Money talks—no, shouts
We’ve watched Manny Pacquiao’s new game show, “Manny Many Prizes,” since its inception, but have held off writing about it, since we can’t seem to get a firm handle on it. Well, after four telecasts, we’ve decided that “what you see is what you get,” so the show should be taken on its own idiosyncratic terms—like it or leave it.
That’s because its host or game master, Manny Pacquiao, isn’t a professional TV personality, but a champion prizefighter who has a seemingly uncontrollable yen to dabble in show biz—as sitcom actor, sort of singer and dancer, and now as game-show host—even if performing really isn’t his best suit.
Manny’s other plus factors as a “performer” are his popularity and his huge earnings from championship fights, which have made him a billionaire. Cavil all you want about his lack of performing skills, but many people “forgive” him because he’s popular and he’s rich. Money talks!
And it shouts even louder on his new game show, which stuns and delights both studio and home viewers with its “Many Prizes,” as the show’s title succinctly puts it. Never mind hosting skills, the ability to ad-lib interestingly, and all those hosting prerequisites. The guy’s rich enough to do anything he wants, and get away with it.
There’s one thing about “Manny Many Prizes” that we heartily approve of: It gives hefty prizes, not just to one lucky contestant who stands a chance of winning really big, but to dozens of other entrants who end up going home with at least P5,000 for joining the show.
That may not be a huge bonanza, but the fact that many people are benefiting from Manny and the show’s largesse is a really good thing, because it gives all those people the money they sorely need to pay their debts, start a small business, go back to school, etc.
The show’s focus on a more “democratic” distribution of goodies is subliminally anchored on its intention to present Manny as “everyone’s ninong.” The “godfather” theme makes us wonder if there’s a long-range plan for the boxing champ to aim for higher political office in the next polls, (senator or even VP, perhaps?) Hmmm, just wondering…
If so, the show’s “caring and financially helpful ninong” thrust is just what the doctor and campaign manager ordered—don’t change a darn thing.
But on the “off” chance that Manny may want all that and to do better as a TV host as well, here are some notes on his on-cam performance that he could work on:
To generate artificial energy and excitement, he shouts way too much—as though the microphone had yet to be invented! This makes him sound too strident and harsh, which contradicts the show’s goal of making him come across as caring and concerned about people’s problems.
In addition, Manny relies too much on scripted spiels, and that makes him look and sound like somebody’s puppet or robot, not his own person. Again, not a good thing for a future leader of the nation to project.
He needs to learn how to ad-lib interestingly—not just the usual slick platitudes, but the expression of feelings that genuinely come from the heart. It’s one thing for him to “talk with his wallet” and say that he loves the masa, and quite another for him to expressthat feeling in his own words,
If he learns to ad-lib well, Manny can also fill in the many embarrassing gaps of “dead air” that occur on his show, because he doesn’t know what to say—and his cohosts don’t seem to have the knack for “filling in the blanks,” either.
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