Not only "Marimar" replaced the 'Angel Locsin' with the 'Marian Rivera', "Marimar" is both critically acclaimed and preformed excellent on the ratings with ratings reaching up to an amazing 49.5%, until its finale episode with 52.6% - the only show since 2005 to reach 50%.
"Marimar" had the best acting preformed by a cast for a very-very long time in a Phiippine drama (after Kung Mawawala Ka). Many of the actors/actress shinned in this series especially Richard Gomez, Dingdont Dantes, Katrina Halili and Sheena Halili, plus the star of the show MARIAN RIVERA! The series tries to distant itself from the original, and it worked. Bing Loyzaga and Bianca King were excellent, stole the show for me for 3 weeks!!! I also commend the magnificent Caridad Sanchez, she did make my cry until her death (I feel so sorry for her, especially when she got fed dog-food!) On the directors, Joyce Bernal is excellent, as always; plus Mac Alejandre bounces back after losing his touch for quite some time. At first, I though it was just Bernal who did wonders directing "Marimar", but Alejandre showed crafting skills in Kung Mahawi Man Ang Ulap.
Other part of the cast like Nadine Samonte, Cristin Reyes, Sharmaine Santiago and Dino Guevarra preformed at their best. Sheena Halili was able to shine in her role. Even Marvin Agustin! He's so good that I actually hated his character with passion!
The theme songs: Mel Villena's composition of 'Marimar' capture the "life" of the old Marimar theme song, Regine Velasquez was an excellent choice to sing it. There was also Danny Tan's 'Mahal Kita', with two versions, one by Maricris Garcia (subtle) and one by Gerald Santos (passionate), both were amazing.
Overall, Marimar is the best melodramatic Philippine drama for a very-very long time!