Legally Blind Concludes This Friday

So long, ‘Legally Blind’.

The finale of this tension-filled GMA Afternoon Prime drama will air tomorrow afternoon, 83 episodes after the story of blind lawyer Grace (Janine Gutierrez) began. But while its episode total is more than enough by typical teleserye standards, ‘Legally Blind’ proved to be anything but a success.

When ‘Legally Blind’ first premiered, it had to face stiff competition against ABS-CBN’s ‘The Better Half’, an equally dramatic series starring Shaina Magdayao, Carlo Aquino, JC de Vera and Denise Laurel. While the former earned some victories against the latter, on average, ‘The Better Half’ scored 15%, 2-3% better than ‘Legally Blind’.

On April 24, 2017, ABS-CBN premiered another kabitserye in ‘Pusong Ligaw’, which stars Beauty Gonzalez, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymond Bagatsing. But instead of replacing ‘The Greatest Love’ in its vacated timeslot, the network decided to place ‘Pusong Ligaw’ opposite ‘Legally Blind’.

As it turned out, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ became even more dominant than ‘The Better Half’ was in its original timeslot. A new opponent spelled doom for ‘Legally Blind’, as ‘Pusong Ligaw”s 18% average ratings were 4-5% better than the former.

It also didn’t help that viewers who watch the surprisingly successful lead-in drama ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ failed to turn out in droves to support ‘Legally Blind’ on a majority of occasions. Such is the cruel fate for GMA’s teleseryes.

Still, for Janine Gutierrez, ‘Legally Blind’ turned out to be a much better outing for her than the short-lived series ‘Once Again’. Notwithstanding its shortcomings in the ratings, its 83-episode run was nothing to be ashamed of.

The finale of ‘Legally Blind’ should be a very gripping one. Now that Grace (Janine) has regained her sight, will justice finally prevail, or will she end up behind bars?

Viewers can only hope that this impending finale will make a lasting impression. This is ‘Legally Blind”s last chance to stand out, and they look to go out with a bang.

UPDATE: For some unknown reason, GMA extended ‘Legally Blind’ for another two weeks. Thus its finale will now be aired on Friday, June 30.

One Week In, A New Opponent for D’Originals

‘D’Originals’ faces a new challenge starting next week.

The recently-premiered GMA comedy-drama series got its baptism of fire when it aired opposite ABS-CBN’s ‘The Greatest Love’. Sadly, the debut week of ‘D’Originals’ coincided with the gripping final episodes of ‘The Greatest Love’, and as a result, the series did not have enough time to prove themselves against one of ABS-CBN’s top-raters.

As ‘D’Originals’ enters its second week, they find themselves with a different animal. In contrast to ‘The Greatest Love”s family and health-oriented storyline, this new Kapamilya series should be familiar to many critics and viewers alike.

Once again, ABS-CBN is producing a ‘kabitserye’ in the afternoon slot. Enter ‘Pusong Ligaw’.

The latest in a series of infidelity-laced dramas, ‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be led by Kapamilya stars Diego Loyzaga, Sofia Andres, Enzo Pineda, Beauty Gonzales, Bianca King, Joem Bascon and Raymund Bagatsing. The complicated story of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ is as follows:

  • Fashion designer Tessa (Beauty) and beauty queen Marga (Bianca) were best friends with big aspirations, until Marga betrays Tessa after sleeping with her boyfriend Caloy (Joem)
  • Tessa gives birth and raises her son Rafael until he is stolen by an unknown woman. She then meets Jaime (Raymund) whom he helped along with her struggles and they adopt a son named Rafa (Enz0)
  • Rafael was adopted by the Policarpio family and pursued his studies as Potpot (Diego). He met Vida (Sofia), Marga’s daughter who opted to pursue a career as a fashion designer like Tessa, by then known as Terry.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ will be under the production of Star Creatives. The series is directed by GB Sampedro, Elfren Vibar and Henry King Quitain.

If another afternoon ‘kabitserye’ in ‘The Better Half’ is not enough, now comes ‘Pusong Ligaw’ which should test the patience of viewers. While ABS-CBN has had plenty of success with these dramas, the impending premiere of ‘Pusong Ligaw’ may come to a point that they are taking this familiar storyline too far.

Then again, ‘D’Originals’ also borders within the ‘kabitserye’ genre so it’s still a matter of choosing between a serious drama and a more light-hearted one. In any case, good luck to the viewers with regards to their choices.

‘Pusong Ligaw’ airs weekdays after ‘The Better Half’ on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold.

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.

Long-Running Doble Kara Enters Final Week

After 382 episodes, ‘Doble Kara’ is finally bowing out.

The ABS-CBN afternoon drama series will officially conclude its stellar run as daytime’s top drama this coming Friday. And for fans of Julia Montes, ‘Doble Kara’ will forever be remembered as the series that catapulted her to the top of the afternoon circuit.

‘Doble Kara’ first came on the air on August 24, 2015. At first, the series was originally planned to replace ‘Flordeliza’, but at the last second, ABS-CBN hastily premiered ‘Doble Kara’ amid the dominance of another long-running drama, GMA’s ‘The Half-Sisters’.

One week later, ‘Doble Kara’ was placed opposite ‘The Half-Sisters’, and following a slow start, the former gradually displaced the latter as the Philippines’ top afternoon drama. Along the way, rivals such as ‘Wish I May’, ‘Hanggang Makita Kang Muli’, ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ and ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ came along, but none were able to topple ‘Doble Kara’.

It was during the run of ‘Doble Kara’ that ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold block eventually overtook GMA’s Afternoon Prime as the most-watched daytime drama block in the country. The overwhelming success of ‘Doble Kara’ was later felt on succeeding dramas such as ‘All of Me’, ‘Tubig at Langis’ and ‘The Greatest Love’ .

But perhaps the most important legacy of ‘Doble Kara’ is the growth of Julia Montes as an actress. Portraying twin characters Sara and Kara, Julia’s dual role proved to be the most challenging of her career, but through it all, she managed to pull it off effectively.

To sum it all up, Julia owed her success with ‘Doble Kara’ to the many viewers that have stuck with her for the past year. In a statement during the show’s final press conference, she said,

Every day, you warmly welcome me into your homes. I am beyond thankful for the memories and the people I met throughout this journey. Thank you because you made me feel that I am not alone, that I am part of one family.

Come this Friday, ‘Doble Kara’ will have its curtain call. And when it’s all said and done, this series should earn its well-deserved round of applause.

Next Up for The Greatest Love: Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa

GMA’s push for movie remakes on television continues.

After the not-so successful run of ‘Sinungaling Mong Puso’ last year, GMA is attempting to turn another classic movie into a hit teleserye. This time, the target is the 1987 film ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, directed by Ishmael Bernal and starred Maricel Soriano, Lorna Tolentino and Gabby Concepcion.

The TV remake of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, to be directed by Gina Alajar and Aya Topacio, will star Julie Anne San Jose, LJ Reyes, Martin del Rosario and Benjamin Alves. They will be joined by Ms. Jean Garcia, Ara Mina, Victor Neri, Allan Paule, Geleen Eugenio, Janna Dominguez and Lharby Policarpio.

In this version of ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, Santina (Julie Anne) is an orphaned girl who wound up working in a restaurant owned by Diony (Jean). Angeli (LJ) on the other hand is a homeless woman whom Diony later adopted.

Along the way, the lives of both Santina and Angeli took a more drastic turn as they try to gain the attention of Ephraim (Benjamin), Santina’s childhood friend. Both Ephraim and Angeli’s troubled past will also be revealed, both through Diony and Mariz (Ara).

Hype for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ has been heavy since its official announcement late last year. In fact, one of the series’ teasers featured a slapping scene involving Santina and Angeli in bathing suits, which set the tone for arguably another of the most seriously-toned series in Philippine television.

Still, despite all the frequent promotion, it remains to be seen if ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ will give ‘The Greatest Love’ a run for its money. The ABS-CBN series has been on a roll of late thanks to Sylvia Sanchez’s harrowing portrayal of an Alzheimer’s-stricken mother, and for ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’, they will be hard-pressed to match the former’s momentum.

That said, ‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa”s first week will be a crucial one. Anyone who have seen the original film will look at it and see if the TV remake is worth watching.

‘Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa’ premieres this Monday after ‘Hahamakin ang Lahat’ on GMA Afternoon Prime.

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.