Mixed bag of hits and missesBy Nestor U. Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Recent performances on TV have been a decidedly mixed bag of hits and misses—and therein lie more than a baker’s dozen of potentially instructive observations. First, the good stuff:
Bong Revilla may be a stolid stellar presence on his “ethnic action” series, “Indio,” but the show boasts of the spot-on portrayal of Jackielou Blanco. She doesn’t even have a lead role in the series, but in a recent episode, she went for broke in a ferociously emotional scene—and left Revilla high and dry.
Similarly, in the recent “MMK’” drama on the Cayetano political family, Gerald Anderson and other young actors were thoroughly swamped by senior star Tommy Abuel’s powerful portrayal of the clan’s ailing paterfamilias. They just couldn’t hold a candle up to his focused performance, and viewers were the poorer for it.
On “Apoy sa Dagat,” the relative revelation is Nikki Gil. She’s done poorly in past TV outings, but her “oppressed prostitute” role here is so emotionally fierce that it’s brought out the best in her. On point of contrast, Empress’ depiction of the series’ resident villainess was too shrill and hokey for words.
On “Be Careful with My Heart,” Jodi Sta. Maria’s character continues to bloom, but Richard Yap’s portrayal of her employer has withered on the vine, because he’s still as blandly nice as nice can be.
We were among the first to positively cite Yap’s debut performance on “My Binondo Girl,” but he simply hasn’t grown as an actor. He’s become more popular, but his thespic development has atrophied. —Somebody call the performance doctor, quick!
On “Juan dela Cruz,” Zsa Zsa Padilla, who’s one of our best actresses, is wasted in her aswang role that doesn’t’ require her to do much more than look glamorously ghoulish. This is such poor use of exceptional talent. As for lead player Coco Martin, his “heroic and dramatic” vocal placement is so patently artificial that it’s become his aural counterpart for mugging.
On “Ina, Kapatid, Anak,” Kim Chiu’s thin voice is an irritating distraction. Patrick Garcia has finally solved his vocal problem (on “Apoy sa Dagat”)—why can’t she?
What about Kim’s co-star, Maja Salvador? Her problem is the stilted and stunted way that her character is written—and not all the elaborate weeping and wailing in the world can make up for it!
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