I’ve become picky about the BL dramas I watch over the years. The older I get, the more important the story and acting become, the production quality and writing far outweighing a need for skinship.
Because of this, my relationship with Thai BLs has been relatively hit and miss. There is a lot of quantity over quality, and I tend to drop many of them after a few episodes. My expectations are fairly low. So, I am always pleasantly surprised when a story catches me early on, which is why the first episode of the newest Thai BL Paint with Love is now on my radar.
Starring actors Singto Prachaya and Tae Darvid, Paint with Love follows CEO Maze and abstract artist Phab as they enter into a complicated working relationship. While I wasn’t hugely impressed by the drama’s opening, the moment Maze walked into Phab’s home changed everything. A lot of this has to do with Phab (Tae Darvid). I like the way he’s portrayed, the way he views art, and his stubborn yet compassionate personality. As the drama progresses forward, I hope this characterization doesn’t change.
I am the daughter of an artist. Now deceased, my father spent most of his life in abject poverty. Much of this has to do with a drinking problem rather than his talent as an artist, but he was always chasing the dream. From festival to fair to the acrylic-spattered sheds or rooms he used as studios, my childhood was full of the scent of paint and turpentine. Nothing else mattered when he was painting. The bills stacked up. Eviction notices were standard.
I saw a bit of my father in the way Phab behaved, in his carefree spirit, and the desperate way he was also forced to take a job when the bills got to be too much.
Although I am a fan of many actors, it is generally a character and how well the actor plays him/her/them in a particular series that makes me invested. Tae certainly captured Phab’s essence well in the first episode, and I’m interested to see how his personality clashes with the successful and careful Maze (Singto). Rivals-to-lovers tropes are always interesting to watch, as the hate-to-love dynamic demands growth and tension in a story. Paint with Love has a lot of promise, and I hope it exceeds the expectations I have for it.
This expectation brings me to my second reason for being interested in the series: the secondary couple. As a fan of actors Yoon Phusanu and Yacht Patsit, their pairing in Paint with Love intrigued me before the drama even began airing. Although the first episode doesn’t explore much outside their joint acting careers and how this puts them in each other’s path, I am curious to see where this leads, especially with Yoon’s character Nueng having an apparent past with Maze.
All in all, the first episode captured the essence of an artist and the rocky relationship the leads are headed into. That in itself is enough to keep me watching Paint with Love. And as a side bonus, I completely fell in love with the cockroach that inevitably brought Phab and Maze together. Since I am deathly afraid of roaches and spiders on a good day, the ability to make me care for this roach is also reason enough to keep going.
Check out the first episode now on Gagaoolala.
Rating- 3.5 out of 5