“Love Mechanics” Series Review (Ep.3 to 10)

“I couldn’t change the past, but I’m going to make the present the best.”

There is something beautiful about how messed up the Thai BL Love Mechanics is and how flawed all the characters are.

The full version of the novel-inspired series starring actors Yin Anan and War Wanarat has ended, and I was not disappointed.

There’s a lot I could say about Love Mechanics. I’ve already spoken about the series in previous write-ups both initially and about the way it brought attention to how female characters are often villainized even when they aren’t villains.

But what stands out most about Love Mechanics for me is how it presents love amidst a storm of imperfections.

Romance is often thought of in terms of flowers and lovely gestures. No matter how dark or dramatic a story is, romance is often born from a lead character being saved from the darkness by another lead. Less often, romance sprouts from two leads rising out of what appears to be an impossible situation. But this is precisely how Mark and Vee’s relationship is born. They grow from an impossible situation that leaves trust shaky and decisions complicated.

Love Mechanics is, first and foremost, a cheating romance. Mark has unrequited feelings for his senior, Bar, while Vee is in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend, Ploy. After a drunken night in which Vee takes advantage of Mark, an odd and volatile connection develops between the two young men. They fall in love despite Vee’s commitment to Ploy and Mark’s evident broken heart over Bar.

This is where Love Mechanics becomes the imperfect mess that endears itself to many of its viewers.

From the beginning, it’s apparent that Vee and Ploy’s relationship is unraveling. While they care about each other, their being together is more about comfort, longevity, and public appearances than the kind of love that relationships need to thrive. Despite how Ploy tends to be the most villainized of the two, neither is more at fault than the other. Both cheat. Both fall for someone else. Both are good people who make not-so-good choices. Sadly, Ploy falls for someone toxic while Vee manages to fall out of one mostly healthy (until the cheating) long-term relationship into an even better long-term relationship despite the fact that his romance with Mark begins with Vee raping him.

Love Mechanics is one of those novels and dramas that viewers and readers will either take well or walk away from because they take issue with its foundation. As a writer who fully believes fiction is a safe place for people to delve into fantasies they wouldn’t relate to realistically, I have no issues with novels, films, or dramas that include appropriate trigger warnings and ratings.

Therefore, it’s probably no surprise that Vee is my favorite character. In a real-world situation, he wouldn’t be, but in fictional non-realities, I tend to fall hard for complicated characters. I also rarely villainize anyone unless a character is entirely beyond redemption.

But what made me fall so hard for Love Mechanics isn’t the characters themselves. Although War and Yin’s portrayal of Mark and Vee and their on screen chemistry is one of the main reasons this drama is successful, what sold it to me is the theme that drives it.

Love Mechanics is built upon the concept that our past shouldn’t be the precedent for our future. People change. Situations change. We can’t go back and redo our pasts, but we have complete control over our present and future. The decisions we make now and the futures we build from these decisions hold weight. Mark and Vee can’t change how they began, but they can control their current relationship and where it goes from here.

For me, living in the present is what makes Love Mechanics so potent.

History is important. The mistakes we make should be something we learn from. But what sets Love Mechanics apart is that while many books, dramas, and films build love and inspirational stories from a historical or past standpoint, Love Mechanics builds theirs off the present. Stories that focus on the past often conclude with open or sad endings, with the promise that the mistakes the characters made will make them better people in the future. These stories don’t always conclude with happy endings where the characters are willing to look beyond the mistakes they’ve made to focus on the future they could have together. Instead, they typically end with these characters making peace with their pasts while learning to love their present individual self. While loving yourself and growing individually is also a beautiful ending, I found I loved that Love Mechanics chose to keep Mark and Vee together.

Cheating stories often end with couples breaking away from each other. Love Mechanics not only gives Mark and Vee a second chance, it gives everyone inside the series a second chance. Rather than villainize the cheaters inside the story, they retain the friendships made, even Vee and Ploy’s friendship with each other, while allowing each character to make better choices in the here and now. Together. They all suffer to some extent, but they also learn from each other rather than hate each other.

I’ve honestly seen more hate from the viewers towards certain characters inside Love Mechanics than from the actual characters inside the show. It’s as if the writers behind this decided to write sympathetic characters who find a way to understand each other rather than write each other off. As an empathetic viewer who finds it hard to write off anyone, I connected with this. I connected with how the show remained true to itself to the end, and with how it only villainized Ton. Even Krat, the random creepy locker room guy, came off as a lesson rather than a true antagonist.

Krat is where my only real issue with Love Mechanics lies. I never fully understood his purpose. Rather than fleshing out a storyline with his character, he was simply a way to prove Vee’s love, loyalty, and determination. While I appreciated what the writers wanted to convey, it came across as rather campy inside a series that has been primarily emotional and understandably angsty.

Much of this may have to do with the editing and may be resolved when watching the Director’s Cut. The writing in the Director’s Cut version comes across much smoother than the writing in the edited version.

While some of the translations, editing, and random character appearances (such as Krat and the mentally ill patient who holds a knife to Mark’s throat) lent a contrived aspect to an otherwise well-produced and acted series, Love Mechanics’ strength is undoubtedly in its essence. The title of the show holds true until the end. Mechanics fix things, and the flawed love in this series took some serious fixing. To see the evolution of the relationships, from the main characters to the parents, was satisfying.

We all live in the present, and Love Mechanics remains in the present until the end, allowing its characters to grow from their mistakes rather than leaving them bogged down in the past. I also love how Mark and Vee exchange roles in the end. Mark takes control of his situation, taking back the power that was taken away from him when Vee and Mark are first together.

For a series that allows its characters to grow, check out Love Mechanics on WeTV/Tencent Video. And for a much smoother viewing experience with fewer plot holes, also check out the Director’s Cut version on WeTV/Tencent Video.

Rating- 4 out of 5

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