“Love is love…Once it blossoms, it doesn’t care what gender the other person is”
I have often questioned my belief in love along these lines- is the gender of the person we love that important? Or can we move past those stereotypes and fall in love freely without worrying about these prejudices?
I found the answers to these questions while watching the TV adaptation of “My Ride, I Love You” by author Patrick Rangimant. Devoid of any superfluous complications that might mar this perfection, My Ride is a caustic romance that focuses on second chances and tough realizations in life. Based on Dr. Rangsimat’s desire to write about two characters who have the least possibility of being in a relationship; this show hinges on the fact that at times, you unexpectedly fall for someone who isn’t your ideal choice. My Ride is a voyage towards the “Impossible”, as main leads Tawan and Mork embark on a journey that changes the course of their life in unimaginable ways. Frankly, My Ride is easily one of the few BL dramas to be released in 2022, that I actually enjoyed watching. From awe-inspiring cinematography to excellent direction, the production quality was topnotch. Let’s talk in detail about this eye-opening romance, while reminiscing about some of my favorite moments in this show!
This Doctor Will Make You Fall In Love
I finally understood the true meaning of falling in love with someone regardless of “Their Gender”. Tawan (Fame Chawinroj) is one of those characters who makes you feel so good; that you can’t help but gravitate towards them. Endlessly patient, hardworking, caring, gentle and sublime; I’m actually running out of adjectives to describe him. While there are certainly some instances when you question Tawan’s oblivious nature; his positive qualities outweigh the negatives. Tawan isn’t entirely flawless; after all, he is a human. Like most of us, he is prone to committing mistakes. So what differentiates him from most men out there?- he has the guts to accept his mistakes and tries hard to redeem himself. He is the kind of guy who would work tirelessly for 70+ hours, so he could spend sometime with his boyfriend. The story majorly hinges on Tawan’s stilted relationship with his cheating boyfriend Dr. Por (Pat Chatburirak) while focusing on his budding romance with motorcycle taxi driver, Mork (Fluke Pongsakorn). The narrative works on the conjecture that although Dr. Por might be the most logical choice for Tawan; human feelings and emotions aren’t subjective to long drawn conclusions. At times, I did feel frustrated with Tawan’s low self-esteem issues; but at the same time, I wanted to console him. Tawan’s sweet nature will evoke your protective instincts; I’m pretty sure that Mork would agree with my point of view. Despite his inconsistent behavior, you would want to shield him, make him smile, and give him your unwavering support and loyalty.
Motorcycle Taxi Driver With Dimples
I spend far too much time swooning over Fluke Pongsakorn’s adorable dimple. It just enhanced his overall look and the casting directors were right in choosing him for this role. Mork is a cheerful, easygoing guy with a happy-go-lucky attitude. He is also kind and caring to the level that his good intentions are often misused (his girlfriend dumps him for a richer guy, even though he spends his earnings supporting her studies). I guess this is one of the reasons why Mork is instinctively drawn towards Tawan. They have both experienced the same kind of loss and pain, after being tricked by the people they trusted immensely. At the beginning of this series, Mork identifies himself as a straight man. So, when Tawan crashes into his life, uprooting his lifelong beliefs with his kindness; Mork starts questioning his sexuality. Tawan neither gay panics, nor feels ashamed about developing feelings for a man. He is comfortable accepting this new reality; most possibly because he was bought up by his gay Uncle Cheep (Nu Surasak Chaiat), who is in a loving relationship with his long-time partner Dej (Patson Sarindu). Mork’s uncles are the positive influence that driving this narrative in the right direction. It takes time for Mork to come to terms with his feelings, but once he does; he never wavers nor does he give up on pursuing Tawan. Mork is the kind of guy you want in your corner; either as your lover or as a good friend!
The Unbelievably Sweet Love Story
Their romance kick starts when both Mork and Tawan are at the lowest point in their life; Mork’s longtime girlfriend dumps him while Tawan is in a conflicting relationship with his new boyfriend Por (who is literally sex starved). So while Mork is having a pity party nursing his wounds (after a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new guy), Tawan inquires about his wellbeing. Mork is struck speechless by Tawan’s kindness and it is an instant attraction. They strike an odd friendship when Tawan hires Mork as his permanent taxi driver. They slowly grow closer and become confidants. Tawan has a lonely existence and is mostly driven by his work; so Mork lends his shoulders whenever Tawan is weighed down by his life struggles. They become each other’s support system while their lives seamlessly bend together.
As Dr. Rangimant has already mentioned in one of our interviews-
“This story isn’t about love and relationships, it’s about how to love yourself and how to seek true happiness”
Tawan has been working so hard that he has lost touch with reality. His feeble attempts to reconcile with Por depict his low self-esteem and insecurities. Unless you love and respect yourself, no one else will. This story strongly advocates the fact that “Self Love is Prudent” and it’s a beautiful concept. While these feelings drive Tawan to assess his own flaws and overcome them; Mork comes to an important realization as well. His sentient lifestyle will never match Tawan’s until he improves his self worth. As such, he returns to college and graduates to be on par with Tawan. They both change each other’s life and pave a path where their fates intertwine. Fame Chawinroj and Fluke Pongsakorn have such a beautiful chemistry; that it will make you tear up. Their story is a slow burn romance; there was no need for unwanted explicit scenes to depict their intimacy. Fame and Fluke have the kind of charming chemistry that is natural and believable; they don’t need provocative kissing sessions to prove their point. They simply act like “They Were Made For Each Other”.
The Infuriating Side Couple
I haven’t read the original novel, so I’m not sure about this couple’s relationship in the book. Boss (Best Cholsawas) is a hardworking and disciplined ex-tern working towards his internship. Toy (Yoon Phusanu) is his polar opposite- annoying, lazy and pretty much spends most of his time inventing ways to irritate Boss. Their collisions are epic; Toy’s tendency to annoy Boss will leave you befuddled. In most Asian countries, seniors are treated with respect; so Toy’s behavior is frustrating to the point that at times his actions will test your patience. Although I didn’t like Boss either (he really needs to loosen up); I felt sorry for him. I’m a huge fan of “Enemies to Lover’s” trope, but this storyline just left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was increasingly confused on whether I wanted them to end up together or not? Mostly, I enjoy watching Yoon Phasanu’s vibrant BL roles; but this one was an exception. Either ways, their storyline does get better when Boss gets overstressed and Toy feels guilty. His attempts to make amends bring them closer and by the end of this show, they start dating. Boss and Toy weren’t my favorite couple; but they had their own set of problems and projected common issues that plaque most relationships. It requires lots of patience, love, affection, and mutual understanding.
Supporting Characters That Actually Made A Difference
I was quite awestruck by Ging Areeya’s portrayal of Dr. Nadia. I’m used to watching Ging play negative roles in BL dramas (Secret Crush On You and the upcoming Unforgotten Night), so this slight diversion from the norm was a pleasant surprise. Ging plays this role with a gusto; Nadia is Tawan’s best friend and also his greatest supporter. Both of them have stood beside each other through thick and thin. Their friendship is endearing and Nadia never allows Tawan to belittle himself or question his self-worth. Alongside, her romance with barista Mayom (Oat Sumethi) was equally interesting. Some might think that their story isn’t integral to the story; but I beg to differ. Since the theme of this story is to bring people from different backgrounds together (irrespective of their social stature), Nadia and Mayom’s love story stuck a chord. Like Tawan and Mork, they are on unequal footing. So, the story does make sense when Mayom strives hard to improve his social standing and Nadia gives up on her prejudices to accept Mayom’s proposal.
Love has no age and to support this formula, we have Mork’s entertaining Uncles-Cheep and Dep. Totally unrestrained and constantly bickering like an old married couple, Cheep and Dep define an idealistic relationship. It is never perfect and as you get older; you learn to love and respect your better half (however intolerable they might be). One of my favorite scenes is where Dep is trying to empty Cheep’s alcohol bottles. Cheep has an angry outburst and Dep reiterates, saying-
“I’m scared that you might die before me”
Mork smiles as he realises that his uncles share the same loving relationship as older couples do. A relationship isn’t always about love or sex; it hinges on trust and honesty. Nu Surasak Chaiat and Patson Sarindu effortlessly slip into their roles and I enjoyed their healthy banter. Both Cheep and Dep impart important life lessons while helping Mork come to terms with his own sexuality and these new feelings that is experiencing for the first time. Cheep and Dep’s unwavering devotion and loyalty to each other make it easier for Mork to accept that “Straight or Gay”, all relationships take time and falling in love is a lifelong process. Sometimes, you fall in love with the same person all over again!
My Ride is undoubtedly one of the finest adaptations in 2022. There is something soothing and compelling about watching these two characters fall in love; as they battle their demons to emerge stronger. The cinematography is mesmerizing and storytelling is engaging. Scriptwriters Fluke Teerapat (SOTUS & My Bromance fame) and Tanachot Prapasri have done a fantabulous job recreating this adaptation. Some might find it slow paced; but to me, this journey was meaningful. Both Tawan and Mork are blessed to have a supportive group of friends that render their support without any expectations. Their family dynamics are endearing and enviable. Both Fluke and Fame embody the finer nuances of their character roles; their depiction is realistic and on par with the real-life situations faced by most LGBTQ couples. While I did find the side couple annoying, they slowly grow on you and you learn to appreciate their differences as well. If you are looking for a sweet romance without undue complications, then My Ride should be high on your watchlist. I’m so besotted with this show that I finally got my hands on the English translation of the novel. Here’s to happy times!
Rating- 4 out of 5