i’m not ashamed to admit that i watch a lot of local shows. aside from the fact that my previous job revolved around the local entertainment industry, there’s also a certain joy whenever a local show manages to do something different–if not necessarily good.
when i was a kid, i always watched local sitcoms: from OKEY KA FAIRY KO to OBER DA BAKOD and BAHAY MO BA ‘TO? i loved the situational comedies that didn’t always boil down to slapstick. as for drama series and soap operas, the first one i really enjoyed was the parody MARINARA.
and then ENCANTADIA came. that was an amazing series, not only because it was well thought out–but also because it showed just how much more creative filipinos can get. plus, it also proved that the regular viewing public can embrace something as high-concept as ENCANTADIA. i guess, MULAWIN should get some credit too–after all, that was the soap that started the fantasy trend, and opened the doors for ENCANTADIA.
but i’m not here to talk about that soap. i’m here to talk about my latest guilty pleasure–which doesn’t make me feel guilty at all: DIVA.
it’s a local comedy soap that comes from the same network as ENCANTADIA, and it’s the first to successfully integrate musical numbers into the story. and no, i’m really not counting KAMPANERANG KUBA which aired a few years ago. that was… well, it definitely was something new then. but i think including non-singers anne curtis and luis manzano, and then-non-actor christian bautista really hurt the show’s promise.
DIVA‘s cast, on the other hand, is comprised of mostly singers. not all of whom are great actors–but then the story is not that high-concept. it’s actually a very simple, rags-to-riches story–but with well-loved music and singing accompanying it. a soap opera and popular songs combined together? that’s a regular filipino’s dream come true. acting ability is no longer a requirement here. not that i’m saying the acting is horrible. it’s really not. it’s just that you don’t notice it much amidst the laughing and the singing-along.
DIVA started airing in march of 2010, and from what i hear it will end on the last week of july, or the first week of august. it’s actually longer than the standard soap that it already exceeded the fourth-month mark, but for the most part, you don’t really notice the length of the soap. mostly because of a constantly-changing set of characters, and the already-mentioned singing.
i hear, through the local entertainment rumor mill, that two other networks are thinking of coming up with their own comedy-musical soap opera. but DIVA would’ve been the first to do it–in the philippines. and while it’s not perfect, i don’t think another show would be able to top what it had already accomplished. this is a one-time thing. having a new soap that is very similar to DIVA would only be overkill.
note: image included in post is courtesy of DIVA‘s facebook fan page.