Filipino TV Shows seem to Promote Dysfunction

Fellow blogger FallenAngel posted in GRP Shorts an opinion from a gay acquaintance about the TV series “My Husband’s Lover:”

This is what Filipino viewers seem to love seeing (Courtesy: Rosenblog)
This is what Filipino viewers seem to love seeing (Courtesy: Rosenblog)

Having watched almost one month worth of episodes of ‎My Husbands Lover I can’t help but be disappointed. What I initially thought as groundbreaking television show was actually just another teleserye about adultery (which is pretty much almost all of our teleseryes are about). The only difference is we have a married closeted gay man and another gay man as a third party.

Give me something that would further gay rights. Give me some insight to same sex relationship dynamics. Tell me how it is like to be a successful but closeted gay man in a very testosterone dominated company. Tell me how scary it is to have a homophobic family. Explain to me why there are relationships composed of two masculine gay man (or two flamboyant gay men) instead of one masculine and one flamboyant which is still the society’s concept of a gay relationship. Explain to me why it is easier for some people to accept someone’s sexual orientation and why it is harder for others. Give me some discussion about religion and spirituality and morality and homosexuality and how they mesh and clash and come together. And most importantly, give me a reason why I should root for two gay men to be together.

So far, Eric is just there to ruin Lali’s life. It’s not a good message to send out. Gay men do not exists to break-up marriages or make wives miserable.

This show could have been educational. It could have been socially relevant. It could have been revolutionary. It could have been one of the most important television shows… but so far it hasn’t been that. Yes it is a pioneer, and to an extent it is very bold. But a little more push and it could be great instead of bland. I hope it is still too early to change course, because it already has a good following and it would be a shame if it will be just another soap – titillating but weightless; provocative but irrelevant.

That was a convenient way to partially sum up the problems with local TV (and many movies).

First off: adultery – which is pretty much almost all of our teleseryes are about. Or if not adultery, some other dysfunction of the family. Filipino TV seems to have a love affair (no pun intended) with the dysfunctional family, making sure it’s portrayed in nearly every show. By portraying these same situations time and again, they give the viewer the impression that these dysfunctional situations are normal and acceptable parts of Philippine society. Thus, they would accept dysfunction instead of solve it. Some might even go as far as to act it out in their lives. All that slapping, hair-pulling and crying – Filipinos seem to like watching this and would probably accept doing this, not just as normal, but as essential, in real-life.

FallenAngel’s gay acquaintance wants a gay character to be shown not as the cause of dysfunction, but doing normal stuff, going through life, encountering problems, without any sensationalism. The show should also feature solutions to the dysfunction, which could have imparted good lessons to the viewers. Unfortunately, a problem with our tsismis-addicted public – they love sensational stuff.

As a result, Filipino local TV doesn’t teach moral lessons, but instead teaches immoral lessons.

Sometimes you wonder if this guy (Jonathan Aquino) was influenced by Filipino TV
Sometimes you wonder if this guy (Jonathan Aquino) was influenced by Filipino TV

And it’s not only this. There was another show which portrayed a separated couple quarreling over who should have custody over a child. This is another issue: a long custody battle – in the house and not in court. But Philippine law is clear on this: that the one with financial capability between the two could take custody. It should be obvious in the story which character has that capacity. TV stories, however, seem ignorant of the law.

I don’t know if this is the result of incompetence, if new graduates who are the show’s writers failed to make their research, or deliberately leaving out the facts. Whatever the reason, the result would be bad: the viewing public will assume that this is real, and it will promote further ignorance of the law.

Perhaps yet another thing that Philippine TV hasn’t changed: portrayal of rich or well-to-do people as bad, and the poor as always “bida.”

Yet another issue is the apparent disrespect towards children as I mentioned in an earlier article. And more.

The solution for this is still in the hands of the TV production staff. They should break the mold, break tradition. TV programs should not always listen to the masses. What has more truth is that whatever the media stations show on their screens, the viewers will just lap up. If they show something better, the viewers will learn from it accordingly.

Back to “My Husband’s Lover:” it actually follows the mold of Philippine TV that glorifies the wrongs of society. It doesn’t help gays at all, but may actually further hatred against them. To add to my commentary in an earlier article, gay rights are not really endangered by law, but more by culture. Especially the mass media.

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About ChinoF

I stick with this blog because I believe, as my cohorts do, that many things Filipino embrace as part of their culture keep their society backward. And blogging freely to show that in a truly decent society, with true freedom of speech, even nobodies have a voice.

66 Comments on “Filipino TV Shows seem to Promote Dysfunction”

  1. Not sure why I did not mention this in the Fallen Angel piece but what I will say applies to both your pieces. What I think you guys are looking for can be found in an HBO or Cinemax miniseries called Angels in America, They cover a lot of the gay reality like staying in the closet, coming out , being in denial, confronting a wife etc. Plus it had a historical backdrop that made me more curious about the Al Pacino character. Meryl Streep plays about 4 roles. Excellent story, excellent acting, which means no way it will appeal to local audiences. When I say local audience I mean over the air channels.

    1. I forgot to say that. Indeed, dysfunctions can be seen in American and other countries’ shows. Thing is, they treat the dysfunctions in a different way.

      Angels in America, I heard of that before, isn’t my cup of tea in what to watch admittedly, but worth looking at. Thanks, Gogs.

      Also, edited a redundant word in the title.

  2. Growing up not-quite-macho in the Philippines caused me to be repressed as all fuck. It’s like the gossip show hosts are the required appearance for any guy that doesn’t grow up to be macho or something.

    I’m still shitscared to come out to everyone because about the only people that don’t know I’m gay are my elders (parents, aunts/uncles, surprisingly my two little bros are fine with it), who fully expect to find some kind of gossip show host outfit and hair care products if/when I do.

    Fuck.

  3. TV soaps are TV soaps. These programs surely project the culture of each country.

    Just like the Egyptian soaps, most of the scenes you can see the characters screaming out loud their scripts.

    The French have “highly intellectual” plots which make the viewers “feel intellectual” but often puzzled about the story of the show he’s watching.

    The Indian TV soaps are much more like that of the Philippines where most of the characters are rich and famous, and never shows the rotting and stinking surroundings of the city like Mumbai. Where some people wash their dishes in the ditch, and some are fighting for dried animal dungs to be used for walls in their shanties.

    As for the Philippines soaps, the plot and scripts are almost similar repeated over and over for decades with just the titles and actors being changed.

    1. I’ve always hated soaps, to be honest. They’re not realistic, and they sensationalize issues. Hope TV deviates soon from soaps.

      1. That’s why I rarely watch TV shows especially those that were produced locally. The story is just the same over the years. The story plot never changed, just a little tweak, new actors and titles, and that’s it. Then later on, as you watch, you’ll be able to guess what’s gonna happen next. Bwahahaha!

        Honestly, there’s only 1 local TV soap that I liked, and that’s “Kung Mawawala Ka”; before and after that, I never enjoyed other local TV drama series.

        1. That soap opera is gold. “Kung Mawawala Ka” not only explores themes like love and family, but also politics as well.

  4. What should be done about this? It’s the horde of “bobong masa” that watch these shows and no amount of telling them it’s stupid shit will make them change the goddamn channel.

  5. Philippine TV dramas have become excruciatingly dull with recurring plots salvaged from decades-old Spanish telenovelas. Once, maybe, it had incited the sentiments of viewers; but that’s because it allowed scenes reflecting ‘hidden’ realities that are too sensitive to be publicly discussed. Now much of these issues are normalized into society that it offers no new insights or surprises.
    I share the author’s opinion of ‘My husband’s lover’. It promised to bring out current ‘hidden’ issues, only to fail so disappointingly.
    I’m inclined to believe that Filipinos just tolerate these shows because of lack of options. I wonder when we’ll actually witness a new and thought-inspiring Filipino drama.

    1. I agree with your assessment. Filipinos don’t really “like” these shows, they just watch them because there’s nothing else on. Hence what I said above in the second to last paragraph. Change the shows being shown on TV, that might lead to a change in people’s behavior.

    2. If you had thought provoking shows on modern Filipino television, they would fail miserably. One of the reasons these formula-based series’ are so popular is the fact that they provide a mind numbing distraction from the drudgery of day to day life in the Philippines.

      You have to realize that people in our society today are already constantly bombarded with an overwhelming amount of stimuli that remind us how bad it is out there. Just read the paper; especially the tabloids. Tune the radio to an AM station and you’ll find round the clock talk shows reporting crime, accidents, disaster, and all sorts of tragedy. Not to mention that with every other breath, the over-the-top radio personality is going to be excoriating the police, or some government bureaucrat, or some elected official who may or may not have been caught doing something less than honorable.

      With the prospect of all that misery in the face of the average Filipino 24-7, is it any wonder people crave some amusement that helps them forget? Especially those that are familiar, those that people will easily relate to, even with their brains turned off for a few minutes. Hell, might even win a prize while watching. So…why change things up when you’ve got a good thing going?

      1. I also see it that way, that TV already reflects reality. Something like a social barometer. But to put it simply, as some people say it, “we already have issues in our lives, why should we watch them again on TV? It’s like getting a hammer and hitting yourself over and over again.” Perhaps some people need to be relieved of seeing these things on TV.

        But I do understand the other side may be true; some viewers want to see themselves portrayed on screen, so a sufferer with a similar experience in a TV show is something they could relate to. It may boil down to changing channels and switching off the TV in the end.

        But the thought is, if the TV show makers can get away with what they show on TV, what else can they get away with? Who knows if what they show can actually have an effect on people’s behavior.

  6. well what do you expect from Filipino TV? they have been showing tv series with the same story over and over again, they just follow trends and what’s worse is that they copy from other countries. but in defense of “My Husband’s Lover” the title screams adultery! you shouldn’t have expect anything.
    my advice for everyone, subscribe to cable so the stupid shows in our country wouldn’t make you dumb. i haven’t been watching anything from the locals anymore cause i see more light in foreign shows like games of thrones, true blood(gone soft though), walking dead, NCIS, and more. but im still wishing that a genius would take over our mediocre tv networks and show something worth seeing. tv executives could also adapt stories from books and make it in filipino setting, though they have to pay the author and follow some requirements set by the author. but i think it is worth it but i don’t really expect this happening anytime soon

    1. True, for now, let’s watch alternatives instead of these misinformed shows for now. Meanwhile, let’s hope someone gets the right idea and introduces something new in the TV studios.

    2. ” executives could also adapt stories from books and make it in filipino setting, though they have to pay the author and follow some requirements set by the author.”

      – You mean like a literary novel like D.H. Lawrence Lady Chatterley’s Lover and set it in rural Negros Occidental and cast Edu Manzano, Sunshine Cruz and Patricia Javier?

      1. SLR but eeeww. that is why i say im not expecting that kind of thing anytime soon. maybe in the next 20-50 years the tv networks will release some critically acclaimed shows. or because of the advent of internet maybe it will die just like what’s happening to radio. maybe the tv networks will not improve at all in the future. well i know for sure i will not care!

    3. My family couldn’t afford cable but we have internet. Yet my mom still watches these stupid drama series that I don’t know how to stop her from watching it and get her to find better alternatives over the net. She already has something which is superior, yet she still prefers the inferior one. Gah! >.<

      1. Sometimes, you may need to focus on yourself. Other people may not be as open-minded as you, including relatives.

        1. Meaning, let your mom alone for now. Just don’t watch it yourself, and be the example you want others to be. Sometimes, you just can’t tell people to stop watching something, they see it as their right.

      2. well i think there’s no hope for your mom unless she will be really motivated or at least be forced to watched a great show. my mom doesn’t like gays and i tried to reason to her but she just can’t accept them so i didn’t bother anymore. i just focus on myself and keep hoping that the future generation will be better than right now. im expecting a total change in maybe 50 years hahaha but that could speed up

  7. If someone wants to ask me, is there a TV show or movie that seems good too you? So far, I can only think of that movie whose title I forgot, with Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos, I think, where they were students in UP or something, where the Apo Hiking Society is present as classmates, de Leon’s character drives a Volkswagen, and he images himself and Vilma as old people in a funny scene – that movie I like so far since it really had no sensational drama.

      1. Been Googling for it. If it has a school setting, it might be one of the earlier films. Maybe Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw or Disco Fever. Or it may have different actors. I should look around more.

    1. Are you sure it isn’t “Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising?” It’s the only one I remember Christopher De Leon did with the Apo Hiking Society. And it was at the University of the Philippines Baguio campus. Vilma Santos wasn’t in it.

  8. This post would have been better off staying within the confines of criticizing the show for lacking instead of using it as a platform for blaming TV for being a bad parent.

    “As a result, Filipino local TV doesn’t teach moral lessons, but instead teaches immoral lessons.”

    This isn’t TV’s job. Can you shelter your child from the stupidity of the masses? No. But you can educate and prepare your child how to deal with life, adapt and hopefully develop a morality/awareness that is acceptable to you.

    What’s next, outlaw Voltes V because children will grow up violent?

    1. But Voltes V doesn’t show any stupid dysfunctions or unnecessary melodramas like in local TV.

      On “it’s not TV’s job…” on the contrary, television’s job is to bring us information. And based on ethics and other principles in the relay of information, as a communication tool, TV should bring us good and helpful information. It can thus be used as a tool for holding society together and improving it. If it sends out messages that destroy society, then that deserves objection or opposition, which is what I am bringing out here.

      1. Voltes V showed adultery (spoiler): the main protagonists were unknowingly half brothers.

        I don’t think that you can pigeonhole television’s job as “to bring us information.” A majority of my TV use is for entertainment. I don’t disagree with what you’ve brought out here; like I said, I agree with your points, I just disagree with the vehicle.

        1. There’s no adultery in Voltes V. The first wife (spoiler again) already died before he took the second one on Earth. The narration by the M.E. pilot says that. That’s too hard to miss.

          Based on your own points, I wonder if you mean that no one has any right to complain about the sexy Wowowee girls being shown to kids on primetime TV?

          And you want TV for entertainment, while others rely on it for information. That’s why there is news, but even fictional and live-action shows (“variety” shows) on TV have some value for this purpose. Thus, it is certainly better to criticize the TV content makers and demand better content, same with how we criticize government to make it work for us. Mass media has a public responsibility because of its power to influence people with the content they show.

          And society’s always better off if TV promotes moral lessons rather than immoral ones, right? It’s bad enough people do bad things on their own, but to provide further inspiration for them to do so is very irresponsible.

  9. I would watch a Philippine drama (or any kind of drama, to make it more general) if only it encourages viewers to think critically. But no, that’s not what they’re doing. This is why, along with the reasons mentioned here, I not only hate these dramas per se, but I hate it even more that I couldn’t stop my mother from watching these! >.<

      1. “The problem with using stories to persuade people is that people can interpret them in different ways. You don’t always get the results you expect,” she said.

        This is pretty much the what I’m trying to get to. You can’t shield your child from everything, and sometimes, doing so hurts more than helps.

        1. That’s the reason for parental presence when watching.

          But then, there’s the issues of the parents’ choice, as a commenter above said. I am disappointed that there are few studies on effect of TV watching on adults. It’s usually on children. However, I think the point agreed upon is that TV certainly has an effect on people. And lobbying for better TV content is less of shielding, more of reacting responsibly. It does often end up in the hands of the viewers what they should do, so hopefully, they could act and make better demands.

  10. Wow, I completely misread the Steve Armstrong/Prince Zardos backstory. Good call.

    Either way, that you want to prevent kids from seeing “sexy Wowowee girls” and that you would blame television for influencing children’s future behavior is confirmation enough of how far apart we stand on that spectrum. Maybe another blog post on that instead. I would hate to take away from the other valid points of this blog post via comment-convo.

  11. On the topic of teleseryes, I have this theory that these shows further encourage the Pinoy “victim complex”. Frequently will teleseryes portray the poor as innocent victims, and the rich as scheming, matapobre, mataray, “sosyal”, etc. They are portrayed in such a way as to be hated by the viewers, like a heel in a WWE show.

    There is such a thing in psychology called “redirected anger”. This is when a person releases his anger onto undeserving people because of internal unresolved issues, like how some people hate their father but are too afraid to confront him so they become jerks to other people instead. Now going back to the teleserye, the viewers can’t confront the antagonists for obvious reasons so for some people their anger towards the character is not resolved. They would then try to direct that anger to someone in the real world that bears even just a slight or superficial semblance to that character.

    In effect, we get pinoy masses who rally against the “rich” claiming that they are the source of their poverty even though those rich are innocent and even promote more jobs thanks to their businesses. Fueled by what they watched in said shows, they expect these rich people to “atone” for there non-existent “crimes” towards them, the innocent protagonists of the real world or so they would like to believe, by giving them handouts and donations. That’s why these people are so easy to be manipulate by corrupt politicians.

    1. Hmm, sounds like one way TV affects people. Interesting psychology. I am looking for studies to verify this, or at least explain other dynamics. One thing we can conclude: TV does affect human behavior. It justifies making calls to the TV show makers to improve their content.

  12. I disagree with many of the points raised by the opinion you cited. I also can’t believe it

    arrived at generalizations too fast.

    “Give me something that would further gay rights.”
    Isn’t My Husband’s Lover promoting gay rights? They cast a closet gay who marries the opposite sex

    only because he wants society to accept him. Did you not know that this premise was presented

    using various literary techniques (indirect) less likely to be seen in a typical Filipino soap

    operas? The whole story, in fact, revolves around Vincent’s (closet gay character) struggle to fit

    in society, which suggests a strong message from the writer: gays, due to society’s gender

    prejudice, do no enjoy the rights they deserve.

    “Give me some insights to same sex relationship dynamics”
    This statemenent is irrelevant. Why would you want to get insights about same sex relationshp

    dynamics when the truth is it doesn’t differ from heterosexual relationships? That’s where My

    Husband’s Lover is revolutionary. It doesn’t differentiate. The homosexual love depicted in the

    story is no different from the heterosexual relationships that we’re used to in primetime.

    “Tell me how scary it is to have a homophobic family.”
    Ask Vincent. Ask how he keeps trying his best to hide his sexuality from his homophobic father

    while defending those that have come out.

    “Explain to me why there are relationships composed of two masculine gay man (or two flamboyant gay men) instead of one masculine and one flamboyant which is still the society’s concept of a gay relationship.”
    Ask Lally’s best friend. She has a scene dedicated for this question.

    “Explain to me why it is easier for some people to accept someone’s sexual orientation and why it is harder for others.”
    Ask Lally’s best friend again. There’s a scene where they discuss the difference between tolerance and acceptance of society towards gay people

    “So far, Eric is just there to ruin Lali’s life. It’s not a good message to send out. Gay men do not exists to break-up marriages or make wives miserable.”
    This isn’ true. The story is not about Vincent breaking Lally’s heart. Eric’s (played by Dennis Trillo) mother actually commends Vincent by saying, “Vincent just wants the best of both worlds.” Vincent’s sexist father backs this up with a remark, “Alam mo naman ang mga lalaki, hindi kami kaagad nakokontento sa iisa.” Lally’s sister, on the other hand, was left by her husband because of womanizing. Patching all these meaningful conversations (including those I didn’t menthion) together, one can conclude that the temptation to cheat isn’t gender-biased.

    Just my two cents. I agree that there are formulas in many of our local soap operas, but many of those that you mentioned in this blogged cannot be found in My Husband’s Lover. That is the reason why I watch it every night. It’s insightful and less of the melodrama we got used to. Walang sampalan, walang sabunutan, walang hysterical reations. Just genuine portrayals of family, friendship, and love.

    1. I think it’s simple: A gay man taking a married man from a woman isn’t the right way to portray gays. That portrays the gay man as a family destroyer. And that’s wrong. This situation also gives another wrong idea: that gay men are trapped by society and forced to marry women. Last I heard, gay men are free to choose whom they want.

      1. But that’s exactly the problem. Gay men aren’t “free.” If gay men were free to do what they want, we wouldn’t have gay pride marches rallying for their rights. We wouldn’t have closet gays. We wouldn’t have Christians marrying just for the sake of society’s acceptance and faith-blinded submission.

        To be fair with you, the plot really looks like gay men are perceived as home wreckers, but it is important to note that there are many other gay characters in the story. In fact, aside from the main protagonists, the other gay characters (most notably, Danny) strictly acknowledge the boundaries and sanctity of marriage. They act as Vincent and Eric’s conscience in the show.

        I agree I’m a huge fan, and that’s maybe why I have this bias in favor of the show. Despite this, I read arguments for and against the series. However, if we were to critique a show, it is always important to do so objectively. It saddens me that the opinion cited and the conclusion you gave as a follow-up are mostly subjective arguments – many statements obviously derived from a bird’s eye view of the show and not from a careful study of the details that define it.

        Your analysis is socially conscious, but your arguments (read: assumptions) need reassessment.

        1. I’m basing this on someone else’s assessment, which you see above, from one who saw the show. And I stick to my argument that the show’s basic story could have been better, despite my not watching the show myself. Hopefully, those other gay characters you say prevail over the main gay character and give the right message to the viewer in the end.

  13. After reading this article this line was the blast, “Gay rights are not really endangered by law, but more by culture. Especially the mass media.” It is correct, for me, the law has already portrayed its part, to protect the civil and political rights of our LGBT friends. However, as stated in the article, it is the culture and the media that ruins their image, and that is something law cannot control. There are a lot of professional LGBTs out there but they are hiding their true self for they are afraid of the stereotyping that our society gives. I wish media should show something different, something that really gives moral values to the viewers, because some people are acting, practicing or should I say adopting what they see in tv shows. This kind of shows should be reformed, and be remolded for the betterment of all. I just wish they have the guts to do such act.

    1. I wish the story was not about a gay person as family destroyer. Just a story portraying a gay son going through trials. Something like “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros,” but without highlighting poverty.

  14. Kung minsan it really is not healthy anymore to watch our shows.Tama,often,it’s about dysfunction.Hanapan ng anak,hanapan ng ina,kabitan,agawan ng asawa..same plots,just different actors.kids become very liberated and pati sa movies,actors curse and uses obscene words.true entertainment has evolved into something different and I hope it won’t get worst..

    1. Some foreign movies and shows do portray dysfunction, but do give the idea that it these dysfunctions are not normal or acceptable. Philippine TV shows seem to lead people to embrace dysfunction rather than solve them.

  15. “As a result, Filipino local TV doesn’t teach moral lessons, but instead teaches immoral lessons.”

    I totally agree. Is this what FilArt has evolved recently? “Pang-masa” crap and all that pocket-endorsing schemes we call Filipino TV.

    1. Which is why I want to stop my mother from watching these stupid shows…! >.<

      For an alternative, I guess I'd say I'd have her instead browse the net and watch, say, Game of Thrones instead… 😛

  16. Being back in this website: If I were in authority,I prefer to ban this show and ABS-CBN’s Angelito:Batang Ama from the air.
    (Promotes unhealthy heterosexual relationships)

    Very Misleading and Dysfunctional.

  17. I know this is late. But what the hey. I’ve actually worked as a writer for a TV network and I still have friends who work as writers for a TV network. I’m here to tell you: Don’t blame the writers. I know plenty of talented writers who have new and innovative ideas and concepts for TV series. But the problem is of course, is if they submit these innovative and new concepts for TV series, the network executives have them rewrite them and rewrite them to the point when it becomes just another generic soap because that’s the one with a proven formula. They like to risk as little as possible because of the advertisers. In Philippine network TV, it’s not advertisers who support the show. The shows support the advertisers. So there’s very little room for artistic innovation. That’s why you see a proliferation of the same formula in teleseryes again and again. It’s not because the writers CAN’T come up with anything new, it’s the network and ad executives who won’t let them come up with anything new because they want something that is a guaranteed hit.

    1. And for the most part, the viewing public has a lot to do with it because they’re practically the one dictating what they want to watch.

    2. Thank you for explaining that. That is sad though. It gives me more fuel to say that what’s screwing up our culture is commercialization.

  18. I don’t know if Ateneo De Manila will pursue the “The Philippines Teleserye” course. They claimed that those teleserye are part of our culture. =)

  19. Following is a list of further adverse effects from television gained from various sources and studies:

    -It diminishes serious regard for personal duties, and encourages procrastination;

    -New time-saving devices in the home do not produce an increase in charitable works, prayer, Church organizations, but rather, in more TV viewing time;

    -Loss of the sense of scandal, more permissiveness;

    -Less serious reading;

    -Toleration of objectionable language, music, jokes, and of sloth;

    -Increased preoccupation with gadgetry, spending, self-righteousness, self-satisfaction;

    -Loss of sense of the sacred.

    TVs vomit filth! They corrupt the minds of the young and old. They are the boxes created by satan to invade your homes! They have invaded your homes. Take the axe to them if you must! (JIS.com)

  20. I agree with Jay Calabig in the FB Group: TV trash is everywhere. Another is that Filipino TV shows and movies are often imitations of foreign shows, and nothing else. Almost no originality. Also, movies and TV shows repeatedly take the rare occurrences for stories, giving the illusion that they’re common, and thus perpetuating myths. For example, the movie Rain Man makes you assume all people with autism are savants, but that’s not true. Or you take a person who’s the son of a convicted murderer. The story shows him breaking the mold, becoming a topnotcher in school and becoming a successful person. It’s a good and inspiring story; but in truth, statistics show that sons of murderers (or criminals in general) tend to be troubled themselves. So people tend to develop false expectations of such people in real life only to see them frustrated or to say the wrong things. For example, a teacher, after seeing a movie about that convicted murderer’s son, expects a real life case to become as in the movie. If the real life convict’s son fails to be an achiever or gets into trouble himself, the teacher might call him stupid, good for nothing, a failure (because her standard was the TV or movie case). And the real life convict’s son’s life continues to spiral downwards, furthered by the teacher’s downing. The teacher had no right to expect what she wanted, and if she had proper training, she would encourage rather than down the real-life son. People should see things realistically instead of be influenced only by mass media fiction.

  21. Late comment is late. I just discovered the site today through the “Smart-shaming” post from GMA Network’s site.

    I just wanted to express how frustrated I am that majority if the people in the country today are stuck with crap for TV shows. My siblings and I were lucky that our father watched McGyver (and only answered, “Panuorin mo para maintindihan mo.” when we asked, “Ano’ng nangyayari sa palabas, Tay?”), and that there were still good TV shows (at least in my view, compared to the ones on now) back then (ever heard of Finders Keepers and Crystal Maze?)

    Reading one of the comments above, yes, I had a feeling that our TV show writers (who are mere rank and file) are as frustrated as we are about the TV networks not really encouraging intelligent viewing as part of their agenda when they actually sit down and plan for what shows to produce for the following quarter, year, whatever. So I don’t blame them.

    What I hope for instead is an overhaul of the TV networks’ idea of making money off of the general public’s want for escapism, because I feel that it is part of why the masses stand by their love for dramas (and chismis and “variety” shows). They can’t bear to “live” their real lives, so they’d rather just watch TV than face their sad financial situations, lamentable family life and “feel” with the characters because they’re also “api.”

    I want to see hope for the future, but I guess until the people with the money grow a real sense of concern for their fellowmen and start helping making them more intelligent (even with the help of TV viewing), this will remain a dream. Sad, no?

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