drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

LizQuen Letdown: Disappointing Bagani to End Run Friday

Fantasy remains one of ABS-CBN’s weakest points.

After all, the network is not used to creating big-budgeted fantasy dramas on a daily basis. Unlike rival GMA, they usually produce their teleseryes conservatively, letting the story become the emphasis and not on special effects or gaudy costumes.

But in the case of ‘Bagani’, they decided to be big spenders for once. Unfortunately, not even the power of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil can turn this costly series into a humongous draw.

Even before ‘Bagani’ premiered on March 5, 2018, the series became shrouded with controversy. Not only did it drew unfair comparisons to ‘Encantadia’, it also drew flak for its casting choices (Liza and co-star Matteo Guidicelli were part-Filipino) and its alleged misuse of the term ‘Bagani’.

Despite that, ‘Bagani’ came out strong from the start, earning ratings in the 30s during its first few months. By July, however, the series struggled to get to 30%, mainly because viewers grew tired of the plodding storyline and the fact that ‘Kambal Karibal’ became a strong threat.

Nevertheless, ‘Bagani’ continued to win its timeslot in spite of these difficulties. Still, the series’ unsatisfactory finish has left LizQuen fans with a bitter taste in their mouths; after all, they expected a lot more from this love team after the runaway success of ‘Forevermore’ and ‘Dolce Amore’.

Overall, ‘Bagani’ will wrap up with a total of 118 episodes to its credit. The reason why ABS-CBN decided to end the series now than to extend it further is for Liza Soberano can devote her energies to her first project (film or television) without Enrique Gil, which is ‘Darna’.

In the end, ‘Bagani’ became a total disappointment regardless of its performance. The story became a slow-developing one and the characters simply did not have enough progression to convince viewers.

It was one series that LizQuen fans would like to forget. No disrespect for them but for a big-time draw that is LizQuen, it was a letdown.

They can only hope that ‘Bagani’ will finish on a graceful note come this Friday. After that, move on and let bygones be bygones.


27 thoughts on “LizQuen Letdown: Disappointing Bagani to End Run Friday

  1. Anonymous says:

    You know Bagani had problems when even Kapamilya fantard pages acknowledged its declining ratings and admitted that its performance failed to match even Kapamilya expectations. And I’ve seen multiple comments that even Kapamilyas were not pleased with the series’ direction.

    • And yet LizQuen fans insist that Bagani performed well and the story was not bad. Shame on them for still believing in their love team and not admitting their mistakes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Still, it’s kind of weird to see that even some pro-Kapamilya pages were criticizing the show, and even discussing the declining ratings and questionable writing. You’d almost never see pro-Kapuso pages doing the same. Either even Kapamilyas were disappointed at the series, Kapamilyas are less prideful than Kapusos, or a bit of both?

      • Anonymous says:

        Also, from what I’ve observed online so far, it seems that some ABS fans admit that the show wasn’t that good and they seem to accept that series deserves to end. I’m not even seeing the “sadyang hanggang diyan lang!” or the “Liza has Darna!” excuses, which I find weird. If this was a GMA show, it would likely be excuses galore. Of course, there are ABS fantards defending the show to the end, but they’re surprisingly not that vocal this time around.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In any case, Bagani’s respectable, albeit flawed, performance should still serve as a wake-up call: that love teams, even the biggest ones, can only bring a show so far. The fact that Darna is a solo Liza project is a good start, and there are also reports that Daniel and Enrique will soon collaborate on a movie or series without their respective partners, and even reports that Nadine will soon be co-staring in a film without James, and it appears that steps are being made. The question remains: will ABS learn from their mistakes, or will they succumb to the GMA flaw of refusing to let go?

    • To put into context: they’re probably smart to admit that Bagani never met their expectations and that the story grew very lame as it went on. This was new territory for LizQuen and they were more into action than the romantic stuff, so this was something that their fans were not used to. They can talk all they want about the two continuing to improve on their acting and stuff, but the fact is, viewers are getting tired of them starring together on the same show. Perhaps separating them for future projects will benefit them.

  3. Ade says:

    No spoilers but I a certain scene aired yesterday has similarities to the climax of a superhero movie from the previous decade.

    In the past few years, Star Creatives’ writing quality has gone downhill, not to mention their habit of taping less than a week away from airdates at times, leading to actual broadcast mishaps. That very tight taping schedule caused similar mishaps in other countries such as South Korea and Indonesia.

    • And this is the reason why our country will benefit more if these series air on a weekly basis. Airing it five times a day may help those with a short-term memory, but it will only hurt the welfare of the production team and the actors involved. To make matters worse, creativity is sacrificed because they always have a stringent deadline. No wonder our teleserye plots are becoming so repetitive and quality-oriented with which the poor will take advantage of.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As Bagani comes to a close, I’ve been reading the feedback online. From what I’ve read, yesterday’s episode received flack even from ABS fans because of apparent use of blue screens and bad CG. The story progression, including the early death of Sofia Andres’ character, was also widely criticized. I couldn’t find much about the actual acting skills, so it seems the problem with the show was more of production issues than anything else.

    With Victor Magtanggol continuing to receive heavy beatings, and Bagani’s underwhelming performance, I wonder if this really means the end of fantaseryes is upon us, if not even ABS could make them work.

    • Like I said, fantaseryes are better off aired on a weekly basis because such constraints on production can lead to mistakes like this. Both networks should just follow the precedent that GMA’s Sirkus did.

  5. ramones1986 says:

    Well, it would be better if we should make a Filipino variant of the “wuxia” format, albeit using an alternate history as the background plot (well, there’s nothing wrong on borrowing Dravidian/Tamil and/or Sanskrit names for characters), as long as it is believable and nearly realistic.

    On the scheduling of such drama series, I agree that it should be shown weekly, although wuxia series from TVB and pre-2005 MediaCorp Singapore had shown the episode on a daily basis. Or better yet, shoot and edit on months ahead.

    • That could be great. Shooting in advance will give the editing team time to fine-tune and correct some issues instead of rushing everything at the same time and simply say perfect in one take. It’s not good if they’re trying to finish the job fast because it might end up horrible.

    • Evee says:

      As far as I can remember, Pintados of GMA was the first. But admittedly, Marina became the very popular when it was aired (and there wasn’t even a love team thingy going on. I could remember still my excitement on who “True Love” is. Hahaha. Maybe Rafael and Claudine just really looked good onscreen). I don’t think its popularity had anything to do so much with SFX or VFX but it became a hit because of its story.

      • Well, Pintados didn’t actually start a trend since it only aired weekly. But fantaseryes became a thing in the mid-2000s with the aforementioned Marina, the adaptations of Mars Ravelo and Carlo J. Caparas komiks and Encantadia. Still, with all the advancements in technology such as social media, it’s no longer a safe bet that a daily fantasy series will be successful in this day and age, given the increased expectations of the demanding audience. And that is why time and patience is of the essence because mistakes are bound to happen in a short amount of time.

      • Evee says:

        Another option is they could fully pre-produce it. Though the downside is it won’t be flexible to the audience’s taste.

  6. Evee says:

    As for ABS-CBN’s case I don’t think a weekly fantasy series would make much of a difference. While there certainly are improvements in the SFX Wansapanataym’s stories have gone downhill for the last few years. Gone are the days where the lesson in the story is priority. These days, it has become an avenue for experimental love teams, newbies, and lesser known love teams to showcase their skills. And on the topic of SFX, well, it’s quite obvious they don’t bother spending a lot on Wansa. Let the quality speak for itself.

  7. yong says:

    I was also thinking about the seriousness of the script of Bagani. When I first heard the script, it seems that the lines are not very serious; lalo na nung sumikat yung “Mekeni, mekeni” na naging katatawanan. Though I think ginawa nila yun para kagatin talaga siya ng millenial viewers, pero kasi, ‘di serious yung mga linya, lalo na’t Bagani was conceived from something historical. Yung Encantadia, it was purely fictitious, pero the lines were serious: matalinghagang Tagalog, and writing their own dictionary/vocabs such as “pashnea!”; with their own dictionary, parang gumawa na ng sariling mundo ang Enca. I mean, di kaya mas yayakapin pa ng viewers ang Bagani kung “ginawan nila ng sariling mundo” ito? They could’ve used a lot more ethnic words (besides “sansinukob, “taga-disyerto” and others) and defined them on-screen na lang.

    • Parang hindi naman talaga epic yung Bagani. It was only intended to capitalize on LizQuen’s popularity and not on something worth learning for. Kaya it’s an epic failure in spite of its high ratings.

  8. Looks like nakabawi ang mga fans ng LizQuen sa recent movie nila “Alone/Together”. And I heard that, after Liza backed out of Darna, she & Enrique are working on a new teleserye (hula ko, romcom ito) under Star Creatives.

    • I don’t think romcom is a good idea for LizQuen at this point. Dapat yung ala-KathNiel of PSY na route ang isunod nila. Baka magsawa uli ang mga manonood and think na typecast na lang sila sa mga ganitong role.

      • We’ll see. Based from their recent posts in social media, they haven’t released the full details about it. And I heard that it may air sometime this year, along with Project Iron Heart.

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