drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

‘The Cure’ Fails Its Experiment To Subside FPJAP Supervirus

Nine times the fail.

‘The Cure’ was no match for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and it was not even close. The latter continued to dominate its timeslot with a near 30% ratings advantage over the former, and with Alden Richards’ ‘Victor Magtanggol’ waiting in the wings, how much longer can GMA take this humiliation?

More on this article on “Timow’s Turf”.

Timow's Turf

A CAT may have nine lives but GMA’s such a numerical attempt failed to beat down the unstoppable supervirus of Mother Ignacia (i.e. FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano).

By Friday (July 27), The Cure (dir. Mark A. Reyes) will close out with 65 episodes with, unsurprisingly, no signs of finale fanfare from social media handles.

Here is an except from From the Tube‘s on the series:

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn [Mercado]), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom [Rodriguez]), a clinical research associate in…

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

The Cure: Ang Probinsyano’s Next Prey?

“No one can beat ‘Ang Probinsyano’!”, Kapamilya fans said.

Nearly three years and over 500 episodes since it began, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continues to be the king of primetime teleseryes. On most nights, the ABS-CBN action series scored at least 40% in the ratings, and has made mincemeat of eight different GMA teleseryes that tried to topple it.

Now comes a ninth different GMA series that will take on Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) every Monday to Friday starting tonight. And in typical GMA fashion, it will be led by two Kapuso veterans in Jennylyn Mercado and Tom Rodriguez.

The story of ‘The Cure’ involves an experimental drug that kills cancer cells, but the side effect of it is that a highly dangerous and contagious virus called Monkey Virus Disease (MVD) will mutate and cause seizures and violent outbreaks to infected people. The disease quickly spreads throughout the country and will only continue to do so unless a cure can be found.

Married couple Charity (Jennylyn), a former registered nurse, and Gregory (Tom), a clinical research associate in a pharmaceutical company, are living a happy life with their daughter Hope (Leanne Bautista), until Greg’s mother Agnes (Irma Adlawan) is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  Agnes is given an experimental drug, but her health got worse as she is infected with MVD.

That drug, in turn, was discovered by Dr. Evangeline Lazaro (Jaclyn Jose), who works in the same company as Greg. With MVD continuing to wreak havoc across the country, it is up to Charity and Greg to find the necessary cure and prevent the inevitable.

‘The Cure’ also stars Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Jay Manalo, Ronnie Henares, Glenda Garcia, Diva Montelaba and Arra San Agustin, with a special participation from Ken Chan. It will be directed by Mark Reyes.

It can be recalled that ‘The Cure’ was originally announced as one of GMA’s upcoming projects for 2013, and it was supposed to be led by Alden Richards and Louise delos Reyes. However, the project was shelved and it took five years before GMA decided to revisit the series.

Looking ahead, ‘The Cure’ is either going to be an intriguing series or a recipe for disaster. Having to face ‘Ang Probinsyano’ will entail a lot of hard work for ‘The Cure’, considering its predecessor ‘Sherlock Jr.’ failed miserably.

That said, GMA should go all-out in making ‘The Cure’ a worthier opponent for ‘Ang Probinsyano’. If this series goes around 25% in the ratings then it should boost its confidence, but if it goes below that then the ‘Curse of Cardo Dalisay’ is all too real for the network.

‘The Cure’ airs weeknights after ’24 Oras’ on GMA Telebabad.

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entertainment, movies, Philippines, television

MMFF in Challenging Position With Emphasis on Quality

MMFF mainstays such as 'Enteng Kabisote' are a thing of the past as organizers emphasize more on quality than commercial success in this year's filmfest. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

Without blockbuster franchises and stars such as Vic Sotto’s ‘Enteng Kabisote’ series, the new-look MMFF faces an uphill battle this year. (Photo credit: Cebu Daily News)

This is a From the Tube special report. The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not reflect those of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival will be a different experience for moviegoers and viewers alike.

Gone are the top drawers, big-spending production outfits and movie franchises that made the MMFF an annual Christmas tradition. Instead, the eight official full-length films will feature mostly independent productions, some of which were previously screened in other film festivals around the world.

The eight entries are:

  • Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2: #ForeverIsNotEnough – directed by Marlon Rivera; stars Eugene Domingo, Jericho Rosales, Kean Cipriano, Khalil Ramos, and Cai Cortez
  • Die Beautiful – directed by Jun Robles Lana; stars Paolo Ballesteros, Joel Torre, Gladys Reyes, Luis Alandy, Albie Casiño, and Iza Calzado
  • Kabisera – directed by Arturo San Agustin and Real Florido; stars Ms. Nora Aunor, Ricky Davao, JC De Vera, Luis Alandy, Jason Abalos, and RJ Agustin
  • Oro – directed by Alvin Yapan; stars Irma Adlawan, Mercedes Cabral, and Joem Bascon
  • Saving Sally – directed by Avid Liongoren; stars Rhian Ramos, and Enzo Marcos
  • Seklusyon – directed by Erik Matti; stars Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Elora Espano, Neil Ryan Sese, Ronnie Alonte, Lou Veloso, Dominique Roque, John Vic De Guzman, and JR Versales
  • Sunday Beauty Queen – directed by Babyruth Villarama Gutierrez; stars Hazel Perdido, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Leo Selomenio, and Rudelyn Acosta
  • Vince & Kath & James – directed by Ted Boborol; stars Julia Barretto, Joshua Garcia, and Ronnie Alonte

The selections were based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%). In essence, the MMFF organizers wanted to feature a greater emphasis on quality rather than commercialism alone.

Even though the change in approach is crucial in providing a more even playing field, promoting these films could pose a challenge. Many of the films were produced by independent companies, while a majority of them feature second or third-tier actors, some of whom are relative unknowns.

Let’s face it, while Eugene Domingo has box-office potential (‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in millions during its initial run), she is no Vic Sotto or Vice Ganda. And while Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia are not a bad tandem, they are no AlDub or KathNiel in the appeal department.

The major television networks such as ABS-CBN and GMA, once major players in the MMFF, are in a similar predicament. In previous years, both played a big role in the success of MMFF entries, but with this year’s field, they may not be a factor at all.

This does not mean that all eight films are bad, however. They are still worth watching as far as moviegoers go, but it will be up to them to become seriously interested with these entries.

Come Christmas Day, all eyes will be on the eight Metro Manila Film Festival entries. Still, it remains to be seen if this year’s filmfest will be a blockbuster or a flop.

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entertainment, Philippines, television, variety show

AlDub ‘Wedding’ Catapaults Eat Bulaga to Victory

The ‘wedding’ between Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards became a must-watch.

On Saturday, October 22, ‘Eat Bulaga’ presented a special edition of the newly-revived Kalyeserye segment. The emphasis of the three-hour episode was on the aforementioned ‘wedding’ between Maine and Alden’s characters, which was set inside Christ the King Church in Quezon City.

The ‘wedding’ featured numerous special guests, such as Ai-Ai delas Alas (in her Lola Babah character), Jake Ejercito, Mike Enriquez, Rodjun Cruz, Helen Gamboa and Irma Adlawan. As always, the ‘Eat Bulaga’ hosts played special roles in the event, which included a rare appearance of Vic Sotto’s Dodong character.

The seemingly realistic marriage between the two had been carefully prepared throughout the week, from the pre-nuptial shoots and bridal showers to the proposals for Maine’s wedding gown. The skits even went as far as preparing an invitation to the said ‘wedding’, and inviting Liz Uy and Jason Magbanua to play key roles.

The ‘wedding’ itself took over an hour to complete, a majority of which were spent without commercial interruption. Near the end of the segment, however, Lola Nidora (played by Wally Bayola) fainted in the midst of Alden and Maine’s exchange of I dos, prompting ‘Eat Bulaga’ to take a commercial break in order to add drama.

Despite the incident, Lola Nidora was able to regain consciousness, and the ‘wedding’ proper eventually pushed through without further incident. In the end, Maine and Alden left the episode as a ‘married’ couple.

The episode, which took place nearly a year after the successful Sa Tamang Panahon event, gave ‘Eat Bulaga’ a rare victory in Kantar’s national ratings, as it barely finished o.1% above ‘It’s Showtime”s figures.  More importantly, netizens took the hashtag #AlDubWedding to one of the top global trending spots on Twitter, with over five million tweets.

Considering that the show has been struggling to remain relevant in the months after Sa Tamang Panahon, this episode was in many ways a shot of adrenaline. Still, not even a rare victory can satisfy any AlDub fan, or whoever’s left of the once-highly popular fanbase, as they try to rekindle the tandem’s glory days.

At least there are still ‘Eat Bulaga’ loyalists who have supported the show even before Alden and Maine came aboard. As long as they’re here, ‘Eat Bulaga’ will still enjoy some moral victories, no matter how small it becomes.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Once Again to Challenge LizQuen Starting Monday

‘Dolce Amore’ will have a new opponent next week.

After taking care of business against ‘That’s My Amboy’, the ABS-CBN drama series will now go up against ‘Once Again’. The upcoming GMA series will be topbilled by Janine Gutierrez and Aljur Abrenica, and will premiere this coming Monday.

In ‘Once Again’, Janine and Aljur portray two different characters whose fates will both intertwine through the power of reincarnation. Janine will play Reign and Des, while Aljur will play Edgar and Aldrin.

Reign, a rich girl, and Edgar, a meek baker, fell in love with each other, but Reign’s family objected and she was forced to marry an elite bachelor named Lukas (Joko Diaz). While trying to overcome these obstacles, both Reign and Edgar met their demise – Edgar during a fight, and Reign after a horrific accident.

Twenty years later, they met anew, but as Des and Aldrin and in a different place. Though they were different people, they still shared the same love and passion that Reign and Edgar once showed.

Joining Janine and Aljur in ‘Once Again’ are Jean Garcia, Sheryl Cruz, Chanda Romero, Emilio Garcia, Timmy Cruz, Thea Tolentino and Jeric Gonzales, with special participation from Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco, Irma Adlawan, Sharmaine Arnaiz and Phytos Ramirez. The series will be directed by Don Michael Perez.

‘Once Again’ should have its hands full as they face the established love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. With GMA’s recent unwillingness to promote their teleseryes*, the series may find themselves in a tough spot against ‘Dolce Amore’, especially with the latter posting consistent ratings of over 30% nationally.

If Janine and Aljur were to stand a chance against LizQuen, they need to prove their worth chemistry-wise and talent-wise. Given the success of LizQuen, it will not be easy, but if they can somehow click, that will help ‘Once Again”s chances.

With all obstacles thrown at them, it will be interesting to see how can ‘Once Again’ play a big factor. That said, the first week of this series will be very crucial, and if they can survive, it will be a huge help to their confidence.

‘Once Again’ airs starting this Monday after ‘Poor Señorita’ on GMA Telebabad.

*Exceptions are upcoming series, such as ‘Once Again’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, suspense, television

Elemento: GMA’s Second Miniseries for October

As Halloween approaches, GMA launches another miniseries befitting the special occasion.

‘Elemento’, the horror fantasy series produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, will air starting October 10. The miniseries will feature more humanized versions of iconic creatures from various Filipino legends and myths.

Every Friday during the month of October, viewers of ‘Elemento’ will be treated to a different approach in storytelling. Throughout the series, classic Filipino Halloween icons will be converted from fearful creatures to more protagonistic beings, giving ‘Elemento’ a different spin on the legends that people used to read.

Four different stories will be featured on ‘Elemento’. The first story, ‘Si Esperanza, Ang Rebeldeng Manananggal’, features a vampire who rescues abused children. Glaiza de Castro will play the titular role, while Maria Isabel Lopez will play Esperanza’s mother and Valerie Concepcion will play Lucila, Esperanza’s evil sister. Carl Acosta and Nourish Icon Lapuz will play the role of children saved by Esperanza.

The second story, ‘Ang Masayahing Kapre na si Itim’, features a kapre who protects a forest from flooding. Bodjie Pascua will play the role of Itim, while supporting roles will be played by Ping Medina, Irma Adlawan, Lou Veloso, and child actors Joshen  Bernardo, Kyle Ocampo, Milkah Nacion and Micko Laurente.

The third story, ‘Pandora, Ang Diwata ng Wawa’, features a river fairy who exacts revenge on men who try to pollute the Wawa River. Solenn Heussaff will play the titular character, while Carlos Agassi will play her love interest. Liane Valentino and John Paul Mesde will play supporting roles.

The final story, ‘Apoy ni Bambolito’, tells the story of a black dwarf who gave an Aeta child named Anya the power of fire. Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua will play the titular character, while Rochelle Pangilinan will play the mother of Anya, played by Marjorie Orteo.

Like ‘Seasons of Love’, ‘Elemento’ will go up against ABS-CBN’s ‘Pure Love’. And since the mini-series will only run for four Fridays this October, it will be a very daunting task for ‘Elemento’ to win its timeslot in such a short period of time.

That said, expectations will be very high for this series, especially when its premise is to tell a more good-natured side to fearsome creatures that are well-known to people. With that, good luck to the writers of ‘Elemento’ in making each story a good one.

‘Elemento’ airs starting October 10, and every Friday of October thereafter, before ’24 Oras’.

 

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