“BenXJim” Series Review (Ep.1 to 7)

This series is one of my favorite “Friends to Lovers” tropes. Ben (Teejay Marquez) and Jim (Jerome Ponce) have been friends since they were little. Circumstances separated them and years later Ben sees Jim on social media. Once they reconnect their story is unique and heartwarming.

We begin this journey with Ben selling his goods online while being harrassed by his ex-boyfriend Keo. Ben’s Mom isn’t supportive of his decision to live in the Philippines and really wants him to return to US for a “Better Life”. Ben’s best friend Flo sends him a profile and he unexpectedly finds his childhood friend Jim on the social media account. Ben gets the news that Jim is returning home and is overly excited. He gets ready for their first meeting in some really comical ways. A facial, practicing how to talk to Jim and trying different outfits to impress him. It was especially cute how nervous Ben is to see his friend Jim. Ben waits all day and finally at that night Jim suddenly surprises him. When they look at each other for the first time after so many years apart, that moment was really heartwarming. The chemistry between Teejay and Jerome is truly magical and it explodes onscreen. You can see their feelings as they stare at each other. Their eyes reflect their emotions, yearning and longing!

Ben and Jim catch up on what has been going on in their lives, since they were separated. Jim learns about friend Ben’s sexual orientation and he is, surprisingly, fine with Ben’s life choice. There are some endearing and comical moments between Ben and Jim which make this romance even more intriguing. Like Ben seeing Jim in only a towel and forgetting all about his online selling. While playing basketball, Ben changes his shirt and the look on Jim’s face shows that he appreciates the view. Ben’s feelings for Jim are pretty obvious. They do have a rocky start at being friends again and argue quite a bit. But in the end, Jim is always there for Ben, whenever he needs him.

They get reacquainted with each other again and it was a magical journey. Jim does little things that inevitably gives Ben hope. Things get complicated once Jim’s long time girlfriend Yana, shows up. Ben is crushed at this new revelation. At the same time, Ben gets courted by the delivery boy, Olan. Jim is unhappy with this situation at all and this results in a huge conflict between the stubborn men.

Flo isn’t convinced that Ben knows Jim, so she asks Ben to prove it. Jim helps him and Ben is left surprised at how Jim portrays their close friendship through his social media moments. It was entirely sweet and very endearing. Ben in turn helps Jim prepare a surprise for Yana. Even though his heart isn’t in the act, and he is feelings are confused, hurt and raw; Ben does not betray his inner turmoil. While Ben truly loves Jim, Jim is confused about his feelings for Ben. Ben and Jim are meant to be together, they can show how they are feeling by just looking into each other’s eyes. This is something that makes them endearing to me. Ben and Jim know so much about each other and are truly supportive!

There is one scene where Jim sings and you can actually feel his pain, the love he wants to emote but is afraid to express in reality. You can see the pain reflected back in Ben’s eyes, and on his face. This was a very heartbreaking and painful moment to watch. My biggest issue with Jim is that he repeatedly gives false hope, mixed signals. As such, when Ben finally confesses, he is forced to play it off as a joke. Jim unexpectedly gets angry and Ben feels that he has destroyed their friendship. Watching their break-up was heartbreaking for me. When Olan confesses to Ben in front of Jim; the look of devastation on Jim’s face is understandable. I wish the scriptwriters had allotted more screen time to properly developing Ben and Jin’s relationship. I adored it when Ben was truthful and acts like himself. Furthermore, I was Ben’s biggest cheerleader throughout the series.

Does everything work out the way Ben wants it to? Does Jim finally realize he loves Ben more than a friend? Do they get their “Happily Ever After”? Please watch and find out – Their story does continue in the Ben x Jim’s sequel, which was amazing as well!

Rating- 4 out of 5


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