drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

A Tough Act to Follow for Contessa

From ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ to ‘Contessa’.

Following the successful year-long run of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, GMA will now look to fill in the big shoes that the former left. They decided to replace ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ with a series that reminded viewers of another successful teleserye from a rival network.

From the moment ‘Contessa”s teaser was aired, netizens immediately compared the series to ABS-CBN’s ‘Wildflower’ due to their similar storylines of revenge. But ‘Contessa’ lead star Glaiza de Castro had a different take, saying that her upcoming show focuses more on a woman’s constant quest for justice.

In ‘Contessa’, Glaiza is initially known as Bea, a woman who is accused and imprisoned for a crime she never committed. Determined to seek revenge and reclaim those who were taken away from her, she assumes a new identity, that of Contessa.

Throughout the series, ‘Contessa’ will feature some important characters who will be crucial to the story of Bea/Contessa. Marco (Mark Herras) is a writer and Bea’s long-time boyfriend whose gruesome murder will be central to the evolution of Bea into Contessa.

Marco’s brother Gabriel (Geoff Eigenmann) is a successful OFW who returns to the country following his murder. Meanwhile, Bea’s best friend Jong (Jak Roberto) is a secret admirer of hers who hopes to love him back.

The Imperial family, led by the matriarch Charito (Chanda Romero) and her children Vito (Gabby Eigenmann) and Daniella (Lauren Young), will serve as a major obstacle to Bea/Contessa’s plans for justice. In typical villainous fashion, the Imperials are considered manipulative, influential, sophisticated and powerful individuals who will do whatever is necessary to destroy the protagonist.

Completing the rest of the cast are Tetchie Agbayani, Leandro Baldemor, Dominic Roco, Bernadette Allyson, Melissa Mendez, Tanya Gomez, Karel Marquez, Phytos Ramirez, Denise Barbacena and Will Ashley. ‘Contessa’ will be directed by Albert Langitan.

Replacing a top-rating series in ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ will be a daunting one for ‘Contessa’. In order for viewers to commit to this new series in the long term, some interesting bits and pieces are needed to make ‘Contessa’ worth watching, a task that is difficult to fill considering it will go head-to-head with ‘It’s Showtime”s ‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ segment.

With all things considered, GMA should only hope for the best with ‘Contessa’. It may never be able to replicate the ratings of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’, but if it all goes well, who knows what will happen next.

‘Contessa’ airs weekdays after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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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, television

A Fourth Opponent for Streaking ‘Forevermore’

There is no stopping ‘Forevermore’ as their run winds down.

The ABS-CBN drama series, starring Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano, has been on top of the primetime world ever since it debuted in October of last year. So far, ‘Forevermore’ overcame the challenges of ‘Hiram na Alaala’, ‘Strawberry Lane’ and ‘Once Upon a Kiss’ of rival station GMA, beating each series by a wide margin.

Now a fourth opponent awaits the streaking teleserye.

Starting this Monday, May 4, ‘Forevermore’ will go up against ‘Let the Love Begin’, the newest GMA teleserye starring Ruru Madrid and Gabbi Garcia. The upcoming series should not be confused with the movie of the same title, starring Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin, which was released a decade ago under the GMA Films banner.

‘Let the Love Begin’ will also mark the return of Ai-Ai Delas Alas to the GMA camp after over a decade with ABS-CBN. Joining her in various supporting roles will be Gardo Versoza, Donita Rose, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Neil Ryan Sese, Gladys Reyes, and Ms. Gina Pareño.

Other members of the cast include Noel Trinidad, Phytos Ramirez, Abel Estanislao, Ricardo Cepeda, Joko Diaz, Rita Daniela, Ar Angel Aviles, Nomer Limatog, Angeli Bayani, Sancho Delas Alas, Therese Malvar, and Ren Escano.

The series will revolve around the cordial friendship between Jeni (Ai-Ai) and Tony (Gardo), who work for a fictional radio program that focuses on love advice. A major problem would later shatter their friendship, but their paths would soon cross again thanks to a blooming relationship between their children Erick (Ruru) and Pia (Gabbi).

‘Let the Love Begin’ may have been scheduled to air on the vacated timeslot of ‘Once Upon a Kiss’, but the series’ first few weeks may come too late to prove its worth against ‘Forevermore’. As seen in the teaser below, ABS-CBN made it clear that ‘Forevermore”s run would end very soon in favor of a new drama.

Still, the prospect of ‘Forevermore’ taking on a new Kapuso love team is hard to resist. They have already overcome the duo of Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali, and now it is up to Ruru and Gabbi to show their potential against LizQuen.

‘Let the Love Begin’ premieres this Monday after ‘Pari ‘Koy’ on GMA Telebabad. Good luck.

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