We recently saw Star Wars jump-start another trilogy with a return to a galaxy far far away. After 20 years, we saw aliens once again destroy famous landmarks in Independence Day: Resurgence. And more than three decades later, we once again called upon the Ghostbusters, the female version of them at least, to save New York from being overrun by ghosts and slime. In keeping with the current trend of revisiting and rebooting classic movies and TV shows, a “requel” – which is both a remake and a sequel at the same time – of a local TV show from 11 years ago is making a comeback in a big way.
We’re talking of course about Encantadia. For those of you who were too young too remember, Encantadia was the hit television show from the GMA Network that started the whole fantaserye craze over a decade ago. When it was first released in 2005, it was the most expensive and ambitious program to ever come out on local television. Encantadia was a game changer in the sense that it gave audiences an option when it comes to prime time programming. Kung dati puro sampalan at iyakan lang ang puwedeng panuorin, ngayon sampalan at iyakan pa rin, pero may kasama nang magic at espadahan.
The new Encantadia just aired its pilot episode, and it has gotten people talking about it once again. If you liked the original that came out 11 years ago, then you’ll probably like this one because it seems to have improved on the first one tremendously. Based on first impressions, here are some of the things to like about it.
1. Terrific Casting
The original Encantadia follows the story four Sangg’res namely Amihan, Alena, Danaya, and Pirena. These four women are the daughters of Ynang Reyna Minea and they were tasked to protect four magical gemstones in order to uphold the peace between the kingdoms. In the original version, the sanggre’s were Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, Daiana Zubiri, and Karylle.
For the new version, the roles were given to Glaiza De Castro, Kylie Padilla, Sanya Lopez, and Gabbi Garcia. They have yet to make an appearance on the show so far but so it remains to be seen how they’ll fare. But from the promotional pictures alone, we can tell that they definitely look the part. Aside from these four lovely ladies, there’s also Marian Rivera in the role of Minea, Max Collins as Minea’s sister Amihan, Solenn Heussaff as Cassiopea, Rochelle Pangilinan as Agane, and Sunshine Dizon as Aghara. Those names alone would be reason enough for any Filipino male to check the show out.
But in addition the ladies mentioned, Encantadia also boasts of a cast that includes Ding Dong Dantes, John Arcilla, Roi Vinzon, and Rocco Nacino just to name a few.
2. Succeeds in building it’s own world and language
In the story, the land of Encantadia is divided among four major kingdoms. There’s Adamya, where strange forest creatures live and protect the water gemstone. Sapiro, which is the land of the Encantados, keepers of the earth gemstone. We have Lireo, home of the Diwatas which are the protectors of the air gemstone. And finally we have Hathoria a land of warriors that hold the fire gemstone and who would eventually wage war against the other kingdoms in their quest to wield the powers of all the gemstones.
The show does a good job of differentiating each group of people from the other. Each kingdom is unique, with their own culture and values. You can see from the set pieces how different each kingdom is from the next one. But aside from just having costumes and set pieces that differ from one another, the inhabitants of Encantadia also have their own language. Which in all honesty could have been the menu of Mang Inasal simply being read in reverse but we’ll never know for sure because it’s a made up language. The point is the creators of the show made an effort to make a living and breathing world and they succeeded.