TV5 continues its noble effort to draw in new viewers with its two family friendly series LolaBasyang.com 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.
LolaBasyang.com refreshes the classic stories of the Filipino version of Mother Goose originally written by Severino Reyes with a contemporary style and presentation. Instead of reading from a storybook, Lola Basyang presents her stories to her grandchildren (two of which live abroad) through video conferencing.
This hip, techie version of Lola Basyang, perfectly portrayed by Boots Anson-Roa who in turn serves as narrator, frames the modern adaptations of the classic fantasy stories. Incorporating present-day technology, language and sensibilities, the series does well to appeal to what has become a much more sophisticated young audience.
The fun and engaging episodes that have aired far have been well-written twists on familiar stories.
The same can be said for its Saturday night partner ParangNormal Activity.
This series follows a group of unpopular, nerdy friends with an interest in the paranormal. As Charlie, a pretty new girl joins their Paranormal Club, they begin looking into and solving strange cases involving ghosts and other supernatural beings. They will soon learn that Charlie (played by Ella Cruz) is actually a ghost herself.
Philippine TV is devoid of the traditional “procedural” common around the world. ParangNormal Activity fills that void with its cases of the week which in turn are seamlessly intertwined with some good scares, fun comedy and classic teen romance.
The writing so far has been smart and tight. And one of its strongest accomplishments is having the four teens (played very well by Cruz, Ryle Paolo Santaigo, Andre Garcia and Shaun Salvador) actually speaking the way contemporary Filipino teens speak. That is, not teleserye stiff or overly pabebe or patweetums typical of teen oriented shows. The dialogue especially has had a good flow and is refreshingly natural. Another way to appeal to today’s Filipino audience.
Visually, both series step it up with a great cinematic quality that would surely look even more stunning if broadcast in full HD. That visual quality is something you don’t regularly see on Philippine TV, especially when Philippine networks, for some reason, fall all over themselves trying to dilute its obviously HD-filmed programs.
LolaBasyang.com and ParangNormal Activity are both fun and refreshing additions to what has become a very bland and uncreative Philippine TV environment. And TV5 has been one network that has taken these kinds of fresh and unique chances all in an effort to attract new viewers. As has been the case for TV5, these two are great series that deserve more eyeballs. They’re both creative and visual successes and more than deserve to be commercial successes as well.