Warning: Spoilers ahead.
With the long list of boys’ love (BL) series that we got this year, it’ll be a crime not to mention “Gaya Sa Pelikula.”
From Sept. 25 to Nov. 20, this series managed to make us all embrace our emotions and its characters in a span of eight episodes. And honestly? It still does.
All eight episodes now have over a million views each, and we take this as a sign that this series did its job well in giving queer people the story they deserve while educating others with a rom-com that they can like and relate to, regardless of their sexuality and gender identity.
And if you haven’t watched it yet, WYD? Here’s why you might want to consider giving this series a chance.
Created for queer people by queer people
One of the things we love about this series is the fact that the people involved in it are also queer. The creator, Juan Miguel Severo, is openly gay. He said that he wrote this story as “my apology to my younger self, and to every queer kid who I thought deserved less because of their queerness.”
One of the two leads, Paolo Pangilinan, is also queer. Who can forget that episode of “It’s Showtime” when microaggressions were on full display on national TV. With a BL that’s created by queer people, we’re almost certain that the rawness of being queer is there, too (and we’re right).
Queer people are the main characters, not comic relief
We’re all for diversity, and that’s hard to achieve when most works in the media shove queer people to the side and give them loud personalities and the occasional witty one-liner to make up for the lack of screentime.
No words can describe how much we crave media that don’t use queer people as funny side characters, and “Gaya Sa Pelikula” represented them well.
They got real with struggles, too
A rom-com ain’t one without the fluff, of course. Who doesn’t like accidental roommates slash “enemies-to-lovers?”
But even with all the fluff and fuzz, the series wasn’t afraid to tackle the struggles that the community deals with every single day: coming out, dealing with microaggressions, understanding consent and femininity, and of course, pride being a protest.
The series even touched on the reality of chasing our dreams and opening our eyes to the creative industry (S/O to the badass, unapologetic Anna). Karl wants to give up on architecture and be a filmmaker instead―a dream that’s valid but not an easy one to achieve, and the series lets us watch Karl realize that and make decisions with that in mind.
They didn’t pull a “Bury Your Gays”
I said what I said. I’m so sick of media queer-coding characters or even putting queer characters in the cast only to pull the fastest “Bury Your Gays” at the finale (looking at you, “Supernatural”).
I don’t know what queer media handbook everyone’s reading, but aren’t y’all tired of characters dying at the end? As if the creators went “whoops, that’s enough representation.” Thank God no one died in “Gaya Sa Pelikula,” nor was HIV or AIDS used as a convenient plot device to drive an ending.
The “antagonist” isn’t who we thought it was
What’s great about this series is, although it’s a rom-com, you’re not gonna find the conventional third party who’ll come between the main couple and stir some drama.
The real “villain” is within these beloved characters all along. Off the top of my head, there’s Judit with her warped notion of allyship. Vlad and Karl themselves are also prone to self-sabotage; Vlad finds it difficult to trust others and Karl took a while to be at peace with his identity.
And the same goes for a lot of us, too. This series leaves us with many messages, and here’s one that we can all most likely relate to: Everyone is going through something. We may not understand it immediately, but we can if we genuinely want to.
Straight or queer, we all deserve for our stories to be heard and told. After all, it is called “Gaya Sa Pelikula.” Rom-com movies are for people who love and want to be loved, and guess what? That’s everyone, regardless of sexuality and gender identity.
Still from “Gaya Sa Pelikula”