Erik Matti whines about K-dramas instead of rallying the local industry to step up

Thanks to this pandemic, people have more time in their hands to binge-watch on Netflix and the like without guilt.  After all, staying home is considered an act of valor these days, with the national government even threatening to do a Martial Law type of enforcement against people who err on quarantine protocols.  So this is a rare instance when you can simply sit back and do nothing but watch all day and come out of the ordeal feeling like you have done your share for your fellow men.

So it’s no surprise that Netflix and social media would take the top spot as the most time-consuming activities these days. And it’s also in Netflix that  Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti found information that made him rant on Twitter against K-dramas that have apparently taken a hold on the country as far as patronage and viewership is concerned.

According to reports that quoted his tweet, the director was not too happy about the dominance of Korean dramas among the Pinoy market. He went on to describe them as “Faux cinderella stories with belofied actors whiter than white”.  And went on to how could people watch things about “love” in the middle of a pandemic.

Had these tweet been done by a highly opinionated nobody like me on Twitter, it would have been totally fine. In the scheme of things, we all have our say on matters that do not have a great impact on the world with or without our precious opinions added to their existence.

But this is a Filipino director talking shop and making his thoughts known about international competition that we’re talking about here. And to be blunt about it, talking trash about the competition for outplaying you and blaming the consumers or the audience (watching “love stories” in the middle of a pandemic) for not supporting local fare is a defeatist, self-pitying stance that is not only counter-productive, but also comes across as garden-variety whining: It’s always somebody’s fault.

To be fair about it, a number of people on Twitter responded directly to Matti’s tweet, calling him out on his negligence to mention the deplorable quality of our local dramas. A Twitter user summed it up accurately:

I’d rather see kdrama that has sense and depth and tackles taboo topics that I can gain knowledge from than the topics of the dramas in the Philippines that would ALWAYS have kabit, barilan, patayan, sampalan, kidnapping etc. So you want us to watch Tagalog dramas? Give us better.

Perhaps the next time Erik Matti issues an opinion about how “bad” things are because the industry is being dominated by the international competition, it would be about stepping up and applying continuous improvement as work ethics instead of simply relying on credentialism and artistic integrity as ways to entice an audience.

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17 Comments on “Erik Matti whines about K-dramas instead of rallying the local industry to step up”

  1. K dramas are the favorite of our “bakya crowd” people. ..in this time of pandemic, where people are forced to be quarantined in their homes; viewing senseless and idiotic, TV soap operas ; maybe one of the best entertainments of ordinary Filipinos, to remove their fears and anxieties.

    Some may read good books; some may surf the internet; some may do blogging, tweeting, FaceBook commenting. Others, may find this times of quarantine, to improve their minds and themselves. Most of us, just want to pass the time, fill our minds with idiotic and melodramatic soap operas, produced by idiotic Filipino movie directors…

    Your attitude in this times, may make you more educated or more ignorant to the world !

      1. @greengrin:

        “Bakya crowd”, are ordinary Filipinos, like you and me…who thinks ordinarily; lives ordinarily; and loves telenovelas…whatever you see on common Filipino characteristic, is “Bakya crowd”…they are as human like you and me; but are mostly YellowTards !

  2. I don’t watch those K-dramas & Pinoy Telenoveles, they’re the toxic to the Filipino society.

    Instead of showing those cheezy drams & Tagalized Hollywood films on Philippine TVs, they should show more of educational programs coming from Nat Geo & Discovery Channel, Japanese anime series that are non-hentai (perverse) content and highly acclaimed Hollywood TV series & game shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, etc. just like before?

    Man, I’d missed those series that was shown on Philippine TV before but now it got sucks and no wonder, Filipinos are becoming more shallow and dumb minded and emo-centric society because of those Pinoy telenobelas & K-dramas!!! Kaya pala hindi tayo umuunlad ang ating bansa nang dahil dyan.
    ;(

    1. By the way, did Erik Matti watched the Oscar winning film, Parasite? If not then he’s a very shallow minded Pinoy director who doesn’t know how to make a good stories both on his TV shows & movies before.

  3. i have seen a TED Talk of a Filipino Director. He discusses about why Philippine Cinema quality spiraled downwards. he mentioned that it was taxed or something and that the Philippine GOvt didnt support it. Korean films is actually supported by the korean govt.

    And may I suggest to all GRP folks here to watch “The Shawshank Redemption”. this is the best movie i have seen this 2020 if the not the best. and by the way it’s a 1995 Film.

    1. I know we have a Film Development Council of the Philippines, but what’s it doing? Yet, I think expecting government aid is not the best thing to do in our situation. Our movies here are also mostly made now by the TV companies, such as ABS-CBN and GMA, and their executives (who Matti works for) don’t give a damn about award-winning quality. That’s one thing I was told in my article about local TV show dysfunctions, that the executives want the same old palamunin-encouraging, kawawaan formula just to keep the viewers glued for ratings. All the old movie outfits, Regal, Viva, LVN, are all gone or dormant, and we can’t expect a resurgence of Philippine movie glory at this time.

    2. Filipino films are actually supported by our government – ever notice why we have 2 Metro Manila Film Festivals where local productions are shown without undue competition from Hollywood “imports”?

      The $64 million question is if Korea’s enviable film industry is levied the same taxes as our own? That has always been the sticking point why we don’t have many players involved in the local film industry

  4. There are existing several problems that I can observe:

    The film industry is dominated and controlled only by a few mostly profit-inclined business organizations like Star Cinema.

    They control and hold the working contracts of artists, writers, film-makers (which include their artistic licenses), the booking of cinema houses and the connections to marketers/advertisers.

    The industry has been cornered by the influence of the culture of the LGBT crowd: mostly by writers with limited talent to come up with imaginative story telling resorting all the time to their formulaic concepts of the usual and directors who has taken their respective positions only by connections/associations but lack the true essential rudiments of film-making. (The producers do not desire to invest in interesting story copyrights of published materials by true writers!)

    Limited budget to produce a film. Low turn out of movie goers. High taxes.

    Independent film-makers who has garnered recognition for their films elsewhere and make attempts to introduce new concepts also has problems of limited budget to produce even something better, limited venues and the indifference of many with neo-colonial minds including some people here in GRP led by Gogs.

    No the government-supported Experimental Cinema initiative like ECP project of Imee Marcos back then with full unrestricted artistic license to film-makers.

    1. There is only Cinemalaya, a non-government initiative, that promotes and exhibits independent films annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines that caters mostly to college students and artists.

    2. High taxes? Really now???

      Has anyone taken the initiative of how our local entertainment industry is taxed? If so, has anyone considered studying the models of how India and South Korea sustained their respective entertainment industries????

    3. Limited budget??? Well, that comes with the taxes….

      Low turnout???? Has anyone even bothered analysing what Filipino filmmakers REALLY like and not rely on the press-release bullshit from the major studios boosting this and that love team???

      Where are the ACTION films with the high-risk stunts and copious gore???? How about a decent thriller or two, preferably WITHOUT supernatural elements???? I guess James Reid’s legions of fans would not be taken aback if his next film would have him FINALLY holding guns and cracking skulls…..

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