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He’s Into Her

He’s Into Her is an iWant TFC original series produced by Star Cinema. The series is based on the Wattpad novel of the same name. The series is directed by newcomer Chad Vidanes. The series stars Donny Pangilinan as Deib Lohr Enrile, Belle Mariano as Maxpein Zin Del Valle, Kaori Oinuma as Michiko Sil Tarranza, Rhys Miguel as Yakiro Tobi Yanai, Jeremiah Lisbo as Randall Echavez, Vivoree Esclito as Melissa "Ysay" Baylon, Joao Constancia as Lee Roi Gozon, Criza Taa as Zarnaih Marchessa, Melizza Jimenez as Elle Luna, Sophie Reyes as Aimee Jung, Ashley del Mundo as Khloe Gomez, Gello Marquez as Lorde Dawatap, Dalia Varde as Kimeniah Sirvey Gozon and Limer Veloso as Gavin Migz Agripa.

Maxpein, from Mindoro, moves to Manila to live with her dad and his family. As soon as she starts to attend school at Benison International, she is untreated unfairly by the factions of the school except for Michicko, Zarnaih, and Migz. With Deib being the heartthrob of the school, he makes his classmates and schoolmates bully Max. The more Deib gets involved, the more he realizes that he starts to fall for Max. As they find their way into each other’s hearts, elements from their past come back to haunt them. They learn how to break free from the status quo.

What’s admirable with the series is its structure. The structure is a hybrid of Hollywood shows and K-Drama. The runtime is around 40-50 minutes per episode. Each episode even has a recap, opening credits, closing credits, and promo for the next episode. The color grading was very stylistic. The main characters stand out from the crowd. Each episode was cohesive, and the transitions were seamless. Some scenes were shot in green screen, and they weren’t obvious which means that filmmaking in the Philippines continues to evolve. Some scenes were also dubbed, but the editing is outstanding and the emotions are still there. What I disliked about the presentation of the series is that it repeats scenes from previous episodes at the start of most episodes. Repeating scenes take up the runtime. They could’ve shown other scenes instead. It’s redundant because there’s already a recap showing the previous events of the series.

The soundtrack of the series consists of two songs with multiple versions each. The first track used for the promotions and intro of the series is “He’s Into Her” by BGYO. The next track used in the series is “Sigurado” by Belle Mariano. Throughout the series, various versions of both aforementioned songs were played such as “He’s Into Her (SAB Version)” by SAB and the duet version of “Sigurado” by Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan, the lead stars of He’s Into Her. The cherry on top of the soundtrack is a much more romantic and slow version of He’s Into Her by Donny Pangilinan which is labeled as “He’s Into Her - Donny Version.” The soundtrack complements well with the themes and plot of the series. Each of the performers of the tracks has perfect vocal ranges. The blending of their voices is very well executed. The songs are not overproduced and underproduced. However, for the upcoming season, I do hope that they avoid doing more versions of the tracks from season 1. They should explore doing more original songs and covers.

With the overwhelming success of He's Into Her, ABS-CBN decided to end the series with “He’s Into Her: The Benison Ball” which is a virtual concert for the fans of the series. At the concert, it was announced that He’s Into Her will be back for a second season. The announcement of a series renewal was confirmed by Olivia Lamasan (Star Cinema’s Managing Director), Cory Vidanes (ABS-CBN’s Chief Operating Officer for Broadcast), and Laurenti Dyogi (Star Magic Head) during the conclusion of the concert. As expected, the series regulars will be back to reprise their roles. Details regarding the plot, production, and premiere date have yet to be announced. However, season 2 is expected to pick up on the cliffhanger at the end of the season 1 finale regarding the identity of the shooter of Deib’s brother.

Overall, He’s Into Her continues to reinvent the way Filipino series are produced. The cast is mostly relatively new to the industry, and they just shine in the series due to their talent and passion for their respective characters. I wish that the series does a musical episode in the second season which will be the very first in the Philippines if they want to continue exploring and reinventing Philippine television. Donny and Belle’s tandem has very natural chemistry which makes the “kilig” authentic and not forced. Other stars such as Criza Taa, Kaori Oinuma, Jeremiah Lisbo, and a whole lot more proved that they can nail their roles and can take on bigger roles in the future. There were changes made for the series to be fit for TV. Despite the changes, the series still paid tribute to the book. The writer’s room did a great job with the script and the storylines were very well stitched. There were no loose ends by the season 1 finale. The set-up for season 2 was placed perfectly. I would rate this series a 9/10.

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