Competing ‘fishy’ tales compared | Inquirer Entertainment

Competing ‘fishy’ tales compared

/ 12:28 AM April 05, 2014

CURTIS. Mines a “private joke” for all of the “knowing” humor it can offer

When we first heard that both GMA 7 and ABS-CBN were planning to launch a new teleserye about mermaids, we wondered what the hey was going on. Was this a case of great minds running in the same channels—or one network second-guessing the other so astutely that it could quickly act to neutralize the competition’s imminent advantage?

Or, was there something about the Filipino’s perceived psyche that made it a pushover for a double dose of the same plot and thematic material—which incidentally has been done many times in the distant and recent past?


Well, we can huff and puff all we want, but both mermaid fantaseryes did start telecasting late last month, so let’s bite the bullet and compare them on point of initial appeal:


GMA’s “Kambal Sirena” has had the advantage of introducing its female lead, Louise de los Reyes, early in its storytelling, while ABS-CBN’s “Dyesebel” focused on its title character’s childhood years, delaying lead star Anne Curtis’ first appearance to last Tuesday’s telecast.

On the other hand, “Kambal” is hobbled this early by the efforted portrayal by Aljur Abrenica of his ostensibly “fun-loving” and jovial character. He can’t pull it off naturally, so he should find other, less awkward ways to make a “fun” impression.

Our third note is on both series’ inept way of depicting their child characters, who are generally long on verbosity and short on childlike believability. If the juvenile characters didn’t yak, chatter and pontificate away so much, we would all be much better off.

DELOS REYES. Has had the advantage of being introduced early in her series’ storytelling

Fourth, some of the two shows’ “Underwater Kingdom” scenes are appropriately grand and imaginative, but why haven’t their respective costume design teams successfully licked the basic problem of crafting mermaid fishtails that don’t bend at the knee?

In addition, some mermaid characters are made to “swim” or navigate their way through the deep in an awkward, “urong-sulong” manner, not at all as smoothly as the other sea creatures around them, and this makes them look weird, rather than to their water kingdom born.

On the plus side, the new series should be lauded for their cautionary environmental reminders, especially about how both humans and mermen can work together to protect the water world that gifts them with life and sustenance.


Back to “Dyesebel”: After Anne Curtis, Sam Milby, Gerald Anderson and Andi Eigenmann finally took over as stellar leads recently, the show’s interest and appeal values markedly increased.

Anne turned out to be good casting choice for the title role, which has been tweaked to suit her signature sassy and peppy performing persona.

In fact, this version of Dyesebel is given the actress’ “famous” lack of singing ability—and it’s even made part of the show’s plotting!

Last Wednesday, for instance, Dyesebel foiled an enemy force’s attack on a group of hapless “merchildren” by singing really loudly and off-key, thus forcing them to retreat!

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—Talk about mining a “private joke” for all of the “knowing” humor it can offer, this is it!

TAGS: Ann Curtis, Dyesebel, Kambal Sirena, Louise delos Reyes, Mermaid, Television

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