S'pore's Under One Roof sitcom is a hit overseas

12 August 2014 / 2 years 2 months ago

By Jennifer Dhanaraj
The New Paper
Sunday, August 10, 2014

"This reminds me of a story. Long before your time in the Southern province of China..."

Sounds familiar?Yes, it's Under One Roof!

Of course you remember Singapore's first English sitcom: The show that created one of the most-loved TV families, including Moses Lim as Tan Ah Teck (are you singing the theme song yet?).

Clearly still hung-over from last night's wonderful parade and the immense outpouring of national pride, we just happened to stumble across the IMDB page for the classic sitcom.

And we're not the only ones getting a throwback to the good ol' days, when Under One Roof ruled our airwaves from 1995 to 2003.

A handful of foreigners, including Canadians and Australians, got a taste of the made-in-Singapore comedy too apparently, Under One Roof was aired on a multi-cultural channel, at about 2 to 3am.

According to Mediacorp's Facebook page, Under One Roof was "so well-received that it was exported to Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Canada".

It was also the first local sitcom to be aired in Canada.

Crazy hours aside, let's see what some of the reviews say. (Don't worry, they're mostly good)

Reviewer toyguy wrote in 2004: It might be a challenge to get past the Singaporean accents. (He clearly hasn't watched Phua Chu Kang)

Cross that hurdle and you're there. Voila, it's a delight to "discover the wonderful sitcom".

He also said: "Every time he (Tan Ah Teck) goes into one of his lectures near the end of the show, I know we're in for a treat. They always start with: "A long time ago, in the Southern Province of China.....". There will be a great punchline each time, but there's always a moral to be learned as well. In fact, there was an episode where he was asked to market his stories in book form, which was hilarious."

An Australian also had good things to say.

The reviewer, Podiwa, said: "Under One Roof turns out to be even funnier than many top-rating American shows". (This was written in 2001, when Friends was still airing)

Some others didn't have glowing reviews.

For one Canadian reviewer, "It's so bad, it's good".

Another just hated it. "It even goes beyond the 'so bad it's funny' level...this is so bad, it almost made me cry."

We're crying too, as the memories come flooding back. Anyone wants a DVD box set of Under One Roof?

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