Cesar Montano is a big TV-film star, so we wonder why his latest comedy series, “Andres de Saya,” isn’t giving him a good showcase for his proven skills. Can anything be done to improve the show?
After long reflection, we see that part of the “problem” is the fact that “Andres” started out as a hit comedy film starring Vic Vargas and Gloria Diaz. We remember seeing the movie, and recall that Vic brought to it just the right mix of macho braggadocio and “under the saya” meekness.
We don’t expect Cesar to copy Vic’s portrayal, but he has yet to make the role his own. He has the “under” part down pat, but in general, he’s too consistently acquiescent and subservient to the ever-nagging and dominant Iza and the situation rarely varies, so a sense of surprise or the unexpected happening doesn’t sufficiently materialize.
In future, therefore, it would be better for the show if Cesar’s character weren’t such a wimp quite so consistently.
As for Iza, her characterization is too unrelievedly strict and peevish. The way she treats Cesar is often too harsh for us to believe that he loves her so much that he will put up with anything she dishes out.
After some weeks, we watched “Andres de Saya” again to see if the show had improved. We were gratified to see that the episode shown last Sunday, Aug. 7 wasn’t as predictable as some previous telecasts, and that Iza wasn’t as consistently sour and termagant as she used to be.
That’s all to the good, but the show needs to improve more to become a really delightful viewing treat. There should be more genuinely risible situations and dialogue, and the two lead players themselves should be involved in portraying or delivering them. The show relies too much on its supporting cast of comedians to do this, and that noticeably diminishes the stars’ dynamic participation in the sitcom.
Cesar knows how to come up with a light-hearted performance, but Iza needs to do better as a comedienne. Her “attack” is often too predictably heavy to be droll. Her good looks are an asset, but in a comedy show, they can’t be her only suit.
Compare, for instance, how Iza does comedy to the late Nida Blanca’s combination of good looks and comedic smarts, and you’ll see how huge the gap is between the two stars’ sitcom portrayals.
Can Iza be taught how to do better as a “beautiful comedienne”? Yes, but the transformation can’t happen overnight, and not without a lot of determination, creativity and really hard work.
Finally, another emerging problem with the show is the overly “cutesy-wootsy” performance of little Jillian Ward. She’s now too “smart” and “knowing” to be truly disarming—so, her handlers need to make her portrayal more natural and childlike before viewers get tired of her pushy antics.