“The Best Story” Series Review (Ep.1 to 3)

To tell a raw, emotional, and full story in only three episodes is a fantastic feat.

It’s impressive, and although seemingly impossible, the Thai BL drama The Best Story starring War Wanarat and Yin Anan Wong manages to do just that.

Raw
Emotional
Full

The Best Story tells a vivid and expressive tale of unrequited love using thoughts and words. For me, there is nothing more powerful than the words we put on paper. The English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton once coined the phrase, “The Pen is mightier than the sword.” Although he meant to express how much more potent written communication is over violence, the most important thing I took away from it is how powerful words are once we’ve written them down.

Using Best’s (the main character) notebook as the focal point for this drama, the writers do a brilliant job of proving just how powerful someone’s written thoughts can be, especially when they end up in the hands of the person he cares for.

This drama is not for the faint of heart. I wasn’t expecting to cry so much while watching this, and I wasn’t expecting it to cling to my soul for so long after it ended. It is a very personal story that intimately connects with viewers through the notebook Best both pens his thoughts in and composes the song he wants to use to express his growing love for the young man he’s falling in love with, Dew.

Unrequited love is painful, but there is also something joyful about feeling something for someone. The Best Story reveals the joy, but it laces it with sorrow. I think neither Best nor Dew intended to fall in love with someone of the same sex, and while they are drawn to each other, there is also an invisible line there they seem afraid to cross. Fear of pain is a tangible thing, and rejection is a pain no one wants to face.

This pain leads me to the one thing about this drama I did not enjoy: Fern. Female antagonists who use jealousy as an excuse to out someone’s feelings have become a trope in Thai dramas I find incredibly hard to swallow. It is even harder in The Best Story. I empathized with Fern because she cares for Dew. I was even impressed with her decision to keep her distance and her speech about wanting to remain friends no matter Dew’s feelings. This empathy I had for her is why the scene where she outs Dew’s and Best’s growing feelings to Dew’s mother hit me especially hard. I didn’t see it coming, and I should have.

I’ve learned to shield myself from female characters in Thai BLs, and I find that incredibly sad. It’s wrong that viewers should have to go into a drama on the defensive, automatically expecting the females to be poisonous. It undermines what women are fighting hard to overcome in everyday society. It paints what we, as a gender, are trying to break free of, this idea that the role we play in life should be looked down on rather than lifted up. As powerful as The Best Story is as a story about figuring yourself out, it would have been even more potent if what drove Dew’s mother into her actions had been Dew’s own confession or her discovering it on her own, maybe through Best’s notebook or walking in on an obvious moment between Best and Dew rather than utilizing Dew’s female friend against him.

Outside of Fern, however, The Best Story is not only brilliantly told, but it is also brilliantly acted, especially by actor War Wanarat (Best). Although I’ve never seen War in a long drama, his dramas leave a huge impression. War has to be one of the most soulful Thai actors I’ve seen on screen. He uses his eyes and face to convey deeply thoughtful, complicated emotions, and it’s riveting to watch. He could one hundred percent carry a major studio production, and I hope that we get to see him in a role like that. As the guardian of an actress and after spending countless times on set watching other actors, I can–without a doubt–confirm he is one of the best at what he does. If I ever see his name listed on a project, I never worry about how well the characters he portrays will come across. He could even play a villain, and I’d probably apologize for the villain’s actions. War has wise eyes and a mature, natural acting method that connects with people.

The same can be said for his co-star, Yin Anan Wong. I’ve only ever seen these two actors paired in a drama, but I look forward to future projects where they get to show what they are capable of individually.

Although The Best Story broke my heart, it is definitely worth the watch. It not only expounds on the pain of unrequited love and the pain of rejection and heartbreak, it also showcases friendship, especially Best’s friends. The support these friends show towards one another and the actions they take on each other’s behalf, is a healing balm on a jaded heart. I need more of them.

I feel we will get a part two to this story, and I need it the same way I need air to breathe.

To watch, check this three-episode drama out on the Rookie Thailand YouTube Channel, but be sure you have tissues. Lots and lots of tissues.

Rating- 4.5 out of 5

3 thoughts on ““The Best Story” Series Review (Ep.1 to 3)”

  1. I am thrilled to see War in another role after his terrific performance in En of Love; Love Mechanics. Gone is that character’s sarcasm and outer crust of pessimism. His eyes and ways he and the director uses them is something special:)
    Yin is improved- though most of the acting heavy lifting is smartly left to War. I want to congratulate the lighting, makeup and cinematography crew as Yin looks so different and everyone looks good and terrifically lit.
    I think the screenplay is the weak link here and yes- Fern character and Dew’s mother were pretty stock and disappointingly used as plot devices.
    Fern had a lot of potential to be neither angel or demon but somewhere interestingly in between—- oh well.
    The use of Best’s diaries was interesting- nothing else- Dew was a bit of a crushable enigma- they even tried to stuff a second ship in amongst the friends- which will be nice if there is another mini season- otherwise it drew focus.
    I wish the ending were more open ended- I did not like either War’s or directors choice of how he reacted to Dew’s IG at end of show-
    Still this was a lovely little show- made me dream of being rich and getting War, Fluke, Singto and Plustor (Friendzone) together with Mild from 3 will be free and First/Jenny from the Shippers –
    with a good script and director……it would be epic!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excelente miniserie con impecables interpretaciones. La trama es sencilla y está muy bien llevada. A pesar de que el final deja un sabor amargo, ambos logran saber a ciencia cierta los sentimientos que albergan uno por el otro.

    Like

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