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Soap operas’ annoying tactic

IN MY EYES

By Edward B. Antonio

My friends used to tell good stories about GMA’s “Encantadia” and ABS-CBN’s “Ang Probinsyano.”

The first one is a Filipino fantasy franchise produced and published by GMA Network. It consists of four television series that have run from 2005 to 2017. It just ended to give way to “Mulawin.”

“Ang Probinsyano” is a 2015 Philippine action drama television series based on the 1997 Fernando Poe Jr. film of the same title, courtesy of FPJ Productions. Directed by Malu Sevilla, Avel Sunpongco and Toto Natividad, it is topbilled by Coco Martin, together with an ensemble cast. The series premiered on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida evening block and worldwide on The Filipino Channel on September 28, 2015, replacing Nathaniel and runs to date.

According to AGB Nielsen, the rivalry between “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” and “Encantadia” (now replaced by “Mulawin”) was the stiffest among competition on television shows. For almost 2 years on TV, “Encantadia” is the only Kapuso show that was able to constantly beat “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” on AGB Nielsen TV ratings and at least give the current longest-running TV series a challenge on primetime.

In August 2015, Coco Martin starrer FPJ’s “Ang Probinsyano” has been topping ratings as it continues to reinvent itself by introducing a parade of characters played by big actors in the field. The police drama, based on the 1997 Fernando Poe Jr. film of the same name, was given the longest extension until January 2018.

Meanwhile, since its pilot airing on July 2016, “Encantadia” has taken viewers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. They cried over the fallen, laughed over the slivers of silliness, welcomed new lives, and celebrated every victory with the valiant Sang’gres.

“Ang Probinsyano” remained as the most watched program in the country as it scored 36.6% versus the final episode of “Encantadia” (27%). The Kapamilya primetime series got a TV rating that is 9.6 points higher than its rival show.

But research shows straight men don’t watch soap operas or at least they don’t like watching one. Here are few reasons:

1. Men who come home from work desires evening attention and soap operas are a constant attention grabber. Men seek a refuge from the dull monotony of work in the soft and comforting words of his partner and not of a partner who is glued to the soap opera.

2. Men consider soap opera stories far from reality. Men are very close to the real world and simply dislike any nonfactual element or activity. All the daily soaps bear fictional characters that might hold one’s breath or test your patience. In the real world, people are seldom that way.

3. Men consider soap operas wastage of time. The time that the partner spends on watching daily soap operas can be utilized for doing something useful. He hates it when she spares time for such useless endeavors like soaps.

4. Men hate it when it interferes with the couple’s sleeping time. Usually, men like to sleep together with their partner. But late night soap operas disrupt the schedule and hence a source of enmity.

5. Men don’t like drama hearing arguments and females crying all the time isn’t exactly a man’s idea of a good time.

6. Women watch a soap opera especially if they know it to be a tear-jerker. Women will cry while watching a soap opera, or at a sappy commercial on TV. Men avoid tears except in cases of broken bones or due to uncontained grief or anger. Women tear up, on average 64 times a year – while men cry 17 times.

7. Because they could tell the stories faster if they didn’t stop and stare at each other for 2 minutes at the end of each scene.

I agree with these observations, fellas.

In fact, the last one is the best answer posted in one of the Yahoo surveys.

Usually, after watching the news during dinnertime, the program next shifts to these soap operas and I could not help but to stare at the television once in a while. Oh, how I hate these cameramen and the director focusing on the faces of the characters one by one at the end of every scene prior to an advertise-ment.

I noticed this trend of prolonging the time during the airing of Flor de Luna starring Janice de Belen from 1978 to 1983. Since then, I stopped watching these face-focused opera which, to me, is a very annoying tactic of the director, cameraman and producer.

Most notorious in my list of soap opera today which make use of this tactic are ABS-CBN’s “Wildflower” and “Ang Probinsyano.” The directors use too much time in showing the facial expression of the casts at the end of each scene. And they repeatedly do so until its time slot of the day is spent!

I find this method very, very annoying, fellas, so the next thing I do, is to shift to a sports channel or to CNN where the station maximizes the use of its airtime to focus on its programs.

Or the next best thing to do is to listen to the evening news and commentaries in the radio.

Or simply watch a DVD movie until bedtime.

I don’t personally hate these soap operas, fellas.

I admit I was a big fan of GMA’s “Encantadia” which used very little time to focus on the facial expression of the cast at the end of each scene while my pen buddy Robert “Ka Sabas” Alicias loves “Ang Probinsyano” owing to the fast resolution of the story subplots.

He especially likes the Coco Martin-Yassi Pressman tandem as husband and wife hoping they will end up couple in real life.

Well, that’s life, fellas.

You love some, you hate some.

Including soap opera.#