Till I Met You: Pilot Week Review

IMG_20160830_021452Its pretty hard to do a review of the pilot episode because usually this is the time that the backstories are established and the main characters are introduced, so I chose to do a review of the pilot week instead to get a firmer grasp of the latest series of Jadine (James Reid and Nadine Lustre), again, under the direction of their On the Wings of Love director Antoinette Jadaone. This is also a reunion of sorts for JaDine as they will once again be working with Direk Andoy Ranay, who helmed three of their blockbuster movies Diary ng Panget, Talk Back and You’re Dead and Para sa Hopeless Romantic. This will however, be the first time that Direk Andoy will handle them doing original material (as opposed to Wattpad lit) so this is a fairly new experience for the tandem.

This is also a fresh challenge for James and Nadine as they have been given the second slot in Primetime Bida, as opposed to the third slot formerly occupied by OTWOL. This is added pressure since there are more viewers tuned in to this timeslot and other loveteams have posted strong ratings for this schedule. (So far, ratings are good and Week 1 tweets averaged over a million per night)

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Till I Met You revolves around three central characters Iris (Nadine Lustre), her childhood friend Ali (JC Santos) whom she develops romantic feelings for as they grow up. As Ali claims to return her feelings, they decide to be unofficially be together. Ali on the other hand, is going through issues of his own. Pressured into joining the military by his father who is a general, he finds inspiration to quit the Academy and pursue his passion for cooking by a person he meets on the internet, Basti (James Reid), a carefree guy who is rebelling against his dad and trying to strike out on his own. As their lives begin to intertwine, complications will start to arise when love begins to enter the equation.

From the pilot episode #TIMYLoveBegins, Till I Met You showed a great promise of a memorable teleserye. The first episode focused on the love journey of Iris, Basti and Ali’s parents and provided insight into their background. Episode 1 focused more on Cassadra (Carmina Villaroel’s) story wherein Mina showed off her acting chops by shifting between comedy and drama as effortlessly as ever. I wasn’t a big fan of the casting for baby Iris but the rest of the cast were on point.

There is a certain fluidity that courses through each episode of TIMY, and a certain familiarity in its approach to love and friendship that makes the viewers relate to the characters automatically. Iris and Ali’s rapport and chemistry gives audiences the feeling of being young and in love again while Ali’s conflict with his father, while on paper may seem cliche, was so intense, and only added to the value of the series because of the strong portrayals of JC Santos and Robert Cena as is dad. Mina and Pokwang as the moms were both so natural, especially in the airport scene when they were sending off their babies to a foreign country.

There is a certain fluidity that courses through each episode of TIMY, and a certain familiarity in its approach to love and friendship that makes the viewers relate to the characters automatically.

I loved the chemistry among the three characters. I often read tweets that audiences were on the fence about which ship to sail — Ali-Iris/ Ali-Basti or Basti-Iris (For the record, I remain a solid Basti and Iris shipper. Jadine forevs!)  because the actors play off so well with each other. I love the scenes that revolve around these three — my favorite being Basti and Iris’ “first” meeting online. I’ve seen it around four or five times but it still cracks me up every single time. When they finally reached Greece, Nadine’s comedic timing just shone and James was an effortless bad boy. I love listening to him speak Greek, even if I don’t know the language. Kudos to both of them as actors as they managed to step out of their super popular Clark and Leah personas to portray the new characters of Iris and Basti. Lifting an expression from the pilot week, Husay!

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Nadine’s comedic timing just shone and James was an effortless bad boy. I love listening to him speak Greek, even if I don’t know the language. Kudos to both of them as actors as they managed to step out of their super popular Clark and Leah personas to portray the new characters of Iris and Basti. Lifting an expression from the pilot week, Husay!

JC on the other hand, is thriving in his role as a closet homosexual who is only beginning to discover his feelings for his “Bro”. His struggle is real, bro.

While I do appreciate the scenes involving the “bros,” especially when they leave out Iris, I always look forward to the scenes where Basti and Iris interact. For the third time, James and Nadine throw up on each other on screen (first was DNP, second was OTWOL and now TIMY) and just as the first two times, it was super funny.

I like that TIMY, while it starts out being light, is handling the issue of homosexuality with a sensitivity and maturity that is needed given the weight of the issue. It gives the LGBT community respect, approaching the character of Ali with a balance of humor and seriousness by casting a seasoned theater actor for the role. Aside from the LGBT issue, there is also the issue of friendship (Pokwang, Angel and Mina/ Ali, Iris and Basti), romance, and family that is part and parcel of this drama.

TIMY, while it starts out being light, is handling the issue of homosexuality with a sensitivity and maturity that is needed given the weight of the issue. It gives the LGBT community respect, approaching the character of Ali with a balance of humor and seriousness

With the tagline, friends are the family you choose, love becomes a complication that will eventually cause their pain and suffering, which will lead to a realization and a choice. While I know that these light scenes will only last me a while and I would eventually have to deal with a lot of heartbreaking moments along the way, I am super excited to go on this journey of maybe, almost and always. So much has happened in Week 1 alone and I’ll be sure to stay tuned for the rest of its run to see what happens.

PS. The scenes in Greece were breathtaking (kudos Direk Dan Villegas and Mycki David for cinematography)  and I am equally  absorbed by the actors’ chemistry. This is an exceptional pilot week for me. Seriously.

PPS. MVP of the week is hands down, Nadine. She is on her way to becoming a romcom princess, most definitely.

Check out this trailer for next week!

PPPS. Credits to all the sources of the photos and videos used for this post.

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