drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Stepdaughters, One Last Time

‘Asintado”s chief rival will call it a day.

On Friday, GMA’s ‘The Stepdaughters’ will air its final episode. This series, starring Megan Young and Katrina Halili as rivals-turned-stepsisters, enjoyed a long run but was essentially overshadowed by the success of its archrival ‘Asintado’.

‘The Stepdaughters’ first aired on February 12, 2018. The premise of the series was of two women who became rivals via the makeup business: one who is already established in the industry and the other with aspirations of entering said business.

Later on, Mayumi (Megan) and Isabelle (Katrina) became stepsisters when Mayumi’s mother married Isabelle’s father. Mayumi also fell in love with Francis (Mikael Daez), even as Isabelle tried to win his trust.

While ‘The Stepdaughters’ managed to air 178 episodes by the end of its run, the series’ overall performance suggests that it should have been winning on a consistent basis. Instead, ‘The Stepdaughters’ ran into a brick wall in Julia Montes, whose afternoon series ‘Asintado’ won by an average of 4% in the ratings.

But ‘Asintado’ is not the only show that gave ‘The Stepdaughters’ a lot of trouble. In most afternoons, ‘The Stepdaughters’ was aired against ‘It’s Showtime’ and likewise could not keep up with Vice Ganda and company.

‘The Stepdaughters” final two weeks saw the show go up against a new ‘kabitserye’ in ‘Kadenang Ginto’. So far, ‘Kadenang Ginto’ proved to be just as strong an adversary for ‘The Stepdaughters’, as seen by its 4.8% ratings advantage in its pilot episode last week.

Regardless of its shortcomings, ‘The Stepdaughters’ proved that it can keep up with the best that ABS-CBN has to offer. Notwithstanding the lack of victories in the ratings, GMA should be more than pleased with the way ‘The Stepdaughters’ battled until the end.

This week will see the conclusion of one of GMA’s most underrated series. One can only hope that ‘The Stepdaughters’ will exit with a bang and leave a lasting impression to its audience.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Kadenang Ginto: Golden Opportunity or Golden Letdown?

Welcome to the ‘better late than never’ era of Kapamilya Gold.

Gone are the days when the block starts at 3:20 p.m. as soon as ‘It’s Showtime’ ended. These days, Vice Ganda and his big mouth are the main attraction for over half the afternoon while Kapamilya Gold could only helplessly watch as they were pushed back by 30 minutes.

While the ratings of Kapamilya Gold remain excellent despite the late start time, an upcoming series or two could derail whatever momentum this block had attained. Over the next two weeks, Kapamilya Gold will have two new programs in store, and one of them is already feeling the pressure.

This early, ‘Kadenang Ginto’ is hard-pressed to fill the void left by ‘Asintado’. The series, which will be led by Albert Martinez, Dimples Romana, Adrian Alandy and Beauty Gonzalez, lacked the star power of ‘Asintado’, and while the four are already accomplished actors they are still supporting player material in the eyes of viewers.

‘Kadenang Ginto tells the story of Romina (Beauty), Carlos (Adrian), Robert (Albert) and Daniela (Dimples). Both Romina and Carlos are initially engaged to one another, but after Romina is raped by an unknown man, Carlos breaks up with her and worse, the rape incident results in Romina bearing a child.

Romina then finds refuge and true love in Robert, the owner of the company she works for; Romina’s child Cassandra (Francine Diaz) is then adopted legally by Robert. However, Robert’s daughter Daniela disapproves of their relationship and accuses Romina of being a gold digger.

Eventually Daniela leaves her family behind, falls in love with Carlos and bears a child named Margaret (Andrea Brillantes). This leads to a blood feud between her and Romina for the right to inherit Robert’s wealth.

Also part of ‘Kadenang Ginto’ are Eula Valdez, Ronnie Lazaro, Luke Conde, Nikko Natividad, Adrian Lindayag, Kat Galang, and Savannah Rosales. The series will be directed by Jerry Lopez Sineneng.

Come this Monday ‘Kadenang Ginto’ should have its hands full in keeping viewers to their seats. It will be interesting to see how this new series plays out, so good luck.

‘Kadenang Ginto’ airs weekdays after ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Asintado’s Final Week

It all comes down to this.

‘Asintado”s final episode is slated to air this Friday. But in many ways, this series turned out to be unpredictable.

First aired on January 15, 2018, ‘Asintado’ was placed in the leadoff slot of ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. It was to be the comeback series of Julia Montes nearly a year after starring in the long-running afternoon series ‘Doble Kara’.

But unlike ‘Doble Kara’, ‘Asintado’ performed on a relatively quiet scale. Debuting with a 17.7% rating, the series hovered between 14-17% for much of its run.

Despite that, ‘Asintado”s ratings were more than enough to dispatch its rival GMA dramas ‘Impostora’ and ‘The Stepdaughters’. And considering that it now airs at 3:50 p.m. on a regular basis due to the longer-than-usual running time of ‘It’s Showtime’, ‘Asintado”s performance was still impressive at best.

Overall, ‘Asintado’ will have a total of 187 episodes by Friday’s finale. As far as ABS-CBN standards go, this is already a long run.

If there is anything to pick up about ‘Asintado’, it is on how some of the cast members adapt to a role they were not used to. Julia Montes, long known for her dramatic skills regardless of being a villain or a protagonist, became more of an action star in this series as her character Ana sought vengeance on the loved ones she lost.

Shaina Magdayao, as Samantha, embraced the bad girl role particularly well, that is until it was revealed that Samantha and Ana were actually long-lost sisters. Paulo Avelino, as Gael, was no slouch either in working the good and bad side of his character.

In the last few weeks of ‘Asintado’, the focus shifted to Nonie Buencamino’s character Salvador, whom Ana blamed for the murder of her wife (and Salvador’s son) Gael as well as his wife Miranda (Lorna Tolentino). While Nonie”s credits as a villain were few and far between, his portrayal of Salvador may have been his best yet as a heel.

That said, the last week of ‘Asintado’ should be a good one. Whether or not Ana gains her much-needed justice remains to be seen, so stay tuned to find out the ending to this story of revenge and vindication.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Ika-5 Utos Underachieves in Pilot Week

Maybe Vice Ganda should extend his invitation to the cast of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ on ‘It’s Showtime’.

After all, the new GMA afternoon series started off on a disappointing note. The premiere episode of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ last September 10 only registered an 11% rating while ‘It’s Showtime’ fared better at 16.2%.

The trend would continue for the remainder of the week. In fact, the first Saturday episode of ‘Ika-5 Utos’ only scored a 10.3% rating compared to ‘It’s Showtime”s 16.6%.

Overall, it was not a good start for ‘Ika-5 Utos’. Still, it is too early to tell if this series will become a flop considering that the sample size is only six episodes so far.

Who knows, maybe some kind of an ‘Ika-6 na Utos’-like comeback can give this series new life. We’ll just see.

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Staying Light: Playhouse to Premiere Monday on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is keeping things light and loose every weekday mornings.

While GMA took on a more serious route with ‘Kapag Nahati ang Puso’, ABS-CBN continues its tradition of romantic comedies and child-oriented dramas to the 11:15 a.m. slot. And their newest series ‘Playhouse’ is no exception.

‘Playhouse’ will star Angelica Panganiban and Zanjoe Marudo as Patty and Marlon, two college lovers who will eventually get married only to split up after a series of struggles. The rest of the main plot are as follows.

Via ABS-CBN PR:

After of a long time living separately, the two meet again as Patty files for an annulment to formally separate with Marlon. But just when they think everything is over between them, an unfortunate tragedy will change their lives forever.

Their friends Emily and Brad will get into an accident, leaving their child Robin (Justin James Quilantang) behind. As the kid’s legal guardians, Patty and Marlon will be forced to stay together under one roof to take care of Robin and make sure he gets the love he needs. This gives Marlon the opportunity to patch things up with Patty, despite her constant disapproval.

Will Robin be the key to giving Patty and Marlon a second chance?

Also part of ‘Playhouse’ will be up-and-coming teen stars Donny Pangilinan and Kisses Delavin, who will play enemies-turned-lovers Zeke and Shiela. The rest of the cast will include Kean Cipriano, AC Bonifacio, Ariella Arida, Dexter Doria, Nadia Montenegro, Ingrid Dela Paz, Jomari Angeles, Malou De Guzman, Smokey Manaloto, and Maxene Magalona.

Here is a little spin on the formulas that ABS-CBN uses for its late-morning dramas. While ‘Playhouse’ is for the most part a romantic comedy, it is also a child-oriented series since child actor Justin James Quilantang will play a vital role here as the child that Patty and Marlon are forced to take care of.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this hybrid format will work in this increasingly competitive late-morning slot. In spite of ABS-CBN’s success on that timeslot, ‘Playhouse’ will still have its work cut out here and if they win right away it will boost its confidence.

‘Playhouse’ airs weekdays before ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN.

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Pissed Off: TV Patrol Unhappy About Late Start

The ‘It’s Showtime’ effect of going overtime has had plenty of repercussions.

For the most part, it affected the start times of succeeding ABS-CBN programs. But none felt the sting of starting late more than ‘TV Patrol’, the flagship primetime newscast of the network.

‘TV Patrol’ usually airs at around 6:30 p.m. and is simulcast on both ABS-CBN and DZMM. However, the DZMM portion gets a little tricky; ‘Dos Por Dos’ anchors Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna usually end their show just before 6:30, but in recent episodes they either stick around for a little while or leave and allow DZMM to play a long commercial break.

In certain instances where ‘TV Patrol’ begins later than its usual 6:30 p.m. start, the ‘Headlines’ portion was omitted in favor of a shortened opening billboard. Peter Musñgi’s introduction of “Live mula sa ABS-CBN News Center Manila, Ito ang TV Patrol”, accompanied with an airborne shot of the ABS-CBN Broadcast Center, was also removed at times.

Even the newscast’s anchors were starting to feel unhappy with the late start. During one recent episode, anchor Noli de Castro berated one of the teleprompter operators a few minutes into the newscast for not opening the teleprompter on short notice (a moment that was later cut from iWant TV uploads of the show).

There were also times when Star Patrol, the newscast’s entertainment news segment, was reduced to just two or three news items. And finally, a few recent episodes saw an unusual closing segment in which the anchors bid farewell and then walk out of the set immediately while still on camera.

Despite the late starts, ‘TV Patrol’ continued to be the newscast of choice for the common Filipino as it scores over 30%. However, it was clear that the show and its anchors were not happy with the late starts.

Perhaps ABS-CBN management should call an emergency meeting to solve this brewing issue once and for all. They can call out both the hosts of ‘It’s Showtime’ and the anchors of ‘TV Patrol’, their respective production teams, and both the head of integrated news Ging Reyes and corporate communications Kane Errol Choa to end this impasse.

One can only hope that ABS-CBN will do the right thing and go back to what it was useful in the past. After all ‘TV Patrol’ does not deserve to be put in a bad light because of ‘It’s Showtime”s string of poor time management.

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