Comedy Island Philippines 2023 / A novel premise and a game cast still don't guarantee consistent laughs or creative storytelling


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.”

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