2 new original series boost BL series trend, highlighting new actors

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 30 2020 02:58 AM

Two new original boys love series are changing the landscape of the trending TV genre, with fresh takes on love amid the sights and tastes of Laguna. 

Streaming on Friday, October 30, is “Better Days”, top-billing social media influencers turned actors Chesther Chua and Benedix Ramos in a love story made more colorful by their characters’ passion for local cuisine in southern Luzon. 

The two play the roles of Kian Nuestro and Aron Villegas, respectively, in the digital, 6-episode series directed by Carlo Obispo, whose previous screen credits include the acclaimed Cinemalaya Film movie “Purok 7” and TBA Studios production “1-2-3 (Gasping For Air)”

Obispo strikes down the “inexperienced newbies” tag of his wards, believing that they grew as artists amid the long lock-in production in Laguna. Showing of skin is also not a premium for him. 

“This is an inspirational movie. It speaks of better days after our struggles. Gusto kong maramdaman ng manonood ang kilig kahit hindi hubad-hubad ang mga aktor at hindi nagpapakita ng katawan,” he says.

More important, Obispo adds, “Better Days,” which will be shown on the Unframed Film YouTube channel, is not competing with other BL series, which have sprung like mushrooms in the past months. 

“The BL trend is good for the industry. It has given us opportunities to provide work for filmmakers and artists, and a venue where they can express themselves and hone their skills as performers,” Obispo says.

Chua also compares the BL trend to a food feast. 

“Bilang parte ng buffet, naniniwala ako ang mga Pinoy pwedeng mag-eat all you can. Nasa manonood iyon, kaniya kaniya tayo ng pamamahagi at pag-appreciate sa iba’t ibang kwento,” he says.

Meanwhile, actor-director Joey Paras dedicates his first BL series, “Swap Test,” to his late mentor, director Wenn Deramas. Set in scenic Siniloan town, Laguna, the series weaves a romantic drama about two strangers who cross paths in the strangest circumstances. 

Paras is happy with the fact that “Swap Test” has generated more than 100,000 views and still growing since it started showing on the Powerhouse Ensemble YouTube channel on October 23. 

Running on its second episode on Friday, the 6-part series stars new artists Gerome Palparan and Ely Cellan, with Carla Valderrama, Benj Espina and others. 

Paras is thankful having hurdled COVID-19 and other health protocols during the difficult lock-in production.

Aside from Deramas, Paras harnessed his talent as a comedian and dramatic actor to direct “Swap Test”, which was an unexpected blessing after his recent heart and health crisis this year. Besides the love and support of friends in the industry, what keeps him going, in the highs and lows of life, is his motto “do everything in love.”

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