FRANCHISED foreign shows, adaptations of international telenovelas and imported TV series then dubbed in the Filipino language is the latest trend in the country’s television scene.
The idea may sound fascinating and its outcome may look very entertaining: voting for your favorite “scholar” inside the “dream academy,” seeing Filipino celebrities portray the characters of your once-loved Mexican telenovela about a girl who lived by the sea and conquered all obstacles of her love and life, or watching Korean actors “speak” in our tongue. But then this fad is slowly and obviously transforming Philippine primetime television into plain copycat.
Many of the shows we’re seeing now are but resurrections of their original, at times adjusted a bit to blend with the Philippine setting. It looks like the number one criterion nowadays in primetime TV programming are the ratings the broadcasting companies are gaining, and not the substance of their shows. TV ratings mean serious business because millions of pesos are involved in it through television commercials (TVCs) being aired during a program’s timeslot.
Still, it is not a good reason to just create a Pinoy version of the shows that made waves before in other countries for the sake of conquering the TV rating charts. Filipinos are naturally creative and rich in culture and traditions which are often disregarded because of colonial mentality. A Filipino artist can be so inspired of the things around him that are also Filipino.
Our stories are not limited to mermaids, Pinoy superheroes and damsels-in-distress, rags-to-riches protagonists. Why don’t we have a drama series inspired by the story of People Power or maybe about a cultural group?
These ideas were applied to Philippine movies; why not try them in Philippine television? These concepts may sound very odd and even funny, but can promote our own identity to our fellow Filipinos and to the world. They are truly our own.
Though there’s nothing wrong with watching shows from overseas because they can also broaden the mind. Let’s not import programs with impurity to the point of suppressing our own creativity.
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