What a difference a year makes
Just last year, Wally Bayola was hit by a sex video scandal that put his TV career in deep freeze. After going on enforced leave from “Eat Bulaga” to cool things down, the “disgraced” comic quietly reappeared on the noontime show’s barangay jaunts, but he was kept uncharacteristically silent—the show’s way of testing the waters, to see if the viewing public might forgive him and allow him a chance to clean up his act.
If enough viewers bristled, that would have prompted the production to make his “vacation” a more permanent one. But, in the succeeding weeks, Wally’s participation increased slowly but surely—and the time came when he was “allowed” to speak up on the show, just a few safe comments at first.
Viewers similarly “took” that, so the time eventually came when his tandem with Jose Manalo was fully restored in the program.
—A good thing, too, because some weeks ago, the show started its daily “kalyeserye” about the verboten romance between Alden Richards and Yaya Dub—and it needed a comedic villainess to make their love story an absolute impossibility!
The production could have cast a big guest star to do the “horrible” honors, but it chose to entrust the key assignment to the once shamed and shunned Wally—and everyone involved hasn’t looked back since! Truly, what a difference a year makes.
Wally’s upbeat denouement is a heartening example of the TV trade and its viewers’ ability to eventually forgive and forget—a virtue that other stars like Maricar Reyes and Paolo Bediones have also benefited from. Everyone makes mistakes, after all—and “to err is human, to forgive divine” isn’t just a pious cliche but an actual boon to people who have made big mistakes in life (and who hasn’t?).
The situation is made even more difficult for stars and starlets, because show biz popularity robs celebrities of their right to privacy (what privacy can there be to life in show biz’s gold fish bowl?). All the more reason, then, to give starlets and stars greater leeway, because they have fewer options to hide and keep secrets.
The first Starflix production, “Must Date the Playboy,” will be made available to viewers starting Aug. 31, ushering in a new development on the local entertainment scene that could become very big when it really catches on.
The ABS-CBN Mobile project is a TV movie that’s meant as a pay-per-view entertainment for mobile phones, tablets and other portable gadgets. Research figures have it that 30 percent of the time, viewers now watch TV on the move—so, if properly primed, the Starflix TV movie audience could be very big, indeed.
It’s instructive that this new viewing option is being launched by way of this particular made-for-TV movie, because it topbills popular stars Kim Chiu and Xian Lim, with Jessy Mendiola. This is good star value, indicating that ABS-CBN Mobile means business, and fully determined to give its new initiative a good start.
Chances of success
Also boosting the flick’s chances of success is the fact that it’s for tweens, teens and young adults—in other words, the majority of Filipinos. If it ends up as a hit in its own way, it will presage the production and release of other Starflix products, boosting ABS-CBN’s income in no minor way.
What about the competition? It’s yet to announce its own plans to prime and develop the mobile for its own purposes and financial prospects.
But, if “Must Date the Playboy” does really well, it could “force” other TV outfits and outlets to shake a leg and join the rest of the constantly evolving television world. —Because, to cluelessly look the other way could ultimately prove to be their undoing—and nobody wants that!
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