PH directors: Local teleseryes should embrace change

‘Crash Landing on You’ stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin (Photo courtesy of Netflix) 

JUST A THOUGHT: “If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.” --- Billy Idol  


     SKILLFUL STORYTELLING: Last Friday, I asked, “Has K-drama snatched PH teleserye audience?’’

      The question was based on the popularity and appeal of Korean drama programs among Filipinos. It opened a floodgate of comments and opinions from audiences everywhere, so I thought it best to ask other concerned parties, such as the producers and directors of local teleseryes.   

Laurice Guillen (Photo from Nikkei Asian Review)

         Laurice Guillen, director of GMA’s interrupted series, “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit,” says she got hooked on K-drama early this year with “Crash Landing on You.” The worldwide hit series tells the story of a South Korean heiress who accidentally crash lands in North Korea where she is saved by a soldier and they fall in love. 

    During this quarantine period, she says K-drama helped keep her optimistic.

    The veteran actor-director says, “Yes. They make me smile and laugh. Feel young. Something to look forward to when I’m done walking, followed by dinner.’’

  Laurice admires the values presented in the stories. “They have very skillful storytelling, too.’’

    She believes local TV should seriously study the content of K-drama and acknowledge why and how it has hooked Philippine viewers.

    “Until the makers of Philippine television content acknowledge that, we will trail behind and the lessons learned during this lockdown will come to nothing. Sayang lang.’’

    On a positive note, she says, a new content platform in the Philippines can capitalize on the lessons learned from the lockdown, and adapt to the change. It might be the new normal for Philippine film and television (content) entertainment.


Joey Reyes

  UNIFYING SCENES: Writing on his blog, “Choking on my Adobo,” writer-director Jose Javier Reyes analyzes the appeal of K-dramas.

   First, he cites their well laid out story and unifying scenes that serve the entirety of the narrative.

   Joey says"Bluntly put, the writers do not think per episode. They look at each installment as part of a much larger story, ending each unit with adequate suspense or curiosity to compel the viewer to move onto the next. In other words, there is nothing literally out of the blue happening here. Every event, every plot development from start to finish has been well-integrated and organically linked with one another."

    Second, the scripts are always well-written and thought of.

    Reyes: "K-dramas are what they are meant to be: materials that are meant to make you cry but never in your face to the extent of going over the top or squeezing a scene dry in order to bring about emotional impact. There is still a certain restraint in the way scenes are written-so that (here is the clincher) the impact of a sequence is achieved not through words alone but what is visualized in its execution. And that makes great writing.

     "Unlike Filipino teleserye heroines whose greatness is measured by her ability to suffer, the K-drama heroine is a fighter. She has her own mind, she knows what she wants-and though she may stumble along the way, confronted by her adversaries, she will keep on fighting."

    K-dramas offer a variety of genres to choose from apart from the same tired love stories.