“Bad Buddy” First Impressions (Ep. 1 to 4)

Bad Buddy the Series is perhaps one of the most anticipated BLs from GMMTV this year.

Starring Ohm Pawat – a BL veteran with 5 series under his belt at the age of 21, and his close friend and acting powerhouse Nanon Korapat, and directed by Aof Noppharnach – Bad Buddy The Series comes with a recipe for success. The question was, when it debuted on the 29th of October, whether it would live up to expectations.

Before I get into the first four episodes, let’s talk a little bit about the week leading up to it. The teaser trailer for Bad Buddy released last year was instrumental in building up its hype. The story of sons of neighbouring rival families who get into a secret relationship? Starring two extremely talented actors who defy the ‘top-bottom’ binary that everyone expects from a BL couple? Exciting!

But then the final trailer dropped, and so did some of the anticipation – as though the finished product seemed less appealing than the teaser had, to the point that the editor of the trailer had to make a statement regarding the choices of scenes left in and changed from the teaser.

With all these conflicting opinions around me, I went into the first episode of Bad Buddy with a sense of trepidation – but I was worried for nothing, because the series did not disappoint.

So Bad Buddy is the story of Pat (Ohm) and Pran (Nanon) – the aforementioned sons of rival families that live next door to each other. The feud between their families, while introduced humorously, is clearly no laughing matter – both sets of parents have genuine resentment against each other and this is carried on by their sons, the only voice of reason being Pat’s sister Pa, played by Love. Pat and Pran also belong to rival faculties in the same university – Engineering and Architecture – and their friends are constantly getting into open fights on campus. The first episode introduces many of the main characters and this premise, but while one would assume that this campus fighting would form the majority of the plot, it seems to get resolved (in a way) by the end of the episode. While this might seem like bad pacing to some, it suggests that the actual heart of the story exists elsewhere, and this begins to unfold over the next few episodes as well.

The series may seem to derail at times when it drifts into the cliché and excessive sound-effect laden scenes that are something of a staple of Thai BL, but don’t let this deter you. Backaof, the mind behind some of GMMTV’s best Y series, said that Bad Buddy would be the first time he follows the conventions of these series and in the second and third episode, this is very clear in some scenes: including but not limited to something akin to a kabedon but involving a peppermint inhaler. But the series knows what it’s doing, slowly developing the relationship between the characters while also hinting that there has always been something there.

Episode four is where the show packs its first emotional punch, possibly the first of many, with Nanon delivering a heartbreakingly authentic scene that will probably settle any doubts you have about watching this series.

I am looking forward to how the series goes from here: how Pat’s and Pran’s relationship will grow while also explaining more about what’s going on between the families. I’m also waiting to see more involving Pa and the newly introduced Ink (Milk) who are sure to play a greater role as the story progresses.

To conclude, Nanon and Ohm are not only some of GMMTV’s most phenomenal actors but their real life friendship translates into amazing onscreen chemistry between Pat and Pran. Bad Buddy promises to be a series that is fun and entertaining while including plenty of tear-jerking moments and I highly recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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