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Show spirits up auds

'Unbelievable' uses various angels to find answers

HONG KONG — It’s a talkshow with a supernatural twist — and it’s had auds hooked for five years.

Cable TV’s 90-minute “Unbelievable” invites viewers to share ghost stories and asks palm readers, fortune tellers and feng shui experts, among others, to decipher the reasons behind recent events such as why Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome hit Hong Kong.

“There are various angles to talk about and different ways to interpret these questions,” says Felix To, the program development and production controller for Cable TV’s television operations division. “We have 12 experts who use science or quasi-science to conduct their own investigations into these topics.”

On July 1, the sixth anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from British to Chinese rule, hosts Frances Fong and Emily Kwan will ask how China is changing the feng shui of Hong Kong.

Feng shui, altering the environment to bring good luck, plays a large part in Chinese society.

“It is extremely important to people who want luck or fortune in life, and feel that fate is not solely in their hands,” To says. “Many people work very hard, but think it will only get them so far.”

The show, which airs Saturdays at 10 p.m., is not political despite such hot-button topics.

The ghost stories are particularly interesting. In Asian society, ghosts are people who encountered a tragic or unjust death, so their stories are compelling.

“It does not matter whether viewers believe in ghosts or not,” To says. “I think the show’s successful because we have a long history and the right ingredients: a lot of folklore and cultural beliefs that are supernatural in nature.”