“Because when you finally find the one against all odds, you give him your best and let the magic of the world carry the rest.” ― E. Mellyberry
Lost chances and forbidden reconciliation seem to be the central theme of this new GMMTV Frigay romance. Adapted from the novel แล้วแต่ดาว by the author Peachhplease; Star and Sky is a two segment mini series helmed by popular Thai BL director New Siwaj (Love by Chance, Until We Meet Again and 7 Projects). Most of his projects evoke a sense of old school romance tinged with mystique; they are, metaphorically speaking-an accurate representation of the LGBTQ community and their concerns. Star in My Mind follows the same formula and university set up; the storyline isn’t something new to write about. So why are we watching this drama? Subjectively, because-
☆ 2moons2 star Joong Archen Aydin has made a strong comeback with this show (after recently joining the GMMTV cadre)
☆ rookie actor Dunk Natachai has an intriguing camaraderie with Joong, both onscreen and offscreen (it is as good as Joong’s pairing with former co-star Nine Kornchid)
The cinematography is appealing; the storytelling is refreshing, carried forward by the enchanting chemistry between the main leads. Without further ado, let’s review the first two episodes and figure out whether “Star and Sky: Star in My Mind” is worth your time?
The Main Leads and Their Plot Twist
New Siwaj has a habit of creating an odd sense of foreboding in most of his directorial works; so Star in My Mind follows the same style. In a scene that forlornly reminds you of the 2moons2 connection (PhaYo’s dreamy romance outside the basketball court), Daonuea (Dunk Natachai) makes a rushed confession to his love interest, Khabkhluen (Joong Archen). We are left in the dark about Khabkhluen’s response; as the storyline seamlessly switches to the present where both have enrolled as freshmen in the same university. The first two episodes do a splendid job of painting their contrasting personalities; which is by far the most interesting facet of this show. Khabkluen is calm, composed, mature and reserved; Daonuea is outspoken, stoically grumpy and has a hard time trying to hide his emotions. The “Push & Pull” dynamics add a distinct flavor to this romance; as Daonuea spends most of his time rejecting Khlabkuen’s fervent advances. We do have the girlfriend angle- Gia (View Benyapa) who seems more like the “Best Friend Next Door” (conveniently used as a front to detour from parental expectations). Their friendship adds another layer of intrigue because it’s obvious that Khlabkuen only sees her as a friend and nothing more. Something that Gia knows and accepts; it’s been so long since I have seen such an uncomplicated female character (who knows her place and isn’t hellbent on destroying on the main lead’s relationship). For now, the show hinges on Daonuea’s scepticism as he tries to figure Khlabkuen’s true intentions.
The Bounce Back Chemistry
GMMTV has a tradition of fielding new BL couples in their Safe House editions. It was the same for Season Two , where they introduced ForceBook before Enchanté premiered on the social circuits. As such, the third season, which focused on popular GMMTV couples, served as a launchpad for JoongDunk. Fans obsessively followed this couple as their real-time antics and endearing dynamics put them on the front seat. Joong and Dunk have the same natural chemistry in Star in My Mind. I wasn’t expecting Dunk to be on par with Joong (given the fact that this was his first show). But Dunk surprises you with his realistic portrayal of Daonuea’s emotions. The surprise followed by shock as Daonuea realises that he is back to square zero with the guy who most probably rejected his confession is believable. Although Khlabkuen’s inner thoughts remain hidden, it’s obvious that he shares the same affections. His repeated attempts to get closer to Daonuea prove the conjecture that maybe he is trying to redeem himself. Khlabkuen’s possessiveness really adds an extra layer to his multi-layered personality and you want to dig deeper. Joong has improved by spades, as his soulful rendition will pull at your heartstrings. It’s absolutely impossible to hate him when he follows Daonuea around like a lost puppy; seeking opportunities to learn more about Daonuea. We still have no idea about the end result of their first confession. It’s quite possible that Khlabkuen rejected him because Daonuea was moving abroad for furthur studies. From what we know about this character, Khlabkuen always takes calculated risks. So, when Daonuea proposed to him (out of the blue), Khlabkuen might have rejected him because he saw no future for their relationship. The situation is different now.
Since both of them studying in the same university, Khlabkuen can openly explore his options. Obviously, he is enjoying the results; because the more he learns about Daonuea, the harder he falls.
“Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but “safe” isn’t one of them.”- Mandy Hale
I’m loving the current pacing of this show; it is consistent with the storytelling. Just the requisite amount of suspense mixed with intrigue and comic relief that offsets the negatives. The storyline doesn’t have any deep-set meaning; it is just an angsty romance hinging on the powerful connection between the main leads. The supporting characters are interesting; especially Daonuea’s close friends Pong (JJ Chayakorn) and Ne (Winny Thanawin). They are doing a fantastic job of sailing the “Khabkhluen & Daonuea” ship since the involved parties seem hesitant or confused. The “Freshy Contest” is an overused trope in Thai BL dramas; but when you have handsome men like Typhoon (Pepper Phanuroj) onscreen, there is not much to complain about. Typhoon seems interested in Daonuea; major question- is it just mild curiosity or something more? I was pleasantly shocked with the surprise addition of Samantha Melanie and Yacht Patsit, since they both work under the “Studio Wabi Sabi” flagship. Since New Siwaj is directing this show, seems like he bought in his own people to play supporting roles. The major plot twist is obviously Mek Jirakit’s introduction as Fah (Daonuea’s best friend) in last week’s episode. I have a love-hate relationship with this actor. His character Matt (The Players) had all the makings of your resident devil; the one you want to be rid of as soon as possible. And yet, Mek’s portrayal was so heartwrenching that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Matt. So, I’m definitely looking forward to watching the kind of mayhem that Fah will bring to Khlabkuen’s peaceful existence (since Khlabkuen is so innately possessive of Daonuea).
We don’t know if Star in My Mind will surpass Bad Buddy Series’ popularity or tank like Enchanté Series. It’s still in the early stages; but it’s worth your time. The “JoongDunk” combination is definitely worth exploring!
Rating- 4 out of 5