Love teams need to level up

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Daniel Padilla

Some TV-film love teams just coast along from one season to the next, dispensing the usual doses of “kilig value” with dependable proficiency.

But, other more proactive tandems realize that the love-team race has become so competitive that they need to work harder to develop their talents and consolidate their gains, or end up as also-rans.

In addition, their savvy handlers remind them that youth is a passing fancy, a perishable asset, so they have to plan for their future, when they will have to make it as adult performers, without the “kilig value” crutch.

One of the fave love teams that are not resting on their temporary laurels is the KathNiel duo, which has remained popular despite the entry of younger rivals. Their latest TV drama-fantasy series, “La Luna Sangre,” illustrates why they’ve kept up with the “fresher” competition:

They’ve gone beyond teen frolics to play troubled youths who have to contend with many daunting threats of the supernatural kind.

Daniel Padilla has toughened himself up to be believable as a street-smart jeepney driver and jack of all trades, while Kathryn Bernardo has taken months of martial arts lessons to be able to acquit herself credibly in some fight scenes.

They’ve bothered to do this while some other love teams still play it cute for the nth time, even if the bloom is off their tandem’s rose.

Another proactive love team is the JaDine duo of James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Their entry into young adult performance came by way of their recently concluded TV series, which occasionally required them to do some relatively edgy and “more mature” love scenes.

In addition, Nadine has noticeably spiced up her look and image to add a “sexier” vibe to her appeal, resulting in her recently topping a magazine poll of alluring and enticing female stars.

She’s even come up with “more liberated” on topics like live-in arrangements, further adding to her more assertive aura.

On the other hand, the similarly popular AlDub tandem still pretty much sticks to a giddy and giggly projection, even after two years of pretty much the same.

Clearly, it’s time for Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza to step up, to keep their fans fixated on their tandem.

For her part, Julia Barretto has a promising love team going with Joshua Garcia, and it could become a hot hit in its own right.

Trouble is, Julia is also occasionally being paired off with other leading men, like Ronnie Alonte in “A Love to Last.”

Before it’s too late, promising starlets should realize that love tandems are all about exclusive focus, especially when they’re being formed and firmed up, so no shifting or shuffling is allowed.

In Julia’s case, we feel that her love team with Joshua is a stronger vehicle for mutual stardom, so Ronnie should be given his own, separate ticket to the top with another female comer.

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