New reality programs– win some, lose someBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last Jan. 29, we made it a point to catch two new shows on TV5, because their formats were rather unique, and even idiosyncratic. First, at 10 a.m., we watched “Alabang Housewives.” Initially, we thought it was a local version of the “Real Housewives of…” reality shows that have become so popular in the States.
However, we soon realized that the new show was no such thing, because its two “stars” weren’t wealthy and sexy lookers, but brassy and sassy comedienne types.
So, it turns out that “Alabang Housewives” is a reality-comedy show, with its on-cam amigas engaging in “fun” activities, chattering and pattering all the while.
Last week, they went to Cebu City to sample some “death-defying” rides, alternately weeping and laughing in full ditzy display. Their antics are supposed to be idiosyncratic, loopy and funny, but their actual effect is—well, not so much.
Fact is, the allegedly humorous housewives are long on effort and volume, but short on actual wit and genuine sense of adventure and fun. A little of this goes a long way, so we don’t know when we’ll get around to watching the show again—!
Another new TV program, “Jeepney Jackpot,” subtitled “Pera or Para,” appears to be local TV’s take on the Singaporean TV game show that’s set in a taxi. This local derivation plays its games and conducts its quiz inside an expanded version of a jeepney.
The day we watched the program, its featured player was a middle-aged mother who needed to do well in the “rolling” game and quiz show, because she was strapped for cash and wanted to start a small business and pay for her offspring’s education. Thus, she was motivated to do her best to win the day’s top prize of P50,000.
She turned out to be a winner in more ways than one, because she quickly got viewers rooting for her. She was a good player who used both her common sense and dynamic energy to speedily go from one level to the next, until victory was clearly at hand.
Toward the end of the show, the production’s jeepney stopped, its passengers got off, and a big test of skill and speed was conducted on terra firma, giving the show wider scope and a bigger audience of onlookers.
All told, “Jeepney Jackpot” turned out to be fairly viewable, with its main asset, its obviously needy player, quickly getting viewers on her side, rooting for her to win as much money as possible, so she and her family could start life anew by investing in a small business that they could grow through the years.
Thus, to keep getting viewers interested and involved, the new program should make sure that its next players are similarly well-motivated to win, and empathetic to viewers. More than its shouting and “funny” hosts, this is the new show’s major reason for being, and being seen.
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