Watch Melur and Mahesh find their ground before they venture out into the world in “Talentime”, now streaming on Netflix.
5. “Best of Spanar Jaya” and “Spanar Jaya X”
“Spanar Jaya” was a well-loved sitcom from the 90s that starred Zainal Ariffin Abdul Hamid, better known as Zaibo, as Pak Selamat – a small business owner hoping to make it in the business world. Workers at his motor repair shop Spanar Jaya navigate love, friendship, and the challenges of running a business.
More than a decade later, the popular series returned to the small screen with its reboot, “Spanar Jaya X”, where Mat Rock inherits the motor repair business after Pak Selamat leaves Klang Valley for new opportunities. “Spanar Jaya X” stars Opie Zami, Douglas Lim, Uqasha Senrose, Ben Amir, and Sangeeta Krishnasamy.
Fun fact: The sitcom’s reboot “Spanar Jaya X”, includes various dialects from different states, including Kelantanese.
“Best of Spanar Jaya” and “Spanar Jaya X” will launch on 15th September 2021 and 30th September 2021 respectively on Netflix.