Comedy Island Philippines

Comedy Island Philippines

A novel premise and a game cast still don't guarantee consistent laughs or creative storytelling


TV Show

Singapore, United States of America
English, Tagalog
Action & Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Reality
Andrea Brillantes, Awra Briguela, Carlo Aquino


Sadly not the best showcase to the world for how funny Filipinos actually are under life-threatening conditions.

What it's about

Seven Filipino performers find themselves transported into the world of a magical comic book, where they must compete for their freedom through a series of challenges.

The take

Alongside its Thai counterpart, Comedy Island Thailand, this blend of game show, reality program, and fantasy series remains thoroughly unpredictable in terms of which parts of itself are partially scripted or not at all. It's fun to watch these actors try to keep a straight face precisely because the show doesn't take itself seriously at all. Unfortunately despite its originality, the actors who've been assembled for Comedy Island Philippines still seem restricted by how basic the challenges are that they have to accomplish (at least in the first two episodes watched for this review). It becomes clear in the segments between the actual challenges that this cast is at their best when they're riffing to each other or as a group—something that the series doesn't take full advantage of. There's a rigidity to the show's idea of improv; ironically, as enthusiastic as these actors are, the show itself doesn't say "yes, and."

What stands out

Kudos to the casting department for selecting a genuinely diverse group of people with varying performance backgrounds. There's local comedy icon Rufa Mae Quinto, leading man Carlo Aquino, established character actors Jerald Napoles and Cai Cortez, Gen Z stars Andrea Brillantes and Awra Briguela, and even TikTok personality Justine Luzares. Whether intentionally or not, this group of people does end up representing the distinct qualities of Filipino comedy that can be seen in our everyday—the jokes are joyful, somewhat lowbrow, and can be very queer (even if the show doesn't give them many opportunities to show it).


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