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REVIEW: GMA Network delivers sensational epic, cultural drama with ‘Legal Wives’

It features a never-before-seen ensemble of the biggest actors in a Kapuso drama. The Dennis Trillo-starrer series is poised to become the Network’s most ambitious primetime series as of yet.

Romance and drama have mixed beautifully and compellingly in this epic family drama that offers an extravagant view to the Muslim Mindanao life and to a long-celebrated Maranawon tradition that remains taboo to most.

GMA Network

Actors: Dennis Trillo, Alice Dixon, Cherie Gil, Irma Idlawan,Al Tantay, Juan Rodrigo, Andrea Torres, Bianca Umali, Derrick Monasterio, Tommy Abuel, Maricare Mesa, Bernard Palanca, Mon confiado, Ashley Ortega, Abdul Raman, Shayne Sava

Genre: Drama, Romance

Premise: The many facets of love are explored in this epic family drama that tells the story of a wealthy and influential Maranawon royalty, who gets married to three different women from different generations

Writer: Suzette Doctolero

Director: Zig Dulay

Timeslot: Weeknights, after The World Between Us

Why You Should See It:

GMA Network carries on its tradition of serving Kapuso viewers with epic ensemble dramas through its newest primetime show, Legal Wives.

It features a never-before-seen ensemble of the biggest actors in a Kapuso drama. The Dennis Trillo-starrer series is poised to become the Network’s most ambitious primetime series as of yet.

Delving into the Maranao culture and its time-honored tradition of polygamy, Legal Wives, as its showrunners claim, isn’t the usual infidelity-themed show. The series leans towards entertaining, but it always returns to showcasing the rich and vivid culture of the Maranawon people. 

To the show’s credit–its extravagant showcase of an ethnic group is a breath-taking spectacle.

The pilot week offers enough glimpses into what the entire series will be. However, it still feels it still has a lot more to show. That seems to be the case, as the primer, released before its pilot episode, offered much more to excite the curious audiences.

The pilot episode is quick to establish Ismael (Dennis Trillo) and Dianne (Andrea Torres) as one, and potentially the most important, of the couples, in the show.

As a Roman Catholic, Dianne might ignite the most complication in her brewing romance with Ismael, but a much bigger problem is poised to rattle them out. Ismael’s religion and culture permit him to marry multiple women; while Ismael could convincingly declare his true intent to remain loyal only to Diane, she has every reason to doubt.

This complex cultural drama is undoubtedly at the smoldering stage, as the revelations will still transpire in the succeeding episodes. Thus, the sheer size of its scope alone is already on display even in its first few episodes. Doctolero has undoubtedly transformed the rich Islamic culture of the Muslim Mindanao as a powerful backdrop to the intriguing narrative she is trying to convey.

As for the technical side, Legal Wives’ cinematography is top-notch. Its production and costume design is at its utmost attention, but this should not surprise, as Doctolero’s previous works are known for their strict adherence to reality. The need to employ thorough research for a narrative rich like Legal Wives to depict it on screen. 

To the showrunners’ credit–they seem to have succeeded as the amount of intricacy and extravagance is well-showcased in this mammoth cultural exhibition. The following events shall only make things more complicated and more interesting, as backstories of Ismael’s other wives and how the three will navigate their lives together. It will become the center of this riveting drama.

Legal Wives airs Mondays thru Fridays on GMA Network’s Telebabad block, right after The World Between Us.


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