“They don’t beat us because we suck. They beat us because they, themselves, suck.”
Two names KinnPorsche The Series has made synonymous with pain. Psychological pain and physical pain.
Let’s be honest. It isn’t easy taking a character with few good qualities and making him tragic enough to relate to. One of the hardest things for me as a writer is developing antagonists with a reason for being an antagonist. The best villains are the ones readers can empathize with; the kind of person who doesn’t do good things and doesn’t apologize for being bad, but who is human enough to be scarred—a villain who is human enough to be hurt and human enough to love.
Insert Vegas, KinnPorsche’s dynamically layered, unapologetic, but wounded villain with a soft spot for delivering pain. A villain who develops a soft spot for a man with the courage to take that pain and give it back to Vegas with acceptance and love.
As a writer, one of the most interesting things I’ve discovered through my readership is the relationship they tend to build with my evil characters, and it isn’t just that the “the bad guy/girl/person” is hot that does it for them. It’s how flawed that bad character is. Everyone wants to see the good guy win in the end, but they often relate the most to the villain, especially a villain with a redemption arc.
But, I admit, I don’t always love a redemption arc. Out of all the characters I’ve written, one of my favorites is a demon who never had one. His only saving grace was his confidence in being bad and his love for the female lead. Every decision he made served himself in one way or another, and I loved every diabolical inch of him.
Vegas is that kind of villain for me. He’s got deep-rooted trauma that has hardened his resolve and his heart, trauma that stoked the flames of jealousy he feels towards Kinn and the Major family, and trauma that made him the self-serving man he grew to be. But he’s loyal to his brother, has confidence in his ability to deliver pain, and later falls in love with a man who can take the pain Vegas so desperately needs to release.
And so brings me to what makes Vegas who he is. He is bad. He is raw. He isn’t looking to be a good character. He isn’t asking for anyone to like him.
And I like him all the more for it.
One of the primary things about being a villain is that they exist in a dark place. They don’t tread the blurred line between good and evil. Many of them were pushed into the darkness for one reason or another, and they stayed there. Their redemption isn’t a journey toward a happy ending like it is with a protagonist. It’s a journey to come to terms with the way they are.
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), Pete stumbles into the villain’s lair. He’s a good guy with a dark edge who finds himself trapped inside Vegas’s darkness. And that’s where their story begins.
A villain isn’t supposed to make a viewer feel good. A villain is supposed to make you question him, those who made him that way, and even yourself while watching. A villain is supposed to leave a distasteful impression while also making viewers want more.
But what makes Vegas different from the typical villain is Pete.
The BDSM dynamic in the VegasPete relationship is interesting. It should be pointed out that sadomasochistic relationships aren’t always rooted in trauma and should not be stigmatized. For many, giving and receiving pain is a pleasurable release with someone they deeply trust, and some rules should be followed and limits applied that provide safety for both parties. But for the sake of KinnPorsche The Series, I am focusing on Vegas’s trauma and the pain he enjoys giving because of it.
Years and years of being physically and emotionally abused by his father have created a tsunami of pain inside Vegas that is drowning him. I relate to that pain because I know what being beaten by your father feels like. Vegas derives pleasure from taking that pain and giving it to someone else. He’s handing his personal baggage to someone who can accept it.
Up until this point, Vegas hasn’t cared about rules or limits. He hasn’t cared about the pain he gives to someone else. Although we don’t know much about his sexual history, I assume he hasn’t given as much thought to his partner as he has to himself. A genuine BDSM relationship is rooted in trust, and Vegas doesn’t trust people. Therefore, until he meets Pete, I assume he’s never been in a relationship that benefited anyone outside of himself.
Pete comes with his own trauma, a trauma not too unlike Vegas’. Both were/are beaten by fathers who never lived up to the potential they thought they should live up to, so they take it out on their sons.
As Pete so eloquently put it, “They don’t beat us because we suck. They beat us because they, themselves, suck.”
That strikes a chord within Vegas. Until that moment, he didn’t realize that it wasn’t Vegas’ shortcomings Kan was trying to beat out of him. It was Kan’s.
And that’s heartbreaking. The world is full of people who take what they believe to be their own limitations out on others. Sometimes we’re aware of the pain this leaves behind and what it does to us. Other times we aren’t. This whole truth just sits heavy, KinnPorsche The Series or not.
It’s also interesting to note that the book Vegas reads in the series is Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. For many, the title itself says volumes. For those of us who have read it, either on our own or for academic reasons (as was my case), then you know the book is about an alien-observed utopian society that later falls into violence. In a book full of deception, the Overlords in it symbolize devils and guardian angels. Evil depends on how you look at it.
Vegas being evil depends on how you look at him.
And how the VegasPete relationship appears to the viewer depends on the viewer themselves.
I want to applaud actors Bible Wichapas and Build Jakapan for their portrayal of these characters. They are deeply complex, and how that dynamic is presented on screen is essential to how it’s received. In an interview for iQiyi, I saw that Bible mentioned how much support Vegas receives despite being bad, and I want to say to him that the support makes so much sense. It’s evident why Vegas gets that type of support. Everyone has a little pain inside of them. Whether or not the pain is deep enough to take a person to such a dark place is another story, but pain is one of the most relatable human emotions.
Even at birth, there’s pain. But pain links us to other human emotions as well. Even when we fall in love, there’s pain. The heart hurts when it loves. Longing hurts. Even when we’re happy, we hurt. When we’re happy, we tend to talk about how painfully full of joy we feel. It’s a good hurt, but it still hurts. We often cry as much when we’re happy as when we are sad.
Vegas and Pete call out to that pain in viewers. Watching them and their struggle and seeing Vegas abuse Pete is an uncomfortable pain because it’s evident Vegas does it from a painful place.
The “utopia” Vegas exists in has fallen into violence. He’s the devil that lords over Pete, and Pete welcomes pain in a way someone who hasn’t been through his abuse may not.
And this is where the true BDSM relationship dynamic seems to fall into place. Because proper BDSM behavior is about giving pleasure through pain but being careful about it, it truly is important to note the series is just now arriving at this destination. It’s about trusting your partner, and even though Vegas hasn’t gotten to that point, you can tell he’s headed in that direction. Until the end of Episode 11, Vegas and Pete shared a violent push-and-pull relationship between a villain and his prey. Not BDSM. A sexual BDSM relationship, if healthy, is not toxic.
However, the affection growing between Vegas and Pete is genuine and certainly headed in that direction. The scene where Vegas tends to Pete’s wounds is a clear move toward the caring place a love-filled BDSM relationship goes. There’s no doubt that Vegas is sadistic, that he derives enjoyment and gets emotional relief from giving pain. Pete certainly derives emotional comfort from receiving pain. It’s been hinted at since the beginning of the series.
I love all the nuances the series has given to this couple, and I love that they’ve paid attention to every detail, including the gestures shared and the dialogue spoken. And even more important is that they cast actors who could pull it off.
Pain is a much more complex emotion to pull off believably on camera than other emotions. There’s a reason why there are ways to help actors cry on set. I’ve seen it done while behind the camera. So, I am impressed by how well KinnPorsche pulls this off with all the couples. But especially how they do it with Vegas and Pete and the trauma and scars they represent in the series.
I look forward to more, but I don’t look forward to this show ending.
For a series that takes you into the dark side of human emotion with VegasPete, check out KinnPorsche on iQiyi.