Pinoy teleseryes are a big part of our culture. Ang Probinsyano now has more than a thousand episodes and still counting. If that doesn’t tell you how much Filipinos LOVE teleseryes, we don’t know what will. However, even though the entertainment landscape is continuously evolving, Pinoy teleseryes still continue to use tired tropes that frankly, we’ve already gotten enough of. Today, let’s take a look at the overused teleserye clichés, and hopefully, we’ll start seeing them less.
The baby switch
Mara Clara (1992) is considered one of the most loved Pinoy teleseryes, running for five years. The story revolves around Mara and Clara, whose lives changed after they were switched at birth. It’s been years since Mara Clara first aired (there’s even a 2010 remake), and we still see this trope on television. Mundo Mo’y Akin, Encantadia (2016 remake), Bagong Umaga… the list goes on and on. Take your pick and see which teleserye did it the best.
D is for DNA test results
How many times have we cried after seeing the main character reunited with their family after god knows how long? Far too many times, for sure. And then there’s the inevitable torment of the seemingly never-ending search for the DNA test results — because the villain often finds a way to mess with them!
Three is a crowd
The Legal Wife, Ika-6 na Utos, Halik, and Tubig at Langis are just some prime examples of teleseryes that enraged viewers over third parties ruining a once happy and perfect family or couple. While this can be an effective tool to move the plot forward, we’d be more than happy to get a break from the cheating-centric soap operas. Plus, the execution is often over-the-top and downright ridiculous. See: Georgia (from Ika-6 na Utos) and her toy gun.
Here comes revenge
If you see a protagonist suffer from the hands of their nemesis, expect them to make a grand comeback with all the glow-up you can imagine. Once you catch those wine glasses and chandeliers, you know things are about to go down. Of course, they didn’t just return to throw lavish parties — our main character is back to make sure everyone who wronged them gets a bitter taste of their well-planned-out revenge. *insert the wicked laugh track*
Oh, you thought they were dead?!
If we had a peso for every time a character assumed dead came back to life, we wouldn’t be rich, but we’d probably have enough to buy ourselves a value meal at the nearest fast food joint. Wildflower has done it, Contessa has done it, and Mara Clara has done it too. At this point, you should watch out instead for teleseryes who don’t do this.
You know it’s not a Pinoy teleserye if there isn’t an abandoned warehouse where you’ll see our poor tied-up protagonist screaming for help — too bad the warehouse is located in a far-flung area. Add a white van and the villain reciting one epic monologue, and you now have the perfect kidnapping scene to make TV ratings skyrocket!
If you think fights with your siblings are sometimes too extra, Pinoy teleseryes like Ina, Kapatid, Anak, Bridges of Love, The Half Sisters, and Kara Mia would like to have a word. These siblings aren’t fighting just over the last piece of cake, but rather something like family fortunes, freedom, or a love interest. Which brings us to our next item…
This company’s mine!
You’ve seen how Amor Powers (Jodi Sta. Maria) took away Buena Corp from Claudia (Angelica Panganiban) and Eduardo Buenavista (Ian Veneracion) in Pangako Sa ‘Yo (2015). How about Romina (Beauty Gonzales) and Daniela’s (Dimples Romana) face-off for the CEO position in Kadenang Ginto? Yup, the Philippine drama scene has a gold mine of shows featuring characters fighting for company stocks, investors, and more companies, you name it!
Did we miss any other teleserye cliché?