PEP REVIEW: Princess and I–royal drama with a light touch

by Mark Angelo Ching
Apr 23, 2012
The young stars of Princess and I include (L-R) Khalil Ramos, Enrique Gil, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.

Princess and I is ABS-CBN’s newest primetime offering. It tells the story of Mikay (Kathryn Bernardo), an orphan who grows up in a poor family in Manila. Little does she know that she is the lost princess of the fictional kingdom of Yangdon.

Will she be able to return to her kingdom to regain her right to the throne?

This new series is directed by Dado Lumibao and Francis Xavier Pasion, written by Jay Fernando, Andre Philip Loleng, and Ceres Helga Barrios.

It stars Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Enrique Gil, Khalil Ramos, Dominic Ochoa, Gretchen Barretto and Albert Martinez.

Princess and I is a light drama, so it is the best series to start Primetime Bida. Since the Kapamilya channel’s primetime block already has two heavy dramas, Walang Hanggan and Dahil sa Pag-ibig, Princess and I makes a good lead-in.

The show is viewer-friendly because it offers a lot of new things: scenes in Bhutan, Bhutanese-inspired costumes, a new language, and a story about royalty that does not feel old.

But the freshest aspect of Princess and I is its effort to bring authenticity to the forefront. Actors in Bhutan were asked to learn Dzongkha, the language of the Bhutanese, to deliver their lines (to be dubbed over in post-production). The decision to shoot in Bhutan is admirable and worth every peso.

Lead star Kathryn Bernardo is perfect in the role of a lost princess. She offers a lot of energy and cheerfulness for her role, which is what the show needs.

The young men playing Kathryn’s love interests match her energy nicely. Daniel Padilla is growing up to be a fine actor. Enrique Gil offers a quiet performance as prince waiting in the wings of kingship. Khalil Ramos, who placed third in the last Pilipinas Got Talent, is a good addition as Kathryn’s best friend. Who knew he could act?

The performances of the supporting cast are also remarkable. The presence of Dominic Ochoa and Albert Martinez recalls pleasant memories of May Bukas Pa, the long-running primetime series where they last worked together.

Gretchen Barretto gives a good-enough performance as a silent-but-scheming queen. The role looks like it’s made for Gretchen’s royal demeanor in real life. There are times though that she cannot nail an emotion just by facial expression alone, without
the use of dialogue.

What’s interesting is what will happen in the next episodes. Will all these characters move to Manila? Or will the cast and crew go back to Bhutan to shoot new scenes?

Continue reading below ↓

These questions are important because Princess and I does not look like it will end soon. This ABS-CBN series deserves several extensions.

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The young stars of Princess and I include (L-R) Khalil Ramos, Enrique Gil, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla.
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