action, drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

The Final Week of Alyas Robin Hood

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ is coming to a close.

Friday, February 24, will be the show’s final episode, and for those who stuck with ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ throughout its run, they will have plenty of stories to tell for this hooded hero. However, it was not all smooth sailing for this GMA action-drama series.

Just weeks before its premiere, many doubted ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, particularly its similarities to another Robin Hood-inspired character ‘Arrow’. Though creative head Suzette Doctolero tried her best to differentiate the two, it was clear from the beginning that the criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ would linger on during its run.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ premiered on September 19, and was pitted against another newcomer in ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’. Though the latter’s subpar ratings did alarm ABS-CBN for a while, the former failed to take advantage, at best closing to within 1% of ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’.

The series also failed to get past ‘A Love to Last’ (during its brief two-week run at the second slot) and ‘My Dear Heart’ despite getting decent ratings of 20% or better. Overall, even with a total of 115 episodes and strong hype over the controversy, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ still fell short of expectations.

The fact is, the superhero genre that GMA advocated in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ no longer works in today’s primetime scene. Many prefer the more realistic and inspiring plots that ABS-CBN produces in series such as ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘My Dear Heart’ rather than the fantasy leanings of ‘Encantadia’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

It also puts into question GMA’s casting choices. Let’s face it, Dingdong Dantes is in a starring role for way too long and should’ve given way to younger talent, but as it turns out, GMA wanted him because there is no other capable actor who can portray the lead role in ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

And while Megan Young and Andrea Torres are worthy supporting actors in this series due to their youth, giving them a younger male lead would’ve helped ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. In the end, GMA made a grave mistake by putting over an actor with over a decade of service as a leading man, thus continuing a path of overusing veterans.

Come this Friday, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be in a fight of his life. But whether or not it will make a lasting impression at the end remains to be seen.

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FTT Year 2016 in Review: The 20 Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part IV)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2017, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at the 20 moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I, Part II and Part III of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part IV of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

The Death of German Moreno

On January 8, the whole Filipino entertainment industry was stunned with the passing of German Moreno. The veteran host, actor and entertainer was best known for his distinguished work with up-and-coming stars on ‘That’s Entertainment’, as well as a near two-decade run hosting the Saturday late night show ‘Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman’.

The death of Kuya Germs also ended an era for late-night variety shows on Philippine television, as ‘Walang Tulugan’ signed off for good on February 13. Despite that, the legacy of Kuya Germs lives on with the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, which inducted new members late this year.

Other notable showbiz personalities who died this year include directors Wenn Deramas and Francis Pasion, actors Lilia Cuntapay, Joy Viado and Dick Israel, and singer Blakdyak.

Encantadia Returns

On July 18, GMA brought back the popular fantaserye ‘Encantadia’, featuring a rehashed storyline of the original 2005 series. The new iteration stars Glaiza de Castro, Gabbi Garcia, Sanya Lopez and Kylie Padilla, who play the roles of Pirena, Alena, Danaya and Amihan respectively.

Unfortunately, despite the hefty expenses that GMA spent for this version of ‘Encantadia’, the series failed to make an impact. In the national Kantar ratings, ‘Encantadia’ regularly fell by double digits to ‘Ang Probinsyano’, and the high expectations that came with it dissipated.

‘Encantadia’ is not the only primetime problem that GMA faced this year, however, as this next entry shows.

The Alyas Robin Hood-Arrow Controversy

When posters and teasers for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ were first released, many felt the series was a ripoff of ‘Arrow’, with lead star Stephen Amell even going as far as sharing the clip with a ‘flushed-face’ emoji. However, creative consultant Suzette Doctolero made it clear that ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ and ‘Arrow’ were both based on the Robin Hood folklore.

Despite the controversial issues, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was given the go-signal by GMA to air starting September 19. While the series came out flying in its first few weeks, rival series ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ soon pulled away, with some disgruntled viewers choosing to watch either the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ on TV5, or the English dub on Jack TV.

‘Alyas Robin Hood’ did have a highly publicized scene with the bikini showdown involving Sarri (Megan Young) and Venus (Andrea Torres), which should soften the blow of its controversial start.

The 25th Anniversary of Maalaala Mo Kaya

The first episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ was aired on May 15, 1991. Twenty-five years later, the program continues to touch the lives of others thanks to a letter read by Charo Santos-Concio, and scenes that can make people shed tears with each episode.

This year, as part of its silver anniversary celebration, ABS-CBN launched a commemorative website for ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’, a nationwide and worldwide tour, and an initiative for people to send in their life stories via a letter or a short-form video. As for the show’s ratings this year, it continues to thwart the challenges of its long-running rival, GMA’s ‘Magpakailanman’.

One can only hope that ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ will continue to air beyond this year, as its legacy and enduring success stands the test of time.

Ang Probinsyano and Doble Kara Celebrate Their First Anniversary

But perhaps the biggest headline of 2016 belongs to both Coco Martin and Julia Montes. Their respective shows, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’, reached the one-year milestone within a month of each other.

Both ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ continue to lead the way in their respective timeslots. The former is currently the most-watched primetime show in the country, while the latter is the most-watched post-noontime show.

How much longer will they stay on the air remains to be seen, but as they proceed into 2017, expect ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Doble Kara’ to remain a dominant force in the primetime and afternoon slots respectively.

Honorable Mentions

  1. ‘The World Tonight’ celebrates its 50th year.
  2. Power Duo wins ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 5.
  3. Joshua Oliveros wins ‘The Voice Kids’ season 3.
  4. ‘Naku Boss Ko’ mini-series and PiliPinas Debates leading up to the 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections.
  5. ANC and DZMM’s respective 20th and 30th anniversaries.

It was indeed an eventful 2016 in the world of Philippine media. Expect bigger things to come this 2017 as From the Tube continues to document the latest events in television and radio in the Philippines.

Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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TV5’s Arrow Promo Jabs at Alyas Robin Hood

The controversy surrounding GMA’s ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ spills into TV5.

Recently, TV5 poked fun on the comparisons between ‘Arrow’ and its perceived copycat ‘Alyas Robin Hood’. With season 3 of the Tagalized ‘Arrow’ set to air next Monday on the said network, they decided to have a good time by posting the following questions on their Facebook page.

The third card on the post above needs no explanation. Still, the desperate need of attention is clear, as TV5 tries to make sense of themselves amid their programming woes.

Going back to the controversy surrounding ‘Arrow’ and ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, it seems like many have moved on from this issue. In fact, since its debut, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ has been faring well in the national ratings, giving the suddenly slumping ABS-CBN drama ‘Magpahanggang Wakas’ a run for its money.

That said, TV5’s decision to poke fun on the ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ issue came too little too late. For the Kapatid faithful who still had TV5’s back despite their quality in question, this is very disappointing.

As mentioned earlier, ‘Arrow’ season 3 will be aired on TV5 starting next Monday at 7:00 p.m. For those who want to watch the original English dub, there is the current fifth season of ‘Arrow’, which airs every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. on Jack TV, and 8:00 p.m. on 2nd Avenue.

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Alyas Robin Hood a PR Disaster or Blessing in Disguise for GMA

An upcoming GMA fantaserye is in the headlines for both the right and wrong reasons.

When a trailer for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ was released earlier this week, it quickly became a trending topic on social media and on various international news outlets. But instead of praises from netizens, a lot of criticisms were thrown into the mix, most of which were claims of being a ripoff of the American action series ‘Arrow’.

In fact, ‘Arrow’ lead actor Stephen Amell even shared the said teaser, which featured a ‘shocked’ emoji. Poor Dingdong Dantes.

Amid the criticisms surrounding ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, the show’s consultant Suzette Doctolero has this to say regarding its comparisons to ‘Arrow’.

LionhearTV then clarified that the poster was fan-made and not an official photo of GMA Network. In fact, some of the images used on the fan art were past photos of GMA artists and not publicity photos for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.

Doctolero further explained that Robin Hood is an inspiration to many similar literary works, adding that every super hero in general was derived from master plots. She then pointed out that no one holds a copyright to Robin Hood (see post below).

Finally, GMA Entertainment vice president for drama Redgie Magno issued her own statement on the matter.

“Ang Alyas Robin Hood ay malayo sa plot ng Arrow. Ito ay kuwento ng isang lower-middle class lawyer na mapagbibintangan ng isang krimeng hindi niya ginawa. Sa kanyang paghahanap sa katotohanan, may mga matutulungan din siyang nangangailangan.”

“Robin Hood has had different reincarnations or versions in different countries. In Russia, there’s the short novel on Alexander Pushkin whose Robin Hood character went by the name Black Eagle. In Brazil, there’s the real life Limpaio, a true-life Robin Hood whose life is now a biography. In Japan, a Kabuki adaptation of Robin Hood was successfully mounted with the character of Nezumikozo as the name of the legendary hero. This is to name only a few. What we are now seeing here is a modern version of Robin Hood, an adaptation of a universal figure made inspirational and relevant to the Filipino audience.”

The teaser for ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ only ran for 15 seconds. In essence, the teaser was a mere hint of what is to come.

Let’s face it, it is unfair to compare ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ to ‘Arrow’ considering that the storyline of the series is yet to be revealed. Thus, the negative reaction to the former is not justified.

However, it is clear that Philippine television has a lot of flaws. The teleseryes, in particular, continue to use recycled storylines, and most intelligent viewers would be better off watching weekly American series instead.

It remains to be seen if ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ will be an epic disaster or an unexpected winner. Right now, though, viewers will have to wait for its premiere and see for themselves.

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