Switching Channels
  • AURORA, CO - JULY 22: Titia Stillwell and Lori Meade embrace and pray with thousands of others during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday's movie theater mass shooting at the Aurora Municipal Center July 22, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Suspect James Holmes, 24, allegedly went on a shooting spree and killed 12 people and injured 59 during an early morning screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Last Saturday morning, I was horrified to learn that a 24-year-old masked gunman, later identified as James Holmes and armed to the teeth with a shotgun, an assault rifle and a revolver, entered a cinema in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" and opened fire on the moviegoers.

    When the shooting stopped, 10 people were killed and 50 were injured, many of them seriously. Two more died in a hospital where they were being treated. Holmes was later arrested in his car in the parking lot and did not offer any resistance. He told the police officers his apartment was booby-trapped.

    It was horrific, truly a dark night in Colorado.

    Jokes in bad taste

    Sunday noon, I got sick to my stomach when Joey de Leon and Edu Manzano, hosts of TV 5's "Game and Go," cracked jokes related to the tragedy in a newscast spoof. Joey said certain individuals were asking the government to legalize pirated DVDs because it's safer to watch movies at home.

    Edu countered with a

    Read More »from Joey, Edu joke about Colorado mass shooting
  • Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, ACN’s news anchor and managing editor. Photo courtesy of HBO-Asia.I've worked in several newsrooms before so I can identify with HBO's new drama series, "The Newsroom," which starts airing on August 1 at 9 p.m.

    Since I dealt with entertainment stories, life wasn't that hectic for me but I was able to witness the oftentimes frenetic activities in the news desk. This was before computers made life simpler for the desk editors who used to type stories from field reporters on banged-up Underwoods with the phone cradled on their shoulders.

    Photographers used film that had to be developed and printed for the editors to choose which ones would be used for next day's newspaper. All the pages had to be finished by 9 or 10 p.m. so the paper could be printed and the news dealers could have their copies early morning the next day.

    Inside a fictitious cable network

    The new HBO series takes a look inside a more frenetic newsroom of a fictitious cable network, ACN, and the characters that viewers will be following for the ten episodes of the first season.


    Read More »from Conflict and intrigue in HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
  • Milka Redoble (Contributed photo)In the end, it came down to a choice between theatrics and subtlety.

    I'm talking about the finale of "Project Runway Philippines (Season 3)" featuring four upcoming young designers—Cheetah Rivera, Nel Claveria, Jr., Milka Quin Redoble and Amor  Albano. They were among 16 contestants who were chosen from hundred of aspirants nationwide to join the reality show several months ago.

    After undergoing several challenges starting with the initial show last March, the four emerged as the best of the lot. For the grand finale, they had to come with a collection that would showcase their creativity and impress the board of judges composed of noted fashion personalities: program host Tweetie de Leon, Rajo Laurel, Apples Aberin and Lesley Mobo, a Filipino designer based in London.

    Competent judges instead of viewer votes

    These are the types of competitions that I like where the winner is not chosen "American Idol"-style by viewers but by competent judges.

    I've watched their deliberations on TV and

    Read More »from Housewife wins ‘Project Runway Philippines’
  • Chiz EscuderoMichael V and Ogie Alcasid are tops in my book when it comes to comedy. They don't use physical imperfections and toilet humor to make the audience laugh. They rely on characterization and funny situations. Their work on the long-running "Bubble Gang" proves just how talented they are.

    Now they've combined elements of "BG" with a talk show format in "Pare + Pare" (Sundays at 8:30 p.m., GMA-7).  Unlike most talk shows, where the guest is usually seated beside the host, the guest in "P+P" is treated like someone on the witness stand being cross-examined by two lawyers.

    Last Sunday, Senator Chiz Escudero gamely took the "stand."

    On Heart rumor: 'Parang Korea telenovela yan'

    At one point, the show aired a video of Heart Evangelista, who's rumored to be the senator's love interest.

    In a voice that was obviously dubbed by someone else, "Heart" said, "Sa simula pa lang, obvious naman siya na parang nanliligaw siya. Kasi pag nagpapa-picture kami, sasabihin niya say 'Chiz." Tapos hihilig pa

    Read More »from Michael V. and Ogie interview Sen. Chiz Escudero
  • Korina Sanchez (NPPA Images)As a newscaster on "TV Patrol," Korina Sanchez deals mostly with serious stuff like politics, crime, natural disasters, and so on.

    Once a week, Korina takes a break from all that with her magazine program called "Rated K" (Sundays, 7:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN) where she tackles less weighty issues.

    In her last two episodes, she featured animal trainers, homes of the rich and famous, herbal supplements to improve the memory, a married priest, dads who are also moms, celebrity dads and persons with painful and electrifying occupations (more on that later).

    Competent and likable

    In previous interview shows that Korina hosted, she was on camera most of the time. Not so on "Rated K" though her voice-overs dominate the production.

    When she does interview some of the guests, she's quite competent and likeable. It would have been interesting, though, if she did something else aside from chatting with them.

    Maybe the animal trainer could have come up with a stunt involving Korina and his pets.


    Read More »from Rating Korina Sanchez’s ‘Rated K’
  • Pia Hontiveros, who left ABS-CBN in November last year after 22 years as a broadcast journalist, has resumed her TV career. She anchors the evening newscast, "Solar Network News (SNN)" at 6 p.m. on Talk TV (Channel 16 on Sky and 28 on Destiny). She was last seen anchoring Solar's coverage of the Corona impeachment trial.

    What sets "SNN" apart from "TV Patrol" aside from its use of English is the absence of tabloid-oriented news stories. When I watched the show yesterday, there were no items about killings, rapes, robberies and other sensational stuff that often take precedence on "TV Patrol."

    Instead, the focus was on important issues affecting the country such as the impending executive order on the mining industry and the search for the new chief justice. Of course, the lead item of "SNN" was about a Hong Kong-registered cargo ship that collided with a local fishing boat killing one person but there was nothing sensationalistic about the reportage.

    No PR disguised as news

    There was

    Read More »from A refreshing alternative to tabloid news shows
  • Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant (L) is guarded by Miami Heat's LeBron James during the first quarter in Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals in Miami, Florida, June 21, 2012. REUTERS/Mike SegarWatching Game 4 of this year's NBA Finals with the Heat up front 2-1 against the Thunder is like watching a teleserye.

    Last year, with the Heat also ahead of the Mavericks 2-1, they were leading by 9 points with 10 minutes left in the game. It looked like Game 4 was in the bag and they only had to win Game 5 to clinch the championship. It was not to be. The Mavericks caught up with the Heat and won the next two games to become the 2011 NBA champion.

    Will history repeat itself?

    First, there is confrontation between the Heat's Big Three—Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh—and Thunder's Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

    Then, there's action on the hard court similar to the fight sequences in a teleserye.

    The nail-biting suspense comes as James is hurt and must leave the game in the closing minutes.

    And just like any soap, squabbles erupt in sub-plots. Recent online reports say the Heat's Wade has asked the court to suspend the visiting privileges of his ex-wife,

    Read More »from Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma Thunder: The teleserye
  • Actor Hugh Jackman responds after winning a special Tony award during the American Theatre Wing's 66th annual Tony Awards in New York June 10, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (TONYS-SHOW)The Tony Awards for theater performances is not as popular as the Oscars in the Philippines and it's understandable. Very few Filipinos have ever been to Broadway to watch the stage productions so it's hard to relate to the Tonys which was aired on the Velvet channel Monday morning (Philippine time). But in the small world of show business, Broadway and Hollywood sometimes borrow from each other for material. Stage productions, mostly musicals like "Rent," "Chicago," "Mamma Mia" and "Nine" have made it to the big screen. Films like "Spider Man," "Ghost," "Billy Elliot" and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" have been turned into stage plays.

    This year's big Tony winner "Once," with eight awards including Best Musical and Best Lead Actor is based on a little-known movie that won an Oscar for Best Song (Falling Slowly") in 2008. Its main competitor, "Newsies" started out as a film musical with the same title in 1992 and starred an 18-year-old actor named Christian Bale. Bale would graduate

    Read More »from Tony awards more entertaining than the Oscars
  • Timothy Bradley Jr. (L) of the U.S. exchanges blows with WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 9, 2012. REUTERS/Steve MarcusEarly yesterday morning, I watched an exciting Game 7 between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat for the NBA Eastern Conference championship. When the final buzzer sounded, the Heat had demolished the Celtics, 101-88.

    The match really pumped me up for another exciting sports event scheduled later in the morning, the Pacquiao-Bradley boxing match.

    I knew I would be able to catch the fight because Pacman himself had told the organizers he wanted to watch the Boston-Miami game because he was a Celtics fan and he would not enter the ring until the game was over.

    Unfortunately, his favorite team lost. Was this a portent of what was to come several hours later?

    Began on a few high notes

    The Pacquiao-Bradley fight started out on a high note, actually, really high notes from "American Idol" runner-up Jessica Sanchez who scored a knockout with her rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner."

    Since this was a delayed telecast, I suspected that the fight had ended early because they were showing

    Read More »from A shocking Sunday morning for Pacquiao fans
  • Now that the Corona impeachment trial is over, viewers who are suffering from withdrawal symptoms can get relief by revisiting the courtroom on the TV drama series, "Law & Order" and its many spin-offs:  "L&O Criminal Intent," "L&O Special Victims Unit (SVU)," "L&O Los Angeles," and "L&O UK."  The prosecutors are not after erring chief justices though they do run after crooked public officials from time to time.

    If you miss the 23 senator-judges, the series has a 12-man jury that decides on the fate of the accused. Unlike the senate court, the jurors are not allowed to question witnesses and there is no Miriam Defensor-Santiago to berate the prosecution. The best part is that instead of five months, it only takes just 60 minutes to hear the decision.

    Complications sound familiar

    Usually, the first half of the show is devoted to law enforcers solving a crime and apprehending the perpetrator(s). The second half focuses on the prosecutors presenting evidence and arguments to convict the

    Read More »from Craving for more courtroom drama after the Corona trial?


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