Linlang fever rages on: A rollercoaster of love, hate and deception

KAPAMILYA DAY - Kane Errol Choa - The Philippine Star
Linlang fever rages on: A rollercoaster of love, hate and deception
Paulo Avelino is Victor, the husband being cheated on by his wife and brother.
STAR / File

Social media is abuzz with ABS-CBN and Prime Video’s latest offering Linlang. The series has kept viewers’ hearts pounding with its deceitful characters and explosive plot, especially on Thursdays when new episodes were dropped.

Every Thursday in recent weeks has been called “National High Blood Days” as netizens anticipated the latest twists and turns in the hit series starring Paulo Avelino (Victor), Kim Chiu (Juliana), and JM de Guzman (Alex).

Kim Chiu portrays the role of Juliana, the cheating wife.

The series isn’t just making waves in the Philippines, it is captivating audiences in other countries where Prime Video is available.

Director Jojo Saguin ascribed the success of Linlang to the storyline and exceptional performances of the lead stars.

“Iba kasi ‘yung story, the topic, that’s what makes it different in the first place. Kaya alam ko na may konting clamor about it. Tapos nagampanan pa nang magaling nitong mga artista,” Jojo said.

JM de Guzman is Victor’s halfbrother, Alex, who has an affair with Juliana.

Unlike other Pinoy series or movies that tackled infidelity with the husband as the cheater, Linlang focuses on the illicit affairs of Juliana, the wife of Victor, and his brother, Alex.

Turning the tables proved to be refreshing for viewers, who were enraged and riled against Juliana on social media.

“This is what I can call the hate that I love. The hate messages that I love. Sabi nila, ‘Kim, mahal na mahal kita, pero galit na galit ako kay Juliana,’” Kim said in response to how she’s taking the label of being the most hated fictional character in the country right now.

Even Kim’s co-host in It’s Showtime, Vice Ganda, playfully quipped feeling “gigil” while watching Kim’s character in Linlang.

ABS-CBN and Prime Video’s latest offering Linlang is directed by FM Reyes and Jojo Saguin.

The “gigil” that viewers feel is actually rooted in research as revealed by direk Jojo. The team behind Linlang interviewed real people who had experienced infidelity to add authenticity to the story.

“It’s research-based talaga ng totoong tao. Makikita niyo doon sa mga eksena, from the interview ‘nung isa talagang nangaliwa na babae, na ‘di niya ginagamit ‘yung totoong sasakyan niya. Lumilipat siya ng ibang sasakyan. May mga ganoon na real person na na-interview ng mga researcher tapos nasulat ng mga writer,” she shared.

Memes flooded social media, with the confrontations between Kim Chiu and Kaila Estrada becoming iconic moments. Like the lead stars, Kaila has also impressed the viewing public with her sterling performance as Sylvia in the series.

Director FM Reyes emphasized that Linlang does not romanticize infidelity, but rather fleshes out the impact of adultery on the families.

“We want to discuss its ripple effect. That’s why I think the topic is very universal. With the collapse of family values, makikita mo na rampant na people getting into relationships if they think that it’s not working in the house, you find it outside. It’s a good reflection for a family and for married people,” he said.

Direk FM went on to explain that Linlang is more than just a story of infidelity, saying “ayokong i-reduce siya into a story of infidelity. Because the deception to others here, at the end of the day, what you should notice is the deception to yourself. ‘Yun’ yung mahirap i-identify. Iyon ‘yung at the core of our story.”

True enough, the lead characters have indeed deceived themselves. For instance, Maricel Soriano, who played Amelia, mother of Victor and Alex, tolerated the latter’s lies and cruel actions at the beginning of the series. Similarly, Sylvia, a martyred wife, also covered up Alex’s mistakes as a means to “protect” her husband with the intention to fix their marriage.

Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why Linlang became a hit as different viewers saw a part of themselves in the characters featured in Linlang. It struck a chord with the viewers.

As more Filipinos and global audiences continue to discover and enjoy watching Linlang, it is a proof that Filipino-made content can shine in the competitive international streaming landscape.

All 14 episodes of Linlang are available for streaming on Prime Video.

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