Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decade in Review: Five Things About Philippine TV

I'm a big TV watcher as some of you may know but when I was writing my Favorite shows of the decade post I was contemplating if I should place a Pinoy show but sadly I really couldn't think of any show that grab I absolutely loved. You know, a "can't miss" show or even a "sentimental favorite" but nothing. And I've watched a lot of local TV as well. What went wrong? When I think sbout Pinoy TV this decade, I remember the "issues" more than the shows and with that I present to you my five observations of Philippine TV this decade.

5. Death of Sitcoms

- This decade failed to produce any memorable sitcom. We don't have a Home Along Da Riles, Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanat or Ober Da Bakod. On the current TV schedule, we only have three sitcoms left. What went wrong with the Pinoy sitcoms this decade that the network just didn't treat the genre seriously and they only see sitcoms as a vehicle for a star or a show to place their exclusive talents to prevent them from jumping networks. There were no stories with the sitcoms, heck, some even were lazy to have "characters" with the trend in the mid decade of sitcoms having jokes on the personal lives of the actors.

4. Asian dramas invasion

It started with IBC 13' Amazing Twins but that show didn't hit the ground but when ABS CBN launched Meteor Garden in 2003 that changed Philippine TV land scape. If we though Latin soaps were already short, then the Taiwanese/Chinese/Korean soaps were shorter and it somehow influenced some of our Philippine soaps to have shorter runs. At some point, the invasion kinda got ridiculous with too many asianovelas on the TV schedule as if the networks acquired all the shows they could buy even the not so good ones. Don't get me wrong, I like some of those Koreanovelas/Chinovelas but there was time that we got saturated with it. These days though at least there is a balance already with local and acquired shows.

3. Remakes/Revival/Reimagining galore

Komiks to TV, Movies to TV, acquiring rights of Latin and Asian soaps to adapt. I consider this a bad trend because if we keep on reviving/remaking/adapting stuff it sends the message that our TV industry is to lazy to come up with a their original story. I often read most of our remakes pale in comparison

2. "After this..." scheduling

Today’s TV schedule there is no more definite time schedule especially the primetime slot. The networks schedule their programs as one package deal for ABS CBN Primetime Bida and Telebabad for GMA 7. And when you see plugs the ads will say “[show A] pagkatapos ng [show B]”and what is the schedule of show b? “Pagkatapos ng (*insert news program here*)”. The reason for this absurd scheduling? The networks hope that a viewer will stay in tuned not just for one but a series of show Walang Lipatan. But this type of scheduling there lays the problem; the essence of time is diminished among the viewers. Hey how can we know the real time if the schedule is that, tantyahan? This kind of scheduling shows exactly why we have this so-called "Filipino time", we can't start on time for crying out loud.

1. The intense and oftentimes ridiculous Network Wars

Sure competition is fun but the network war this decade has escalted to a whole new insane level. In the case of the Kapuso vs. Kapamilya, their rivalry instead of improving the quality of programming has resulted to making their competition a form of entertainment. Yes, the network war spices up the otherwise bland local TV scene but is this what the stations could only offer? The television is a powerful medium and must be used in the proper way and not just a vehicle to boost egos. We have the talent and I hope we could maximize it. I'm not saying we should have a TV model like the ones in the US as I'm very much okay with the current soaps domination, my beef is that I hope the networks could find ways to revolutionize the shows. I just feel like we are not moving forward at all.


Although majority of this blog post is full of rants, I would like to cite that news and current affairs of Philippine TV produces a lot of great shows like I-Witness, Reporter's Notebook, The Correpondents among others. No wonder the local shows that consistently gets the awards abroad are the news and current affairs ones since the production of those shows are excellent.
And I must the breakout success of TV5 this year with some of their shows is for me a good sign that could possible a game changer on the Philippine TV landscape. We just have to stay tuned.


George said...

I agree. TV5 is the game-changer. Being with a "non-top 2" channel, any "independent" channel that can challenge the status quo would impress me as a TV viewer.

forg/jecoup said...

They off to a good start last year although malayo pa before they could catch up but at least they are showing promise na