Gracing your silver screen this spring is fan favorite Kao Noppakao’s new Thai BL drama “Lovely Writer The Series”. After his previous year’s breakout hit “Until We Meet Again”, where he played the miserable gay son of a gangster and spent most of his time in an aggrieved state (loved him regardless of that), here Kao grabs the limelight as “Nubsib” which is a total role reversal for the suave actor.
Nubsib has this alluring personality which instantly sparks your attention, and as such his commanding presence makes him a viable candidate for the main role that he auditions for. With sly smiles and a sensual look, he fits the role of the 20- year-old actor rather well. I was left aghast on the uncanny resemblance that most fresh actors have. He also manages to bewitch Gene (Up Poompat), the author of the novel from which the show is being adapted. The unusual circumstances of their unlikely romance acts as the main plot of this comedic Boys’ Love drama.
The twelve episode drama which airs every Wednesday’s on WeTV Thailand is directed by Tee Bundit whose previous works include the largely successful series “Tharntype” and it’s sequel. The show on the other hand, hits very close to home, as the drama dons different hats effortlessly. The drama flagrantly acts as a commentary for modern BL from the eyes of the cast and crew who are intrinsically involved in the various stages of production. The irony of how the actors and their personal lives are used as marketing tools is a literal translation of their real life tragedies. I was pleasantly surprised at the somber mode of maturity in the first episode. This show is clearly made for a more mature audience, while most other drama’s toe the line being subjective to a younger audience.
The pilot episode isn’t subtle about its adult themes as it showcases the use of Yaoi & Gay Porn as an inspirational tool for Gene to use in writing, or it could be the way Nubsib sensually glances at Gene. There is no pretense and Kao certainly manages to electrify the atmosphere, that address Nubsib’s odd sense of duality. The way these moments are employed never feel wanton or unnecessary as most of the first episode displays the underlying chemistry and sexual tension between the two main characters. We also have scenes where the production team ponders over the sexuality of the actor’s auditioning for the roles. Although, this speculation might seem as an instant turn off for the politically correct, it sheds light on the various predicaments faced by the LGBTQ community. Even I am not immune to the same thought process occasionally, while looking at my favorite BL actors.
That being said, the first episode does drag its feet showcasing scenes that could have been rendered shorter due to time constraints. Gene is coerced by his Editor into writing a similar story after the success of his first BL novel “Bad Engineer”. It’s uncertain whether his dubious female boss will follow through on her promise to publish and support his next fiction novel after this one. But he agrees and this is where the episode begins. Gene suffers from a “Writer’s Block” and is unable to concentrate on the subject, as he feels forced.
Portraying Gene as a grumpy older man was a nice twist to the character as most BL dramas have likeable main leads which most people can relate to. Gene on the other hand is the total opposite of an ideal main character. He is grumpy, cagey and an introvert who just wants to be left alone to his own devices. Gene is unceremoniously pushed out of his comfort zone by his friend and assistant Hin (Kenji Wasin). The muted grays and beige of Gene’s condo represent his somber personality, while the pastel shades allocated to the sets represent the underlying message of this show. I enjoyed the clashing moods that Gene display uncanny attitude at home and the sets. He feels out of space, thrown in as a mute spectator for an audition, that he is least interested. There are alot of flavorful shades thrown at the other BL authors and it doesn’t take much to guess who they are talking about.
Kaownah Kittipat and Turbo Chanokchon are cast in guest roles during the audition scene with a subtle play on “BL Ships and their lasting effects on the actor’s personal relationships”. Unfortunately the episode chooses to compensate for the lack of storytelling by allocating scenes that seem largely unnecessary. Basically, the story focuses on Nubsib, who gets selected for the main role in “Bad Engineer The Series”. Tum, Nubsib’s Manager turns out to be Gene’s old classmate. We also have Aey (Bruce Sirikorn) Nubsib’s classmate and fellow co-star who tries to insert himself in everything for his own benefit, while Gene stares at Nubsib longer than one would deem straight. Nubsib’s instant connection with Gene is quite questionable. Overall Nubsib seems to have a pleasant personality but his calculative mindset suddenly emerges in certain instances and you are left wondering about his true nature. This in entirety spells out the actual plot for the first episode. While some parts of the first half seem superfluous, the abrupt ending left me hugely unsatisfied.
I’m hoping that in the next episode the show’s scriptwriters do a better job at explaining the different roles and how they related to the actual plot. As well as rein in the pacing of the show, so we as viewers get a sense of satisfaction. I did notice they went through all the dynamics that goes into the “Making of a BL Series”, but chose not to explain the significance behind each. For example the blessing ceremony with the cast and crew choose to reflect on the actor’s basic mentality and as such the actual ceremony wasn’t showcased. Things like that matter as they reflect on the religious beliefs of the people in Thailand. I really hope they would dig a little deeper into the culture.
This was a lopsided pilot episode with its slow pacing, extraneous scenes that didn’t exactly affect Gene or Nubsib’s storyline, but did offer enough insights about their characters to get me invested. Nubsib himself comes off as a starstruck young actor, with a crush, but there are moments where he seems to be a bit more. Gene as the harassed, hapless author was absolutely darling. The use of sound effects doesn’t feel overdone and adds a subtle context to the visual moments. Give it a watch and tell me what you think!
Rating- 3.5 out of 5
Some enticing photographs of the entire cast from their recent photoshoot!
Keep watching this space for further updates as we spice your timeline with more juicy dear related to this romcom!