When the audience tune in to "Bubble Gang" — the country's longest running gag show which premiered in October 20,1995 — this Friday, they will experience a new version of the show, one that's far from the mix of slapstick and smart comedy Bubble Gang has been known for. To be sure, it was a difficult but a necessary move.
Bang Arespacochaga, Assistant Vice President of GMA Network, explained in a media conference, "We really want to relaunch Bubble Gang para maging fresh at bago na siya after the lockdown. Syempre medyo naaberya tayo doon. Now that we are more relaxed, it is the best time for us to come up with a new Bubble Gang."
Director Frasco Mortiz — who was at the helm of ABS-CBN's "Goin' Bulilit" before the network lost its franchise — shared Bubble Gang wants to tap the new audience especially in the digital space.
"Yung mga viewers kasi ngayon, the way they consume content is different from before. Dati naghahabol ka ng MRT para maabutan mo yung paborito mong show. Ngayon you can just open your phone and watch anytime. So how do you tap that audience? So ito yung ginawang paraan para sumabay sa current trends para yung comedy ng Bubble Gang nandoon pa rin," Mortiz said.
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Among the changes in the show are the flow, the appearance of online personalities and content creator, as well as the addition of new segments such as "Marites United" and "Bes Friends."
"Binabago na namin slowly yung flow ng programa. Kung mapapansin ng viewers almost a year na din siyang hindi masyadong nagfo-focus sa gags. Sketches na yung nilalagay sa programa para every time manonood yung viewers, may different experience siya. Kahit late ka na mag tune in sa TV, meron kang mapapanood," Mortiz pointed out.
Moreover, the team is downsizing the cast — letting go of some of its former members and bringing in new talents.
"Yung content dahil mas konti na yung cast may room na sila to shine. So we're doing materials kung saan magsa-shine bawa't isa. It's a mix of old and new but we make sure the way we package it, bago siya," Mortiz added.
Among those staying in the show are Michael V., Chariz Solomon, Betong Sumaya, Sef Cadayona, Valeen Montenegro, Archie Alemania, Analyn Barro, Faye Lorenzo, Kokoy de Santos and Paolo Contis. Meanwhile, the new addition to the show are Tuesday Vargas, Faith da Silva, Dasuri Choi and Kim de Leon.
Certainly, saying goodbye to former cast members was an emotional choice for the program and so Michael V. — who also serves as a creative director — felt the need to reach out to the axed members which include Mikoy Morales, Denise Barbacena, Liezel Lopez, Arra San Agustin, Lovely Abella, Ashley Rivera, Diego Llorico, Myka Flores and pioneer cast member Antonio Aquitania.
"Ako I feel the need to explain to them somehow, give them an insight kung bakit siguro nagkaroon ng mga dahilan para hindi talaga sumama yung loob nila at the same time para ma-inspire sila. Hindi naman ito yung pagtatapos talaga kasi this could probably be the beginning for some of them na simulan nila ulit yung journey pabalik sa show," the veteran comedian expalined.
"Lagi namang bukas yung Bubble Gang for talents na kakailanganin namin and since naging part na din sila, I'm pretty sure they'll find their way back," he added.
He furthered that this big change among the cast is inevitable but can be a good thing for everyone to shine.
"Hindi kasi pwedeng maging stagnant yung Bubble Gang. It has to grow, it has to expand and I think this is the best way para gawin yun," he said.
Catch the revamped "Bubble Gang" come May 27.