1 August 2006 | pope_innocentyears
leave the Mark/Jennylyn story arc entirely on the cutting room floor
Another TV program gets a hit-and-miss treatment in the soap opera "I Luv NY", a supposed-to-be bubbly soap opera destroyed by executive interests. ILNY is a feel-good love story about Filipino couples and their trials on the other side of the world; particularly New York City. There are two story arcs: the Marvin Agustin-Jolina Magdangal story for older audiences and the Mark Herras-Jennylyn Mercado story for the teenybopper audience; unfortunately, the two stories are very different and gives opposing effects on the whole show.
The Marvin-Jolina love story mainly focused on the two leads' enjoyable changes and exchanges in the city that never sleeps. Jolina's innocence and playfulness worked well with Marvin's serious character-type and most of the time almost pleasurable to watch. Enter the colorful characters played by Isabel Oli (who, admittedly, develops a better acting performance than in her previous work), Arnel Ignacio (who mimics a Cherie Gil-type antagonist to effective perfection), and others for more crazy plot turns.
Regrettably, the worst part of the whole series is the story that focused on Mark and Jennylyn. The story was ultimately uninteresting from the beginning, and the cement-block acting of Mark and the false drama of Jennylyn just made their screen time even worse. The entrance of unseasoned support characters (with the exception of Carmi Martin and Tirso Cruz III ) does no improvement. This devolution, this giant step backwards can be traced to network executives' financial interests; what should have ended early with a perfect ending story was extended (reminiscent of the "Encantadia" brouhaha) because the show was a hit and raking in the money.
ILNY should have lined itself along Asian dramas such as "A Harvard Love Story", "Attic Cat", and "Lovers in Paris", if not for the terrible turn of the Mark/Jennylyn story arc. Cut off the stinky Mark-Jennylyn story out of the show and you have a perfect Asian drama right there.
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