Sorry guys, but we still think Guns and Roses was a bit of a disappointment; what it was, was an unfortunate amalgamation of machismo and dekada otsenta-ish dialogues and ratratan action sequences. Thankfully, we now have only kind words for ABS-CBN for making its Primetime Bida much more exciting with the premiere of 3 exciting shows over the last few weeks. The shows are My Binondo Girl, Nasaan Ka Elisa?, and Budoy.

First up, let’s talk about Budoy. We think that a series tackling the plight of special children (in a politically correct way) is long overdue. And who better to get the message across than Gerald Anderson? He is probably the most popular Filipino actor nowadays, and he influences a lot of young people (1.08 million followers on Facebook? Yeah. That’s hard to beat!)
Gerald is amazing in his role as Benjamin “Budoy” Maniego, who has a condition known as Angelman syndrome and suffers from intellectual and developmental retardation. When he was 5 years old, he was spirited away upon the orders of his lola, Dr. Alberta Maniego (Barbara Perez). The scary lola was worried about her family’s reputation as renowned physicians, and she didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of not being able to find a cure for her grandson’s condition.
We also have to give a thumbs up to the acting prowess of Janice de Belen, who’s returning to ABS-CBN after 10 years. Her role as the doting adoptive mother of Budoy (Elena) is very convincing indeed. We really felt the intensity of her anger when she came to Budoy’s defense when the latter was blamed by the townsfolk for an unfortunate conflagration that was actually started by teenagers who was bullying Budoy. Also to watch in this show are Zsa Zsa Padilla, who plays the role of Budoy’s biological mother, Luisa, and Mylene Dizon, who’s back to playing a bruhita role after successfully playing Susan in Mara Clara.
My Binondo Girl, on the other hand, is local TV’s homage to Mulan, and Kim Chiu and the rest of the cast are wonderful. We couldn’t help but feel for Kim (who plays Jade Dimaguiba) when her father, Chen Sy (Richard Yap), discovered that she was only dressing up and pretending to be her brother, Yuan Sy, who actually passed away in childbirth.

Chen, an old-school Chinese, had always wanted a son. When he and his Filipino wife, Zheny Dimaguiba (Ai-Ai de las Alas), had Jade, he became disappointed when he learned the child was a girl. Chen later had a second child (Yuan) with Zheny, but he never saw the baby because the couple became estranged.
Yes, we think Ai-Ai, should stop doing comedy stuff and just concentrate on dramatic roles. Lol. She can really play kawawang roles such as the loving nanay  she is playing in My Binondo Girl. 
On the other hand, Cherry Pie Picache is also such a good actress that she plays her role as an evil mang-aagaw ng asawang Jean Sy so well without sacrificing those comedic instances wherein she bandies witty remarks with Ai-Ai and Gina Pareño, who’s yet again playing the role of a funny lola  (Zheny: “hindi kakasya ‘tong mga damit sa ‘yo, mataba ka eh”; Jean: “Mayaman kasi ako, marami akong kinakain!”) (Update: that janitress companion of Jade at the restaurant is also a promising comedienne).

Among Kim’s leading men, Jolo Revilla stands out as the comedian with his funny role as Onyx Dimalanta, who has an unrequited crush on his best friend, Jade. Matteo Guidicelli is okay, too, but is somewhat unconvincing as Trevor Wu (he looks too tisoy). On the other hand, Xian Lim, who plays Trevor’s brother, Andy Wu, projects his emotions very well, and he also plays the piano, mind you 🙂 Aside from the Jean and Zheny face-offs, we also enjoyed those scenes when people around Andy and Jade thought they were gay because they appeared to be flirting (Jade was dressed as Yuan). As a matter of fact, Andy was just trying to take care of Jade, whom he already knew was a girl.

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Among the three love teams, the most promising one is that of Jade and Andy. Kim is chinita and Xian is chinito (he’s winning our hottest chinito poll, by the way), and Xian towers over the 2 other dudes with his 6-foot frame. If ABS-CBN will invest on Xian and Kim’s love team, we bet it will be the next Kimerald 🙂

And how about Nasaan ka Elisa? Although it is not an original TV series (its plot originates in Chile, from the drama series¿Dónde está Elisa?), we still enjoy the unfolding of scandals that followed the disappearance of Elisa Altamira (played by Melissa Ricks).
It has an outstanding main cast, we should say, our favorites being Agot Isidro (Dana Altamira) and Albert Martinez (Mariano Altamira), who have already perfected playing alta sociedad roles 🙂 

Vina Morales is also surprisingly good as the manipulative and scary Cecile Altamira-Caceres (surprising because Vina Morales is really kind in person), and we can’t help but laugh at Mickey Ferriols’s kaartehan as Vivian Altamira-Rincon.
Because we haven’t seen the original Chilean series, we’re really anticipating for the events that are yet to transpire in this series. Even now, we still can’t figure out if Melissa Ricks is playing the role of a victim or a traitor 🙂 What do you think?

Look a la Anne Curtis and Cristine Reyes in 'No Other Woman'


The 5 and Up Heartthrobs

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