Be it before or during primetime hours, ABS-CBN continues to always be ahead of its competition from the other networks. Perhaps the most significantly successful programming they have in the late afternoon would be the revenge-theme drama series “Wildflower”, delivering a heady blend of heartwarming love, sinister plotting, classical villainy and even heated action sequences. In five months’ worth of weekdays the show has racked up an audience share that would be the equal of the best teleseryes the network has fielded in the evening primetime. Stellar writing and incredible acting from stars both contemporary and legendary has provided home audiences with one of the best soaps ever aired by ABS-CBN.
Kantar Media, the audience measurement arm of the UK-based Kantar Group, has noted this month perhaps the highest record for audience share of “Wildflower” since its debut last February. A 25.8 percent national television rating is nothing to sneeze at, after all. So many people are tuning in before the evening newscast to see the continuing struggles of Lily Cruz in her personal crusade against the tyrannical and dysfunctional Ardiente political clan, while trying to reconcile her feelings for one of them who was her childhood friend, even as she lives under an assumed identity to carry out her plan.
Sounds like the stuff of supreme melodrama, but the cast of “Wildflower” have transformed it into something so much more. Headlining it all is the lead, Maja Salvador. In her role of Lily Cruz, under the assumed name of Ivy Aguas, she works to covertly destroy all traces of unity and reputation in the Ardiente family, whom she holds responsible for the tragic loss of her family. While she is expected to carry out her vengeance through plotting and honey traps, she also gets to display a physically fierce side. Having been taught martial arts by her adoptive mother in the backstory, Ivy gets to show her skills (and Salvador gets to demonstrate her training) by taking on a group of assailants in a June episode, which has become a trending topic for the scene in question depicting her in high heels throughout the fight.
But “Wildflower” isn’t a one-woman show, and the other principal cast members elevate the narrative to some truly emotional levels. Veteran actress Aiko Melendez gleefully shows showbiz world that she still has it as the splendidly bitchy Emilia Ardiente-Torillo, one of the primary antagonists in Lily/Ivy’s life. Her character’s eldest son Arnaldo, played by R.K. Bagatsing, is also effective in his bad guy role. In fact, the show’s villains are just so memorable in their all-too human vileness, as shown by Wendell Ramos portraying Emilia’s husband Raul Torillo, with the intimidating moniker of “Jaguar”.
The series has only gone up ad up in storytelling quality, especially with the latest plot developments that have drawn audiences in. If the revelation that Ivy’s mother Camia Cruz (Sunshine Cruz) was still alive, just when Emilia has finally sussed out her true identity as Lily, another woman (Yen Santos) appears claiming to be Lily Cruz. Who knows where this new bent in the narrative will go? You’ll just have to keep watching “Wildflower”, every weekday afternoon before “TV Patrol World” on ABS-CBN.
Photo courtesy of ABSCBN