comedy, entertainment, game show, humor, Philippines, television

Endangered Specie: Celebrity Bluff’s Status in Doubt

Is this the end for ‘Celebrity Bluff’?

Last Saturday marked the season finale of this celebrated GMA game show. But ‘Celebrity Bluff’ as it truly was effectively ended two years ago following its first four years on the air.

The first run of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ began on November 17, 2012 and ended on February 20, 2016. The original trio of Eugene Domingo, Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo immediately clicked with viewers, and ‘Celebrity Bluff’ became a worthy and oftentimes popular adversary amid the dominance of franchised reality and talent shows from ABS-CBN.

Even as Wally was replaced by Boobay and Isko ‘Brod Pete’ Salvador and Jose left for other commitments, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ remained a force to be reckoned with on Saturday nights. The show also received some accolades along the way, including two PMPC Star Awards for Best Game Show.

The death of director Uro dela Cruz in February 2016 forced ‘Celebrity Bluff’ to take a long break after 12 consecutive seasons on the air. Then on June 3, 2017, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ got underway, this time with Edu Manzano as one of the ‘bluffers’ and Rico Gutierrez as the director.

Unfortunately, this latest season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ failed to capture the magic of the previous 12 seasons. Once averaging around 12-13% in the ratings during its first four years, the most recent incarnation of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ only managed ratings of around 6-7% per episode.

It also did not help that Edu Manzano was a bad fit to the ensemble. In March, Manzano left ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in order to join ABS-CBN’s ‘Ang Probinsyano’, leaving Eugene, Boobay, Brod Pete and some guest ‘bluffers’ to hold the fort.

Suffice to say, the 13th season of ‘Celebrity Bluff’ was doomed to fail this time around. The once-colorful game show had lost its luster.

So what does the future hold for ‘Celebrity Bluff’? Considering the poor performance of its most recent season, perhaps GMA should just retire the show for good and concentrate on a new concept.

If they intend to resuscitate ‘Celebrity Bluff’ in the near future, the only recourse is to convince Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo to return to the show. After all, ‘Celebrity Bluff’ reached its peak with Eugene, Wally and Jose at the forefront.

But for all intents and purposes, consider ‘Celebrity Bluff’ an endangered specie that borders between cancellation and renewal. For now, the show is on hiatus, and unless GMA decides to give it another shot, this hiatus may become permanent after all.

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action, comedy, drama, entertainment, fantasy, movies, Philippines, suspense, television

Blurring the Lines: Is CineMo Finally Ready to Accept Drama and Romance Films?

The movie ‘Ikaw na Sana’ was aired on CineMo as part of the CineKomedya block, but was classified as a romantic drama film. (Photo courtesy of Video48 and Viva Films)

Talk about a tone shift.

CineMo, an ABS-CBN digital TV channel, has been on the airwaves for the past seven years. However, its content has stayed basically the same, airing comedy, action, suspense, sexy and fantasy films from the get-go.

But in the past few weeks, movies from the romance and drama genres began to air on CineMo as well. Such films were aired on the channel’s CineKomedya block, but for whatever reason they do not feel like comedy films at all.

Take for instance the recent airing of the film ‘Ikaw na Sana’. The movie was an adaptation of the television series that aired on GMA some 20 years ago, and it starred Bobby Andrews and Angelu de Leon alongside Gladys Reyes and Jake Roxas.

Unfortunately for CineMo, ‘Ikaw na Sana’ was labeled as a romantic drama film. And considering the film did not have any funny jokes or comedic bits, it was not appropriate for it to air on the CineKomedya block.

There were also other films that aired on CineKomedya that do not appear to be humorous at all. Some of these films foreshadowed the modern romantic comedy drama series that air on ABS-CBN these days, but for the most part tears were shed more than laughs.

With that in mind, is it the perfect time for CineMo to accept romance and drama films to the fold? Considering that they have been repeatedly airing most of the same films over and over again, perhaps it is the right time to do so.

CineMo could launch new drama and romance blocks titled CineDrama and CineRomansya on timeslots normally reserved to action and comedy flicks. That way, films from the romance and drama genres can be aired without any confusion and concern from the viewer.

Not only that, CineMo will have a deeper reservoir thanks to these films. That said, having romance and drama films on the channel does help in attracting the young and feminine audience more, even though the channel is more catered to working-class males.

The ball is now on CineMo’s court to score. One can only hope that the channel will dig deep and go beyond their comfort zone with these tearjerkers.

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

Tawag ng Tanghalan 2 Finale Scores Big, But Not Big Enough

Talk about a complete turnaround.

Saturday’s ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ finale on ABS-CBN’s ‘It’s Showtime’ scored a whopping 31% in the Kantar ratings. On the other hand, GMA’s ‘Eat Bulaga’ earned a paltry 9.5% as it tried to keep up with Seen-A-Like, Sing-A-Like, Guhit Bulaga and other promotional gimmicks.

The finale of ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ saw 16-year-old Janine Berdin outlast five other aspiring singers to win P2 million, a house and lot and a management contract among other prizes. Her final piece saw her belt out a medley of hits from Bamboo, which immediately trended on social media and received millions of views on YouTube.

Despite the blowout win, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan”s 31% rating was still a far cry from the 40.1% rating of ‘Eat Bulaga”s Sa Tamang Panahon in 2015. Nevertheless, ‘It’s Showtime’ should be more than satisfied with the finale’s ratings considering the segment’s consistently strong performance since its 2016 debut.

For now, though, ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ will not continue after a run of over two years (this includes two adult editions and a kids’ edition). Instead, ‘It’s Showtime’ will devote its time to a couple of other segments such as Miss Q&A and Mini Me.

But without ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ to hold the fort, it remains to be seen if ‘It’s Showtime’ will remain a winner despite the temporary hiatus of its most popular segment. That said, an imposing challenge awaits this noontime show as it tries to pick up the pieces post-‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’.

As for ‘Eat Bulaga’, there is nothing to worry about its poor ratings that day. Considering the show has no chance of pulling off the upset, the best that they did was to reveal a couple of old tricks to satisfy its loyal fanbase (being a show that is nearing 39 years old, it looks like they have nothing left to prove).

Oh, and one more thing: stop putting Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together once and for all. With all due respect to AlDub Nation, they have outlived their usefulness as a love team (in fact, Maine already said that she and Alden were only friends and not in a relationship) and they should be better off thriving on their own.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: Since I Found You Continues to Sink

There is nothing to be proud about ‘Since I Found You’.

After recording a 22.4% rating in its pilot episode, ‘Since I Found You’s performance gradually declined as it hovered around the 18% range over the next few weeks. On Friday, the series reached a new low by garnering only a 16.4% rating.

The good news, however, is that its newest competitor ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ failed to take advantage of ‘Since I Found You”s ineptitude, earning only a 15.2% rating last Friday. Unfortunately, the recent poor performance of ‘Since I Found You’ could give ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ an chance to overtake, provided that GMA will be able to produce one compelling episode after another.

It may be a moral victory as far as ABS-CBN is concerned, but to viewers, it is unacceptable. Unless ‘Since I Found You’ finds a way to produce better episodes than the last, expect a cancellation notice as soon as possible.

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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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