Disclaimer: My positive thoughts only go to the writers, the guests, and to how the hosts do in the game (not the entire segment). I am not oblivious to the issues that some of the hosts are accosted to. In fact, I disdain them for it. Since this segment has taught its viewers a lot of lessons on empathy and open-mindedness, it’s worth featuring.
One thing I can tell you about Eat Bulaga’s Bawal Judgmental is that it’s full of surprises. With every episode, you discover and learn something new. It’s also an interactive game. Even if you’re just in the comfort of your own homes, you can try to guess the correct answers along with the players on TV.
The segment has spanned more than 60 episodes since it launched on October 29, 2019. This type of game was the Round 2 question of one of EB’s former segments, Boom. In Round 2 of Boom, choosing the correct answers is based on the players’ intuition and the clues of the subjects (the 7 people they have to choose from for the correct answers). Round 2 became a hit, and EB made it into a standalone segment. Bawal Judgmental is now one of the most-watched game shows on TV and on Youtube. It really is addicting.
If you haven’t seen a single episode, I’ll tell you 5 reasons why I can’t end a day without watching this EB segment:
1. Everyone can play the game.
Since this game is based on judgment and intuition, and not on trivia and facts, everyone, no matter how highly educated you are or not, can play the game and answer correctly.
2. The antics of the hosts and the guests are fun and entertaining.
This is a given. Eat Bulaga wouldn’t reach to its 40+ years if it weren’t partly because of their hosts, with a special mention of Allan K and Jowapao (Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros), and for this segment, in my opinion, Vic “Bossing” Sotto does his role well as the master showman. In some episodes when he is absent, I notice that the players either have a hard time or have it too easy to the point of their demise.
3. I admire how the writers and researchers of this segment come up with each episode.
Having this program requires extensive research. Even if a lot of people would be willing subjects for each episode, finding the perfect candidate and dividing them into groups is a daunting task, especially if an episode’s topic has to be in a rush for a current trend.
4. We learn and discover something new, with each episode
If need be, the segment features experts on the topics of some episodes. Psychologists, physicians, veterinarians, etc. have guested on the segment to further explain the issues and questions that we may have, based on the circumstances of the guest subjects. Aside from that, we also get to discover trivia, like who among the choices are children of celebrities, or who among the choices are gold medalists of the Sea Games (if we weren’t aware of it).
5. The segment raises awareness and fosters empathy.
Many of us live in a bubble. When we are not exposed to different realities and perceptions in the world, we become ethnocentric and base our moral understanding and standards only on what has reached our culture and upbringing. Hence, we become more judgmental of others. The game show teaches its audience that there is more to life and perspectives aside from our own, and we have to accept that reality. Being different doesn’t make people (with different cultures and choices) bad.
This doesn’t only apply to cultures and upbringing (such as LGBTQA) but the segment also raises awareness on issues important in our society today. An example is the increase of population in our country and the need for a keener reproductive education, which is raised in some episodes (Nov. 20: Mga Ampon and Nov 21: Maraming Anak).
My favorite episodes (so far):
Coming-Out Live on National TV
This episode transformed the segment from a game show into a reality show. I had a bit of an aversion at the start because coming out of the closet is a very personal thing, but as the show progressed, the guest/subjects reassured the audience that they are very thankful to Eat Bulaga for coming up with the segment and for helping them brave it out and stand up for themselves. The episode was a tearjerker for me, as I have LGBT friends who still haven’t come out of the closet.
Animation Dubbers 🥰🥰🥰
This is my most favorite episode to date because it translates well into Pop culture. Each of the dubbers has showcased their talents and the characters they dubbed for in the episode and I was struck each time. I was watching the episode with heart eyes.
Gay and Lesbian Couples
The coupling of the guests/subjects is mesmerizing and inspiring.
May to December Relationships
As a woman, I found this episode very empowering, albeit its shortcomings. Although we are already in this time of history, it’s still indignation that men, women, and the LGBTQ are not given equal rights. I disliked the fact that the hosts would jokingly tell the older women, “Ang haba ng hair mo” or “Ikaw na!” If it were older men in their position, I bet they wouldn’t say those things.
Children of Celebrities
It was fun discovering whose children the guest/subjects were.
This episode is one of the most spontaneous ones as Allan K was driven to buy the cute chow-chow brought by one of the guests/subjects. I sincerely like this episode but I’m also including it on the list because I want to comment on Joey de Leon’s behavior (as he gets older, he has been either less aware or really meaning everything he does or says). I admire him as a writer (for Wow Mali), but I hope his bosses or the MTRCB call out on him.
Persons Living with HIV
This is the most eye-opening episode for me. The guests/subjects and the guest doctor effectually educated the viewers about HIV. I learned that there is great hope for people who have HIV as long as they follow the protocol. We also shouldn’t judge them for their circumstances.
Art by Jim Morada