in , , ,

TV REVIEW: “Halik” is A Late Night Guilty Pleasure

In a nutshell: Two childhood best friends, rich girl, poor boy, an arranged marriage, a problematic marriage, family businesses…and oh, yes, infidelity.

This new show is practically a hodgepodge of soap opera clichés. And surprise…it still works!

ABS-CBN is turning on the tone switch for its late primetime programming a little sooner than expected. Three months ago, the nights were lighter (except for some occasionally mellow episodes, though some overly dramatic) with the Piolo Pascual-Arci Munoz-starrer, Since I Found You, which graced the small screen with its breezy airiness, light humor, and lovely take on modern-day romance.

But the network seems to think three months is more than enough for sexy-slash-infidelity dramas to return to the same time slot ruled by sultry late night soaps like Eva Fonda, Kristine, and the iconic Angel Locsin-starrer, The Legal Wife.

If catchy descriptions were to sell Halik, ‘sultry,’ ‘steamy,’ ‘scandalous’ would likely be enough to reap some profit, or earn some form of character-audience engagement, at least. That is not to say audiences would more likely strictly invest in the ‘heat,’ considering how the script has actually tapped on a number of soap opera clichés.

There are other portions of this seductive drama, other than close-up shots of Sam Milby’s firm nipples, and Jericho Rosales’ luscious lips, that still deserve the audience attention (though frankly, you really can’t blame the easy-falling bait takers).

Jericho Rosales, for example, is still an incredible actor. Almost two decades past since Pangako Sa ‘Yo, the man still has it: the looks, the talent, the charisma, the muscular allure, and his compelling constraint that only predicates his amazing capacity as an actor. In Halik, he plays Lino, a young budding entrepreneur trying to make business and his marriage, work. There is a sort of moral chip embedded in his character–Lino, being too faithful both to his work and wife, believes that you have to work hard if you want to achieve something good in your life. The distractions are far greater in the latter, that is for sure, and whether or not Lino is strong enough to ward off the temptations, we wouldn’t know until further episodes arrive.

Yen Santos and Yam Concepción feel like odd choices to play leading ladies for Sam Milby and Jericho Rosales, who are considerably bigger and more experienced actors. The trick is not to look entirely in that context. Both actresses are doing fine in their jobs as wives who are both stuck in a marriage they never wished to have.

Jacky (Santos), being the daughter of her mother from another man, is controlled by her manipulative and abusive stepfather, played by Romnick Sarmienta, who had her marriage fixed with Ace Corpus (Milby), his business partner’s son. Santos looks like a very capable actress playing her role with ease. She’s a natural. Now, let’s wish she doesn’t remain a predictable yes-woman, because if so, she’ll surely lose that charm in no time.

But yeah, let’s wait till her character and Yam’s, collide. Same can be said of Concepción, who may have a richer storyline than Yen’s. Of course, this is just judging by her demeanor in her first encounters with both Lino and Ace.

Now, Sam Milby. Well, he is one hot beefcake and might as well stay as such. Except, that’s not entirely what his character requires. Kidding aside, I’d be honest that he’s the weakest actor in the group. Yeah, he’d be thankful that Ace won’t let him engage in sequences more dramatic than steamy encounters, yet. But the fact that soaps of this nature, usually arrive in oversized dramatic confrontations, Sam will be inevitably asked to do other things than what Ace is currently doing.

But this can be a hasty, let alone careless assessment, given how it it still too early to come up with a reliable judgment. So let’s see in the succeeding episodes.

Halik can’t be any far from unoriginal, in terms of its narrative. This show is an outright retread, and feels like a screaming multiple-theme crossover of past dramas. But it can also be a different landscape if we were to see it in the context of its take on either infidelity or us-against-the-world romance.

There are not too many shows of similar storyline that actually offered a considerable amount of critical discussion about the subject matter, so being among the firsts to make the detour would be something to look forward in Halik.

Now, with its current pace, unexpected turns still pretty much get viewers hooked. This show is destined to mesmerize and earn the giggles at the same time. Because while light romcoms have now practically become a primetime (and daytime) obsession, there is always a room for guilty pleasures like Halik to make your late night viewing, exciting.

Halik airs on ABS-CBN, weeknights after Ngayon at Kailanman.


#KWEEN: Kaladkaren defends Maine Mendoza from hater on Instagram

“Parang ang babaw and all.” David Licauco looks down on Showbiz prior to His entry in the Industry