“Until We Meet Again” Series Review (Ep. 1 to 17)

PERFECTION! I do not know how to describe this series without using superlatives that might not adequately describe this reincarnation saga.

It is in all honesty THE finest BL series ever for me and one of the most exceptional TV dramas I have seen in my lifetime (and I am old). It had and still has a deep, profound emotional impact on me ever since I watched it. I have never seen a series come together so well as this one. From screenplay, acting to storytelling this is the closest thing to perfection you will ever see.

While I was hypnotized by this series, paradoxically, I could only watch two episodes in a row. Why? Because I became so vested in these characters and so empathetic towards them that it emotionally drained me. The first episode will leave you shocked, drained, confused, maybe angry, but most of all tearful and exceedingly sad. To appreciate and understand the depth of how this series touched me, you MUST watch it to feel/sense its strength, its commitment, and its overriding message. Although it may not affect you as deeply as it did for me, the profundity is nonetheless there. It will leave you asking why? I sobbed openly and occasionally uncontrollably; while at other times I buried my face in my hands and wept silently. I grieved for what was never going to be, but became hopeful for what might be.

The story’s beginning is some 30 plus years ago with Korn, played by Kao Noppakao and Intouch, played by Earth Katsamonnat are in a time when acceptance is a futuristic goal, impossible for them. Yet, against all odds, they fall in love. Facing enormous challenges, the love they share for each other is so deep that it touches not only their bodies but also their souls. Their love is fused together and inseparable from one another. They are intertwined at a level I have not seen in any BL series before or, as I write this, since. As it is in life, so it is in death. You sense while watching them together that their love story is tragic. Every fiber of your being yearns that it should be otherwise, but you know it will be. Almost every scene with them is so memorable and touching that I literally needed a box of tissues to get through watching them. I have never seen a love so deep set as theirs and it is portrayed and acted with a believable sagacity. In some sense, it is almost too deep. They touched my soul with the depth of their love, and I felt everything. Tragically, this kind of love comes too early for them (in the 1980s).

Fast-forward to the current times, when two guys lock eyes together and something happens. It is not magical. It is something that is supposed to be there. Destined or simply ordained to be. You can sense and feel it. The chemistry between Pharm, played by Fluke Natouch and Dean, played by Ohm Thitiwat is instantaneous. It is something that is just ‘there’. Both are inextricably connected to Intouch and Korn. At first, not knowing how or why. But as the story develops, we see that it is a love story that transcends death and time/space dimensions. It twists in ways that is almost unimaginable. But as their love develops, it begs the question, “Is it real”? And real for whom? This is a story that you must witness on your own, no matter how painful it is.

The show has an outstanding supporting cast. They not only act as variable connections to the main leads, but they also allow us to breathe again and ground ourselves here and now. Without them, this story would have been too maudlin. They make the main characters sound real. There are two characters who affect the story predominantly. Manow, played brilliantly by Samantha Melanie Coates (Sammy) is best friends with Pharm and of course becomes integral to everyone around her. She provides more than comic relief. She is the rock of support for all the characters and does a brilliant job at it. Furthermore, she is self-deprecating, bubbly and is a joy to be around. She draws out the characters and their personalities in ways that is entirely adorable. What I liked is that she is not subservient to the main characters but holds her own here and without her role, this story would not have been as impactful. Usually these roles are ‘fillers’, give comic relief, or just throw-away characters. But she isn’t. She is integrative to this story. Yes, she is funny not for comic relief, but for enhancement of this story. She keeps the story moving.

Dean’s best friend, Win, played by Boun Noppanut (Boun) is the second. He slowly develops a romantic relationship with Pharm’s best friend, Team, played by Prem Warut. Their relationship goes in a completely different direction again to give us a variant sense of reality. There are too many superb supporting actors and actresses to mention, but honestly, they are all really good. They add so much value to this series; that without them this show would have been devoid of the other essential aspects to life and the storytelling wouldn’t be so grounded.

To say that the acting in this series by the main characters is superb would be an understatement. They bring everything to their roles, and I can only imagine how draining it must have been to play these dramatis personae. Pharm and Dean had to be another while still being themselves. The depth of these personifications and the emotions that had to be displayed were exemplary. And they did it. I have never seen such an immersion into characters’ roles as in this series. All the love scenes are done with tenderness and sweetness and intensity like the love sonnets from Romeo and Juliet. I truly, truly believed they were deeply in love, even as Pharm and Dean were developing their own deep love for each other. It was symbiotic yet distinct.

The initial connection between Intouch and Korn, set in motion by In, develops to such a level that you can sense it immediately. But no matter how hard one tries not to go solemn, the sadness seen in their eyes has a predestined fate, as if they already knew what their outcome would be. The brilliance of Kao and Earth in showing us this is worthy of volumes of praise. It is that good. I never got tired of seeing them together, even though I knew it would be tragic. The promise of maintaining their love for eternity could have been mere empty words, but they brought whole new level of commitment and were so sincere and real that it is irreproachable. Earth Katsammonnat as In (Intouch) honestly, had me hooked from the beginning. He conveyed such a myriad range of emotions with such a depth that it became real. I saw him draw out his emotions and deliver them with such an intensity that at times I marveled at its depth. Yet, he also had such a sadness in his eyes that spoke volumes without saying a word. His timing was flawless. If anyone is familiar with the movie “The Snake Pit” (starring Olivia de Havilland), then you know that it is really difficult to convey the base emotions with such believability, sincerity, and realness. That is what I felt with Earth’s performance in this series.

The symbolism in this series is unmitigated. The ‘red string’ of connection and commitment. (Honestly, I simply had to stop at this scene. I sobbed to the point my husband had to literally console me). The similarities and diversities in the characters are overwhelming at times. Promises made, promised kept, but at such a tremendous cost. This series is based upon the REALITY that both Pharm and Dean are living someone else’s life. They see life through their own eyes, but the intensity of their feelings, emotions, and connections are of individuals from their past. That at times become overwhelming and takes over their own existence and identity. Realities blur. Love blurs. It is so breathtaking and emotional that it almost overpowers you. Yet, underneath that all is their own foundational love for each other as well.

There is also the story of self-discovery for In/Korn and Pharm/Dean. The connections that are discovered and explored are so moving that you fervently hope that their story turns out to be true, so that it could give the needed closure to many feelings that were left unsaid and actions untaken. While the story begins with a tragic beginning, it ends allegorically in our minds with a blissful picture of two men walking hand-in-hand along the peaceful, gently breaking ocean shores no more with sad eyes, but with the eyes of two people deeply and profoundly in love with each other while imaging the world is theirs to own.

Without exception, all these actors are breathtakingly handsome and beautiful. This is also an undeniable charm of this story. As the series continued, they become even more handsome because we now see them in a different light, and their beauty grows with our familiarity of them as their growth represents relatable individuals. The musical score for this series is spectacular and enhances the ebullience of the story. There were some production issues that would have enhanced the imagery better. For example, the dark scenes were too dark and hard to make out. You needed to give us more light so we could see better. Some cooking scenes were a bit too long and became mundane. It is a very long series that in some places could have been shortened to speed the series along. But none of this distracts from its overall flawlessness.

Perhaps, I may be too hyperbole here or maybe I see this series too much through rose-tinted glasses, but in my humble opinion, had this production been done in the USA, this series would have been nominated for all kinds of Emmy Awards. It is THAT good.

Sometimes, situations affect you in ways you were not expecting, and this is one of those times. It has been my honor and privilege to watch this series. Kudos to the entire cast and crew involved in producing this kind of awesome BL series.

Until we meet again !!

Rating: 5+ out of 5

3 thoughts on ““Until We Meet Again” Series Review (Ep. 1 to 17)”

  1. This was perhaps the first or second BL series that I ever watched and it totally drew me into the genre. I’ve watched it twice and it totally held up and moved me again on re-viewing. My only complaints would be the over-the-top product placements and the repetitiveness of certain musical themes. I also had a problem with Manow’s representation (I am thrilled with the women in Bad Buddy) and will have to take another look at her based on your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments. It remains one of my favorite BLs. I appreciate the relook of Manow. For me, she was special and unique and was not presented as a caricature.

      Liked by 1 person

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