Bad Buddy is a Romeo and Juliet-esque BL, about Pat and Pran, next-door neighbours, whose parents have decades long enmity.
They therefore grew up being told to dislike each other, and are extra competitive, while winding up in rival departments in the University (they are so chaotic because who has time to beef in University). However, one thing leads to another, they get to know each other better and they fall in love. The series never tackles the cause of the enmity between the parents in depth. It is merely mentioned in passing that Pat’s father stole Pran’s mother’s scholarship (how could this possibly happen), and while this explains why Pran’s mother would hate Pat’s mother, the reason why Pat’s father hates her family remains a mystery. The series therefore focuses its lens on the boys falling in love, the conflict between their friend’s groups being resolved (once they find out that thess two have been dating) and for a while, they experience sweet romantic bliss while we await anxiously for the shoe to drop; i.e. for their parents to find out that they are dating.
In Episode 10, Pat and Pran’s relationships are discovered by their parents, which leads to both boys fighting with their parents and Pat suggests to an overwhelmed Pran that they run away, to get away from the madness. In Episode 11, Pat and Pran travel to the “Zero Waste Village” to get away from their parents and clear their heads. Like any BL beach episode, things get steamy but they also get real; after all, “people come to the beach to get hot or to heal”. While it was refreshing to get a “Slice of Life” episode or a filler; unfortunately the series, until now has failed to explain the reason for the conflict that has led our protagonists to be in the situation they are in. The conflict between the parents was supposed to provide us with stakes, but it was handled in a lukewarm manner; so much so, that it is difficult for the viewers to empathize with the characters. The subtle usage of Junior and his mother’s backstory (a family that stays by the beachfront that we have no emotional connection to), as a proxy for Pran to work on his feelings and the relationship with his mother, was confusing. It would have been more impactful had they used flashbacks of Pran’s relationship with his family. For some reason, there were never any concrete scenes with Pran in particular and his parents. Let’s chalk it up to the actors’ scheduling.
At the beach, where they escape from their parents’ drama and have their “honeymoon”, Pat and Pran seem to create a bubble for themselves and are able to have an intimate time where they maturely take stock of their relationship and allow themselves to feel, kiss, make love, joke, drink and at the same time come to terms with their reality. Their harsh reality. Pran is empathetic towards his mother’s plight; he even asks Pat if he would forgive someone for what his father had done to his mother. Both of them love their families and wish things had turned out differently, but also realise that life has to go on. The boys therefore have an honest discussion, which we are not yet privy to and come to terms with how they have to move forward.
Pran and Pat go back home to face their actuality and although the Episode 12 highlights tell us that they decided to break-up, I can only hope that it was a ruse and they have been secretly loving each other all along. So far, there is nothing about how they have handled their relationship that indicates they would choose to break-up without a fight.
Side note: Ink and Pa’s relationship develops adorably in the background. There is no conflict in that story line, just an easy, breezy sapphic story that was robbed of enough screen-time. Wai and Korn seem to develop a relationship, not sure what that is about; people do seem to ship them.
Hope Episode 12 provides us with closure and a happy or satisfactory ending for our main protagonists. Sure not all University relationships last but you don’t make TV shows about those boring ones. The modern day Romeo and Juliet should definitely get to have a good ending in fair Verona. (Rumour has it that multiple endings were filmed)