Ending with a simper
Despite Coney Reyes’ resolutely “focusing” performance, “My Dear Heart” ended its run on ABS-CBN last June 16, not with a bang, but with a simper.
The drama series simply took too long wrapping up its storytelling, which had become too obvious and predictable to excite and surprise.
The show’s last week of telecasts added cliffhangers to keep viewers on tenterhooks, like Coney being kidnapped by her archnemesis, played by Eric Quizon.
But, the biggest plot twist of them all was Coney’s “allowing” herself to expire, so that her comatose granddaughter, Heart, could live! A life for a life? Now, that was a stunner.
Other plus points in the course of the series’ long progression, aside from Reyes’ steadying and focusing portrayal, included textured performances turned in by Susan Africa and Robert Arevalo.
As for child stars Nayomi Ramos (Heart) and Enzo Pelojero (Bingo), they were precocious talents, but their portrayals were marred by too “adult” and “insightful” scripting.
Even Heart’s concluding performance last June 16 was made patently “off” by a letter that she was supposed to have written, but which sounded like it was penned by a much older and “wiser” kid.
The child actors’ portrayals were also compromised by the fact that Bingo “had” to serve as Heart’s “voice,” and repeat some of her statements, which viewers had just heard before.
This procedural impediment slowed down some scenes’ proceedings and added to the series’ general feeling of obviousness and ennui.
What about Eric Quizon as the series’ resident villain? He did his “evil best,” but couldn’t single-handedly sustain the show’s needed feeling of danger and dread.
Toward the end, he even had to go loopy and “bonkers” big-time to build up the series’ fear factor to a climactic peak—but, the psychological distraction and distortion required made his final actuations too livid and rabid!
Ironically, but also quite predictably, after all of the show’s bad people’s evil machinations, most of them, Eric’s character included, were made to have a radical change of heart, and go all guilty and remorseful on us. So, what were all those super-nasty contortions and convolutions about?
Also unfortunately “off” was Ria Atayde’s “starbuilding” portrayal of Coney’s estranged daughter and Heart’s birth mother. The new actress acted up a storm, but much of it was relatively superficial.
She also looked too glossily put together, dressed and made up to the nines, which detracted from the raw and urgent believability of her emotional and melodramatic scenes.
As for other players like Zanjoe Marudo, Bela Padilla and Rio Locsin, they fared better, but were sometimes limited by “focusing” issues, especially when Heart went into a coma and interacted mainly with her grandmother and Bingo.
This reduced most of the other principal characters to just acting “sad and tearful” for many scenes on end—not a dynamic way to go if you want to make your mark as a good thespian, rather than being just a part of the collectively worrying and grieving ensemble!
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