This incredibly popular series from Thailand continues to create a buzz in Southeast Asia although the last episode has already run. Well-known actors Ohm Pawat and Nanon Korapat have become superstars in their home country as a result of this popularity. Now the series is starting to pick up awards. It was recently voted Best of Y-Series, and Best of Thai Series 2021 at the WeTV Awards. You can see them getting the awards on their Twitter feed (@ohmpawatt or @mynameisnanon). My review below originally ran on SERENDIPITY.
Bad Buddy Series, by Rich Paschall
Sometimes an intelligent series with likable characters comes along. This is one of those. We don’t get insulting stereotypes in this Romeo and Romeo love story. Nor does everyone love and hug one another at the end. Should we expect that everything we have seen in the first eleven episodes of this mini-series will change in the final installment? Some less sophisticated series may choose to do that. When I watched a Chinese series with college students (Dive), they went out of their way to show a happy conclusion for everyone.
If you want to indulge in this fun adventure of boys who go from hating one another to allies, friends, and finally lovers and have not been watching, I suggest you go back and read our previous review of the Bad Buddy series. From this point on we just might spill the beans about the ending of the story.
Pat, as played by Ohm Pawat, seems as surprised as anyone to learn that it is his rival, Pran, as played by Nanon Korapat, who is the one he has fallen in love with. How will he win over someone who doesn’t even like him?
If you are waiting for lightning to strike and Pran to just fall in love with Pat, you have come to the wrong place. Halfway through the series, an upset Pran impulsively returns a kiss from Pat, but he can not bring himself to accept this. How could he love another boy when his friends and family would hate this? Wasn’t he raised to be the rival? To hate the other one?
As they became friends, they started to learn that they had not been told the truth about their parents’ disputes. One of the mothers did not even tell the truth about going to the same high school as the boys. Imagine two college boys learning that they were taught to hate one another by the lies of their parents. Do you confront your parents with the truth?
As head of their classes and leaders of rival groups (not gangs exactly), the boys must work to maintain the illusion that they still hate one another. This is not played for all-out comedy as some series might do. While some humor is found in the efforts to keep the groups apart, the subject is dealt with in a more adult way.
Eventually, the boys are outed at school as their love grew, leading to disappointment and even anger from some of their mates. When the boys accidentally run into one set of the parents in a dramatic confrontation, one of the boys is knocked to the ground by the father as he demands an explanation from his son. The son tells him the truth much to the shock of his boyfriend as well as his parents.
Faced with what seems like an impossible situation at home, the boys run off to a fishing village they had visited on a school trip. Pat wants Pran to feel like they are off on their honeymoon. They spend a pleasant time there, but they realize they must return to their homes and return to school as the best thing for their future. Episode eleven leaves us in front of the homes of the two families, as Pat says goodbye and Pran says “Good luck buddy.” The trailer promised a shocking finish.
You might expect ugly confrontations in the two homes. The opening of Episode 12, however, is set 4 years later. We see Pat wake up in a bed by himself. He heads to the bathroom where there is just one toothbrush, and the viewers have to be saying, “What the hell happened?” Soon we learn Pran is living and working in Singapore. His Singapore scenes are in English with Thai captions.
As we go through the first segment, Pat could not look sadder. Everything seems to remind him of Pran. As he goes to help his sister move out of the dorm, he goes past Pran’s old dorm room where he spent so much time. Is the audience crying yet?
The high school group is having a five-year reunion and Pat thinks he might attend. Will Pran show up? Remember, Pran did not even graduate with them as his mother sent him away. Pat arrives and sees old pictures that include him and Pran. (Crying yet?) When Pran arrives, Pat throws him a sad look, and Pran is called over to sit with other friends. They see old pictures of themselves on display and eventually get called up to play a song with the band. Of course, Pran sings his song from school asking if they are just friends. You have already heard it in the series more than once.
They did not get a chance to speak to each other having been interrupted a couple of times. At the end of the evening, Pran is left standing on the stairs as Pat is pulled off to drive some friends home. We are halfway into the final episode and we still do not know what happened.
I have already tossed you enough spoilers. All will be revealed through flashbacks and by the characters themselves. Having found themselves in a difficult position years earlier, they plotted out a future that included separate paths and plenty of deception. The lies and hatred of the parents’ led to the lies of the children. How else were they to finish school and start a new life for themselves?
SUPER SPOILER ALERT: Pat snuck into Pran’s bedroom at his home many times since they were children. In the end, Pat asks Pran if he will ever be able to come through the front door like other people visiting his family’s home. Pran tells him that’s for other people.
Like some of my young friends, the parents came to tolerate, not to like, the situation. While a bit sad, it is more realistic than everyone hugging their way to the closing credits. Speaking of that, don’t be fooled. There is a scene after the usual closing banner. You did want the boys to end up together, didn’t you?
Here’s some behind-the-scenes action. This is when boys have run away and Pran has finally finished a song for Pat. It looks like Nanon makes Ohm cry for real. Enjoy the fun backstage, so to speak. Be sure to turn on captions in English, unless you speak Thai.