Why GMA Network’s “The Cure” Failed To Infect Pinoy Audiences

  • “The Cure” is GMA’s latest show to be pitted against ABS-CBN’s long-running teleserye “Ang Probinsyano”.
  • Despite being the first Filipino zombie-themed series on television, “The Cure” still failed to capture the attention of most audiences of local Primetime.

“The Cure” is GMA Network’s latest show to be pitted against ABS-CBN’s long-running teleserye “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano”. The said ABS-CBN action series has been airing since September 28, 2015, for 5 seasons and a total of 600+ episodes.

On the other hand, GMA Network has been trying to bring down the said hit series with little success, as their past eight shows that were pitted against it all ended up losing in the ratings war, from “Marimar”, “Little Nanay”, “Poor Senorita”, “Encantadia”, “Mulawin VS. Ravena”, “Super Ma’am”, “Alyas Robin Hood 2” to. “Sherlock Jr”. “The Cure” is currently the channel’s 9th series to be matched with the Kapamilya hit series and started airing last April 30, 2018, as part of GMA’s Telebabad line.

“The Cure”, a sci-fi drama thriller series under the helm of Mark A. Reyes and starring an ensemble cast led by Jennylyn Mercado, Tom Rodriguez, Jaclyn Jose, LJ Reyes and Mark Herras, follows the life of Greg, Charity and Hope take a turn when Greg’s mother is diagnosed with late-stage cancer. Desperate to find treatment, Greg gets his hands on an experimental drug made by Evangeline Lazaro and gives it to his mother. The drug becomes the root of an infection that threatens to spread all over the city. Greg, Charity, Evangeline and her son, Joshua start to find a cure.

Despite being the first Filipino zombie-themed series on television, “The Cure” still failed to capture the attention of most audiences of local Primetime.

We jotted down the main reasons why GMA Network’s “The Cure” Failed To Infect Pinoy Audiences.

“The Cure” Failed To Meet High Expectations of Audiences.

When the trailer of the sci-fi drama thriller series debuted, everyone got curious about it considering that this will be a first in Philippine television. A Pinoy take on the classic zombie apocalypse theme is indeed a breath of fresh air from all the soap operas that Pinoys watch every night on Primetime.

The trailer did build high expectations from audiences, with its thrilling action-filled scenes. But once the pilot episode began, the series failed to meet such high expectations of audiences who’ve been looking forward to it.

The series focused too much on the drama and we didn’t even get to see a lot of the zombie action that they featured so prominently on the trailer.

The Series’ Painfully Slow Pacing.

Let’s admit: it’s really hard to pull off a story like “The Cure”. And it’s even harder to stretch its story to fill up a month’s worth of episodes. So the series has no choice but to stretch its story to accommodate enough episodes to last for weeks. This, in turn, affected the pacing of the series.

Unlike the trailer of the series which was filled with thrilling action scenes and chilling zombie chases, audiences had to go through lengthy dialogues and boring moments in the episodes that followed the pilot of the series that felt so forced to fill up the airtime.

A Lot of Irritating Stereotypes.

Although “The Cure” is undoubtedly fresh and new to local Primetime, it’s still not safe from all the classic stereotypes that infest the genre. From Hope, the annoyingly stupid kid who intentionally runs into zombies and cries afterward after being scared to death, the irritating over-the-top vlogger Suzy who addresses her viewers “my dear subscribers!” (which really sound so awkward), up to Dr. Katrina Contes, the best friend who’s hopelessly devoted to Greg and will do anything for him (even risking her own career and safety) despite the fact that has been slapping her in the face from the pilot episode that he doesn’t love her and that he’s already married.

Then, there’s the addition of the mean brother-in-law Darius (why do they always have to be mean?), a shady General Fernan, and Dr. Jimboy Marquez, which will make you wonder how he became a doctor in the first place? (well, he’s basically just there for comedic purposes so it makes sense).

Too Many Similarities From Better Zombie/ Medical Disaster-themed Television Series and Movies.

Although we really cannot conclude that “The Cure” is just a rip-off on the highly-successful “The Walking Dead” series, it’s so obvious that the series took a lot of inspiration from other Zombie/ Medical Disaster-themed television series and movies. From the gorilla (or any animal) serving as the first to be infected with the virus (Hello, “28 Days Later”? Wait, how about “Contagion”?).

Then, there’s the Breakthrough Pharmaceuticals, the company behind the drug to cure cancer, which is basically a Pinoy version of the Umbrella Corporation, an international pharmaceutical company in the Resident Evil universe (C’mon, with that red-and-white logo, it’s so obvious).

And there’s the zombies which are quite similar to the ones from “World War Z”, “Train To Busan” and many more. But then again, remember what Kapuso head writer Suzette Doctolero once said, “Bawal bang gumawa ng zombie series?”. Okay. Thanks. Noted.

Jaclyn Jose’s Deadpan Acting.

Well, one thing that I liked about this series is that at least, most of the acting was quite good. Jennylyn Mercado and Tom Rodriguez did a good job in their roles. But what I couldn’t really understand is Ms. Jaclyn Jose’s portrayal of her role as Dra. Evangeline Lazaro.

I love Ms. Jaclyn Jose, especially after her roles in indie films “Ma’ Rosa” and “Patay na si Hesus”. But in her role in “The Cure”, her deadpan acting is mostly a hit or miss for her character.

Sometimes, it fits the role nicely and makes her really interesting. But most of the time, she looks like she’s already tired and exhausted of her character and what’s happening around her. Maybe she’s also finding the sluggish pace of the series dragging?

Bad Directing.

Although director Mark Reyes is a good director (I’m a fan of the original “Encantadia” back in 2005 and his film “Moments of Love”), there are unfortunately some moments in “The Cure” that are just so badly staged and directed.

Take for example the chaotic zombie attack on the basketball court. Look at that guy who went under the table to hide. Kuya, do you really think that table will protect you from these rabid zombies? And why aren’t the other people there running away for their lives and kept on watching in the background as if they’re witnessing a live Pacquiao boxing match?

Maybe it has something to do with the writing. I don’t know. It’s just bad. So bad. Ugh.

Other Unintentionally Hilarious Things We Can’t Help But Notice.

Although the team behind the series said that they put a lot of budget in Tasha, the gorilla, it was hard not to laugh every time she’d show up on the scene. She just felt so odd and unrealistic that it makes you wanna scratch your head.

Also, what’s up with that pharmaceutical’s laboratory that looked so cheap and cartoonish. I’m pretty sure that’s not how actual laboratories look like. And that cage where they were keeping the gorillas looked like a dog or poultry pens and didn’t even looked like they could hold an animal that big. No wonder one of them escaped and wreak havoc inside their lab.

C’mon guys. You’re doing a sci-fi series for heaven’s sake. Let’s be realistic for once.

These are just some of the reasons why “The Cure” failed to become the hit that GMA was hoping for. Is this the reason why the series has been rumored to be axed sooner than expected?

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