Do people still watch primetime shows on TV? In 2021, plenty will answer yes—all thanks to GMA Network’s “My First Yaya” starring Sanya Lopez and Gabby Concepcion.
While it’s fun to live fan-fiction-worthy fantasies vicariously through 24-year-old Lopez’s Cinderella-esque Melody Reyes, there are still parts of the show’s narrative that just don’t sit right with us. Considering how it’s a teleserye about a nanny who falls in love with President Glenn Acosta (played by 56-year-old Concepcion) whose kids she’s taking care of, it’s more than a little concerning and we were wary going into it. But wanting to know how it will all play out and Lopez’s charm has us tuning in.
We admit that “My First Yaya” is kinda bingeable but that won’t stop us from listing down the reasons why we think Melody deserves so much better.
Exhibit A: A star-crossed nanny x boss romance with a huge age gap isn’t the progressive move it’s being peddled as
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a widowed father falling in love with the woman who cares for his kids and two consenting adults getting together, there isn’t enough effort being made to level the power imbalance that exists when you try to date your older statesman boss.
There’s a line that Melody tells Glenn when they first tried breaking their budding romance off. “Kaya kong gawin ang lahat para lang maabot ka. Pero ikaw ba, kaya mo bang bumaba para makatungtong sa lupang inaapakan ko?” Glenn’s reply? “Nanggaling na ako sa baba, pero ang hirap ng hinihiling mo sa akin.”
The couple has reunited. But, so far, it feels like the show is peddling the idea that Glenn is progressive for loving someone who “isn’t his equal” instead of having him take steps to make the people around him understand that what he’s doing isn’t a mere favor to Melody—that she is his kind and strong-willed match (though we’re sure he could also find someone who fits the bill and is closer to his age). Enough of the woe is me dialogue and savior complex.
Melody finally told her family about her relationship with Sir Glenn. (Yes, she still hasn’t dropped the sir and the po.) Upon hearing the news about their relationship, Melody’s sister raised concerns over Melody becoming the subject of insults when the world finds out. In response, Glenn answers, “‘Wag ho kayong mag-alala. Sisiguraduhin ko ho na poprotektahan ko si Melody.” His son chimes in, “Kami din po. Kami din po ang bahala kay Yaya Melody.” No mentions of the age gap, whether Melody will stop being his kids’ nanny now that she might become their stepmom, or what his kids felt about the situation. Can’t we at least see them discuss these?
Exhibit B: Glenn shows possessive tendencies
When Melody sported a two-piece swimsuit and accidentally dropped the towel she was using for cover, it was the right thing to help her out since she was visibly uncomfortable. But Glenn ordering his security group to “control the area” so he could be the only one to hand her a robe was overkill.
“Hindi dapat ganyan ang mga sinusuot mo dahil baka mamaya may mambastos sa iyo rito,” he told Melody. “‘Yung dati kong asawa kumukuha muna ng approval sa akin bago siya magsuot ng mga—ni hindi nga siya nagsusuot ng mga ganyan.”
While it’s framed as chivalrous, his motivation behind the swimsuit cover up was rooted in his possessive tendency. He made it seem like wearing a bikini is a shameful thing and a choice that can only be made with his permission. Victim-blaming and acting as if he owns her body in the span of seconds is a big red flag.
Exhibit C: Aren’t the classist maid quips workplace harassment?
We get it. Subjecting the protagonist to humiliating and painful ordeals is like the bread and butter of teleseryes. But there’s only so much gold-digger-type accusations and “maid ka lang” quips from Glenn’s kids and catty kontrabida Lorraine Prado (who’s keen on becoming the First Lady) that we can take in 2021. Even though Lorraine isn’t technically Melody’s boss, can’t her below-the-belt insults fall under workplace harassment since she works with Glenn?
The kids’ reaction to Glenn and Melody’s relationship is more understandable—they’re kids and they’re hurting! Still, it’s uncomfortable to hear classist insults coming from a kid’s mouth on TV.
TBH, all this is so complicated. This is why we don’t do office romances.
Our final verdict on “My First Yaya”? It might be best for Melody to go into a healthier relationship if Glenn doesn’t meet her halfway. Sweet and built Presidential Security Group head Conrad Enriquez is boyfriend material and right there. We kinda wish Melody didn’t leave him in the friend zone. There was so much wasted potential.
For Preen’s “Hear Us Out” series, we’re dishing our pop culture hot takes and we invite you to join in on the conversation on our social media pages and by commenting down below. P.S. We’re just having fun, please don’t come for our necks.