ABS-CBN newest morning drama is already a phenomenon on its own right.

It may not hit the elite 40% mark of Walang Hanggan, but its 21% in a supposedly dead timeslot is just as phenomenal and impressive as the latter.

Be Careful With My Heart premiered on the Kapamilya network’s 10:45 AM slot, a part of the day designated to be the place for talk shows, canned foreign dramas and other cost-effective programs; because of the presumption that people aren’t that keen to watch shows during this time of the day.

Previous shows barely reached 2 digit ratings on this particular timeslot, thus networks are very wary on investing their resources to development of in-house produced shows to be place there. Instead, they had been airing cheap-to-produce daily talk shows, worse, movie blocks showing old, very old films.

But the Kapamilya network might have another vision.

The network first attempted to launch a drama on late morning with the now defunct Mundo Man ay Magunaw. The series actually registered good numbers on its pilot week. But the network may have deemed the show too heavy for a morning slot, and migrated it to the 2:30 PM slot, the lead out show for the network’s struggling noontime offering.

After seeing its afternoon drama slate stabilized against the once dominant GMA’s Afternoon Prime, the Kapamilya network decided to expand its daytime programming to late morning, seeing it another viable source of airtime revenue. (We all know that locally-produced shows demand higher advertising rates than Korean dramas and Japanese animation.)

The new offering, from Star Television (a production arm of the network), ABS-CBN launched a new dramedy, gambling on a brand new tandem — young dramatic actress Jodi Sta. Maria and newbie actor Richard Yap.

First Impression

On its pilot episode, Be Careful with My Heart gave an impression of being something new. The show is not necessarily an original concept, remember the 1996 filmĀ Wanted Perfect Mother? But it is new to television, a light refreshing feel-good series apt for its morning slot.

Jodi Sta. Maria, known for her intense dramatic roles, is a big surprise with her comedic talent. She appears as not trying, naturally funny, and very spontaneous. This is actually a seal on the actress’ flexibility, a revelation for someone who have been cast in supporting roles for so long.

Jodi Sta. Maria actually made the most out of this break for a lead role, joining the network’s stable of leading ladies, despite being a mom and separated from her husband. (Leading ladies are supposed to be single since loveteam plays an integral part of the network’s primetime successes.)

Richard Yap, on the other hand, is still undeniably an eye candy. He may not be an acting powerhouse, but he is lucky to be an actor that resembles a blank canvass which can be painted with immense chemistry with any woman he’ll be paired with onscreen. His natural charm and clean-cut look are elements that stay-at-home middle-age moms (the show’s demographics) will definitely fall for.

Aiza Seguerra, an award winning actress, returns to acting via this series, has retained her comic skills and has proved as a valuable addition to the casts. Her story arc is actually one valuable heart of the series, being a young, unwed, lesbian mother with uninhibited relationship with her young son.

The Formula

The show is initially banking on the series romantic angles, between the yaya played by Jodi, and the strict family patriarch portrayed by Richard.

But the show’s real formula lies on its domestic appeal, the yaya providing the maternal love to the kids she’s taking care of, and her love-hate relationship with her boss, the perfectionist, good-looking widower (Richard). The warmth and heart of the show sets it apart from its contemporary daytime dramas, making it totally relatable, and pretty-much grounded to reality.

Making the family as the show’s central theme is perfect decision, considering its timeslot primarily dominated by stay-at-home moms, homemakers, and of course, the yayas. By making them relate to the plot, this allows them to cry with the show’s lead, feel the burden of her ordeals and hardships, and laugh with her antics and adventures. It’s actually more than storytelling. It is letting the viewers experience the emotions first hand.

The show’s pacing is also good. Putting emphasis to necessary parts, and highlighting the actors’ strengths. This I give to Jeffery Jeturian, whose works I have always admired for the impeccable storytelling.

If you want to be kept from boredom every weekday mornings, watch Be Careful With My Heart 10:45 AM before It’s Showtime.

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