I was expecting Weekend to Remember to be… forgettable.
I’m pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong.
To recap, this webseries is about the four brothers of the Asuncion family (peripherally their sister) and the weekend where they plan to throw a surprise birthday party for their mother (Gilleth Sandico). The first four episodes were largely building the groundwork for us to understand the brothers’ characters and their dynamics. We understand who they are, to some extent how they think, and watch them struggle with love in different ways.
The beginning of the series is mostly dominated by two brothers – Miguel (Nico Nicolas) and Romeo (John Cortez). At this point I must also offer an apology to the character Jenevie (Keijee Mesina), one of the household help and Romeo’s love interest. In the first four episodes I was uncomfortable with what appeared to be a portrayal of an overly effeminate gay man, but second half of the series does reveal that Jenevie is trans, giving the scenes where she imagines herself in a blonde wig and wedding dress that I previously took issue with a little more context and meaning. That said, while their relationship is wholesome and the actors’ chemistry cute, Romeo and Jenevie are the bookends of the series – after the initial set up and several comic-relief scenes, they are largely in the sidelines until a fairly satisfactory and entirely adorable ending sequence.
Miguel is a whole other kettle of fish, and we will come back to him and his homophobia later. He is, however, in love with his best friend Jane (Kristine Hammond), but afraid to tell her until it’s too late. I liked the way their story concluded, it was just real enough to be believable and I appreciate Jane in her ability to call Miguel out on his bull more than once in the series.
Youngest brother Mateo (Sam Cafranca) is also in love with his best friend Janice (Ayumi Takezawa) – a parallel with Miguel’s right down to the inability to really confess until she is with someone else (Mateo’s rival, in fact!). But unlike Miguel’s case, Mateo and Janice find themselves on the same page regarding their feelings for each other.
To me, the most compelling storyline belongs to Markie (Enzo Santiago), and his developing relationship with a man who started out as a chance acquaintance, Daniel (Daryll Rodriguez). Their chemistry is great, and the series spends time establishing their mutual attraction, letting them talk and get to know each other.
I appreciate how the series gives both straight and LGBTQ+ couples almost equal screentime and importance, in a kind of reminder that neither love nor heartbreak are not limited by things like gender or sexual identity.
As for what I did not enjoy, it was Miguel. In my First Impressions of thisseries, I noted that Miguel appeared to be homophobic in his reaction to Romeo and Jenevie, and the occasional snide remark at Markie, whose sexuality he apparently suspected. This is more than cemented when he is straight up abusive towards Markie when he finds Markie and Daniel doing nothing more than holding hands. We are given the explanation that he was raised to hate ‘weak men’ because his father was in the army and good ol’ Jane does call him out on it but… It’s not nearly enough and I wish the show had given him a little more time to deal with these feelings rather than forgiving them the moment he has a change of heart.
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but in the final episode when everything goes briefly to hell before the surprise party, there is a violent confrontation between Miguel and Markie. This leads to some stellar scenes emotional that showcase some excellent acting from Enzo Santiago especially. These scenes really bring out the show’s ultimate message of acceptance and love (albeit with a tired ‘this is your truth’ line that may be the result of an inadequate translation). I found these the highlight of the series, because it really does drive home the fact that the Asuncion boys and their mother really mean the world to each other.
In conclusion, I enjoyed Weekend to Remember far more than I expected to. Yes, there are some strange writing choices – like who is that guy at the bar that Markie keeps ditching? – and some missed opportunities, but ultimately, it delivers with a wholesome storyline and strong performances from the cast.