At first glance, the Thai BL Coffee Melody starring actors Pavel Naret and Benz Panupun looks like a drama the coffee-adoring, music-loving romantic in me would have no trouble loving.
And it is, except when it isn’t.
The “isn’t” parts pertain primarily to my initial impression of songwriter Duean, the often unnecessary dialogue between characters, slow-moving scenes, and the overdone coffee monologues.
Lead Duean (Benz Panupun) is a little arrogantly off-putting when first introduced, but the way he softens in the cake scene with Pleng (Pavel Naret) at the end of Episode 1 saves him. The scene offers a surprising depth and vulnerable duality to his character that piqued my curiosity. Fortunately, this duality carries over to the next episode.
I generally need something to connect with one or both leads, even if the connection is small. I found what I needed in Duean’s passion for writing and his being burned out by it. As a writer with an over eleven-year published career, I relate to Duean’s writer’s block and the fear that he can’t measure up. The complex changes in Duean, the supportive friendships between Jan Jao/Duean and Thitnuea/Pleng, and the deeper look into Pleng’s past in the second episode all brought me back to the show.
So, while Coffee Melody drags in places and the coffee talk is a little overdone, even for a show with a coffee theme, the characters have just enough depth to keep me hanging on, as do the new additions to the story. The developing romance between a pressured writer and a barista burned by romance hints at future emotional angst.
For a drama full of coffee, the promise of upcoming music, and a possible emotional romance, check out Coffee Melody on Viki. It has a potential I hope we see realized on screen.
Rating- 3 out of 5