I had hopes for Munting Heredera in becoming a signature family drama for GMA. But it’s instead been a mostly heavy (with some lighthearted moments thanks to the children) drama with an older target audience.
This year, GMA had fantasy series Dwarfina and Captain Barbell in primetime, both geared for families, but the former more worthwhile than the latter. However, neither was very memorable.
But maybe, GMA Network’s newest primetime series Iglot can be that breakout family hit for them. ABS-CBN currently has 100 Days to Heaven, which certainly is greatly boosted by the talent of Xyriel Manabat.
And maybe that’s what GMA needs. A charming, fresh faced young star to capture the heart of the country. The Kapuso network’s own child wonder Jillian Ward can certainly carry a show (she carried Captain Barbell on her shoulders for goodness sakes), but GMA hasn’t found the right combo of story and star.
Iglot‘s first week holds promise that maybe they’ve finally done it.
In this case, it is newcomer Milkcah Wynne Nacion as Luningning that could make this series a winner.
Iglot opens as Mariella (played by Claudine Barretto) recounts the legend of the Unggiko, funny, odd looking creatures who were all but wiped out, save for an egg that was saved by being dropped into a volcano.
Only when the volcano erupts can the last Unggiko egg escape. And well, that time is now. The legend is true and the volcano erupts, separating Mariella and her newborn baby… and releasing the egg.
The baby grows up to become Luningning, raised by the crabby Lola Idang (Celia Rodriguez). It is Ning who ends up finding the egg, now caked with dirt after half a dozen years in the forest.
She takes it home and names it Iglot (from the Tagalog word for egg, itlog) and takes care of it like a little friend since she’s basically been alone her whole life.
Ning soon unknowingly crosses paths with her mother, Mariella and Iglot hatches and so begins the story.
Controversies aside, Claudine Barretto is a more than capable actress. But even the most talented actors can’t make a show worthwhile on its own.
Which is why I certainly hope Milkcah Wynne Nacion at the very least shares the spotlight with Claudine, if not take over as the lead star of the series. Never bet against a child-led series.
Iglot‘s story should focus more on the adventures of Ning and Iglot rather than the love stories and romantic intrigues of Claudine’s Mariella and the rest of the adults. That’s one of the reasons ABS-CBN’s Mara Clara and Noah bombed creatively. They focused on the uninteresting and contrived romantic entanglements of the adults. Meanwhile ABS-CBN’s Momay and the first part of Agua Bendita was successful creatively by keeping focus on the children.
As a family series geared towards younger audiences, are you really going to choose scenes of a horny husband over a cute little girl taking care of her new pet dog?
Also never bet against cuteness. And Iglot has twice the cute with the precocious Luningning and… whatever it is that’s inside the egg. Milkcah Wynne Nacion has the charm and a more natural aura than a lot of GMA’s child actors. She definitely has the makings of a promising young actress.
It is also interesting how Iglot is a sort of spin-off to one of GMA’s most successful fantasy series Mulawin. Networks take note. This could be a great example of how to pull off a spin-off or sequel; not rehashing the exact same story and giving it a new title (*cough*Lobo/Imortal*cough*).
Iglot isn’t the historical (Amaya), heavy (Munting Heredera), kawawang victim/dancing (Time of My Life) drama on GMA primetime. And that is certainly a welcome difference. I certainly hope Iglot turns out to be a nice, charming, fun ride.