TV In Focus: “Good Vibes”
Okay, so I want to be very straightforward. I like Good Vibes. I mean, currently, it is still somewhat caught in slightly awkward and surreal presentation. But what I like about it is it has this great potential to be as good a TV series as International ones like the classic Beverly Hills.
Wait, wait! Not so fast! WHAT THE HELL IS GOOD VIBES? I live in America and I don’t know anything about it other than an animated comedy film, of the same title, which I watched on MTV a year ago. Click here to see what I mean.
Good Vibes is a television series from the Philippines by ABS-CBN Channel. Each episode airs every Sunday, with its pilot airing last April 3, 2011. It’s basically a youth-oriented show with a unique hint of a dance element. I will not go through the cast as that is another issue. Wikipedia is likely to help you.
One thing that is unique with the show is the ‘dance element’, if you may excuse my redundancy. So, what I want is for this show to see that and put more focus on that. A great marketing strategy simply tells us to ‘expose your strengths, not your weaknesses’. Good Vibes already has dancing to their advantage simply because no other television series in the Philippines has, again excuse my redundancy, the ‘dance element’, (at least for now, since I’ve heard GMA Network is planning to produce a show with almost the same format). Anyway, let’s go look at the different aspects of dancing. Oh, let me clear something straight away, I am no dancer, but I am a pretty good observer. I may not sound very technical since I don’t know how things on the dance floor are exactly call, but I’m quite confident I can tell good dancing to bad dancing.
The choreography is quite good. They are fresh and inventive. I quite expected that since they have, I assume, great choreographers. I am not sure of the casts’ involvement in the choreography formulation, but no matter what, I think the moves need to be less repetitive. They have fresh ideas going on, but sometimes, the moves seem to just repeat like a reel of a film cut off and played into a continuous loop. Maybe they need to encourage the cast themselves to incorporate dance moves they like. It also makes the dance less clichéd, more personal and more original.
When it comes to the dancing proper, there are things that, I think, should be worked on more. Yes, the movements are mostly sharp. I get that. And I think they emphasize that to let us viewers know that they dance sharp. But the next question is, are they on point? If you’re into dance competitions and happen to be watching Got To Dance UK, you’ll probably gonna hear Kimberly Wyatt say that bold phrase as often as a wave hits on the shore. To make the story short, ‘on point’ is a matter of time. How fast should this glide be executed? How long should this heel toe be prolonged? How slow should this moon walk be performed? This may sound easy, but it’s a lot easier said than executed. A dance production loses its spark not because it lacks choreography(well it contributes but not so much), but because they are not on point. You can go on with simple movements and be on point every single stride, and you will get a striking effect. In my opinion, the dance crew still lacks that. They perform these moves real sharp, but they lose the intensity of things just because they fail to be on point — just like one member has landed from a jump but the others are still in mid-air. Oh, it’s more than that actually. It’s more about being precise. Each move has its start and end. Each move has a definite time frame. Being ‘on point’ is about filling that time frame generously without missing a tiny fraction of a second. It’s definitely the hardest to work at but it’s the building block of dancing. It’s the one that makes a huge a difference across different performances of similar choreography. Working on that boosts the dance’s effect no matter how simply choreographed it is. Maybe practice steps blindfolded and see if they finish at the same time.
Right at this moment, I could feel that I am gaining more haters than fans(which is, by the way, not my intention) so I may as well point out the strength. The one thing that is very delightful to watch in any Filipino dance routine is that it is very festive. It’s fun, it’s engaging and it makes you want to be part of that dance. And I think the show captured that especially on a particular episode where they danced in front of the entire school body to gain approval from the board. It was a visual feast, though I have to say the cameras have to be kept still. It reduces the intensity of the dance which is, I would say, not a very a wise move. I mean, not totally stationary. But at least keep the camera from ‘dancing along’ with the dancers. Forget the spinning-the-camera-until-it-dizzes-you effect. Just keep it natural. Avoid being cliché! Anyway, I’m sorry for bringing up another weakness.
One more thing that I love is that I could see passion. Maybe not on the dance moves yet, but in the eyes, most certainly. I could feel they love dancing. And that is a very big leap because it takes the characters they are portraying in a certain depth that no one else can but themselves. And it should be applauded, really. ‘There is more to this than meets the eye’ would probably best describe this particular aspect of dancing. You may not see it in their moves, but in their hearts, the passion is burning.
And before it rain corns today(get it? corn-y?), I would like to emphasize that I am not trying to antagonize Good Vibes. I am, actually, trying to help make a better show out of an already good show. It’s like putting an icing on your delicious cupcake(i hate icing), but you do get that, right? And I would definitely say, Good Vibes has made a huge leap on bounds in the Philippine television scene. I just hope they make the best out of this advantage that no other television show(at least in the Philippines) has. Let’s go for more Good Vibes! Let’s aim for a Season Two because it’s what a great show deserves. God bless everyone!
A copy of this blog will be posted soon on an ongoing fan web project I started for Good Vibes. The temporary address is http://northbridgehigh.co.cc/ and which may change without prior notice.
- Good Vibes (darksyd666.wordpress.com)