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No more Mr. Nice Guy

By

DAVID Archuleta

TV5 scored a casting coup when it got popular young American singer David Archuleta to star in the local teleserye, “Nandito Ako,” along with Jasmine Curtis and Eula Caballero. We had hoped that the relatively untested singer-actor would surprise viewers with a fresh, vital and felt portrayal, and affirm his evolving versatility as an all-around talent. Alas, that exciting epiphany hasn’t happened.

In recent telecasts of the new drama series, Archuleta has come across as well-meaning, sincere, eager to please, sometimes sort of cute, even frisky. But as an actor, he just can’t get his act together.

Actors are supposed to understand and embody the character they have been assigned to play, and to infuse the role with insights related to motivation, backstory, driving needs, emotional agenda and relationships with other characters, etc.

From Archuleta’s portrayal thus far however, we get very few such insights and “texture,” aside from his character being basically a nice Fil-Am guy who is trying to do a good job as an entertainer while reconnecting with his Filipino roots here, despite being stifled by his manager.

In fact, Jasmine’s character has a more dynamic and contentious backstory, relative to her “poor” origins and her urgent need to improve her and her loved ones’ financial status. It is also hinted that there may be more to her relationship with her wealthy best friend, played by Eula, than meets the eye.

All these intimations make for a more interesting character than the bland “nice guy” David has been assigned to play. It may be too late to hope that he develop more color and strength of character in the last few days (the series winds up this week). A pity, because he is the star of this show, not his leading ladies.

Main attraction

The series has done well by showcasing the young actor’s singing talent, but it was his emergence as a first-time thespian that was to be the main attraction. His mentors should have helped him more in this regard; now they may be faulted for turning a golden opportunity into dross.

As for Jasmine, her “feisty” role has given her the opportunity not to be so boringly nice as she was in an earlier TV outing of hers that we caught some months ago, and that is all to the good.  But her palaban projection should be balanced by a kind of bruised vulnerability that is not yet evident, in her performance. She has much more to do in this regard.

As for Eula, she is limited by her “rich girl” stereotype, so she should have added more color, texture, and unexpected “contradictions” to her portrayal to make it more dynamic and empathetic.

But the bulk of the work was in David’s purview. He had the toughest challenge here – to go from good singer to even better actor. Viewers may now be wondering what he did all that for. The talent fee he has reportedly received may be impressive, but he was supposed to prove that he was worth it. So, next time, no more Mr. Nice Guy, please?


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Tags: David Archuleta , Entertainment , Nestor U. Torre , Television , TV 5 , Viewfinder

  • archiefanct

    I thought David exceeded expectations for his first time acting.  Besides the things mentioned above, did you forget that he doesn’t speak or understand Tagalog?  I am sure that made it much more difficult for him, having to show reactions to what was being said when he didn’t understand it.  I give him a ton of credit for this, and the show has been very entertaining, in my opinion!

  • http://twitter.com/MielArchie Mieeeel

    I pity you, Mr. Nestor, for your gross view of everything specially of David. May God bless you. Next time, no more Mr. I-Watch-Nandito-Ako-And-David-Is-A-Bad-Actor Guy, please?

  • Violet W

    I’m really impressed with David for his first time acting. Sure there are rough spots but his acting improved a lot with each location. He was really amazing on the beach! And Josh is nowhere near as nice as David. Josh in the beginning is often careless, self-centered and cranky.  And I never thought I would even see David yell at people or throw a punch!!  And all the romance is beautiful! I am thankful to TV5 for giving David this opportunity.  And as David said in several interviews he did the series for his fans.  Are you aware that in a couple of weeks David is putting his career on hold and leaving on a 2-year mission for his church?  He has worked incredibly hard the last 10 weeks to leave new stuff for his fans – more than we could have ever hoped for – a 5-week miniseries, a great Bench photoshoot, a new Philippines CD Forevermore and an upcoming music video from that, and now he is back home continuing to record music for us to have while he is away. He should be packing and spending time with his family and friends and instead he is still doing stuff for us. There is nothing you can say that will ever tarnish our love for this guy.  if anyone wants to follow him on twitter he is DavidArchie – help us send him off with a lot of love, and we hope that during his mission either David or a family member will tweet updates.  #DA2014 I’ll Be Here

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6YZC7TV4HPHRKWB5ZRAJ335E44 yahoo-6YZC7TV4HPHRKWB5ZRAJ335E44

    I take offense in this article, seriously. One thing I like about Journalism is its vision to relay facts to whoever it reaches. I think is is safe to say that the author of this article obviously didn’t watch the series personally. 
    David Archuleta’s acting in the said mini-series is more than what can be expected from a newly-presented actor. 
     I’m not saying this as a biased fan but as a human who grew up watching television and seeing actors who can portray well and those who don’t. Based on a TV junkie’s perception, he absolutely did well on his show. About the part where it was suggested that he is somewhat overshadowed by his leading ladies in terms of acting skills given the fact that it is HIS show, you, sir, are wrong. David Archuleta is praised by tons of other showbiz writers and I guess they won’t be writing them if they don’t have basis for their opinion, unlike you. I doubt that you will receive much popularity for this article because it is clearly written from a narrow-minded point of view. May I suggest that you see (or watch, rather) for yourself the subject of your criticisms before you even write about it. Well, good day, sir.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4MFM23XONHHWP4KYRSVOKP74WE Rusty E

    This review is absolutely void of any objectivity.  How many episodes did you watch?  A couple?
    This is David”s first venture into acting.  And he did incrediblly well.  And why even mention the fee?  This has nothing to do with with anything, alright?  It was commendable of David to even do this when this is way out of his comfort zone.  If and when  David decides to do something, he gives over  a hundred per cent to give it justice.  Thank you.



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