8 Story Arcs We Wish We’d See on Teleseryes
Every teleserye, series and TV movie we see starts inside a scriptwriter’s head. Whatever’s inside the twisted mind of a scriptwriter is what we ingest as our guilty pleasure—the reason why we run to the TV every night; the reason why Pinoys can let go of other bare necessities but not their television sets.
Teleseryes are heavily influenced by Spanish telenovelas, and they’ve never really evolved since the 60s. We watch the same storyline with almost all teleseryes—to the point that it seems like the only things that change are the names of the serye itself, the actors and the theme song. There’s nothing wrong with our current teleseryes and there’s definitely nothing wrong with liking them, but there is something wrong when we’re left wanting for quality and original entertainment.
Here are 8 story tropes that could change TV viewing in the Philippines—let’s all hope this reaches the big stations.
Career-based character development
Our teleserye characters always have day jobs, but the most action that we’ve probably seen them in is during meeting where their bosses give out vague sentences like, “Yes, I think this pitch is great,” or, “You have been doing a great job and I will promote you.”
To scriptwriters, please, at least know a few terms unique to the industry the character works in. All we know about their jobs is that they do it and they’re most likely really good at it.
Teleseryes can be way more than drama. Like how House M.D. and Grey’s Anatomy are to the medical world, how How to Get Away With Murder is to the practice of law, and how Brooklyn 99 is to detective work, our own teleseryes can focus on the characters’ jobs if our scriptwriters and broadcasting stations were brave enough. Sure, we have Ang Probinsyano for some police work, but I think we can produce much better than that—especially when we take into account the influence we could have on kids.
Strong and independent women, unite!
Although teleseryes are swamped with women with strong and independent personalities, e.g. business women running a whole company, sassy moms working for their family, students working double jobs to get through whatever it is they’re going through, it would be nice if these strong women become the star of their own teleseryes instead of just being minor characters.
Can you imagine having a Pinay ala Olivia Pope or Annalise Keating? Can you even imagine how much this could change for women experiencing discrimination in their careers? Oh mighty Shonda, save us!
Young and wild and free
It’s time the kids on teleseryes stop being whiny and uncontrollable teens who know nothing but crushes and studying and start being the same whiny and uncontrollable teens but with more air time and character development. I’m imagining a kind of like Pinoy versions of My Mad Fat Diary or Skins, where the teen characters may be whiny and uncontrollable (hence, normal human teens) but at least we can relate. Puberty is always a touchy topic, and having teens empathize with other teens on TV would be a great sight to see.
The titas of TV
This needs no explanation. You know you’d pay a lot to see a bunch of true titas zumba away their 40s. Although there have been some failed experiments on this arc, the choice to produce a quality tita show is still up for grabs.
This isn’t a teleserye, but let’s not let this happen again. Please.
Some senior lovin’
This could be a long shot, but won’t it be nice to have local shows that support age diversity? Maybe we can have a teleserye about a retired couple, with all sons and daughters successful and capable, trying new and exciting things as a reward in their retirement? Or maybe an old widower who suddenly gets super powers? Or a new retiree still in denial of her retirement and refusing to accept the bum life despite her success? The stories are endless, and I would actually love to see old-timers on air again. The only questions left are if stations are up for the challenge.
Antiheroes to the rescue
Mockumentary for extra flair
Mockumentaries may be an acquired taste, but one thing’s for sure, it enables very human and raw emotions that only candidness can deliver especially in the comedy genre. And it works in any kind of setting! Like in The Office or Modern Family, it’s hard to hate characters because they’re portrayed so naturally and the side interviews just give us a deeper understanding to why Michael Scott or Phil Dunphy is being weird again. Mockumentaries are great for our sitcoms that are traditionally shot with a single-camera setup.
LGBT in a different light
It’s revolutionary how My Husband’s Lover and The Rich Man’s Daughter found their way into our TV sets despite our country being conservative and hard-headed in the acceptance of LGBT rights.
These two teleseryes represented the its LGBT characters with the help of the querida arc and the strict-kasi-chinese arc, which scratched the surface of the hardships our LGBT communities face in this country. The momentum of these two teleseryes has weakened since its conclusion, and it’s probably time to start shining a light on the community differently. Instead of focusing our air time on their struggles and “limitations”, maybe we can show a setting where they’re accepted or at least understood. Maybe their workplace has adapted anti-discrimination rules.
Maybe everyone understands that not everyone is the same. Maybe LGBT roles can be given enough character depth and development that doesn’t necessarily focus on their gender, but on their humanity.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Sound off in the comments below!