Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Frustrating complications upstage the romance in extended drama series

/ 12:01 AM September 04, 2017

Stars take years to build up their stellar clout and “cred,” so they should be careful about sustaining the value of their hard-earned advantage. Sometimes, the talent is still there, but what erodes an established star’s worth and reputation is the questionable way he or she is being showcased in a new project.

For instance, Ian Veneracion has been justifiably praised for his ability to come out of semiretirement and shine up his stellar career again as a mature but still “swoon-worthy” TV-film leading man. His successful comeback by way of the popular rom-com series, “A Love to Last,” has led to other productions and product endorsements that are the envy of other senior stars.


However, the unproductive way that his character in “A Love to Last” is being developed has noticeably dimmed his luster as a performer, so he should do something decisive about it, before it gets worse.

What seems to be the problem? In its extended storytelling, the series has brought back the character of Ian’s ex-wife, played by Iza Calzado, who’s souring up his otherwise loving relationship with his new spouse, Bea Alonzo.

Now, we can’t “blame” Iza for still carrying a torch for Ian
—but he has ended up as a passive character, because he has allowed her to get away with so much, just because she should be “respected” as the mother of his children.

At this low and unfocused point in the show’s extended storytelling, viewers feel frustrated, because they want to savor the Bea-Ian marriage, instead of having to cope with Iza’s unwelcome intrusion. —So, they’ve been impatiently waiting for Ian to put his foot down, “defend” his love for Bea and read his ex-wife the riot act!

Thus far, Ian has “controlled” himself and treated Iza civilly, but this has gone on for too long, and he needs to assert himself as man and husband—to Bea.

This appears to be a problem with other local romantic dramas as well—it’s the female protagonists and antagonists who are asserting and expressive, while the guy they’re fighting over clamps down on his own emotions.

Why does this have to be the case? Guys should be as articulate and proactive as the women, or else they could be misconstrued as wishy-washy wimps.

The current progression of “A Love to Last” is also a downer for Iza’s character, who’s now too kontra to please or appease viewers.

Can’t she be sent off to Antarctica for a spell, so we can again enjoy the Bea-Ian aspect of the storytelling?


Yes, “complications” keep viewers interested, but this is a case of the complications upstaging the romance especially because a new union is involved.

Can Bea’s character also be made to get in the family way, so we can savor that new aspect to their relationship? That should be at least as involving as Wife No. 1 making life hell for Wife No. 2 while Husband simmers and seethes in the background, right?

Saddest of all, even the gifted Bea Alonzo has not been able to cope with and redeem the frustrating contortions that “A Love to Last” has (hopefully temporarily) gotten itself into. So, not just Ian, but also Iza and Bea need to extricate their characters from their current funk and slump, or else the “love”—won’t last.

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