I am a Political Science graduate, major in International Relations and Foreign Service, with an interest in anime, religion and philosophy
ABS-CBN seems to be improving on its ability to deliver hype. From the trailers of some teleseryes, the expected response from viewers is anticipation for events to come, leading them to stroke on their keyboards and make their predictions.
However, I believe it will do more than present story elements that we can expect from our staple watches. What if this week would be an opportunity to showcase key lessons for potential writers in presenting stories to their audience?
The Redemption of Kadenang Ginto
After half a season's worth of repetition and "villain wins" that caused too many households to collectively comment on Youtube to have the director sacked, Kadenang Ginto returns to its roots as a story with unexpected twists and powerful character moments.
Last week, we saw Marga learn from her own mother the full truth of Cassie's origins and the realization that everything she believed was a lie. Most people would dismiss Andrea Brilliantes' character as a snobbish brat with class-based views that should have stayed in the early-1900s. However, this is but a symptom of Daniela's terrible parenting and Carlos' neglect, coupled with the love she sees Cassie receiving. More than envy, it was about proving her existence. The central thrust of Marga Bartolome's character was the desire for recognition from her parents, extending to the climb to fame and consequently, to see Cassie, the princess of purity, fall from her ivory tower.
We also get interesting revelations about a seemingly trustworthy ally. Leon, played by Richard Yap, appears to be in cahoots with someone else. This is good writing. After some episodes of gradually shedding some light into the secretive life of Leon, Romina finally trusts him to help her. Even the audience was led to believe that Leon was perhaps not Robert. The hints, however, were well-placed. Hearing Robert's name as Leon was talking about his wife and children, this led on to the possibility that perhaps Albert Martinez may return to the story.
Who knows? This speculation can raise enough excitement as it is. Stayed tuned to Kadenang Ginto every 3:30 PM in Kapamilya Gold!
The Finale to Los Bastardos
Los Bastardos is a teleserye with mixed flavors. On the one hand, it is unpolished and lacks the substance of world-building. On the other hand, its characters are interesting to watch and, while the cheesy dialogue and cringe-inducing moments with certain characters are insufferable, they give the teleserye its unique taste.
Monday's episode potentially sees the death of Connor as he tries to save Lupita from a bomb attached to her person. This act of love represents the risky romance shared between the two characters. Joshua Colet's acting has also been consistently good and is surely going to take him places.
Catalina may have actually won this round. The police cannot find her and she might be meeting up with a potentially powerful ally. With Menadro dead and Matteo demoralized, who could enter the endgame of this long-running show with such resources to help our Big Bad out? Find out next time in Los Bastardos, which runs at around 4:30 PM.
A New Enemy in Ang Probinsyano
This series will always face new enemies each and every time. What surprised audiences last Friday was the appearance of Rommick Sarmiento, who recently starred in "Halik" as the formerly wicked stepfather of Jacky, Mauro.
With Renato and Dante "Bungo" Madarang allying to take on Cardo Dalisay, things are shaping up to be interesting. Unlike the charismatic but terrifying Homer, Baron Geisler's "Bungo" is a force of chaos, with no absolute goal other than the death of Cardo Dalisay for the death of his twin brother at the hands of Ador, Cardo's deceased twin. As an antagonist, Renato prolongs the narrative of corruption and deception within the political arena. Meanwhile, Lazaro and Lily are concocting their vile web against Diana, who might be on to their wicked scheme. Tune in every 8pm for more Ang Probinsyano content.
Sustained Excitement in "The General's Daughter"
The elections in "The General's Daughter" were the perfect avenue to introduce General Tiago's most capable spies and assets after Rhian and Franco. As the latter two are campaigning in secret against his machinations, the mystery behind "Cuatro" and "Singco" unfolds. Fans have speculated that Jessa, Rhian's jealous adopted sister, might be one of them but as a fellow soldier named Alex is revealed to be "Cuatro", who knows what the new enemy might be?
Of this batch, Tirso Cruz III's Santiago Guerrero remains one of the most calculating Big Bads to ever exist, having evaded the law at every turn with clever words and risky betrayals. In a way, setting up Paulo Avelino's Franco as the leader of his alliance was a stroke of genius. In case anything were to happen to him, Franco would take the fall. It all happened in spite of how dangerous it would be for Tiago and Franco now joins forces with Rhian and her father Marcial as they take on Tiago and stop his plans.
Tune in next time to "The General's Daughter" every 9pm.
The Pivot Towards Justice in "The Killer Bride"
Maja Salvador's recent teleserye history has suggested that she excels in justice-based stories. Wildflower was a political drama, where a woman takes on a "Count of Monte Cristo" role and befriends her enemies in order to destroy them.
Now she uses an impressionable girl named "Emma" as her double in order to find the truth to the death of Javier dela Fuesta that led to her life turning upside down.
Killer Bride may have lost its potential to become a legitimate example of horror within the teleserye arena but it remains consistent in its quality. From the soundtrack to the visuals, accomplished mainly through its palette and scenery, Killer Bride is quality television for the late-night watcher.
Tune in every night for more updates.
How Hype Helps Writers?
While on paper, the hype presented by these teleseryes is not as remarkable as how anime and movies this can help writers in the Philippines in multiple ways. First, it is important to present the features that entices the audience to go watch these episodes.
In most teleseryes, around 20% or so episodes feel like filler, which may comprise of lull moments that may or may not be needed or small dramatic moments that mean little to the plot. However, the first to the last episodes of a week are intended to open and close that part of the story with a bang.
From my experience, I identify the elements of properly-established intrigue and well-deserved payoff as the most important facets the audience will be hooked to. That is the case with this week of lineups.
Second, the teleserye formula is standardized, to the point that many moments are actually overhyped. Telling apart what is worth the anticipation from the usual flavor of melodrama keeps the series more fresh and the writing pool diverse.
It is my hope that the second week of September will bring excitement and inspiration to viewers and writers alike. This is also an opportunity to show how ABS-CBN teleseryes can still shine in spite of the oversaturation of the soap opera in our society.