Netflix’s Trese introduces the vibrant, yet unexplored Philippine mythology to the world. Following the newly appointed Lakan ng Sangkatauhan, Alexandra Trese, as she keeps the peace between the mortals and supernaturals by upholding the old accord between the tribes, Trese showcases how the mythical creatures adapted to modern society. Her duty, however, proves to be harder to uphold as a grave danger in the form of Datu Talagbusao looms on the horizon. With her inexperience, she does her best to figure out and solve a problem that may be bigger than what she first assumed it to be.
Action, Action, and More Action
Trese didn’t bother dilly-dallying in terms of action. Right from the get-go, the aswangs ganged up and attacked a group of passengers. Young Trese, being the guardian between the two worlds, immediately took action and hunted the perpetrators. This is how the series plastered Trese’s character as strong, fierce, and not afraid to get her hands dirty. In fact, she ended the operation by gouging an aswang’s leader’s eyeball, and this is just the beginning.
In the succeeding episodes, the action continued. Young Trese solved one case after another, all of which required her to fight different creatures. Interestingly, each battle made her unleash another card from her arsenal. From the Kambal’s morphing and immortality to her twin-infused sword, Sinag, Alexandra Trese never fails to surprise us with what she will be bringing out next.
Short but Sweet
The first season of Trese only details the battle between Trese and Datu Talagbusao, which lasted for merely six episodes. Yes, that’s just half of our typical seasonal series. Nonetheless, the series still manages to encapsulate and tell the story in full, no matter how brief it has been. Unlike other titles, Trese gets directly to the point and even manages to fit in some side stories in the form of cases, which is probably done to expand the world of Trese as well as to facilitate character development. Limiting the series to a short six episodes, however, does not come without any sacrifices.
For one, the characters’ development doesn't fully unfold. Perhaps the only character that was fully explored was Captain Guerrero, the police captain of Precinto 13, only for us to realize later on that this was a death flag we should’ve seen coming. The development of the other characters such as the Kambal, Maliksi, and even Alextrandra Trese herself seemed rushed and incomplete. The good thing, however, is that the series ends by introducing another threat, the Chinese zombie, which opens the possibility for yet another season.
We Demand More Folklore
Trese has done a good job introducing Philippine Folklore to the world. We’ve seen both familiar creatures like the multo, Santelmo, and maybe even the aswang, and unfamiliar creatures like the duwende, tiyanak, and Nuno. Despite the amazing job it did introducing these creatures to us, it failed to explore them in depth. This is primarily because of the series’ length, but it definitely is a missed opportunity. Assuming that the Philippine mythology is as vast, if not bigger, than the renowned Greek or Egyptian mythologies, then Trese has only scraped the tip of the iceberg. On the bright side, Trese manages to hook us enough to research the origins of these creatures. If ever we are indeed graced with a second season, we do hope it’s longer and the creatures are actually explored in-depth, especially since Trese reimagines the mythos in modern society.
Trese is a good mixture of cultural education and entertainment. That doesn’t mean, however, that the series is factual down to a T, but it manages to introduce a widely unfamiliar subject, to non-Filipino viewers at least, without causing its viewers’ brain to short circuit. As much as we loved and enjoyed watching Trese, it’s quite a bummer that it only lasted for a short six episodes. Despite the series ending with a hint of a possible second season, we’re not getting our hopes just yet as Netflix is known for discontinuing their own series for reasons only they know