comedy, drama, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

The Greatest Love’s Last Week, Plus D’Originals’ Premiere Week

For one week only, it will be ‘The Greatest Love’ versus ‘D’Originals’.

This week will mark the last for ‘The Greatest Love’, the top-rating afternoon drama that starred Sylvia Sanchez as a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The series first premiered on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block on September 5, 2016, and will finish its 163-episode run this Friday afternoon.

‘The Greatest Love’, which also starred Dimples Romana, Andi Eigenmann, Matt Evans, Arron Villaflor, Ellen Adarna and Nonie Buencamino among others, was also a constant trending topic on social media. Its inspiring and tear-jerking storyline gripped the nation and the world, giving them greater awareness to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other side of the spectrum, GMA’s Public Affairs team will once again try to salvage whatever shortcomings the Entertainment team has had of late. Their latest project is a sexy comedy drama series, ‘D’Originals’, which will premiere today.

‘D’Originals’ (click its synopsis here) will be the network’s replacement to the short-lived ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, whose brief 53-episode run concluded last Holy Wednesday. ‘D’Originals’ will also be LJ Reyes’ second project in a row on the afternoon slot after starring as Angeli in ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’.

Also part of ‘D’Originals’ cast are Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Kim Domingo, Katrina Halili, Jestoni Alarcon, Mark Herras, Meg Imperial, Archie Alemania, Lovely Abella, Mikoy Morales, Arny Ross, Elyson De Dios, and Chlaui Malayao. The director of the series is Adolf Alix Jr.

If ‘The Greatest Love”s impressive ratings are of any indication, then ‘D’Originals’ is in for a rude awakening. Recent GMAPA-produced entertainment shows (see ‘Dangwa’, ‘To the Top’, ‘#Like’) have failed to make a desirable impact, thus putting tremendous pressure on ‘D’Originals’ to defy all expectations.

With the dominance of ABS-CBN in the afternoon slot (save for the surprisingly popular ‘Ika-6 na Utos’), this is one battle that ‘D’Originals’ must win. Saving the reputation of both GMA Entertainment and GMA Public Affairs is a must for the series, otherwise the blame game should continue for both departments.

It’s either win or give up for ‘D’Originals’ and GMA Public Affairs. Good luck.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Underrated Series Sa Piling ni Nanay Down to Its Final Week

It was a quiet but lengthy run for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The GMA afternoon series’ final episode will air this Friday afternoon, completing a run of 150 episodes that began on June 27, 2016. Although its tenure was impressive, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will forever be overshadowed by two ABS-CBN dramas that gained even greater attention.

For starters, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was pitted against ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, two equally compelling dramas on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. While ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ boast of an impressive cast of actors, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was no slouch either, as it starred ‘StarStruck’ batch 1’s Yasmien Kurdi, Mark Herras and Katrina Halili.

The story of ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was a complicated yet relatable subject, that of surrogacy. It was in this series where one daughter’s rights were challenged by two women: one who actually gave birth to, and the other demanding to adopt the child as her own.

Despite the fact that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ was an inspiring tale, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay”s 12% average rating may be decent for the afternoon slot, but against both ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’, it was still 2% short at best.

What derailed ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ were two standout moments that defined ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’. ‘Tubig at Langis’ featured several memorable confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes) and Clara (Isabelle Daza), while ‘The Greatest Love’ stood tall thanks to Gloria’s (Sylvia Sanchez) emotionally-charged portrayal of a woman gradually afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Needless to say, ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ still performed well despite its shortcomings. The final count of 150 episodes should give its loyal viewers a reason to cheer and applaud.

As it enters its final week, one can only hope that ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ will leave with a lasting impression. They may not be victorious at the end, but what a run that was.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Love story, Philippines, television

Conan Out, Usapang Real Love In

From cross-dressing beauticians to real love issues.

Last Sunday, the 13-episode run of ‘Conan My Beautician’ came to an end. The GMA Public Affairs-produced sitcom premiered on June 26 as a replacement to ‘Alamat’, but the show never caught fire, losing to ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ on a consistent basis.

Although Mark Herras made a good account of himself by portraying a cross-dressing hairstylist, ‘Conan My Beautician’ still fell short by GMA Public Affairs’ standards. Their continued involvement in entertainment shows is becoming a brain drain to the entertainment department, and it could pose an even bigger risk in future shows.

Moving on, a new GMA show will take the place of ‘Conan My Beautician’ this coming Sunday. Billed as the first-ever interactive rom-com series, ‘Usapang Real Love’ will feature four weekly episodes starring GMA’s love teams, along with a selected video entry that will be submitted by netizens on social media.

The show’s first story, titled ‘Dream Date’, will star Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix. The supporting cast for the said story will consist of Jak Roberto, Yayo Aguila, Lloyd Samartino, Jade Lopez, Ces Quesada and Gene Padilla.

The second story, titled ‘Perfect Fit’, will be led by Andre Paras and Mikee Quintos. The supporting cast will have William Lorenzo, Mickey Feriols, Arra San Agustin, Jay Arcilla, Vince Gamad and Bern Josep ‘Bekimon’ Persia.

As innovative as ‘Usapang Real Love’ is, they still have a huge hurdle to overcome. As mentioned earlier, ‘Family Feud’ proved to be a thorn on ‘Conan My Beautician”s side, and this puts even greater pressure on ‘Usapang Real Love’ to succeed.

Considering that the show will be a mere short-term filler, GMA can only hope for the best. The four episodes of ‘Usapang Real Love’ should be a gauge to see if their love teams will return to form, and if so, GMA will be poised to give them better projects.

‘Usapang Real Love’ airs every Sunday at 4:45 p.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Dominant Tubig at Langis Faces New Rival

It is no secret that ‘Tubig at Langis’ is a clear ratings winner in its timeslot.

From the moment it premiered, the ABS-CBN afternoon series captivated audiences with its controversial and intense storyline. While the acrimonious departure of Vivian Velez helped fuel the fire, the frequent confrontations between Irene (Cristine Reyes), Clara (Isabelle Daza) and occasionally Lucy (Dionne Monsanto) only added to its mystique and popularity.

Along the way, three rival series went down to ‘Tubig at Langis’. First it was ‘Buena Familia’, then ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ (currently ongoing, but is now up against ‘Doble Kara’), and most recently ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’.

Now they await a fourth opponent. Enter GMA’s newest afternoon series ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’.

The upcoming GMA drama reunites three former aspirants from season 1 of ‘StarStruck’: Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, and Katrina Halili. The three will play a central role in a plot that tackles the issue of surrogacy.

In ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, Ysabel (Yasmien) works as a personal assistant to Scarlet (Katrina). But Scarlet is unable to bear a child, so Ysabel agrees to become a surrogate in order to pay the bills for her daughter Maymay’s bone marrow transplant.

Tragedy struck Ysabel when Maymay dies in an unfortunate accident. Depressed and lonely, she decides to break up her surrogacy agreement with Scarlet and flees alongside her daughter, naming her Maya (Sofia Jayzel Cabatay) in honor of the fallen Maymay.

Unknown to Ysabel, Jonas (Mark) is secretly in love for her. But upon realizing Ysabel’s intentions of raising Maya instead of giving it to Scarlet, Jonas decides to cease ties with her, and the battle is on between Ysabel and Scarlet for the rights of Maya.

‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ also stars Nova Villa, Bettina Carlos and Antonio Aquitania. It will be directed by Gil Tejada, Jr.

As ‘Tubig at Langis’ prepares for a new opponent, how much longer can they keep up their momentum? And for ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’, how will they be able to overcome the odds placed against them?

These and more will come starting this Monday afternoon. ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ airs weekdays after ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’ on GMA’s Afternoon Prime.

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comedy, entertainment, humor, Philippines, television

Conan, My Beautician Premieres Sunday

Meet Mark Herras in drag.

Beginning this Sunday, Mark will topbill GMA’s newest comedy series ‘Conan, My Beautician’. This series will feature Mark in a role that he has never played before: that of a gay man.

In ‘Conan, My Beautician’, Mark will play Conan, a straight man who is the most talented yet desperate beautician at Salon Paz. But in order to accept the job, he has to pretend that he is gay; after all, he needs the money for the sake of his sick mother and family, who were banished from their hometown by Chika La Chaka (Cacai Bautista).

Along the way, he met and fell in love with Ava (Megan Young), whom he worked along in a make-up gig. But as the story goes on, his fellow beauticians seem to notice that Conan may not be gay at all.

‘Conan, My Beautician’ will also star Jerald Napoles, Betong Sumaya, Boobsie, Tetay, Lotlot de Leon, Jay Manalo, Balang, Chlaui Malayao, Vangie Labalan and Antonette Garcia. It will be co-directed by Adolf Alix and Rember Gelera.

Continuing the recent trend of Sunday afternoon comedy series that was first seen on ‘Juan Tamad’, a lot is expected on ‘Conan, My Beautician’. Still, winning its timeslot will be a daunting task, considering that ABS-CBN’s ‘Family Feud’ remains the most-watched show nationally every late Sunday afternoon.

Nevertheless, expect the series to pull all the stops. Playing a man dressed in drag is a great challenge for Mark Herras, and if the viewers find it awesome and funny, that should help spike ‘Conan, My Beautician”s performance.

‘Conan, My Beautician’ airs every Sunday at 5:00 p.m. on GMA.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

Dangwa Concludes; Heart of Asia Mornings Extended

The drama series ‘Dangwa’ is currently on its final week.

Airing since October 26, 2015, the story of ‘Dangwa’ has been focused on Rosa (Janine Gutierrez), the flower vendor who gave roses to men who hope to find their true love. At the same time, her own love story took hold, thanks to two men, Baste (Mark Herras) and Lorenzo (Aljur Abrenica), who try to gain her attention.

While ‘Dangwa’ has featured guest appearances from Kapuso artists each week, the finale solely focused on the conclusion of the love triangle between Rosa, Baste and Lorenzo. That said, viewers will have to tune in to see what fate awaits the threesome.

‘Dangwa’ had been well-hyped to begin with, thanks to a series of viral videos that revealed Janine Gutierrez as the so-called ‘Dangwa Girl’. However, ratings for the series proved to be unimpressive, as ‘Dangwa’ can only muster national ratings of 7-8% , whereas ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ average 2% percent higher.

With the not-so successful returns from its morning drama, GMA has decided to once again extend its Heart of Asia Mornings starting this Monday. The newest Koreanovela, ‘Carmina’, will be added to the block.

‘Carmina’ stars Kim So-yeon, Jung Kyung-ho and Yoon Hyun-min. The story of the Koreanovela will involve Carmina (Kim) as a secretary of a big company, Derek (Jung) as her fiance, and James (Yoon) as her boss.

Fate soon intervened in Derek’s life when he died, and his heart was removed and placed into James’ chest during his heart transplant. The once-strict James soon had a change of heart, and eventually fell in love with Carmina.

‘Carmina’ will take over the 11:00 a.m. timeslot of ‘Dangwa’. This means that the Heart of Asia Mornings block will once again have three Koreanovelas: ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Ice Adonis’, and ‘Carmina’.

As GMA reverts back to Koreanovela mode just before noontime, the question is, will they ever be able to produce another local morning drama? Considering their lack of success, it is unlikely that the network will make another one, and Koreanovelas will be here to stay.

Tomorrow is ‘Dangwa”s last, and after that, ‘Carmina’ takes over. Good luck.

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