The perfect series for when you’re looking for something cute, that will not burden you with drama and tears, but leave you satisfied all the same.
So, Meet Me Outside is at its heart an advertisement/product placement of sorts for Blued, a gay dating app in the Philippines. It’s what you may call a micro-series, with 6 episodes of about 15 minutes each, telling a story that is not overly complex but still has its emotional core intact, which is hardly surprising considering that this comes from the team of Juan Miguel Severo and JP Habac of the inimitable Gaya Sa Pelicula.
What I liked
The leads are great! Kaloy Tingcungco plays James, a social media influencer who has recently gone through a breakup with his boyfriend and is staying on his own at a resort over the holidays. At the reception he meets Dale, played by Genesis Redido, and sparks fly almost instantly.
As I mentioned, the plot is not complicated at all. It’s pretty straightforward, the story of two lonely people who connect first through a dating app and later in real life. Both Dale and James have gone through heartbreak in their lives, and despite the brevity, the series masterfully allows their personalities to unfold. What really interested me was how they did not shy away from issues that are significant in the LGBTQ+ community even today – regarding relationships and intimacy. It made the pair and their experiences immensely relatable, as their stories will certainly resonate with viewers who have gone through similar situations.
I also appreciate how, just through conversations between the characters, the series touched upon issues as varied as class differences and insecurities, and even the feeling of doubt and uncertainty one feels when meeting on a dating app. It might be product placement, but the show doesn’t shy away from critiquing the way that apps such as this are mostly just used by people who want to hook up.
What I didn’t like
There isn’t a lot to dislike in Meet Me Outside, so this is absolutely a personal gripe:
While, as I said, the show is able to overcome its limitations to some extent, I am not a fan of the short run time of episodes. They feel like the small portions of food being served at a fancy restaurant – they are delicious but ultimately you want more to fill your stomach, or in this case your heart.
I can’t help thinking about just how excellent this story could have been were it told in a format with a longer runtime. In terms of understanding the different facets of the two leads, more time would have allowed the series to develop their personalities a little bit more.
I’m sure that people looking for more steamy content or intimate scenes between the characters will be disappointed, but I think overall Meet Me Outside is a series that definitely bears watching, for the soft emotions and the exploration of ideas that are so central to the gay experience.