In my mind, this is pretty much the creative process of ANC’s show, Storyline:
Producer: Intern, choose a random word from the dictionary, find three people who embody it somehow and meet me in the editing room in five minutes.
Intern: How random a word is random? What if I come up with ‘aardvark?’ How do I determine the relation of signifier to significant in a world of arbitrary meaning? Producer? Producer?! AWWW, HERE IT GOES!
There is probably more to it than that, and they probably have more than one intern, but I always get the impression that Merriam-Webster and an address book play a large part in their brainstorming.
The show has been getting rave reviews (based on its TV ad, at least,) so maybe the whole let’s get people we can shoehorn into neat little one-word categories to talk about themselves approach works. Getting former armed forces chief Senator Rodolfo Biazon to talk about manliness, for example. Or “veteran journalist Vergel Santos, sex therapist and clinical psychologist Margie Holmes, and Fr. Mike Paez, a parish priest with a colorful past” for a show with the theme Freedom.
The show does tend to be cheesy, though. They once did an interview with former child prodigy Shaira Luna (she just grew up, she didn’t get dumb all of a sudden or anything) and how she dealt with a world that expected much of her. As naturally as the sun is at the center of our solar system, Ms. Luna decided to follow her passion instead of a career in the academe that wonder milk Promil prepared her for. In the last scene, an old photo of her as a child is burned on camera to reveal the “real” her in the background. It was cheesy as hell and left me emotionally scarred for life. Maybe the theme of the show was cheese.
Storyline is set to break new ground with its “Bayan Ko” episode featuring Ka Freddie Aguilar, though. Two words, and they aren’t even English ones.