“Young Master,” the handsome older man said. The words sounded like a romantic promise despite the stoic face of the man who said them. But the unfathomable disgust on the face of the man who was being addressed as “Young Man” is worse. This essentially surmises most of the first episode of Thailand’s new BL series “Golden Blood”. From the unique title to the amazing quality, this show was hugely anticipated by the fans.
When two crime bosses disagree on an important business deal, things take a turn for the worst. The just boss (who is vehemently against drugs distribution) fears for the safety of his heir, a lazy young man named Sky played by BL veteran Gun Napat Na Ranong (“Love By Chance”, “A Chance at Love”). So he sends him a bodyguard. A very sexy stoic bodyguard Sun portrayed by Boat Tara Tipa(“Mr MerMan” “Saeng Tian”) who is two years older than Sky. Sun and Sky instantly become friends with two girls; who are kept in the dark about our main couple’s working relationship. Even Sky’s best friend Bank doesn’t know much about Sun’s real identity. All while the other mafia boss keeps on conspiring to kill Sky at all costs.
With an exciting premise like that, I was disappointed with the inconsistent pacing and slowness in the first episode. It starts strong with the two conflicting mafia bosses discussing whether to allow drugs into the territory or not. Cuts to an epic and well choreographed fight scene where Sun emerges as the victor. Then switches to Sky, who is sleeping well into the afternoon. The moment Sun explains his presence in Sky’s life, the mood shifts. Shot in high definition, we watch Sky throw a massive tantrum as he ends a call with his father (who insists that he stay with Sun at all times).
The episode focuses on the couple’s first day sharing a house while Sky berates him with rude jokes. The filming of the shower scene is expertly done from multiple angles to increase Gun’s sex appeal. Now that he is no longer playing the overdramatic LBC character, this show projects him as a more mature actor. Until the water cuts off for no reason, cue a cute moment where Sun comes running to defend his young master from soap running down his eyes. Random inconsistencies like these where the water supply unexpectedly gets off in an expensive mansion simply exist as an excuse so that our couple could have some cute moments together.
The setting shifts to the university scenario, as we are introduced to Toktang played by Jane Jaytiya (“Golden Blood” is her first series) who is being hassled by Senior Pitch played by Sugus Buntawit (“Moradok Pee Dok). Her character quickly becomes a magnet for toxic men to hit on (which I understand is a ploy to show her as a much desired woman and to highlight the fact on how single girls are treated in Thailand), but the amount of screen time afforded to this thought process felt too excessive. Bank, Sky’s best friend played by Tenon Teachapat (“Golden Blood” is his first series) also swoons over Toktang. The episode splits its focus between Sky’s nasty indifference to Sun, his flirting with Toktang, and ends with his act of impulsive recklessness.
This in my opinion isn’t a good start to the series, as it was very random and overall boring. The fight scenes and Sun’s backstory were the only highlights. The second episode is much better than the first one. All the obnoxious aspects related to Sky and Pitch suddenly vanish; replaced by mild-mannered characters who talk and behave politely. It was unnerving how different the two became as compared to their characterization in the pilot episode. These kinds of inconsistencies became a source of concern for me; as it is only the second episode and they have already created such massive indifference. It makes me wonder if I will get to watch the revised version of these characters in the next episodes too.
Sun however ends bearing the brunt of his character being overtly distilled. Despite the fact that this character fought four armed men in the first episode with ease, he couldn’t seem to win a fight in the second episode when faced with aggression. Whether it’s against drunken men or an actual assassin sent by the evil boss, he keeps getting wounded. This inevitably puts Sky in a position where he is cared for by the much nicer Sky (which I actually enjoyed immensely). However, I find it difficult to ignore the personality inconsistencies there to facilitate BL troupe cuteness.
By the end of the episode, it is clear that Sky and Sun are growing closer at a lightning speed which seems too fast-paced. I was surprised by the “Better than expected” acting from first time actors. As such, Golden Blood is a likable show. Even if I don’t like the pacing of the plot, Sky and Sun have my attention. The two have an amazing chemistry brought to life by Gun and Boat. It’s fun watching them together and I’m hoping that the characters maintain this consistency next week.
Rating- 3 out of 5