entertainment, Philippines, television

Tagalization of Foreign Films

I was tuning in to both ABS-CBN and GMA late Sunday night, and it was obvious that I didn’t like the way GMA dubbed its movie. GMA’s ‘Sunday Night Box Office‘ aired the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale‘, while ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best‘ aired ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’. I commend ABS-CBN for not dubbing ‘Resident Evil’, in the process keeping its integrity intact. Unfortunately I have to criticize GMA for dubbing ‘Casino Royale’.

In the last decade or so, there were attempts by the big networks to ‘Tagalize’ foreign films, particularly those produced in the United States. The problem is, the dubbing work of the voice actors were not at par with the original actors of the film. No one will accept a ‘Tagalized’ film if the dubber’s work of art is poor, especially if the accent is not consistent with the original. However, there is a reason why they keep on doing this: to gain viewers from the lowest of classes, and to familiarize them.

In the past, GMA’s ‘Sunday Night Box Office’ aired such films in English. However, as the network shifted its focus to the lower classes, they ‘Tagalized’ the films. This was another attempt by the network to regain its viewership, which is now being dominated on all classes by ABS-CBN. In addition, GMA airs three more movies during that day to fill programming hours, something they haven’t been able to replace.

Films are only aired on ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best’ whenever there was no special event to air. However, with the Kapamilya network’s growing list of special events to cover, films on this block were getting rarer on a weekly basis. Nevertheless, if an opportunity arises, films on ABS-CBN’s ‘Sunday’s Best’ are aired without any dubbing excess, which is better for the casual viewer. In addition, they also air movies on the ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ block every Sunday morning, whenever there is no sports event to cover.

Perhaps the king of movie blocks has to be TV5. Because of its thin lineup of programs, they resort to airing movies at least twice a day, all of which are ‘Tagalized’. Despite the deep pockets of Manny Pangilinan, the network has not been able to decrease this habit.

For the last time I never like films that are ‘Tagalized’, even as television viewing now shifts to a lower class society. I think foreign films should maintain its character and decency, without the excesses of shortcuts and dubbing to a different language. That way it can be enjoyed and seen by everyone. Sorry, but I will never watch a foreign film on GMA and TV5, because what they did destroys the integrity and completeness of a film.

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