“Cutie Pie” First Impressions (Ep.1 & 2)

From the first scene itself, I was hooked on to the grand vibe that was reminiscent of a fairy tale, and after the two episodes, it seems that they are playing more and more into the trope of the outwardly aloof yet warm-hearted princely character in Hia Lian.

Kuea (New Chawarin) and Hia Lian (Zee Pruk) are engaged to be married, and while Kuea is in love with Hia Lian, the latter gives no indication of his feelings except the perfunctory dates he takes Kuea out on every week. Things have been going this way for years until everything finally breaks down when Hia Lian confesses that he doesn’t love Kuea and the reason for their engagement is the promise he made to Kuea’s grandfather. It is at that point that Kuea breaks off their engagement (or does he? I was a little confused as to whether they actually broke things off, or if they are going to keep going back and forth regarding the status of their engagement while their relationship itself progresses throughout the series).

While Kuea comes from a powerful aristocratic background, his inexperience with love beyond his feelings for Hia Lian and his naivete at times, places him in an imbalanced power dynamic with Hia Lian. I think it is still too soon to say either way, but I am hoping to soon see Hia Lian as vulnerable and open with his feelings as Kuea has already shown himself to be.

As for the other couples of the show, so far, I am not completely invested in Kon Diao (Nat Natasitt) and Hia Yi’s (Max Saran) subplot because there hasn’t been enough (or any, really) context given to us to make sense of their dynamic. There hasn’t been any development with Nuea (Tutor Koraphat) and SinSaMur (Yim Pharinyakorn) either. But I believe as the show goes on, we will hopefully get to see more progress in both relationships, and it is too early to form an opinion about them at this point.

Poppy Ratchapong undoubtedly steals every scene he’s in; it feels like he was told to just run with his lines and improvise the scene however he liked (I am not complaining whatsoever!). Since at this point, we don’t know much about Hia Lian’s character and motivations beyond the conflicting senses of duty he feels to take care of Kuea and his own feelings for the latter, his seemingly cold exterior is offset by Foei’s comedic persona. Poppy is at his charismatic and vibrant best and I’m more than excited for his scenes in the later episodes.

One of the downsides of the show thus far was the context surrounding their first kiss. I would have liked it to be in a setting where they were both in their senses and in a position to give their full consent. I will still wait for the third episode to see how the show deals with it, although I don’t believe the storyline will address the lack of consent, based on the preview.

I won’t exaggerate and say Cutie Pie has already become the series I will look forward to the most every week, but I am interested to see how they proceed with the relationship between Kuea and Hia Lian from now on.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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