Jakarta. Gojek's video-on-demand service GoPlay has released "Saiyo Sakato," a new original comedy series exploring the relationship between Minang culture and the always-thorny issue of polygamy.
Saiyo Sakato — Minangese for "in agreement" — tells the story of Mar, played by Cut Mini, a woman who recently lost her husband, Da Zul. Da Zul, played by Lukman Sardi, owns a Minang restaurant called Saiyo Sakato.
As Mar struggles with her late husband's secret recipes to keep the regulars at the restaurant happy, a woman called Nita, accompanied by her son Budi, comes to the restaurant to break the news that she was Da Zul's second wife.
Not only that, Nita also owns another Minang restaurant that she used to operate with Da Zul, also called Saiyo Sakato.
To make matters worse for Mar, Nita also tells her she has decided to move her restaurant right across the road from hers.
The 10-episode series stars 2019 Indonesian Film Festival supporting actress award winner Cut Mini and top film and soap opera stars Nirina Zubir, Lukman Sardi, Fergie Britney, Jourdy Pranata and Chicco Kurniawan.
The ten episodes were helmed by three different directors, 2019 Indonesian Film Festival original script winner Gina S. Noer, Venice Film Festival-winning director Aditya Ahmad and Arief Malinmudo.
"I like to bring up the family theme because I'm always curious about how an individual responds to less-than-ideal situations when surrounded by family," Gina said at a press conference in Jakarta on Friday.
"When talking about serious issues like polygamy, we often forget we're dealing with human feelings," she said.
Actress Nirina Zubir said her role as Nita, a pelakor (an Indonesian acronym for a mistress and a homewrecker), was very challenging.
"Women don't want to be in this kind of position, many of them are kept in the dark [that their husband keeps a mistress]. They have to face the social stigma all on their own," she said.
GoPlay was launched in September 2019 and is in direct competition with Netflix, iFlix, Catchplay, Hooq and others in Indonesia's increasingly crowded video-on-demand market.
GoPlay's vice president of marketing, Sasha Sunu, said the company's strategy to win over the market is by cooperating with local production houses.
"Saiyo Sakato should appeal to the Indonesian audience because it combines comedy with Minang cultural touches. People will relate to the characters more," Sasha said.
Sasha was reluctant to share numbers but said GoPlay's audience share is improving.
"It's still going up since our launch, especially for original series," Sasha said.
"We will focus on cooperating with more local production houses with a good track record," she said.
According to Sasha, the video-on-demand market in Indonesia is potentially huge.
"At least half of Indonesia's 270 million population use a smartphone. And their appetite for online entertainment is massive," Sasha said.