Originally Posted by misskopinas
Mga Kapungsod - Hi! Pasensiya na at mahaba-haba ang aking entry. This is to share and discuss the notion of quality TV based on a perspective from the eyes of one used to 'Western Quality' to dampen the insinuation regarding the quality of the show.
Reflecting on 'Quality' Shows
Quality is that attribute or property of a thing, an experience or a memory. You cannot just say, the show is 'quality' because you have not defined it all tgoether. You either have to say it is excellent quality or bad quality according to a set of principles or rules. Now, about Great Quality Shows - all shows have a purpose in my life...whether for mindless entertainment just for the purpose of relaxation and laughter, to learn more about trends in hobbies and interests, news, thriller and historical or literary drama, I go for what speaks to me and it includes quality and that hint of excellence and purpose. Being based in the UK, the choices are good but my choices have never wavered over the years. It had only been lately that my interest in Philippine TV (not cinema, no although I do enjoy the occasional Filipino classics now and then) had been reawakened side by side with my interest in Thai cinema. Why is this the case? Since I was a kid, I find that afternoon and TV dramas and their stories follow the same formulaic pattern and this is not necessarily bad...it entertains and provides a lot of subject materials viewers can reflect on its just that having grown up on Mara Clara for example, the plotlines are not so surprising anymore - its only the actresses that change. This is the same for Thai TV but their cinematic achievements of late have drawn international audiences. There was breakout star martial artist Tony Jaa and his Ong Baak and the quality movies like the epic semi-historical adaptation 'Suriyothai'. Thai cinema always look to put to film their historical experience, their myths and their cultural heritage and they consume it with huge demand to the point that the Thais demand only the best. It is this best that attracts foreign audiences, Its the same with South Korean fictional historical adaptations or that of the Chinese and the Japanese most especially. I grew up watching those historical fictions starring Jet Li and it gives their cinema an innate identity that cannot be divorced from what is succintly theirs. I am not a master pf Philippine cinema, but, of the little I know, most of our movies and TV shows only go as far as the time of the Spanish and, outside of GMA7's Jose Rizal and work like Oro, Plata, Mata I cannot recall culturally and identity relevant work done in Philippine Entertainment. Do feel free to let me know of what I might have missed.
What's on my TV Viewing Schedule?
As I was saying, I only got backl to watching Pinoy TV of late. I used to take a peek at GMA shows every now and then and enjoyed what I saw once in a while. I especially like the documentaries and the news and journalistic work having made sure to include Jessica Soho and the i-witness series in my weekly views. I have come to like MR's dramas and soaps as well but I confess to not being a regular viewer. Sometimes I'd take a peek at what ABS offers but I mostly gravitate towards the work of GMA. So, what's on my daily/regular viewing list?
Procedurals, from the US: ALL CSI franchise, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Body of Proof, Hawaii 5-0, The Good Guys (now axed), Memphis Beat, Justified.
Crime/Spy shows: White Collar, Burn Notice, The Defenders (now axed)
Sci-Fi/Adventure: Battlestar Gallactica (now ended but I still love the reruns), Supernatural
Historical Adaptation/Fiction: Any produced by HBO (i.e. Band of Brothers) and any produced by the BBC (i.e. Rome)
Show Format: Top Gear UK for cars (my über favorite)
Documentaries: Anything by Discovery Channel, the BBC (i.e. Human PLanet), Travel Documentaries (i.e. Globetrekker or Food+Travel like Anthony Bourdain), National Geographic (any historical, scientific, travel, military or current events show) and additional shows like Human Weapon from the History Channel and more...the list goes on
News Channels: CNN and the BBC (this is the standard material on my TV viewing)
From the Philippines: GMA7's Jessica Soho, Imbestigador (to keep up with the kind of criminal trends current in Pinoy society), 24 oras (good reporting, except the showbiz news), i-witness, Reporter's notebook and, for local soaps - AMAYA and Amaya only. I rarely get involved in TV soaps especially in terms of making it a part of my viewing habits but Amaya, for me is just as reviting, well-written, well-cast and well-produced Historical adaptations. Party perhaps because of my being Filipino and partly because I appreciate it when put side-by-side with Thai efforts and of Chinese as well as of South Korean efforts. It is a show that can be exported to represent our rich cultural heritage.
Amaya's as a show of Break-out Quality
Now, why have I listed what's usually on my TV viewing habits? There was some post here earlier indicating that quality is not the point in watching AMAYA. Nope, actually, it is. If you look at my list, the shows are chosen and they come from good production houses and international networks. These networks are vying for my viewing eyes to consume their products AND I have included AMAYA out of ALL the available Pinoy shows concurrent. Yes, once in a while I take a peek at other shows on GMA and ABS but nothing, nothing has yet captivated my imagination as AMAYA has done. I know quality TV (Spielberg/HAnks' Band of Brothers for example - that is the height of epic and glorious military history adaptation for TV as compared to say, the low quality movies-for-tv by Sy-fi channel like , 'Dinoshark' - I still gag everytime I remember how I accidentally viewed some scenes due to the insistance of my nieces over Christmas). I have a very good choice laid out before me and I can choose to watch any as I please beyond Philippine TV, offering from Asia, Europe and America. Yet, AMAYA has made it through my viewing list. I am as excited about watching an AMAYA episode, for example just as I am anticipating the next episode for White Collar with Matt Bomer in it and that guy is really, really hot and that show is absolutely excellent. Amaya moves me just as much as the drama in Justified with Timothy Olyphant as US MArshall Raylan Givens have. I am so vested in Amaya just as I am so vested with CAstiel and the brothers Winchester in Supernatural. Of course, these are TV-movies, tv-story-plays. But Amaya takes pride of place in my viewing pleasure just as Top Gear does or the BBC's Human Planet do.
So stop insinuating that viewers of AMAYA do not know great quality. It is the oppositte. Viewers of AMAYA have spotted quality; after AMAYA, the standards will be raised. It will be the show that production values, ensemble cast and story-research as well as character archetypes will be compared to. Had there ever been a show in the history of Philippine TV that is comparable production-wise, ensemble-wise, network-support-wise and reception-wise to it? None. It is ridiculous that so many among the PInoys are trying to bad mouth and criticise what it brings to the table as if their own heritage were not important enough to discover or unearth. What seems to be of import is the ridiculous network loyalties that have come to divide the public, depriving everyone of making the most of what is on TV, on offer, for free. PLus, all these niggles, these 'small, petty' details that people bring forth. Is this in purpsuit of perfection or is this in pursuit of criticising for the purpose of being critical? If you are analysing or criticing because the show spoke to you and encouraged reflection and thinking, it is good as it expands your mind. BUt if you are watching to look for what you deem is wrong, then the debate will be endless. Perfection, greatness and beauty - they are subjective and never universal. Human beings are unique in their individual personalities, experiences and socialization so agreement as to how things must be done will always differentiate. Nothing, NOTHING on TV and in the world will ever be perfect and GOOD for everybody. What we can achieve is verissimilitude, truth within context. So stop looking for universals and search for shared joy and heritage lessons in watching Amaya, then you will start to feel better about what AMAYA is really there to give you. A window from which to view the world inhabited by our ancestors whom we have lost touch with and forgotten over time. Knowing your cultural heritage is part of knowing yourself. Amaya therefore is GMA's gift to you in this sense. Take it, say thank you and enjoy!