Domingo: A mystery and an occasional contradictionBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Eugene Domingo is a mystery—and even an occasional contradiction: She’s had an eminently successful movie career, but as for her TV career—well, not so much.
What seems to be the problem? She’s good at picking mostly interesting roles in indie movies that give viewers fresh glimpses of her prismatic talent, but her TV outings have been more perplexing than pleasantly surprising.
We recall being confounded by the shrill rather than edgy “humor” of the obscure talents featured on her late-night program some seasons ago, and her new game and quiz show, “Celebrity Bluff,” similarly leaves a lot to be desired.
Is Eugene part of the problem, because she isn’t as good at TV program hosting as she is as a comedic actress? As host of “Celebrity Bluff,” she relies too much on loudness and extra energy to perk up her show, rather than on making sure that its quizzes and games are innately interesting and thought-provoking, so they don’t have to be “pushed” so much to impact on viewers’ pleasure zones.
Choice of celebrity guests and contestants also appears to be an inhibiting factor, with the preponderance being not really all that popular, and generally lacking in the idiosyncratic spunk and brio needed for perky participation in TV quiz shows.
Most of the program’s “celebrity” guests have been too sweet and obliging thus far, so the host has had to work extra hard for the program to not end up as a predictable bore.
Being a popular TV-film star, perhaps Eugene should require the other people involved in the show, both in front of and behind the TV cameras, to share more of the load that she now bears, instead of just banking on her stellar clout to keep viewers watching.
After all, if the program fails to really catch fire, it’s her reputation as a crowd-drawer that will be questioned, as it has sometimes been in the past.
Eugene can also do better as a TV host, if she doesn’t rely quite so much on scripted spiels and “mechanics” for playing that contestants have to abide by.
If she’s given more idiosyncratically expressive and articulate guests to interact with, her comedic flair could serve her in better stead than all those “generic” spiels she loudly and oh-so-enthusiastically mouths.
TV hosts with a flair for the comedic ad-lib, like Edu Manzano and Vic Sotto, could teach her a thing or two, and remind her that, when it comes to entertaining televiewers on a regular basis, occasional unpredictability, rather than scripted sameness, is everything.
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