There’s nothing worse than being ghosted out of a relationship. Not knowing why someone would build a connection with you and then suddenly abandon it leaves a lot of questions and wounds the self-esteem.
But being ghosted also says much more about the person ghosting than it does about you.
This is precisely the predicament Daonuea (actor Best Vittawin) finds himself embroiled in inside the Thai BL Checkout The Series. After falling in love with a man named Nine (Chahub Marut) while on vacation, Daonuea returns home renewed and full of hope, only to be thrown aside by the man he’s fallen for.
And that leaves him full of self-doubt, no closure, and on the verge of a new relationship with a co-worker he’d once tried dating in the past.
Although the persistent flashbacks, choppy transitions, and awkward dialogue in the first two episodes left me a little disoriented, the essence of where Checkout The Series is trying to take the audience stands out. Actor Best Vittawin has a very expressive face, and it’s interesting to see him cycling through various emotions as he attempts to come to terms with a failed relationship that never truly started in the first place.
But I think the most interesting aspect of this drama is how Daonuea and Nine initially connected.
In a special episode 0 that aired before Episodes 1 and 2, we see two men who temporarily left their lives and homes behind to escape their current realities. Both are trying to heal. And they fall for each other in the process.
There are a lot of varying opinions about relationships that happen on the tail end of other relationships. Rebound occurs when you jump into a new relationship while contending with a past one. While many consider rebound relationships superficial, I have to disagree.
Some may be, but others may be worth falling into.
Rebounds may be quick and easy to let go of, but they may also grow into a deeper than expected relationship depending on the situation. Relationships that develop out of a period of healing can be powerful.
I won’t lie and say that I found the first few episodes of Checkout The Series to be top-notch, but I was drawn to Daonuea and Nine. I like that they found healing in each other, even as Nine also caused Daonuea pain after leaving The Air. And the chemistry between actors Best Vittawin and Chahub Marut is palpable.
This series has a lot of potential, but it’s held back by the need to overcompensate. The frequent flashbacks, choppy scene insertions, and longer-than-necessary voiceovers are a classic writing and editing faux pas. There’s a lot of stand-still ‘telling’ the audience rather than progressive ‘showing.’ A select few flashbacks and the actors’ expressions should be enough to reveal the plot without constantly reiterating a point. It feels like the show is stuck in one place rather than moving forward.
Despite this, the show has enough potential to pull viewers through the first two episodes.
What I’d like to see the most is the return to what Checkout The Series gave us in the special episode. Episode 0 was well done and left a deep impression, and I didn’t get that as much from Episodes 1 and 2.
I have faith Checkout The Series will find its way. Until then, I’m pushing forward.
For a mature drama with a lot of angst, be sure to look for Checkout The Series on iQiyi.
Rating- 3 out of 5