Good Ol’ Review: Netflix/TV5’s Amo a Modern, Gritty Take on Familiar Filipino Themes

Amo TV5

Mild to moderate spoilers.

The Netflix-acquired, TV5-produced drama series Amo by internationally recognized director Brillante Mendoza is both notable and controversial for a number of reasons. It is notable for being one of the first two Filipino productions acquired by Netflix and the first Filipino TV series to be released exclusively on the international platform.

And as a series following a high school student as he gets sucked into the rampant drug trade in the Philippines, it is controversial in the midst of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs that has polarized the country and drawn international condemnation. Continue reading

Hindsight Review: GMA Network's Destined to be Yours -Almost- a Complete Disappointment

No spoilers. Click here for the First Impression Review.

To the relief of many, including maybe its stars, GMA Network’s Destined to be Yours is finally over. Once the most anticipated series in the Philippines, it has mercifully come to an end after a laborious 13 weeks.
Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: TV5/D5 Studio's Suspenseful The Complex Opens Up Intriguing Possibilities

No spoilers.

D5 Studio, the digital studio arm of Philippine network TV5, debuts a new scripted series this weekend in The Complex.

The suspense drama stars Albie Casino as Alex who settles into a Manila apartment complex after moving to the big city from Tacloban. Here he meets the beautiful, but mysterious Anj (Emmanuelle Vera). But she isn’t the only mystery Alex encounters as he begins having vivid nightmares while strange occurrences begin happening at the apartment complex around him. Continue reading

First Impression Review: Maine Mendoza Carries Slow First Week of Destined to be Yours


Minor first week spoilers/discussion. Click here for the Hindsight Review.

That it took so long is a discussion all its own. But finally, the Alden Richards-Maine Mendoza loveteam, aka AlDub, made their teleserye debut this week headlining the romantic comedy Destined to be Yours.

AlDub took the Philippines and the world by storm. Their unexpected and rapid rise in popularity and social media’s role in it will be the subject of future Media Studies courses in the country. But for now, most are concentrated on them finally making the jump from noontime and Eat Bulaga to primetime.

Pop culture and entertainment in the Philippines is driven by loveteams. Whether it’s soap operas, movies, TV commercials or even reality shows, Filipinos are drawn in by the idea of love and romance. So the next logical step for AlDub was for them to headline their own daily soap opera. For their many fans, it provides the opportunity to see them regularly in considerably more romantic situations than they may have opportunity for on a noontime variety show. For their managements and especially the network, it’s a chance to finally cash in on their record success with a primetime slot.

However now that the time has finally arrived, AlDub’s primetime debut has mostly been flat and uninspired. Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: Maine Mendoza's Charm and Stunning Cinematography Lift Otherwise Unimaginative Imagine You & Me

A film review with minor spoilers.

On the eve of the premiere of Destined To Be Yours, Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards’ first primetime teleserye (arguably, a year late), let’s take a quick look at their first headlining project, the film Imagine You & Me. Continue reading

Commentary: At the Elliptical Road of a Presidential Debate, Rules and #NetworkWarCulture

TV5 Debate

(Elliptical Road, Intersection. At the Intersection of a Presidential Debate, Rules and #NetworkWarCulture. ????)

*puts Media Studies hat on*

Philippine media and entertainment is ripe for critique and analysis. Anyone could write a thesis paper on any number of topics relating to the unique environment that the media has cultivated in the Philippines.

Indeed, look no further than the “Only in the Philippines” reality of #NetworkWarCulture.

Sunday, March 20, 2016 saw the second of three Philippine presidential debates. It was a dramatic event behind the scenes and on the debate stage. In today’s social media-obsessed world, especially in the Philippines, anyone and everyone can give their opinions or make comments, valid or not. And when it came to this #PiliPinasDebate2016 (emphasis on the hashtag because the Philippines loves to trend), there is much to discuss. Continue reading

Hindsight Review: TV5's Baker King Proves the Philippines Can Produce Worthy Adaptations

LOTS of finale spoilers! For my spoiler-free-ish First Impression Review, click here. For my Check-In Review with spoilers up to Week 6, click here.

There have been plenty of Filipino adaptations of foreign dramas over the last couple of years. And all to varying degrees of success, both commercially and creatively. From a blockbuster like the original Marimar to creative duds/insults like Maria La Del Barrio.

For Baker King, while being on TV5 may have kept it from being as big a ratings draw as the original was for GMA, it certainly was creatively successful. And maybe, TV5’s Baker King is the best local adaptation of a foreign drama series ever. Yes, ever. Continue reading

First Impression Review: Nadine Lustre a Highlight on ABS-CBN's Promising On The Wings of Love

Some spoilers and premise discussion.

A charming Nadine Lustre highlights ABS-CBN’s newest primetime drama On The Wings of Love.

The series debut of the popular Nadine Lustre-James Reid loveteam (better known as JaDine) mostly hits the right notes in its first two episodes. Continue reading

First Impression Review: TV5's Fun and Refreshing and ParangNormal Activity

No spoilers.

TV5 continues its noble effort to draw in new viewers with its two family friendly series and ParangNormal Activity.

Produced by The IdeaFirst Company for TV5, the two series manage to be good fun while being able to raise the bar for locally produced series. Continue reading

Check-in Review: TV5's Faithful Baker King Continues to Do Justice to Original

Big spoilers up to week 6. For my First Impression Review, click here. For my final, spoilerific Hindsight Review, click here.

Six weeks into TV5’s Filipino adaptation of Baker King, Kim Takgu, it is evident that director Mac Alejandre and the entire cast and crew know exactly what they’re doing and what they need to do. Continue reading