Ah, Fish Upon the Sky or as I like to call it, ‘Just How Much Merch can GMM make from One Series?’
First off, I don’t dislike FUTS. I genuinely enjoyed a lot of it, but that was despite its flaws. What I do see is that people are going to really love this show, or really hate it, or like me, be mostly ‘yeah that was a thing’ about it.
When I’d previously written my First Impressions about FUTS, I’d mentioned that it had won me over with its cheesy humour and endearing characters. That was after the first three episodes, and the fourth made me regret saying that, because it was, for me, the lowest point in the series.
If you’re not aware of the reactions from mostly the Sikh community and others, about the very inappropriate, completely unnecessary, and downright weird decision to have Duean’s friends dress up in white with turbans and insulting at least 3 minority communities simultaneously, all you need to know that it was not particularly funny and it was mostly in poor taste and I for one would like to erase it from my memory.
Back to the review.
What I didn’t Like
– The pacing.
Dear god the pacing.
The first three episodes made it seem like the show had a clear direction on where it was going, progressing the MorkPi and DueanMeen romances simultaneously. But then the plot decides to take a long, meandering, and really weird path, with a good portion of the episodes between four and ten seeming to be finding various ways to delay any kind of progress in either of the relationships. In the case of MorkPi, for example, it is Mork directly telling Pi that he likes him and making every possible overture of affection only to have Pi repeatedly insist on following his one-sided attraction to Muang Nan.
– The shippers. These are the most annoying characters in the show. They help with the above mentioned point because they eat up screentime that could be used for plot. They’re meant to be a message on how shipping can turn toxic and social media can be harmful but ultimately they don’t get any real comeuppance, which was disappointing.
– The ‘twist’ in the twelfth episode. The eleventh episode curse is bad enough, guys, there is no need to put it in the last episode instead and then have to rush through the resolution.
– The unresolved Muang Nan ending and weird Stars in the Water reference that seems out of place if it means nothing.
What I Liked
Like I said, there was a lot I enjoyed about FUTS, despite its flaws.
– The humour, when it was done right and didn’t rely too much on cultural appropriration or slapstick, was on point. I laughed more than a couple of times, especially at Duean’s antics. Neo has a great flair for physical comedy.
– The actors. I mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: Duean and Pi had the best brotherly dynamic, full of teasing and random acts of violence. It helps that Neo and Phuwin had great chemistry beforehand, they play off it well here too.
– Pond and Phuwin as Mork and Pi work well together too. I didn’t get the kind of ‘oh god please just kiss’ energy I’ve gotten from other BL series (*cough*1000stars *cough*) but they did manage to convey the kind of young-people-with-crushes vibe that works in university dramas. I especially enjoyed the fact that the show lets Pi actively talk about his interest in/likeing of Mork, especially once they do get together, instead of passively waiting for Mork to do something.
– I was less convinced about Neo and Louis’s Duean and Meen as a convincing couple, but Louis is as cute as a button and he especially won me over with one stellar scene of Duean exploring the depths of his ‘fantasies’.
Other actors I really enjoyed include Mix as Muang Nan – who in the later episodes really comes off a supportive friend going through a bittersweet experience with love in his own life. Janhae really plays it up as Bam, Mork’s friend who appears to introduce a deliberate jealousy plotline in the MorkPi relationship. I couldn’t tell if I found her clingy acting hilarious or annoying. Possibly both.
– The cinematography. There are some really good scenes in this show, especially in terms of the lighting choices that went a long way to adding atmosphere.
– The music. Well. Some of the music. The OSTs are fun and I really enjoyed the version of What Kind of Person that they’d use at episode climaxes until they replaced it with a new, faster number in the last two episodes.
– Pi’s character. While we all agree Phuwin has always been adorable, an important theme of the show is how Pi has crushing self-esteem issues that have led him to constantly try to avoid Mork and protect himself. It’s always refreshing to see these very real and very relevant dealt with in a drama. Does it lead to the series taking too long to get to the point? A little bit, but it was good to see.
I’d say check out FUTS if you’re not looking for something to heavily invest in and you have patience to sit through the amount of beating-around-the-bush that the show does.
But I wasn’t kidding about the merch. The sheer number of ‘branded’ stuff these characters use throughout the series is hilarious.
4 thoughts on ““Fish Upon The Sky” Series Review (Ep.4 to 12)”
Fun review to read- I thought for a show with no real plot there was a lot of fun and most of that was due to the experienced actors Neo and Phuwin and the direction.
Compare this with Nitiman- which similarly has no plot and tired Shippers- the energy there is draggy from the start and just gets worse….
I really like the Cutie Pie gang- I liked the framing and voiceover of the Narrator in the Sky in the Tales of A 5th Year Student.
I also felt the pace drop like a stone in the middle episodes- which even a stellar series like ATOTS had. Here I feel about three episodes worth could have been removed with editing to make a fun and fast-paced 9 episode series.
4/5 is a fair rating- comedy is hard to do and this was mostly done very well.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the comment! I think the shippers and the pace drop, plus the last minute twist with [redacted] being jealous could’ve been done away with! Comedy wise, it was definitely really good! The narrator vs Duean was probably one of my favorite things too hahaa
Great review! I enjoyed reading it and agree with it for the most part. While I enjoyed the show I must say did feel more frustration than pleasure at the end. I feel like the main characters spun in place for the majority of the season (at least 8 episodes). It gave me the impression that the show didn’t go in the direction that it originally intended.
While I appreciated Pi’s attention induced anxiety and self esteem issues and agree that it is an important topic to be showcased, it did feel like, to me at least, it came out of nowhere as a roadblock. The original issue disappeared, his Muang Nan crush, and this new one appeared. After so many episodes of no movement , I couldn’t connect to the story again.
Also, can we agree that the fan club trope should take a break from BL’s now? It was so tiring to watch! I almost stopped when I realized that Mork’s birthdayy was a fan event! WHY?!
Finally, like the other commenter I too compared this show to Nitiman as I find them similar. Though, unlike them, I’m enjoying that show significantly more. I think because I find the main couple has way more chemistry and that couple takes at least two steps forward before taking one step back. Also, the side characters, though the story is going nowhere, are much less annoying to me than Duean and Meen as well.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for the comment! I should really check out Nitiman now! I do wonder why they botched up the pace so much too! But maybe things didn’t pan out because of covid restrictions and necessary rewrites or something. And yes, fan clubs and shippers can be left behind in BL like yesterday.