November 05, 2004

Telethon

I tried going back to normal sleeping habit by around 11a.m. last night. I thought it would work perfectly well considering I was able to sleep on time. (In the past, trying hard to sleep early only means half-awake nights. ) Alas, I woke up after 4 hours. Knowing that sleeping again would just be a futile attempt, I turned on the VCR and watched the TV programs I missed because of work. Must be because of the drizzling weather at dawn but I found myself shedding tears while watching the TV shows. What's weird is that I was actually watching my favorite sitcoms.

Okay, I did watch the season-ender of The O.C. first. Man, I love this show! The problems of the larger than life characters (euphemism for people who do not exist in real life) are indeed “soapish”, but the direction and the writing make it still interesting to watch. You know the same thing happens every week (there’s a cotillion, or a party, a concert or any big event) and you know problems will eventually be solved by the episode’s end (save for cliffhanger episodes) but I’m still hooked. Maybe it is because the show is able to come up with the right mix of formula that normally would not work in other shows. There is cheesiness but also tongue-in-cheek humor. There is unbelievable drama but also heartwarming moments. For every dumb character like Coop, there is a smart-ass nerd like Seth. Music used is always hip (ah, the Dawson’s Creek formula!). To be fair, what's unique about the show is that it gives equal POV to the parents. In fact, in some episodes, I find the storyline of the parents more endearing than that of the kids. It’s a smart decision actually to give equal billing to the parents because, in a way, it is telling the audience that the generation gap between the teenagers and the parents of today are getting narrower. Meaning, when kids say they do drugs, or premarital sex, or drink alcohol, or rebel against their parents, their parents who were teens in the hedonistic 70’s can rightfully tell them, "ditto, been there, done that."

The sitcoms I watched, on the other hand, are underrated sitcoms I would like to recommend you guys also watch. First, fuck Star Awards and Enpress! The Philippines’ best comedy series should be, hands down, The Misadventures of Maverick and Ariel (aired every Saturday night, 10 p.m. in ABC 5). Of course, the show is far from perfect. Some episodes can really be corny but when it’s funny, it is really funny. Even in it's corny episodes, I’d take this show anytime over those witless sitcoms by GMA and ABS-CBN! The premise of the show is simple. It supposedly documents the day-to-day travails of two media whores and “artista” wannabes by masking itself as a reality show. Nevertheless, the result is craziness and hilarity as the two titular characters find themselves in inane situations one could only imagine. Kudos mostly to writer-director Aleah Aliporo (alumnus of UP Film) for coming up with a breakthrough comedy that actually says a lot by making fun of our country’s adulation to anything “sosyal” and “sikat”. Of course, much kudos should also be given to the show’s comic gem Mommy Elvie (I’m a fan! Hehe :D)



Similarly, BBC’s The Office (Star World, Saturday, 10:30 p.m.) works on the same “reality show” premise. Supposedly, an unseen BBC documentary team shoots what goes on inside the office of a paper business - the characters who work there and their everyday lives. It sounds like an unfunny concept but it actually works because of the smart writing and direction by the show’s main actor Ricky Gervais, and the intelligent well-nuanced acting of the cast ensemble. What’s funny about The Office is that it is painfully real. You know you've met the characters and experienced the situations once in your office life. Gervais’ egocentric David Brent’s antics are also cringe-worthy, you’ll laugh hard in his shameful ways to whore himself out for camera. The heart of show for me though is Tim (Martin Freeman), the idealistic employee who secretly loves the secretary Dawn (Lucy Davis). If you’re a sucker for repressed love stories, their plot is one heck of a “kilig” plot.

I am still clueless as to why I cried while watching these shows. :)

3 comments:

Jax said...

i love maverick & ariel and the office! sobrang funny nila maverick at ariel, lalo na ang nanay ni ariel. hehe.

beatlebum said...

yep! go mommy elvie! :D maverick and ariel & the office back to back is the perfect saturday comedy marathon. :D

aleah said...

hi! this is aleah. i just want to say thank you for believing in me and my show.
we're going to singapore on nov29. The Misadventures of Maverick and Ariel is nominated at the 2006 Asian TV Awards. prayers po..
thanks again and hope you'l support the book im writing.. The Maverick and Ariel Purpose Driven Life. =) is it ok if i get more kwento from you about misad?
please let me know.
email me at ali_bolex@yahoo.com