My Dear Heart’s ‘Last Heartbeats’

This is indeed the ‘Last Heartbeat’.

The impending conclusion of ‘My Dear Heart’ saw ABS-CBN promote its final episodes as the ‘Last __ Heartbeats’. And if this is indeed the last heartbeat for Heart Ramos and company, what a way to go.

‘My Dear Heart’ made its way to Primetime Bida’s lineup on January 23, 2017. Although the series is considered a family drama in the mold of other classic series such as ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘100 Days to Heaven’ and ‘Honesto’, the popularity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ in the early primetime slot forced ABS-CBN to bump ‘My Dear Heart’ to a later time.

Nevertheless, ‘My Dear Heart’ proved to be a ratings success in its own right. The series averaged 28% in the Kantar ratings, with some episodes peaking at 30% or better.

While ‘My Dear Heart’ began its run against the Dingdong Dantes-starred ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, it was against the AlDub-starred ‘Destined to Be Yours’ that defined its tenure. Facing the seemingly formidable love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza, ‘My Dear Heart’ dominated the former with relative ease, shocking the entire AlDub Nation in the process.

The final few weeks of ‘My Dear Heart’ saw the series compete against the Filipino adaptation of ‘My Love from the Star’. But like Alden and Maine, the duo of Gil Cuerva and Jennylyn Mercado could not overcome Heart’s determination to survive.

Overall, ‘My Dear Heart’ will have logged a total of 103 episodes by the time it ends this Friday. The episode count was very impressive considering the series worked behind ‘Ang Probinsyano’ in the pecking order.

Come this week, all eyes are on child star Heart Ramos, whose role as a coma-stricken daughter and angelic spirit captivated viewers throughout the country and around the world. The final episodes of the series will also see how the characters of Bela Padilla, Zanjoe Marudo, Coney Reyes, Ria Atayde and Eric Quizon react to Heart’s life-or-death struggle.

The ‘Last Heartbeat’ for ‘My Dear Heart’ is on. As for Heart Ramos, her budding career as a child star has just begun.

The Final Week of Alyas Robin Hood

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ is coming to a close.

Friday, February 24, will be the show’s final episode, and for those who stuck with ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ throughout its run, they will have plenty of stories to tell for this hooded hero. However, it was not all smooth sailing for this GMA action-drama series.

Just weeks before its premiere, many doubted ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, particularly its similarities to another Robin Hood-inspired character ‘Arrow’. Though creative head Suzette Doctolero tried her best to differentiate the two, it was clear from the beginning that the criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ would linger on during its run.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ premiered on September 19, and was pitted against another newcomer in ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. Though the latter’s subpar ratings did alarm ABS-CBN for a while, the former failed to take advantage, at best closing to within 1% of ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’.

The series also failed to get past ‘A Love to Last’ (during its brief two-week run at the second slot) and ‘My Dear Heart’ despite getting decent ratings of 20% or better. Overall, even with a total of 115 episodes and strong hype over the controversy, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ still fell short of expectations.

The fact is, the superhero genre that GMA advocated in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ no longer works in today’s primetime scene. Many prefer the more realistic and inspiring plots that ABS-CBN produces in series such as ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘My Dear Heart’ rather than the fantasy leanings of ‘Encantadia’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

It also puts into question GMA’s casting choices. Let’s face it, Dingdong Dantes is in a starring role for way too long and should’ve given way to younger talent, but as it turns out, GMA wanted him because there is no other capable actor who can portray the lead role in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

And while Megan Young and Andrea Torres are worthy supporting actors in this series due to their youth, giving them a younger male lead would’ve helped ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. In the end, GMA made a grave mistake by putting over an actor with over a decade of service as a leading man, thus continuing a path of overusing veterans.

Come this Friday, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be in a fight of his life. But whether or not it will make a lasting impression at the end remains to be seen.

Case Solved Adds to GMA’s Saturday Afternoon Madness

It is safe to say that GMA’s Saturday afternoon lineup is an absolute mess.

Since ‘Startalk’ left the airwaves nearly two years ago, three successor shows have tried to fill the void that the former left. Unfortunately, neither ‘CelebriTV’, ‘Laff Camera Action’ nor ‘#Like’ were able to make an impact.

To make matters worse, the block now features three shows that appear indistinguishable from one another. ‘Karelasyon’, ‘Wish Ko Lang’ and ‘Imbestigador’ may be different shows in name, but their formats are way too similar to each other, especially now that the latter two employ greater amounts of dramatization than before.

Now add a fourth show with a similar premise. Starting this Saturday, GMA will introduce the docu-drama series ‘Case Solved’, to be hosted by Dingdong Dantes.

Here is an excerpt from the GMA Network Public Relations Department:

Case Solved features sensational and controversial real-life cases ranging from nonaggressive to violent circumstance derived from Philippines’ Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA) handled by the country’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), judicial agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ), Supreme Court and Bureau of Corrections. More than presenting how the crime is committed, it further explains how the crime is solved.

Hosted by none other than Kapuso Primetime King Dingdong Dantes, this program presents solved cases that will empower and educate the viewers in predicting the probability of a crime before it occurs.

Let’s face it, does GMA need another ‘Imbestigador’ at this point? Because based on the description, ‘Case Solved’ is just another crime-solving program that GMA concocted, even though they already have one in ‘Imbestigador’.

That said, the addition of ‘Case Solved’ does not solve anything as far as their Saturday afternoon lineup goes. The lack of diversity in the block is something that might concern viewers, especially now that ABS-CBN is pulling away in the ratings with ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, ‘SOCO’, ‘Mga Kwento ni Marc Logan’ and ‘Family Feud’.

A moral victory or disaster awaits ‘Case Solved’. GMA can only hope that the show can defy the odds and at least make their block more interesting than ever.

‘Case Solved’ airs starting this Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

Alyas Robin Hood to Premiere Monday Despite Continuous Criticisms

There will be an ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ after all.

The upcoming GMA fantasy action series will see the light of day starting this Monday. This despite the many criticisms that the show faced, particularly its similarities to the American series ‘Arrow’.

But for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ lead star Dingdong Dantes, he remains confident with the new project despite the negative reviews of it. He, like Suzette Doctolero and Redgie Magno before him, also defended ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, claiming that it is based on the legend of Robin Hood.

The story of ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ involves the character of Pepe (Dingdong) who was arrested for the alleged murder of his father Jose (Christopher de Leon). After surviving a violent prison break, he assumes the Alyas Robin Hood persona in order to find the real culprit while at the same time redeeming himself.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will also star Andrea Torres and Megan Young as Pepe’s confidant and love interest, respectively. As mentioned earlier, Christopher de Leon will have a special role as Pepe’s father.

The rest of the supporting cast includes Ms. Cherie Gil, Sid Lucero, Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Paolo Contis, Gary Estrada, Dennis Padilla, John Feir, Tanya Gomez, Gio Alvarez, Lindsay de Vera, Dave Bornea, Caprice Cayetano, Rey ‘PJ’ Abellana and Ces Quesada. The series will be directed by Dominic Zapata.

With so many criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, they might have a hard time attracting viewers early on. Although their opponent, the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’, is struggling of late, the negative publicity that affected ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ could give the latter an opportunity to regain some of their viewers.

Still, it will be interesting to see what kind of story ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will turn out to be. For the viewers who have tuned in to ‘Arrow’ and criticized ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ the first time around, it’s best for them to watch the latter and see for themselves.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ airs weeknights after ‘Encantadia’ on GMA Telebabad.

Alyas Robin Hood a PR Disaster or Blessing in Disguise for GMA

An upcoming GMA fantaserye is in the headlines for both the right and wrong reasons.

When a trailer for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was released earlier this week, it quickly became a trending topic on social media and on various international news outlets. But instead of praises from netizens, a lot of criticisms were thrown into the mix, most of which were claims of being a ripoff of the American action series ‘Arrow’.

In fact, ‘Arrow’ lead actor Stephen Amell even shared the said teaser, which featured a ‘shocked’ emoji. Poor Dingdong Dantes.

Amid the criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, the show’s consultant Suzette Doctolero has this to say regarding its comparisons to ‘Arrow’.

LionhearTV then clarified that the poster was fan-made and not an official photo of GMA Network. In fact, some of the images used on the fan art were past photos of GMA artists and not publicity photos for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

Doctolero further explained that Robin Hood is an inspiration to many similar literary works, adding that every super hero in general was derived from master plots. She then pointed out that no one holds a copyright to Robin Hood (see post below).

Finally, GMA Entertainment vice president for drama Redgie Magno issued her own statement on the matter.

“Ang Alyas Robin Hood ay malayo sa plot ng Arrow. Ito ay kuwento ng isang lower-middle class lawyer na mapagbibintangan ng isang krimeng hindi niya ginawa. Sa kanyang paghahanap sa katotohanan, may mga matutulungan din siyang nangangailangan.”

“Robin Hood has had different reincarnations or versions in different countries. In Russia, there’s the short novel on Alexander Pushkin whose Robin Hood character went by the name Black Eagle. In Brazil, there’s the real life Limpaio, a true-life Robin Hood whose life is now a biography. In Japan, a Kabuki adaptation of Robin Hood was successfully mounted with the character of Nezumikozo as the name of the legendary hero. This is to name only a few. What we are now seeing here is a modern version of Robin Hood, an adaptation of a universal figure made inspirational and relevant to the Filipino audience.”

The teaser for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ only ran for 15 seconds. In essence, the teaser was a mere hint of what is to come.

Let’s face it, it is unfair to compare ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ to ‘Arrow’ considering that the storyline of the series is yet to be revealed. Thus, the negative reaction to the former is not justified.

However, it is clear that Philippine television has a lot of flaws. The teleseryes, in particular, continue to use recycled storylines, and most intelligent viewers would be better off watching weekly American series instead.

It remains to be seen if ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be an epic disaster or an unexpected winner. Right now, though, viewers will have to wait for its premiere and see for themselves.

Yan ang Morning Comes Up Short, Ends This Week

‘Yan ang Morning’ will air its finale this Friday. The show has endured low ratings since it premiered on May 2. (Logo courtesy of GMA Network)

Once again, GMA’s attempt at a long-term talk show slipped before their very eyes.

The latest victim is ‘Yan ang Morning!’, whose run will mercifully end this Friday, August 12. Though Marian Rivera has stated that her show is only good for one season, it was clear that ‘Yan ang Morning!”s low ratings and bad timeslot is the reason behind its eventual demise.

‘Yan ang Morning!’ first aired on May 2, 2016, and will have aired a total of 73 episodes by the end of this week. When it was first announced, many assumed that the talk show will be pitted against ‘Magandang Buhay’, another debuting talk show which replaced ‘Kris TV’ on ABS-CBN back on April 19.

But instead of following through that plan, GMA stayed true to old-fashioned talk show tradition by airing ‘Yan ang Morning!’ at 10:45 a.m. The plan backfired, and with ratings fluctuating within the 6% mark, GMA was forced to move the show to an earlier timeslot of 9:30 a.m., effective May 30.

Unfortunately for ‘Yan ang Morning!’, the change of timeslot did little to stem the tide. And to make matters worse, GMA management watched helplessly as its supposed rival ‘Magandang Buhay’ managed to earn better ratings, even though it was not enough to beat the entirety (or the majority) of the Astig Authority anime block.

Friday’s final episode of ‘Yan ang Morning!’ will be a very special occasion, as it coincides with Marian Rivera’s 32nd birthday. Her guests for the finale will be none other than her husband Dingdong Dantes and daughter Zia.

But as the talk show nears its conclusion, what will be the next plan for GMA as far as morning talk shows were concerned? Considering the lack of long-term success of such shows following the cancellation of ‘SIS’, GMA may no longer have the motivation to produce a morning talk show again, and thus, they could stick with their reservoir of Koreanovelas in the near future.

For now, though, ‘Yan ang Morning!’ must enjoy and cherish its final week on the air. It was not a bad show, but with its poor scheduling and short run, it was not a good show to enjoy either.