Kapuso cashing in on ‘tween stars popularity
by Isah V. Red
It’s a normal business practice in local show business. I am referring to the networks’ or movie producers’ practice of cashing in on who they perceive is hot stars du jour, giving them assignments one after another.
In this case, GMA Network seemed to have found a gold mine in Joshua Dionisio and Barbie Forteza. The two are the most popular among the ‘tween stars that the network has presented to the media lately. After starring in First Time, they immediately hopped over to Pilyang Kerubin. Tomorrow, the two will be seen by their screaming and nearly epileptically fanatic followers in Reel Love presents Tween Hearts.
This new Sunday afternoon show replaces Love Bug, a four-Sunday series for each episode, the last of which was the one with Mark Anthony Fernandez and Lovi Poe.
Apart from Forteza and Dionisio, the show also features other Kapuso young stars, like Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Joyce Ching, Kristoffer Martin, Lexi Fernandez, Louise de los Reyes and Derek Monasterio.
The story is nothing extraordinary, the kind that afternoon TV audience are more than familiar with.
After many years of separation, Bambi (Barbie) is finally reunited with her mom Irene (Sylvia Sanchez) and younger sister Belinda (Bea). She lived a simple life with her father Ted (Emilio Garcia) in the province while Belinda experienced a luxurious lifestyle with Irene in the city.
The differences between Bambi and Belinda ignite further tensions triggered by the special attention given by Irene to Bambi to catch up and make up for the lost time they were not together.
Belinda finds comfort in the arms of Jacob, known as one of the school’s outcasts. Jacob offers reassuring words to Belinda which later on develops into a special friendship between the two.
Aside from Bambi’s newfound home, she also transfers to Belinda’s campus where she meets a new batch of friends including Luisa (Louise), Aya (Joyce) and Jacob (Jake). Adding spice to her school life are Leslie (Lexi), Rick (Derek) and Josh (Joshua).
Josh is widely known as the over-achiever in the campus. He spends more time alone and often rejects the rules imposed by his sister Rose (Roxanne Barcelo). Nothing can get in his way except Bambi who softens his heart and strong persona.
Meanwhile, Rick, Belinda and Leslie organize an underground victory party in celebration of the championship won by the varsity team. Even the school’s “outcasts” headed by Bambi, Jacob, Aya and Luisa arrive at the festivity.
In the middle of the party, a commotion erupts which is masterminded by Josh. Everyone is reprimanded and the school authorities order them to attend a recollection as punishment.
The students think it is the usual recollection but they get the shock of their lives when they discover that the affair will be in the form of various activities that will test their strengths, weaknesses, emotions and their way of thinking.
What will happen to these bitter sisters? Will an earnest apology be enough to heal the wounds that rip them apart? Will Bambi become the perfect tool to warm the heart of the bully Josh? Will the music geek Jacob be able to tame the spoiled brat Belinda? Who will win Chris’ heart between Leslie and Aya? Who will end up victorious in the never-ending battle of Luisa and Rick?
In preparation for their roles, the entire cast underwent extensive workshops and trainings facilitated by the episode’s director Gina Alajar.