Noontime shows even up the score
For some weeks now, “It’s Showtime” has been trying to come up with new features to more effectively counter or even just catch up with the “AlDub” phenomenon on “Eat Bulaga.” Its “Miss Pastillas” dating interlude was momentarily involving, but failed to really build up and peak.
It’s since been replaced by a new edition of its gender-bending tilt “That’s My Tomboy,” a fun competition involving the “It’s Showtime” hosts, a “charades in silhouette” tilt, another competition for far-out acts, a number of singing contests, etc. Some gambits have been better received than others, but no big hit—thus far.
Last week, however, the show tried a tie-up with ABS-CBN’s then-concluding “Pinoy Big Brother” tilt, with some of the “It’s Showtime” hosts being required to spend some time at the “PBB” studio, as “housemates.” Even better, now that the tilt has ended, “It’s Showtime” has opted to extend it for its own purposes, and “PBB’s” top winner, Miho Nishida, is now being featured on the noontime show, as she lives in the “PBB” house with her daughter and mother, while her rumored beau and runner-up, Tommy Esguerra, is shown trying all sorts of ways to visit and reconnect with her.
‘Forbidden love’ scenario
Does that sound familiar? Is another “forbidden love” scenario sort of being built up, vaguely reminiscent of AlDub?
Even if that tack doesn’t pan out in the succeeding days, the fact that both “AlDub” and “ToMiho” are now in reality mini-series that are romance-based is a noteworthy development.
Other observations: The male players involved, Alden Richards and Tommy, are quite evenly matched in terms of looks and boy-next-door appeal—but Tommy is the younger and fresher factor, while Alden has “been around.”
Due to AlDub’s hit status, however, his career has been given a big boost, while Tommy’s career is just getting started—so, he has a long way to go before really being able to catch up.
The women involved in the incipient competition are easier to differentiate: Maine Mendoza started out as a YouTube “Dubsmash” sensation before “Eat Bulaga” tweaked her natural and spunky appeal for its own purposes—while Miho is older and already has a daughter, so she’s deemed “less fresh.”
Interestingly, however, that has worked out to her advantage, because her backstory is more textured and thus emphatic to viewers—in fact, they got so involved in her “colorful” and sometimes “darker” story that—they made her win!
At the moment, viewers are more enamored of Maine—but, if Miho’s handlers do their job well, she could become the “more involving” female player—especially if her little, Japanese-speaking daughter is factored into the viewing equation.
On the other hand, the fact that Miho is being paired “in reel and real life” with the younger Tommy is complicating the picture of their nascent relationship—but it could again end up to their advantage, depending on how it’s played.
For one thing, some viewers don’t think they’re all that well-matched, and some others don’t believe that Tommy is genuinely in love with Miho, due in part to the “evidence” on view in terms of looks and age.
Maine and Alden don’t have such problems, but the relative predictability of their relationship could eventually end up as a limiting factor in itself, especially if their “tumultuous” love story is extended long past its ability—to involve and inspire!