October 3, 2011

What’s cooking with The Kitchen Musical?

The Pan-Asian musical drama series starring Karylle, Christian Bautista and a slew of other Asian artists finally premiered its pilot episode last night on ABS – CBN. Before that, viewers were treated to a primer of sorts as they showed behind the scenes footage from the 4-month shoot in Singapore.

The cast of The Kitchen Musical

It’s all about fine dining and chasing your dreams as the story takes us to the struggles of restaurant heiress Maddie Avilon (Karylle), who returns home to work at her father’s restaurant after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her idealism is quickly shot down by The Avilon’s executive chef Alex Marcus. Somewhere along the episode it is hinted that it was her who recommended him (most probably to her dad) for the job as head chef of The Avilon. She was his biggest fan. But he shows no fondness for the favor. To him she is nothing but a spoiled princess whose opportunity was handed to her in a silver platter because of her name. 

So how did the pilot episode fare? Nice. But still a lot to improve on. Maddie reminds me a lot of Rachel Berry, a misunderstood overachiever who’s eager to please the higher-ups. She’s very polarizing as a character which is why you’d either love her or hate her. Karylle’s at her best when she’s feisty. When she switches to pa-tweetums mode, the character of Maddie becomes really irritating. Stephen Rahman-Hughes, on the other hand, registers well on-screen as Alex. I don’t know if there’s some sort of romantic connection to happen between him and Maddie in succeeding episodes but I’m not looking forward to it. I’d rather they focus on a mentor-student type of relationship instead with her getting the respect she finally deserves from his as a fellow chef. Christian Bautista though was surprisingly the one who shone best as Daniel, Maddie’s childhood bestfriend and fellow sous chef. He was convincing enough with the accent and could actually manage some decent moves on the dance floor. 

Speaking of dance moves, was it only me who felt that the ‘Boom Boom Pow!’ movements were a bit contrived? I wish they stuck with the ‘4 Minute’ dance routine (from the unknown pilot circulated in YouTube months ago) instead. But other than that, the (re-arranged) songs were lovely. ‘Unwell’ has to be my favorite although ‘For Your Entertainment’ comes as a close second. The series shows a lot of promise, so I hope they can sustain the momentum with the succeeding episodes.

Asian talent, FTW!

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