‘Titser’ commands attentionBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
At the outset, we should admit that, in general, Lovi Poe’s characterizations to date haven’t impressed us enough to stop the presses and sing her praises. Especially when she plays it sophisticated and sexy, we’re left unmoved by her so-called genetic inheritance in performing, and wish that she stops contenting herself with appearances, and goes for the right stuff.
—Well, we’re belatedly getting what we want in Lovi’s latest TV portrayal in “Titser,” telecast Sundays on the GMA News Channel, as a high-school girl who aspires to be a teacher despite her family’s lack of resources and encouragement.
The young actress doesn’t have to play it sophisticated and sensuous, so she does much better than in most of her previous characterizations. —It’s about time!
The new series is a fitting follow up to the channel’s critical hit last year, a drama series on corruption in which Rocco Nacino finally came into his own as an actor. This time around, it’s Lovi who’s proving that she doesn’t have to flit and flirt to keep viewers interested.
Aside from Lovi’s natural and felt portrayal, “Titser” also benefits from Agot Isidro’s participation as the caring mentor who inspires her top student to want to become a good teacher like her.
Some of Lovi’s friends and classmates also come across as believable characters, and the teen actor who portrays the title character’s younger brother makes a particularly good impression, because he effectively vivifies the sad plight of younger siblings who have to stop studying because their parents can afford to send only one child to school.
In the case of Lovi’s character, her education is slated to end right after she graduates from high school, because her folks need her to make money right away by going to the big city to work as a maid, like her older sister.
This cruel abridgement of her dream to go to college hurts her to the depth of her being, so she strives hard to get a college scholarship. Naturally, that’s what her favorite mentor wants for her, as well. But, they have to contend with the numerous “realities” that conspire to foil impoverished youth’s advancement—and the empathetic viewer roots for them all the way.
On the debit side, “Titser” takes too much time establishing its dramatic premises. Once it gets the introductory stuff out of the way, however, it commands attention as it dramatizes different realities related to the country’s educational woes.
Teachers are shown making pin money off their helpless pupils, students cheat on government placement exams, parents resist teachers’ efforts to keep their best students in school, and some young pupils are even shown risking getting drowned just so they can attend their classes!
It’s a saddening and maddening state of affairs all round, so the viewer is kept on full empathy mode from one telecast to the next.
Even more horrors are about to assault Lovi and her classmates in subsequent telecasts, including (the series’ trailer warns) a principal without principles!
So, fret and suffer along with the show’s young protagonists, who have to resort to heroic means to get the education that so many other, better-off youths lazily take for granted.
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