Pinoy BL dramas are becoming more and more popular and I am especially glad about watching this one.
Gaya Sa Pelikula (Like in the Movies) – is one of those feel good dramas, that makes you happy and believe that even the impossible is truly possible. I was intrigued with the storytelling technique and subsequent execution. This show has all the elements of a classic “Enemy to Lovers” trope. The chemistry between main leads Ian and Jose is absolutely magical.
This series stars Ian Pangilinan as Jose Vladimir “Vlad” Austria and Paolo Pangilinan as Karl Frederick “Karl” Almasen. Their first meeting is quite memorable. Vlad is playing music loudly, is drunk and dancing to his hearts content. Karl has just shifted into the neighboring apartment. Disturbed by the annoying noise, he knocks on the door and asks his neighbor to tune down the music. Vlad instead slams the door on his face. He knocks again but ends up with the same results. Annoyed, Karl goes back to his apartment, listens to the music and inevitably ends up dancing to the same tune. Their next meeting is just as precarious. Vlad is hiding and covers Karl’s mouth, so he doesn’t yell. We are introduced to Vlad’s elder sister Judit. She gives the impression that they are closer; than they really are. No matter how hard Karl tries to explain, Judit doesn’t listen. Watching Vlad and Karl trying to explain things was really hilarious. They come to a silent agreement and Karl’s life is never the same.
Karl is trying to be freelance writer while studying architecture. But his true dream is to work in movie industry. He is saddled with his parent’s expectations: so he struggles with telling them about his real ambitions. Vlad on the other hand, is a Film Major, trying to get into the prestigious Japan School of Film; despite multiple attempts he fails miserably. Vlad and Karl come from such different backgrounds, Vlad’s is privileged while Karl is from a middle class family. While Vlad’s family struggles with his sexual orientation, Karl’s pressurise him to be an architect.
Vlad and Karl move in together while getting to know each other. With time, they fall into a comfortable, if not comical routine. Vlad is the most disorganized person. So Karl’s “Please clean up after yourself” moments certainly provide comic relief. Karl’s parents get to meet Vlad. It was an evidently interesting twist because Vlad is very calm about the meeting, while Karl is afraid his parents will misunderstand their situation. Their arguments are extremely fun to watch and they sound like an old married couple. In due course of time, our prickly couple begin to understand each other while falling in love. Karl begins to realize that Vlad is not as bad as he thought. Karl’s innocence is endearing and Vlad’s honesty is a sheer contrast that makes it quite easy to fall in love with them. Karl brings out the best in Vlad and Vlad understands Karl much better than anyone else. Vlad and Karl truly compliment each other!
Karl struggles with his new sexual orientation and this leads to difficulties between them. Vlad is very open and straightforward about who he is and who he likes. This is a conflict they have to overcome their individual struggles. Karl is in conflict with his new-found feelings for Vlad and is unsure about the end result. Vlad and Karl’s relationship eventually gets more complicated. Karl slowly realizes he likes Vlad but is scared, confused and inevitably hurts Vlad. While Karl has the power to leave Vlad devastated, Vlad is the one who can truly love Karl. All comes to a dramatic climax one night! Does everything work out for these two? Does Karl learn to love without borders? Do we get a “Happy Ending”? For that, you will have to watch this emotional romcom. Bring along your box of tissues, because you will definitely need them.
This is one of my favorite series, as it portrays the real struggles faced by the members of the LGBTQ community. Karl struggles with his individual choices, since he wants to appease his parents. He likes Vlad but knows that society is not going to easily accept their relationship. I was hugely invested in this series at an emotional level. I’m awaiting the possibility of a sequel, to see if Karl finally accepts his sexuality and feelings for Vlad. Truly exceptional!
Rating- 4.5 out 5