SnoRene, SebMira: 2nd leads, odd pairings, bad boys who stole the show

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
SnoRene, SebMira: 2nd leads, odd pairings, bad boys who stole the show
Two of TV's most recent popular love teams: Maris Racal and Anthony Jennings as SnoRene on 'Can't Buy Me Love' (left) and Elle Villanueva and Kristoffer Martin as SebMira on 'Makiling.'
Screengrab via Kristoffer Martin TikTok, ABSCBN / Dreamscape Entertainment

MANILA, Philippines — If there is nothing new on TV these days, it is the fact that bad boys, such as Seb Terra and Archie Aguerro, or goofballs such as Snoop, still make many viewers drawn to them.

If they have a pairing with the female heroine or an interesting "bida-kontrabida" such as Irene Tiu, the result would be a smash hit because viewers are interested to know how could two polar opposites end up with each other. 

Drama tropes such as rich boy-poor girl or vice versa, bad boy-good girl will never be passe; they always make a killing at the box-office or the ratings, except maybe if the acting is as dry as the current El Nino phenomenon. 

The past few months showed how these tropes continue to lure viewers in with several TV characters that were surprisingly not the presumed main leads, but managed to influence the flow of the main story or even drastically changed the ending (meaning a male lead's end somehow had to be presumably changed to appease a fanbase for the bad boy role who stole the viewers' hearts). 


"Makiling" was supposed to be the nth time real-life couple Elle Villanueva and Derrick Monasterio star in an afternoon drama. 

As the preferred love team who figure prominently on the show's opening billboard, they were supposed to end up in each other's arms. 

Elle's Amira would have avenged her misfortunes at the hands of the Crazy 5, which includes the Terra siblings Seb and Portia (Kristoffer Martin and Myrtle Sarrosa), and after meting out her own brand of justice, live happily ever after with Derrick's Alex. 

But "Makiling" did not end as expected, and though a little rushed, ended better for the message that it tried to give to its afternoon drama viewers. 

Amira is the poor girl with big dreams, while Seb is the rich brat son who leads the group of bullies called Crazy 5. He and his lackeys were literally criminals who were just itching to graduate from juvenile delinquents to society nuisance, well save for their family's money, they can get away with anything, even criminal liability (sounds familiar?). 

Naturally, it is understandable that when Amira was able to escape death brought upon by some members of the Crazy 5, she returns from it as a filthy rich woman whose sole mission was to avenge her teenage bullies. 

Now, the pivotal part of all this is that incredulous and surprising approval of TV viewers of Kristoffer's Seb. It is mind-boggling how they could root for Seb when he literally puts Dao Ming Xi's meanness to shame. He is another level of evil who had committed unspeakable acts of crime that he deserves time behind bars. 

But surprise. A majority of viewers still rooted for Seb, which can be attributed to Kristoffer's acting skills that is leading man material. After all, he and the young Kathryn Bernardo earned huge praises when they portrayed the young Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes on the GMA-7 adaptation of the Korean drama "Endless Love." 

Kristoffer is among those underrated actors who deserve to lead a show more than any of those who were given theirs due to their popular last names or showbiz connections. His acting chops and his good boy looks or, what is called "maamo" face, are what likely made viewers fall for his charm as Seb. He was able to draw sympathy because he was able to portray Seb as a multi-dimensional character, not a flat line that parrots memorized lines or fails to understand his character better. 

Plus his chemistry, an important part of love pairings, with Elle was too palpable that it dimmed the fighting chance of Amira and Alex. Theirs was organic, the type when they are both on screen, their chemistry unmistakably shines. 

It also helps that Elle can act for a relative new comer. She's a natural, who has a "maamo" face like Kristoffer. Her big, doll eyes and pouty lips make her a perfect actress for revenge dramas with a little romance. She could actually join beauty pageants if looks were the sole basis. 

"Makiling" has already ended last April, and if GMA-7 listens to viewers' demands, especially after that unpopular ending, though justified, they should be able to make a project with Elle and Kristoffer as the leads this time. 

Revenge dramas are perfect for their chemistry and tension, and since adaptations are the rage on TV, they could consider tapping Elle and Kristoffer to lead the adaptation of the Thai drama "Waves of Life," starring Yaya Sperbund and Mark Prin, or the Korean drama "Secret," starring Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-eum. 


It is quite a big help that "Senior High" was starred in by an ensemble of the most capable young stars today. It stars mostly former child stars whose acting range have been honed since they started acting in front of the TV at such a young age.

They are Andrea Brillantes, Zaijian Jaranilla, Xyriel Manabat, Juan Karlos Labajo, Elijah Canlas and Kyle Echarri, with the addition of relative newcomer Daniela Stranner. 

Xyriel and Elijah are arguably among the stars who could be acting greats one day, and they proved that a well-written script combined with competent acting can make a compelling reason for viewers to root for their characters, Roxy and Archie. 

Again, like SebMira, RoxChie are poles apart. Roxy is basically the "madiskarte" type who finds ways to earn money. She's the good girl who finds herself entangled with Archie, one of the bad boys in their school. 

They would naturally have many confrontation scenes as Roxy would not be the type to be bullied by Archie even if his family lords it over their town due to their political influence. 

Somewhere along the way while the show was airing, viewers noticed the natural chemistry between the unlikely pair that they started rooting for them. ABS-CBN, which is quick to spot a ratings winner, jumped on that and RoxChie was born. 

Viewers who saw the end of "Senior High" know what happened to RoxChie after it ended earlier this year. Last Monday, the cast are back for its sequel "High Street" where they found out what happened to RoxChie. Actually, there are exclusive webisodes of the sequel series where fans were teased on the fates of RoxChie after graduating from high school. With one of them physically impossible to get back to the other to fulfill a promise, misunderstanding inevitably ensues. 

There are a lot more slated to happen to RoxChie and the rest of the cast of "High Street" as the show currently airs on ABS-CBN's multiple platforms. It is interesting to see how a mature RoxChie unfolds in the sequel series. 


Philstar.com has covered SnoRene quite a lot in the past months that "Can't Buy Me Love" was airing. 

They do not need another lengthy introduction, but just the same, they should be in this list because they literally drummed the excitement for the show. 

Only those who have no Internet or social media are blind not to acknowledge the phenomenon of SnoRene. 

Until the recently ended show, Maris Racal was perfectly acing her other supporting roles, while Anthony Jennings was similarly doing the same. Not until ABS-CBN gambled and made them act as Snoop, the streetsmart guy who meets the rich snooty brat Irene Tiu, and all that has transpired between them added to more excitement for the show that launched the first teleserye for Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano. 

The show has wrapped up, and Maris and Anthony will forever be known to TV viewers as SnoRene. The question now would be: will ABS-CBN, with its track record of winning love teams, gamble on MaThon or Maris and Anthony as a reel love team for real?

Bonus: Leon and Cristy

Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Joem Bascon are relatively older than all of the actors above, and they currently star in the more adult nightly drama "Asawa ng Asawa Ko." 

Their surprising number of fans, however, earned them a spot in this list simply because they were not supposed to generate fans as a likely pairing. 

Jasmine is Cristy, a newly wed who was abducted by rebels that include Joem's Leon. She spends years in the mountains, suffering unspeakable acts in the hands of the rebel-criminals, including by Leon's hands. One could imagine what Cristy had to go through in the four years she was living as Leon's wife in the mountains when she was very much married to Jordan (Rayver Cruz), with whom she has a daughter. 

Again like SebMira, it boggles the mind why people are rooting for Cristy and Leon when he is morally corrupt and a criminal. By society's standard, they should abhor a gross character like Leon, but looking at social media reactions, apparently, there are Leon and Cristy "shippers."

Many of them have expressed that they feel the chemistry more with Cristy and Leon than Cristy and Jordan. But is it really more about chemistry? What about the moral and criminal implications? The chemistry might be more natural on them but it gives a dangerous precedent to root for a criminal to get away with his crimes. 

There are still a lot going on in the show, and truthfully, it is not for the soap snobs because it has a lot of "kabitan" face-offs, where the legal wife and the other wife have a lot of screen time hating on each other with their confrontation scenes. 

But the Leon and Cristy fans are getting a lot more love than Jordan and Cristy that it begs some viewers to ponder: Are bad boys really that irresistible or are viewers have become dangerously morally ambivalent?

RELATED: SnoRene, ArchiexRoxy: Unexpected primetime pairings that could be next leads

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