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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Face to Face: The Marginalized and The Elite

Admit it. You've heard about it. You've sneaked in to watch it. Face to Face. It is that show that gathers all those strong enough to spill out all their guts in front of your television. Washing dirty linen in public pales in comparison.

It is a discussion that hopes to settle differences among neighbors, friends, couples, family members, etc. It is a show that starts with a fight, progresses into more fights, and ends with hugs and kisses. That's the formula. Come to think of it, everything that comes out of TV these days has formulaic tendencies, formulas like drugs, formulas for babies. It puts to shame Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale.

In Face to Face, TV people have outdone themselves, placing two opposing sides like gladiators in the arena. The combatants are armed with all types of colorful verbal abuses to entertain audiences with violent confrontations, and who in the heat of passion morph into wild animals and condemned souls.

You want colorful portrayals of how people sin against the Ten Commandments, watch Face to Face. But most galling of all, this show does not run out of examples on how to covet your neighbor's wife or how to commit adultery.

Despite all, the show tries to offer some semblance of decency by forming a panel of experts to supervise the "discussion." The distinguished panel is composed of a priest or a minister, a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and a lawyer. Each panelist gives snippets of wisdom that will eventually and will almost always (?) lead to a happy ending. Nice, eh?

My brother - oh, I don't know what got to him - watches this show every day like a prayer. He's been waiting for that one episode that will show a distinguished and wealthy man, his (ex) wife and his current girlfriend discuss their issues on prime time television. I told him it will never happen.

And whaddya know, recent events (er...the late Congressman Iggy Arroyo, his wife Aleli Arroyo, and his recent companion Grace Ibuna) have shown us that distinguished people don't need scripts. For life is stranger than fiction as they say. Such tragicomedy!

Moreover, we learned to respect the people who dared appear (Do they get talent fees, tokens, etc?) in Face to Face. Although staged and scripted their lot in life might have been shown, there were no pretenses and excuses in the way they faced the world.

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