THE 1980’s are back on television.

Some of the decade’s controversial Filipino movies have been adapted as soap-opera series on the boob tube. The use of tried and tested materials saves the networks from coming up with original ideas that may not really rate well on TV. But given the original movies’ adult themes, are they really suitable for local television?

KATORSE

A remake of the film which catapulted Dina Bonnevie to stardom, Katorse is a story about 14-year-old Nene (Erich Gonzalez), a probinsyana impregnated by her childhood friend Gabby Arcanghel (Ejay Falcon), the youngest son of the haciendero for whom Nene’s mother works. He leaves her to study in America, and the frustrated lass unexpectedly loses her baby in a miscarriage. She moves to Manila to start life anew.

The series’ story has been revamped to suit the conflict-driven taste of Filipino viewers, as seen through the addition of Marissa (Charee Pineda), the love interest of brothers Gabby and Albert Arcanghel (Xian Lim), and Jojo (Enchong Dee), a friend of Gabby, who falls in love with Nene.

Understandably, love scenes have been toned down due to the series having a primetime slot. The romantic depiction of the sex scene might give the idea that sex is equal to love. Later, the series bares social consciousness through the portrayal of problems brought by the unwanted pregnancy, such as Nene’s education being put to a halt. It also provides a critique of patriarchy: like Nene’s mother blames her for Gabby’s expulsion from school and for “ruining” his life. Based on a chauvinistic, patriarchal point of view, where the female and the poor are always at fault, only the rich have lives to be ruined and that rich males have no responsibility for siring the children of poor females.

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Katorse mirrors real life and the problems pre-marital sex may cause. But the series is much too adult so it should be removed on primetime. Shown daily and on primetime, it seems to encourage the problems it supposedly critiques.

TINIK SA DIBDIB

The 1985 film revolves around Lorna (Nora Aunor), who comes from a lower-class and dysfunctional family. Though she has dedicated her life to serving her parent, she is treated without gratitude. She eventually meets Lando (Philip Salvador), falls in love and marries him to escape her dreadful family, earning the ire of her mother. Lorna soon discovers that not everything is as perfect as it seems with Lando, and that his family holds secrets darker than hers.

The remake has seen several changes, such as the addition of the character Dr. Paolo Ramirez (Marco Alcaraz) a plastic surgeon, who saves Lorna (Sunshine Dizon) from an accident. Ramirez then operates on Lorna and recasts her face it into that of his girlfriend Danica (Nadine Samonte), due to Lorna wearing Danica’s jacket during the time of the accident. The new story makes the show more intriguing, as we see Lorna struggling against Ramirez’s delusion.

Tinik has some very dark undertones, such as the plastic surgeon constantly injecting Lorna with a paralyzing drug to prevent her from escaping. Apart from this, the series tackles adult subjects such as pseudo-incest (Lando having a child with his stepmother) and adultery, as seen through Lorna’s abusive father having a mistress. Therefore, Tinik should be watched with caution, as the negative scenes may be wrongly interpreted and imitated by young viewers.

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Habang maaga ay magparehistro

Ultimately, the changes by the television networks of old materials are commerce-driven – merely to keep younger audiences glued to their sets. It is hard to ignore that the improvements are merely gratuitous and mercenary. Maria Joanna Angela D. Cruz

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