GMA’s primetime dramas are known more for being fantasy-focused as opposed to being straight, well, fantasy-less dramas. While GMA has had several non-fantasy soap operas, they haven’t had that one that people remember long after it’s aired. Maybe not since Babangon Ako’t Dudurugin Kita or the Christmas drama Sana Ngayon Pasko, which even then, lags behind some of GMA’s more timeless series from further back in time.
In fact, GMA’s afternoon dramas have been much better in the straight drama department than the network’s primetime offereings. Last year, the network seemed to have that big family soap opera in Munting Heredera. But as often happens with oft-extended shows, it is about to end up another one of those forgettable, annoying paint-by-the-numbers violence-ridden series. (See: Mara Clara)
Now GMA has another opportunity to create that memorable grand soap opera experience with Legacy. It has all the elements of typical soap; big families, dynastic conglomerates, rich and poor, children living the opposite lives of their true birthright, and romantic, business, and familial rivalries.
But since typical Filipino soap opera is so atypical for GMA primetime, Legacy is a welcome and refreshing change. The series has already managed to set itself apart from others with great direction. It has a distinct look that was deftly introduced with the 3-episode flashback introduction set in the 1980s. The look and feel of those episodes were right on target with an 80s vibe that just worked.
That look carried over into the present day story with what has been some carefully directed scenes that add to the overall feel of the series; a sort of traditional, yet contemporary visual style.
That direction has helped offset the fairly typical start, plot-wise, of the series. The all-too-typical elites lounging by the pool to the all-too-typical less fortunate complete with abusive jerk of a father. The contrast is fascinating, however, as the most recent episodes have regularly jumped between the almost all-English dialogue amongst the wealthy and the humble Filipino dialogue of the poor. Those almost jarring cuts help emphasize the division between the two main characters played by Heart Evangelista and Lovi Poe, and their somewhat switched destinies.
And both actresses more than fit their roles; Lovi Poe as the fancy heiress and Heart Evangelista as the humble, hard-working daughter. Plus there’s also an excellent supporting cast in Alessandra de Rossi, Cherie Gil, Eddie Garcia, Liza Lorena, Jackie Lou Blanco, Mike Tan, Sid Lucero and Geoff Eigenmann.
Hopefully there’ll be less shootings and kidnappings and more good, straight, family and corporate drama. (Which funny enough, was the original expectation from Munting Heredera.) Here’s hoping Legacy can maintain its solid start.