KTX review: 'General Admission' is a smart black comedy on showbiz scandals

Fred Hawson

Posted at Apr 12 2021 06:27 AM

KTX review: 'General Admission' is a smart black comedy on showbiz scandals 1
Jasmine Curtis-Smith in 'General Admission' 

Katja Majarais (Jasmine Curtis-Smith) was the star member of the Daisy Ocho, a group of sexy dancers on a crass noontime TV show Tawag ng Tanghalian. One day, she had her period while dancing on air, causing a red stain to be visible on her white costume. Katja's misfortune was the red-hot topic being tackled on mass media and social media. Her rival dancer Rose (Angelica Bianca Lapuz) even circulated a cruel gif of that awkward moment.

A famous fortune teller Madame Nora (Vangie Labalan) made a prediction on air that someone Katja loved will die in 24 hours. Was Madame referring to her boyfriend Carlito Sicat (JC de Vera), a once-popular child actor wanting to make a comeback? Rival TV talk show hosts Teri Miranda (Nanette Inventor) of "Tsismis 24/7" and Danny de Leon (Archie Adamos) of "Blgar Teleradyo" scramble to generate controversial content out of the situation.

Together with guest panelists psychology professor Dra. Wilfreda Limpin (Angelina Kanapi) and celebrity vlogger Tom Young (Bryan Sy), the hosts spin scandalous generalizations from pure speculations and silly exaggerations. They manipulate interviews with their leading questions, and put words into the guests' mouths. They even employ camera crews to follow subjects around and hidden cameras to catch sensitive moments. 

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So from a simple case of an embarrassing red stain on white shorts, the issue had spun off wildly into false accusations.of child abuse, secret affairs, pregnancy, abortion, homophobia, HIV, sexual harassment, and human rights violations. There were rallies from women's groups and LGBT groups, all taking advantage of the spotlight to highlight their advocacies. When someone was actually shot in public in the end, even more salacious confessions came out.

This smart black comedy was written by Dustin Celestino and directed by Jeffrey Hidalgo (who also appeared onscreen as a malicious TV director) as a commentary on the TV business nowadays, highlighting the callousness, the insensitivity and the ruthlessness of it all. Everything was about the sponsors, the money, the audience response, the ratings. Their focus was on sensationalizing the issues, and not the actual truth of the content. 

It also showed how celebrities have become prisoners of their own public personas. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."

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