This series is not just about the commotion on BL series trend but it will serve as an acceptance and an eye opener to LGBT issues and topics. Love doesn't focus on gender but it focuses on two people. During this quarantine period, we are having our own ways to distract ourselves. But what could be more fitting than finding a true love — in social media? Watch the journey of Zig and Zag and how they will conquer their love together. (Source: Kelly Fontanilla Youtube Channel) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Even After (2020): A Grounded Pinoy BL/Gay SeriesWith an effeminate gay boy as one of the lead actors and characters, some people might not consider “Even After” a boys’ love (BL) series based on traditional definition. But since I subscribe to the idea that concepts and definitions continue to evolve, I have no problem that this series self-identifies as BL. Like in real life when we are asked to respect how people self-identifies, we should also put weight on how a series self-identifies. “Even After” is a Filipino (Pinoy) BL series and it’s also a Pinoy gay series. It’s grounded on the experiences of an empowered effeminate gay boy which isn’t usually depicted on BL series.
“Even After” had a simple plot/storyline about Zag’s search for love during the quarantine and lockdown period. Along the way, we met Zag’s friends Pink and Zebbie and of course, Zirgo. More importantly, we met Zig, the love of Zag’s life. Zig had mommy issues which was made even more complicated when his mother asked Zag to broker peace between mother and son. “Even After” provided everyday lessons on when to meddle with your partner’s affairs and when to give him space. Zag didn’t always get it right but in the end, everything worked out just fine.
Screenplay had cheesy lines here and there, but there were also funny dialogues. There were comical and cute banters between ZigZag as well. There were preachy dialogues but there were also sensitive lines (“You’re that place I would always want to go back to... even if the road is ZigZag…”).
Acting wise, the lead actors and the supporting cast members needed improvement. Kelly and Kristoffer did improve throughout the series. Lennox, Abel, and Princess Q were ok in the end. But the performance of Claire, who played Cassandra, Zig’s mother, was just off for the most part of her scenes.
“Even After,” a do-it-yourself (DIY) series with not much budget, was pretty weak in production design, computer graphics, sound engineering, musical scoring, and editing. Until the end, you’d still see the mute button while ZigZag talked on split-screen. It did have a good soundtrack in “Dalawang Mundo” (Two Worlds) by Bianca Nicole Millare.
Overall, I would still recommend rewatching “Even After.” If you’re looking for a grounded Pinoy BL/gay series about an empowered effeminate gay boy, “Even After” would be an apt series for you.
LIGHT FLUFFRATING: D
I applaud Kelly Fontanilla for his efforts here, I only wish the results were more satisfying. This is a short BL web series made during, and about, the Covid-19 Pandemic. The characters are all in quarantine, their segments are filmed using their web-cams or phones. It’s a fairly honest representation of what many are going through during these times, the anxiety, the isolation and the need for connection. Kelly’s character, Zag, is a vlogger and he captures that essence and attitude perfectly. If you didn’t know this was scripted, it could almost pass for an actual vlog, with honest, heartfelt and unfiltered remarks. If that was the case, I might be more forgiving. But this IS scripted. It’s directed and edited. And therefore it needs to stand up to all the other scripted series. There are several other quarantine series that have been produced recently, and some of them (Hello, Stranger) are the best of the best BL series. Granted, they had higher budgets and production values. But if they can pull off such amazing artistry within those confines, this series has to be held to those same standards.
It's all a shame, because the story is cute, sweet, simple and could have been quite touching. Finding love in this difficult time is an admirable storyline. I just felt like we missed the big moments that would have sold it better. Perhaps they meant to imply that much more happened than we were not allowed to view, but it felt rushed and thin. Zig’s conflict with his mother was also rushed to a forced conclusion and the script needed more time and depth to make this reversal believable.
Fontanilla is, at times, adorable. His Zag has strong appeal. He does feel like a typical teenager (unlike so many series that feel like 30-year-olds pretending to be 18), over-dramaticizing every moment and conversation. But Zag does require some getting used to. I started this series when it was airing weekly and, at first, I was annoyed by his over-the-top character. But then I waited to binge the entire series all at once, starting again at the beginning, and found him charming. This is an effeminate character that I actually like. And the reason is, he is the lead character (not the comic sidekick) and Fontanilla refuses to make his behavior a joke. Zag and Pink both are played with dignity and without shame. BIG KUDOS to the team for creating believable and real characters in that regard.
While there are flaws in the scripting, where this series really falls short is the acting, directing and editing. At times, it appears that the actors are reading their lines. You can see their eyes looking at the script, then looking back into the camera. Sometimes, they still manage to deliver the lines convincingly. Mr. Fontanilla himself is a decent actor. His character is probably close to his actual personality, and that surely helps. But all of the others, with the exception of Abel Barrientos as Pink (strong and believable in every scene – even when a baby cries off-screen), struggle. They recite as if they were reading the words for the first time. They don’t react in the moment. They rarely seem to feel the emotions their lines suggest. They often spit out the words rapid-fire, without taking the time to let their characters emote. I have a feeling that Kristoffer Molina and the adorable Lennox Quinola might be better actors in the hands of a stronger director and better script, with more rehearsal time. Granted, filming scenes separately, often without the other actor able to prompt you or to react against, certainly presents formidable challenges. But others have managed to do it far better (Hello, Stranger… again). The editing amplifies these weaknesses. Reactions are delayed or come too soon. There are awkward silences where characters don’t even react to what has just been said, then reply seemingly out of context. There are jump-cuts in the middle of scenes, when a new take was obviously needed. Again, the budget surely plays into these issues – but when some scenes come off perfectly well, you know the rest could have been fixed.
There is no physical intimacy in this series, due to its concept and quarantine production constraints. None of that is necessary or missed here. This is about falling in love online and that can certainly happen at any time (it is actually how I met and started courting my own boyfriend). Unfortunately, I didn’t feel these two actually fell in love. From off-line comments I assume they are friends (perhaps even more), so I wish I felt a stronger emotional connection between them.
A light piece of fluff. Worthy of a quick binge, but not the best quality series. Fight on, Mr. Fontanilla. I know there is more and better material to come from you in the future.