I Promised You the Moon, the second installment of Nadao Bangkok’s series I Told Sunset About You has arrived, and it is just as real, raw, and captivating as the first.
Billkin and PP return as Teh and Oh Aew, a couple that won viewers’ hearts with the pain and confusion they faced on their journey to accepting and loving one another. Nadao has done everything right with this production. From the careful attention to detail, writing, film quality, acting, cinematography, and music, they’ve created a drama that isn’t just meant to entertain; it leaves a lasting impression.
Most notable is the symbolism. The first part of this series, I Told Sunset About You, is woven with elements that give the story deeper context, from the use of color to the significance of the flowers. Entire threads breaking down the meaning behind each scene exploded onto social media. The drama is like a painting hanging in a gallery that viewers stand around discussing. No one walks away from it with the same impression. Instead, they walk away from it knowing they viewed something magnificent, something that reaches into the soul and touches the heart.
I Told Sunset About You is a relatable drama about falling in love for the first time. A drama that took two same-sex friends through a journey that spoke to all of us in the LGBTQ+ community, no matter our individual stories. We’ve all been where Teh and Oh Aew have been. Whether it be confusion, family acceptance, or body dysphoria, we’ve been there. This raw relatability is why I do not doubt that I Promised You the Moon will leave the same lasting impression.
In I Told Sunset About You, Teh and Oh Aew fell in love. I Promised You the Moon is the second part of their story, and it’s apparent from the beginning that this journey won’t be any easier than the first. No one in a relationship is the same months or years into it that they were when they started, especially if it’s the first. The individual transformations that happen are why the most powerful love stories are the ones that survive these changes, even when it’s not pretty. I Promised You the Moon is taking Teh and Oh Aew through these changes, and I’m more than willing to suffer the pain with them as they discover their individual dreams in the hopes that those same dreams don’t tear them apart.
Teh and Oh Aew discovered love, but can they keep that love alive inside an adult world full of personal aspirations?
While I Told Sunset About You is riddled with Teh’s doubts and how those doubts create a ripple effect igniting Oh Aew’s own confusion and body dysphoria, I Promised You the Moon opens with Oh Aew being the one obviously questioning himself. It isn’t his love for Teh that he questions but his future. Teh and Oh Aew head to two different universities in Bangkok, which seems a world away from the beaches of Phuket. While Teh’s eyes are bright with possibility, Oh Aew’s gaze is dull with uncertainty. Teh’s dreams have always been big, so much so that they tend to eclipse the people and situations around him. His dream of being an actor is why he and Oh Aew fell out in the first place, creating a jealous divide between them as children before they fell in love years later.
Though the acting dream became a shared aspiration (hence the jealous divide in I Told Sunset About You), it may be the nail that drives them apart.
Once in Bangkok,Teh blossoms, immediately joining a drama club at his faculty that includes the popular actor, Top, among its members. Oh Aew, on the other hand, seems to wither. Like the flowers that held so much significance in the first part of the series, Teh and Oh Aew are like plants that need two different types of care to thrive. Teh blooms under the rigorous schedule and drive to succeed. Oh Aew wilts under the loneliness borne from homesickness. Flashes of the beach intertwine with scenes of a somber Oh Aew, friendless and needy for affection. In many ways, Oh Aew is like the waves he loves so much. The most powerful waves are those not impeded by anything. The city overwhelms Oh Aew, becoming a suffocating place full of uncertainty. Gone is the free, happy-go-lucky Oh Aew we knew in Phuket, the one who was content simply walking the private beach where he swam with Teh.
Loneliness and uncertainty are a relationship’s biggest enemies. They heighten fears and create doubt even in perfect situations. The empty stage Oh Aew sees near the end of the first episode is Oh Aew’s fear, a clear representation of the emptiness growing inside him. Both Jai, the sophomore in Teh’s drama club, and Q, the friend Oh Aew makes at his university, are fast becoming possible problems that could arise because of Oh Aew’s loneliness and Teh’s drive to succeed.
Despite all of this and amidst all the pain the first episode throws at viewers, there is also hope. This hope comes in the form of Teh’s mother. Not only does she provide the support Teh needs as he transitions from Phuket to Bangkok, but she also embraces Teh’s relationship with Oh Aew and provides them both with a good luck charm. Teh gains confidence from his mother’s acceptance, a confidence that we haven’t seen in him until now. This newfound security leads to public displays of affection and a new ease to the way he introduces Oh Aew as his partner.
Teh is blooming.
Oh Aew is struggling.
I Promised You the Moon is set to take us on an emotional journey full of the same symbolic beauty and relatable struggles that the first part took us through. Will Teh and Oh Aew’s identical shoes walk the same path or go their separate ways? Will the charms Teh’s mother gifted be enough to keep them together, her words a promise that they will survive the changes coming? Or is the empty stage Oh Aew sees at the end of the first episode a foreboding warning of the separation we should prepare our hearts to endure?
No one ever forgets their first love, even when it doesn’t last. Will Teh and Oh Aew’s love be the first love they’ll never forget or the first love that never ends?
No matter the outcome, I Promised You the Moon will most certainly be as much a masterpiece as I Told Sunset About You. The pilot episode is the first brush stroke in a painting we will undoubtedly stand around when this ends, all of us trying to figure out the emotions it left us with.
Rating- 4 out of 5