I’ll just add some more comments to the end of this post, rather than make a separate one, lol. The reason I’m so slow in updating the Princess and I recaps is that it’s a weekly recap, so it takes me several days just to write it and add commentary, and I want time to put together a commentary that doesn’t sound too silly. But it helps that I really have grown to love this drama. And that’s a confession. If you don’t know love till you’ve experienced it… well, that’s what I feel for this drama now. I don’t recall ever flailing or spazzing this much over one, much less not a local drama!
I’ve always watched Pinoy dramas with a level of detachment– can’t remember if I ever spazzed like this over stuff like Gimik way back then, at the age I should’ve been spazzing. Not even over the Princess Sarah anime or while crushing on Prince Charles in Cinderella Monogatari. There was always some level of “it’s a TV series, of course it will turn out for the best in the end.” No, I never spazzed over Mula Sa Puso or Pangako Sa Iyo or any of the dramas of yesteryear. Perhaps the closest I came was Makita Ka Lang Muli and Adik Sa Yo (both GMA dramas), but there was never this level of “omg it’s nearly 8 pm I must run and watch Princess and I and find out what happens next.” Maybe because I’ve seen too many P-dramas have promise and then fail at the end? (And this is always a reason why so many people I know don’t like to watch local dramas anymore.) Yes, the ending of Budoy still scarred me so much I can’t help but fear for my beloved Princess and I (which Alquanna and I usually refer to affectionately as PAI) characters. It’s a scary feeling.
Yet everything’s moving along– I love how Mikay’s foster family has finally overset the Cinderella trope. Jao actually shows his mettle as a prince, and I think that he has grown to be more mature than Gino now, and is ready to step up and bear his share of responsibility in Yangdon. In fact, he can do very well on his own, out of his mother’s shadow– and he’s going to have to throw off that shadow if he’s to be a good king, because’s she’s carrying too much excess baggage that he shouldn’t be burdened with. Mikay also shows what she’s made of– she’s got that true ruler’s sense of responsibility, a sense of nobility like Jao does, which she’s going to need in order to claim her rightful place.
I’d like to see Gino grow up– because right now he’s just thinking of the immediate present, and not the future, not the long term. What will he be, what will he offer Mikay? I don’t think he’s grown out of the spoiled rich kid thing yet; at this point his rebellion is all about “I’ll show you and you’ll be sorry” than having a real plan to stand on his own feet. I think his journey through the storm to reach Mikay isn’t really about her, but about him showing that he’s capable of doing it for a person, of saying “See I did this for you!” and asserting his possessiveness. I hope the writers don’t turn Gino into a crazy obsessed second lead (like Rino in Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo and Nathan in Walang Hanggan) because we already had Diego throwing a spoke into the Maghirang wheel. Making a character crazy is always easy– anything crazy he does from then on will then be chalked up to his mental instability. (No, don’t talk to me about Grace Maniego, I still wish someone had euthanized her and that crazy crime lord before they wreaked that much havoc.) I want Gino to turn that crazy-for-love trope on its side and learn to love and let go like Kiko did– he’s Jao’s best friend, after all. I would actually be much happier if they made him into a self-sacrificing oppa in the best Bae Soo Bin tradition (see: Park Jun Se, Shining Inheritance; Cha Chun Soo, Dong Yi), because it would go with his character growth– he has to learn that love isn’t about him, but about the other person. After all, he started out a bit self-absorbed, always asking his mom to leave his dad. All in all, as long as we steer clear of the usual cliches — or subvert them completely– I think Princess and I is well on its way to being a drama I can put up there on the list of my favorite dramas of all time.