Seven Reasons Why Taiwanovelas Are Way Better Than Telebasuras
I didn't think about writing this but since today is Taiwan's independence day, I wanted to write this short. I could still remember the Taiwanovela craze. While there was "The Amazing Twins" but I can't deny the arrival of Meteor Garden was what started the craze. Meteor Garden was my very first Taiwanese series and it made me take a temporary break from Tokusatsu for a short time. It was a new fad and while I'm kinda bored of it right now (no thanks to that Toku break) but it may be a moment in time before I take another break from Toku.
I never started liking TV drama in general because of the telebasura fad. I could remember how often I whined constantly about there's nothing but telebasura to watch. Then Meteor Garden came and sad to say there's an upcoming remake from that stupid network called ABiaS-CBN. Meteor Garden was a remake and adaptation of the Japanese Manga known as Hana Yori Dango. I thought it was Japanese because F4 all wore the Anime hairstyle. Anybody who isn't so familiar with Japan will think everyone's following in F4. In truth, it's the Taiwanese following the Anime hairstyle from Japan.
What makes Taiwanese drama better than the Pinoy telebasuras that's constantly airing in the Philippines until now? While there's Koreanovelas (and I do watch them but not as much as Taiwanese, Hong Kong or Japanese series) but I could talk about what makes them better. I just got this idea from 9 Things Filipinas love about KDrama.
1.) Plot pacing is just right
Do you remember how long Pinoy telebasuras are? I remembered how ABiaS-CBN made them ridiculously long. I remembered watching 100% Senorita on GMA-7 while ABiaS-CBN aired Marina every evening. 100% Senorita ended its broadcast. I find it weird that a lot of viewers got it right: 100% Senorita already ended its broadcast and Marina from ABiaS-CBN still had its ongoing broadcast. The prolonged broadcast makes a bad show even worse. I guess when some Pinoys started seeing how nice it is to have the right pace they started to discard the stupid telebasuras of the Philippines. Whether it's romance or antagonism there's really proper pacing.
2.) Interesting, unpredictable plots
Taiwanese series aren't always predictable like Pinoy telebasuras. Sometimes, there are some plots that the audience already knows but the main characters don't know it at all. I remembered how plots weren't always that predictable. Sometimes, you don't even know who the main antagonist is. One particular series that I really enjoyed was Black and White starring Vic Chou and Mark Chao. The plots were complex and it wasn't your typical series. A lot of twist and turns made it a fun series to watch.
3.) No Cinderella mentality for most Taiwanese series' female protagonists
I remembered how fresh Meteor Garden was with a feisty female lead in Shan Tsai. Shan Tsai could stand against most of the bullies she had to face... especially Dao Ming Si who started to soften because of her. Lavender's Yishin was dying but she wasn't frail as she tried to live her life to the fullest. This is a far cry from many Pinoy telebasuras that continue to advocate the victim card mentality. I guess some Pinays found a new direction in life after finding out how the Taiwanese leading ladies weren't victim card players.
4.) Most of the actors and actresses have better acting quality
I noticed how much overacting is appreciated and even required. Judy Ann Santos who can act well is forced to overact in many of her projects. It's very hard to find somebody who overacts in Taiwanese series. Most of them try their best not to overact. While not everyone really stands out but it can be shown that there's a workshop. 100% Senorita had Wallace Huo disappointing in the first few episodes but he improved overtime. Vic Chou was a disappointment in Love Storm but he improved in later series. Pinoy telebasuras don't encourage any improvement.
6.) Better done theatrics such as choreography and special effects
The quality of telebasuras shows the prevalence of the Pwede Na Yan mentality among many Filipinos. Everything's mediocre from soundtrack, to choreography to special effects. In the case of Taiwanese drama, it's really a shame how even old school Taiwanese drama (which I tried watching out of curiosity but I prefer new school Taiwanese drama over most old school ones), everything's much better than new school telebasuras. It should be alarming if something old school has better performance than new school. I mean if you're doing new school shouldn't you be trying to outdo old school? But again, there are times new school can suck depending on who's in charge. Between Pinoy telebasuras and old school Taiwanese drama, I'd watch the latter though I'm still more open to new school Taiwanese drama due to familiarity for the reason of better performance.
7.) Constant innovation for the better with the writing styles
While introducing changes to anything doesn't always mean success but it does get better when you learn where you went wrong, which changes work and which don't work. While there are limits to innovation and there are certain set rules to follow but it doesn't mean sticking to telebasura cliches. Pinoy telebasuras love to recycle too many times which is just bad. It causes what one may call a fatigue in the genre or franchise. Taiwanese drama tries new formulas where story telling doesn't always have the childhood at the beginning. Sometimes, you need to watch more episodes to unlock the mysteries of the present circumstances of the show.
It just reminds me that watching Taiwanovelas started a real awakening for some Filipinos. Sad to say others still want to watch telebasuras in the name of rotten nationalism. Don't tell me that those telebasuras were filmed without any imported equipment because that's just impossible. But I would encourage variety like try watching Koreanovelas, Chinovelas and Japanovelas (though Japanese Tokusatsu can also help, huwag na lang puro Power Rangers lang alam mo) to provide more variety in cultural immersion. After all, Filipino style halo halo wouldn't exist if it weren't for Japanese and Filipinos would still be wearing bahag today if it weren't for frequent cultural immersion.