Apr 24, 2013

Rounin: Philippine TV Hunkfest Flop

The U.S. doesn't have a monopoly on high-concept tv flops.  In the spring of 2007, the Philippines tv network ABS-CBN premiered Rounin, about an elite group of alien martial artists dedicated to protecting the city of Lumeria from the evil Draco, who rules the City of Helion.

Characters all had Greek or Greek-sounding names.  Each Rounin was in charge of a different virtue (justice, love, pride, loyalty) and a different element (earth, air, fire, water, electricity).

Sounds like a mixture of Battlestar Galactica, Power Rangers, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and the Pinoy comic hero Tartaro. Couldn't miss, right?

Thinking they had an international hit, the network advertised incessantly, and spent a fortune on a brand-new studio, high-def video technology, and an army of high-priced hunks, including three from the hunkfest Bora:  

1. Diether Ocampo (left) as Cadmus, the head Rounin

2. Luis Manzano as Juris, the strongest Rounin
3. Carlos Agassi (left) as Septo, head of the criminal city Argos

4. Jhong Hilario as Venom, from the Dark Side
5. Rafael Rosell  (top photo) as Creon, who broke up with Juris to hang out with Venom.  Maybe a gay subtext.

6. Rayver Cruz as Mythos, the Luke Skywalker of Lumeria
7. Geoff Eigenmann (left) as Xyrus, a prisoner in Argos

8. AJ Dee as Braulio, assistant to the Queen of Helios

But it turned out to be the lowest-rated program in its time slot, especially among the intended audience of children young adults, and after a year it was cancelled.

Sometimes beefcake is not enough.