drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Stepdaughters, One Last Time

‘Asintado”s chief rival will call it a day.

On Friday, GMA’s ‘The Stepdaughters’ will air its final episode. This series, starring Megan Young and Katrina Halili as rivals-turned-stepsisters, enjoyed a long run but was essentially overshadowed by the success of its archrival ‘Asintado’.

‘The Stepdaughters’ first aired on February 12, 2018. The premise of the series was of two women who became rivals via the makeup business: one who is already established in the industry and the other with aspirations of entering said business.

Later on, Mayumi (Megan) and Isabelle (Katrina) became stepsisters when Mayumi’s mother married Isabelle’s father. Mayumi also fell in love with Francis (Mikael Daez), even as Isabelle tried to win his trust.

While ‘The Stepdaughters’ managed to air 178 episodes by the end of its run, the series’ overall performance suggests that it should have been winning on a consistent basis. Instead, ‘The Stepdaughters’ ran into a brick wall in Julia Montes, whose afternoon series ‘Asintado’ won by an average of 4% in the ratings.

But ‘Asintado’ is not the only show that gave ‘The Stepdaughters’ a lot of trouble. In most afternoons, ‘The Stepdaughters’ was aired against ‘It’s Showtime’ and likewise could not keep up with Vice Ganda and company.

‘The Stepdaughters” final two weeks saw the show go up against a new ‘kabitserye’ in ‘Kadenang Ginto’. So far, ‘Kadenang Ginto’ proved to be just as strong an adversary for ‘The Stepdaughters’, as seen by its 4.8% ratings advantage in its pilot episode last week.

Regardless of its shortcomings, ‘The Stepdaughters’ proved that it can keep up with the best that ABS-CBN has to offer. Notwithstanding the lack of victories in the ratings, GMA should be more than pleased with the way ‘The Stepdaughters’ battled until the end.

This week will see the conclusion of one of GMA’s most underrated series. One can only hope that ‘The Stepdaughters’ will exit with a bang and leave a lasting impression to its audience.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kadenang Ginto: Golden Opportunity or Golden Letdown?

Welcome to the ‘better late than never’ era of Kapamilya Gold.

Gone are the days when the block starts at 3:20 p.m. as soon as ‘It’s Showtime’ ended. These days, Vice Ganda and his big mouth are the main attraction for over half the afternoon while Kapamilya Gold could only helplessly watch as they were pushed back by 30 minutes.

While the ratings of Kapamilya Gold remain excellent despite the late start time, an upcoming series or two could derail whatever momentum this block had attained. Over the next two weeks, Kapamilya Gold will have two new programs in store, and one of them is already feeling the pressure.

This early, ‘Kadenang Ginto’ is hard-pressed to fill the void left by ‘Asintado’. The series, which will be led by Albert Martinez, Dimples Romana, Adrian Alandy and Beauty Gonzalez, lacked the star power of ‘Asintado’, and while the four are already accomplished actors they are still supporting player material in the eyes of viewers.

‘Kadenang Ginto tells the story of Romina (Beauty), Carlos (Adrian), Robert (Albert) and Daniela (Dimples). Both Romina and Carlos are initially engaged to one another, but after Romina is raped by an unknown man, Carlos breaks up with her and worse, the rape incident results in Romina bearing a child.

Romina then finds refuge and true love in Robert, the owner of the company she works for; Romina’s child Cassandra (Francine Diaz) is then adopted legally by Robert. However, Robert’s daughter Daniela disapproves of their relationship and accuses Romina of being a gold digger.

Eventually Daniela leaves her family behind, falls in love with Carlos and bears a child named Margaret (Andrea Brillantes). This leads to a blood feud between her and Romina for the right to inherit Robert’s wealth.

Also part of ‘Kadenang Ginto’ are Eula Valdez, Ronnie Lazaro, Luke Conde, Nikko Natividad, Adrian Lindayag, Kat Galang, and Savannah Rosales. The series will be directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng.

Come this Monday ‘Kadenang Ginto’ should have its hands full in keeping viewers to their seats. It will be interesting to see how this new series plays out, so good luck.

‘Kadenang Ginto’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asintado’s Final Week

It all comes down to this.

‘Asintado”s final episode is slated to air this Friday. But in many ways, this series turned out to be unpredictable.

First aired on January 15, 2018, ‘Asintado’ was placed in the leadoff slot of ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. It was to be the comeback series of Julia Montes nearly a year after starring in the long-running afternoon series ‘Doble Kara’.

But unlike ‘Doble Kara’, ‘Asintado’ performed on a relatively quiet scale. Debuting with a 17.7% rating, the series hovered between 14-17% for much of its run.

Despite that, ‘Asintado”s ratings were more than enough to dispatch its rival GMA dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘The Stepdaughters’. And considering that it now airs at 3:50 p.m. on a regular basis due to the longer-than-usual running time of ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Asintado”s performance was still impressive at best.

Overall, ‘Asintado’ will have a total of 187 episodes by Friday’s finale. As far as ABS-CBN standards go, this is already a long run.

If there is anything to pick up about ‘Asintado’, it is on how some of the cast members adapt to a role they were not used to. Julia Montes, long known for her dramatic skills regardless of being a villain or a protagonist, became more of an action star in this series as her character Ana sought vengeance on the loved ones she lost.

Shaina Magdayao, as Samantha, embraced the bad girl role particularly well, that is until it was revealed that Samantha and Ana were actually long-lost sisters. Paulo Avelino, as Gael, was no slouch either in working the good and bad side of his character.

In the last few weeks of ‘Asintado’, the focus shifted to Nonie Buencamino’s character Salvador, whom Ana blamed for the murder of her wife (and Salvador’s son) Gael as well as his wife Miranda (Lorna Tolentino). While Nonie”s credits as a villain were few and far between, his portrayal of Salvador may have been his best yet as a heel.

That said, the last week of ‘Asintado’ should be a good one. Whether or not Ana gains her much-needed justice remains to be seen, so stay tuned to find out the ending to this story of revenge and vindication.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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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, Philippines, television

Araw Gabi: The Return of PHR to ABS-CBN

Remember the ‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents’ series?

Between 2009 and 2013, ABS-CBN produced 13 different series based on the Precious Hearts Romances pocketbooks. The last such series, ‘Paraiso’, was aired from November 2012 to April 2013.

Five years after the last ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ series, ABS-CBN announced the revival of the franchise with ‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Araw Gabi’. This upcoming Kapamilya drama will be led by PHR veteran JM de Guzman and up-and-coming star Barbie Imperial.

In ‘Araw Gabi’, Michelle (Barbie) is a bright and optimistic young woman who aims to bag the Tranquila Resort account. That resort, in turn, is owned by Adrian (JM), whose grave sin he committed 18 years ago made him a pariah in his home town.

Both Michelle and Adrian eventually cross paths but at first, Adrian rejects Michelle’s proposals that would have helped her advance her career. This leads to a daunting research project where Michelle learns more about Adrian’s past life and the mystery behind the lighthouse that she is dreaming of.

Also starring in ‘Araw Gabi’ are Rita Avila, Vina Morales, Ara Mina, Raymond Bagatsing, RK Bagatsing, Jane Oineza, Phoebe Walker, Paolo Angeles, Ysabel Ortega, Victor Silayan, Arlene Muhlach, Eric Nicolas, and Joshua Colet. The series will be directed by Theodore Boborol, Don Cuaresma, and Mylah Ajero Gaite.

Throughout the history of ‘Precious Hearts Romances’ on television, mature, daring and sensual scenes became the norm. ‘Araw Gabi’ is no exception, and for the likes of Barbie Imperial, Jane Oineza and Ysabel Ortega, the opportunity to shed more skin is a way of elevating their respective acting careers to new heights.

For JM de Guzman, ‘Araw Gabi’ is a reward for the continued perseverance he showed in the years since returning from drug rehabilitation. It is also a homecoming of sorts for the now 29-year-old actor, having starred in three PHR series in its initial run.

As for ‘Araw Gabi’ itself, it remains to be seen if this series will be able to make an impact like its successors. That said, it’s either boon or bust for the revived PHR.

‘Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Araw Gabi’ airs weekdays after ‘Asintado’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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