After receiving considerable criticism for my last few articles, I have been asked to offer some suggestions that could improve the Philippine media and, subsequently, its viewers. Well then, you guys are in luck because I do have some ideas on how we can actually change the local media for the better. However, as you can probably guess, the changes I would like to make will probably meet considerable resistance. Nonetheless, here they are:
Provide A Sense Of Realism
When I say “realism”, I’m not just talking about mundane elements, mind you. What I’m saying is that when you make a show be sure to present it as is instead of whitewashing it to make it more presentable to the audience. If you want to make a show that takes place in a slum, make sure that it at least looks like a real slum. Portray it warts and all with stuff like stray dogs, background refuse and, most importantly, realistic characters. If you’re going to show a red light district, show it as it is, with the drugs, alcohol, pimping and the risks of being a sex worker. Don’t whitewash it and make it look like some teen’s house party or something. Lastly, if you’re going to portray an affair, please show it realistically with things like how it’s suppose to affect children and other consequences like STD’s. In the end of the day, our TV shows only make affairs look mysterious and appealing, thanks in part to faulty cinematography and shallow storytelling.
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Also, do note that people like Kim Chu, Coco Martin or Anne Curtis do not, I repeat, do not look like slum dwellers in the Philippines. It becomes hilarious when you realize that these three don’t even look like typical Filipinos. If there are actors and actresses that I can name that look like typical Filipinos, I could name Andrew E., Jano Gibbs and, maybe (since she’s partially Italian), Alessandra de Rossi.
Do Actual Research
Dear God, I can’t stress this enough. While there is what’s called “suspension of disbelief” and things like “rule of cool/sexy/scary/funny”, some shows take it to a ridiculous level. What’s actually sad is that some local shows actually run on flawed understandings of topics like psychology and biology and these are the shows that are supposed to be serious shows with no elements of fantasy.
It’s also more than a little egregious that when a local show wants to present a character as evil or insane, all they do is show that the character has “bipolar disorder” without fully understanding the nature of “bipolar disorder”. Another thing I noticed is their often egregious portrayal of foreigners such as Germans who don’t speak German and seem to be speaking a language that sounds more like some Eastern European dialect than anything else. Apparently, as long as it sounds complicated, the local media will roll with it even if it actually seems more like an insult to real people with bipolar disorder or Germans who are unfortunate enough to see some of the show.
Cut Back On Romance
Look, there’s nothing wrong with some romance in a show. However, as I’ve mentioned in a previous article, it seems we take the idea of forming relationships to a ridiculous level. While they may not say it out loud, many local shows come out with the implication that you are a miserable, miserable person if you’re not in a relationship with anyone. Instead of establishing the idea that you have to enjoy and appreciate being single first before you can find true happiness in a relationship, our media only inspires desperation in our single youths and constantly push them into forming a romantic relationship.
For an example, I think it could be more refreshing if you could make a show where only the plucky sidekick gets a love interest while the protagonist himself/herself remains single at the ending.
Use A More Secular Approach
Just so you know, I hold strong religious beliefs myself. I’m actually a practicing Catholic if you want to know. However, based on what I’ve seen so far, local shows encourage us to rely on prayer too much rather than nudge us to take action. When shows go for a religious theme, it’s always more about God taking care of everything instead of the good guys doing God’s work.
What I’m saying here is that instead of portraying God as providing solutions for all the problems of the characters, why not present it in a way that characters only manage to gain an advantage in a given situation but proceed to succeed from there. At the end of the day, instead of inspiring audiences to help themselves, local shows only lull them into thinking that God will fix everything for them. It becomes less a show that focuses on inspiring the audience and instead showcases wishful thinking.
The thing is, while I will still say that there’s really nothing wrong with using “sex sells” because it’s quite inherent in just about everything, we at least have to be more considerate of our audience. What strikes me as odd is that shows like Nathaniel which, I must admit, does have some values to teach the youth are shown later on in the night while somewhere at noon (a time when we all know that kids could be home watching TV) the programming is infested with raunchy shows. I’ve already said this once but I’ll say it again now because I don’t think anyone is really listening: WHERE ARE YOU MTRCB WHEN WE NEED YOU?
As Benign0, Ilda and Add have pointed out, unless we bring proper control on the media, the cycle will only continue to the point that our people will no longer be able to operate on any kind of sane mindset. What I find alarming is that our stupidity is already slipping into the boundaries of madness as many of us are choosing to disregard the reality of our situation for the bliss of escapist entertainment. Look, escapist pursuits are normal and even beneficial in many cases but putting them above the reality of our sad condition (such as our failing economy, threat of foreign invasion and terrorism) is just a form of insane self-delusion.
I HAVE RETURNED TO LAY WASTE TO OUR ENEMIES!