For quite some time, I hadn’t been glued to local television being too busy with other things. Even more, with cable TV and 24/7 Internet, most people are bombarded with so many other choices to keep entertained instead.
Honestly, I was biased as crazy before too about local dramas, avoiding the typical scream-and-slap scenarios that characterize them. Being up-to-date about the celebrity “who’s who of the moment is something I’ve always been bad at too. And oddly enough, it’s the most photographed faces on billboard ads on EDSA that give me a clue as to who’s trending most these days.
My two sisters, Nina and Pat, on the other hand, are my complete opposite. For years, I would be amazed at how they stayed hooked on the TV series Be Careful with my Heart, teasing them as they watched on their phones on long trips home from work. After watching the pilot episode though of this much-raved about series, I would catch a few episodes every now and then. To my surprise, I actually could still figure out the plot even after weeks or months of not having seen it last. And of course, my sisters would excitedly fill me in with missing details as an episode unfolded. Be Careful was surprisingly one series that so many people could relate to, given the almost real-life scenarios sans hysterical acting, and themes of infidelity or immorality pervading the series plot. But, I think the many light, comical moments in the series proved to be its most evident feature for its avid viewers then.
Not really a showbiz columnist, I often don’t write about what’s up on TV. For decades, the women in our family had such fondness for Korean telenovelas and the often complicated, yet culturally relevant themes and plots these portrayed so well. But then, you would think that the Filipino telenovela has had an even longer history in this genre, having grown up on Flor de Luna and Anna Lisa in the late ‘70s. Truth be told, Philippine TV was probably way ahead of its Asian counterparts in terms of complexity in unfolding plot, portraying character and, method acting. Fortunately now, the modern teleserye has certainly evolved into one of the best genres of Philippine media.
Last October, my sister insisted that I check out the new TV series Forevermore. After much prodding, I did check out the pilot episode along with my niece and daughter. Alas! From that day on, we’ve all been hooked to the series! I know that some critics might think the script and plot may be a bit clichéd of a rich boy, poor girl falling in love against all odds. But, fortunately enough, the depth of character and the consistent plot has been written in so plausible a way that makes for one believable and comprehensible storyline so far. Kudos to its writers and creative staff indeed!
The casting in Forevermore has also unexpectedly brought the narrative to such good light, owing to very-well directed and executed scenes episode after episode. The balanced dramatic, yet quirky and funny manner by which the story is developed in this series also leaves the viewer feeling hopeful and sentimental. In fact, the kilig’(perhaps best translated as “giddy”) moments of the characters of Agnes and Xander, make for the show’s expected appeal. It does help too that the cast, especially young actors, Liza and Enrique, have such subtle and effective acting skills that evoke fitting reactions from their audience.
But, if there’s one thing the series Forevermore has made us appreciate it best is that Filipino culture and our intrinsic values of bayanihan and pakikiramay, are portrayed so constructively. (Even in Philippine Psychology, these two constructs have no direct English translation). The culturally laden language, emotions, and situations depicted in the story make the characters so relatable, and the storyline equally thought provoking. Luckily, for the hopeless romantics that the ladies in my family are, we’ve finally found something to catch on TV that keeps up teary-eyed or simply elated week after week.