From Langis at Tubig to Tubig at Langis…Can a Tweak Make a Hit? (The First Week)
By Wilbur Hernandez
Following the valid explanation given to the title’s tweak, what followed was a revelation of sorts. After production management asked permission from the Zialcita family, the request was gladly accommodated. In fact, such is a non-issue. The bottom line is to give televiewers a new show that inspires and fuel our intentions to love.
Have you tried viewing religiously the entire first week airing of the new afternoon soap opera Tubig at Langis? If you are familiar with the original movie of the late director Danny Zialcita, comparisons would be inevitable. Langis at Tubig was the original title, the love triangle hit that was released in 1980, under Sining Silangan Productions. Let us not forget, it had a formidable cast led by the Star for All Seasons, Gov. Vilma Santos, Amy Austria and Dindo Fernando.
While the recycled version is a teleserye, it boasts of an interestingly beautiful cast – Zanjoe Marudo, Christine Reyes and an undeniably promising Isabelle Daza. Of course, queries concerning the title’s word switching will initially bear interests to soap opera enthusiasts.
In a press conference and interviews made with the production family, business unit head and executive producer Ruel Bayani intimated that they are anchoring or possibly riding on the popularity of the song “Tubig at Langis.” The ditty, penned by the iconic composer George Canseco, and interpreted by the meagastar, Sharon Cuneta, has a unique melody that ascends to its climactic refrain.
Certainly Tubig at Langis is a new show that will never deign its appeal, but will show what marriage is and should be, when limits are tested. The new drama serye will remain to the original Zialcita and Baby Nebrida storyline, that is a married man who fathers a child out of wedlock. When Irene (Reyes) who meets and falls in love with Jaime and finds out that he is a married man, she is crushed. He leaves her with a living reminder, a son. Five years later, Irene’s childhood friend Natoy (Marudo) returns to her life. He still loves her, and refills the void of her emotional life. They decide to start life anew; until Natoy meets a very sultry barrio lass (Daza).
While complications will begin in the following episodes, after its first week of airing (February one to five in the year of the fire monkey), televiewers will have the propensity of Tubig at Langis’s main characters to unravel their own flaws and spew out their needs while simultaneously parlaying anything to assert who should be with whom, and who or what they deserve.
Along with the delineations of Marudo, Reyes and Daza on usurping into their characters for “seryenatics,” real movie buffs and true cinephiles may not oppose, not even raise a hand of disapproval over Tubig at Langis. However, there is a probability for them to think of the movie’s greatness and timelessness is compromised. While Zialcita’s movie has a story that is feasible for a remake and even repackage, fans of the classic movie may just surmise non-chalantly, that a television recycle is stripped of elements that make it a distinct drama.
However, with the changes made by the producers and script masters in Tubig at Langis and its lengthened storytelling, may erode the classic appeal and render the story’s progression less endearing. Zialcita’s movie characters now relegated to a teleserye may risk to become less appealing and slowly developed.
The piquancy of their look, and even the showy display of wealth and glamour in the wide screen (like any other Zialcita movie has), will diminish and be stripped of its lustre, and become a mundane of Juans and Juanas who can only relate with it. This is acceptable considering the demographics of the show is aiming to capture.
But one more thing, gone are the kilometric dialogues very futile in any Zialcita opus. Everyone should realize that the said director was the original purveyor of what is today’s “hugot lines”. Yes, millennials, it was really the late filmmaker who started it all.The distinct movie characters enlivened in Langis at Tubig, in time became pluperfect characters, thank you hugely to the great casting who portrayed them with aplomb. Now we see these characters on a daily basis in Tubig at Langis. It is only the first week after all. Therefore, it is too early to tell and even set a prognosis over how it is performing for the audience. While the three main actors are equipped with acting prowess, we can only hope that they do not confer and connect with viewers with pale endearment.