AlDub Is Rewriting Local Showbiz Love Team History (Analysis Pa More!)
By Arnel Ramos
Now on its fourth month, Eat Bulaga’s “kalyeserye” is starting to show signs of running out of steam.
With the AlDub phenomenon coming at us raging and unstoppable, numbers have taken on a whole new meaning, breadth, and dimension. Consider this: over 12 million tweets for their “First Date” episode which also clocked in more than 40% rating. This only means that a few Saturdays ago, almost half of the country’s TV viewing denizens dropped whatever they were doing to watch that much-anticipated chapter in the screen couple’s boob tube romance.
Can reigning showbiz love teams KathNiel and JaDine claim the same for their respective primetime dramas? Together, Kathryn (Bernardo) and Daniel (Padilla) are quite potent but individually, it looks like it is Daniel who’s got the wider fan base. Robin Padilla’s “pamangkin” can fill Araneta to the rafters even when he is not a bona fide singer.
But with great success come huge expectations, and the specter of things eventually dying down. Some jokes fall really flat and there are visibly boring stretches. These all become more noticeable when the camera pans back to its strongest attraction (and weapon) – that of Maine (Mendoza as Yaya Dub) and Alden (Richards as himself playing his screen self) singing to each other in Dubsmash heaven.
The time when Alden was missing in action (he was actually busy performing for Pinoys overseas and in far-flung provinces), which was followed by Maine, also being absent from the series for a few days, it was evident that no matter how good Wally (Bayola) and company were as the three lolas, Eat Bulaga’s “kalyeserye” is not the same without AlDub.
The truly “organic”
AlDub’s irresistible appeal is partly due to its being a sort of return to the basics, to good old-fashioned romance when in the movies of yore, Roger (Rogelio dela Rosa) and Mameng (Carmen Rosales) would sing under a mango tree and the whole country was feverish with innocent “kilig.” Channeling Golden Age leading men, Alden would, in some episodes of the series, buy fruits to satisfy his beloved’s whim. Lola Nidora would be like the Rosa Aguirre in those LVN romances who would always remind the young lovers to take things slow. That love is best savored when it isn’t rushed, and when much effort is put into it. That is intrinsically very Filipino, values that have been set aside with the emergence of social media and the age of instant gratification. And this is where the “kalyeserye” got it right.
And it is also where It’s Showtime got it so wrong. The whole Pastillas Girl hullabaloo is tantamount to disempowering a woman and reducing her plight to a level that is trivial. As though love is the only thing she lives for, craves for. Pastillas was premeditated while AlDub sprang up like a sweet surprise. A breath of fresh air in a landscape that smells of filth and stench. Garbage television, as some would put it.
AlDub is here to stay
With a much-anticipated “Ang Tamang Panahon” show to be staged at the Philippine Arena this Saturday, it is also to the writing team’s credit that they do not run out of surprises for AlDub fans to lap up hook, line, and sinker. The power of the love team puts to rest naysayers’ doubts. Just consider the following statistics: ticket sales for the special AlDub event sold like pancakes hours after it went on sale. (And so admirable to know that proceeds of the show will be given to chosen barangays to build public libraries). Also, Alden’s debut album merited a Gold Record Award even before it was formally launched.With a deluge of multimillion-peso endorsements and a potential MMFF blockbuster entry tucked under its belt, the tandem looks like it’s bound to grow legs. And not a mere flash-in-the-pan as the competition would want it.
That is ultimately the sorry reality that It’s Showtime will have to deal for now.