‘Extreme’ exits and grand entrances on TV
Last week, TV’s inexorable cycle asserted itself anew, with the “extremely dramatic” conclusion of some drama series—followed by spanking-new shows next week. Going, going, gone are drama series like “Langis at Tubig,” “We Will Survive” and “My Super D.”
We caught some of their penultimate telecasts and can share that “Langis at Tubig” appeared to be headed for a really slam-bang finale, with Zanjoe Marudo’s character finally discovering that he isn’t the father of Isabelle Daza’s child. In addition, another child was abducted, so the scene was being set for a big, boffo finale.
On “My Super D,” the superhero played by Dominic Ochoa was similarly headed for a final confrontation with the fantasy-action series’ resident villain, portrayed by Marvin Agustin, and his menacing minions.
And, on “We Will Survive,” as of last Tuesday, it was intimated that Melai Cantiveros’ character was at death’s door—so, would a “miracle” unexpectedly give the series a happy ending at its final fade?
All told, Ochoa has benefited the most from his lead exposure on “My Super D” this season. For many years, he’s played support or also-starring parts, but he acquits himself well in his first lead showcase, so it’s a step up for him. As for Agustin, his own uncharacteristic villain role has affirmed his versatility as a performer.
On “Langis at Tubig,” the lead players (Marudo, Daza and Cristine Reyes) act their hearts out, but are foiled by the series’ exceedingly melodramatic and convoluted progression and complication.
What about the new shows that are premiering this month? “Conan, My Beautician” airs Sunday afternoons on GMA 7 and is interesting because the macho Mark Herras is cast in it as a “flaming,” cross-dressing parlorista.
Coming full circle
For Bernardo Bernardo, the recent 39th Urian awards night was a movingly significant experience—because, after many years, he found himself coming full circle as an acting awardee, with the Urian as the symbolic linchpin for his unique—and uniquely instructive—experience:
Bernardo copped his first Urian award 36 years ago for his textured performance in “City After Dark” (“Manila By Night”). His portrayal of a “flaming fairy” in Ishmael Bernal’s controversial film was an unexpected triumph because it was so different from the usual “awardable” male big-screen portrayals in those days.
But the Urian has a penchant for confounding self-styled film vetters and bettors by singling out unique cinematic achievements, hence Bernardo’s “surprise” victory.
Of course, he won the prized best actor trophy by not playing his role “flaming” from start to finish, folding in “contradictory” moments that made viewers “get” his character beyond the facile seduction of shrill cliché.
After “City After Dark,” Bernardo essayed many other TV-film roles, as well as chalking up a number of memorable theater portrayals (including Katy dela Cruz’s Tatay in “Katy!” opposite Mitch Valdes). Then, for over a decade, Bernardo opted to live and work in the Untied States, where he continued to perform onstage.
Having started out as Fil-Am himself, we understood why Bernardo had moved back to the United States, but we hoped that he would come home again—which he did last year.
Talk about finally coming full circle, that’s happened even more pertinently to Bernardo in relation to the Urian awards, because he’s won his second Urian, this time for his supporting portrayal of a Filipino caregiver in Japan in “Imbisibol.”
We hope that Bernardo gets many more roles to play—so he’ll be here to stay!