Episode 1 and Episode 2 of He’s Into Her introduces us to Max and Deib, the animosity between the two of them, as well as their growing relationship.
He’s Into Her is finally here. Streaming on IWantTFC and airing on cable, He’s Into Her follows the story of Max, a strong-willed province girl who moves to the city to go to school, and Deib, the popular kid in the school as the two of them meet, become enemies, and eventually fall for each other. This 10 episode series currently has its first two episodes out, Hate At First Sight and Project Blocked, so here’s a recap of the first two episodes (Warning: Spoilers Ahead).
Episode 1 starts out by introducing us to Maxpein del Valle, a spunky headstrong teenage girl from Mindoro. We see her get ready to move to Manila to live with her rich and estranged father and go to school there since her father agreed to pay for her grandmother’s hospital bills. When she arrives in Manila, it’s clear that she and her father do not have a strong relationship as they don’t really have much to talk about. When she arrives at his house, Max is greeted by his new wife and stepsister, Elle. By the first meeting, the new wife feels indifferent towards Max while Elle straight-up hates her.
The next day, Max attends her first day in Benison International School. She is greeted by the school’s principal and brought on a tour of the campus by Naih. On this tour, Max is introduced to the school and informed of the school’s clicks and social circles Mean Girls-style. As the new kid of the school, Max has no one to talk to so she sticks with Naih and her two best friends, Migs, and Michiko. It is at this point that we are introduced to the Alpha 3, the three most popular boys in school, as well as the star players of the Benson Bears basketball team: Tob, Lee, and Deib.
Hate At First Sight
While in the cafeteria, Max and her friends notice Deib dealing with a fangirl of his in an aggressive manner. Her friends tell her to not butt in, but Max stands up and tells Deib to stop. A confrontation happens which leads to Max punching Deib in the face. The tension between the two of them extends into the excellent debate class scene. Max and Deib go at it and Max accuses Deib of not having a heart. By the end of episode 1, Deib goes to confront Max at the lockers, but someone accidentally pushes him, and it looks like they kissed. Or did they?
In this week’s episode, it is revealed that the two did not kiss but a flyer was stuck between their lips. Max’s actions though placed a target on her back, and Deib and quite a few students in Benison want revenge. This then leads Deib, his friends, and some of the students to start Project Blocked, a tactic they’ve done before to get rid of students they don’t like where they would bully Max to the point that she decides to leave Benison.
Meanwhile, Max and her friends decide to go to the local hangout spot The Barb. When Max sees the manager needs a new waitress, Max takes it to the initial hesitation of her friends. Max justifies taking the job saying that she needs to save up and send money to her sick lola. If things weren’t the best in school for Max, it wouldn’t get better at home when it was revealed that Max did not tell her friends her true family situation. Elle gets mad at Max for making it look like it was her fault (tbh, it kinda is) which pushed Elle to join Project Blocked.
Deib’s Own Struggles
Episode 2 also shows that Deib has other things to worry about aside from Max as during basketball practice, Lorde shows him a video of Southbay Sharks basketball team captain Randall Echavez talk about how they’re going to beat the Benison Bears in the finals. This then leads to Deib requiring an extra hour of practice. Beating the Sharks in the finals is a touchy subject for Deib as that was not something his older brother could do as he was sidelined in the tournament.
Episode 2 also offers the first glimpse of his home life as despite being one of the most popular guys in school and living in a nice mansion, his family isn’t close. His dad wasn’t home because of a delayed flight while his mom ignores Deib when he visits her and his comatose older brother in the hospital. We then get this scene where Deib is talking to someone on the phone asking him to find the people who hurt his brother. Even though Deib wants revenge on Max, it looks like he may be developing feelings for her he has a dream where the two of them almost kiss on the basketball court.
The next day, Project Blocked begins as some of the students try to bully Max into quitting. They first throw trash on her, they then dump whipping cream on her, they even put gum in her hair. But no matter what they do, Max does not give up. She even unleashes her inner Neo when she dodges their attempt to throw chicken feathers on her. Seeing as their pranks are failing, the students decide to step it up by putting laxatives in Max’s milk tea. The plan works and Max embarrasses herself by farting in front of the students.
When it is revealed that she works at The Barb, the students decide to prank her again by ordering 10,000 pesos worth of food from the shop and delivering it to a fake address (by the way, never do this in real life). Max arrives at an abandoned lot and seeing a sign that says “Benison’s Most Unwanted” she realizes it’s a prank and cries in the rain. She then talks to her lola and uncle and puts on a brave face, but Max does not feel good. The episode ends with Max going back to Benison and throwing the food at Deib and blames him for ruining her life.
So Far So Good
He’s Into Her is premiering with a lot of hype behind it and so far, the show is pretty good. In episode 1 and episode 2, the show has managed to properly set up its characters, world, and main plot lines. So far, Max is the star of the show with a lot of focus on her and that’s not such a bad thing. Belle Mariano’s acting is top-notch, and she is embodying the role. It’s nice to see her on-screen as she brings both toughness yet warmth to the character. Donny Pangilinan, meanwhile, isn’t playing Deib as just a cool tough guy. He also has his own demons and challenges to deal with and as the show goes on, his layers are pulled back ever so lightly.
The show is also setting up other plotlines that could be interesting such as the tension between Max and her new family, what happened with Deib’s older brother, and the bubbling relationship between Michiko and Tob, and Naih and Lee. We’re looking forward to seeing how the show develops from here.