Thursday, November 9, 2006

Please, let go

"Impressions," TV Times, 3-9 September 1978


Philippine television has been around for at least 25 years--a quarter of a century, our world-watching friend, board director of a local television company, reminds us--and in those 25 years, we would like to think that it has grown and developed and would continue to grow and develop.

So why, on certain days, when we turn on the television set, are we beset with a punishing sense of deja vu, as if we had seen all these before and yet not left them behind after a decade or so?

One Wednesday night, we happened to watch Operation Petticoat and seemed to recall, from the shadowy depths of memory, a much earlier canned series on local television--we must have been children then yet, for we cannot even remember the title--with men in similar uniform, in a similar crowded locale, and in similarly funny situations.

On Channel 4 prime time, it is almost like going back to a long-gone era. They are still playing the same brand of basketball, with roughly the same star names, although for a change, everybody has gone professional. And they are still showing old, old series and old, old movies. But all that may change every soon, we understand.

On our Friday deadline, who was scheduled to come out with her musical special (Oh no, not again!) but Julie Andrews, who must have sung to all of Hollywood Hills as far back as we can remember. And what can you say about Tarzan and Combat, both of which have been around for much longer than we would really like? Or Lorne Greene who, even with his best investigative technique in Griff, brings back faint memories of the more-beloved Bonanza? And Tang Tarang Tang, which changed only its title but retained the same family situation and the same family members bar one?

But this, you wouldn't believe! The other week, we saw Nida Blanca play it coy while being courted by Luis Gonzales in Mana Mana 'Yan on a Thursday night, dance it cool with Lita Gutierrez on the Nida-Lita Show on a Saturday night, and labor over the credits on her cue card on Sunday night's Penthouse Seven. Through them all, it was the same old Nida, doing the old routines and the old gimmicks, belting out the old acting style, even the old talking style.

We have nothing against nostalgia, but we wish some of our local performers would know when to let a good memory go. Age should teach us all the wisdom to know when to move on to much better and more solid performances, and how. And to do both, not only with spirit but also with grace.

-- NBT

No title in original published column

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