Martin Nievera's new talk show started like this: the 51-year-old singer is seen carefully dressing up for an event, then coming out of his house to tell singer Kedebon, whom he has "adopted," about his comeback. Kedebon then tells him: "But you never left."
Such is the tone of Martin Late @ Night, Martin Nievera's new talk show, which premiered last March 1.
The show recalls ABS-CBN late night talk shows Martin After Dark, which aired from 1988 to 1997 and Martin Late @ Nite, from 1998 to 2002.
The first episode of Martin Late @ Night feels traditional, like it is an episode straight from the '90s. In a way, it is the antithesis of Gandang Gabi Vice, the symbol of modern talk shows. Unlike Vice Ganda's trend-tastic brainchild, Martin Late @ Night has no recorded laugh-tracks, no audience interaction, and no forced social media tie-ups.
Aside from differentiating Martin Late @ Night from ABS-CBN's popular talk show, the pared down quality also gives it a familiarity that's welcome to the fans of Martin's previous efforts to conquer late night viewing.
This also puts Martin's talents on the spotlight.
We saw in the pilot episode how Martin interacted with his first guest KC Concepcion. The daughter of Sharon Cuneta talked about her travels, particularly her trip to Rio de Janeiro with Sarah Geronimo. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Martin gave viewers hilarious witticisms like:
"Every new talk show has this little globe. Kaboom."
"They import their wind from Japan."
"You talk to strangers. Your parents taught you wrong."
Martin's engaging banter was also instrumental in bringing out a new side to his guest KC Concepcion. Interviewing actors is a tough job, because their lives are open to the public, and it always feels like there is nothing left to talk about. But Martin is so good a host he makes it look easy.
Martin even uses his other talent, the skill of song, to tell viewers how special KC is.
All in all, Martin Late @ Night banks on the quick wit and musicality of host Martin Nievera to create a show. The lack of loud soundbites and social media trending may make it feel traditional, but no matter—the show is perfect as it is.