Trese


We’ve just finished watching the first season of Trese in Netflix.1 It’s an animated adaptation of the comics of the same title, written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo.

It’s only six episodes, and yet I convinced Isya to not binge-watch it in one sitting2.

Brief Review

Neither a fan of the comics nor the animated adaptation. That’s not to say, though, that I dislike it. In line with “supporting local [artists],” I humbly offer my thoughts, spoiler-free.

Writing

Could’ve been better.

Characters could have been more “human”; others feel flat or forced or tokenistic. Antagonists could have had more believable purpose in them other than just being bad.

The plot could have revealed more, explained more why this person must do this, why this event must happen, etc. I guess everything’s too tight to make room for more exposition.

Some lines felt unnatural, like no normal person would say them in day-to-day life. And I can already hear some of you arguing that, “How dare you consider people in Trese Universe to be normal?”

Visual Arts

I like the how the backdrops are rendered visually. Very representative of Metro Manila: chaotic but magnetizing still to a lot of us.

Lack of fluidity in motion (frame rate) is understandable, since a huge chunk of the budget must have been dedicated to the action sequences.

Personally, I like the look of Alexandra Trese in comics. In the adaptation, she looks too… polished, too white.

Speaking of which, colorism is a major criticism for the show. Why is it that the protagonists and their allies are fair- and light-skinned, and the bad guys are dark-skinned?

Voice Acting

I’m with the internet on this one; they definitely could’ve hired a more competent lead voice actor for Alexandra Trese for the Filipino dub. Or at least they could’ve trained Liza Soberano more to be naturally sounding when speaking Tagalog.

OST

Quality muzak!

I can imagine myself setting my alarm tone to the opening theme and waking up to it, ready to take the day’s challenge(r)s.

Closing theme is good, too!

We never skipped both the opening and closing themes because we enjoyed it.

Conclusion

It’s likely that the good and the bad of the show resulted from factors like budget, creators' existing internal belief systems, target audience, etc.

Fans expect that the next season (?) improves, and the onus is on the creators and producers to meet this new standard if they even hope to succeed.

This is Day 3 of Old Computer Challenge.


  1. Watched it on a MacBook Pro, though. Not on the old computer I’m currently using. ↩︎

  2. Binge-watching is a modern phenomenon that I think we shouldn’t be getting into. It has the potential to waste time; and is unhealthy especially when it makes one inactive for long periods of time. When watching a series, I make it a point to only watch one episode per day, assuming that more (or all) episodes are readily available for consumption. This gives me time to digest and process what I just watched, and perhaps speculate on what might happen next, which is equally stimulating. ↩︎



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