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

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

Check-in Review: TV5's Beki Boxer Deserves To Be a Hit

No spoilers. For my First Impression Review, click here and for my Hindsight Review, click here.

TV5’s Beki Boxer should really be the biggest show in the Philippines today. And it is an injustice that it is not.

My first impression of Beki Boxer was that it was a “fun and hilariously charming little series” that had “plenty of heart to go along with the abundant laughs.”

And that certainly has not changed after 43 episodes. If anything, the show has only Continue reading

Hindsight Review: GMA's Carmela and Rhodora X Dropped the Ball

One spoiler, but it doesn’t really matter.

Carmela and Rhodora X premiered at the end of January. While I was lukewarm with Carmela, I saw a lot of potential in Rhodora X.

Color me not surprised that not one, but two Filipino drama series end up having disappointing runs. This is definitely nothing new with Filipino soap operas. But going into new shows, of course, you’re very hopeful. It is unfortunate, but never unexpected that they end up completely dropping their balls multiple times before they bid farewell. Continue reading

Review: Mamoru Hosada's Breathtaking and Emotional Wolf Children

No spoilers.

The announcement of Hayao Miyazaki’s retirement surprised and saddened fans of excellent filmmaking as well as fans of Japanese animation. Many of Miyazaki’s own films and those under Studio Ghibli helped introduce Japanese animation to the world.

But even as Miyazaki has made what is likely his final film, there is still much to look forward to as a brand new generation of filmmakers look to continue the creativity and groundbreaking filmmaking Japanese animation has come to be known for. Mamoru Hosada’s Wolf Children is an excellent example. Continue reading

First Impression Review: TV5 Goes Dark and Mature with Positive and For Love or Money

Moderate spoilers.

TV5 has long had their foot in the door, but can’t seem to make their way inside what has become a duopoly between ABS-CBN and GMA Network. They hope to take another step into that inner circle with their new weekly dramas Positive and For Love or Money.

Yes, weekly. I’ve believed that for TV5 to really distinguish itself from the others, it needs to try something different with their programming line-up. They tried, to reasonable success with Wil Time Big Time as counter-programming to news and soaps in the evenings. They expanded by airing their own daily dramas opposite their rivals’ newscasts (to less success). But I think trying out weekly programs, like American television, or even trying a twice a week drama schedule like Korea would help the network set itself apart. They give it a try with these two new dramas.

But aside from their odd (for the Philippines) airing pattern, both Positive and For Love or Money take a much darker and mature tone to their stories that is certainly different from anything the other networks are currently offering. Continue reading

First Impression Review: NBC's Visually Stunning Dracula Needs a Little More Bite

Moderate premiere spoilers.

Yes, I went there.

But it’s really the perfect way to describe NBC’s “reimagining” of Dracula. The 10 episode limited series is visually stunning and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is quite a looker himself of course (as is the rest of the cast), but the story leaves much to be desired. Without that “bite,” there isn’t much to get excited about or engaged in. At least in the first episode. Continue reading

Hindsight Review: tvN’s Charming Flower Boy Next Door a Satisfying Journey with Plenty of Heart

Flower Boy Next Door

Lots of spoilers! For my First Impression Review, click over here.

tvN’s Flower Boy Next Door did not disappoint. It started out as a sweet and charming romantic comedy and it ended a sweet and charming romantic comedy.

That isn’t always the case. Sometimes Korean dramas start out all light and fluffy then turn into a melodrama, or vice versa.

But Flower Boy Next Door maintained its sweet and warmhearted tone throughout, telling the love story of Go Dok Mi and Enrique Geum while also helping the other characters find love as well. The series was cute and fun with touches of drama that never overwhelmed its lighter side. Continue reading