TV5 | Regal Entertainment
Actors: Jerome Ponce, Jane Oineza, Ricci Rivero, Melissa Jimenez, Chie Filomeno, Kent Gonzales, Joey Marquez, Bing Loyzaga, Angeli Agbayani
Format/Genre: TV Series/Family drama, Youth-oriented
Premise: The world of Gen Zs are explored in the interconnected lives of seven teenagers, their struggles and aspirations.
Timeslot: Saturdays, 7:45 PM
Why You Should See It:
Stand-out performances carry the heavy themes this coming-of-age drama tackles, into a salient level, enough to hit the heart of its target audiences. There are grit and honesty in the way it handles its delicate themes, and while it showcases them in a way that may feel foreign to mainstream viewers, it still comes out tangible, resonant, and sincere.
Ever heard of ‘Skam’—the sensational Norwegian coming-of-age web series that took the world by storm in 2015, and had several adaptations in many countries, including France, and the US? The series touched on a number of topics, ranging from relationship difficulties, identity, eating disorders, sexual assault, homosexuality, mental health issues, religion, and forbidden love, but all taken on through the perspectives of its teenage characters. ‘Gen Z’ feels as if it plays in the same setting, with the same atmosphere, but different players. Perhaps, more contemporary audiences may be more familiar with the Netflix hit, Elite, where similar themes are shed light upon.
As an ensemble drama, Gen Z gathers some of the most talented young actors, who convincingly portray their characters believably. Jane Oineza and Jerome Ponce are arguably leading the cast, as they tackle their roles with ease and credibility. There is a web of interesting issues surrounding these characters, and that’s what their individual narratives utterly absorbing, which all converge into one potent central plot where the characters of Ponce, Oineza, and Gonzales are given with much emphasis. Ponce plays the striving student, Jojo, who tries to navigate his sibling duties to younger trouble-loving brother, Kiko (Gonzales), while they live under their aunt’s house, Kiko, after getting beaten up by her ex-fubu’s brother (and gang), now plots revenge with his social-influencer friend, Gina (Chie Filomeno). Jane Oineza, on the other hand, plays his best friend, Matet, who has her own familial problems. Her father (played by Joey Marquez), has been on medication for diabetes, which endangered his job.
In spite of its similarity with past youth-dramas that tackled practically the same themes, Gen Z, still feels fresh and invigorating. Local television has long held back dealing with sensitive topics about our youth, with such angst and conviction. And here, TV5 and Regal Entertainment bravely brought it to the mainstream audience with clarity, in a fashion that perfectly showcases the emotional experiences of the demographic it aspires to bring to attention. Like its promise to look into the lives of the ‘Gen Z’s’, the series makes the audiences as front seat witnesses to the journey of its lead characters, as their lives unfold, alongside the realization of their dreams, aspirations, and the misery and frustration that go along with it.
Gen Z airs over TV5 every Sunday, 9 PM. Watch the official trailer below: