This show is… weird. But in an interesting way.
The first thing that caught my attention about Vice Versa, even back when the mock trailer dropped last December, was that this is based on a novel by JittiRain, the legendary author behind the novels for 2gether the Series, Theory of Love and Fish Upon the Sky, and she comes with a guaranteed audience. The series director is X Nuttapong, who also helmed Theory of Love, which was well made, despite Khai being the worst. Overall, I was cautiously excited by Vice Versa, and this wasn’t dampened by my doubts about whether the leads would be able to deliver in terms of chemistry and performance.
It’s literally impossible to write a spoiler-free review of the series this early on, so please excuse any that follow.
Vice Versa is the story of Talay, played by Sea Tawinan, an aspiring colourist who presumably drowns on a trip with friends and wakes up in an alternate universe, where he is in the body of Tess (Ohm Pawat), a rich university student whose family owns a film company. What’s more, this world he’s in is different from the one we know in some strange little ways. He also finds out that he isn’t the only multiverse traveller and there is in fact an entire association of them. He meets one of the seniors among them, Nurse Phuwadol, who tells him that the only way he can get back is if he finds a ‘portkey’, a person who is also from his universe.
Talay then sets out to find this portkey, and all signs seem to be pointing him to Pakorn (nicknamed Tun, played by Nanon Korapat), who was apparently once Tess’s friend but they had a falling out for some reason. Talay is convinced that Pakorn is his portkey, but through most of their encounters, Pakorn avoids him (or rather Tess), like the plague.
The second episode sheds a little more light on why this is happening, and also brings in Puen (Jimmy Jitaraphol), whom we briefly met in episode 1 as well, but now is in the alternate universe in Pakorn’s body. Puen doesn’t immediately reveal who he is in the other world to Talay (and calls himself Tun to differentiate from Pakorn, Nanon’s version of the character) but Talay continues to be convinced that Tun is portkey.
The first two episodes seem to be mostly setting everything in place for the story to actually begin, and I’m looking forward to seeing the plot actually kick in. We have been introduced to the group of friends who are the side characters in the series, out of whom Neo Trai is hilarious from the very outset, and in future episodes I expect them to play more of a role.
The concept of alternate universes is new in Thai BL, and this universe is just similar enough to ours that the differences are amusing rather than alarming. I consider it to be something of a treat to other fans of GMMTV BLs that the series seems to be including little Easter Eggs to others series in every episode. The password to get into the multiverse travellers meetings are usually famous lines from other series, and both first and second episodes have crossover couples wandering into the story – ForceBook in episode one and MilkLove in episode two.
Despite my misgivings, Jimmy and Sea have really good onscreen chemistry, and Jimmy as the flirty Tun/Puen feels like his redemption arc from his roles as Wai in Bad Buddy and Sun in Enchanté, both of which felt like drastically underusing his potential. I loved Sea in 55:15, and he seems to be delivering a solid performance so far.
It’s still very early in the series to tell whether it will explain the many, many questions viewers have on the mechanics of the soul swap and so on, which is why I prefaced this review by saying it’s a weird show. But I will be tuning in every week to see how it goes, because it’s definitely entertaining enough to do that.
Rating- 3 out of 5