by NESTOR U. TORRE
Philippine Daily Inquirer / ANN
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Telenovelas (TV dramas) have become so popular, that our three top TV channels in the Philippines have been churning out dozens of them per season. They used to be telecast mostly at night, but now we have early-afternoon teleseryes, followed by late-afternoon drama series, etc.
In fact, the latest development on the local TV scene is the imminent debut of Asia¿s first 24-hour Telenovela Channel; a joint undertaking of Beginnings at Twenty Plus and Televisa Internacional. Televisa has hundreds of telenovelas in Spanish and Beginnings have been dubbing them in Filipino for mainstream TV, so the partnership is apt and tested.
But, a 24-hour all-telenovela channel? Won¿t this be too much of a good thing? Well, the new channel fully aims to prove otherwise, so we¿ll be watching.
The plan is to start with four telenovelas dubbed in Filipino¿¿En Nombre de Amor (In the Name of Love)," ¿Las Dos Caras de Ana (Two Faces of Ana)," ¿Pasion¿ and ¿Verneo de Amor (Summer of Love)." Those series have done very well in other countries, so the expectation is that they will also click with viewers here.
Other developments on the local teleserye front: Kim Chiu¿s new drama series, ¿Binondo Girl," is of particular interest to her fans, because she sometimes has to pass herself off as a man in it. Will she be up to the challenge? The series¿ trailer indicates that, at least as far as physical and visual believability is concerned, she passes muster.
Nora Aunor¿s coming drama series for TV5 is similarly noteworthy, but it should be pointed out that it¿s a miniseries, running for only one month.
Still, Nora¿s ¿diehard¿ followers (who, by the way, are already in their 50s) miss seeing her perform, so much that they¿ll be avidly supporting and watching her TV comeback¿now, if only the show can be cannily canted to interest young and young-adult viewers, as well!
For its part, the Filipinized adaptation of the hit telenovela, ¿Maria la Del Barrio," now stars the young-adult love team of Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee. The young team-up has clicked with viewers before, so hopes are high that their new show could become a hit.
The only ¿problem¿ is the fact that viewers have already enjoyed the Spanish original in English translation, starring Thalia. Sometimes, however, that liability can be tweaked into an asset, as some viewers are curious to see how similar or dissimilar the two versions are.
Now that ¿Captain Barbell¿ has ended its relatively underwhelming run, show biz observers are trying to figure out why the fantasy action series didn¿t do as well as expected. The main ¿culprit¿ could be the fact that the series about the crime-busting superhero is an update, rather than a fresh story.
Also, the inclusion of a veritable platoon of younger superheroes may have shifted the main focus away from the title character, where it properly belonged. Now, the thing is for star Richard Gutierrez to learn from those gaffes, and make sure they don¿t happen again on his next TV show.
Finally, Christian Bautista and Karylle have been taping in Singapore for the Asian TV series, ¿The Kitchen Musical," with other Asian nationals as costars. This could definitely be a sign of more and better ¿regional¿ telenovela productions to come!