“I got it.”
He stares at me with a quizzical look.
“I mean, why AlDub is so popular.”
We stop walking. “O Sige nga. What’s your theory?”
He gives an exasperated sigh while rolling his eyes. He immediately picks up his shoulders and starts speaking with his hands. “I mean- Of course,” his stutter is nothing but natural, “It’s been done before. It’s-”
“Kilig,” I interrupt, smiling at him.
“Yeah, I mean- If you just want Grecian Urn” his eyes look uneasy. He puts his hand on my back to prod me to walk again. “There’s Pushing Daisies. Which is so much better.” He tilts his head to look at me, “You know that, right?”
I pause, and think of koibito-san back home. “Yeah,” I looked at him. “Yeah, I’ve heard of it.”
Koibito-san once told me that the basic premise of Pushing Daisies is basically: boy, who has the ability to bring things to life through touch, loves girl; girl dies; of course, boy brings back girl to life; boy can’t touch girl anymore or else she dies again. The story that fits the Urn so well.
What perpetuates in Pushing Daisies (I think – because I’ve never watched it, but I will, okay? I will soon. – ) is the gap, the “almost,” the one that got away before you even had it, that something you desire so badly but can’t ever have. And that was Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza (Yaya Dub) when the Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye phenomenon began. Case closed. That’s the reason why AlDub became popular.
Or is it?
That was my initial thought, which seemed incredibly easy in premise, but since the Grecian Urn theory is a classic, it still works even though it is so used (up) in a lot of stories. It’s so basic that it works on people who just want a simple, no-brainer activity to rest for an afternoon lunch and also works on people who don’t naturally subscribe to the cheesy, sometimes slapstick, comedy of noontime shows. That’s why everyone, even though those who try to avoid it, knew AlDub.
But the theory doesn’t end there. The Grecian Urn is a great fuel to spark the interest of people. But isn’t it just another love story? Isn’t it simply one of the many stories inside the Urn? Very true. In fact, some viewers truly enjoy the AlDub Kalyeserye because of the three comedians that flock around Yaya Dub: Nidora, Tinidora, and Tidora. These three stooges, particularly Tinidora and Tidora, practically fuel the kilig train, making quips and side comments that wouldn’t normally appear on a normal teleserye. So, what’s up with that?
That’s actually what continues to make the AlDub kalyeserye tick. The fourth wall.
What do I mean by that?
The term “fourth wall” came from theater, where the fourth wall is essentially the edge of the stage and the curtains. Over time, it has come to mean an imaginary screen where the actors speak to the audience. This practice of speaking to the audience is commonly known as “breaking the fourth wall,” which, in our theater example, implies that the actors are well aware that they are simply actors or fictional characters in a play. In the same light, the story of Alden Richards and Yaya Dub breaks the fourth wall with characters such as Nidora, Tinidora, and Tidora, who are in essence present to react to Alden and Yaya Dub’s love story the way spectators would to this kiligserye. Essentially, the AlDub kalyeserye is a metaserye. It is self-aware. What is supposedly acting and scripts has become non-acting acting and script. Admittedly, there is still a script that is a leverage to it still being a teleserye, and that’s Lola Nidora. Notice that the character of Nidora seems to be always saying some useful aphorism to young ones watching it:
If you are aware of the rivalry between the two leading TV stations locally, you might say “but didn’t the rival TV station do that with a Cine Mo ‘To segment?” True, but it lacked that fuel from the Grecian Urn. (What the Pastillas Girl segment had was something already worn out – in a lot of sense. Hers was a story of a break up. And why watch a wilting face when you can follow how this Yaya Dub flower blossoms into this a red rose on a Grecian Urn?)
The fourth wall is engaging. That’s why there are interactions over on social networking sites and audience members feeling vicariously part of the story. (Sorry, I can’t find a video of that lady crying in the audience during the #Aldub #TamangPanahon no-commercial episode.)
At times, the actors (Alden and Yaya Dub) slip and “acting” becomes lost, then “reality” takes over.
Still, the bigger story held by the script has to ensure that’s why there is the Nidora character.
He checks his watch. “I’m gonna feel bad for leaving you.”
I stay silent. It’s a weekend and he has work. TV stations really have it going for their employees.