One Day Pag-ibig is a story with many questions for its characters: Who am I? What will I do? Will I take the risk? This is the story of Roi, Kyle and his friends who went to a private resort to refresh and unwind. Roi, the owner of the resort, saved Kyle, who fell on the pool and nearly drowned. At first they weren't comfortable with each other because of differences in their background and character. Eventually, they became friends. But what happens next? Everything happened in just one day. (Source: One Day Pag-ibig The Series Facebook) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
Interesting basic idea, but a lot of space for improvementIt took me a while until I decided to write a review, because I usually don't write one if I don't like a series, and I didn't like it at all at first. However, I had the beautiful ost song 'Kund pwede lang' by Clark Blancaflor in one of my playlists. That song made me rewatch the series some days ago, and now I do like it.
The basic idea is the 'guardian angel' topic: A desperate boy is about to commit suicide, calls a number he finds on the railing of a bridge he's going to jump down from, and the boy who answers persuades him to stay alive. Without knowing each other, the two boys meet by coincidence, are enemies at first, but become friends/boyfriends within a day (hence the title 'One day love').
This idea would have provided a good story, but the script has some issues that are, to put it mildly, confusing. Loads of side characters, some of them mere caricatures, divert attention from the main couple too often. Whereas the background of the 'desperate boy', Roi, is being told step by step, so his actions and character become understandable, the story of his 'saviour', Kyle, remains superficial.
Some scenes are barely credible, like ex-lovers appearing out of nowhere, Kyle falling into a pool twice, almost drowning although the water isn't deep enough for that, his friends standing around yelling at each other instead of 'rescuing' him,etc etc. In short, the script lacks quality. Sound and 'cinematography' have a lot of space for improvement, too.
There are a few things, however, that make this series watchable. Although the acting is poor (you can't actually call most of the crew actors), the main couple, Ivo Rosimo as Kyle and Allen Caguioa as Roi, show glimpses of talent, especially Allen is lovely in some scenes. Same can be said about Clark Blancaflor and Dane-Dane Hernandez who would have deserved a little more screentime (which one could have achieved by leaving out some unnecessary side characters). The story, although clumsily told, is basically interesting. The best thing is the ost which mainly consists of the 'Kung pwede lang' song.
It seems there is going to be a season two, and if so, I only hope that the script will be more consistent, actors better trained, technical issues resolved, and screenwriter/director Ranz Gonzales (whose 'review' you can read below ;-) gains more experience. As I am an unshakeable optimist, I'm looking forward to it.
This is not great, but it's watchable with judicious fast-fowarding.I'll start with the bad to end on a positive note, because there are some fine qualities to this.
The acting is bad (but the main couple are good enough). A lot of the side characters are obviously not played by actors. There are so many that few of them got much screentime, so I don't want to be too harsh.
The script is bad. It's so full of extraneous nonsense that it makes this hard to endure and almost submerges the theme of the story, which is good (more on that below). Drowning twice, both times taking only 15 seconds and in 3 feet of water while all your friends stand around watching because they don't want tor ruin their outfits is OTT ridiculous - there's a point to which you can suspend disbelief, but it was LOL absurd the first time, and when the exact same thing happened again, complete with friends standing around watching, it was just an eyeroll and a sigh.
Enemies-to-lovers will always work as a plot device. But from visceral hatred to best friends in an instant is not credible. This was a fairly short series, but there was plenty of time to do this more smoothly if so much runtime hadn't been wasted on pointless side characters.
Speaking of which, I'm getting to the point where I will not watch anything with a pathetic trans character, even if Allen Caiguoa is in it. Trans women are not pathetic, and they have enough obstacles to deal with without a supposedly friendly space being so cruel. And definitely no more fat-shaming. To be fair, Roi's surrogate mom is a relatively positive character, which was welcome.
Also, there's a lot of overt and implicit homophobia in this (and BL in general). There's a scene where someone expresses his interest in the main character, who reacts so violently it's hard not to attribute it to homophobia. It was strange and out of nowhere. It was an overly direct and ungraceful pick-up attempt, but not something to wake the entire resort over. Also, does the seme always need to be straight? For that matter, does there always have to be a seme and an uke? This dynamic is heteronormative, and making the dominant/top "man" of the story more-or-less straight, what is that saying? Why are the effeminate gay men always loud, pathetic, and predatory?
90% of the finale was consumed by unnecessary flashbacks. They are making a revelation, which should have taken 30 seconds at morst. Do you remember The Sixth Sense? That was a much more complex revelation and it was covered with mere seconds of flashback, and was far more powerful as a result. Here it was tiresome and greatly diminished the emotional impact.
How many times can you use the "just about to kiss but interrupted by someone even though it's 3 in the morning and you're in a secluded place" device to get out of having the characters get phyiscal?
The sound and camerawork is terrible. Even scenes that were lit by natural light were botched. If you don't know how to do something, find someone that does. Film professionals are very generous.
On to the good. As bad as this is, there is a lot of heart and effort that went into it.
The basic story idea and overarching plot are quite good - the suicide element was brought in and covered without being suffocating or taking over, and tied nicely into the ending.
The two main actors are good enough - not dynamic, but not embarassing or cringey, and with enough ability and charisma to pull off a couple you care about.
All-in-all, this series was good conceptually but let down by execution. It's heart almost saved it, but in the end it was disappointing - but it did leave me wanting to see more from this production crew. I think they can accomplish great things if they put a little more work into developing technical skills, and put a little discipline into the screenwriting.