Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Philippine TV Is FAR From Dead...

.:Make Me Whole:.

That’s the title of the song my Beloved sang to me when I was asking her to sing me a lullabye…

The song is a beautiful song with beautiful lyrics, and in a time where the two of us have to deal with fits of jealousy, trust issues, short tempers, and everything else, it’s a somber reminder to the both of us that what brings us together is how we stay strong for each other when the other is weak. It’s that kind of complementary configuration, that kind of biorhythmic synchronicity, that truly makes me believe we have a chance of bucking the odds and making this work.

I continue to pray that she is the half that would make me whole…

.:A Meantime Vlog?:.

Jonas recorded a video of the two of us at work while marketing (Yes, I’m shameless.) The Super-Duper Friends, and he just might make a vlog about it. Gah. Visual and audio evidence that not only was I listening to a Steven Seagal song, I was also wearing a hot pink shirt!!!

.:Blind Item, Courtesy Of Ogie Diaz:.

“Isang pulitiko ay madalas pumunta sa Bulacan ngayon, dahil kailangan niyang dalawin ang kanyang Ilokanang nobya na kanyang inanakan ng dalawang beses!”

“Sino itong pulitiko na ito? Well, hindi naming kayo pwedeng bigyan ng clue ngayon. Sa Wednesday na lang!”

This is an explosive rumor! Apparently, this politician is married, has had two kids with this mistress, and the wife knows all about it! Now, the kicker is, who is this politician? Is it just a congressman? Or a senator? Or a senatoriable?

There was a hint right there, and it seemed to narrow the suspects down to four, but you never really know. I wonder who this really is…

.:Counterpoint: Philippine Television? Dead? Hah!:.

The Premise

Mike Abundo made an entry sometime last year essentially detailing the fall of Philippine TV, where he essentially asserts that the local TV industry is slowly crumbling in the face of Filipino YouTubers and other emerging technologies.

Well, not to knock him, or the very industrious Filipino YouTubers out there, but I have to respectfully disagree. A lot of his points of argument have been non sequitur, particularly when he cited falling profits, without looking at the factors why profits were down, to begin with. It was especially glaring how he glossed over the fact that GMA-7 in particular opened QTV 11 during October 2005, which has resulted in a dip in profits for them during the succeeding year.

Philippine television continues to be the medium for entertainment (And even news, oftentimes.) of choice for a country with around 90% of its citizenry below the poverty line. A television is more likely to be found inside a squatter’s home than even a radio, more so than a computer. Televisions still account for millions of voters, and hours upon hours of programming, even from the local networks. To say that the growing internet community of the Philippines will kill television in the country is ludicrous, because we are in a society of couch potatoes. We are in a country where the TV will not go away just because of computer access.

I will not play the apologist and say that television programs like “Wowowee” and “Atlantika” were classics and we should continue to rally for the wonderful local shows we have on the air. I do not shy away from talking about local programming when I get to watch it, and yes, I was especially thrilled when I heard about the switch going on at Pinoy Big Brother, where Bruce from PBB gets traded with someone else from Big Brother Slovenia. For better or for worse, that’s interesting.

The Nitty-Gritty

Ratings are up, TV’s are still on. It’s untrue to assume that Philippine TV is on the decline, when all signs point to otherwise. While I look at ABS-CBN’s move to take down their programming from YouTube with disdain, I believe that it’s only a matter of time before either network realizes that YouTube should be working for them, not against them.

Sure, there are still clunkers like Super Twins, although I really don’t see how people can scream “rip-off” if they are not even aware about who has the rights to what, and before even seeing what the show is about. I always believe in “wait and see”, because it just reeks of contrarianism to naysay something before even seeing a single episode of it. Half of the time, and you must admit to the truthiness of this, people are quick to bash a local program because it’s a local program, and not because of anything else. I still remember the kind of people who would bash the non-linear storytelling of “First Day High” and cite “The Grudge 2” as a great film for the same reason.

For starters, people screamed “foul” over Lupin, screaming “rip-off” all the way. What they failed to realize was that if they only bothered watching an episode of Lupin, it was far from the way the anime was executed. An anime, by the way, which was heavily Filipinized when it was dubbed by GMA-7. While Richard Gutierrez’s Lupin is still a thief, he is no longer a bumbling larcenist at the mercy of a hot girl. The only thing they really tried to keep from the anime was the Detective character, played by Janno Gibbs, and to that, I say “blah”. I don’t care about Janno anyways, since he was never a particularly great actor, and I’ve seen him since his “Ober Da Bakod” days.

I don't like how people condemn something without even knowing what it's about. Truth be told, Lupin is a pretty good series, and Asian Treasures isn't half bad, either. Robin Padilla is a good actor, and Angel Locsin, is, well... never mind. On top of that, my mom makes cameo appearances there a lot, too! =P

It’s Not One Or The Other…

… why can’t it be both?

The Filipino netizens don’t have to grow at the expense of TV viewers. Personally, if I were working for either network, I would heavily push for a way to simply have those episodes freely available online, simply because it actually draws the viewers in, especially the international audiences. Local viewers will still prefer watching the telecast over the netcast for the most part anyways.

There has been a lot of good local programming on TV, from Maging Sino Ka Man to Sana Maulit Muli (Except for the Gawd-awful ending.) to Starstruck, to the rival news programs of both networks (For the most part.), to even that independent film segment they have on ABC 5. Local TV has a lot of gems, although admittedly there are a lot of tacky shows on the air that remain. Well, that’s too bad, but it’s not my problem, since I’m only trying to disprove the notion that TV is dying, not that the programming is good.

For those who cite “steadily declining standards of programming” as a reason for TV’s decline, know that rose-colored glasses get you nowhere here. Truth be told, that is far from reality, as it is very clear that there were clunkers then and there are clunkers now, and decades from now, when some new host is so popular, people will always say that Willie Revillame was a class act in contrast to the new guy. Most of us would hopefully know better.

TV is far from dead. The internet is really, really great (For… mmpphhh!), but that doesn’t mean TV will die because of it. I just wish the programming wouldn’t be this consistently unappealing even to me, though. Since SMM ended, I can’t bring myself to watch the replacement soaps, nor could I bring myself to jump to the other network. Gah.

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