drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

LizQuen Letdown: Disappointing Bagani to End Run Friday

Fantasy remains one of ABS-CBN’s weakest points.

After all, the network is not used to creating big-budgeted fantasy dramas on a daily basis. Unlike rival GMA, they usually produce their teleseryes conservatively, letting the story become the emphasis and not on special effects or gaudy costumes.

But in the case of ‘Bagani’, they decided to be big spenders for once. Unfortunately, not even the power of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil can turn this costly series into a humongous draw.

Even before ‘Bagani’ premiered on March 5, 2018, the series became shrouded with controversy. Not only did it drew unfair comparisons to ‘Encantadia’, it also drew flak for its casting choices (Liza and co-star Matteo Guidicelli were part-Filipino) and its alleged misuse of the term ‘Bagani’.

Despite that, ‘Bagani’ came out strong from the start, earning ratings in the 30s during its first few months. By July, however, the series struggled to get to 30%, mainly because viewers grew tired of the plodding storyline and the fact that ‘Kambal Karibal’ became a strong threat.

Nevertheless, ‘Bagani’ continued to win its timeslot in spite of these difficulties. Still, the series’ unsatisfactory finish has left LizQuen fans with a bitter taste in their mouths; after all, they expected a lot more from this love team after the runaway success of ‘Forevermore’ and ‘Dolce Amore’.

Overall, ‘Bagani’ will wrap up with a total of 118 episodes to its credit. The reason why ABS-CBN decided to end the series now than to extend it further is for Liza Soberano can devote her energies to her first project (film or television) without Enrique Gil, which is ‘Darna’.

In the end, ‘Bagani’ became a total disappointment regardless of its performance. The story became a slow-developing one and the characters simply did not have enough progression to convince viewers.

It was one series that LizQuen fans would like to forget. No disrespect for them but for a big-time draw that is LizQuen, it was a letdown.

They can only hope that ‘Bagani’ will finish on a graceful note come this Friday. After that, move on and let bygones be bygones.

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action, drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

Bagani: ABS-CBN’s Most Controversial Series Yet

The hype surrounding ‘Bagani’ has been on a high for the past few months.

On the good side, this upcoming ABS-CBN drama series will be led by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, one of the Philippines’ most popular love teams today. On the bad side, however, ‘Bagani’ has been beset by controversy from the start.

When the trailer for ‘Bagani’ first popped out, netizens immediately compared it to ‘Encantadia’ due to its similar themes and landscape. The discussion even spread to the writers of the two shows, namely Suzette Doctolero and Mark Duane Angos.

‘Bagani’ also drew flak for its questionable casting choices. While the series was inspired from pre-colonial Philippines, some of the cast were not pure-blooded Filipinos, particularly the LizQuen tandem and co-star Matteo Guidicelli.

Writer Mark Duane Angos defended ‘Bagani”s casting decisions and setting in a series of tweets.

Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding ‘Bagani’, fans can’t help but be excited over the return of LizQuen to the small screen. This time, however, the duo will be engaged in plenty of action as fight scenes will become the norm in ‘Bagani’.

That doesn’t mean any moment of ‘kilig’ will be nonexistent. There will still be occasional cheesy scenes that make viewers gush, just not much due to the serious physicality involved.

So far, the confirmed lead cast of ‘Bagani’ include Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, Sofia Andres, Makisig Morales and Matteo Guidicelli. An extended cast is yet to be revealed.

Star Creatives will handle the production duties for ‘Bagani’. It will be directed by Richard Arellano and Lester Pimentel.

With the impending debut of ‘Bagani’, ABS-CBN has entered the world of epicseryes (for which the likes of ‘Encantadia’ were derived). But unlike GMA whose production of ‘Encantadia’ drained much of their finances, ABS-CBN should pose no concern for ‘Bagani’ as far as money as concerned, and if the series rates well, it will not be a big problem.

Still, it remains to be seen if the various controversies will affect ‘Bagani’ in any way. LizQuen may give this series a boost, but it may also cost them some disgruntled viewers in the process.

‘Bagani’ airs weeknights after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida. In the meantime, here is the full trailer for the series.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

LizQuen Returns via Dolce Amore

LizQuen is back, on the small screen that is.

The celebrated love team of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil has a new drama series coming up this Monday, as ABS-CBN launches ‘Dolce Amore’. The said series will take over the timeslot of ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’, who ironically replaced the LizQuen-starred ‘Forevermore’ nearly ten months earlier.

In ‘Dolce Amore’, Liza (as Serena) and Enrique (as Tenten) were raised without the guidance of their real parents. Serena grew up in Italy by her adoptive parents, while Tenten’s youth was spent in an orphanage.

Their worlds would soon collide once Serena landed in the Philippines. While searching for answers regarding her origins, she unexpectedly met Tenten, and the pair’s lovely adventures would soon take off.

Also joining the cast of ‘Dolce Amore’ are Matteo Guidicelli, Cherie Gil, Ruben Maria Soriquez, Edgar Mortiz, Rio Locsin, Kean Cipriano, Sunshine Cruz, Andrew E and Frenchie Dy. Mae Cruz Alviar and Cathy Garcia-Molina will direct the series.

Based on the love team’s success in ‘Forevermore’ and in the movies ‘Just the Way You Are’ and ‘Everyday I Love You’, ‘Dolce Amore’ is expected to become a hit anew for ABS-CBN. This should pose a problem for its upcoming rival, GMA’s ‘That’s My Amboy’, which has struggled out of the gate since its first week.

But while the series is poised to continue the recent winning streak of other ABS-CBN dramas, it will also face a lot of scrutiny. Just last month, an open letter addressed to co-director Cathy Garcia-Molina accused her of cursing and disrespecting two ‘Forevermore’ cast members, a accusation she denied.

Expectations aside, ‘Dolce Amore’ should give the LizQuen tandem an opportunity to expand their repertoire as actors. After breaking out in ‘Forevermore’, a more experienced and mature Liza and Enrique awaits viewers come this Monday.

‘Dolce Amore’ premieres February 15 after ‘Ang Probinsyano’ on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Korea, Philippines, television

My Love from the Star Returns, Responds to Inday Bote

The popular Koreanovela ‘My Love from the Star’ returns to GMA, this time as a ‘throwbackserye’.

Due to popular demand, the Kapuso network decided to once again re-air ‘My Love from the Star’, which stars Jun Ji-Hyun and Kim Soo-hyun. The re-airing of the said Koreanovela begins this Monday, at the same time as the premiere of ABS-CBN’s remake of ‘Inday Bote’.

‘My Love from the Star’ first aired on GMA from April 21 to June 27, 2014, opposite Julia Barretto’s debut teleserye ‘Mirabella’. The Koreanovela fared well enough in both Kantar and AGB Nielsen that GMA decided to re-air the series every Sunday morning, during the months of May, June and July.

Unfortunately for the Kapuso network, ABS-CBN quickly turned the tables soon after ‘My Love from the Star’ concluded. The Kapamilya network made up for the shortcomings of ‘Mirabella’ by airing ‘Pure Love’ and then ‘Bagito’, in the process regaining its foothold on the sunset slot.

Meanwhile, GMA’s local series ‘My BFF’, ‘Seasons of Love’ and ‘Elemento’ failed to maintain the momentum of ‘My Love from the Star’. Not even Koreanovelas like ‘Prime Minister and I’ and ‘Future’s Choice’ kept the timeslot’s fortunes from slipping off GMA’s grasp.

As a result, GMA made a crucial decision. Still feeling the throwback Asianovela high after all those months, GMA decided to bring back ‘My Love from the Star’, even though it had only been a year since it first aired.

Now GMA must hope that ‘My Love from the Star’ will fare well again in the same manner as ‘Meteor Garden’ on ABS-CBN. But it won’t be easy this time around, not when the Kapamilya network’s new teleserye ‘Inday Bote’ has proven stars in Alex Gonzaga and Matteo Guidicelli to lean upon.

It will be an interesting battle between the two series that begins this Monday at 5:45 p.m., so good luck.

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drama, entertainment, fantasy, Philippines, television

In 100 Words: Inday Bote and Bridges of Love, Coming Soon

Summer gets closer with a pair of new teleseryes coming soon on ABS-CBN.

Expected to air on Primetime Bida within a few weeks, the two new teleseryes will be:

Bridges of Love – starring Maja Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Paulo Avelino. John Lloyd Cruz and Xian Lim were originally cast in the upcoming series before backing out for various reasons.

Inday Bote – starring Alex Gonzaga, Matteo Guidicelli, Kean Cipriano, Izzy Canillo and Alonzo Muhlach. Adopted from the 1985 film starring Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, Richard Gomez and Charito Solis.

The two teleseryes are expected to replace ‘Two Wives’ and ‘Bagito’ respectively. More details will come in future articles, so stay put.

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