According to HBO Asia’s communication director Karen Lai, the cable channel practices a different way of censorship. Although most of the programs that air on HBO are shown without cuts, the channel ensures that its television contents will not offend the audience in this conservative region. Lai furthered all HBO programs coming from the US are the same programs distributed from Singapore to other Asian territories like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
“For example, if there’s a scene that involves frontal nudity, our editors do something clever so the story won’t be compromised,” Lai explained, “Instead of removing the scene altogether, video editors zoom in the frame to show the face instead, or sometimes they pan the focus on the painting on wall. The dialogue is an essential part of the story, if we edit out the lines then it will affect the whole story.”
On Jan. 31, Karen Lai, visited the country to promote the network’s latest series called Luck, a behind-the-track look at the world of horse racing and gambling’s denizens—owners, trainers, jockeys and gamblers.
From acclaimed director Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch, the nine-episode HBO series is top-billed by Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.
Marking his first major role in a television drama, Hoffman plays a 60-year-old character named Chester “Ace” Bernstein who plots revenge against the colleagues who betrayed him.
Luck is a rambling series, which Lai described as slow burner. Thus to entirely understand the drama, one really needs to sit through it and examine each character and their essential role to the whole story. The beauty of Luck essentially lies on the story itself and on the gradual yet strong character build up.
The horse track inspired drama was entirely filmed in Los Angeles and majority of the scenes was shot at the scenic world-famous Santa Anita Park. It will premiere in Asia on Feb. 20 at 10 p.m.