Well, ABS-CBN’s Mara Clara continues to delve deeper into the bowels of hell for story ideas. The series is past from being salvageable and this remake shitting on the face of one of the most classic Filipino soap operas will probably be written about in textbooks as “How not to write a television series.”
This week, Mara Clara gets a new timeslot competitor when the planets align and they end up against GMA’s tagalized version of Korea’s The Baker King.
Funny though because Mara Clara could have probably learned a couple of things from The Baker King.
The most watched Korean drama of 2010 was so for a reason. It forged down typical soap opera conventions, but infused freshness and excitement by jerking away right before it would stumble too deep into worn out clichés.
Mara Clara has stumbled, tripped, fallen, and just last week hurled itself into a pit far deeper than stereotypical soap opera.
The Baker King deals with many different themes; from sibling rivalry and jealousy, to the lust for money and power, to romance and revenge and most importantly hopes and dreams.
The Baker King could’ve taught Mara Clara that villains don’t have to be paper thin and one dimensional. That even the vilest creatures can be broken once in a while. That even the worst villains have a speck of good left in them.
That romance doesn’t have to be forced. That even one-sided love doesn’t have to be annoying and cringe-worthy.
That less is more. There’s no need to go for shock and awe when you’ve got a solid story already. That a simple, well written story tops gimmicks.
That someone who’s pushed aside, treated like dirt, or stepped on can fight back and defend themselves without stooping to the level of those who are doing the pushing and stepping.
That a hero or heroine isn’t perfect, that a villain isn’t all-knowing and all-powerful.
That a cast of talented actors helps.
That you don’t have to be overdramatic to leave a mark on the viewer.
That the hero or heroine doesn’t have to be naïve a stupid idiot.
Can anyone else add anything?
Honestly, The Baker King isn’t the most perfect drama series in the history of television, but when you’re comparing it to something like the 2010-2011 remake of Mara Clara? It’s a priceless work of art.