The Thai BL Between Us, adapted from the book Hemp Rope by Lazy Sheep and starring Boun Noppanut and Prem Warut, has ended on a high note.
But it struggled to do so.
Rather than complicate things by delving into all of the couples and storylines Between Us offers, I’m going to talk about why I liked it and why it fell short for me.
My reason for loving the series is simple: Win and Team. Their story is powerful, delving into a one-night stand that ends up blooming into a complicated but healing relationship between two men, one struggling with guilt and grief, the other with the overwhelming desire to be needed while also fearing love. Together, they find themselves.
Unlike the fragile red thread that binds Dean and Pharm in the Thai series Until We Meet Again, Win and Team are bound by a solid and unfailing hemp rope.
Their story is moving. Deep. Touching.
But I was also disappointed in it, not because of the WinTeam story but because of how it was presented.
The Between Us series feels like pulling onto the freeway in bumper-to-bumper traffic and getting stuck there. The drama tries too hard to throw in way too many relationships and characters that do nothing for the central WinTeam plot. While all the couples are fun to watch, I can’t help but wonder why Bee and Prince are in the series rather than leading a series of their own.
With the exception of WinTeam and WaanTul, as well as glimpses into DeanPharm and ManowPruek, everything else felt out of place.
Rather than feeling cohesive, the added characters and plots made Between Us feel like a promotional vehicle for the studio’s actors rather than the streamlined, emotional story I expected from Win and Team based on their previous appearance in Until We Meet Again and the novel.
And that’s the crux of why it fell short for me.
The novel behind Between Us is nuanced, emotional, and poetic. This is lost in the chaos of the script. Rather than offering the book’s depth, the series felt like it was trying to squeeze WinTeam’s story into a romantic comedy sketch, which took away from the powerful, tearful, and even desperate scenes that make Win and Team who they are. Instead, it often felt like Win and Team’s scenes didn’t belong inside the bigger comedy presented.
And that broke my heart.
If the story had been cut, removing unnecessary character additions to focus primarily on WinTeam and WaanTul while giving us DeanPharm and ManowPruek in the same kind of effective but short scenes Until We Meet Again gave us with WinTeam, it would have given the show the power it needed to stand up to its predecessor.
While I enjoyed Bee and Prince’s story and their friendship with A and Sea, they felt out of place inside this series. It would have been interesting to see their story produced as a separate drama, focusing on the exciting dynamic it presented. An actor dating a non-celebrity inside a world where dating is fodder for fandom outrage, Bee and Prince’s romance would have been a good vehicle for a drama that tackles this on a much deeper level, away from the WinTeam umbrella.
That said, Win and Team’s story is as poignant as I hoped it would be. When their story is pieced together away from the chaos, Boun and Prem offer powerful performances. Win goes from being a man everyone relies on to grasping onto a man he wants to rely on himself in Team. Team goes from being lost inside his trauma and survivor’s guilt to learning to forgive himself with Win. Team finds safety. Win finds reliance.
Waan and Tul are equally as powerful. They belong inside the universe that is Hemp Rope, offering the same kind of reliant and healing story that Win and Team offer.
Getting a deeper look at the friendships that Until We Meet Again introduced is heartwarming. Getting glimpses of Dean, Pharm, Manow, and Pruek is nostalgic. And that’s what Between Us should be. The story of Win and his brothers, as well as Team and his family while glimpsing into their friendship with Dean, Pharm, Manow, and Pruek. It brought us full circle.
That’s how I’m going to remember it.
For a series that dives into a couple we first fell in love with in Until We Meet Again, check out Between Us on iQiyi.
Rating- 3.5 out of 5
2 thoughts on ““Between Us” Series Review (Ep.3 to 12)”
I wanted to see a lot more of WinTeam. Imagine taking all of their parts and making a movie?
I too began watching BETWEEN US for the WinTeam story, but soon realized the series had something more important to tell us. Just like THE ECLIPSE touched on the many paths one can take to a clearer self-awareness, BETWEEN US delved into the various aspects of love; none more authentic or important than the other, just different. Love between brothers, between cousins, between parents & children, between friends, between boyfriends & boyfriends and boyfriends & girlfriends; from puppy love to redemptive love to caring love to predestined love to sexual love. BETWEEN US reminded us that no matter the dynamic, no matter the kind, as humans, we are better if we allow it into our lives. You can be afraid of anything in this world, but don’t be afraid that you are not worthy of giving and receiving love.