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The blind leading the nearsighted

/ 12:08 AM December 14, 2015

Do characters in local TV drama series congenitally have really bad eyesight? If not, why do so many of them fail to detect an anomaly when a character is pretending to be somebody else?

In real life, most people wouldn’t have such a problem, but the innate illogic in some TV drama series appears to have implausibly created this pervasive anomaly:

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On “Marimar,” the title character is believed to have been killed, but has in fact survived and became very rich, so she’s on the retribution trail.

Now named Bella Aldama but still played by Megan Young in all of her readily identifiable Miss World glory, she moves around freely as she makes her “vengeance” moves—but her former persona’s oppressors aren’t able to see that Marimar and Bella are one!

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Ditto for “Destiny Rose,” whose own title character has gone from male to transgender female—and again, without his/her enemies being any wiser for it!

On “Doble Kara,” Julia Montes plays twins, Kara and Sarah, without sufficient delineation, so other characters can perhaps be forgiven for also not being able to tell them apart.

On “Ang Probinsyano,” however, the series’ own set of twins are easier to tell apart, so it’s puzzling why the deceased twin’s wife is unable to sense the difference and is initially hot to jump into bed with her “long-lost” hubby—until his brother, who knows the real score, blushingly pushes her aside!

The confounding problem persists even when twins and “lookalikes” aren’t involved: A facile change of wig or hat is enough for a “hiding” character to disguise himself or herself and go incognito—and the beatifically clueless people around them are all too easily bamboozled.

All of these misperceptions seriously limit a series’ necessary believability, which in turn makes it difficult for viewers to forget that they’re watching a spurious, make-believe facsimile of reality. Thus, they are unable to truly empathize with the drama they’re watching, which is the goal of any dramatic production.

So, we hope TV people will forgive us for harping on the importance of

TV dramas’ believability—which includes such clever-cut, specific examples as TV characters not cluelessly thinking that Marimar is a different person from Bella Aldama—just because Megan Young is wearing better clothes and has put Marimar’s curly mane of hair up in a sophisticated bun as Bella!

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Other distractions and confounding quirks on the TV screen include many drama series’ penchant for verbalizing or “captioning” the “moral lessons” they impart in an irritating and insulting way, as if viewers were idiots incapable of figuring them out for themselves.

Viewers are similarly ticked off by actresses who insist on looking glamorous even if the character they are assigned to play is cash-strapped or desperately ill or just taking care of her kids at home.

Can’t these permanently dolled-up starlets and stars realize that viewers are interested in the characters they play, not in them?

Finally, when local drama series finally conclude their storytelling, most of the villains and “monsters” in them are made to belatedly realize the error of their ways, repent, atone—and turn a new leaf.

These instant conversions and abjectly apologetic ululations are patently false, fake and unbelievable—so, please desist!

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TAGS: “MariMar”, ABS-CBN, Ang Probinsyano, Destiny Rose, Doble Kara, Entertainment, GMA-7, Television
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