On-screen team-ups have always been judged by their chemistry as a pair and the kilig factor that makes people shriek.
For Janella Salvador and Joshua Garcia, whose JoshNella tandem was initiated on the gothic romance-horror drama The Killer Bride, it is more than eliciting screams when they are seen together.
We see two actors who complement each other seamlessly and smoothly, with each intense verbal exchange they utter reverberating on the screen.
Just like the first MMK episode they starred in, “Tren” on February 22, which tells the story of two lovers who struggle and falter due to personal differences and perspectives regarding their relationship yet eventually realized their genuine love for each other in the end. Janella and Joshua play college students who first met when they were part of the school’s pep squad, trying their best to get their act together as cheerleaders, complementing and strengthening each other until that magical moment they found love.
PHOTOS: MMK “You Cheer Me Up” Letter Senders Aira and Jason
It is that magic we see in them, and as we navigate through the story of Aira (Janella) and Jason (Joshua), we see them succeed in bringing real and deep portrayals of their characters, and sharing the screen in perfect harmony in terms of dramatic performances.
While Aira and Jason had been excellent cheerdancers, as they appear breathtaking with every step in their routine, they really had not actually been that harmonious in their relationship as time went on.
Reality set in three years into their relationship as both would see things differently in each other. Aira would constantly nag Jason against doing things he enjoys to do, like devoting much time on his hobbies, fearing he might lose focus on what’s important. Jason would not take Aira’s stifling attitude, leading to his loss of interest in their relationship.
Several years after, they would break up, and would find it hard to break the news to their respective families since they were very close to them. And they would feign still being together so they won’t be disappointed.
But they would eventually admit to their separation, and would go on separate ways. There were instances when Jason hinted he wanted to reconcile, but Aira would push him aside fearing the pain she felt when they actually broke up. And, while Jason had tried to patch things up with Aira by dropping by a cheerdance practice, he was shocked to see her with a new boyfriend.
This left Jason in shambles, and now the pain was real in his heart—the girl he truly loved had moved on.
But when Aira saw Jason again in that instance, memories of their relationship rushed back, and she was in despair over what could have been. Knowing and feeling that she still truly loved Jason, she would also call it quits to her new boyfriend.
In a chance meeting, Aira would tell Jason she still loves him and would want a second chance. But the heartbroken Jason told her he asked that of her many times before and she wouldn’t give him another shot. After Aira insisted and pleaded to Jason to still not let go, she told him she would do anything just to win him back.
Jason told Aira to prove her intent for a second chance by actually “courting” him, thinking it may just be a passing fancy, a temporary feeling and would just fade away. But Aira agreed to the “challenge.”
She would wait for Jason by his office parking lot and offer him coffee and sandwiches, cheer him when he played basketball games, accompany him in the LRT train to and from work, and actually apologizing to Jason’s mom for giving up on her son previously.
When Jason’s birthday came, his family and friends prepared a surprise, wherein some of his close pals danced in a video that was screened in a park. In the video, Aira suddenly appeared and this delighted Jason when he watched it. After thanking his family and friends and even performing his own steps with his pals in the park, he asked his mom who was behind the birthday surprise.
They would fall silent, and give way to the person who made it all happen- Aira, who walked towards Jason and said sorry for the times she let him down, making him feel suffocated with her nagging, and promised she would be more supportive with everything he does. Jason would also admit his faults and vowed never to give up on her as well.
The episode, brilliantly helmed by Direk Cathy Camarillo brimmed with relatability in all fronts, especially for young couples going into a relationship. This is due to a well-written script that accurately depicts the struggles affecting romantic relationships.
PHOTOS: Pasilip sa paghahandang ginawa nina Joshua at Janella sa MMK “You Cheer Me Up”
Again, the biggest factor behind the episode’s success is not merely Janella and Joshua’s onscreen fireworks, but moreso their individual acting performances. Janella was riveting and moving in her sincerity and intensity in portraying her character. Joshua, meanwhile, remains as the young acting marvel we all admire with his deeply felt, touching portrayal.