Week of September 5, 2011
Seven Filipino dramas. That’s the most I’ve ever watched at the same time. Even funnier, I’m watching almost three times as many shows on GMA than I am on ABS-CBN. (Heh.) So I decided, why not do a little weekly opining on the goings-on in the land of
Pinoy soap opera (that’s too Kapamilya-ish)… Philippine drama. I’ll hopefully *crossesfingers* have these up every Saturday. But really I hope to be able to catch all these shows (and any new ones that come along and replaces them/adds to the list) once the American television season starts, well, this week really. So on to the opining…
100 DAYS TO HEAVEN
A very interesting week. Anna finally knows Sophia is her daughter. Should make for an interesting new dynamic and honestly, it was needed. Xyriel makes everything better, but the show story-wise has been overly repetitive. The parade of guest stars has gotten a little worn out and they’re going to need to switch up the formula or speed it up. Roll eyes at Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo’s
guest appearance Junior Masterchef promo appearance. At least give her something substantial. She deserves more than. Double roll eyes at next week’s guest star, John Lloyd Cruz. Oh brother.
Lots more surprises this week. Amaya has been moving along very well since it premiered. They’ve maintained both great visual and creative quality. Some new dynamic shifts on Amaya too. Seeing Dian Lamitan as one of the slaves, Amaya’s destiny being out in the open, yet not bringing imminent danger to her, and Bagani, Binayaan and friends raising hell. The series has a few more months to go, but they are definitely not letting up.
We finally meet
Furbie Iglot and at the very least, he/she/it is not a scary-looking as the 2nd Kokey incarnation last year. This second week was equally divided between Ning & Iglot and the love angst and drama of Mariella and the predictably abusive Juancho. No question, I much preferred watching Ning and Iglot over the hits to the face, horny husband and eager aspiring mistress. I am looking forward to more of little Luningning and Iglot and less of the adults, quite honestly.
MARIA LA DEL BARRIO
Another strong week for MLDB. Monday was another amazing episode, very emotional stuff. It was sad to see Ai-Ai de las Alas officially leave because I thought she was excellent here and I wanted to see more of her and Erich together. They had great chemistry and I feel like we’re getting cheated out of juicy scenes between Ai-Ai and Angel Aquino.
And while this is all great drama, I do feel like it is missing that Latin flavor. Other telenovela adaptations had maintained a nice Latin flavor, that spark, that sexiness and exoticness, while also infusing a lot of Filipino-ness. But MLDB seems more like a typical Pinoy drama. A great, well done Pinoy drama, but typical. It’s not like we haven’t seen this before.
I am definitely hoping they can infuse more originality as well as keep some of the original MLDB-flair too.
Though I haven’t written a full review (I’ve always meant to), the series has been a reasonably well-written and competently acted series.
Gloria Romero is always great and she’s elevated a lot of the scenes with her maturity as well as youthful wit. While Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez, and Neil Ryan Sese (in, finally a considerable role) are good, it is the younger set that have stolen their fair share of scenes.
Though with much room to grow, Mona Louise Rey (in the title role as Jennifer) brings enough charm and likeability to make you root for her. She’s been an emotional punching bag, but unlike other “bidas” (*cough*Mara*cough) she isn’t afraid to take a stand, stand up for herself, and be more mature than her age. Barbara Miguel, Kyle Danielle Ocampo, and Migs Cuaderno as Calilla, Michelle and Tonton are also very commendable as they deliver the lines complete with snark and relative bitchiness (yeah these are kids) like they do this in their everyday lives.
Storywise, this week was kind of slow with most of the story, but got a huge boost by the introduction of Boots Anson-Roa’s character of Ingrid as well as Bobby Andrews as her son and explaining why Robert Arevalo popped up out of the blue a few weeks ago. I certainly hope this paves the way to bring Gloria Romero into the forefront more since the whole Sandra-Jacob/inheritance stuff is getting a little tired. And the show has been extended for at least 2 months, so I really hope to see more stuff with Lola Anna. You don’t see veteran actors like Gloria Romero and Boots Anson-Roa in frontburner stories. (Especially if you’re watching ABS-CBN, lol)
SINNER OR SAINT
This is what you’d expect from a GMA afternoon drama. Good flowing story that doesn’t require much thinking on the audience’s part. Just hop on for the ride. Bianca King is a fine lead. But the series, acting-wise, is made by Dennis Trillo and more especially Alessandra de Rossi. The crazy, over-the-top, yet un-cartoonish villainy of Corinne almost makes you want to root for her more than the not-so-kawawang bida in Noemi. There are so many threads left hanging on this show that you really almost don’t care about any of them and just watch to see what crazy things these characters do next. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously and that keeps it grounded and more alive than other shows that try to be more than what they are capable of.
TIME OF MY LIFE
This series has been pretty typical Pinoy soap. It isn’t groundbreaking by any means, even with all the dancing. But it is easy to watch. This week pretty much establishes that the bitches are real bitches and nice ones are really nice. The most important development this week was the release of Martha (Cherie Gil) from prison. Maybe the opposite of Iglot, I’d actually prefer to see more of the adults rather than the teens. Seeing the sparks fly between Cherie Gil, Jean Garcia and Raymond Bagatsing should be very interesting.