Commentary: The Moment When The Filipino Audience is Too Closed-Minded and/or Dense to Understand a Simple Advertisement

There are a lot of things to be frustrated about with Philippine entertainment. But maybe one of the things that irks me the most is the closed-mindedness of the Filipino television audience. Everyone familiar with Philippine entertainment knows about the petty network war and the blind loyalty people have to their network.

But what’s even worse is when a simple advertising campaign flies completely over the heads of the know-it-all Filipino netizen population, eliciting some cringe-worthy and eye roll-inducing pronouncements about a network, a show and its star.

TV5 is set to premiere Jasmine the Series this Sunday. The new drama stars Jasmine Curtis-Smith as a fictionalized version of herself who becomes the target of a dangerous stalker. The series aims to be both a dramatized look at the ins and outs of Philippine entertainment and a suspense thriller about one fantard who apparently goes too far.

A fresh and interesting concept for a series.

But it’s on TV5, a network that still struggles to appeal to an unwilling audience, no matter how good their shows can be (and are). Of course, that isn’t going to stop them from trying.

From to

And for part of TV5’s advertising campaign for Jasmine the Series, they’ve decided to be creative. Using Jasmine the Series‘ dramatized reality, a billboard of a product endorsed by Jasmine and Vin Abrenica (or his character on the show, Alexis) was mysteriously vandalized this week. Continue reading

Commentary: The Double Standards of Philippine TV (And Its Current Sorry State)

When Wowowillie went off the air in October 2013, people were celebrating the fact that class would finally be restored to Philippine noontime television. Gone would be Willie Revillame and his sexy dancers, on-air tampos and Filipino sob stories.

It is now May 2014. And in just the last week, Philippine noontime has seen indignant hosts, gays choking after getting polvorons stuffed into their mouths and being insulted and an old man feeling up a pretty young thing.

No, Willie Revillame isn’t back on television. But by those descriptions, you could very well be thinking of Kuya Wil, right?

And yet, barely a social media peep out of such so-called entertaining displays. But why? Because we all know if it really were Willie Revillame talking back to his director or network, making inappropriate jokes or making sexual advances toward a pretty young girl, you’d definitely hear about it. The MTRCB would be involved. All-knowing celebrities would tweet their sanctimonious disapproval.

Actually, that did happen. It regularly happened. But you don’t see the same faux outrage against the likes of Vice Ganda or Joey de Leon.

Wowowee, Wowowillie and everything in between was trash. Pure garbage. Unclassy. Nonsense. Waste of time. Yet Eat Bulaga and It’s Showtime are both beautiful pillars of the celebrity-based Filipino society. That’s the popular opinion, right?

Now I’m not writing this to defend Wowowee-tachi or Willie Revillame.

Well, I am. But that’s not my main point here. I’m writing to look at just why such double standards exist. Continue reading

Commentary: Why Ryzza Mae Dizon Has Legitimate Talent and How Her "Bossings" Are Wasting It

Filipino noontime show Eat Bulaga has had a lot of good fortune in the last few years. ABS-CBN killed their biggest threat, Wowowee, their “Juan 4 All, All 4 Juan” segment became a huge hit and reinvigorated the show and an Indonesian television network franchised the format. Sure, popular co-host Wally Bayola decided to cheat on his wife and sick child with one of the show’s dancers, film themselves having sex then not take care to keep the video private.

But maybe the biggest bit of good fortune the show received in the last few years comes in the small, cute little package better known as Ryzza Mae Dizon. Continue reading

Why Can't We Have Amazing Race International All-Stars Instead?

So CBS and Bert & Co. actually mustered up the courage (or more bluntly, had the gall) to call TAR24 The Amazing Race All-Stars. That is absolutely hilarious and very sad at the same time.

If you haven’t seen the final cast list for TARAS2 (*shudder*), while I won’t spoil them here, I will say that half the cast don’t even deserve to be anywhere near the word “All-Star, ” let alone even get an invite back.

An absolutely absurd cast. And for any TAR season, a good cast is half of what makes the show enjoyable. That’s one of the biggest problems that have made the last couple of seasons pale in comparison to many of TAR’s classic seasons.

When it was first revealed that TAR24would be a returning Racers season, of course, TAR fans like myself had our own wish lists of who we wanted and/or thought to see again.

Most, if not all, fans were greatly disappointed in the cast we are getting. But it got me thinking about how casts of the international TARs in recent years have been so good and have easily topped any group of teams TARUS has trotted out lately. TARUS needs to grab some of the those casting directors.

So, why not scrap TARAS2 and instead cast some of the best and most interesting teams from Amazing Race around the world. For die-hard fans, it’d be great to see some familiar and favorite teams again. For the casuals, the teams would be absolutely new to them. Win-win!

I decided to make my own All-Stars wish list, but of teams from around the world. I’ve only watched the TARs of Asia, Australia, the Philippines and Canada, so the teams I’ve chosen are from those seasons and franchises. Also, I have 16 teams on this wishlist/shortlist with some either/or picks as well. But any 11 or 12 of these teams would be a huge step-up for TARUS, that’s for sure. Continue reading

Commentary: On Amit Bhaumik's Power Rangers Samurai – What Could Have Been

^shogun86 on deviantART

Back when Power Rangers was on its deathbed, fans were thinking that maybe part of the reason was Disney just didn’t want to go through the trouble of adapting the very-Japanese Samurai Sentai Shinkenger for American and international audiences.

It’d be an impossible task, they said. It’d be too hard, they said. Why bother? they said.

But really, anything is possible, even adapting a heavily Japanese story as long as you have creative and willing people to do it. They’d find a way.

Little did anyone know, turning Shinkenger into Power Rangers Samurai was as easy as plugging the original Japanese scripts into Google Translate and filming them.

Now there’s no need to reiterate how disappointed I was with Samurai, since I already wrote about it here and in pretty much every episode recap of the season(s).

But looking back, I will say Samurai was such a wasted opportunity. Being a direct translation wasn’t the problem, it was being a bad direct translation. It all could’ve been just fine with some tweaks here and there, but instead, it turned into a horribly dumbed down version of the original.

At the same time, I’m starting to look at Samurai in a more positive light compared to the current Megaforce. You could pass off Samurai being inadequate as a result of translating episode-for-episode. So what’s Megaforce‘s excuse?

But that’s a topic for another day.

What brings me back to Samurai though almost a year after it ended is my just reading of Amit Bhaumik’s original proposal/plan for the season he had posted in August. Continue reading

International Versions Prove The Amazing Race Can Still Be Amazing

For the last few seasons, many dedicated fans of The Amazing Race have voiced their concerns and opinions that the show was losing its luster. Casting has been poor, tasks uninspired, Legs horribly designed.

Season after season, it seems the American original of what has become a true international franchise is stuck in cruise control.

But now it seems Bertram van Munster and Co. have to get themselves back into first gear. TAR lost the Emmy to The Voice last month, only their 2nd loss since the Reality-Competition Program category was introduced. The week after, the season premiere of TAR23 notched the show’s lowest premiere ratings ever. And now according to preliminary ratings, this week’s episode 3 may have garnered a series low 1.8 rating in the important 18-49 demo. Even a normal 0.1 adjustment up when the final ratings are released would still make it the lowest rated episode ever, tying it with the 2nd episode of TAR22 last February which went up against the Oscars.

TAR has been one of the steadiest shows on television, despite being a 12 year-old veteran, regularly placing in the Top 30 every week in recent seasons. But the show has still been on a steady ratings decline, albeit slower than the rest of network television.

The series low ratings this week are not yet cause for panic, but definitely a cause for concern and at the very least a wake-up call for the TAR brain trust to really step up their game for the currently in pre-production TAR24. Continue reading

From Wowowee to Wowowillie – The End of an Era on Philippine Television… Again

It’s like déjà vu. Three years after Wowowee was unceremoniously killed on live television by ABS-CBN, here we are again as another Willie Revillame-hosted noontime show is set to go off the air.

Though with considerably less drama and without the hateful vitriol that surrounded Wowowee‘s demise in 2010, Wowowillie coming to an end on TV5 marks what could be the real end of an era on Philippine television. Continue reading

Remembering Maria Flordeluna and a Time When Being a “Kapamilya” Meant Something, an Open Letter to ABS-CBN

So, apparently ABS-CBN Interactive, Inc. flagged one of my 25 clips of the great series Maria Flordeluna and now I have a copyright strike. Only that one video, mind you. The other 25 videos are, well, were still fine. But because I do not want to take a chance that ABS-CBN gets my account shut down for good by knocking out two more videos at separate times for my final 2 strikes, I just decided to delete all the Maria Flordeluna videos (really, just clips of the aborted JC & Annie love story) as well as clips of when Wowowee was the crown jewel of the network; fun clips of Carmen Soo dancing with Pokwang, the emotional first winner of “Cash Bukas” and the epic water gun fight between the genuinely happy and friendly co-hosts of the show.

I decided, Continue reading

What Disney Did Right with the Power Rangers

Hindsight is 20/20. That’s why I do Hindsight Reviews. What you thought at first may not be what you think weeks or months later.

After two and a half years of the the 2nd Saban Era of Power Rangers, many fans are now fondly looking back at the Disney Era of the franchise. That’s amazing considering the way fans felt while we were actually in the Disney Era. Continue reading

My (Awesome!) Year Without Filipino Television

There is no doubt ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel has become a major part of the lives of Filipinos around the world. TFC as well as GMA’s Pinoy TV and the newly launched Kapatid TV5, have become ways to connect to and enjoy life back home in the Philippines while also introducing background and culture to younger generations of Filipinos.

My family had only first subscribed to The Filipino Channel in 2005. Before that, we had relied on KTSF, Channel 26 in the Bay Area for the nightly TV Patrol newscasts and the occasional comedy or Maalaala Mo Kaya episode on Saturdays. Continue reading