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Hannah Marie T.

Lagumbay Arts 1 THX-2

February 27, 2020
BS Chemical Engineering Prof. Robin Daniel Rivera

Profit over Quality in Filipino Teleseryes

Teleserye-watching is already engraved as an integral part of Filipino afternoons and

evenings where households tune in to the daily Teleserye, bringing family together to bond. The
Teleserye culture, however, has prompted media companies to poorly invest in Teleserye quality
and instead fall back on the “patok” story formulas. The poor investment inevitably results in
storytelling art and film direction compromises, creation of out-there and inconsistent storylines,
and the rehashing of worn-out stereotypes.

Teleseryes are melodramatic serialized fictions that air on Philippine television. They
have been heavily influenced by Mexican Telenovelas and Korean dramas. Since Teleseryes air
for everyday every week, lucrative commercial deals that bring large amount of advertising cash
to the media company are always present; thus, producers are pressured to create “play-safe”
shows to guarantee profit. “Play-safe” companies recycle proven-and-tested popular concepts
and plots for the audience to easily consume without even trying to ever break the mold. Often,
these shows are riddled with clichés such as babies being switched at birth; the evil rich and the
good poor characters dynamic; the rags to riches stories; the kidnapping of main characters; and
the police always arriving a bit too late. The “Bida-Kontrabida” plotlines of Teleseryes, often in
the form of the Kabit stories, display toxic relationships which Filipinos enjoy watching because
of the nasty catfights with hair-pullings, screaming, and thunderous slaps. The prevalence of
tear-jerking and heart-wrenching scenes make me think Filipinos are actually masochists deep
inside. The Filipino Teleserye will never be complete without scandalous romance and the holy
love triangle. Teleseryes are probably required to have the uniquely Filipino “love teams.” The
cleverly disguised marketing tools will be pushed for main roles in Teleseryes despite lacking the
acting skills so as long as they have a fanbase that keeps the money coming. Teleseryes have
become stagnant. Why don’t we try creating dramas centered on crime, technology, medical,
legal, historical, and mystery plots. In this way, we can introduce a wide variety of stories while
introducing different perspectives and not just the one everyone is used to and tired of seeing.

Teleseryes are without a doubt an integral part of the Filipino; however, over the years,
Teleseryes have only been growing in quantity and not quality. Quality should always come
before quantity in art. The Teleseryes increasing their quality is not only a niche desire but a
Hannah Marie T. Lagumbay Arts 1 THX-2
February 27, 2020
BS Chemical Engineering Prof. Robin Daniel Rivera

requirement to the betterment and broadening of the Filipino perspective as they can create a
massive cultural-impact.