As it stands, the current longest-running primetime Filipino soap opera is on ABS-CBN. There, such programs are called “teleserye,” invoking the scale of a movie production but for a smaller screen as innovated by the network. That long-runner show is “Ang Probinsyano,” the TV adaptation of an action film starring Fernando Poe Jr., whose character is played here by Coco Martin. No less than three overarching myth arcs have taken hero cop Ricardo Dalisay through hell and back in pursuit of justice and peace. Now, his struggles and that of his family, friends and allies can be binged on the world’s biggest binge streaming platform.
CNN Philippines has it that Netflix, the first name when it comes to online content streaming, has just added a worthy boost for its Filipino programming library. They now carry on their platform the first season of episodes for “Ang Probinsyano,” here under the name of its international distribution title of “Brothers.” Season 1 of the celebrated police drama consists of the first 50 episodes, which lay the groundwork and world-building of the setting and its protagonist Ricardo Dalisay. It would also demonstrate that in addition to storytelling, the ABS-CBN teleserye would also serve as a reflection of the relevant national issues of the times.
Coco Martin’s Dalisay starts his journey as a rough-around-the-edges cop from the province (hence the title of the series and original FPJ film). He is then recruited by his granduncle, a PNP general, for an unusual and dangerous assignment: to pretend to be Senior Inspector Dominador de Leon, his twin brother separated from him at a young age that was killed during his investigation into a powerful crime syndicate. This mission puts Dalisay on the path of discovering his family’s past, getting justice for his brother’s death, and bringing down the crime syndicate along with many other criminal masterminds and corrupt government officials with dire plans for the whole country.
“Ang Probinsyano” premiered on ABS-CBN in 2015. Now it is currently on its seventh season and fourth story arc on its original network, with Ricardo Dalisay continuing his crusade against crime and abuses of authority, all the while showcasing real-life social ills such as drug abuse, nepotism and the like.
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