drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

‘Rhodora X’ Exits With a Whimper

Throughout its four-month run, ‘Rhodora X’ has been consistently upstaged by ‘The Legal Wife’ despite boasting an interesting storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’.

GMA’s suspense-filled drama series ‘Rhodora X’ will bid goodbye this Friday, to be replaced by ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. And despite an original and enticing storyline that focuses on the mental disorder called ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, the ratings of the said program were not as well-received as they intended to.

‘Rhodora X’, along with the recently-concluded series ‘Carmela’, debuted strongly last January 27. But from the beginning, it was clear that ABS-CBN’s teleseryes were still the most-watched in the country. In only its first week, ‘Rhodora X’ had a 15.8% Metro Manila rating, and an 11% national rating according to AGB Nielsen. Meanwhile its competing program and fellow debutante ‘The Legal Wife’ got a 23.9% and a 21 %. The TNS Kantar figures were also won by ‘The Legal Wife’, who bested ‘Rhodora X’ 21% to 11%.

‘The Legal Wife”s promising start would set the tone for the rest of ‘Rhodora X”s run. In fact, ‘The Legal Wife’ got even more attention on Twitter thanks in part to the memorable lines, serious physical confrontations, and over-the-top sexual encounters between the characters of Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales. Meanwhile, the first few episodes of ‘Rhodora X’ trended on Twitter, before disappearing altogether just as the split personalities of Jennylyn Mercado’s character began to materialize.

To be honest, ‘Rhodora X’ was a good series. It may not have been a ratings winner throughout its run, but it did raise awareness on ‘DID’ in a more dramatic manner. The series also showcased the versatility of Jennylyn Mercado as both a good girl and a bad girl, the latter of which I hoped to see in future teleseryes involving the former ‘Starstruck’ alumnus. And the portrayal of Yasmien Kurdi as the estranged sister of Jennylyn’s character shows that her acting prowess remains top-notch, and a huge follow-up to her comeback in ‘Anna Karenina’.

With ‘Rhodora X’ about to leave the airwaves, the pressure is now on ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’. The series, starring Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe and Maricel Soriano, is essentially a version two of ‘The Legal Wife’, except that Dingdong’s character is a man marrying two women. ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real’, which begins on June 2, will be ‘The Diamond Star”s true comeback project, after appearing in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ Lenten special ‘Kulungan Kanlungan’.

But for now, ‘Rhodora X’ is saying goodbye. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

For GMA, Older is Not Better

Thanks to the success of ‘Honesto’, Raikko Mateo is now a certified ABS-CBN star. In contrast, GMA’s teleseryes rely too much on their 20-something veteran talents.

While ABS-CBN’s Star Magic continues to transform unknowns into stars, the same cannot be said of the GMA Artist Center. And a lot of it was due to the over-reliance of its veterans.

In recent years, GMA programs have been faring badly in the ratings due to the emergence of younger and untested talent from ABS-CBN’s Star Magic. The primetime slot, in particular, has seen a huge disparity between the two networks. While ABS-CBN took a huge risk in introducing five-year-old Raikko Mateo as ‘Honesto’, GMA continued to rely on aging but serviceable veterans in its teleseryes. The problem with GMA is that its recent teleseryes appear uninspiring and repetitive, and as a result, no viewer is interested in watching their programs.

GMA’s ‘Genesis’, for instance, was led by Dingdong Dantes and Rhian Ramos, who have a combined 22 years of Artist Center service. In contrast, ABS-CBN’s ‘Got to Believe’ tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla have only around 10 years of Star Magic service. The success of ABS-CBN’s young stars was thanks in large part to their initial training on the gag show ‘Goin’ Bulilit‘. In addition, ABS-CBN continues to tap new talent by way of reality programs, commercials and outside sources. With such a deep and youthful roster, ABS-CBN was able to thrive and not rely on one star alone.

On the contrary, most of GMA’s new talent came from influential showbiz families. Despite the fact that they also tap child talents in early episodes of their teleseryes, they have little training whatsoever to become stars, unlike ABS-CBN’s use of ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ to create stars out of Xyriel Manabat and Zaijan Jaranilla. And since the demise of ‘Starstruck’ three years earlier, GMA has not had a priority to use reality programs to discover new talent.

In short, GMA’s Artist Center is the one suffering. And without a program or two to emphasize its training of future stars, GMA will continue to experience a ratings letdown in the years to come.