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Giving serye a new twist

Richard Gutierrez and Michelle Madrigal will play husband and wife in the suspenserye  –Photos by ENIE REYES

MANILA, Philippines - GMA 7 is giving the word serye another twist by adding suspense to it — from drama-serye to epic-serye. Love & Lies is the latest addition to the Kapuso collections of TV series.

Premiering April 8 on GMA Telebabad, it stars Richard Gutierrez, a cutout for the navy seal protagonist, who is out to face and survive the contradictions and consequences the title connotes.

Love & Lies is, in a way, genre-busting by mixing action and drama. The suspense-serye or suspenserye is challenged to put one at the edge of one’s seat while weeping.

Mark Reyes, director of GMA 7’s Love & Lies: If we do our jobs right, it will not be predictable

“I think it goes hand in hand,” shares director Mark Reyes of the amount of action and drama being laced in Love & Lies. “The nearest thing that you can compare it to is Taken, the movie. There’s a lot of suspense. But at the same time, there’s drama that is interwoven with it. There are flashbacks that show why Richard’s character (Edward) is motivated to rescue Michelle (Madrigal)’s character (Cathy) and also their love story, the conflict between them — being the wife of a soldier and the soldier proving himself to the rich family of the girl that he married.”

Although there will be patches of the American TV series feel, the conflict remains palatable to Juan dela Cruz’s taste, says the director. There’s also a young love between Jeric Gonzales and Thea Tolentino. Bela Padilla’s Denise whose mission is to find her brother’s murderer will spice up the story’s multi-layered texture.

Love & Lies will only run for nine weeks contrary to the usual one season of 13 weeks. The creative and production team is committed to tell all, so to speak, within that time frame, regardless of its performance in the ratings’ game.

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“We’re geared up for nine weeks,” says direk Mark, “and beyond that, it will be hard to pull it off.” However, there could be a lead time paving the way for another suspense-serye with possible titles Love & Duty and Love & Honor with a new set of stars.

This is the fifth time Mark and Richard will be collaborating on TV. Remember Full House, Kamandag, Asero and Zorro? “I think the actor came before the concept. Richard is perfect (for the role),” Mark says. Richard’s adventurous personality, being shown many times over in the Survivor Philippines franchise, fits the bill.

“I have a device in the ending… if the audience watches the first or the second episode, it will get hooked on it,” says Mark. “The pacing is (reminiscent of) 24. It is episodic.” Actors will be seen repeating dialogues for others to catch up on the episode they have missed. The actors are not privy to  how the story will progress and how their characters will develop. Mark the director will simply guide them each taping day. Also in the cast are Neil Ryan Sese, Sid Lucero, Paolo Contis, Miguel Tanfelix, Bobby Andrews, Melissa de Leon, Lloyd Samartino and Luz Valdez.

In the pilot episode and the succeeding nights, televiewers can look forward to the Top Gun-Crimson Tide opening episode, the Bourne Legacy-inspired chasing scene in Binondo and the horse-riding sequence in Tagaytay.

“If we do our jobs right, it will not be predictable,” Mark concludes.

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