“Close Friend” First Impressions (Ep.1)

“Pretend to act as if we are still in love”

Relationships can get complicated, when two individuals grow apart because of time constraints or suspicions. Their love becomes pretense and rampant misunderstandings could tear them apart. This is the premise for the pilot episode of the anticipated Thai BL “Close Friend The Series”. Directed by Chacree Rujiviphat and starring popular actor Ohm Thitiwat along with his partner Fluke Natouch; the miniseries premiered to high expectations last night. The storyline is rather simple and focuses on the odd complexities that every couple face in their daily lives. The short running time doesn’t allow for much character development and the ending was confusing. The only saving grace is Ohm and Fluke’s effervescent chemistry which remains unchanged. Without further ado, let’s review the first episode!

First Impressions

We are introduced to our main leads, Typhoon (Fluke Natouch) and Pierce (Ohm Thitiwat), as Typhoon surfs the internet for ideas to celebrate their upcoming anniversary. Their relationship status is quite clear from the promise rings they both wear on their fingers. Typhoon is a student while Pierce is a passionate music producer. Pierce gets a chance opportunity to work with popular singer Marc and the couple are overjoyed with the news. This is where the storyline does a double take, because slowly their relationship starts devolving.

As Pierce is introduced to Marc, it becomes clear that it would be an ardous task to win over the diffident singer. Nevertheless, Pierce tries his level best and soon they come to a mutual understanding. As Pierce gets engrossed in his work, Typhoon grows insecure about their relationship. He starts doubting Pierce’s intentions and misunderstandings cripples their trust on each other.

Tyhoon starts mimicking Pierce’s behaviour and it leads to further arguments between them. At the same time, we get to witness Pierce’s increasing closeness to Marc. Is it friendship or something more? This question is answered in the scene, where Marc wonders about the line “to act as if we are still in love”. He questions Pierce if the said couple aren’t in love anymore. Pierce draws parallelism from his own love story and that’s the moment when you realize the depth of his feelings for Typhoon. It is beautifully worded and poignant. Although he has been maintaining busy hours, it doesn’t change the fact that Pierce loves Typhoon. The storyline might seem too simple but the pilot episode delves on the intriguing facet of base human tendencies. Pierce finds it difficult to express his feelings or honest opinions. Typhoon on the other hand assumes that Pierce doesn’t love him anymore.

“Our love isn’t the same anymore, is it?”

“Then can you act like we are still in love?”

Frankly, I did enjoy watching the minimal romance between the characters, but the ending was too rushed. The script seemed underdeveloped and there were too many discrepancies that weren’t properly resolved. Pierce seems like an authoritative figure, who assumes that Typhoon should instantly fall into line. I do understand Typhoon’s wariness, but showing up at Pierce’s workplace and causing a scene seemed rather childish. These two have unresolved issues that could have been sorted with a simple conversation.

In the ending credits, where Typhoon questions him about his work, Pierce simply brushes aside his concerns. It’s obvious that Typhoon being Marc’s fan, would love to hear about their new song. Although Pierce stresses on the fact that he doesn’t underestimate Typhoon’s intelligence, his actions betray the obvious reality. It could be nice if he did take some time out of his busy schedule to allay Typhoon’s fears and put them to rest. Instead, his decision to take a break and their sudden reconciliation seemed obscure. The pilot episode was blessed with two exemplary actors who have abundant chemistry and yet the director failed to fully utilize their acting talents. Even the kiss seemed rushed and the abrupt ending left me disappointed. They didn’t have a proper break-up nor an understandable reconciliation!

Overall, if you are a huge fan of the main lead couple and belong to their fandom (because I do), then the first episode will certainly pique your interest. There is nothing phenomenal about the haphazard storyline, but OhmFluke’s chemistry shines through. It is few moments of bliss, so do enjoy!

Rating- 3 out of 5

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