comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Inday Will Always Love You to Give Since I Found You a Run for Its Money

Talk about a lethargic follow-up.

After a strong premiere week, harsh reality hits the ABS-CBN primetime romantic comedy series ‘Since I Found You’. From averaging in the 20s its first week, its ratings are now down to around 18%.

To make matters worse, its closest competitor (in this instance GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’) made an inspiring rally to pull to within 3%. Although it may not be enough to overcome the deficit by the time the series ends tonight, it should give ABS-CBN plenty of concern when it comes to the fourth teleserye in Primetime Bida’s lineup.

Starting Monday night, a new headache for ‘Since I Found You’ will come in the form of Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. Their new series ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is set in Cebu and will feature the culture and the sights and sounds of this popular Visayan city.

In ‘Inday Will Always Love You’, Happylou (Barbie) is a Manileña lechon store assistant who decides to return to Cebu in search of her father and to help her impoverished family who lives near the train tracks. Encountering the rich and kind Sir Philip (Ricky Davao), she begins to take care of him after the latter suffered a heart attack, and in turn, he helps Happylou search for her father.

Sir Philip also introduces Happylou to Patrick (Derrick), his nephew, and the two begin to forge a healthy relationship. But Patrick’s mother Amanda (Gladys Reyes) and his girlfriend Ericka (Kim Rodriguez) will look to put a wrench in their plans, and when Sir Philip dies, they look to make Happylou’s life a living hell.

Also part of the cast are Juancho Trivino, Manilyn Reynes, Nova Villa, Tina Paner, Super Tekla, the “Lumen Twins” Charisse and Charlotte Hermoso, Kimpoy Feliciano, Buboy Villar and Fliptop artists Mzhayt and Price Tagg. It will be directed by Monti Parungao and Rember Gelera.

If the premise of ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ sounds familiar, then one should remember another locally-themed romantic comedy in ‘I Heart Davao’. Both series were produced by GMA Public Affairs and the setting was based on a popular tourist destination in the Philippines.

But if ‘I Heart Davao”s brief run is any indication, then ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ is in for a reality check. Still, with its incoming competitor ‘Since I Found You’ not doing exactly well in spite of its ratings, one can expect ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ will enjoy a longer tenure and perhaps steal some victories from its rival.

It will be interesting to see how ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ can change the primetime romcom arms race. With that, best of luck to this series.

‘Inday Will Always Love You’ airs weeknights after ‘Kambal Karibal’ on GMA Telebabad.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

Eat Bulaga’s Suffer Sireyna Problem

Super Sireyna and Suffer Sireyna will forever be synonymous to one another.

Super Sireyna had been a recurring segment of ‘Eat Bulaga’ for the past several years. The segment invites transgender men to compete in a beauty pageant akin to the more prestigious Binibining Pilipinas contest, and each contestant had to assume the persona of a particular female celebrity, whether local or foreign.

Suffer Sireyna, on the other hand, was introduced as a response to Super Sireyna by host Joey de Leon. First held in 2014, the segment involves ordinary but mostly ugly men dressed in drag (with a corresponding pseudonym to mock a particular celebrity) that were forced to compete in ridiculous challenges (hence the word ‘suffer’).

While the Suffer Sireyna segment had been mostly entertaining, not all were pleased by its mocking depiction of ordinary men with obvious physical flaws. Nearly four years ago, John Ryan Mendoza of Outrage Magazine criticized Suffer Sireyna for parading the candidates as ‘freaks for the whole country to laugh at’.

When Suffer Sireyna returned earlier this year, another critic stepped in and picked up from where Mendoza left off. Facebook user Alwyn Ignacio commented on the matter, saying that it is not funny and is disrespectful to the LGBT community.

TAPE Inc., the producers of ‘Eat Bulaga’, have not responded in kind to either Mendoza’s or Ignacio’s post. Regardless, it is one thing to take pride towards the LGBT community, but it is another thing to degrade and make fools out of them for the sake of entertainment.

For a noontime show that has nothing left to prove after nearly 39 years of unparalleled success, Suffer Sireyna may probably go down as one of its weakest points. No matter how entertaining and engaging this segment is, it is clear that the LGBT community is not happy with what Suffer Sireyna is doing (unless you’re Allan K or Paolo Ballesteros).

This Saturday, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will hold the next stage of Suffer Sireyna competition under the name Suffer Sireyna Intergalactic (a mock response to Super Sireyna Worldwide). If this is the ‘end’ as Joey de Leon claims for the segment, then one can hope for a good riddance.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

No Match: Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw Ends Short Run This Friday

Not even close.

After only 38 episodes and nearly two months on the air, GMA decided to pull the plug on ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, the late-morning romantic comedy starring Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. And its performance was never strong to begin with.

Matched up against the ABS-CBN late-morning series ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ failed to catch up with the viewing public. The series premiere of ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ only scored 8.8% against ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso”s 17.1%, setting the tone for the rest of its run.

Overall, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ managed a paltry 9% per episode. On the other hand, ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ averaged 17%.

Even the total number of episodes was lower than the TAPE-produced blocktimers that formerly occupied the late-morning slot. That said, it was a shame for GMA to not even try to keep up with JoChard (the love team of Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap) and Robin Padilla despite the insurmountable odds.

But to each network’s credit, both shows engaged a friendly rivalry even if ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ was cut short. In the lead-up to its premiere, Camille Prats and Jodi Sta. Maria wished good luck to each other on social media, clearly indicating that there are no hard feelings between them as far as competition goes.

Still, it would have been better if GMA kept on going with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’. Such a low number of episodes is considered a huge letdown by GMA’s standards and for a network with so many high expectations, it is very frustrating to see that happen.

Now that ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ is about to end, one can only hope that the series will end on a positive note. The least they can do now is salvage some measure of pride and make the most out of these last few episodes.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Since I Found You to Air on Primetime Bida Tonight

It seems like romantic comedies on Primetime Bida are a bad fit.

Over the last two years, the fourth slot of Primetime Bida was dominated by romcoms, yet despite winning in the ratings, viewers were left unsatisfied and bored over the direction ABS-CBN took. One commenter even went so far as labeling these evening romantic comedies as ‘antok-seryes’.

Last year, ABS-CBN went the more serious route and aired ‘The Good Son’ on the fourth slot. Somehow it worked; the series averaged around 20% and viewers were once again invested into its heart-wrenching and heavy storyline, a far cry from the romance and good vibes of its predecessors.

However, ABS-CBN decided to replace ‘The Good Son’ with yet another romantic comedy. Only this time, it will feature an unlikely love team.

Remember the movie ‘Kita Kita’ starring Empoy and Alessandra de Rossi? After the surprising success of the film, ABS-CBN will look to capitalize on the popularity of AlEmpoy by giving them a more prominent role in the upcoming series ‘Since I Found You’.

Also starring Piolo Pascual, JC de Vera and Arci Muñoz, ‘Since I Found You’ features the story of five individuals whose lives soon change in a heartbeat. The lead characters are as follows:

  • Nathan (Piolo), an accomplished businessman and boss of a construction company, is charismatic and good-looking yet employees are scared of his strict leadership.
  • Dani (Arci), the company practicumer, soon falls in love with Nathan.
  • Ginno (JC), Nathan’s assistant, becomes Dani’s own boss, but later on shows some affection for her.
  • Janice (Alessandra), Nathan’s secretary, also expresses her feelings towards Nathan.
  • James (Empoy), the company driver and comic relief, has a crush on Janice even as she constantly rejects him.

The cast of ‘Since I Found You’ will also include Carmi Martin, John Lapus, Vivoree Esclito, Isabel Oli, Cholo Barretto, and Michael de Mesa. It will be directed by Antoinette Jadaone.

If the performance of more recent primetime romantic comedies is of any indication, then ‘Since I Found You’ is in for a real challenge. Anything more than 20% in the ratings is vindication for the genre, but anything less than that is deemed a failure even if it still wins.

The ball is now on ABS-CBN’s court to prove its doubters wrong. Good luck.

‘Since I Found You’ airs weeknights after ‘Bagani’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

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comedy, humor, Philippines, television

Ogie Added to Home Sweetie Home, Now Up Against Bitoy Every Saturday

From co-stars to opponents.

Ogie Alcasid and Michael V were the faces of ‘Bubble Gang’ for a majority of the show’s run. Many of ‘Bubble Gang”s most memorable skits were focused on the two men, whether it is Yaya and Angelina, Cheche Bureche, Pickup Lines or the Sexballs boy group.

However, Ogie moved on from ‘Bubble Gang’ and GMA in 2013, and after a three-year spell with the then-TV5, he joined ABS-CBN last year. Yet despite gaining prominence as an occasional performer on ‘ASAP’, as well as composer and judge on several ABS-CBN talent shows, the itch to rekindle those comedic chops soon got the best of him.

Earlier this week, ABS-CBN announced that Ogie Alcasid would be added to the cast of the sitcom ‘Home Sweetie Home’. Ogie’s role in the sitcom will be similar to what Jodi Sta. Maria (‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’) and Erich Gonzales (‘The Blood Sisters’) do: that of playing at least two different characters.

In ‘Home Sweetie Home’, Ogie plays fraternal twins Ireneo (or Neo) and Irenea. Neo is the childhood friend of Julie (Toni Gonzaga) who soon invests on the Walang Kapares pastry shop and restaurant, while Irenea becomes JP’s (Piolo Pascual) love interest.

With the addition of Ogie Alcasid to ‘Home Sweetie Home’, a very interesting subplot develops. ‘Home Sweetie Home”s archrival ‘Pepito Manaloto’ stars Michael V, and his former ‘Bubble Gang’ co-stars in Ogie and Rufa Mae Quinto now find themselves on the opposite side of the fence.

But don’t expect this rivalry to be a fierce one. In fact, off the camera, Ogie, Bitoy and Rufa Mae remain friendly to each other despite their different network allegiances.

Already one of ABS-CBN’s top-rated programs on Saturday nights, ‘Home Sweetie Home’ could only get better with the entry of one of the Philippines’ most versatile talents. Still, it will be interesting to see how Ogie’s addition will spice up this popular sitcom.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s New Rival to Sana Dalawa ang Puso Premieres Monday

GMA has a new series coming up to counter ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’.

After over a month of staying away from the dreaded love team that is Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between), GMA will once again look to defeat the popular tandem. This time, however, they will not have the benefit of TAPE Inc. as a blocktimer and production partner.

Instead, the new series ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be self-produced by the network, the first time they have done that in a pre-noontime show since ‘Cielo de Angelina’ in 2012. But unlike the latter which is more of a tear-jerker, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be done in the same way as ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’: a romantic comedy.

‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ will be headlined by Camille Prats, Neil Ryan Sese, Ayra Mariano and Bruno Gabriel. Camille (as Ginny) and Neil (as Lance) are single parents still attached to their past, but with some common ground between them (e.g. living in the same condo, enjoy the same brand of coffee), it seems like a relationship is about to bloom.

Their lives will also intertwine with that of their children. Ginny’s daughter Marione (Ayra) and Lance’s son Benjie (Bruno) are also on the verge of falling in love, but it remains to be seen if either or both of their relationships will flourish.

GMA is no stranger to morning romantic series, having aired ‘With a Smile’ and ‘Dangwa’ in years past. Unfortunately, the presence of TAPE’s pre-noontime shows prevented GMA from seriously challenging ABS-CBN’s popular late-morning dramas, which led to both shows’ failure to make an impact.

The curse of ‘JoChard’ has become a long-standing dilemma for GMA ever since ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ premiered in 2012. That said, GMA can only hope for the best with ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’, as this could be their last-ditch attempt to overcome the problem.

If they fail on this objective, it will not be a surprise to see the network return to a pupal state and fill the airtime with ‘Kapuso Movie Festival’. It is either all-out or stay out as far as GMA is concerned.

Directed by Tata Betita and Jojo Nones, ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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