Pope Francis would approve | Inquirer Entertainment

Pope Francis would approve

/ 06:23 AM March 28, 2015

DANTES. Realistic approach dilutes his character’s essential spiritual aspect.

DANTES. Realistic approach dilutes his character’s essential spiritual aspect.

Two weeks into its storytelling, GMA 7’s new drama series, “Pari ‘Koy,” is maintaining its focus on religious issues and conflicts that other, more escapist shows pass up, because they’re deemed to be “too serious” to interest and involve laid-back viewers.

If the new series manages to hold its own in the TV ratings race, it will prove an important point that shouldn’t be lost on other TV producers—that serious or “significant” shows can elicit supportive and even strong viewership!


Fact is, this point has been made a number of times in the past, by “relevant” and/or inspirational drama series like “May Bukas Pa.” But, TV people and viewers have very short memories, so this new reminder provided by “Pari ‘Koy” comes—not a moment too soon!


As the new show heats up, its residents “holy and hunky” parish priest, portrayed by Dingdong Dantes, has been on the receiving end of vigorous opposition from many “righteous” sources:

The barangay chair wants to teach young punks and bullies a painful lesson, but the priest preaches love, not war. Superstitious folks ask him to “bless” the goods they’re selling to boost their sales through “divine” intervention, and are miffed when he doesn’t want to make everybody “lucky” and prosperous.

Most serious of all is the opposition of parish council leaders to the priest’s decision to baptize an illegitimate child, which they say is not allowed under traditional Church rules. But, this is the loving, forgiving and all-inclusive age of Pope Francis, so the parish priest believes that everyone is entitled to the Christian rite that affirms that he is the child of a loving God.


To date, this is the biggest and most threatening conflict that the parish priest has gotten himself involved in, so it’ll be significantly instructive to see how it will be resolved in the coming days.

In this instance, conflict is a good thing, because it should trigger a clarifying discussion on changing and modernizing Church attitudes that we can all benefit from!


On the down side, the series has launched too many supporting characters with their own back stories, subplots and problems, so the show is sometimes an unfocused mix—and mess.

Instead of swamping its resident padre with all of these teapot tempests in a feisty flurry, the show should opt for a more sequential focus on one major problem at a time, the way “May Bukas Pa” did.

On point of performance, Dantes does his level best to come up with a balanced portrait of a man of God who seeks to do His will in a realistically perceived world of flawed men. Oftentimes, however, the realistic approach dilutes his character’s essential spiritual aspect—so, a better blend has to be effected.

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What about the series’ other regular cast members? Alas, there are too many of them fighting for viewers’ attention, so nobody stands out—so far. It’s all about focus, folks, so 15 or 20 supporting actors and competitors for viewers’ attention—are definitely a crowd!

TAGS: Dingdong Dantes, Pari Koy, Pope Francis, Storytelling, Television

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