drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Postscript: Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka; Preview: My Special Tatay

From one advoca-serye to another.

Friday marked the final episode of ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’, an AIDS-themed drama that starred Yasmien Kurdi, Martin del Rosario, Jackie Rice and Mike Tan. The series ran for 132 episodes and posted decent ratings despite airing against ‘Hanggang Saan’ and ‘Araw Gabi’.

Even though ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’ had a rather up-and-down run, its 132 episodes suggest that it was a success. The show fulfilled its purpose of showing one’s struggles of living with AIDS, a deadly disease that remains virtually incurable.

Still, with that kind of inconsistency in the ratings it is clear that GMA is still finding a cure for its afternoon mood swings. Which leads to the next series that will replace ‘Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka’.

‘My Special Tatay’, to be led by Ken Chan, will focus on mental illnesses. As the intellectually challenged father Boyet, Ken will portray a man who suffers from Mild Intellectual Disability with Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Despite his mental shortcomings and other people’s doubts, Boyet grew up as a kind-hearted man with a positive outlook. However, his life would turn upside down once he finds out that he has a child.

Also part of ‘My Special Tatay’ are Jestoni Alarcon, Teresa Loyzaga, Carmen Soriano, Lilet, Candy Pangilinan, Arra San Agustin, Rita Daniela, Jillian Ward, Bruno Gabriel, and JK Giducos. Initial episodes of the series will feature special guest appearances from Matt Evans, Empress Schuck, Valeen Montenegro, and Ashley Rivera.

Once again, GMA will use the power of advocacy as a weapon to send a message to its viewers. This time, the focus is on mental health problems and ‘My Special Tatay’ will take a look at how a person deals with intellectual disabilities.

However, it remains to be seen if ‘My Special Tatay’ will be more consistent in overcoming ‘Araw Gabi’. While GMA is working on a good cause, high viewer support remains a must and unless ‘My Special Tatay’ proves a point their hard work will go for nothing.

Directed by LA Madridejos and Conrado Peru, ‘My Special Tatay’ airs weekdays after ‘The Stepdaughters’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Goin’ Bulilit’s Real Archrival, Eleven Years After

Remember ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’?

For those who have grown up watching ‘Bubble Gang’ for the past 21 years, some may not remember this short-lived spinoff. Yes, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ was GMA’s own attempt to counter ABS-CBN”s ‘Goin’ Bulilit’, using their own child stars in hopes of replicating the same formula that made its parent show a success.

‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ first premiered on May 8, 2005, four months after ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ took off. The notable cast members of the show include BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, Ella Guevara, Miguel Tanfelix, Sam Bumatay, Empress Schuck and Joyce Ching.

The show was essentially an introduction to several ‘StarStruck Kids’ alumni, as it was one of their first projects following the conclusion of the reality series. It also introduced viewers to BJ ‘Tolits’ Forbes, whose claim to fame at the time was on a Tide commercial.

While ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ showed some promise, it failed to make an impact against the well-established ‘Goin’ Bulilit’. The fact that the spinoff was hastily created from the start contributed to its short run, and as a result, GMA cancelled ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ following its final episode on August 7, 2005.

Overall, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ lasted only 14 episodes. On the contrary, ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ has aired over 550 episodes since 2005, and has seen a fair amount of child talent come and go.

Although ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ met its unfortunate end after a near-four month run, some of its stars found success in the years after the show’s cancellation. Miguel Tanfelix, for instance, reemerged in shows like ‘Niño’, ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ and ‘Ismol Family’, while Joyce Ching became a main cast member on ‘Bubble Gang’ and is also seen in the teleserye ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’.

Despite that, the lesson that ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ provided was difficult to accept for GMA and its management. Let’s face it, had ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remained on the air today, more up-and-coming talent would have been showcased.

Alas, GMA’s own mistakes only served to doom the show. To this day, ‘Bubble Gang Jr.’ remains a show that GMA regrets, and after 11 years, it continues to haunt the network and its Artist Center for its inability to hone new stars.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, reality show, television

The Biggest Loser Returns to ABS-CBN

‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles’ airs every weeknights on ABS-CBN, and will feature 14 pairs with a chance to lose the most weight through various tasks.

After three years, ‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition’ returns to ABS-CBN. And this time, the lost poundage is about to get even bigger, literally.

The long-awaited second season will be titled ‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles’, and will pit 14 pairs of overweight contestants. The premise of the new ‘Doubles’ season is that the pair with the highest percentage of weight loss will be the winner. The new season will now feature a ‘pre-camp’ where contestants must lose weight on their own. The pairs with the biggest weight loss will advance through the next round, where trainers will have the opportunity to push the pairs to their limits through various physical tasks.

The hype to ‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles’ started last Saturday with an episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, where Iza Calzado (portrayed by Empress Schuck) struggled with her weight problems before overcoming it. The MMK episode was followed by a primer of ‘Doubles’, where the 14 pairs were revealed to a national audience and highlights of the 30-day ‘pre-camp’ were aired.

The season premiere of ‘The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles’ will be aired tonight after ‘The Legal Wife’, and will air every Monday to Saturday night. The reality program will be hosted by Iza Calzado, Mateo Guidicelli, and Robi Domingo, with Jim and Toni Saret as the trainers.

This is the first ABS-CBN reality series to air on the late weeknight slot since Season 4 of ‘Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition’ two years earlier. But despite its placement in the 10 p.m. slot,  expect the new season of ‘The Biggest Loser’ to be another ratings winner for the Kapamilya network, especially with the momentum being generated on its teleseryes ‘Honesto’, ‘Got to Believe’, and ‘The Legal Wife’.

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