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

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

Review: TV5’s Valiente – An Old-Fashioned Classic

The Philippines’ TV5 has been on a roll since finally ramping up its efforts to be a legitimate threat to the decade-long duopoly on Philippine television. Aside from successes in variety and reality with Wil Time Big Time and the addictive Face to Face, TV5 has also built a solid news organization. But it has also produced some excellent, original dramas. Though still ratings challenged, it says nothing of the quality of it series like Babaeng Hampaslupa, Glamorosa, The Sisters and Sa Ngalan Ng Ina.

Now, TV5 has another to add to its list with a remake of an epic 90s teleserye, Valiente. Perhaps harkening back to its roots, this 2012 version of Valiente feels like a Continue reading

Review: TV5’s Sa Ngalan Ng Ina Uses Stellar Cast For Promising Start

TV5’s first miniseries Sa Ngalan Ng Ina (In the Name of the Mother) is certainly being talked about for many reasons. The biggest of which is it is the official comeback project of Nora Aunor, one of the Philippines’ most lauded actresses ever. She’s also one of the most controversial, but one could say it comes with the territory.

But for an actress regarded as highly as Aunor, all eyes will be on whether or not the project is worthy of her stature.

It is safe to say Sa Ngalan Ng Ina fits the bill. Continue reading

How ABS-CBN Brought About the Resurgence of Eat Bulaga

Since TAPE, Inc., the production house behind Eat Bulaga took the show from its home on ABS-CBN to a new one on GMA, Channel 2 had struggled to find their own noontime staple. That was, until they found Wowowee.

ABS-CBN had its first legitimate contender to Eat Bulaga‘s noontime throne with Wowowee. But what do they do with it? They kill it. Continue reading

Review: TV5’s Bagets: Just Got Lucky a Refreshing Contemporary Update to Classic Film

Teen and youth-oriented shows in the Philippines are never anything to write home about and at most are merely vehicles to introduce the public to the network’s newest young recruits.

But sometimes there are shows that are actually enjoyable and appealing, much like TV5’s update to the 80s teen classic film series Bagets. Continue reading

Discussion: Child Abuse? Exploitation? Double Standards? What’s Your Take?

Okay class, here is your essay question for today.

This clip has been the topic of heated and sometimes nasty and nonsensical debate. This segment of the TV5 variety/game show Willing Willie features contestants talking a little bit about their lives and then doing a little performance of whatever talent they want to showcase. It can be anything. This particular episode featured children as contestants (as these shows often do). Take a look…

(This is the fullest clip that includes all the boy’s appearances on the show.)

This “moment” has been distinguished as a form of “child abuse” and “exploitation.”

Now take these clips. The first is from the ABS-CBN gag/comedy show Goin’ Bulilit which features an exclusively all children cast (+Dagul) acting out adult situations.

And these particular moments from ABS-CBN talent show Showtime

So, your essay question for today; What is the difference between these clips? Can one of these examples be called “child abuse” or “exploitation” and others not? Or are all of these examples or not examples of “child abuse?”
What exactly constitutes “child abuse” or child “exploitation” for you? What do you think is acceptable boundary for what children can or can not do on television?
Continue reading

Commentary – Want to Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill? Learn from the Philippines.

A Mountain? A Molehill? Maybe a dwarf’s mound.

It took two weeks for someone to notice a child allegedly being abused on live television.

That sounds pretty odd. But it could be one of a few things…

Maybe no one watches the program? But it can’t be that because it is a popular program that gets decent to good ratings.

Alright, so maybe it just took a while for the alleged abuse to be distinguished as such by the public before someone made a fuss about it? That can’t be it either because the alleged abuse has been described as being so disgusting and inhumane and a huge violation of child and human rights.

Yes, so naturally, one would immediately report wait a couple of days two weeks to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities… right? Continue reading

Review: TV5’s Willing Willie – The Beginning of a New Era on Philippine TV

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A big day on Philippine television. No, not just the premiere of Willie Revillame’s Willing Willie, but the signaling that yes, there are more than two networks in the Philippines.

It has been a long time since ABS-CBN and GMA began monopolizing Philippine television. And while other networks have tried, maybe half-heartedly, to challenge the new norm, only now has a legitimate contender arrived. Continue reading

Advice for Philippine Media: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

Monday’s hostage crisis in the Philippines was one mistake after another. Whether it was the hostage taker himself to the police to the government to the media, all had their own part in the failure of a fast and peaceful resolution.

As a student of media studies, I know full well the politics and greed that run the various organizations whose sole responsibility is and should be to serve the public with true and important information.

And yet, Monday’s media coverage from local Philippine television stations was an incredible display of irresponsibility and carelessness, as have the actions of those same television stations since then in response to criticism. Continue reading