drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Wildflower’s Wildest Finale

‘Wildflower’ is coming to an end.

Friday night will mark the finale of this top-rating ABS-CBN series. In a run that spanned 257 episodes, ‘Wildflower’ became a big hit in more ways than one.

Premiering on February 13, 2017, ‘Wildflower’ became the first ABS-CBN drama to air in the 5:50 p.m. slot since ‘We Will Survive’. From episode one, the series ran roughshod over the competition, constantly earning ratings in the 20s while occasionally hitting the 30s.

As ‘Wildflower’ continued to reign over its timeslot, the confrontations between Ivy Aguas/Lily Cruz (Maja Salvador) and Emilia Ardiente (Aiko Melendez) also became viral on social media. Various news topics were lampooned using screenshots of Ivy/Lily and Emilia either strangling, shouting or slapping each other in the face.

Throughout its run ‘Wildflower’ saw its fair share of cast members arrive and depart. While the core cast features Maja Salvador, Aiko Melendez, Joseph Marco, Tirso Cruz III, Sunshine Cruz, Christian Vasquez and RK Bagatsing, the series also received a few contributions from the likes of Roxanne Barcelo, Dawn Chang and Zsa Zsa Padilla.

Despite its lengthy run and constant ratings success, it was too unfortunate that ‘Wildflower’ will not be able to join the ‘one-year club’ that featured fellow ABS-CBN dramas ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’. Friday’s ending will put them two episodes short of the anniversary mark.

Even viewers of the series found it hard to accept that ABS-CBN will pull the plug on ‘Wildflower’ after such a long run. In fact, ‘Wildflower”s ‘The End is Near’ teaser last January was trending on social media, with many clamoring for an extension which was never materialized.

Still, ‘Wildflower”s accomplishments were hard to deny. The series’ presence made the early evening slot of Primetime Bida relevant again, and Maja Salvador’s portrayal of Ivy/Lily only enhanced her craft as an actress.

Veterans such as Sunshine Cruz, Tirso Cruz III and Aiko Melendez were also given a second wind in their careers thanks to their portrayals of Camia, Julio and Emilia respectively. Even a cameo appearance by Zsa Zsa Padilla as Red Dragon was good enough to convince viewers that she is still a dependable actress.

Overall, ‘Wildflower’ is such a good series that reliving all 257 episodes on iWant TV would be more than enticing. Indeed, this series typified the ‘wild’ in every sense of the word, one that is unpredictable, moody and crazy to look at.

This Friday should be a wild finale for ‘Wildflower’. Enjoy the show.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Bouncing Back: Julia Montes Returns in Asintado

ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold badly needs a boost.

For months, the block has struggled against a resurgent GMA Afternoon Prime. It was clear that Kapamilya Gold has gone stale with a repetitive ‘kabitserye’ formula, and as a result, viewers tuned away in favor of series that had campy scenes (‘Ika-6 na Utos’), one actress playing two contrasting personalities (‘Impostora’), and allusions to the supernatural (‘Haplos’).

This Monday, Kapamilya Gold will try to return to relevance with a familiar face and a new attitude. Enter ‘Asintado’, the newest afternoon series starring daytime drama’s undisputed queen in Julia Montes.

In ‘Asintado’, Julia is Ana, a member of a rescue team who looks to make her adoptive family proud. After saving Gael (Paulo Avelino) from a mining accident, she became his personal nurse and eventually fell in love with each other.

But just as their relationship blooms, Gael’s ex-girlfriend Samantha (Shaina Magdayao) returns to try to win back his heart, even if it means killing Ana. Fortunately, Ana was saved by Xander (Aljur Abrenica), only to find out later on that Gael and Samantha are about to get married.

Just as Ana is plotting her revenge, she finds out that Samantha was her long-lost sister. Samantha, as it turned out, was lost in the fire that killed their parents.

The search for love and justice in ‘Asintado’ will also involve a veteran supporting cast consisting of Lorna Tolentino, Cherry Pie Picache, Lito Pimentel, Agot Isidro, and Nonie Buencamino. The series will be directed by Onat Diaz and Lino Cayetano.

If Julia’s previous series ‘Doble Kara’ helped Kapamilya Gold reclaim the ratings lead from Afternoon Prime, then ABS-CBN should look for ‘Asintado’ to do the same. Still, the series will be up against a formidable foe in ‘Impostora’, and battling a tested star in Kris Bernal will not be a walk in the park.

But considering Julia Montes’ star power, facing such an obstacle is no big deal. That said, it will be up to her to lead Kapamilya Gold back to where it wants to be.

‘Asintado’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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action, drama, entertainment, game show, Philippines, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part I)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

Here is Part I of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: La Luna Sangre

The tandem of Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla returned to ABS-CBN Primetime Bida in June to star in ‘La Luna Sangre’, which also starred Angel Locsin (initially in a special participatory role as Lia before returning full-time as Jacintha) and another comebacking star in Richard Gutierrez. The series became an immediate hit scoring well over 30% in the nationwide ratings.

The success of ‘La Luna Sangre’ also revitalized the third slot of Primetime Bida following the lukewarm reception of predecessors ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’, ‘A Love to Last’ and ‘My Dear Heart’. But while KathNiel did not lose their magic upon returning to the small screen, the same cannot be said for another popular love team.

NOT: AlDub and More

Good news: AlDub did not need to face KathNiel as ‘Destined to Be Yours’ ended weeks before ‘La Luna Sangre’ premiered. Bad news: 63 episodes is more than enough to justify the lack of success of ‘Destined to Be Yours’, the first primetime series to star Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza together.

Things only got worse for the duo from that point on. In late November, Maine revealed on social media that she and Alden are only friends in real life and that she ‘deserves all the hate in the world’ for being a ‘coward’ and a ‘selfish little brat’.

Perhaps the pressure and the expectations are starting to take its toll on Maine. Much like her harrowing portrayal of a depressed workaholic in the ‘Eat Bulaga’ made-for-TV film ‘Love Is…’, somebody should help her overcome these stresses.

HOT: Ika-6 na Utos and Afternoon Prime

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ premiered late last year to lukewarm reviews. But thanks to some campy moments that elicit plenty of laughter from its viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became unexpectedly popular, so much so that GMA decided to add Saturday episodes starting in April to capitalize on its success.

The series also boosted the fortunes of Afternoon Prime which had been left for dead earlier in the year. By August, succeeding dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘Haplos’ were winning over their ABS-CBN counterparts thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’.

NOT: The Entire Kapamilya Gold Post-Doble Kara

Led by back-to-back ‘kabitseryes’ in ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and ‘The Better Half’, Kapamilya Gold lost ground to Afternoon Prime that by the late third quarter of 2017, it was the latter that stood tall. Not even ‘The Greatest Love”s critically-acclaimed run saved the block from its sudden fall from grace.

The end of ‘Doble Kara”s year-long run in February foreshadowed a decline in Kapamilya Gold’s performance. Soon after, Afternoon Prime closed the gap and overtook Kapamilya Gold in the ratings for the rest of the year, much to the dismay of Kapamilya viewers everywhere.

HOT: Wildflower

Also in February, ‘Wildflower’ premiered on Primetime Bida’s pre-newscast slot. It didn’t take long for the series to make an impact as it constantly registered ratings of over 20 to 25%, putting it among the top five programs in the country.

The success of ‘Wildflower’ also spawned numerous memes on social media, some of which depict the various confrontations between Ivy/Lily (Maja Salvador) and Emilia (Aiko Melendez). With that kind of impact, ‘Wildflower’ truly turned viewers’ heads upside down whenever these two go at it.

NOT: Kapamilya Game Shows

The slogan ‘In the Service of the Filipino’ does not apply to ABS-CBN game shows. That said, ‘Minute to Win It’, ‘Family Feud’ and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ continued to alienate audiences by utilizing celebrities more often than ordinary people throughout their runs this year.

Luckily all three shows’ seasons came to an end this year: ‘Minute to Win It’ in February, ‘Family Feud’ in May and ‘Bet on Your Baby’ in September. Perhaps ABS-CBN should stop producing game shows and defer these to ‘It’s Showtime’ since they do not even have a clue how to utilize the power of the viewing public.

Part II of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Ika-6 na Utos Reaches the One-Year Mark

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is now a year old.

The top-rating GMA afternoon teleserye will officially celebrate its first anniversary on television today. In doing so, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will join the likes of ‘May Bukas Pa’, ‘Be Careful with My Heart’, ‘The Half-Sisters’, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ as the only teleseryes this decade to air for more than a year.

First premiered on December 5, 2016, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ came in to GMA Afternoon Prime as a replacement for ‘Oh My Mama’. At the time of its debut, ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ was still the highest-rated afternoon drama, and like all GMA teleseryes back then, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ struggled to find its footing.

But once ‘Doble Kara’ ended its year-long run in February 2017, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ began to make some headway. By March, the series assumed its current perch as the highest-rated afternoon drama in the country.

‘Ika-6 na Utos’ became so popular that GMA even added a Saturday episode beginning April 1. Although there were some concerns regarding GMA’s decision, namely possible burnout among viewers, ‘Ika-6 na Utos” performance remained top-notch averaging around 16-18% in the ratings.

The popularity of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ also improved the standing of succeeding GMA dramas. By August, thanks in large part to ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA Afternoon Prime constantly outperformed ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold in the ratings.

As of December 5, 2017, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will have aired 295 episodes in all. The series is expected to reach 300 episodes by next week.

So what made ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ so popular? Perhaps these scenes may explain why.

No wonder the campy nature of the series endeared with the viewers. Still, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ remained mostly serious and straightforward, but with some elements of humor in every encounter involving Emma (Sunshine Dizon) and Georgia (Ryza Cenon), there is no doubt why this series has earned many fans in its year-long run.

Now a part of teleserye immortality, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will now look forward to even bigger things come 2018. The question is, can they keep the momentum up?

Starring Sunshine Dizon, Ryza Cenon and Gabby Concepcion, ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ airs after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Better Half Nears Its All-or-Nothing Finale

Call it the ‘All-or-Nothing’ finale.

On Friday, September 8, ABS-CBN’s long-running afternoon drama ‘The Better Half’ will air its final episode. The series, starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, has been on the air since February 13, and even though it was a great series, there were some bumps on the road they had to endure.

When it first premiered, ‘The Better Half’ was following in the footsteps of ‘Doble Kara’, an ABS-CBN afternoon drama series that lasted over a year. However, ABS-CBN tempered expectations for the former, realizing that it’s not going to be easy following a series that was overwhelmingly long and successful.

Four different opponents from GMA’s Afternoon Prime faced ‘The Better Half’. Between February 13 and April 21, ‘The Better Half’ was slotted in Kapamilya Gold’s leadoff position and fared particularly well against ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ and ‘Legally Blind’.

But from April 24 onwards, ABS-CBN moved ‘The Better Half’ to the second slot in order to accommodate ‘Pusong Ligaw’. Despite the change of timeslot, ‘The Better Half’ maintained its dominance, dispatching the rather short-lived GMA afternoon series ‘D’Originals’ in the process.

‘Haplos’ then became the fourth and final opponent of ‘The Better Half’, and at first, the latter’s winning ways continued. However, a late August slump drastically changed ‘The Better Half”s fortunes, prompting ABS-CBN to finally pull the plug.

While ‘The Better Half’ was mostly dominant in a run that spanned 147 episodes, the recent decline it endured made it clear that it has seen better days. ABS-CBN would have been wise to end ‘The Better Half’ while still on a roll, but alas, they allowed the series to stay too long and fall from its wheels.

Regardless of how it finished, the Kapamilya network should be proud of what ‘The Better Half’ was able to do. The series may have enhanced the reputations of established lead actors Shaina Magdayao, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel, but for Carlo Aquino, the return to the star-studded limelight was worth the price of admission.

Come this Friday, a shocking finish awaits viewers of ‘The Better Half’. But it remains to be seen if it will end with either a bang or a whimper.

 

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Hahamakin ang Lahat to End This Friday

‘Doble Kara”s final opponent will bid farewell this Friday.

GMA announced that ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will air its final episode on February 17. The announcement came just days after ABS-CBN’s ‘Doble Kara’ concluded its 382-episode run.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ premiered on October 31, 2016 and will have a total of 80 episodes once it ends. Unfortunately for the show, it had a hard time breaking past the ever-popular ‘Doble Kara’, despite featuring a stellar cast that features Joyce Ching, Kristoffer Martin, Eula Valdes, Snooky Serna, Thea Tolentino and Ariel Rivera.

‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ will be replaced by ‘Legally Blind’, which will star Janine Gutierrez, Mikael Daez and Lauren Young.

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