drama, entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Drama Flicks on Jeepney TV

Drama films are not on CineMo’s vocabulary.

So when Jeepney TV was finally included on ABS-CBN TVPlus last week, there was some solace for viewers who were handcuffed by CineMo’s limited film selection. Not only does Jeepney TV air a selection of classic ABS-CBN programs, they also have a vintage movie block called ‘Pasada Pelikula’ every Saturday.

Last Saturday Jeepney TV aired ‘Bituin Walang Ningning’ which is infamous for Cherie Gil’s ‘You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat’ catchphrase. Such a tearjerking film will not fit well into CineMo’s style but luckily for viewers, Jeepney TV has it all covered.

This Saturday, ‘Pasada Pelikula’ will air ‘Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin’ which also starred Sharon Cuneta. If ABS-CBN were to decide on Jeepney TV’s fate on TVPlus come 2019, retaining it should do wonders.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

LizQuen Returns via Dolce Amore

LizQuen is back, on the small screen that is.

The celebrated love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has a new drama series coming up this Monday, as ABS-CBN launches ‘Dolce Amore’. The said series will take over the timeslot of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, who ironically replaced the LizQuen-starred ‘Forevermore’ nearly ten months earlier.

In ‘Dolce Amore’, Liza (as Serena) and Enrique (as Tenten) were raised without the guidance of their real parents. Serena grew up in Italy by her adoptive parents, while Tenten’s youth was spent in an orphanage.

Their worlds would soon collide once Serena landed in the Philippines. While searching for answers regarding her origins, she unexpectedly met Tenten, and the pair’s lovely adventures would soon take off.

Also joining the cast of ‘Dolce Amore’ are Matteo Guidicelli, Cherie Gil, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Edgar Mortiz, Rio Locsin, Kean Cipriano, Sunshine Cruz, Andrew E and Frenchie Dy. Mae Cruz Alviar and Cathy Garcia-Molina will direct the series.

Based on the love team’s success in ‘Forevermore’ and in the movies ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Everyday I Love You’, ‘Dolce Amore’ is expected to become a hit anew for ABS-CBN. This should pose a problem for its upcoming rival, GMA’s ‘That’s My Amboy’, which has struggled out of the gate since its first week.

But while the series is poised to continue the recent winning streak of other ABS-CBN dramas, it will also face a lot of scrutiny. Just last month, an open letter addressed to co-director Cathy Garcia-Molina accused her of cursing and disrespecting two ‘Forevermore’ cast members, a accusation she denied.

Expectations aside, ‘Dolce Amore’ should give the LizQuen tandem an opportunity to expand their repertoire as actors. After breaking out in ‘Forevermore’, a more experienced and mature Liza and Enrique awaits viewers come this Monday.

‘Dolce Amore’ premieres February 15 after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Half-Sisters Extended Anew

‘The Half-Sisters’ has been extended until January 2016, after GMA initially reported that the series would end this October. (Photo credit: GMA Network/The Half-Sisters Official Facebook)

The longest-running afternoon drama today just doesn’t seem to end.

Director Mark Reyes has confirmed that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will be extended until January 2016. Counting the prior 17 months, the series will now have a total of 20 months on its current tenure.

In addition, Reyes confirmed that a new story arc is in the works. He teased that this arc will be edgier and more controversial, but did not disclose any further details because it needs the approval of a variety of sectors, from network management to the cast.

Considering that lead stars Barbie Forteza and Thea Tolentino are maturing as actresses, this may be the best course of action for the series. But then again, it’s up to the two young stars to convince themselves that they are ready for the next step.

Since debuting in June 2014, ‘The Half-Sisters’ has been one the Philippines’ top-rated programs. Its lengthy run has been very impressive, so much so that veteran actors Gloria Romero, Eula Valdes, Cherie Gil and Eddie Garcia have made special appearances at one point, all with the intent of adding more flavor to the story.

But while ‘The Half-Sisters’ remained a hit with viewers, they seem to show signs of decline in recent months. The entry of ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’, in particular, has given ‘The Half-Sisters’ its toughest rival yet, since the former starred Julia Montes, a very successful primetime drama performer.

As a result, GMA made an announcement earlier this month that ‘The Half-Sisters’ would be down to its last four weeks, in hopes of ending the series on a high note. This report was later retracted, however, and no further mention of its impending conclusion was made in later episode previews.

Its presumed replacement, ‘Dangwa’, was then moved to a late-morning timeslot. And when director Mark Reyes made the confirmation, ‘The Half-Sisters” run will officially go on for an even longer period.

Now that ‘The Half-Sisters’ will continue until the new year, expect even further twists and turns in a series that has featured many of them. But how much longer will the viewers stick around? Only time will tell.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Carmela’ Meets New Rival

Coco Martin, Kim Chiu, Julia Montes and Jake Cuenca top-bill the upcoming drama series ‘Ikaw Lamang’, which debuts on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida on March 10.

The past few weeks have not been good for ‘Carmela’. Rival series ‘Got to Believe’, scheduled to end this March 7, has not only beaten the former in its timeslot, but also out-trended them in social media. In addition, TV5’s PBA Philippine Cup playoff games have leapfrogged past ‘Carmela’ in terms of both ratings and social media impact. And now a new rival program awaits.

Enter ‘Ikaw Lamang’, the upcoming ABS-CBN Primetime Bida series which will replace ‘Got to Believe’ on March 10. The series will feature a powerhouse cast headlined by Kim Chiu, Julia Montes, Coco Martin and Jake Cuenca. Veteran actors Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III, Cherry Pie Picache, Cherie Gil and John Estrada will complement the lead cast of characters. 

‘Ikaw Lamang’ will be the first project together for Montes and Martin since their highly-rated series ‘Walang Hanggan’ two years earlier. It will also mark Chiu’s first primetime project since ‘Ina, Kapatid, Anak’, and her second without on-screen partner Xian Lim. Chiu, Martin and Cuenca also previously worked together in ‘Tayong Dalawa’ in 2009.

The upcoming drama series will be a huge test for the four lead stars in terms of on-screen chemistry, familiarity and their acting abilities. But viewers should not worry. ‘Ikaw Lamang’ is a showcase that pits four of the most bankable personalities in the small screen, and when mixed with a well-written script and a highly touted supporting cast, it translates into a potentially high-rated drama series that will attract many viewers.

Which means that more problems lay ahead for viewers of ‘Carmela’. Despite debuting strongly last January, ‘Carmela’ has suffered of late thanks to the lack of social media presence and declining ratings. The lack of interest and viewership surrounding ‘Carmela’ should be a cause of concern to GMA management, who will now pressure the writers to improve the script and develop the characters further. And when up against a star-studded cast in ‘Ikaw Lamang’, they are at a disadvantage.

With that, good luck to the writers of ‘Carmela’. I hope you improve its storyline in order to impress and attract viewers, otherwise ‘Ikaw Lamang’ will continue to overwhelm the show just like what ‘Got to Believe’ did.

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