Kapamilya series “Viral Scandal” recently held a virtual media conference, and for the first time, we got a closer look into its plot, cast and characters, and full trailer. Here’s everything you need to know about the much-awaited teleserye.
A superb cast led by two of this generation’s most lauded stars, Joshua Garcia and Charlie Dizon, gives life to the timely series exploring public scandals. Charlie paints the character of Rica ‘Ikay’ Sicat, an architect apprentice challenged by the spread of her controversial video. Joshua dons the character of Kyle Constantino, an architect hailing from a respected family in the fictitious town of Cedero.
Playing Charlie’s loving parents are Dimples Romana as Kakay, an OFW; and Miko Raval as Dan, a furniture shop owner. Louise Abuel is Miko, the youngest in the Sicat brood.
Jake Cuenca is Mayor Troy, the only Ramones with a sound moral compass and has a connection to the Sicat family. Playing the Mayor’s wife is Maxene Magalona as the seemingly perfect Audrey. Also in the Ramones clan are Kaila Estrada as up-and-coming designer Raven; Gian Magdangal as Troy’s adoptive brother, Bobby; and Markus Paterson as the public servant Jigs.
Jameson Blake is Axel, the chic-magnet best friend of Kyle. Ria Atayde is Atty. Lara Dizon, Rica’s counsel.
Young love team Karina Bautista and Aljon Mendoza portray Bea, a wannabe-influencer and younger sister of Rica and Pogs, an orphan who finds home in the Sicat family and has a crush on Bea.
Also in the Kapamilya series are Vance Larena and Aya Fernandez playing couple Archie and Ella, two of Jigs’ closest friends.
The Making of Viral Scandal
While the series is hinged on the dangers of social media, it also tackles other real events about family, love, toxic masculinity, women empowerment, mental health, local politics, and the justice system. Ria said the teleserye will touch on “social constructs we are trying to break and go away from.”
Dimples finds it timely to produce a show that explores the pros and cons of social media like how it affects a whole family unit when one member becomes the subject of a controversy.
“Madalas sa atin, we just swipe up and share. Tapos na sa mga taong hindi involved. But in Viral Scandal, we dig deep and show exactly how it is to be in a family kung saan may pinagdadaanan na ganitong issue. Both sides, sa mga nagbibigay ng opinyon at sa mga taong nagbibigay ng panghuhusga,” explained Dimples, adding that she hopes to represent the love, hardships, and sacrifices of OFW moms through her character.
A hefty story requires a big, stellar cast as well. Charlie, taking on her first teleserye lead, was admittedly nervous in the beginning. Rica’s life is totally different from hers, thus the challenge. She had to prepare diligently and even tap her “Fan Girl” acting coach for advice.
“Fan Girl” was indeed Charlie’s vehicle to major stardom, so much people still remember her as Jane to this day. Asked if that bothers her, she said it doesn’t. But she would like to stress that her character in Viral Scandal is more complex and deeper.
Now that she’s taking her acting chops to primetime, people expect a lot from her tandem with Joshua. The leading man exerted the same amount of effort in building his character, familiarizing himself with the life of an architect and improving his English accent. Most importantly, they support each other in their scenes.
Charlie had nothing but good words for her onscreen partners Joshua and Jameson, calling herself lucky to have caring leading men. Joshua is likewise proud to be working with Charlie, whom he described as beautiful and talented.
The show’s younger cast are praised by the more senior stars. Dimples admitted, “Noong ganyan ako kabata, masipag ako pero hindi ako ganyan kahusay.” She said she’s proud to see this new generation of stars taking on their jobs with much gusto. “It’s the pandemic. The mere fact na ang mga batang ito nasa labas sila, matapang. So, matapang ka na, mahusay ka pa.”
RCD Narratives head Roda C. Dela Cerna mentioned that the artists auditioned for their roles, thus no character is half-baked. Even teen stars Karina and Aljon promise to offer something new to their fans, saying their roles in Viral Scandal are meatier than their previous ones.
Directors Dado Lumibao and Froy Allan Leonardo said it was quite a challenge to mount a teleserye with a big cast during the pandemic. But the energy and bond make work easier for everyone.
Viral Stories and Fake News
Described as timely and relevant, Viral Scandal explores the impact of controversial stories and fake news. In real life, even the stars inevitably experience this phenomenon. Jake talked about how social media can distort information such as when his prank proposal to girlfriend Kylie Verzosa became a hot topic on the web.
Jameson was once in hot waters as well when he posted a tweet looking for a graphic artist willing to work in exchange for a shout-out. He received harsh comments and even teased by his own friends. At the end of the day, he learned his lesson and apologized for the incident.
But not all kinds of “viral” are negative. Take, for instance, Dimples and her red luggage as the iconic Daniela Mondragon from the afternoon series Kadenang Ginto. Memes still show up to this day and she takes that as a validation that her portrayal and the series itself were able to transcend a message.
Even Charlie’s biggest viral moment, in real life, was about her winning as Best Actress at the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival for the movie “Fangirl.” Joshua also appreciates when snippets of his works spread online. Asked about their takes on social media, Charlie and Joshua maintained that it has pros and cons. It helps you be ‘in the know’ but it also becomes a platform of bashing, judgment, and ridicule. For artists like them, social media can be “toxic” for the most part.
Honestly, they just learn to be immune to negative words. Markus, as a new dad, can’t help but share photos of his baby. And he no longer gets affected by the naysayers, for he simply wants to take pride in his family and share good vibes through his son’s photos and videos.
Dimples also tackled why information is power. Sometimes people “are firing with blank bullets” without knowing every side of the story, and worse, the victims are clueless of the proper steps to take. She hopes the show could help establish a clearer blueprint for social media accountability, “Para hindi tayo nasa cycle ng isang very unhealthy and toxic human connection.”
As a mother, she’s thankful that her teenage daughter Callie is a responsible social media user, but in case anything bad happens online in the future, she will go quite far to protect her children.
Trending issues can affect a person’s mental health and relationships. For Maxene, Gian, and Kaila, friends and loved ones play a part in a victim’s healing. Kaila added that a controversy doesn’t mean someone’s life is over because people change as long as they’re committed to it.
Listening to his co-stars’ viewpoints, Jake was reminded that they’re a bunch of loving and supportive friends, that if any of them goes through something, they’d sure have each other’s back. He said they started as strangers but have now become a family.
Support the cast of Viral Scandal by watching the series beginning November 15, on primetime, in Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.