‘Ryzza’ show struggles to find its reason for being—and being seen

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10:09 PM April 26th, 2013

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By: Nestor U. Torre, April 26th, 2013 10:09 PM

DIZON. Lacks natural ability to ad-lib wittily.

GMA 7’s new program, “The Ryzza Mae Dizon Show,” is such a novel production that we did our best to watch it daily on its first week of telecasts, to give its unusual format and concept a chance, and see where the show’s staffers would take it.

Looking back on that entire first week, the program did best of all on its opening day, with little Ryzza’s long interaction with Susan Roces, who provided the focus and flow that the pint-sized host couldn’t, due to her exceedingly tender and clueless age.

Despite Susan’s vigorous and spirited efforts, however, the premiere telecast sometimes still came off as too unfocused and heavy, with Ryzza dutifully following instructions but unable to make the show truly her own.

Miscalculation

The second telecast still featured Susan, but it turned out to be an even heavier viewing proposition, because the show’s pint-sized host still couldn’t get a strong enough handle on “her” show. —Not her fault, of course, more a miscalculation on the part of the people who thought up the novel concept.

The idea of having a kid host a talk-variety show with adult guests may initially sound like an excitingly unusual concept—but, if the child star isn’t sufficiently precocious, articulate and witty, it can’t live up to its “promise.”

The show’s Wednesday telecast featured actor, director and acting teacher Gina Alajar, who made the mistake of trying to give 7-year-old Ryzza a few acting lessons, without bothering to simplify some thespic concepts, so the kid could adequately understand them.

Imagine giving a little child lessons on “sense memory”? The session was a dud, and ended with Ryzza going the predictable iyak-tawa route.

The fourth telecast featured Maricel Soriano, a veteran star not exactly famous for her way with kids. She did keep the show bright and brisk with her sassy ad-libs, but ended up (unintentionally) upstaging the less spontaneously quotable little host.

The final telecast on the program’s first week was the biggest misstep of all, with Ryzza being tasked to interview MMDA chair Francis Tolentino!

The idea for the feature may have been well-intended (to get kids and their parents to understand how the MMDA works, and to follow its rules), but the chair couldn’t sufficiently simplify the commission’s work to make it comprehensible and interesting to young viewers, so the “experiment” was a failure.

Plus points

All told, the first week of Ryzza’s 11:30 a.m. weekday show did have some occasional plus points, but on the whole, its admittedly fresh concept of a sassy kid entertainingly interacting with her adult guests didn’t pan out.

Yes, Ryzza can be expected to “improve” as she keeps doing her show, but only up to a point, because she doesn’t have the natural ability to ad-lib wittily.

That rare ability was what made viewers dote on child superstars, Niño Muhlach and Aiza Seguerra, when they were tiny tots, but Ryzza doesn’t measure up to the high standard they set. Yes, she can be “packaged” and helped with all sorts of TV tricks and shticks—but, again, only up to a point.

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