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.

TV5 Isn’t Just Messing Around Anymore
TV5 (formerly ABC-5) has had small successes despite their limited reach compared to the other two networks including Philippine Idol and the long running Wow Mali!, but it was the network’s rebranding and relaunch that began turning heads.

The Ryan Agoncillo-hosted talent show Talentadong Pinoy not only did well, it began topping ABS-CBN and GMA programs. And quite easily too. The success of the show quickly prompted the other networks to develop similar talent competitions. The show brought fresh eyes to the network and the rest of the line-up benefited greatly.

Now with today’s premiere of Willing Willie and Monday’s premiere of My Driver Sweet Lover, TV5 is officially a very real player in Philippine entertainment.

Willing Willie is the type of show that one would normally see at noontime. Instead, TV5 makes the big move and schedules the show from 6:30-8:30pm on weekdays. That is a very jarring and risky move. But also very smart.

TV5 is not afraid to challenge the norm set out by the other two networks. And just like how their risks have paid off with developing the now #1 Saturday primetime line-up, these are the moves they need to make. Counterprogramming is commonplace in the United States, now a Philippine TV network has the balls to finally counterprogram.

Willing Willie is set to go up against the evening news and the first melodramas of the other networks. Now that’s definitely an alternative. TV5 has their own evening news, Aksyon at 6pm, so the news-loving public now won’t have to tune in to the other two network’s evening news broadcasts. From news to variety-game show at dinner. Again, very smart programming decision.

Today marks TV5’s true arrival. Not ABC5 or the Associated Broadcasting Company. TV5. In a landscape of tired, same old offerings, TV5 is ready to offer something new and different.

It Is What It Is and It Does It Well
Willing Willie is essentially a fresher, yet very familiar version of Wowowee, the international phenomenon that was abruptly yanked off the air thanks to the usual Philippine showbiz drama.

Willie Revillame, the controversial but popular host, returns to television with Willing Willie on TV5. The new variety game show, so far, feels very familiar.

Does it feel like Wowowee? Well, yes. Yes it does.
But then again, Wowowee wasn’t the problem.

Wowowee was a noontime game show that millions in the Philippines and around the world watched to relax and have fun, but also hope for a chance to win prizes that even for a little, can help. The show was a sincere look into the everyday Filipino. Not the people living in air conditioned condos or with high speed internet access, but the masses.

Willing Willie will obviously continue that. Revillame himself said as much.

And it wasn’t hard to see it. The opening dance numbers, the first game… it all felt like Wowowee. The latter two games, Family Apir! and Spin-a-Wil, were fresher and more fun. Revillame promised the return of a Willie of Fortune type segment on Monday, arguably the segment that really made Wowowee what it was. Listening to the stories of the people, five days a week, was what caught the hearts and minds of everyone that regularly watched the show.

Overall, Willing Willie will do what it has set out to do. Entertain people while offering chances to win prizes. Certainly not a new concept, but certainly a fresher aura. The arrival and return of Willing Willie and Willie Revillame will be great news for many and incense others. But it is hard to deny, no matter what class or status of life you are in, that a show like Willing Willie and a guy like Willie Revillame connects to the masses like no other.

It’s not perfect, but it is what it is. And it is that a show can be simple, yet loads of fun.

That taking a few hours out of the day to sit down with the family and be entertained means a lot.

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

  1. I simply agree with your review. The show was not flawless but it is still the show that many loved. There was a negligible “dead air” and the host is not relaxed, but it is understandable since it was the pilot. Willie seemed to lose stamina at one point but his antics were pretty good especially his rapport with his guests. DJ MO’s role seems to be just fine. It is basically a reformatted Wowowee. But you know, the defunct Wowowee always put an element of “pera o bayong”-like portion [1,2,3 go in willing-willie] and “family kwarta o kahon”-like segment [tawaran portion] and so is the new show. I hope that in the future shows, they may think more of original games than just a mere rip-off.

    1. Yeah, I think there’s nothing wrong with being similar to Wowowee. There’s certainly plenty of similar programs on TV. But I do hope Willing Willie finds its own groove, that they can find something really new to set it apart. The show must not merely be a noontime show in primetime. It should offer something different, while still being familiar and comfortable for the viewers.

  2. It’s the concept of Wowowee and Willie that made people loved the show, and so Willing Willie will surely be another success (if not more successful).

    All the best Willie and just keep your faith in God, He will not forsake you.

  3. well good,,but the problem is,,, in his network transmission signal which cannot penetrate widely especially in provincial area like in central mindanao,,tv5 network in Davao City which currently broadcasting in channel 2 is very poor in signal,,,because its signal is being interferred with ABS-CBN channel 2 from Cagayan de Oro City…They were broadcasting in the same spectrum channel…All places in central Mindanao were affected,,,now it’s time to change their current channel in Davao City which is channel 2…so that no more interferrence with the other network…..presently tv5 is very poor in signal because of interferrence and please strengthen your signal while you change your channel spectrum in Davao City….it’s the best way to compete with the two giant network….do it well….

  4. a fan of willing willie, can anyone know what is the title of the dance intro when its time for the game 123 go! the ww girls start to dance at this beat…the title of the dance now i keep it hearing on the radio, thank you someone can help me.

  5. wow! and woe!!!! what a great twist… i lav it_ this will surely bind filipinos to sit and relax…. i salute the decision!

  6. wow i like to willie we have show because he help to much the people no have money no have i am the number one pands for willie here in kuwait.wellie i wish you come in kuwait to make show here or make cansert in kuwait.

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