Indonesia Has Its Own Harry Potter, and It’s So Bad You Have to Binge-Watch It
The boy who lives under the stairs and goes to magic school is so not Harry Potter.
The show's creators claim it has nothing to do with J.K. Rowling's saga. But check out the Indonesian wizard who lives under the stairs and gets an invitation to a magic school delivered by an owl (and get ready for some extremely ridiculous CGI).
It turns out that Indonesia has its own version of Harry Potter — the show called Alfa with a total duration of 42 hours. It premiered eight years ago, but until recently, the series was popular only with the Indonesian audience.
Each episode of the show begins with a warning that any resemblance to popular characters is purely coincidental. However, the show almost completely copies the plot of J.K. Rowling's saga.
The main character is a ten-year-old boy named Alfa who lives under the stairs, although his adoptive parents have a large, luxurious house. One day, an owl brings the child an invitation to a school of magic, but the family refuses to let him go, prompting the Indonesian "Hagrid" to intervene.
Instead of Diagon Alley, the boy is taken to a fruit market. There, Alfa is given a banana that turns into a wand. There is also a Sorting Hat, which performs the same functions as in Harry Potter.
In the world of magic, the boy makes new friends — Vega (Hermione) and Rey (Ron). The school also has the Indonesian versions of Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore, and Minerva McGonagall. At the end of the series, Alpha encounters an evil wizard — the prototype of Voldemort.
However, you can also notice something original in Alfa: instead of brooms, the characters fly on giant candies. Also, the Hogwarts Express is replaced with an amusement park ride. Well, at least it seems to be a lot more entertaining than a train.
Harry Potter is as popular in Indonesia as in the rest of the world, and this is reflected in an unexpected way — the number of sales of wild owls in the country has increased, which researchers attribute precisely to the popularity of the franchise in the country.
Some episodes of Alfa can be found on YouTube.