The third week of ABS-CBN’s Princess and I was odd. For three weeks everyone’s been pointing and laughing at the strangely hilarious and completely unnecessary Filipino-dubbing of the series.
But now the dubbing is gone (save for a line or two in an episode) and everyone, no matter what race or ethnicity they’re supposed to be, can speak and understand Tagalog.
As if the dubbing wasn’t hilarious enough, the fact that they dropped it is even more laughable and idiotic. This seems like such an insignificant and petty thing to harp on about, but the sudden inconsistency is even more jarring.
Apparently, the cast learned Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan, for the series. Okay. Then why dub over it? Unless they really didn’t. But even if they didn’t, they couldn’t memorize the lines? Unless, the writers got tired and lazy of having to write then translate everything into Dzongkha.
But if the lines getting dubbed over in Filipino are indeed in Dzongkha, why not show it off and use subtitles instead? Unless they think the Filipino audience is too dumb to read subtitles.
Then again, GMA’s Amaya regularly used subtitles and on-air glossaries. GMA also used subtitles on the absolutely awful Daisy Siete series years ago (probably even more unnecessary than dubbing). Not to mention subtitles translating Tagalog to Tagalog (or maybe Filipino to Tagalog) on ABS-CBN’s own Wako Wako.
It was an unnecessary thing to dub, but they chose it and they should’ve stuck with it. Now it seems even worse to have dropped it. It was a gimmick that went horribly wrong and now gotten even worse for double-backing.
Now on to other things to nitpick about…
I certainly don’t want to get in the middle of loveteam fandom wars and all, though I don’t really care nor am I knowledgeable in any of the current fanatics out there, but the introduction of the (teenage) Gino character as Mikay’s eventual makatuluyan brought my worst fears to life. The show has officially been pa-tweetum’d.
The bad boy, good girl/rich boy, poor girl story is definitely not new and setting it against the backdrop of teens and high school isn’t something viewers haven’t gotten their fill of lately on shows like GMA’s Tween Hearts, TV5’s Bagets, or the countless teen-oriented romantic dramas that’ve aired in the post ASAP-slot and on Saturday afternoons on ABS-CBN itself for years.
As fellow Mara Clara victim Julia Montes is getting some high-falutin material (hardly) on the network’s Walang Hanggan (a series with a whole mess of cliché’d problems I don’t care to dissect), Kathryn Bernardo is slowly getting saddled with typical teen mush. After a great first two weeks that brought out some colorful and fresh material despite the dubbing, the series has seemed intent to settle on being merely a teen romance drama.
The Yangdon scenes were actually wonderful. Both visually and content-wise. There were some great scenes between Kathryn and Albert Martinez and Enrique Gil, even between Kathryn and the local Bhutanese people. Even the scenes of Mikay’s best friend and secret admirer Kiko anxiously waiting for her back home were a nice contrast to the scenes in the fictional Yangdon.
But now that most of the action has returned to Manila, things have become less interesting and more “been there, done that.” Thank goodness Kathryn Bernardo oozes talent and charm. Her charming portrayal of Mikay and what few scenes we have left in Yangdon seem to be the only things worth watching, at least this week. The series went from interesting and fresh to tired and boring within days and add to that the hilarious decision to give up on dubbing, Princess and I seems poised to be just “another one of those.”