There has not been a soap opera plot on Philippine television as messy as the one 'Sugo' had. Supposedly, the story of 'Sugo' revolved around a centuries-old battle between two warring factions amidst the rise of the 'master of all evil' and the birth of a pair of twins will usher in coming of the 'Sugo' or 'Savior' which will ultimately decide the fate of mankind. sound interesting? If you think it does, then you've got another thing coming. Richard Gutierrez starred as both the rival twins Amante and Miguel, plus a whole cast of great and not-so-great actors and actresses. Examples of great: Lorna Tolentino and Amy Austria. Examples of not-so-great: Isabel Oli and Dion Ignacio.
Now, where did 'Sugo' go wrong? Firstly, the makers obviously wrote the storyline as a sort of 'homage' to Hong Kong movies; they hired a superstar Hong Kong stuntman to teach action sequences. While incorporating Chinese-style action into the show, the writers obviously did not put into consideration the clashing effect of the Chinese culture to the ancient Filipino culture which clearly made their plot machine run.
Secondly, the muddle of confusion between Chinese and Filipino cultures brought about a great muddle of confusion in the storyline. Supposedly this is how a soap opera is supposed to work; a plot twist reveals and is resolved. Another one opened, and closed again. Two twists open, one will be closed, one will run for the duration, etc. This machination ushered in the entrance of new characters, death of old characters, resurrection of dead characters, new enchanted weapons, etcetera, for added confusion.
And still on plot devices, the events that shook up the world of 'Sugo' lacked originality. The merging of Amante/Miguel into a powerful being is reminiscent of similar plot devices for Dragon Ball Z, Ghost Fighter, and other Japanese anime.
The acting: obviously, the great ones like Lorna Tolentino and Amy Austria were obviously sleepy and one can easily realize that they are walking through their drama scenes easily as eating peanuts. Unfortunately, their superb skills were rendered inane by the shallow storyline. Acting-wise, I hope I can say the same for the rest of the newbies on the show like Isabel Oli, Chynna Ortaleza, and Dion Ignacio who were obviously having a hard time catching up with the performances of their senior counterparts.
Finally, the cause of all the mischief is the resurrection of the 'Lord of all Evil' himself, the 'Sauronic' Apo Abukay. It has been built up from the start that the character of Apo Abukay was supposedly the incarnation of all things evil; murderous, blasphemous, incestuous, and apparently made Satan and his horde of criminals and politicos blush in shame. SO, anybody can expect the fans' disappointment when the great evil known as Apo Abukay turned out to be the return of a laughable evil incarnate of 'Machete': Gardo Verzosa's endless 'evil-laugh-and-arms-crossed-while-face-is-on-close-up' overacting was not enough to put a face on the villain. As soon as he was alive, fans already wanted him dead. It was all the better that Apo Abukay remained faceless; continually inciting fear even without his presence.
Gardo Versoza was not Apo Abukay; he was a sexy actor in costume.
All in all, 'Sugo' might have taught us a few lessons on how good triumphed over evil; however, the show never ended without the occasional cornball dialogue and love angles us shallow Filipinos love with shows like this.
Final words: Thank God its over.
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