Bad Buddy Didn’t Change the World, and That’s Exactly Why You Need to Watch It

Approximately 5 minutes after I finished watching the finale of Bad Buddy (my sister and I had an unspoken rule to only watch it late at night after the rest of our family had fallen asleep so as to not let anyone and anything disturb the bliss of watching each episode), I tweeted this- “Please excuse me while I cry about #BadBuddySeriesตอนจบ the whole night and figure out how high it’s come on my favourite BL’s list”.

Without consciously having a hierarchy of my favourite BL series, I knew instinctively that Bad Buddy was now somewhere close to the top. The last episode only served to cement my belief. Bad Buddy did not change my life. It did not completely offset, for lack of a more sophisticated word, the dumpster fire that the last couple of years had been, both for me personally and for the world collectively. In the grand scheme of things, Pat and Pran perhaps did not change the world. However, as was repeatedly affirmed throughout the series, the world didn’t change them either. They managed to live happily despite all the challenges they were dealt with; even if they didn’t change my life, they brightened it up for months, leaving me waiting eagerly for every Friday, knowing I was going to get fulfilled.

Their journey together was not smooth sailing till the end of the narrative; they had to deal with conflicting feelings for each other (which thankfully started to get worked through much earlier in the story than is the norm in BL series, giving us much needed Pat-Pran romantic moments post getting together), rivalries with each other’s friends and departments, and above all, the deep-seated tensions their parents had which were directly bearing upon the status of their relationship.

I was glad that they didn’t end up giving us a “perfect” ending with everything magically getting resolved; their parents leaving behind decades of enmity to welcome their son’s partner with open arms. The acknowledgement that they could not (and did not want to) meddle in their adult children’s love life while providing silent support was more than most couples in a similar situation get, and the message within the show was clear- not everything works out as we hope all the time, but we can still come out of it okay. I had not been expecting the show to take that turn in any case, however realistic it might be, especially after the second to last episode had set the scene for their inevitable breakup in face of opposition from their parents.

I was active on Twitter throughout the run of the series, and after the penultimate episode ended, with the looming breakup of the couple, I had been ready to give in and believe that the curse of the 11th episode had struck again. There were similar tweets all over my timeline, people speculating upon how the breakup would play out. Would they break up for a few years and meet again at the reunion, thereby rekindling the sparks of their relationship? Or would the narrative follow the book’s ending, giving us an unsatisfying resolution to PatPran? There were a few tweets (likely made in jest) arguing that they were pretending all along, and in fact had never broken up. As much as I wanted to believe in the latter, I thought it was unlikely. And never have I been gladder to have been completely fooled by a series. They quite literally had us in the first half, I won’t lie, and I’m not complaining.

It was a subversive approach to take, and it wasn’t the only one. I, for one, was relieved that Korn and Wai did not end up together, despite the slight clues that had been interspersed in different episodes that might have led them to be paired off. In a different show, they might have been partnered off as the best friends of the protagonists and two named characters who share more than five minutes with each other on screen. There were implications towards Korn being bisexual, and Wai never revealed his sexuality other than his short-lived crush on Pa. The conditions were all set for them being paired together, and they still didn’t. Which, in hindsight, was going to be the most likely conclusion in real life. Everyone doesn’t always get together with each other romantically, and that’s okay too. Their character development from rivals to friends and co-workers was a natural progression despite most of it happening off screen.

It was a subversive approach to take, and it wasn’t the only one. I, for one, was relieved that Korn and Wai did not end up together, despite the slight clues that had been interspersed in different episodes that might have led them to be paired off. In a different show, they might have been partnered off as the best friends of the protagonists and two named characters who share more than five minutes with each other on screen. There were implications towards Korn being bisexual, and Wai never revealed his sexuality other than his short-lived crush on Pa. The conditions were all set for them being paired together, and they still didn’t. Which, in hindsight, was going to be the most likely conclusion in real life. Everyone doesn’t always get together with each other romantically, and that’s okay too. Their character development from rivals to friends and co-workers was a natural progression despite most of it happening off screen.

The natural progression also extended to Pat and Pran’s relationship. After more than four years of being together, they were as domestic as could be expected. They might not know where the other was born or what their zodiac sign is, but they know how to love each other in the way that only they can. And who could ask for a better epilogue, with Pat and Pran so obviously in love and achieving a level of comfort with each other that was palpably heart-warming, even through the screen. We have to thank not only the brilliant direction of P’Aof but also Ohm and Nanon’s dedicated and convincing portrayals for that. For months, we lived Pat and Pran’s lives with them, and as much as it feels bittersweet to say goodbye, I wouldn’t exchange the experience of watching this show with anything, except perhaps the chance to watch it for the first time again.

4 thoughts on “Bad Buddy Didn’t Change the World, and That’s Exactly Why You Need to Watch It”

  1. Funny. I had the opposite reaction to it. While I agree on everything you said, I dislike the ending because the director put them back in the closet but allowing to have a relationship where everyone had to pretend they didn’t have one. “As long as we don’t talk about it and they don’t say anything, it isn’t real.” I think the director had a great opportunity to show that a couple can make it, children can make it without the support of the family. They could have make that very clear but instead, I feel the director pander to the fans to give them a happy ending where they still with the family even though they don’t talk about their existence as a couple… and that, is basically sending them back into the closet not acknowledging their existence and their love.

    I’m not saying that they parents needed to accept them and their parents needed to “fix their own problems.” But what I’m saying is that both Pram and Pam could have simply be out and proud, regardless of their families’ acceptance and show the world that they could still make it. But, the director chose to compromise their relationship by putting them back into the closet, where they live a “happy live” between them but pretending in front of everyone else.

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    1. What do u mean back into the closet, just because they hid their relationship from their parents for the better that doesn’t nean they went back into closet or sum. You don’t need to shout your love out loud for people to be happy, saying this is restricting the fact that queer people can be happy only one way, i did secret relationship so what…

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    2. Also they did make it without the support of their parents, wtf, they literally live away from them, pat and pran don’t have the same type if bonding with their parents, as university students they cannot just run away like they are not financially stable enough to do that

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    3. I think it’s better to realise that the fact that if they had cut off their relationship with their parents that would have caused chaos and nothing else, this was the only way

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