Jericho stands out in Legal Wife
Chuck Gomez (The Philippine Star) - June 8, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For almost five months, loyal Kapamilya viewers across the nation and around the world have been steadfastly glued to their TV sets as they entered the imagined world of ABS-CBN’s top-rating primetime series The Legal Wife, and they all vicariously experienced both the realities and complexities of infidelity as seen through the eyes of one of the show’s central characters, Adrian (Jericho Rosales).

Jericho effortlessly breathed life into Adrian. His standout performance ignited massive and sustained viewer engagement via worldwide trending topics on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as traditional mainstream media. It is interesting to note that fans of The Legal Wife are paradoxically angered by Adrian, who is emotionally torn between his legal wife Monica (Angel Locsin) and his mistress Nicole (Maja Salvador), but at the same time sympathetic to his plight.

This is a testament to Jericho’s quietly moving but deeply engaging portrayal that he is able to elicit such intense reactions from avid viewers who straddle the line between those who are unforgiving of the so-called “philandering husband” and those who genuinely see in Jericho’s soulful eyes the remorse of Adrian who is struggling to win back the trust and heart of Monica.

Never before in primetime drama has there been a male protagonist who does some wrong (cheating on his wife) and draws the contempt of viewers who all readily throw their support behind the wronged woman, but slowly and assuredly wins back people’s compassion. Jericho does that almost with an alarming ease. He earns our sympathy. Night after night, as we watch the story of The Legal Wife unfold, we cannot but find ourselves arguing with family, friends, officemates, colleagues and fellow Kapamilya. We are invested in the show, in its story, in its characters, and we all feel we are part of the journey. 

Jericho, through Adrian, has captivated us to a point where, despite a part in every one of us yearning for him to get what he deserves, there is that commensurate sliver of acceptance that wants him forgiven. Jericho’s character gives us that nagging, aching feeling in the gut. We can all too easily condemn him, but we are ready, at the same time, to give him the proverbial “second chance” simply because he is Adrian, and though we don’t like what he did, we understand how he got to the point that led him to cheat on his wife. We feel for him because Jericho made Adrian real. The skilled thespian in Jericho “humanized” the “cheater” and gave us the unparalleled privilege of watching him, learning him, feeling him and to a certain extent “being” him. What would we have done if we were Adrian?

What would Adrian have deserved from Monica now that she’s back — successful in business, secured in her family’s love and confident in her return? What can Adrian expect from the feisty Nicole fighting for what she believes to be her unflinching love for him?

The drawing force of ABS-CBN’s primetime drama, The Legal Wife, is that it naturally commanded attention and it instinctively warranted our opinion for the past five months. Everyone had something to say. Some may have taken pity on the wife. Others may have chosen to blame the husband. One could have chosen to despise the mistress. Or someone may have pitied the wife, but blamed her, too. A group could have understood the husband, but they wished the mistress wasn’t the wife’s best friend. Another may want the wife to have her revenge. Another may want the husband to win back the wife. Others may want the mistress left behind, ignored, unloved and defeated. Or, one may wish what’s best for everyone.

How The Legal Wife ends is beyond anyone’s guess. The genius of the story is it can go a dozen ways and it will still draw the viewers’ impassioned response. The acting virtuoso of Jericho, Maja and Angel, individually and collectively, deserves our attention and we are literally gasping for breath as the final week of the drama unfolds.

Catch the final week of The Legal Wife on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida right after Ikaw Lamang. Watch what happens to Adrian, Nicole and Monica, and find out who rightfully deserves a second wind in love.

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