Keeping up with the stellar competition
Stars and starlets who take their success for granted are eventually bound to get upstaged by and lose out to their more proactive and hands-on rivals.
For instance, we’ve been praising Ketchup Eusebio for his eminently believable portrayal on “Ningning,” but what will he do when that standout series ends?
If no “mainstream” offers are to be had just yet, he and his handlers should line up an indie film and stage play for him—the more, the merrier!
Our worry is that Ketchup could end up like Nash Aguas, who scored a hit with “Bagito” a couple of TV seasons ago.
Yes, he’s occasionally visible on the small screen and he’s part of a boy group, but he needs a big follow-up vehicle to underscore and solidify his new stellar status.
—If Nash is currently neither here nor there, can Ketchup be far behind? Let’s hope that the right lessons are realistically learned—and that new stars’ handlers don’t rest on their wards’ laurels, and keep doing their job.
Other stars who need to light a fire under their handlers and themselves include Papa Piolo’s scion and heir, Iñigo Pascual. Yes, he made a big splash when he joined show biz some season ago, but he’s not quite kept his stellar sheen spectacularly aglow.
It’s good to hear that he’s costarring in a new TV drama series, but he needs other projects to really make it to stellar status.
Iñigo’s problem is that the teen “boy next door” field is currently overcrowded, with even newer comers squeezing in—so, starlets who joined the fray earlier have to hustle harder to remain in contention!
It’s the same problem that’s facing another promising show biz scion, Diego Loyzaga, who does have an ongoing soap (“Pangako Sa ‘Yo”), but doesn’t figure prominently enough in it (its top young draw is Daniel Padilla).
In our view, both Diego and Iñigo (hey, that sounds like they could end up as a singing duo!) have the chops and “K” to make it as “deserving” stars.
But, that stellar challenge has now been made tougher by the recent entry of (count ‘em) Bailey May, Tommy Esguerra, Marlo Mortel, Jerome Ponce, Ruru Madrid, Khalil Ramos, Kristoffer Martin and Andre Paras—whew!
Don’t look now, but one of the likeliest stellar bets in that whole bunch of boy-next-door types is—Bailey May. He may be the youngest contender, but there’s “something” about this former “PBB” housemate that made him a standout the first time the TV cameras “caught” sight of him.
So, what’s he doing to solidify his gains? Yes, his new record will help, and his incipient “tween” love tandem with Ylona Garcia should galvanize and add to their fan base.
But their handlers should also line up a regular costarring production for them to speed up their tandem’s rise.
For her part, Ylona should reject all well-meaning efforts to make her look older, fairer, prettier or more glamorous by way of excessive make-up and false lashes and such. We saw her sporting this artificially glamorous look recently, and it was not right for her.
No, Ylona’s unique appeal lies in her natural dusky beauty and musical ability, so focus only on those plus points, please.
If Ylona plays her cards right, she could become this show biz generation’s Nora Aunor (while not denying her being an “imported,” Fil-Australian talent).
Greater realism is ‘in’
As readers know, we’ve been making a big fuss and bother this year about the shockingly phony and overly mature and “wise” dialogue that our TV scriptwriters love to write for the child characters in our teleseryes.
This is done “for effect,” because some viewers love those unnaturally insightful, overly verbose and highly “quotable” lines.
But, it grievously artificializes the stories being dramatized, and viewers can’t believe them, let alone empathize with what their characters are thinking and feeling.
As a result, TV dramatics here have been brought down to the low and obvious level of “show” and “pretend”—so, what is all that teleserye activity for?
Despite our sometimes scathing critiques, some erring drama series have kept feeding their juvenile characters phony and unnatural dialogue up to the bitter end.
Little by little, however, we noted some months back that a couple of new series were coming up with more believable child characters, who spoke simply and briefly, as real kids do, no “for effect” poetics or profundities at all. —Hey, that was definitely more like it!
Whether or not our notes had anything to do with this incipient trend, we celebrate it because the TV shows involved have become much easier to believe in, and empathize with.
Pacing the new, more realistically scripted series is “Ningning” with Jana Agoncillo, and “Princess in the Palace” with Ryzza Mae Dizon is also sounding more real and natural.
This development should be encouraged, because TV series with kids in important roles have become quite the rage on local TV, with “Ang Probinsyano,” “Walang Iwanan,” “You’re My Home,” “Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang,” “Buena Familia,” “My Faithful Husband” and “Marimar” forming just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s hope that most of them have learned that viewers no longer dote on “quotable” but artificial lines “poetically” mouthed by kids with the vocabulary of adults—and that greater realism is “in” for TV in 2015, and hopefully thereafter!
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