NEW TELESERYE HAS HIGHLY POSITIVE PILOT EPISODES
by Pablo A. Tariman
Soap operas have unpredictable lives.
When they reach their target audiences and some deep connections happen, this will signal wider patronage and later, viable commercial revenues.
To be sure, soap operas (or the teleserye as this is known in this country) have their unique trademarks and have produced stars who earned over a million followers.
In most cases, teleseryes extend to months and even years.
But as a network’s creative team explains it, teleseryes are now conceived with definite lifespan and are only extended if it gains fanatic followers who will raise a howl if it ends just so soon.
For so long now, teleseryes have acquired their own trademarks like the slapping scenes in “Pangako Sa’yo” and the hair-pulling scenes in another.
Soap operas heroines acquire a following fit for saints (latest sampleNathaniel) while villains are marked for eternal damnation. This is the (soap opera) fate of the likes of |Eula Valdez (Pangako Sa’yo) and Gladys Reyes (Mara Clara) and John Regala (Ina, Kapatid, Anak) to Baron Geisler (Nathaniel).
The new face of a marked villain is Albie Casino who portrays the role of Juan Miguel “Jigz” Magtoto in “On The Wings of Love.” He had only registered a few seconds of screen presence when JaDine fans started crucifying him as the imminent contrabida in the life of of the two young OFWs.
Indeed, the entry of “On The Wings of Love” directed by Antoinette Jadaone has many things going for it.
It is about the trials and tribulations of OFWs in America played by Isay Alvarez and later, Nadine Lustre.
It has the most welcome presence of James Reid, the Filipino-American disowned by his father for one reason or another.
Thanks to the creative presence of Jadaone, the teleserye doesn’t linger long on the suffering which is the hallmark of soap operas. Instead, it makes something entertaining and admirable about some characters like this durable TNT (Tago ng tago) superbly portrayed by Cherry Pie Picache. In her hands, the new TNT portrayed by Lustre and and the abandoned son (Reid) make stellar appearances that elicit endless “kilig” moments enough to keep Jadine fans shouting and cheering during the preview night.
What is immediately noticeable is the special touch of Director Antoinette Jadaone in the first few episodes of “On The Wings of Love” she co-directed with Jojo Saguin.
While stories on OFWs are by now familiar, Jadaone found a way to make the materials fresh and by turns, entertaining. The JaDine love team showed remarkable improvement in acting. Pitted with the brilliant performances of Cherry Pie Picache and Joel Torre, Reid and Lustre get their chance to shine in ensemble acting.
To be sure, the teleserye is first-rate entertainment but it has something very real to say about the state of our OFWs. As one of the characters intones, this teleserye has “pusong OFW” in every scene episode.
Like it or not, “On the Wings of Love” has the social awareness of “Ikaw Lamang.”
It informs as it entertains.
With this new project, Direk Jadaone will most likely change the face of teleserye. If the initial episodes are of any indication, she is telling us that soap operas can go beyond entertainment. The presence of Reid and Lustre is a good vehicle on which to teach the young what OFWs go through to give their families a good life.
We hope the teleserye retains its good focus and entertaining qualities in the subsequent episodes.
For now, one can say “On The Wings of Love” is headed for wider patronage.
It airs on August 10 on Channel 2 after “Pangako Sa’yo.”