Beyond the Gay Archetype: A Review on My Husband’s Lover

There are so many types of loving in the world. The unconditional. The vengeful. The remorseful. The unrequited. But what everyone is talking about now is the most controversial one—the gay love.

If you are living in the Philippines, surely you have heard about the much-talked about drama of GMA 7, My Husband’s Lover. It is the first television soap from the Philippines which explores homosexual love. And it is not just any homosexual love but a homosexual love entangled as an extramarital affair. Homosexuality is taboo in our country mostly because of the strong influence of religion (both Christianity and Islam) in society. Anyway, this is the summary of the story. Lally (Carla Abellana), a poor but determined college girl, was impregnated with her boyfriend, Vincent (Tom Rodriguez). Vincent promised to marry her which she agrees. After all, Vincent is the kindest man ever and not to mention his good looks and money. Unknown to her, Vincent is actually a gay man who is still in love with his ex-boyfriend, Eric (Dennis Trillo), who eventually returned to his life after his marriage with Lally. Eventually, they secretly became a couple again. Ten years later, Lally suddenly had that powerful, women-only, sixth sense that her husband is actually cheating on her. And last night, on the show’s 24th episode, she confirmed it. She caught her husband making out with his “friend” Eric in the latter’s condo.

So what now? I was a bit shocked that Lally discovered Vincent’s skeleton in Eric’s closet only at the 24th episode. I thought that the writers will prolong this hide-and-seek game of Lally, Vincent and Eric to prolong the show. I mean that’s how ABS CBN murdered, I mean tactically present, their noon drama, “Be Careful With My Heart”. Will the drama focus now on WWLD or “What Will Lally Do?” Will she keep her husband’s secret for the sake of their marriage and their children as well as her pride because in a way, she is boasting to everyone that she is “very lucky” to have a husband like Eric? Then again, will she choose separation from him? Assuming she will separate from him, will this start the happily ever after of Vincent and Eric? Or will the drama intensify by adding some more shocking twists like an “agreement” between Lally and Eric that they will “share” Vincent?

Well, there are many more struggles that a closeted gay man that could be answered in the show. For example, how will Eric make the people near to him understand his homosexuality most especially his retired military man dad? And how can a middle-aged man with children who acts like a perfect husband and father “come out” suddenly? What could happen with his marriage to a woman who thought he was straight all along? (The Philippines is devoid of divorce laws. However, this type of marriage is annullable under the Philippine law, by the way.)

Kudos to GMA 7 for coming up with this drama. It is refreshing because it is novel and very well-written and beautifully acted by the cast. I mean come on; we are getting tired with the haciendas, the children separated from their parents for years, the rich man and poor woman love story, the poor and ugly women who gets plastic surgery in the end anyway, the recycled fantaserye and the like. Also, the timing of this is impeccable. I believe that this was even talked about more when weeks after this launch, twin victories were obtained by American LGBT community. This again sparks the talks on the possibility of having homosexual marriage between Filipinos.

I just want to say that hands down to the acting prowess of Dennis Trillo and Tom Rodriguez. I can’t choose who the better actor between them is. Both are deserving of an award. You are also going to love the chemistry between their characters that drives the viewers wild. I used to hate Carla Abellana’s acting especially when she started in Rosalinda where she gave a stony version in of Mexican actress Thalia’s beloved character. She greatly improved from there and she could act with her eyes at times. But I must point out that the weakness of the drama is probably Lally’s over-narrating the scenes sometimes. I hate how she states the obvious. Nonetheless, this was gradually lessened. Also, you got to love the side characters, too. I particularly love Sol (Chandra Romero), Eric’s supportive yet logical mother. She loves and accepts her son into bits. However, she cannot accept his relationship with a married man. Other notable characters are Danny (Kevin Santos), Eric’s best friend who often provide comic relief, and David (Victor Basa), who is Vincent’s ex-boyfriend who loves him still. By the way, it is interesting to take note that Vincent, Eric, Danny and David do not play your archetypical gays who are flamboyant, cross-dressers, speaking in bekimon, Madonna fans and salon people. They all act and dress like straight men. They play basketball. Heck, Vincent is even a mechanical engineer. All of them are good looking and you could practically hear women sigh every night saying, “kung bading talaga ito, SAYANG!” I believe this step of GMA in making them as such is a huge step for society to view homosexuals in another light. I love how this show depicted homosexuals in a more realistic fashion.

The main problem of GMA in this drama is how they will conclude this. Usually, with forbidden love such as this, the protagonist and/or his lover will die and it will be hinted that their love will continue in afterlife. I guess this is not a good conclusion as a lot of people here still believe homosexuality is actually a sin. Another possible ending is that Vincent and Eric will break up for good and Vincent will “man up” for the sake of Lally and their children. This is another weak conclusion because if they do this, I could imagine a lot of loyal viewers about to smash their televisions or yanking their hair off because of annoyance. What’s the point in watching the whole thing for several months late at night if everything would return to the status quo? Well, maybe they will break up and Eric will probably end up happy with another gay man who will accept him for who he is (like Danny or David, perhaps?). Then again, it would still be very bland. I believe the people are more interested in seeing the conclusion of Vincent’s character because he is closeted rather than the free character of Eric. Lastly, maybe Lally will let go for her love for Vincent and Vincent and Eric will spend the rest of their lives together. Now this is the conclusion that could spell out a difference for everyone. But if the writers of GMA choose this path, I could imagine protests from everyone, especially the religious groups. Many will misinterpret this as encouraging homosexual relationships. Then again bad publicity is still publicity.

Then again, like everyone else and CBCP, I will just wait and see.

Image is from http://entervrexworld.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/gma-network-launches-another-groundbreaking-series-via-my-husbands-lover/
My Husband’s Lover: Who Will Win in the End?
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5 thoughts on “Beyond the Gay Archetype: A Review on My Husband’s Lover

  1. I agree with your review and still wondering what the ending will be without disappointing “all walks of life”. Kudos to GMA for this bold venture. I’m sure they did not anticipate that this will become a hit in the mainstream. Another novelty for the Filipino audiences persuasion.

    1. Thank you. 🙂
      I don’t that that there will ever be a suitable ending without disappointing anyone. Everyone is different, thus the take on homosexuality is different not only in our country but elsewhere as well. I am more concerned with how will the writers of GMA sustain our interest in this program. I like how they keep us very interested with each episode. The problem with other dramas is once they get the numbers in the ratings game, they will add more characters, invent superfluous subplots and eventually ruining the entire thing. I hope that will not happen in My Husband’s Lover. Everything is going so well now. Carla is exceeding our expectations. I really feel for her last night.

  2. MHL is truly a great portrayal of 3 people who are caught in a love triangle. Vincent on one wants so much to hold on to both the family he already has and also his long time love Eric. Whereas on the other hand Lally wants to be a perfect wife and take care of her family and Eric just wants to be loved and is open about who he is. I realize that it will create some kind of controversy for those of the religious sect if the story were to end where the ending of the story would be of two men living happily together. Yet the story presents a very emotional sense of understanding to its public where being gay is not accepted and puts each of the characters into a box not allowing them to grow or evolve. In order for the story to end well there must be a sort of peace of mind where each character is allowed to evolve beyond their scope of thinking and helps the audience as a whole to see the bigger picture rather than just something sudden. Because we must realize that in parallel from the actors to the audience, as the actors develop throughout the show with each episode and as well the audience grows as each episode airs and their level of understanding is matured. We must learn to trust our audiences and learn to trust that they will understand the complexity of gay rights themselves and that even though there’s a very ambiguous overshadowing from the church and their unacceptance on gay rights or relationships but they must learn to trust its public and learn to accept those who are gay.

  3. I like your post. I agree about it. Gay is human beings and we are proud of ourselves. With this modern open society, gay men are accepted so nothing wrong about being gay. I think there are many successful love stories about gay couples who have found each other in club or even online dating sites. That’s great. Many gay marriages are created in American, Europe and Asian countries. I am proud about that.

  4. Finally My Husband Lovers is available for loan free of charge at our San Francisco Public Library. In fairness, I have only viewed Volumes 1-3-4 and expect 2-5-6-7-8 any day soon. What I have seen already is addicting. Everything is first rate except for the horrible music which is annoying. I was waiting for Vincent and Eric to lock lips or lie in top of each other but that would be impossible for the Philippines. I must say that Tom Rodriguez and Dennis Trillo are talented actors and not your stereotypical gay buffoons normally seen in Filipino cinemas. Even in 2016, there hasn’t been a movie like this in the US. I’m thoroughly enjoying what I have seen.

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