Sunday 22 February 2015

Still a jerk? Glenn Ong versus Nicholas Lee (and VR Man)

Glenn Ong again?

Yes, I’m aware that I wrote about the former radio DJ just last month.

Can I help it if last week, his second ex-wife Jamie Yeo revealed in a magazine interview that their 2009 break-up was her fault and that she was “really sorry”?

That is a game-changing revelation about Ong, who has provided this column with so much material since he announced his separation from Yeo on his radio show six years ago on Valentine's Day. How romantic.

Then, less than two weeks later, he announced he was dating another DJ, Jean Danker.

There was speculation that Ong was already “dating” Danker during his marriage to Yeo, leading to the split.

Since Ong already had one failed marriage with another DJ, the late Kate Reyes, where Yeo herself was alleged to be the third party, it was easy to jump to the conclusion that he was the bad guy.

Or “scum-worthy”, as radio DJ Joe Augustin put it in 2001 after Ong’s split with Reyes.

Augustin and Ong must have since kissed and made up as Augustin was Ong's last on-air partner before Ong quit MediaCorp last month to become a director at some consulting firm called Cirvis.

That's 50 Shades Of Glenn for ya.

But now Yeo has set the record straight — not about whether she was responsible for breaking up Ong’s first marriage, but about being responsible for breaking up his second marriage and her first.

In response to Yeo's bombshell, Ong, 45, told The New Paper last week:
“Maybe this will answer the questions of a lot of people who blamed me for the split. I bore the brunt of it for years, with netizens calling me a jerk and saying I had cheated on her and was the cause of it all.”
On behalf of all those netizens, I concede that they might have been wrong to say Ong cheated on Yeo - but the jury is still out on whether he is a jerk.

We need a character witness.

I know! Let's get Nicholas Lee.

The actor first came to fame in the 90s as a cast member of Singapore’s first sitcom, Under One Roof.

But today, he is probably better known for his recent online spat with Ong over another local show on Channel 5, a futuristic sci-fi drama called 2025.

It stars Lim Kay Tong, who coincidentally will also appear in another production with a year as the title, playing Mr Lee Kuan Yew in the upcoming movie, 1965.

How does Lim travel from 10 years in the future to 50 years in the past? In a hot tub time machine, of course.

So is 2025 any good?

Here is Glenn Ong’s Twitter review:

I have to disagree with him here.

VR Man was not funny.

Sure, the short clips of the 1998 series starring James Lye on YouTube are unintentionally hilarious.

But if you ever sit through a complete episode, you will realise it’s no laughing matter. You’ll wish for a hot tub time machine to get back the 60 minutes you wasted watching the show.

But I wasn’t the only who took umbrage at Ong’s tweet.

2025 happens to be produced by Nicholas Lee’s pornographically-named production company, XXX Studios.

In response to Ong dissing his show, Lee retorted: “Spends his entire career talking cock. Even after quitting still talks shit. Fuck Glenn Ong.”

I think it's safe to say Lee thinks Ong is a jerk.

I’m not sure whose side to take in this mini feud as I have been both a critic and a producer of criticised local shows.

Like Ong, I have been frustrated by how unwatchable local shows can be. We haters gonna hate.

On the other hand, I applaud Lee for standing up for his show and the people in his company who worked so hard to produce 2025, although he could’ve used fewer expletives.

As Lee told The Straits Times: “The show represents the collective efforts of over 200 Singaporeans over 14 months under very challenging circumstances.”

All this publicity could’ve even improved the show’s ratings last night.

You know who really should be angry with Ong? The people who worked so hard to produce VR Man all those years ago.

How dare Ong compare VR Man to 2025? What an insult to VR Man.

At least people are still talking about VR Man more than a decade later. You think anyone will even remember 2025 in 2025?

I’m going to be a jerk and say no.

Lim Kay Tong may be Mr Lee Kuan Yew, but he is no James Lye.

- Published in The New Paper, 22 February 2015


Why VR Man will outlive us all

Why I'm afraid to bump into Glenn Ong

UPDATE: Another 'online spat': Glenn Ong versus... me?