MANILA, Philippines – No one expects a primetime teleserye to take on social issues, but The Killer Bride did it anyway.
The show tells the story of a girl named Emma (Janella Salvador) who moves to a town and becomes possessed by the vengeful ghost of a bride, Camila (Maja Salvador), who was accused of murder 18 years before.
The plot is undoubtedly horror-story sensational, with all the twists and turns expected of a soap opera. And sure the set-up for some of these “woke” moments is problematic AF – Camila outing Juan Felipe without his consent for revenge? Tatiana using Emma as bait to get back at her rapist? THAT’S A NO.
But the show does manage to depict social issues in a way that resonates with viewers. Which is more than we can say for the usual teleserye.
Here are just some of the show’s most shady, and most socially-relevant moments:
When it tackled Dengvaxia and the Rice Tarrification Law in one fell swoop
In one viral scene, Emma speaks to a woman who lost someone to Dengue, saying “sayang nga hindi namin naabutan yung libre pa-bakuna (it’s a shame we didn’t get to avail of the free vaccine)” – an apparent reference to the ban on the anti-dengue vaccine following the Dengvaxia controversy.
In the same scene, the woman mentions that they were not able to bring the patient to Manila, because they didn’t have any money, especially after rice prices had dropped – a reference to the rice tarrification law that is affecting the income of farmers.
PAG NAKITA KO ANG EPISODE WRITER NG KILLER BRIDE DITO ILILIBRE KO NG BEER https://t.co/D6QVFeUuiq— Juan Miguel Severo(@TheRainBro) September 28, 2019
When it shades politicians with fake degrees
Another viral scene shows the character of Manay Ichu (Malou de Guzman) in a heated argument saying “mas peke ka pa sa diploma ng politiko (you’re faker than a politican’s diploma).”
The line throws some not-so-subtle shade at Senator Imee Marcos, who claimed that she earned a “religion and politics” degree from Princeton University. A university spokesperson later said that she did not finish her degree.
“mas peke ka pa sa diploma ng politiko”— john go (@imjohngo) August 29, 2019
KILLER BRIDE REALLY DID THAT!!! tangina ang ganda na nga ng kwento, ang ganda pa ng script! pic.twitter.com/hSsrTY0PmT
When it argues for LGBT equality
SOGIE Equality was another issue the show touched on, in one scene where the character of Luna tells off her grandmother for mocking the character of Juan Felipe, who was unwillingly outed by Camila, when she leaked a secret video of his tryst with another man.
“Lola, there’s nothing wrong with being gay,” says Luna character, played by Alexa Ilacad, as her grandmother watches the video. Luna then explains that some people hide their sexuality “because of people like you, who make it harder for people like him to come out.”
Luna: "Lola, there's nothing wrong with being gay." Panoorin kung paano niya matapang na pinagsabihan ang kanyang Lola!— ABS-CBN Corporation (@ABSCBN) September 29, 2019
For more 'The Killer Bride' updates, LIKE ABS-CBN on Facebook! pic.twitter.com/uklbqRl7JZ
When it illustrates how even women can be complicit in rape culture and misogyny
One scene between Emma and Ariella Arida’s character Tatiana questions misogyny and rape culture. In the storyline, a spiteful Tatiana uses an unknowing Emma as bait, to incriminate the man who raped her before.
As Emma escapes being raped, she urges Tatiana to examine who the real perpetrators are.
“Si Sir Justino yung mali, siya po yung gumawa ng kasalanan sa’yo, at sa akin. Bakit hindi po siya yung parusahan ninyo? Bakit ako pa na babae, at biktima katulad niyo (Sir Justino is the one who committed a crime against you and me. Why don’t you punish him? Why me, another woman, and a victim like you)?” Emma says.
Tatiana: "I was raped." Siguradong hahanga ka sa ipinakitang galing ni Ariella habang inaamin ng kanyang karakter ang tunay na nangyari noon! Watch HERE:— ABS-CBN Corporation (@ABSCBN) September 25, 2019
For more 'The Killer Bride' recaps, LIKE ABS-CBN on Facebook! pic.twitter.com/CCJ8lYUaoM
When it made a comment on justice
Emma is proving to be the voice of reason in this show, as evidenced in her confrontation with Camila, after the latter leaked Juan Felipe’s private video and outed him as gay. In their conversation, Emma points out that Juan Felipe did not deserve what Camila did, especially because they aren’t sure that he did Camila wrong.
“We’re not here to teach lessons, to ruin lives,” Emma says.
She goes on to speak about justice – and while she may have been talking about certain characters in the show, she could have easily been talking about victims of extrajudicial killings.
She tells Camila: “Hindi na po ‘to hustisya eh (This is not justice). Justice is finding out the truth, and making the person responsible pay.”
“Hindi pa nga natin alam kung sinong may kasalanan pero pinaparusahan niyo na po sila. Ginagawa mo rin silang biktima (We don’t even know who committed the crime, and you’re already punishing them. You’re turning them into victims too),” she says.
Which The Killer Bride moment made you say “YAAAAS” the loudest? Did we miss any other ‘woke’ moments in this list? Sound off in the comments! – Rappler.com