Back when I still watched a lot of TV, I liked comedies- sitcoms, movies, talk shows. With this preference for comedies, I could never understand the Pinoy majority’s love for the telenovela (soap opera), be it a television series or movie or even a real life situation. Please spare me the details of yet another heartbreak drama, mistress problem or your family’s fight against a rich political family. It’s the same story over and over again, just different actors playing the same characters in different settings.
I don’t know why the networks keep churning the same stories. I refuse to believe that we have unimaginative writers. I read lots of local blogs and a few books by local authors and see lots and lots of great stories there. We have many extremely talented writers. I’m tired of the “It’s what the audiences want” excuse. Viewers have nothing to choose from. The networks keep feeding the same junk food to viewers over the years.
To show my point about most telenovelas having the same stories, I have here the usual characters and character plots found in a typical Pinoy drama series:
- Poor girl in love with a rich guy or poor guy in love with a rich girl – Classic, oft-repeated plot of an undetermined number of local telenovelas since time immemorial
- Parents opposed to #1’s union – Parents discriminate against those who are not of their own upper social class, and will do anything to break up the love affair
- A powerful political family headed by an oppressive official – Senator, congressman or mayor heads the family, and uses the proverbial guns, goons and gold to get what he wants
- Someone gets kidnapped – Usual scenario to get rid of a character who’s an obstacle to #3
- Someone has amnesia – Which makes him/her forget about a loved one left far behind
- The mistress – The perks of being a powerful official (see #3)
- Someone who’s always hearing other people’s conversations – The uzi (usisero) is always at the right place (behind walls or doors) at the right time (when someone is revealing some important information)
Maybe you can easily recall the characters above from most of the drama series that you’ve followed all your life. I wish network executives give free rein to the creativity of writers who dream up alternate worlds and scenarios other than those listed above. Give the audience something new, and they’d be curious at least to check it out. Especially when the current heartthrobs are starring in it. Veer away sometimes from the tried and tested classic telenovela formula and offer something different for a change.
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