First Impression Review: TV5 Carefully Mixes Some Filipino Flavor Into Faithful Baker King Adaptation

TYPE OF REVIEW : FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW
Very, very minor spoilers. Read my review introduction here. For my final, spoilerific Hindsight Review, click here.

After the first two weeks, TV5’s Baker King is off to a very good start. The series, so far, is a faithful adaptation of the blockbuster Korean original with a careful, just right helping of Filipino flavor mixed in.

I’m coming into Baker King having watched and absolutely Continue reading

Pre-First Impression Review: My Wait for TV5's Baker King

Right up front, TV5’s Baker King is off to a very good start. The series, so far, is a faithful adaptation of the blockbuster Korean original with a careful, just right helping of Filipino flavor mixed in. (Full First Impression Review here.)

But let’s rewind a little bit first.

It was 2010 when Baker King, Kim Tak Gu aired on KBS in Korea to huge numbers, earning a “national drama” title, raking in awards and propelling the careers of its lead actors Yoon Shi Yoon and Joo Won. It captivated audiences around the world, myself included. In fact, I wondered if Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: Ay apo! GMA's Frustratingly Disappointing Hiram na Alaala

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Ending spoiler, but not much of one since it’s definitely predictable and as expected.

I first decided to check out GMA’s Hiram na Alaala because I liked the main cast and was very happy to see Kris Bernal getting a major lead role in what appeared to be a straight drama. The concept of the series, “shared memories,” was also intriguing. But the Baguio setting, charming chemistry between Kris Bernal and Rocco Nacino and the abundance of Ilocano dialogue was what kept me interested. Continue reading

Hindsight Review: GMA's Ilustrado a Stunning Television Experience and Accomplishment

TYPE OF REVIEW : HINDSIGHT REVIEW
No spoilers. Click here for my First Impression Review.

GMA’s Ilustrado was a stunning and breathtaking television experience. It was a production unlike anything ever seen on Philippine television.

The four week miniseries wasn’t 100% historical fact, but it was as educational as it was engaging. It was essential viewing for Filipinos who have a strange and maybe distorted view on heroism in this day and age and it was essential viewing for Filipinos who have too long been subjected to subpar, low effort and derivative television. Continue reading

First Impression Review: GMA's Stunning Ilustrado

TYPE OF REVIEW : FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW
No spoilers. Click here for my Hindsight Review.

There are high expectations for anyone who attempts to bring a subject like Jose Rizal to the big or small screen. Being regarded as one of the greatest national heroes of the Philippines (if not the national hero), a dramatization of his life carries a big weight on its shoulders.

There is an inherent gravitas with a subject like Jose Rizal as well as the time period of the Philippine Revolution. If the pieces do not fall into place, then any such attempt to bring his life and one of the most important times in the country’s history to television or film will end up being a complete failure.

Thankfully, GMA’s Ilustrado manages to meet those high expectations and then some. Continue reading

Good Ol' Review: GMA's Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real Puts Fresh, Engaging and Mature Spin on Overused Filipino Drama Premise

TYPE OF REVIEW : GOOD OL’ REVIEW
Some Spoilers.

Filipino audiences have a strange and maybe unhealthy fascination with infidelity. The prevalence of soap operas and feature films featuring husbands and wives traipsing about with other men and women… and men and their continued commercial success in the Philippines is material for a long Media Studies dissertation.

Teleserye after teleserye after movie after teleserye, the same story over and over (with sometimes, even the same actors); like many Filipino stories, the cheating spouse has become overused and played out.

But also like other familiar Filipino soap opera tropes, a series or film can come along to try something different and take a fresh approach.

GMA’s Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real surprisingly did that. Continue reading

First Impression Review: TV5's Fresh, Toe-Tapping Trenderas

TYPE OF REVIEW : FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW
Basic first episode details.

After the excellent Beki Boxer and the unique thriller Jasmine, TV5 presents another fresh television offering with the musical series Trenderas.

Starring Isabella de Leon, Katrina Velarde and Lara Maigue, Trenderas tells the story of three young, talented singers and best friends in their quest to become the Philippines’ next singing stars. The title, a portmanteau of the words “Trending” and “Tinderas” explains their humble beginnings as palangke vendors who apparently hit it big when a performance of theirs goes viral.

But that’s to be revealed later. The pilot episode introduces us to our eclectic mix of main and supporting characters through the blending of musical performances and flashbacks during the auditions of the fictional Pinoy Pop Icon reality-singing competition where the three friends (now rivals) are vying for one spot on the live shows. Continue reading

How Megyn Kelly and Willie Revillame Gave Lessons on Common Sense and Appropriateness on Live Television

I just had to post this. Who would have ever thought a Filipino variety program host would have anything in common with an American news network host?

Well, it happened.

On a special Tuesday episode of Fox News’ The Kelly File airing at midnight ET, host Megyn Kelly spoke with Concerned Veterans for America CEO, veteran and Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth about the video of ISIS terrorists beheading American journalist James Foley. But as the segment began, live video showing clashes between protesters and police in Ferguson, Missouri popped up on screen.

It took 16 seconds for Megyn Kelly, after allowing Pete Hegseth to finish his sentence, to call attention to the incredible and inappropriate disconnect between the images being broadcast and the discussion they were having. Continue reading

Hindsight Review: TV5's Beki Boxer is One of the Best Filipino Series in Years

Beki Boxer

TYPE OF REVIEW : HINDSIGHT REVIEW
No spoilers! Click here for my First Impression Review and click here for my Check-In Review.

I have no reservations with my proclamation in that headline. I absolutely believe TV5’s Beki Boxer is one of the best, most enjoyable and most creative scripted Filipino series, drama or comedy, in years. Continue reading

First Impression Review: TV5's Jasmine an Engaging, Cinematic Experience

TYPE OF REVIEW : FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW
Basic first episode details.

TV5 continues its efforts to bring fresh concepts to Philippine television with their newest 1-hour weekly drama series Jasmine.

A TV5 co-production with Unitel Productions and Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, Jasmine aims to be a dramatic thriller about Jasmine (played by Jasmine Curtis-Smith) and her mysterious and possibly dangerous overzealous fan.

The first episode opens with the title character at an awards ceremony where she has just lost the Best Actress award to her TV5 rival Selina Pascual (Marvelous Alejo). While Selina is on stage accepting her award, the stage lights come crashing down on her head. Continue reading