"Keluarga Baha Don": When culinary finery meets organised crime

Florey DM
"Keluarga Baha Don" cast and crew with Viu's Kingsley Warner, Mark Johnson, Head of Advertising, and Sahana Kamath, Head of Original Productions (Malaysia and Indonesia).

2 Sep – "Keluarga Baha Don" presents a very unique take on a Malaysian family, one very eccentric one whose head happens to be an uber-don who's been running illegal dealings in the food industry while using his food business as a front for them.

To the middle son, Jo Don (Remy Ishak), this was news. As he's lived abroad for 15 years since he was 13, he's lived life blissfully unaware of his family's (real) business.

It is only after the 70-year-old patriarch, Baha Don, passed away and named his successor, that Jo learns his true fate. He is forced to leave behind his dream of becoming a chef and start learning the ropes of the family business instead, much to the dismay of his own mother, Mama Don (Susan Lankester), who has been hoping her favourite son, the eldest Mat Don (Khir Rahman), will inherit it.

The youngest daughter, Ucu Don (Sharifah Aleysha), doesn't care. The impulsive teen just wants to be taken seriously, even as her mother acts overly protective of her.

Jo Don trying hard to reason with Mama Don's uncle, Secretary Hui (Indi Nadarajah).

We spoke to star Remy Ishak, who told us he had no problem playing his character at all since he had real-life experience to draw from – the chef part, not the gangster part.

Thanks to the time he spent working at a hotel before, his culinary skills are no joke. Though he admitted that it wasn't exactly expert level but it was up to a point where he wouldn't feel out of place playing a chef.

That said, the filming of the 10-episode series was not without its challenges. The first being Remy had to speak in French, as was required for his character. Director Syed Fariz even brought in a French friend on set to teach the actor how to speak the language, and he would learn for two to three hours to nail his dialogues.

Another tough challenge for Remy was working with the high-profile cast. "Namron, Sabri Yunus, Alvin Wong, they're all my seniors. Automatically, I feel small when I'm with them, because I truly adore them," said the actor.

"It was hard to act at first during the first week because I respect them a lot but by the second week, it was good," he added.

Only the most hardcore of families would have a crocodile for pet. (Or is that for dinner?)

With its absurd but witty comedic elements, "Keluarga Baha Don" is an enjoyable series that brings to the table a different kind of mafia-themed comedy for the Malaysian audience.

Watch all 10 episodes of "Keluarga Baha Don", now available for streaming on Viu.