Thursday 11 January 2018

When your old TV shows come back to haunt you like Fiona Xie's ghost in Maggi & Me

Yesterday, I received this message from someone I don't know via Instagram (of all things):
Hi there sir. Forgive me i am super desperate to find out what happened to the ending of the tv series "maggie and me" haha ... can i have an explanation for it please ?
So apparently, this person watched this old Channel 5 comedy series Maggi & Me starring Fiona Xie and Adrian Pang (probably on Toggle), got really into it but was stumped by the series finale, saw my name under Executive Producer in the credits, found my Instagram account and here we are.

I didn’t reply because I honestly don’t remember much of the show.

I mean, the final episode aired almost 10 years ago in February 2008 and most people nowadays probably don't even know the show even existed.

But like Xie’s eponymous ghost character in the show, Maggi & Me has returned to haunt me.

And that wasn't the only one of my old shows that came back from the dead recently.

Anyone remember Ah Girl?

The sitcom ran for three seasons starting in 2001 on TVWorks, which later became Channel i, which later became defunct.

I created the show but quit the production after writing a few episodes.

Then last August, I got an email from the star of Ah Girl herself, Cynthia Lee MacQuarrie:
Hi SM,

How have you been? It's Cynthia, aka Ah Girl. I thought you left the country and I tried looking for you on Facebook and voila, someone told me where to find you! I am writing because someone is interested in producing Ah Girl the movie and wondering if you would be interested to be part of it by writing it please? If the rights is still owned, then we would use a different name/title.

What say you? Let me know your thoughts please? We could meet up and have a chat about it.
OK, there's a lot to unpack here.


I haven't seen or spoken to Cynthia since the early 2000s and I'm shocked she even remembers me.


She thought I left the country? Am I so low-key? I thought I was this semi-famous newspaper columnist. Well, that was humbling.


She tried looking for me on Facebook and someone had to tell her where to find me. Really? She could just Google my name and be directed to this blog with all my social media links. I mean, even the Maggi & Me person found me on Instagram.


Someone is interested in producing Ah Girl the movie? I would be less shocked if someone wanted to do a Maggi & Me movie.

Anyway, because of my bad experience with the Phua Chu Kang movie, I was reluctant to write another movie based on a sitcom and I told her so in my reply to her.

But she sorta insisted I should be involved and so I agreed to meet the producer and give my input - and I haven't heard from Cynthia since.

Which is just as well.

Another old Channel 5 show that I worked on years ago that seems to be having some sort of after-life is Shiver. I was surprised to come across these two Reddit threads on the 1997 anthology series recently:

Does anyone remember this old Ch5 TV show called Shiver?

Anyway to watch an old TV show 'Shiver' internationally?

I was especially delighted that a Shiver episode I wrote (and acted in) about people trapped in a lift was discussed in the earlier thread.

Future MP Darryl David was in it with me.

I remember people hated Shiver (for which I wrote eight episodes) when it first aired, but now there appears to be some weird nostalgia for it, thanks to kids who saw it back then and are now grown up.

Yeah, that makes me feel old.

Ironically, Shiver may be older than Maggi & Me and Ah Girl, but it's the better remembered show.

I guess it could be because more people watched TV in the earlier days.

Someone has yet to send me an Instagram message about that lift episode, though.