‘Tit for tat’ plotting weighs down new drama series

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08:08 PM July 12th, 2013

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By: Nestor U. Torre, July 12th, 2013 08:08 PM

ROCES. Her pivotal portrayal charges “Muling Buksan” with uncommon dynamism.

The first telecast of “Muling Buksan Ang Puso” last Monday intimated the innate strengths and weaknesses of local TV’s newest teleserye: Definitely a plus was Susan Roces’ unusually strong-willed portrayal, a welcome departure from her signature “sweet” characterization of yore.

In fact, Susan was so dynamic that she reminded us of the real Susan Roces in full force and unction on TV some years ago, accusing her late husband’s political foe of cheating him at the polls—“Not once, but twice!”

In any case, Susan’s pivotal portrayal in “Muling Buksan” charges the series with uncommon dynamism, so we hope that she will continue on this vital tack in succeeding telecasts.

At the moment, the series’ back story is focusing on its older lead characters and the not-so-original theme of rivalry. To compensate for the back story’s lack of uniqueness, the mature stars involved are coming up with unusually charged and urgent portrayals.

Characters

Unfortunately, all that urgent and in-your-face emotionalizing is underscoring the fact that the “younger” actresses involved are in fact too old for the “recollected” characters they’re playing, and the effect of all those unwanted wrinkles is distracting, to say the least.

Succeeding telecasts of the new series detail the back story of why Susan’s character hates Pilar Pilapil so much: They “shared” Susan’s love (Dante Rivero), but it was Pilar who bore him a child, who grew up to be Cherie Gil’s character. For her part, Susan adopted another girl (played in “mature adulthood” by Agot Isidro).

Implausibly, the poor Cherie and the wealthy Agot became bosom friends—but also ended up sharing another man, played by Jestoni Alarcon, who got Agot’s character pregnant before he was unmasked as a serial thief.

Structure

To add to the “tit for tat” structure of the plotting, Cherie also got herself in the family way on the rebound, after she discovered that Jestoni had chosen to love Agot over her. She didn’t care for the man who did the impregnating “honors” (played by Daniel Fernando)—but the fact that both Cherie and Agot had become pregnant at the same time made possible the series’ most confounding sequence to date: The “joint delivery” of their two babies on the same bed—by the same midwife, at that (sure hope they paid her extra)!

This then made possible yet another traditional local drama twist favored by our scriptwriters—the switching of the two babies, with Cherie’s sickly male child going to the clueless Agot (because she was rich and could pay for his huge medical expenses), and Agot’s female offspring growing up poor with Cherie!

In local teleseryes, the plots don’t just thicken, they complexly, confusingly, confoundingly—coagulate.

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