Win some, lose some for new TV-film stars
Many TV-film producers cast well-known actors in their projects to assure viewership by way of recognizable “face value.” Others, however, choose to be more daring and cast deserving newcomers in important roles. They do so as their “investment” in the future of local show biz, because new and younger stars are constantly needed to appeal to local TV’s primarily youthful viewership demographic.
This year, several new talents have been given their breaks on TV and in the movies but only a few have clicked with viewers and thus boosted their fledgling careers.
In the movies, the new love team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre got good notices in “Diary ng Panget,” and they are doing even better in their follow-up costarrer, “Talk Back and You’re Dead.”
On the early evening teleserye “Pure Love,” the female leads Yen Santos and Alex Gonzaga, are faring in instructively contrasting ways: Yen is connecting with viewers with her believable, empathetic and no-frills portrayal, but Alex is an occasional turnoff due to her self-consciously gimmicky performance.
On “Hawak Kamay,” the new child talent being introduced is a cute and really tiny tot named Yesha Camile. When the series began telecasting, Yesha stood out with her naturally endearing portrayal.
Of late, however, she’s less effective because she’s being made to sound too wise and loquacious for her tender years.
We hope that this can be corrected in time so that Yesha can end her appearances in the drama series on a generally positive and credible note.
Incidentally, another juvenile member of the show’s regular cast made her debut appearance in the person of Lyca Gairanod, the “The Voice Kids” singing tilt’s champion.
Before “Hawak Kamay,” Lyca got her baptism of fire as an actor in an episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya.” She passed that test with flying colors so she’s now appearing regularly on “Hawak Kamay” as a poor street vendor of all trades, which is close to her real-life situation before her victory in the nationwide singing tilt drastically changed her life and greatly improved her family’s prospects.
To date, Lyca’s character hasn’t figured significantly in the ongoing series, but we hope that it will soon involve her in a significant subplot that will enable her to develop her fledgling thespic ability to a degree impressive enough to encourage producers to give her a launching film.
That’s an essential rite of passage that Lyca has to undergo if she’s to emerge as this generation’s biggest child discovery. Will that, in fact, come to pass? Uh, it’s an iffy prospect because the way she’s being built up on “Hawak Kamay” isn’t as savvy as it could be.
Yes, it’s good that she’s being given nightly exposure, but some of her scenes have been coming off badly, especially her singing scenes, which require her to scream for birit “shock value”—making her sometimes go stridently off-tune. Not the way to build up a new singing-acting superstar!
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