Single/Single: Someone like her, someone like him
Leah C. Salterio (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - “Yuppies” are out; “millennials” are in. The latter is what you call today’s young professionals, the focus of the breakthrough TV mini-series, Single/Single. The romantic-comedy production combines the strength of cable (Cinema One) and print media (The Philippine STAR) presented in an entertaining, digital format.

Matteo Guidicelli is Joey, a young lounge singer who hangs out with band members. He leaves his wealthy home to live on his own in a condominium unit owned by his mom.

Shaina Magdayao plays Joee, an independent, young professional. Both are odd and complicated individuals who are strangers to each other, but are forced to share a living space for practical reasons.

Joey’s mom is “quirky, funny and hip,” played by Cherie Gil, a single parent widowed by Joey’s dad. She calls Joey her unico hijo. Interestingly, one can call her a cougar since she’s dating a much younger guy, Brandon, who even left a kiss mark on her neck which Joey saw and detested during his mom’s surprise visit to his pad.

Both Joey and Joee are unattached, but happily enjoying and decently surviving in their respective single, urban life. Early on, they declared their respective house rules. For Joee, no bringing of friends in the condo. “Bawal mag-uwi ng kalaro, kalaguyo, kasintahan o kahit na ano dito sa bahay na ‘to,” she declared.

For Joey, “no hanging of underwear to dry in the bathroom,” distinctly pointing out Joee’s undergarment with leopard print. This was their initial conflict, but in succeeding episodes, we are sure to find out where their interesting experiences will eventually lead them.

Previously, you wouldn’t normally find a boy and a girl sharing a condo unit. Either that’s taboo or frowned upon by older people who don’t tolerate that set-up. Besides, with the Filipino’s generally conservative nature, that’s a no-no. However, in today’s generation, that’s acceptable, though not totally ordinary yet.

We remember the 2001 Hollywood film, Someone Like You, where Hugh Jackman shared an apartment unit with a broken-hearted Ashley Judd, but they ended up falling for each other. Well, that’s Western living for you and we’re talking about a plot that happened more than a decade ago.

At the helm of Single/Single is indie filmmaker Jose Lorenzo “Pepe” Diokno, who previously directed films like Above the Clouds and Engkwentro. Pepe marks his first venture to direct a cable TV mini-series with Single/Single. Apparently, also being young helps the 28-year-old director easily relate to and work with his stars better.

Palanca awardee Lilit Reyes writes the script, which delves on modern young people coping with urban life. The characters talk about handling relationships, managing finances, planning one’s career and balancing work and personal life.

The dialogue is light and natural, easily adaptable even for somebody who just tuned in. The two lead characters understandably clash, but they inevitably come to each other’s rescue, like when Joey rushed Joee to the hospital after she developed an allergy while eating.

Anna Luna is Joee’s friend (Renee), a financial expert working for an insurance company. At the start, Liza Diño briefly played the role as Joee’s flat mate who leaves her to work abroad. In future episodes, viewers will see theater actor Brian Sy as Joee’s gay friend, with indie talents Mara Lopez and Matt Daclan in guest roles.

Matteo and Shaina have never been paired before either on the big screen or even on television, so Single/Single is their first project together. The first two episodes showed scenes where they get funny, naughty and even a bit daring, like Matteo going topless but only in boxer shorts. Yet, the project is wholesome for cable viewing.

The STAR’s Business Lifestyle columnist and wealth management expert Francis Kong shares his expertise on financial management by devoting his Monday column to detailed analysis of the episode that recently aired. It is the first time that The STAR ventured into this kind of format, although the newspaper has already produced other programs like Wheels TV.

Single/Single airs a new episode every Saturday at 8 p.m., with replays on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN has been exploring all forms of entertainment with experimental projects to bring to the public. Recently, ABS-CBN Star Flix premiered Must Date the Playboy, the very first original movie made exclusively for mobile. It stars Xian Lim and Kim Chiu, with Jessy Mendiola and Matt Evans, and is directed by Mae Cruz.

ABOVE THE CLOUDS ACIRC ANNA LUNA ASHLEY JUDD BOTH JOEY AND JOEE BRIAN SY BUSINESS LIFESTYLE CHERIE GIL JOEE JOEY SINGLE
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