drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Close But No Cigar: The One That Got Away’s Final Week

Who’s the ex that Liam is looking for?

Indeed, GMA’s ‘The One That Got Away’ had quite a journey. Its run of 88 episodes suggests that it performed well, but on the contrary, it still fell short.

‘The One That Got Away’ first premiered on January 15, 2018 as a replacement to ‘My Korean Jagiya’. The series starred Dennis Trillo, Max Collins, Solenn Heussaff and Rhian Ramos, and it featured a storyline of one man’s near-death experience coupled with a difficult decision of choosing among his three exes who he feels the most connected.

Unfortunately for ‘The One That Got Away’, it struggled right out of the gate, only getting around 12% in its first few months on the air. On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s more serious primetime drama ‘The Good Son’ earned 6% more than its rival.

Ratings for ‘The One That Got Away’ somewhat improved as the calendar turned to April, and by May, it rallied to average around 14-15%. Despite that, it was not enough to beat both ‘The Good Son’ and ‘Since I Found You’ in its timeslot, although lately the series is starting to close the gap.

Such is the cruel fate of GMA’s primetime romantic dramas. Just as ‘The One That Got Away’ began to find its stride, the series was down to its last few episodes, thus giving them no chance of catching up to ‘Since I Found You’ which has faltered of late.

But to the series’ credit, it still gave a good account of itself. Notwithstanding the huge odds, it was clear that ‘The One That Got Away’ was one of GMA’s better romantic comedy series, one that is well-written and had a stellar cast that connected well with the audience.

Come this Friday, one ex-girlfriend’s life will change while two others will have to ponder about their future. Find out who really is the ‘one that got away’.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Good Son: One Last Time

‘Who killed Victor?’

For several months, ‘The Good Son’ has been trying to solve the mystery behind the gruesome murder of Victor, played by Albert Martinez. Now it has come down to which one of Victor’s four sons and their immediate family will be proven innocent of the crime.

Since its premiere on September 25, 2017, ABS-CBN’s ‘The Good Son’ became one of the network’s top-rated programs. During its run, the series averaged around 20% in the ratings, besting more light-hearted competition in GMA’s ‘My Korean Jagiya’ and ‘The One That Got Away’.

The return to a more serious formula and the emphasis towards young stars have helped ‘The Good Son’ achieve tremendous success throughout its run. In past years, lighter dramas dominated Primetime Bida’s fourth slot, but after ‘On the Wings of Love’ the approach wore thin.

Reverting back to a darker atmosphere reminiscent of series such as ‘The Legal Wife’ may have been the most daring decision that ABS-CBN ever did, but ‘The Good Son”s unexpected surge has brought new life to Primetime Bida’s fourth slot. However, this was not the only reason behind its popularity.

Continuing ABS-CBN’s commitment towards youth, the series gave rising artists Nash Aguas, Jerome Ponce, Joshua Garcia, McCoy de Leon, Loisa Andallo, Alexa Ilacad and Elisse Joson the green light to show their acting prowess. It was a formula that somehow worked to ‘The Good Son”s favor, helping the series outpace its GMA counterparts who continued to rely on older stars.

More importantly, these artists gained a new legion of followers, both on television and on social media. For Joshua Garcia, starring in a series without frequent on-screen partner Julia Barretto may be a risky choice, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise as he was able to thrive alongside his contemporaries.

In many ways, ‘The Good Son’ became a series that ABS-CBN should be proud of. More than just the young stars that thrived in a starring role, it was the series’ themes of innocence, guilt and doubt that helped ‘The Good Son’ become a top-ten program in the country.

Friday will mark ‘The Good Son”s 143rd and final episode. On its last night, the innocent one will be revealed, but who will be rightfully called ‘The Good Son?’

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comedy, drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

My Korean Jagiya to Quietly End Tomorrow Night

No thrills, no fanfare, no anything.

Simply put, Friday’s conclusion of GMA’s ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be a quiet one. After 105 episodes, the series will officially come to an end with very little promotion whatsoever.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ starred the unlikely pairing of Heart Evangelista and Korean actor Alexander Lee. First airing on August 21, 2017, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ became the first Filipino drama series to feature a few scenes taped in Korea.

The series was initially pitted against ‘A Love to Last’ during its first month on air. Not surprisingly, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ struggled, getting around 9-10% in the ratings versus the 18-20% that ‘A Love to Last’ earns.

‘My Korean Jagiya”s ratings improved somewhat once ABS-CBN premiered the more serious drama ‘The Good Son’. Still, despite improving its average by around 1 or 2%, it was not enough to win their timeslot.

It also didn’t help that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ received very little support of late outside of GMA’s commercial breaks. While its teasers were present on the GMA Drama Facebook page, GMA management has apparently stopped uploading such videos on its official YouTube page (despite its claim of over four billion views and counting).

Despite the lack of support and its overall performance, it was still worth noting that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was able to make it past the 100th episode. Reaching 100 episodes was not bad, but GMA would have celebrated such a milestone had the series rated well (at least there was a sizable population of Korean expats watching the show).

Much like its predecessor ‘I Heart Davao’, promoting a particular culture became quite a theme for ‘My Korean Jagiya’. Uniting Filipinos and Koreans in one roof, the series helped expand the unlikely yet fruitful love affair between Filipinos and the Korean lifestyle.

That said, regardless of its shortcomings, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ was a terrific show to watch. Any Korean drama fan in the Philippines would love to appreciate this one-of-a-kind drama.

Come tomorrow night, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will look to leave one final imprint to its fans. It will be an interesting ending to see, so find out what fate awaits the love story between Gia (Heart) and Kim (Alexander).

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Love to Last, For the Last Time

The curtains finally fall on the Andeng-Anton saga.

On Friday, September 22, ‘A Love to Last’ will air its final episode. The ABS-CBN primetime drama series has been on the air since January 9, and for the most part, it was a ratings success.

Initially, ‘A Love to Last’ replaced ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ on Primetime Bida’s fourth slot. While the series defeated GMA’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ in its first two weeks, ABS-CBN quickly realized that ‘A Love to Last’ was not a good fit for the fourth slot.

On January 23, ‘A Love to Last’ was moved to the fifth slot replacing the JaDine-starred ‘Till I Met You’, and would stay that way for the remainder of its run. Despite criticisms that the show was a ‘snoozefest’ (one commenter even labeled it as an ‘antok-serye’), ‘A Love to Last’ was able to thrive in its new timeslot.

Along the way, ‘A Love to Last’ surged past ‘Meant to Be’ (which premiered on the same day as ‘A Love to Last’), ‘I Heart Davao’ and ‘My Korean Jagiya’ in the ratings game. The series was also popular on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, ‘A Love to Last’ will have a total of 183 episodes when it was all said and done. That total alone is quite impressive considering that the series was assigned to the fifth slot where viewership is less than those of the first four slots.

For viewers who have tuned in to ‘A Love to Last’ from the beginning, the love story between Anton (Ian Veneracion) and Andeng (Bea Alonzo) was a thrill to watch. The duo showed remarkable chemistry despite the fact that it was the first time that they were paired together.

It also helped that Iza Calzado, as Andeng’s rival Grace, showed some poise and character in her first foray as a villain. Her portrayal of Grace proved that Iza is just as effective playing the bad girl as she was playing the good girl.

Finally, the supporting cast of ‘A Love to Last’ should be commended for adding plenty of flavor to the series. Throughout its run, Julia Barretto, JK Labajo, Ronnie Alonte and Enchong Dee have had their moments to shine, and the success of ‘A Love to Last’ only added to their growing reputations as stars on the rise.

Come this Friday, the love story of Anton and Andeng is about to end. But for the viewers of ‘A Love to Last’, the series’ memories will last a lifetime.

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drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

New Challenger for A Love to Last: My Korean Jagiya

‘A Love to Last’ has a new opponent.

Through 158 episodes (as of August 18, 2017), the ABS-CBN primetime series has overcome all challenges thrown at them. Initially pitted against ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ season 1 (10 episodes from January 9-20), ‘A Love to Last’ has since made mincemeat of fellow romantic comedy series ‘Meant to Be’ (108 episodes from January 23-June 23) and ‘I Heart Davao’ (40 episodes from June 27-August 18).

Now they look to claim another victim starting next week. However, their next opponent is no ordinary romantic comedy.

In the past several years, both GMA and ABS-CBN imported several successful Korean dramas to fill in programming hours. Now GMA takes over Korean cultures and landscapes in the form of ‘My Korean Jagiya’.

Leading the way for ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will be Heart Evangelista. Her character Gia is a Korean grade school tutor and a dedicated K-drama fan girl who was nonetheless teased that she is next in her family to become an old maid.

Gia’s dream is to meet her long-time crush and once-famous Korean superstar Kim Jun-ho, portrayed by top Korean star Alexander Lee. At first, Gia searched for Kim in Korea while on a scholarship training, but wound up returning to Manila to find Kim drunk and beaten by gangsters in a bar, beginning a seemingly fruitful friendship.

‘My Korean Jagiya’ will also star Janice de Belen, Ricky Davao, Iya Villania, Edgar Allan Guzman, Valeen Montenegro, Frances Makil Ignacio, Myke Solomon, Jinri Park, Divine Aucina, and Khane dela Cruz. Korean stars David Kim, Michelle Oh, and Jerry Lee will play special roles in the series as well.

Parts of ‘My Korean Jagiya’ were shot in South Korea, and featured several key spots that were made famous by several iconic Koreanovelas such as ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘My Name is Kim Sam Soon’, My Love from the Star’ and ‘Winter Sonata’. The Seoul Film Commission and Seoul Metropolitan Government assisted the series’ producers in the production process.

While ‘My Korean Jagiya’ is a uniquely wonderful series for both Filipinos and Koreans to enjoy, their biggest hurdle to success comes in the form of ‘A Love to Last’. Despite being perceived as ‘boring’ in the minds of critics, ‘A Love to Last’ continues to beat all comers, and this is something that should concern ‘My Korean Jagiya’ a lot.

One can only hope that ‘My Korean Jagiya’ will not be the short-lived drama that befell more recent romcoms ‘My Love from the Star’ and ‘I Heart Davao’. If the series can somehow go beyond 80 episodes, then that should be good enough for their morale.

Directed by Mark Reyes, ‘My Korean Jagiya’ airs weekdays after ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ on GMA Telebabad.

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