55:15 Never Too Late was one of the shows I was really looking forward to from GMMTV’s 2021 line-up, because the premise seemed interesting and the cast promising, and I feel happy to say, six episodes in, that my anticipation was not misplaced.
Never too Late is the story of five 55-year-olds having probably the worst day of their lives suddenly waking up in their 15-year-old bodies, having been given a chance to start over, perhaps, or make amends to the mistakes of their youth.
The series is already off to a strong start. The first episode introduces us to the characters discovering each other in high school, through some stroke of fate, when the school’s resident DJ Pangpond plays the greatest hit of yesteryear’s superstar Jaya – who is, in fact is also present in the school cafeteria as her 15-year-old self played by Piploy. The others also slowly introduce themselves and in brief the circumstances leading up to waking up de-aged. Nanon plays San, a failing voice actor who drowns himself in booze and women to forget about his ageing voice and dimming career prospects. Khaotung is Songpol (he prefers to go by the much cooler Paul), a gay man who has spent a lifetime in the closet and is fresh off a heartbreak. View is Jarunee, the strictest and most unpopular teacher at the school, who had been diagnosed with stage three cancer and is looking at the end of a life where she has never lived for herself. Rounding off the cast is Kay playing Amonthep, a boxer whose glory days were cut short because of an injury.
The next few episodes are dedicated to one character each, expanding on their backstories and letting us really learn more about their personalities, and here is where I think the biggest strength of the series shows – its casting. Forget physical resemblance, it is clear that the actors playing the older and younger versions of the same character have spent time working out the mannerisms and speech patterns of who they’re playing. It’s uncanny how alike they are, even down to some of the expressions, and it’s really a testament to the strength of the actors.
I really enjoyed all the stories in the first six episodes, though I think Songpol (Khaotung) and Jarunee’s (View) stories are the strongest so far. You really feel for the older Songpol really trying to find love at his age, having hidden his identity for the majority of his life. I’m also interested in seeing how his younger version’s relationship with the son of his former crush will go. Jarunee, is almost the textbook example of a ‘mean spinster teacher’, hated universally by the students despite her dedication to her job. Her realisation that her remaining days are limited and her decisions on how to move forward will definitely resonate with many viewers too. And I should also mention an adorable Arm Weerayut playing her playful, flirtatious young admirer.
I look forward to seeing how the plot takes off in the next episode now that the introductions are complete. All five main characters are compelling enough to warrant giving this series a try if character driven, magic-realism style dramas are your thing.