I’m starting things off with Bridges of Love, a Filipino Drama that aired on ABS-CBN from March 16, 2015 to August 7, 2015.
I really like how soap operas work in the Philippines. Most are relatively short, only airing for several months until their conclusion. Bridges of Love followed this structure and aired every weekday for just under 6 months. It wasn’t dragged out for 50 years like Days of Our Lives. It aired, it ended, and everybody loved it.
Live commentary for Bridges of Love: Pilot Episode
It opens on a couple of guys fighting in a MMA arena, people are cheering, and it’s pretty intense.
A guy wearing black shorts wins, and some dude outside the ring looks pissed.
What? Okay. Now the guy who won is being blindfolded. He gets put in the back of a SUV. There are credits playing on the screen, but I can’t tell if this is just the opening or part of the show…
It cuts to somebody’s backyard. There’s a huge pool and a bunch of people standing around (pool party?). They took Blindfold Guy’s blindfold off.
The guy who was pissed off after the fight is here, and he’s even more pissed off now. He’s standing over a guy who has blood running down his face. Oh damn, he kicked him.
Okay. Pause. Blindfold Guy just spoke English. Nobody else has spoken English yet.
“One million Pesos. That offer expires in 30 seconds.”
YAY! Blindfold Guy breaks out of his rope handcuffs, steals a thug’s gun, and shoots the pissed off guy.
I feel like the thugs probably could have afforded handcuffs. The pool party house is an enormous mansion and handcuffs are like 30 bucks.
Now Blindfold guy and the guy who has blood all over his face are driving in a sports car. How did they escape? Sure they killed the pissed off guy but there were so many other people in that backyard. It was a freaking pool party.
Why are the credits still going? It’s been like five minutes.
Update: Nobody else has spoken English again.
Now there’s a Blindfold Guy montage. I think he’s a spy or something. Oh my, he’s getting it on with a beautiful lady. End of montage.
Next, Blindfold Guy parks his sports car on a bridge. The other guy isn’t in the car anymore. I guess he got dropped off somewhere to wash all the blood off his face or whatever. Blindfold Guy gets out of his car, stares out into the horizon and has a flashback.
Flashback: Two boys are playing. End of flashback.
A really slow fade transitions to a guy wearing a blue shirt (around 30) standing on a bridge… ummm… He lets out a big cheer, takes off his shirt, and then jumps off the bridge. It’s a pretty high bridge too. I feel like he could have just walked down to the shore to go for a dip. Either way, he’s okay. It must have just been a cape diem sort of bridge jump.
It cuts to the same guy, bone dry, riding his bike to another bridge… How did he get so dry that fast? ShamWow?
Now he’s talking to a picture of a little boy. I have a feeling like this is his little brother. I hope this kid isn’t dead. He might be dead. This seems very shrine like.
He pulls out some beef jerky, takes a bite, and leaves the rest by the picture.
Oh, now this guy is having a flashback.
Flashback: “20 years earlier”
Finally, some context as to what’s going on.
The same two kids from Blindfold Guy’s flashback are playing in a pond.
OH NO. As they are riding their bike home, some guy pulls them off of it. He ties up the younger boy with rope handcuffs and starts to beat the older boy with a stick.
The younger boy gets out of the rope handcuffs (I have to assume this is Blindfold Guy as a kid because apparently nobody knows what handcuffs are) and then the two escape.
This just keeps getting sadder. The boys are homeless and live under a bridge by a river.
This would be so much easier if I knew their names!
Ahhhhh, the beef jerky makes sense now.
So, the older boy sells re-usable bags for some lady at the supermarket to afford food for his little brother (They must be brothers). After he is done work, he gets a bag of jerky and gives it to his brother back their shelter. The pieces are all coming together now!
It’s a new day. The kids are running away from the police but are caught. As the cop is carrying the little brother away, the older brother bites the cop and the two boys escape.
They keep running until they bump into another kid who gives them a bunch of food. I can’t understand what is happening, but I feel like they shouldn’t have taken the food.
They get back to their little homeless shelter to find some rats eating their leftover jerky. Naturally.
They sleep, and then the older brother goes to work again…
Great, when the older brother gets back to the shelter this time, the little brother is hallucinating and trying to eat rocks.
I’m a little lost now. The little brother is in the hospital, but I don’t think they can afford the treatment. The older brother goes outside and begs people for money. After what feels like an endless number of people shrugging off the boy, a man offers to help.
The two shake hands, which makes me think something shady just happened.
It cuts to a nurse wheeling the little brother out of the hospital. The boys go back to their shelter.
Great, I think the guy who beat them earlier is their dad. Yep, he is their dad. Of course he is. Just keep piling on the sadness Bridges of Love. I can take it. He’s talking to a lady who I assume is his wife. She’s about as upset as you’d imagine after finding out her kids ran away because her husband BEATS THEM!
Now it’s back to the brothers and of course it’s pouring rain on them. Wait. Nope, it’s a typhoon.
HERE WE GO. I KNEW IT!
The same guy that paid for the little brother’s hospital treatment just picked up the little brother and is taking both boys to a van.
NOOOOOOOOOOO, he only took the little brother. WHAT IS LIFE?!?
Not to worry, The little brother jumps out of the van and runs back to his brother.
NO WAY!!! I’m 90% sure the older brother sold his little brother to this guy.
Now the little kid is running awa…………….
THE BRIDGE IS GOING TO COLLAPSE! THE… BRIDGE… IS… GOING TO COLLAPSE.
WHYYYYYYYYY. The bridge collapses and the little brother falls into the river below.
IS HE DEAD. I NEED TO KNOW!!!
WHAT? Now they’re doing on of those “next time on Bridges of Love.” The little brother is in it, so I guess there’s still hope that he is Blindfold Guy. I feel like there might be a love triangle too between Blindfold Guy, Blue Shirt, and a mystery woman.
Bridges of Love was a sad, sad, sad… sad series of events. After it’s semi-confusing start, it quickly hit all the feels:
- Homeless children
For a soap opera, it was completely different from its North American equivalents. There wasn’t cheesy drama, overdramatic monologues, or drawn out plotlines. It felt more like a movie and was much more enjoyable because of it. Even though I couldn’t understand the dialogue, I was still able to figure out most of the plot and I think that’s probably the most important part.