GMA Network’s newest fantasy TV series, Victor Magtanggol finally aired its pilot episode on Monday night, July 30. Prior to release, the “telefantasya” as we call it in the Philippines sparked some Internet backlash after a teaser was released and then a full trailer.
I wanted to share my opinion and list the reasons why GMA Network’s telefantasya elicited such reaction; however, I decided not to because it wasn’t released yet. Despite that, a number of people already shared their frustrations online and started dissecting the given details. Esquire Philippines released the article “Alden Richards is Definitely Not Thor in His Next TV Series” where they said a lot and 8list.ph also pointed out “8 Reasons Why Victor Magtanggol Is Eliciting Epic Eyerolls.”
Who can blame them? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently dominating pop culture. Everyone witnessed how Marvel unfolded their “cinematic universe” from Iron Man (2008) up to the latest one – Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). And even if Avengers: Infinity War (2018) was shown months ago, everyone is still in shock or should I say, shook or quaking. Film theorists and fans are not yet done analyzing every Easter Egg and “millions of possible futures” especially now that another superhero is (somewhat) safe and sound while others have disintegrated into ashes.
In my opinion, GMA Network’s decision to create a show inspired by Norse mythology is not a bad idea BUT it’s a risky one especially with the timing. Can you see anyone portraying Thor besides Chris Hemsworth? What about Loki? It’s very difficult, right? Fans will be very protective especially when they see similarities. And by that, I am not only talking about the names or the terms.
But since the telefantasya has started airing the question now is – does Victor Magtanggol deserve the hate? No, simply because they are telling a different story.
Having watched the pilot episode, it’s clear how hard they worked to deliver a good show. The visual effects from the opening sequence towards the battle are good and fit for TV. Although it was a bit rushed, it was acceptable.
Concept creator Mr. Jules Katanyag said in an interview, “Victor Magtanggol tells the story of what happened after the events of Ragnarok where Thor is already dead.” This means that the goal for that scene was to briefly explain the events of Ragnarok or the “doom of the divine powers”. They were successful in preparing the audience which leads us to Victor Magtanggol played by Alden Richards.
I have to admit though that I never thought Richards would play a superhero. It was quite a surprise when the teaser dropped. But with Victor Magtanggol’s character, Richards is indeed the perfect actor. He is charming and, honestly quite funny.
It is also worth mentioning that his first fight scene was really good. Though there were certain scenes that screams “Peter Parker moment”, the action sequence was so well-choreographed making it fun to watch. Moreover, the close up action shot they used was a clever choice because this made the entire scene look really cool. This, for me, was one of the highlights.
If they can keep this kind of thrill (or surpass it) even with the typical Filipino drama on the side, Victor Magtanggol will be able to set itself apart and possibly set a new standard. They just have to be careful not to touch a storyline that would easily label them as a Thor-rip off.
P.S The show is almost done with its second week. I will be writing a follow up review soon!