If you’re a fan of “La Luna Sangre,” you’ll love iWant TV’s spinoff “Youtopia,” a web series which centers on a group of friends whose friendships and trust in each other are tested, as they cross paths with the vampires of Sandrino’s army.
On the first episode, we got a glimpse of main character Ryan Magno’s barkada—a young, happy, carefree, and adventurous group of young adults. We were left with a cliffhanger when his friends suddenly disappeared and Ryan was left with a creepy video showing just a glimpse of a suspicious person or creature. It’s this video that starts Ryan on his vlogging journey as he searches for answers about his friends and tries to convince others about the existence of the supernatural. Will we find out what happened to his friends? And will anyone believe Ryan’s theories?
As we await the next episode, meet the characters and actors of “Youtopia,” which airs exclusively on iWant TV, with a new episode every Thursday.
1. Ryan Magno (played by Axel Torres)
“Youtopia” is told through Axel’s point of view, in vlog form. He’s somewhat a geek and a nerd, which is probably what drives him to investigate the disappearance of his friends and document it in his vlog. As his barkada is tested by the strange series of events, he struggles to find answers and convince his friends that something is indeed going on with their friends. He speaks out and finds his voice in the midst of this tragedy as he fights for the truth about his loved ones.
Axel Torres is a former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate has been on the scene for a while, but “Youtopia” will be his first starring role. Aside from “Pinoy Big Brother,” Axel has played supporting characters in movies “Vince & Kath & James,” “The Breakup Playlist,” and drama series “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and “Ipaglaban Mo.”
2. Charlie Magno (played by Edrei Tan)
Charlie is Ryan’s older brother, who, like their friends Kate and Benj, have just graduated from school. He’s also the opposite of Nica and Ryan—he had been expelled from university because of problems with joining a fraternity, and is known as the “gago” one. Despite his problems, he’s a good Kuya to Ryan and encourages him not to make the same mistakes he did. He disappears for six months as his brother fights to make people believe that vampires had taken him captive.
Edrei is a theater and broadway actor with experience in musicals and comedy. He also models on the side.
3. Nica Enriquez (played by Kate Alejandrino)
Nica is the smart girl in the group, having just graduated with cum laude distinction. She’s smart, responsible, and a good ate, being a mother figure to her younger sister Viv. She tries to shelter Viv from the real world. Aside from her approaching new career, Nica is also trying to adjust to singlehood after breaking up with fellow kabarkada Benj, as they try to act like everything is normal between them. As one of the friends who disappear, we’re left to wonder: will her good girl persona change?
Kate has been active in the indie scene, co-starring in “Baka Bukas” with Jasmine Curtis Smith, and playing supporting roles in “Lila,” and the Cinemalaya 2017 Best Film “Respeto.”
4. Benj Alvarado (played by Jal Galang)
Benj is Kate’s ex-boyfriend. He’s known to be selfish, brooding, suave, and impulsive. He’s the resident bad boy of the barkada, and is the opposite of go-getter Nica. To add to the conflict, he’s been trying to make a move on Nica’s younger sister Viv. He openly doubts Ryan’s vampire theories, until their friends return unexpectedly after six months. Will he eventually man up in the midst of their friends’ disappearance?
Newcomer Jal is a freelance actor and artist who dabbles in photography.
5. Viv Enriquez (played by Gabby Padilla)
Nica’s younger sister Viv is somewhat the opposite of her ate, and is openly doubtful about Ryan’s vampire theories. She’s the total opposite of her ate and wishes her parents would stop comparing them. She’s charming, brainy, and outspoken, but looks up to Nica anyway. She and Benj get closer after his breakup with her ate, and although she starts to like him, she resists out of respect to her ate. Will she and Benj get closer in the midst of their friends’ disappearance?
Gabby Padilla has appeared in movies such as “Dahling Nick,” based on National Artist for literature Nick Joaquin, Sin-o ang tiktik? (2016) and Reflection (2016).
6. Alex Alvarado (played by Mary Joy Apostol)
Alex is Benj’s younger sister, who also went missing. She was the first in the group to spot the mysterious woman in the video Ryan keeps as evidence. She’s the opposite of her “bad boy” kuya, and constantly worries about his reputation. Was she in fact, right about seeing a mysterious woman? Or was she imagining things?
Mary Joy has been making waves lately with her stirring performance in “Birdshot,” which is this year’s Filipino entry to the 90th Academy Awards in the US. Her first foray into the film industry was a starring role in the short film “Unawa,” directed by Pamela L. Reyes and written by Mikhail Red, who produced and directed “Birdshot.”
7. Crystal Reyes (played by Larissa Alivio)
Crystal is Axel and Charlie’s younger cousin. Although she tries to be supportive of Axel’s vampire theories, she too doubts him and finds him crazy for believing in vampires. She’s outgoing, friendly, and fun, and is the voice of reason when mediating between Ryan, Viv, and Benj as they try to deal with their friends’ disappearance.
Newcomer Larissa Alivio is a licensed mining engineer who recently graduated from the University of the Philippines. She also models on the side.