06 Mar 2017
The double love triangles in Dream Coder
Photos: Channel 8
After teasing us with a 20-episode build-up of double love triangles, Dream Coder spends the last ten minutes of its finale revealing which suitors its two female leads, played by Joanne Peh and Carrie Wong, choose.
Depending on which camp you’re on, this Channel 8 drama ends on a predictably happy note, with Joanne opting for stability (Yao Wenlong) over sparks (Desmond Tan), and Carrie snuggling up with Mr. SNAG (Romeo Tan) over “the geek” (Aloysius Pang).
And speaking of happy endings, let’s not forget about Began (later revamped as, uh, Re-Began) the fictional app development company where all these characters work. After a long struggle to develop its own product, the company finally produces a phenomenally successful, self-designed crowdsourcing app. All’s well that ends well in dramaland.
Sure, this tech show may not be as sharp as The IT Crowd or as riveting as Silicon Valley, but it’s a good entry level-attempt at educating viewers about programming, coding, and overturning stereotypes about people working in the IT industry. Now that the drama’s over, we look at 5 things we can’t stop talking about in Dream Coder.
Read on for more.
06 Mar 2017
The birth of a new OTP: Romeo Tan and Carrie Wong
Truth: Before Romeo came along, we couldn’t picture Carrie romancing anyone who isn’t named Aloysius or Xu Bin. The actress has been paired repeatedly – and on a rotational basis – with the two Noontalk actors (not that fans are complaining, we’re sure) in four back-to-back dramas: Dream Coder, 118 S2, You Can Be An Angel 2 and The Gentlemen. So when Carrie finally snagged a new guy to date onscreen, we rejoiced at the pairing.
It also helps that Romeo and Carrie perfectly complement each other in the height and visuals department, given how tough it is to find a guy who can match Carrie’s 1.75m stature in local showbiz. All that was needed for viewers to buy into this pairing was their on-screen chemistry, which is, thankfully, palpable in their scenes together. The only quibble we have over their otherwise perfect pairing was how the show forces Carrie to pick between the two men (Romeo and Aloysius) via a staged who-would-you-save-first scenario. But that’s another story for another day.
06 Mar 2017
Joanne Peh’s Mainland Chinese accent
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have probably caught wind of the brouhaha over Joanne’s Chinese accent in Dream Coder. Background information: netizens have called out the actress, who is married to Guangzhou-born actor Qi Yuwu, for speaking with a strong Chinese accent, but Joanne explained that she is merely “a Singaporean speaking proper Mandarin, not a Singaporean trying to be Chinese.”
There are no right or wrong answers to this debate – accent or not. While Joanne’s Chinese accent does come across quite strongly, especially when she’s conversing with her fellow Singaporean actors who speak with Singlish slang, Mrs Qi Yuwu is not in the wrong for speaking perfectly enunciated Mandarin. Plus, this is not the first time (nor will it be the last) we’ve heard her “Chinese” accent used on national television, so it really isn’t something to get up in arms about. At any rate, we got used to it after about three episodes.
06 Mar 2017
The fully local OST
Music maketh a drama and has the power to incite emotions in viewers. This brings us to Dream Coder’s stellar choice and appropriate use of music in the show. The drama has a young, buzzy vibe to it and that is aptly captured in Derrick Hoh’s catchy opening tune, while Ling Kai’s insert song ‘Little World’ gives its young romances a whimsical and hopeful feel (sounds very Korean drama-ish and distinctively different from your usual Channel 8 fare.) Last but not least, The Freshman complete the OST by churning out a moving tune for the show’s ending theme song. Like ‘Holding On’ from Revenge Queen, ‘Memory Palette’ is a tender ballad written by Carrie Yeo and composed by Diya Tan, with a simple melody that tugs at the heartstrings.
PSA: If you liked these songs as much as we do, all three songs are available for purchase on various digital music platforms. Just sayin’.
06 Mar 2017
The too cool (too idealistic) office setting
We absolutely adore the cool office environment of Began – the game tables, well-stocked pantry, fun discussion rooms, THE SLEEPING POD, and the non-hot desking culture that allows the techies to personalise their cubicles inspired major workplace envy. It completely lives up to the expectations of what cool tech offices should be, as seen in examples set by Google and Facebook offices in Singapore and around the world. But as much as we wanted to revel in Began’s cool office space, we were a little distracted seeing techies whizzing around the tiny office compound on hoverboards. Like, it literally takes 10 steps to get from point A and B. Can you not?
06 Mar 2017
“The APP” -- Love Preparatory App
Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the show’s ‘Love Preparatory app’ is available for download – as a transmedia extension of the drama – in real life. Hilariously enough, the app is a romance simulation game: by chatting to virtual versions of the four male leads, you stand a chance to unlock a selfie from the actors who play them. Naturally, we had a go at “dating” the virtual versions of Romeo, Wenlong, Desmond, and Aloy, but after three weeks, we still haven’t managed to unlock Aloy’s selfie. Our friends downloaded the app and gave it a go too, but nope. Still no selfie from Aloy. We’re beginning to suspect the app is taking us for a ride…