drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

GMA’s Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko Looks to Make Saturdays Relevant Anew

As stubborn as they come.

Even in a losing cause GMA continues to defy the norm. Their insistence comes in the form of one afternoon drama that airs from Monday to Saturday.

Initially they only used this formula for ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, by far their most successful afternoon drama in the recent past. But later dramas such as ‘Contessa’ and ‘Ika-5 Utos’ proved to be flukes as neither show was able to keep viewers tuned in six times a week.

And after only 36 episodes, GMA demoted ‘Ika-5 Utos’ to a later timeslot to make way for yet another ‘kabitserye’. As far as the new series ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ is concerned, there is no need to explain, not even the story itself.

(Spoiler alert: one of the lead characters is a gay man who underwent sexual reassignment surgery ala Jake Zyrus to become a woman)

For those who still want to check in on the plot, just click this link. Enough said.

Anyway, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will be led by Kris Bernal, Rayver Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jason Abalos. The supporting cast will include Lotlot de Leon, Devon Seron, Annalyn Barro, Caprice Cayetano, Jean Saburit, Ricardo Cepeda, Maricris Garcia, Matthias Rhoads, and Phil Noble.

While ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ has some recognizable names and an intriguing yet familiar storyline, the challenge now for the show is its ability to keep viewers glued to their seats from Monday to Saturday. Considering its opponent is ‘It’s Showtime’, it is not going to be an easy task, especially on Saturdays.

That said, GMA can only hope that ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ will give Vice Ganda and company a lot more than they can chew. If not, then it will not be a surprise to see GMA demote this series and try a new strategy every Saturday.

Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, ‘Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko’ airs every Monday to Saturday after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Comeback Bossing: Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza Star in Daddy’s Gurl

Remember when Vic Sotto used to star in various sitcoms almost every week for an eternity?

For over 30 years, the Philippines’ favorite ‘Bossing’ did just that. In fact, From the Tube chronicled the history of sitcoms starring Vic Sotto in a two-part series, beginning with ‘Okay Ka Fairy Ko’ all the way to ‘Hay, Bahay!’.

Unfortunately his last sitcom, ‘Hay, Bahay!’ proved to be a forgettable one as it did not last for more than a year and was essentially considered a flop. As a result, ‘Bossing’ decided to change course and hosted the late-night talk show ‘Bossing & Ai’ with Ai-Ai delas Alas which was also short-lived.

Now Vic Sotto is back at it again, this time with a new partner. Does Maine Mendoza still ring a bell to viewers?

The last time Maine was seen on a non-‘Eat Bulaga’ project was 2017’s ‘Destined to Be Yours’ alongside on-screen partner Alden Richards (this does not include a guest part in ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’). Fast forward to now and Maine is looking to redeem herself, this time in the world of comedy.

The project that Maine and ‘Bossing’ will take part of is ‘Daddy’s Gurl’ which will premiere this Saturday. And unlike Vic Sotto’s past sitcoms which were studio-based, ‘Daddy’s Gurl’ was shot on location in Manila and Batangas.

‘Daddy’s Gurl’ will tell the story of Barak (Vic) and Stacy (Maine). In the sitcom, Stacy, a modern-day millennial living in a plush condominium unit, is visited by her father Barak, a promdi widower who decides to join her in Manila.

From there, the two will find themselves at odds over their contrasting styles of living. As Barak grapples with the reality of living in the city’s high-rise district, Stacy will look to feed her father into the social media age.

Confirmed to be a part of the sitcom are Wally Bayola, Oyo Sotto, Angelika dela Cruz, Kevin Santos, Jelson Bay, Jessa Chichirita, Chamyto and Benjie Paras. Chris Martinez will be the director and like all of Vic Sotto’s past sitcoms, his production company M-ZET Productions will co-produce the program alongside APT Entertainment and GMA Network.

‘Daddy’s Gurl’ should offer a different spin unlike previous Vic Sotto sitcoms. But it remains to be seen if this program will put ‘Bossing’ and Maine back on track.

For what it’s worth, ‘Daddy’s Gurl’ could be the last stand for Vic Sotto in the sitcom genre. One can only hope that it will be the beginning of a renaissance for this seemingly archaic comedy veteran.

And as for Maine Mendoza, good luck in silencing the doubters. Maybe comedy will suit her better.

‘Daddy’s Gurl’ airs every Saturday after ‘Pepito Manaloto’ on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Desperate Times: Ika-5 Utos Represents GMA’s Last Hope for Six-a-Week Relevance

Let’s state the obvious to begin with.

On Monday, September 10, GMA will introduce a new drama called ‘Ika-5 Utos’. And the series will air from Monday to, not Friday, but Saturday afternoons after ‘Eat Bulaga’.

‘Ika-5 Utos” main plot centers around three families whose bonds will be destroyed by a series of incidents. The series, in particular, will take a look at the issue of hazing in college fraternities.

The cast of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ includes Jean Garcia, Gelli de Belen, Valerie Concepcion, Jake Vargas, Kiko Estrada, Inah de Belen, Tonton Gutierrez, Antonio Aquitania, Jeric Gonzales, Migo Adecer and Klea Pineda. The series, like its sister program ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, will be directed by Laurice Guillen.

So another teleserye that will air six times a week? It seems like GMA is obsessed with this new habit.

And since they do not have any further ideas to fill in on a Saturday afternoon (they do not even bother producing a program to match ABS-CBN’s ‘Pareng Partners’), they are stuck with using a teleserye as a desperate ploy to boost ratings. But as seen in the ill-fated tale that is ‘Contessa’, it was a flawed strategy to begin with.

The approach initially worked on ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ due to ‘insistent public demand’ (its finale earned around 20% despite airing on a Saturday). But when ‘Contessa’ took over viewers were soon fed up by GMA’s over-saturation tactics, and instead opted to watch either Vice Ganda running his mouth on national television or Netflix shows online.

As a result, ‘Contessa’ underachieved and GMA’s strategy backfired. With that in mind, ‘Ika-5 Utos’ is now stuck in the crossroads that will either appease its audience to watch the series or force GMA to finally admit the problems in its approach.

It will be interesting to see how this latest maneuver plays out. Can ‘Ika-5 Utos’ deliver on a six-a-week basis, or will GMA ever regret making this risky move?

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television, variety show

It’s Showtime Has a More Appropriate Rival, and It’s Not Eat Bulaga

Consider ‘Eat Bulaga’ in the past tense as ‘It’s Showtime”s archrival.

While the two noontime shows have been at each other’s throats since ‘It’s Showtime’ moved to its current timeslot in 2011, recent events suggest that ‘Eat Bulaga’ may no longer consider itself a true rival of the former. Instead, another variety show (albeit on a later timeslot) has taken its place as ‘It’s Showtime”s arch-nemesis.

Enter ‘Wowowin’, the late-afternoon variety show hosted by Willie Revillame and is currently on the air for the past three years. For whatever reason, the ‘relationship’ between ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’ can be summed up in one word.

Take it away, Spongebob Squarepants.

Throughout the year, most episodes of ‘It’s Showtime’ have run past its allotted three-hour period mainly due to Vice Ganda’s excessive bantering on ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’. As a matter of fact, one of its more recent episodes concluded at around 4:00 p.m., by far a record time for the noontime show.

GMA is usually strict when it comes to running time, but for some unexplained reason, they did not implement such strictness when it comes to ‘Wowowin’. In the event that ‘It’s Showtime’ goes overtime, GMA countered by allowing ‘Wowowin’ to go past its normal 90-minute duration so that both ’24 Oras’ and ‘TV Patrol’ can start at the same time.

Different timeslots, similar objectives. This is essentially a Willie Revillame and Vice Ganda thing.

Willie, for his part, was the master of working overtime, back when he was still on TV5 for ‘Willing Willie’, ‘Wil Time Big Time’ and ‘Wowowillie’. However, GMA made certain conditions when Willie signed a contract with the network three years ago, such as ‘Wowowin’ only airing on a ‘taped as live’ basis and running for only 90 minutes.

Suffice to say, GMA sort of unleashed the wild side of Willie this year. Which leads to Vice Ganda, who probably learned a thing or two from his frenemy Willie about talking too much.

And for whatever reason, ABS-CBN is simply letting him do the talking for as long as he wants. As a consequence, some of ABS-CBN’s afternoon and primetime programs began to suffer in the ratings, mainly because Vice spoke a little too long.

Perhaps the two can someday have a show of their own that combines the elements of both ‘It’s Showtime’ and ‘Wowowin’. But then again, they are not usually the best of friends, such as when Vice poked fun over Willie’s tirade a few years ago.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if the two variety show greats appear in public together and talk every once in while? That should make people forget about their excesses.

Either way, both ABS-CBN and GMA should do (and I mean DO) something about this ‘overtime’ thing. This is simply a time-waster and viewers are fed up with it.

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drama, entertainment, humor, movies, Philippines, suspense, television, variety show

Eat Bulaga Creates Another Made-for-TV Movie

Never mind that ‘Eat Bulaga’ is no longer a ratings juggernaut as they were in years past.

The now 40-year-old variety show (technically 39 but the number is considered unlucky for them) is content with what they do best: to make viewers happy. In fact, for the past two years, they even ventured into filmmaking with 2017’s ‘Love Is…’ and this year’s offering.

On Saturday, July 28, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will premiere the mini-movie ‘Pamana’, starring Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, Paolo Ballesteros and Maine Mendoza as the Pamilya Nunal from ‘The Barangay Jokers’ series. The show’s other hosts and some unnamed special guests will also play bit roles in this upcoming film.

‘Pamana’, a suspense/comedy thriller, will also mark the directorial debut of Ariel Manalo (birth name of Jose Manalo). Yes, you heard that right: Jose himself directed the film.

For viewers who have watched ‘Eat Bulaga’ for years, going into made-for-TV film territory is something unusual for the long-running variety show even on a normal day. The only times the show dropped its typical segments (e.g. Juan for All) is when it airs its annual Lenten drama specials.

But a show like ‘Eat Bulaga’ is definitely not content in visiting barangays and giving the audience an opportunity to win prizes on a regular basis. Going above and beyond the basics is something the show has long desired to do for years.

Which is why last year’s ‘Love Is…’ and this year’s ‘Pamana’ is a refreshing break from the norm. After all, no one wants to get bored with the same old formula over and over again.

Good luck, ‘Eat Bulaga’. May ‘Pamana’ be worth the price of admission to your viewers.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kapag Nahati ang Puso: A Worthy Challenger or Another Footnote to Sana Dalawa ang Puso

This time, GMA is taking things seriously to the late-morning slot.

After failing to hit paydirt with the light romantic comedy ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ and the light musical drama ‘My Guitar Princess’, GMA decided to go with a much heavier approach. The new series, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, is uncharacteristic for a late-morning drama in which the story is more serious and emotional.

Coincidentally, ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will star Bea Binene, who will once again encounter the faces of ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’ in Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap. The last time JoChard and Bea faced each other was in 2012, when the former’s ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ sent the latter’s ‘Cielo de Angelina’ packing after only a few weeks.

And much like their previous encounter, JoChard’s light-heartedness (with some sprinkling of Robin Padilla in between) will clash with Bea’s serious and dramatic demeanor. So how will this latest installment play out?

But back to ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ in general. In the series, Bea plays Claire, a young woman who grew up without any memory of her parents.

Her biological mother is Rio (Sunshine Cruz), a simple island beauty who soon falls in love with Nico (Zoren Legaspi), a rich and happy-go-lucky tourist from Manila. However, Nico’s ex-girlfriend Miranda (Bing Loyzaga) thwarted their relationship, causing Rio to lose her family and leaving Nico to take care of Claire.

When Rio later returns to the Philippines a successful woman, she and Claire cross paths not knowing that the latter was the former’s mother. Both would end up falling in love with Joaquin (Benjamin Alves), and along with a jealous Miranda, will soon threaten to destroy both of their lives.

Also part of ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ are David Licauco, Raquel Villavicencio, Robert Ortega, Sharmaine Santiago, Geleen Eugenio, Nar Cabico and Freddie Webb in a special participation. The series is directed by Gil Tejada Jr.

Considering the streak of good fortune for ‘Sana Dalawa ang Puso’, GMA will once again be hard-pressed to give this series a run for its money. That said, the network can only hope that ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ will not turn into yet another 35 or 50-episode bust of its predecessors and instead become a decent 80-episode series that viewers will always talk about.

‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’ airs weekdays before ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA.

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