“Isn’t that how falling in love so often works? Some stranger appears out of nowhere and becomes a fixed star in your universe.”
― Kate Bolick, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own
I’m pretty sure that this is must have been Kimhan’s exact feelings when Mek appeared out of nowhere and turned his entire world upside down. Ch3 Thailand’s popular weekend sitcom ended on a high note and we are definitely pleased with the beautiful ending. Adapted from famous Thai BL author Jamie’s novel (with a lot of tinkering, of course), My Secret Love The Series stole hearts with its diverse storytelling structure and smart execution. It isn’t entirely flawless, there is no such thing without faults; but the sublime romance between the four couples, coupled with the satiric comedy, blended perfectly. Though character development was rather slow in the initial episodes, the story quickly picks up pace as the main & supporting couples were successfully aligned. I guess the biggest strength of this show lies in its ambiguity; though there are four different couples, each were afforded their own storyline, and they held on their own. There was no overlapping, and each romance was properly defined and nurtured. I started this show because of my fixation on Earth Teerapat and gradually fell in love with the entire cast. There wasn’t a single dull moment and I’m definitely going to miss my weekend fix. Without further ado, let’s reminisce about the finest moments in this endearing romcom!
They Bickered Their Way to Love
Literally and figuratively!
We have dozens of romances littered with the “Enemies to Lovers” trope. So, what was so different or unique about KimMek?
Kimhan (Earth Teerapat) and Mek’s (Fluk Chatchawan) contrasting personalities shouldn’t gel at all and yet they complement each other well. Both are arrogantly obnoxious and loud, but also endearingly insecure. As the Student’s Club President, Kimhan is used to taking the lead and ordering people around; which obviously doesn’t work with our feisty content creator. Mek on the other hand, is used to adoration from his fans and so Kimhan’s unflattering attitude is a welcome change. I wasn’t a huge fan of this new pairing in the initial episodes (I was hugely biased towards Earth’s pairing with 2moons2 co-star Benjamin Brasier). And yet, FlukEarth broke through this mental block. They have a natural chemistry which shines through in the later episodes as they slowly warm up to each other. Obviously, like most couples, their relationship isn’t easy and it goes through lots of ups and downs. Both go through vivid phases of jealousy, denial and acceptance followed by painful separation. While Mek has qualms about being in a long distance relationship (which is quite understandable), Kimhan decides to sacrifice his love so that Mek could pursue his dreams. The “Noble Sacrifice” trope is too cliche and annoys me, nevertheless; but since there is light at the end of the road; that’s all the matters. So, I was happy as long as our bickering couple got back together and spend the rest of their life annoying the hell out of each other!
Why I Love The Supporting Couples So Much
There are very few Thai BLs that take time and efforts to develop the individual storylines for their secondary couples. Oddly, My Secret Love is one of those shows. So, it was a blessing to watch Lee (Daniel Cheng) and Park (Bew Sitthikarn) wade through their insecurities to emerge stronger and more in love as they finally reveal their seven-year relationship. Dating in secret can be a real pain when you are a part of a gang which compromises of loudmouth friends who don’t know or entertain boundaries and everyone is in each other’s business. Park & Lee ended up being one of the fan favorites (Yes, I’m biased too) and I’m pretty sure there are fans sending penditions to Boyy Entertainment to give them a separate series ASAP (I support their stand wholeheartedly).
Bomb (Yut Kritsadayut) & Bear (Por Chaowana) were the “Chill Couple”- unfazed and somber. While Bear mostly seems quite childish and immature; Bomb’s undulated love and affection bring him back from the verge of collapse. Despite the odds, Bear and Bomb end up together when our eccentric content creator falls for his dedicated fan. Por Chaowana seems too fresh faced to be paired opposite a BL veteran like Yut and yet he holds his ground. They make a beautiful couple; Bomb’s calm demeanor perfectly complements Bear’s overzealous personality. They were obviously my second favorite, unquestionably!
Tim (Boat Yongyut) and Mai (Kenji Sivarut) didn’t make a lot of sense in the initial episodes. Watching Mai pin after Tim was a painful experience; more so because it was obvious that his affections weren’t one-sided. Tim’s cowardice was undeniable; he is so afraid of losing his childhood friend that he had rather deny their love than accept his own feelings. The unwarranted third angle (Pete) was annoying, but since it forced Tim to accept his feelings, I didn’t mind the slight overture. Although it took a long of time, energy and plotting to get these two to reconcile, it was worth the wait!
Positive Representation of Parental Acceptance & Sibling Love
Q (Prae Phimaraya) & Dao (Pearmai Thunrawee) are responsible sisters; you wouldn’t find a better example of sibling love in Thai BL dramas. They fervently ship their idiotic brothers on fan pages, smoothen their ruffled feathers when KimMek argue endlessly for stupid reasons and even give sound advice whenever the situation demands it. Q even drags Kimhan to Mek’s resort when they end up having their first official fight. The girls are pretty, care a lot about their brothers and sincerely hope for their happiness. Also, I loved Mek’s parents, their ready acceptance of KimMek’s relationship; especially Mek’s Mom who is a BL shipper herself. Dao definitely got her Shipper genes from her Mom; the mother-daughter duo are adorable together. Last but not the least, we need to talk about Kimhan’s Mother. They seem to have a terse relationship and Kimhan mostly chooses to avoid her. And yet, she floors him when she doesn’t question his reconciliation with Mek. While Kimhan is afraid of falling short of her expectations; she patiently explains that she only cares about his happiness, not his choices. I guess every teenager belonging to the LGBTQ spectrum needs to hear this from their parents; that they love them unconditionally, despite their sexuality. The show raked up positive points by conveying this strong message.
The show’s biggest strength lies in its brilliant casting; spread over a span of almost two years, My Secret Love underwent a lot of changes in terms of casting. Despite the inadvertent delay, the casting directors successfully found the perfect actors who easily took over their characters and portrayed them professionally. Despite being paired opposite seasoned actors like Daniel Chang & Yut Kritsadayut, rookie actors Bew Sitthikarn, Por Patsakon did well. They weren’t overwhelmed by their co-star’s presence and matched their demeanor perfectly. The same goes for Fluk Chatchawan; a lot of doubts were cast on his pairing with Earth and yet they successfully allayed those fears by having a amorphous chemistry that resonates well. My Secret Love does have its weaknesses; but it is easy to look beyond these discernible issues once you fall in love with the four couples and their individual romances. Frankly, it’s a guilty pleasure, one that you can’t deny when you want to unwind after a long & tiring week of stressful work. The characters are charming, endearing and you will fall for each and everyone of them. You will follow them on their crazy journey, become a part of their lives, and rejoice on their achievements. And then you will miss them, because the show has ended and you can’t help but hope that the show would be renewed for Season Two!
Rating- 4 out of 5
☆ My Secret Love stars Earth Teerapat, Fluk Chatchawan, Daniel Cheng, Bew Sitthikarn, Yut Kritsadayut, Por Chaowana, Boat Yongyut and Kenji Sivarut were recently featured in L’Officiel Hommes Thailand magazine!