To say that I had a blogging slump is a huge understatement. I had many reasons but it’s largely because I needed to find myself again, my writing voice. Despite this long interlude, I didn’t stop trying things out; if you see my Twitter feed, you’ll see that I’m still that person. In those quiet adventures, I discovered something that is now leading me to embark on this frightening yet thrilling blogging challenge: That Thing Called Tadhana.
Most of my long-time friends know my bias with Philippine movies and TV series. It’s not because it’s not good but it has gotten too formulaic for my own liking. I grew up in a household where TV series like John and Marsha, Mara Clara, Valiente were viewing staples. Movies that starred Dolphy or FPJ as well as some memorable love teams like Guy and Pip, Vi and Bot, Sharon and Gabby dominated my Saturday and Sunday afternoons with my family. They were all good but the tropes were the same. It became too predictable, so much that I would find myself watching the first week and correctly guessing plot points that will sustain the series for years, if not months. Every ending was a happy one despite convoluted twists and turns. I lost hope as a result. I felt bad about it but I didn’t want to waste my time and effort to watch something I knew I wouldn’t like.
Then last year, a good friend of mine begged me to join her in watching That Thing Called Tadhana. Having sworn off anything Philippine made, it took that friend of mine a lot of convincing (well, bribing) to see it with her. She even chided my anti-mainstream/anti-hype attitude (in between begging and bribing) because I was well aware that everybody was talking about how great the movie was. She used the only recourse she knew I wouldn’t back out of: a bet and a dare — if I didn’t like the movie one bit, she was going to pay for the ticket and a post-movie meal. I went inside the cinema wary and scared; I left feeling light-hearted, refreshed and shocked. I was surprised that a Filipino movie can be simple yet sublime; I began to feel hope. I took note of the director’s name — Antoinette Jadaone — and swore to myself that I will watch everything she has made and will make. This lead me to many movie adventures and a teleserye, On The Wings of Love, which transformed me into a JaDine fan (another surprise) and a proud OTWOLista. I didn’t miss a single episode, even if meant watching it on IWantTV within hours after its live TV airing. There was something about Antoinette’s brand of storytelling that resonated in me; it was straightforward but hugely relatable and often tugs at your heartstrings.
Because of the success of On The Wings of Love, Antoinette Jadaone is working again with James Reid and Nadine Lustre (JaDine for the unaware) for Till I Met You. In the initial announcement, the series was being touted as JaDine’s most mature work to date, that it will explore certain themes that are considered ground-breaking for Philippine television. When the first teaser aired, I realized that the ground-breaking aspect of it was it will include a character representing the LGBT community, played by a relatively unknown actor named JC Santos, who doesn’t look like the typical token gay character often seen in most Philippine movies or TV series. Honestly, this plot point didn’t shake my world especially if I were to consider that this wasn’t the first Philippine teleserye to include a gay character in a love triangle (Hint: MHL). However, it didn’t reduce my interest at all; in fact, I was looking forward to seeing how JC Santos will bring that character to life. So like every other OTWOLista, I tuned in 8:00 p.m. on August 29 (Monday) and watched the pilot episode. Fifteen episodes in and I’m still hooked; I look forward to watching every episode every night.
I guess at this point you are wondering why I have decided to embark on this episode review for Till I Met You when it has aired fifteen episodes already (and yes, it will start from Episode 1). My reason is simple: I love the series and I want the episode reviews to become my thank-you notes to Antoinette, James, Nadine, JC, and rest of the cast and crew. Thank you for delivering another series that I will look forward to every night.
I’m well aware that I may not be the first person to do reviews of the series and it may seem like a crazy undertaking, given the effort. However, there is a saying, better late than never thus I’ll forge ahead. Wish me luck. 🙂
Lest people may think I’m part of the community being highlighted in the series, I’m not. I’m straight but definitely not narrow-minded or homophobic (I hate this word actually). I’m a firm believer that everybody deserves to love and be loved in return, regardless of gender or sexual preference or social constraints. Also, I believe that love is not blind, it only refuses to see, thus my reviews will stay true to how I want it to be: objective and honest.