FINAL (Thank God!) Hindsight Review of Mara Clara – Oh Brother, Where to Begin?

Mara drowned herself because she couldn't take the fail of the series anymore.

ABS-CBN’s Mara Clara did not end like it began. The series began as a bright and promising classic soap opera. It ended its run as a overdramatic, nonsensical mess.

The network and series’ writers and directors threw away what could have been not only a solid production, but a memorable event. Instead Mara Clara will be memorable for the wasted opportunities and its rapid descent into the bowels of hell/long swim in a heaping pile of garbage/its endless digging into a shithole.

The basic premise of the series was two girls from opposite social classes switched at birth… and the hilarity ensues.

And that was the story for the excellent first few months of the series. A spoiled rich brat and a hard-working, intelligent poor girl. Completely opposite personalities, clashing at school and in their teenage love lives.

Basic, but fresh enough with a good young cast bringing it to life. The natural story would’ve seen the meek, poor Mara grow a backbone and be an example of how social status doesn’t have to be a deterrent to happiness and success. Meanwhile, Clara, the spoiled bitch would learn the error of her ways, see the light, and everyone live happily ever after.

That may sound typical, but it would be 10x better than the alternative we did get; physical and emotional violence, child abuse, battery, murder, rape, assault, corruption, idiocy… in short, torture porn for television.

One can blame what continues to be the main culprit in the disastrous turns of quality for many Filipino dramas… extensions. ABS-CBN more than its competitor GMA has made it a habit of overextending its series well past their expiration date. Instead of ensuring a quality story, the network has made it a priority to keep shows on the air for ratings and profit no matter the adverse affects to the quality of the series. Writing and production usually takes a nosedive, no matter how good the series has been beforehand.

There’s an argument by network loyalists that this is a business, so of course they’re going to keep a high rating show on the air. But as a business, they have to make the customer happy. In this case, the viewers. Presenting inferior product to the consumer is definitely not honest and for a corporation that prides itself on honesty and integrity, that’s laughable.

But that’s another discussion.

The degradation of quality in Mara Clara can’t be blamed on extensions alone. People, lots of people, gave this crap the green light.

Several people approved having a literally stupid heroine in Mara. She started off as a smart, bright young girl and over the course of the series turned into a naïve, idiotic imp. She surrendered her brain at the door. Meanwhile someone decided it was a great idea to have the only characters on the series with brains to be the villains, whom by the way were the real title characters on the show. The series revolved solely around Gary and Clara with Mara becoming an also-ran.

And because of that, Kathryn Bernardo went from a strong, emotional performance in Magkaribal to a poor amateur in Mara Clara. From a role that signaled her arrival to a role that erased it from memory.

Neither the heroes nor the villains had any redeeming qualities. None. By the end of the series, you wished they all bit it thanks to their own stupidity. Genius and unstoppable Gary and Clara aside of course.

Its nonsensical story and gratuitous violence was the very epitome of lowest common denominator. Appealing to a more than willing Filipino audience that has been conditioned to accept such poor, degrading work.

A story that proved that good guys are stupid and the bad guys are the only ones with brains. That the Philippine police force is filled with bumbling fools (which in fairness, is not far from the truth).

You want to see a good series about a young heroine fighting back against those who stepped on her and hurt her family? Maria Flordeluna still continues to be the only series to do so. Flordeluna had more character growth in a week than Mara, the supposed heroine of Mara Clara, had the entire series.

To put it bluntly and in Tagalog terms… walang kwenta. Mara Clara is worthless.

Poor writing, poor direction, poor acting, mishandling from the network; Mara Clara 2010/2011 was a waste of space, a disgrace to the legacy of the classic original series and the most embarrassing and egregious example of when a good thing goes wrong.

Thank God it’s over.

0 thoughts on “FINAL (Thank God!) Hindsight Review of Mara Clara – Oh Brother, Where to Begin?

  1. Mara Clara was extended for ratings and profit, which sacrificed its quality. The story focussed on Gary and his evilness. The writers are obsessed about showing that evil wins over good most of the time. This teleserye is a garbage.

  2. yo, it’s me again

    one thing i noticed from all that i have read is that both those who like this show and those who hated it are only focusing on the bigger scenes. not a lot of them really took notice of the minor scenes, which is quite sad because these scenes are the ones that really revealed a lot about the characters.

    actually, it was the smaller scenes that really drew me into the series, since i was already well aware from the start that this one will inevitably have those big melodramatic parts (it’s mara clara after all). those minor scenes really gave an insight into the characters ‘ thoughts and why they made the decisions (including the “stupid” ones) that they would do in the bigger scenes. it is also these parts that really show both both leads are actually maturing, and that mara is not dumb as people may assume or that clara is not really all that evil (i never considered her as the kontrabida, more like the other heroine).

    as for the “redeeming values” and “moral lesson” bit, just read my own review (linked to my name). hope to hear from you, since it would really be an intersting discussion.

    (note: in case this is a double post, just delete my previous one, i don’t know if there is something wrong with the comment syste)

  3. At first the show was very dramatic,but towards the end,we have to come to terms that these guys are overdoing it making the whole thing look like crap,piece of shit or so..thumbs up thougH

  4. the programs starts as a series that would teach a lot lesson, but i couldn’t believe to my greatest surprise it was only teaching immoral lesson that the evil have priority dominion over the good ones, which is 100% wrong.

  5. At 1st i thought it was a series worth spending time to watch, little did i know that greed and stupidity will bring in unnecessary extention that we make me ever regret starting at all. It’s extention was uncalled for, i’m sure that was why they are ending it wrongly, cos there is no moral lesson 2 go home with. Or do they want 2 tell was that evil will always prevail above good? This is rubbish men.

  6. Honestly, all the other comments above hav just summarised all that I want to comment on, Mara Clara from ther start was well written and directed which I know taught very good lessons and emphasized both the lives of Mara and Clara but the end is extremely annoying, but all the same, thank God it’s over!

  7. All most is bad drama.! So many crime and is for only one Chracte… They show as Police, what is the hel works of Police in this Darama? Only one crime man can control the all police Officers! Misirable

  8. i really lov dis vedio, i learnt a lesson of hw to train a child. mara was real trained n clara all d named of money was wrongly trained, she is arogant, rude n disrespectful. well i enjoy d movie

    • i agree with akpoyibos and also nevamind because if we know we can’t act,direct or make a move,then why critisice it?and driedmangoes,no one said u can’t give your opinion but just don’t insult someone’s intelligence.ok 🙂

      • When did I insult someone’s intelligence? And if you can’t act, direct or make a movie, then what right do you have to PRAISE it? That is according to your logic.

        Anyone can decide whether or not they like something or thing it is any good. That is according to their standards. According to my standards, “Mara Clara” was a piece of shit show.

  9. b4 complainin abt a movie Y don’t u act,direct or write a story so we cn knw aw gud u re ! wat a show off if u don’t lyk d film den leave it u re nt forced 2 watch

  10. Yes, if u dont like d movie fine u can go 2hell 4all i care,and stop nagging, u no wat, u guys pissed me off,better till prove them wrong by acting 1 then we c hw perfect u’re in acting, just a word of advice 4 those who are saying badthings about mara n clara, u and i no dat, dis particular movie is incredible, so jut put away d jelousy and admit 2d fact. Anyways i indeed do admire their sense of creativity and courage…no matter wat people may say dont ever let go of ur dearms,jut keep it up!

  11. well actually i lv d drama becos it teachs a lot of lessons from mara to be strong no matter the situation you find yourself, to be kind hearted to every one round you, to know what is important to do,to be smart and many more lessons to learn.

  12. hmmm…..i am yet to finish the drama series but all i can say right now is that d whole thing is annoying! I had to stop watching the movie not because i felt the director n actors didnt do a gud job but because th storyline has been able to drift from what we all expect in our normal happily ever after fantasy.
    Whether we like it or not, its not always rosy,there are times when d police are nt just working the way they should. Things do go wrong,its nt not bad if for a change this movie portrays what could go wrong.

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