Pinoy teleseryes in 2023 that are worth your screen time | Inquirer

Pinoy teleseryes in 2023 that are worth your screen time

Romance, fantasy, family drama, crime thriller, comedy with a pinch of angst—name it, today’s Philippine TV has it
/ 11:47 PM November 10, 2023

Must-watch Pinoy teleseryes 2023 for every type of viewer

The Pinoy teleseryes in 2023 to watch based on your favorite tropes | “Simula sa Gitna,” “Dirty Linen,” and “Voltes V: Legacy” official posters

So, you’ve already mastered the art of dodging Pinoy teleseryes. Over the past few years, your watch list has only ever been a collection of K-dramas, mind-bending Western series, and obscure titles that most probably require subtitles.

Sure, there’d (occasionally) be one or two local series from the ’90s or early 2000s that you watch for some dose of nostalgia, but anything recent would be a hard pass. The overused storylines, the cringey acting, and the fear of being side-eyed for still watching traditional TV in the streaming era—these are your go-to reasons for steering clear of teleseryes.

But here’s a plot twist you might love: The local TV scene has undergone a major glow-up this year. It has seemingly tossed aside the overused script, invested in fresh/experimental narratives, and is now ready to compete and collaborate with streaming services. 

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Does this mean it’s worth giving Pinoy teleseryes another shot? Absolutely. 

And in case you’re still skeptical or unwilling to waste time scrolling through the whole spectrum of the latest local TV offerings, we got you. We already did the tedious task of handpicking titles that could reignite your interest in homegrown primetime dramas.

“Dirty Linen”

You can never go wrong with a well-thought-out revenge-driven drama, and “Dirty Linen” delivers just that with a side of mystery. Four domestic workers of an opulent family disappear mysteriously—leaving a trail of unanswered questions. Years later, their aggrieved loved ones take justice into their own hands. How? By infiltrating the household with fake identities and ultimately airing the family’s dirty laundry.

Watch it if you like: “Eat the rich” concepts, strong female characters, and character death—a fair amount of it

Where to watch: iWantTFC for the full 153-episode series, Prime Video for the exclusive 12-episode cut


“Mga Lihim ni Urduja”

A female cop and an aspiring jeweler have nothing in common, right? But somehow, they find themselves thrust into a world where they must recover pre-colonial jewelry that may have once belonged to the “legendary” Queen Urduja. Not only do they have to dodge the bad guys, but they also have to deal with ancestral secrets and potential half-sisterhood.

Watch it if you like: Historical intrigue, unexpected family ties, and a touch of mythical magic

Where to watch: YouTube, GMA Network


A boxer-turned-seaman finds out about his wife’s affair—doesn’t that sound like the typical Pinoy teleserye? Well, not really. Sure, cheating plots are so last decade, but trust us on this one: The infidelity conflict is merely the tip of the iceberg in “Linlang.” As the male lead digs deeper into his situation, he stumbles upon an intricate web of lies and deceit that goes beyond what he expects.

Watch it if you like: *Intense* confrontation scenes, adrenaline rush, and a bunch of interesting subplots

Where to watch: Prime Video (new episodes coming out Thursdays)

“Can’t Buy Me Love”

Love teams occupy a big space in the Pinoy TV universe, and you probably grew up shipping characters and gushing over small interactions. So, admit it or not, there’d always be room for love-filled series on your watch list. Our rec? “Can’t Buy Me Love” starring one of the hottest local love teams of the current generation: Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano.

It revolves around the story of a young man from the informal economy and a woman deemed the black sheep of a lavish Chinese family. Their worlds collide through a series of mishaps—because who says meet-cutes are the only way to kick off a good love story?

Watch it if you like: DonBelle, “forbidden” romance but make it Gen Z, and subtle social commentaries

Where to watch: Netflix, iWantTFC (new episodes coming out Mondays to Fridays)

“Simula sa Gitna”

Have you ever wondered what the afterlife looks like? Or how it works, and why it matters? Well, “Simula sa Gitna” has an imaginative guess, sprinkled with Pinoy humor. 

This workplace comedy-drama teleserye shows that the afterlife isn’t much different from the land of living. Souls work, too—some as custodians of the “middle ground” and guardians to newly deceased people. Think of it as an otherworldly HR department that deals with the quirks and dilemmas of the departed souls.

Oh, and did we mention that it is a spin-off of the 2018 film “Hintayan ng Langit” starring Eddie Garcia and Gina Pareño?

Watch it if you like: Making sense of life after death, supernatural comedy, a possible inclusion of angst, and “The Good Place” (2016)

Where to watch: Prime Video (new episodes coming out Wednesdays)

“Senior High”

With a premise reminiscent of the hit K-drama series “Who Are You: School 2015,” scandalous high school scenarios await you in “Senior High.” When investigators rule a student’s death as suicide, the victim’s twin sister goes on a mission to debunk the initial conclusion. It’s a roller coaster of teenage angst, shocking secrets, and other shenanigans that would make your high school experience pale in comparison.

Watch it if you like: High school mysteries, flawed characters, and taboo topics being addressed

Where to watch: YouTube, iWantTFC (new episodes coming out Mondays to Fridays)

“Hearts on Ice”

Here are some spins on how “Hearts on Ice” can melt your doubts toward teleseryes: one, it’s the country’s first-ever figure skating drama series; two, it puts a person with disability in the spotlight; and three, it is a mixed bag of romance, family drama, friendship, and dream-chasing.

The best part? The actors playing in the series really practice figure skating (some even professionally), which makes every sequence more impressive.

Watch it if you like: Underdog stories, empowerment, and well-written dad characters

Where to watch: YouTube, GMA Network

“Royal Blood”

POV: You are the illegitimate son of a business tycoon who balances single fatherhood and your motorcycle riding job. Life’s already tough as it is but it gets even more complicated when your estranged father—a.k.a. somebody who has been MIA for decades—decides it’s time to reunite. Not long after, your dad dies, and you suddenly become the main suspect for his murder.

That’s pretty much how things go in “Royal Blood.” And we won’t lie, its first few episodes give off major “Knives Out” energy. But trust us, it eventually establishes its own charm throughout the remaining episodes.

Watch it if you like: Complicated family dynamics, cracking fictional crime cases, and mind games

Where to watch: YouTube, GMA Network

“Voltes V: Legacy”

Did someone say nostalgia? “Voltes V: Legacy” has all the elements of the OG anime that made it a hit—the giant robots, the intergalactic threats, and even the catchy theme song that you may or may not have belted out as a kid—but with a 21st century upgrade. 

Watch it if you like: Live-action anime adaptations, fierce battles between good and evil, and fairly good CGI

Where to watch: YouTube, GMA Network

“Cattleya Killer”

The year was 1996. Psychological thriller movie “Sa Aking Mga Kamay” left many Filipinos on the edge of their seat with its haunting portrayal of a serial killer preying on unfaithful wives. He was known as the Cattleya Killer.

Fast forward to 2023, the guy who handled that case has climbed the ranks and is now the NBI deputy director. His eldest son owns an organization for traumatized women, while his youngest is one of his top agents. Everything is peaceful until one gruesome discovery: a body of a woman is bearing the same markings as the long-dead Cattleya Killer. The possible suspect? His youngest son, who seems to have been keeping traumas and secrets for a long time.

Watch it if you like: Dark (and twisted) family sagas, suspense, and action (or fictional violence)

Where to watch: Prime Video

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TAGS: Filipino culture, television, TV shows
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