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

It’s Showtime Has a More Appropriate Rival, and It’s Not Eat Bulaga

Consider ‘Eat Bulaga’ in the past tense as ‘It’s Showtime”s archrival.

While the two noontime shows have been at each other’s throats since ‘It’s Showtime’ moved to its current timeslot in 2011, recent events suggest that ‘Eat Bulaga’ may no longer consider itself a true rival of the former. Instead, another variety show (albeit on a later timeslot) has taken its place as ‘It’s Showtime”s arch-nemesis.

Enter ‘Wowowin’, the late-afternoon variety show hosted by Willie Revillame and is currently on the air for the past three years. For whatever reason, the ‘relationship’ between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’ can be summed up in one word.

Take it away, Spongebob Squarepants.

Throughout the year, most episodes of ‘It’s Showtime’ have run past its allotted three-hour period mainly due to Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. As a matter of fact, one of its more recent episodes concluded at around 4:00 p.m., by far a record time for the noontime show.

GMA is usually strict when it comes to running time, but for some unexplained reason, they did not implement such strictness when it comes to ‘Wowowin’. In the event that ‘It’s Showtime’ goes overtime, GMA countered by allowing ‘Wowowin’ to go past its normal 90-minute duration so that both ’24 Oras’ and ‘TV Patrol’ can start at the same time.

Different timeslots, similar objectives. This is essentially a Willie Revillame and Vice Ganda thing.

Willie, for his part, was the master of working overtime, back when he was still on TV5 for ‘Willing Willie’, ‘Wil Time Big Time’ and ‘Wowowillie’. However, GMA made certain conditions when Willie signed a contract with the network three years ago, such as ‘Wowowin’ only airing on a ‘taped as live’ basis and running for only 90 minutes.

Suffice to say, GMA sort of unleashed the wild side of Willie this year. Which leads to Vice Ganda, who probably learned a thing or two from his frenemy Willie about talking too much.

And for whatever reason, ABS-CBN is simply letting him do the talking for as long as he wants. As a consequence, some of ABS-CBN’s afternoon and primetime programs began to suffer in the ratings, mainly because Vice spoke a little too long.

Perhaps the two can someday have a show of their own that combines the elements of both ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’. But then again, they are not usually the best of friends, such as when Vice poked fun over Willie’s tirade a few years ago.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if the two variety show greats appear in public together and talk every once in while? That should make people forget about their excesses.

Either way, both ABS-CBN and GMA should do (and I mean DO) something about this ‘overtime’ thing. This is simply a time-waster and viewers are fed up with it.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Last Week of Since I Found You

Glad that’s over.

In many ways, ‘Since I Found You”s final week is a merciful end to a series that has never found its footing from day one. And while this romantic comedy series outplayed its competition, it failed to impress viewers left and right.

‘Since I Found You’ first set foot on April 16, 2018 replacing the tearjerking family drama ‘The Good Son’. The series marked the first television project for the ‘Kita Kita’ tandem of Empoy Marquez and Alessandra de Rossi, and they were joined by Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz and JC de Vera.

While ‘Since I Found You’ came out firing by averaging in the 20s its first two weeks, it failed to sustain its magical start the rest of the way. Since then, ‘Since I Found You’ hovered between 16 and 19%, and ABS-CBN management wondered if a romantic comedy on primetime is indeed a curse.

But despite its unimpressive ratings, ‘Since I Found You”s opponent failed to take advantage of its lukewarm audience reception. Neither ‘The One That Got Away’ nor ‘Inday Will Always Love You’ provided the necessary impact that should have given ‘Since I Found You’ a scare, even though the latter came within 1% in one of its episodes.

Notwithstanding the lack of recognition by the audience, ‘Since I Found You’ was still good enough to produce 85 episodes, which is close to the norm of a typical teleserye. Still, it was clear that viewers yawned over a primetime romantic comedy that felt out of place.

With all due respect to Dreamscape, the producer of ‘Since I Found You’, this is one of the weakest efforts that this entertainment division has ever made. For all its success and appeal (see ‘Asintado’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’), not all of their creations are destined to give audiences something worth watching.

In the end, ‘Since I Found You’ is a waste of time for ABS-CBN. Romantic comedies have no place on Primetime Bida and this series is one of a few mistakes that ABS-CBN ever made.

One can only hope that ‘Since I Found You’ will end with a lasting impression. But for a series that is boring from the start, expect a silent treatment from the audience.

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drama, entertainment, humor, movies, Philippines, suspense, television, variety show

Eat Bulaga Creates Another Made-for-TV Movie

Never mind that ‘Eat Bulaga’ is no longer a ratings juggernaut as they were in years past.

The now 40-year-old variety show (technically 39 but the number is considered unlucky for them) is content with what they do best: to make viewers happy. In fact, for the past two years, they even ventured into filmmaking with 2017’s ‘Love Is…’ and this year’s offering.

On Saturday, July 28, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will premiere the mini-movie ‘Pamana’, starring Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros and Maine Mendoza as the Pamilya Nunal from ‘The Barangay Jokers’ series. The show’s other hosts and some unnamed special guests will also play bit roles in this upcoming film.

‘Pamana’, a suspense/comedy thriller, will also mark the directorial debut of Ariel Manalo (birth name of Jose Manalo). Yes, you heard that right: Jose himself directed the film.

For viewers who have watched ‘Eat Bulaga’ for years, going into made-for-TV film territory is something unusual for the long-running variety show even on a normal day. The only times the show dropped its typical segments (e.g. Juan for All) is when it airs its annual Lenten drama specials.

But a show like ‘Eat Bulaga’ is definitely not content in visiting barangays and giving the audience an opportunity to win prizes on a regular basis. Going above and beyond the basics is something the show has long desired to do for years.

Which is why last year’s ‘Love Is…’ and this year’s ‘Pamana’ is a refreshing break from the norm. After all, no one wants to get bored with the same old formula over and over again.

Good luck, ‘Eat Bulaga’. May ‘Pamana’ be worth the price of admission to your viewers.

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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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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, 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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