When I heard about this new Vietnamese BL on the social media, I had my presumptive notions. Although Vietnamese BL dramas have brilliant Cinematography, they are sorely lacking when it comes to having a consistent storyline.
As such, I wasn’t expecting much from this show and then to my utter surprise, the drama left me spellbound. Shoot in natural locales with breathtaking scenery, “Follow My Sunshine” is adapted from the novel “Loi Hua 2” (Promise 2) by online Web Author “Noname120402”. The story focuses on the college romance between main leads Nhat and Van who are childhood best friends. While Nhat is oblivious to Van’s affections, the show depicts the sudden change in their relationship.
●Thai Thanh Nhan plays the main lead Van who has been in love with his best friend Nhat since childhood. He is the Class President and exceptional at studies.
●Huy Du plays the role of Nhat. He is mediocre when it comes to studies. Although Nhat doesn’t have an inkling of Van’s feelings, he is very possessive and protective of his best friend.
● Gia Huy and Bu Ti play the supporting roles of Van’s close friends Ahn and Bao.
● Hoang Duy plays the role of Nhat’s love rival Tuong. Tuong is extremely moody and hot tempered. His apparent closeness to Van sparks Nhat’s jealousy.
●Do Nhat Ha plays the role of Nhat’s girlfriend An. She is jealous of Nhat’s closeness with Van.
As the show focuses on Nhat and Van’s close friendship in their schooldays, there is a time leap and we are given a glimpse into our main lead’s daily lives as they trudge through college. While Nhat wastes his time trying to please his current girlfriend, Van acts as his wing man. Trying to disguise his love under the name of friendship, Van finds it extremely difficult to hide his emotions from Nhat. Nhat on the other hand displays possessive tendencies but fails to understand how his closeness affects Van. As such Van decides to maintain a distance from Nhat and respect his girlfriend Thao. When Van starts to drift away, Nhat starts feeling uncomfortable. The story progresses on how their relationship changes when Nhat confronts his own feelings for Van.
My Impression About This Show
The premise isn’t something new. Follow My Sunshine is a typical “High School Love Story” which blooms into a College Romance, years later. This story follows best friends Nhat and Van as they rediscover the true meaning of love and relationships. The storyline heavily stresses on the usual confusing feelings that every LGBTQ teenager experiences during their “Coming Out Phase”. Sexuality Crisis isn’t something new, but acceptance of your true self is. It is a rather difficult phase, where you begin to question your own feelings and the lack of proper guidance can be daunting. I must truly applaud the efforts of Director Oril Nyugen and the scriptwriters for trying to handle such a sensitive subject. The execution might be a little choppy and off the mark, but that doesn’t downplay the strong message which is delivered with unflinching honesty.
What breathes life in this rather abysmal storyline, is the sensual chemistry between main leads Thai Thanh Nhan and Huy Du. Thai Thanh Nhan truly encompasses the spirit of a broken-hearted Van, who chooses to watch over the person he loves, albeit from a distance. The pain and vulnerability draw your attention and you unknowingly become a part of his journey. I must appreciate his talents, as he effortlessly infuses Van with the maturity that the character demands. Van and Nhat have been best friends for decades and as such Van is afraid of harming the delicate balance. The high-strung emotions will leave you wounded, as Van tries hard to keep his true feelings under wrap. That doesn’t stop him from taking care of Nhat’s basic needs or doing menial jobs, despite being the Top Student in his University. At some point, you question his resilience because although in pain, Van never gives up on Nhat.
Nhat on the other hand is a study in contrast. His strong feelings for Van are in a constant battle with his insecurities. He can’t give up on the pretense of being in a relationship nor stop himself from stringing Van along. You fail to understand his possessive nature when it comes to Van, because he already has a girlfriend. The said girlfriend An isn’t very appreciative of her boyfriend’s obsession with his male best friend and constantly questions their closeness. The tug of war is inevitable and the ensuing cat fight leaves you exasperated. Playing the female leads as antagonist is a major cliche and yet the story won’t move forward if An didn’t use her scheming brains to separate our adorable main leads. She tries every trick in the book from emotional blackmailing to seduction, only to fail miserably. At this point, you are so tired with this countenance that you wish Van would walk out of this catastrophe.
While we are wallowing in self-pity over Nhat’s hopelessness, Van gets paired opposite the handsome Tuong. Hoang Duy certainly manages to grab your attention with his strong portrayal of a better love interest. While Nhat is indecisive and oblivious of Van’s affections, Tuong presents a more solid front. Despite being a loner, he never steps back from protecting Van or expressing his emotions. This was one show where I constantly battled my sensibilities because I couldn’t decide whether Nhat or Tuong was the better choice for Van. From supporting Van emotionally to questioning Nhat’s inability, Tuong does it all. There couldn’t have been a better love rival in sojourn Vietnamese BL drama and as such Tuong truly ranks high on my list of “Best Supporting Characters”.
The romance didn’t happen till the penultimate episode, because that’s how long it took for Nhat to come to his senses. The finale seemed abit rushed and I’m wondering why they muddled the rather confusing dream sequence with reality. Was it meant to shock Nhat, so that he would realize Van’s importance in his life? But what was the need for it, when Nhat had already confessed his feelings for Van? We might never get the answer to this obscure question, but I did enjoy watching the love confession and the ensuing kissing scenes. Thai Thanh Nhan and Huy Du make a really handsome couple and their chemistry is off the charts. Even while battling his inner demons, Nhat’s emotions were always on the surface. He did find it difficult to accept. But that doesn’t change the fact, that his entire world revolves around Van.
An emotionally robust love story with various upheavals! This show will leave you jarred and also question your delicate sensibilities. However on the lighter note, Follow My Sunshine leaves you feeling fuzzy and warm with their main lead’s adorable and sweet chemistry.
Rating- 3.5 out of 5