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TV REVIEW: ‘My Extra Ordinary’ brimming with gentle charm

Although often calm, this teenage romance has tendencies to be chaotic in some parts

TV5/ASTERISK DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT
ACTORS: Enzo Santiago, Darwin Yu, Yayo Aguila, Jojit Lorenzo, Karissa Toliongco, Z Mejia, Sam Cafranca
FORMAT: DIGITAL/TV SERIES
PREMISE: MY EXTRAORDINARY  is a tender story about innocence, friendship, the beauty of awakening desire, acceptance, and how time heals all wounds. (Asterisk Digital Entertainment)
TIME SLOT: Sundays, 11PM

WHY YOU SHOULD SEE IT

The first mainstream Pinoy BL drama is brimming with gentle charm and tenderness, offering a beautifully crafted coming-of-age tale, that transcends across important themes like acceptance, friendship, family, the beauty of awakening desires, among many others

Newcomers, Enzo Santiago (left) and Darwin Yu (right) play characters coming to terms with their sexuality and the growing feelings they have for each other, in ‘My Extra Ordinary’ (Asterisk Digital)

The delight of mundane concerns abounds in the Asterisk Digital Entertainment-produced ‘My Extra Ordinary’, which also happens to be the first full-fledged Pinoy BL-serye, on national television. Ken (Enzo Santiago) likes to pretend he isn’t aware of girls around giggling in his presence, and he isn’t fully responsive to the signs his enamored best friend, Sandee (Karissa Toliongco), is giving him.

Ken (Enzo Santiago) is a confident campus crush, whose concerns don’t involve paying attention to those seeking his attention (Asterisk Digital)

Although often calm, this teenage romance has tendencies to be chaotic in some parts. Ken first encounter with Shake (Darwin Yu), a shy university scholar who can’t play basketball, is deprived of any spoken interaction, with Shake running away the moment Ken extends his hands for a handshake. Their second meeting at a basketball match, is conveniently untimely - at least, for Shake. When Ken’s team loses a member, just when they are only one point short of winning the game, he has to tap Shake to fill in the gap, a plea to which Shake reluctantly says yes to. All goes well until the ball lands in Shake’s hands and his confusion makes him shoot the ball into the opponent’s ring. The game ends up with one of Ken’s teammates blaming Shake for their loss and calling him names, and when Ken can no longer take how his friend bullies his new acquaintance, a brawl ensues.

Yayo Aguila plays a reprimanding mother who is struggling to accept her son’s true identity (Asterisk Digital)

At home, Ken’s mother (played earnestly by Yayo Aguila) reprimands him for emulating his father, who is known for being the “keeper of peace”, lightly rebuking how he seems to always feel obliged to come as the mediator in a fight, only to end up as the one hurt the most. When he tells her he didn’t like the way his friend called Shake ‘gay’, she responds sarcastically with “maybe he is really gay”, to which Ken replies “it’s not the point”. That’s a singular moment that clearly articulates one of the narrative’s primary intent: to shed light upon a rarely pondered aspect of coming out, and the social challenges of adolescence, homosexuality, among many others.

Ken’s and Shake’s feelings for each other, deepen in ‘My Extra-Ordinary’ (Asterisk Digital)

Cute actors, Santiago and Yu, play roles that potentially sit upon the extremes of any character spectrum - while Ken is lithe and confident, Shake is burdened by his own timidity and possibly depressive tendencies - and to their credit, they are doing pretty well, so far.

Ken and Shake try to navigate their growing affection for each other, away from the prying eyes of the judgmental society (Asterisk Digital)

TV5’s maiden venture to Boys’ Love dramas is arguably juvenile, its take on intricate themes less anchored upon careful scrutiny, but more on carefree, less-worry understanding of issues that are naturally tackled with depth. Writer and composer, Vincent De Jesus, who is known for his work in critically-acclaimed musicals like Zsa Zsa Zsa Zaturnah, Himala the Musical, and Care Divas, writes the script, and the score for this heartwarming drama, his music lending the much needed confident edge to this tale of self-discovery and blossoming first love, which director Jolo Atienza, navigates at the helm, with a gentle, but effective maneuver.

MY EXTRA-ORDINARY’ airs over TV5 and ASTERISK DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL.



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