Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gretchen and Claudine Barretto – Drama Queens

With so many brouhahas that have happened before the airing of the 8:30PM timeslot of last night’s local TV, I took the chance of finally being able to sleep way earlier than my usual bedtime. Even if you are not that fond of celebrities or local shows, especially dramas, you may have heard about Claudine Barretto’s agony and pains after finding out that her new show on GMA is going to be pitted against her sister’s MMK episode. Gretchen Barretto, on the other hand, immediately stole the spotlight by resorting to a walkout from her media interview. Both happenings were featured on primetime news, as if these were very important issues and as if these two are still very popular.

Well, they may be popular, but not for good reasons. People only care to listen about them if they are involved in nasty and unpopular situations that they are both so good in meddling with. What’s the whole drama all about? Claudine’s argument is that she pities her parents because they must feel very sad that their daughters are being pitted against each other. For Gretchen, she argues that any parent would be proud that their daughters are dominating a certain timeslot on local TV. For this argument, with or without the walkout, Gretchen clearly gave out the more intelligent response.

As per the teasers that I have watched, I don’t like both. Gretchen’s MMK appears to be too old and very complex. It may appeal to the much older viewers. Claudine’s drama, on the other hand, doesn’t have anything new to offer, except that it’s Claudine on the other channel.

GMA 7 seems to be sticking on a formula drama. If they want to make viewers cry, they will use the story of amnesia or Alzheimer’s, like what was utilized on Claudine’s story. Yeah, it may be heart tugging to see someone you love slowly forgetting about you and even about themselves, but after watching it for the first time and you have already cried, the next time you see the same storyline, you will definitely change channels.

My mother watched both. She said, para walang away (feeling naman nya sya yung nanay ng mga Barretto =). The MMK story started with what seems to be a simple plot. Gretchen’s husband died and so she fell in love with a priest. My mother switched channels to watch Claudine’s. The story basically stuck with what was seen on the teaser. It was not only simple, it was boring. When she tuned in again to MMK, she was surprised when the priest character began abusing Gretchen’s kids because she doesn’t have enough time for him. This is when the real conflict would begin and at this point, the remote control was completely forgotten. My mother said that she even cried while watching MMK. I asked her what she felt while watching Claudine. She said that the story may have been good, but the story telling is bad.

This is a very usual reaction to dramas that are done by GMA 7. Even at the time when they have gotten all good creative people from ABS CBN to create Susan Roces’ drama series during the Christmas season, the end result was not as good as compared with the same genres that are shown on ABS. This may be the reason why GMA sticks with re-hashed and recycled concepts and fantasy series. They still cannot create the kind of drama that can hook the viewers and make them cry.

Oh well, GMA 7 claims that they are still number one, but this must not make them feel secured. There are times when ABS CBN is leading the ratings in Mega and Metro Manila that were supposed to be avid to GMA shows. Or even if this is true, GMA should strive harder to make their stories and storytelling more compelling. They are lucky because it seems like ABS CBN will still be their only stiff competitor for a long time. TV-5 re-launched at the time when they still did not have any good materials for their shows. There are rumors that even Maricel Soriano cannot stand to shoot the crappy scripts being given to her. Maricel needs this to prove that she still is a star, and it won’t help if she’ll be given materials like the ones that Claudine is doing on GMA.

Enough has been said, but going back to the Claudine and Gretchen dominance on Saturday night’s drama block, Gretchen is the clear winner when it comes to the script, acting and overall production. I’m not sure about the ratings though. I am interested to find out who won on this aspect. If ever it would be Claudine, many couch people have surely wasted their time and missed out on their chance to get a good cry or a good night sleep like what I had.



It seems like the ratings have sided with Gretchen as well =)

TNS, March 10: National MMK 31.4/Claudine 14.7;
Mega MMK 23.6/Claudine 17.3;
Metro MMK 26.4/Claudine 14.7

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