IDOLS@SCHOOL! 2 The MNL48 iSchool Review: Episode 2

Welcome, once again, to IDOLS@SCHOOL! where we take a look at MNL48’s iSchool miniseries episode by episode. Think of it as Dragon Ball Dissection (subscribe to MistareFusion btw) but instead of a 30+ year old manga, we’re reviewing a 65-episode miniseries from 2018 about idols going to school, and no, it’s not an animated series.

We left off with Anne-sensei giving them a surprise exam about something and we’re not given what the exam is all about but it’s obvious that it’s about what makes them an idol in relation to the I.D.D.O.O.L. acronym (if you don’t know what this is all about, either check episode 1 on YouTube or read my review here).

Today’s Lesson: Last Week’s Lesson (I.D.O.L. Part 2)

This episode is more of a reveal of what the girls answered on their test and let’s “dissect” them one by one.  The first question is quite relevant in when it comes to the state of MNL48 today and the answers are pretty ironic considering the fact that some of their ex-colleagues, or hell, even current colleagues can’t even seem to do.

The question is this: “Kapag may basher ka o ang grupo sa social media, paano mo ihahandle?” (If you or the group gets criticized by somebody, anybody, on social media, how will you handle it?)

All of the answers are correct, for now, but at a first glance, Ash’s answer is the best one out of the lot. The thing is, if it is constructive criticism, you accept it, learn from it, and be a better idol or anybody who’s working on any type of media, social or otherwise.

These things seem to be lost on some oshimen, past or present, as this golden rule of the internet goes out of the window (see the Dani fiasco). All in all, as Anne-sensei and that ad on 97.9 Home Radio always said time and again, think before you click.

The worst one, well not necessarily the worst one, but the one I find the least effective is Sheki’s. Using a heart react on a post criticizing you or the group (I don’t like using the word bash because that sounds totally stupid when you use it on as a term to be a detractor of something online) can be tantamount to shitposting.

Only shitposters do that and you’re an idol, a public figure, so shitposting on social media can do more harm than good unless you’re on 4chan and you’re not that stupid enough not to use a VPN when posting there using your company-issued phone or computer.

Question number two is more of a personal preference than anything as all it entails is gaano kahalaga sa’yo ang social media? (How important is social media to you?) and Marisela’s answer proves my point here: mas mahalaga pa rin ang makipaghalubilo in personal (personal interaction is much more important than interactions done on the internet).

Some people can’t interact in person due to certain circumstances (distance, rules and regulations, social awkwardness) and so social media is very important to them and if you’re one of those people who runs a ton of businesses on the internet, social media is king to promote said businesses but I do get Sela’s point though.

Her main point is, sure social media can be an easier way to communicate with people around the world but if you can communicate with people in another part of the world but you can’t even say hi to the person next to you, you have a problem and that is why personal interaction is very important (but it might go the way of the dodo soon enough because, y’know, COVID-19).

The third question is just as important as question number one: performance muna bago ______ (The performance comes first before _______ ). This is where you can see how serious these people can be to the point that they sacrifice leisure time, social interaction, and even food (a great example of this is Anne-sensei asking the great Ashley Cloud if she even eats because, let’s be honest here, she looks like a walking stick compared to the rest or even Ella).

Even our friend Alice from Hallo Hallo Café had to sacrifice her family bonding time just to be on the show and this might be something different from what she had to undergo during her Kawaii5 days or maybe the same but I feel her on that.

There are times that you have to sacrifice leisure time to further your dreams or have to enslave yourself and do jobs just to provide for the people you love and I understand that it’s a bit hard on most people (others use that time to get away from their family or whatever) but you got to do what you have to do and that, my friends, is what you call sacker…I mean sacrifice.

Question number four is more of those opinion pieces as it just asks sino sa MNL48 members ang sa tingin moa ng nagpapakita ng katangian ng isang idol? (In your own opinion, which MNL48 members has the traits that make her an idol?) Before we go to the answers, there’s this gaffe on the exam paper as they used the article “nang” instead of “ng”. Whoever made the exam questions aren’t that proficient in Filipino it seems (must be on HalloHallo’s side as being a Japanese owned company, they let someone on their side type in the questions and with the limited knowledge in Tagalog that he/she has, he probably confused ng with nang).

When it comes to answers, all but two people gave specific names because they mentioned everyone deserved to be a part of MNL48. The only people who mentioned any specific names were our friend Alice and Ella.

Ella mentioned Alice without any explanation and our friend Alice mentioned then center girl, Sheki mentioning that there are certain qualities that HHE/AKS/ABS-CBN saw in Sheki that they haven’t seen in anyone else that made her the center of the group.

The serious vibe given by the previous two questions were suddenly shot down by the absurdity of question number five: Maganda ba ang teacher na nasa harapan niyo ngayon? Bakit mo nasabing oo or hindi? (Is the teacher in front of you, beautiful? Explain why your answer is a yes or a no.)

I think this was just made to lighten up the mood or whatever. Of course, the girls gave a cop out answer of “Anne-sensei is beautiful inside and out”, whaddya expect?

The episode ends with the Anne-sensei telling them that there is a right or wrong answer and that will be explained…on the next episode. The girls then say goodbye to Anne-sensei as she dismisses the class.

Oh yeah. This happened. Sasuga HHE.

There’s nothing to note about the production quality this time as the camera cuts aren’t that spectacular or cringeworthy. The sound effects used, something that I didn’t explain on the previous review, border on the Eat Bulaga territory and I find that one too many. Sure one “hahahahaha” or “what” can be fine but using it too much is what they do here.

Overall, I’ll give this episode a rating of B- as there’s nothing spectacular to be noted here. It’s fun to look at the answers and tolerating the sound effects and Anne-sensei’s hugots and claims of being a former idol be interesting but other than that, it ends on another cliffhanger, and this time, an unnecessary one and the focus here isn’t on the experience itself but on what the girls answered on the exams.

This hashtag will never work, sensei.

See you next time for more IDOLS@SCHOOL!! and I might pull something out of my head on the days to come.

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