“Hit Bite Love” First Impressions (Ep. 1 & 2)

Thai BL’s have come a long way after years of using the “Medical Students and Engineers” archetypes to summarize both characters as encompassing a BL couple. From 2022, these attempts seem to be abandoned, in favor of more unique characters. Which is very much the case with Jinloe’s new BL, “Hit Bite Love – The Series”. Jinloe is a production company known for “What The Duck”, “What The Duck : Final Call”, and “War of High School”. “Hit Bite Love – The Series” has a large cast drawing attention to the troupes that we, as viewers, enjoy; while acknowledging that sex sells, a fact that can be both good and bad for the show. The first episode has as of today 1.2 million views, while the second episode has over four hundred thousand views within a day of airing. I don’t think the fact that the first episode having two illicit scenes, one of which is featured as the YouTube thumbnail, had nothing to do with the explosive numbers of views world wide. But is “Hit Bite Love – The Series” worth a glance? Find out below.

Already the show is being compared to “Make It Right – The series” and I can’t say that is unwarranted. The boys and girls are dressed in the same clothes for school uniforms as the boys from “Make It Right – The Series”; as well as a pair of boys being oversexed, but “MIR” used sex as a way to highlight more internalized situations that portrayed a major aspect of the boys. In “HBL” it feels as if the scenes in the first episode were added with the intention of shocking the audience. It was a welcome shift from the forensic investigation into the murder of a boy, found naked at the high school. Did it leave me a bit confused? NO. It was evident the show would start at the end, then backtrack to the start of the story of how the boy died.

It’s a clever and inconsistent form of telling the story that, in the two episodes out so far, created a very juxtaposed way of viewing this drama. In the pilot episode, the murder set a very serious tone that was soon forgotten; first with a highly visual game of basketball, then Ken (Pure Napolgong) and Shokun (Bigboss Woraphon) having a well-acted sex scene. Most people wouldn’t have sex in a school locker room, but as the two do it, there is no denying the chemistry. This is followed by a discussion by the homeroom teacher who points out the negatives of having sex in a comical way. Only to be stopped midway by Burger (Jur Vasin), who is late for the class. The disgruntled teacher orders him to sit beside the popular student, King (Newyear Nawaphat). Unfortunately, the student whose seat he is given drops an unopened condom box and Burger is invariably accused for it.

The dialogue for the scene is cleverly written and performed by Newyear defending the new student just because he doesn’t agree with the teacher’s views. And that’s what makes this show worth watching. No matter what you’re seeing on the screen, the writing is really well done. While watching King and Burger interact in various scenes, their chemistry is apparent. Even though Burger in no way presents himself as gay, he seems to idolize King from the start. King’s aloof way of being around him makes it adorably cringeworthy to watch sometimes. But they are side characters to everyone else in the first episode.

Instead, the show focuses on Shokun and Ken and their “relationship” or lack thereof; since it quickly becomes obvious,it is purely sexual to Ken, while Shokun wants more. Now with this I have to bring up the subs were misspelled. I thought Shokun was Shogun for half of it because that’s what the subs showed. Add to that the fact most of the times I had to guess the meaning of some phrases, because I didn’t know what they meant. This brought me to the conclusion that their relationship was purely sexual, because that was how the characters acted. By the end of the first episode, Shokun and Ken have broken up and Burger has joined King’s acting club. By the start of the first episode, I thought I had an idea of what the show would be. But the second episode throws that idea away with a host of new characters and a new format.

Instead of bouncing around characters, the script makes it seem like Shokun and Burger are the two mains and other characters interact with them, adding to their stories as the story proceeds. For Burger it’s a girl that he develops a crush on, who is also late for school like him; for Shokun it’s the school council president Matteo (Alan Campana). The two stories move alongside each other in parallels where the only interlocking connection seems to be King (Shokun’s bestie/Burger’s maybe crush). The show seems to leave the overly revealing sex scenes aside in favor of new characters introductions and product placement (where characters fully explain a product and the closeup on the product breaks up the show’s momentum).

Shokun witnesses Matteo handle a disgruntled art club member with a penchant for yelling and throwing paint. The anime themed scene ends with Matteo being shirtless and covered in paint. This paint somehow gets on Shokun though I don’t see how (the same way during his shower sex with Ken in episode one, his soap suds magically vanish) and it requires him wash himself beside Matteo. It doesn’t take long before Matteo corners Shokun against the sink and makes an unbelievable offer- he would allocate funds to the music club that Shokun desires if he agrees to become Matteo’s boyfriend.

Burger and his new friend Heda (Vic Vittawin) have a couple of moments that were supposed to show me what sort of boy he is. But by the end of the episode, I was asking myself the same question- as to why, he randomly appears beside Burger for lunch. (Who is this kid?) He confuses Burger on what a “Deserts Party” is when King invites him to one (saying it is a drug party) when Burger asks him about it. And that’s mainly his only notable scene besides making King jealous of him when he tries to flirt with Burger openly; which, for me, made this show a worthwhile watch. Here you have this super shy kid everyone admires because of his looks. Practically throwing himself at Burger, I rarely see that in a BL, and it was just darling. Between that and King being emotionally supportive of Shokun throughout those two episodes; it sets an uneven balance of time between Shokun/Burger’s plots and all relative points versus Heda and June. The thing about both these characters additions was that- I felt not including them in the first episode somehow offset the mood of the show too much.

Burger having a “Love at First Sight” moment with June and then trying to set her up with King felt like a lazily written plot device due to a real lack of any indication that she wanted King. Unless he’s a mastermind on par with Taylor Swift and foresaw a much better outcome for the date he set up between them while he was trying to act as the third wheel himself. It felt like a scene that should have been deleted scene. In a similar way, King’s “Dessert Party” scene definitely felt unnecessary and was only there to give Heda something to do. The irony of these scenes and the lack of resonance to the overall mood were used as a precursor for Matteo’s daredevil scenes, which heavily leaned on Shokun breaking up with Ken. It makes me wonder if most of what happened around the two was filler and if they are going to be the main couple of the show since A) Matteo is the one who controls the club budgets for the whole school. B) Matteo makes an enemy of Ken by the end of the episode. C) Matteo blackmails Shokun into a BDSM relationship. D) items from his playroom are seen on the murder investigation table which serve as evidence and are used to question Shokun in the cliffhanger towards the end of the second episode.

The sudden mixup of narrative between Matteo/Shokun and Burger/King scenes upends the detailings relative to the murder investigation which seemed to be the focus at the start of the first and the second episodes. This felt like an unreliable manner of telling the story. Because in the first episode, the glimpse at the murder investigation sets a tone for the remainder of the episode, that gets quickly abandoned in the presence of the sexual situations and comical aspects. While in the second episode, it felt like I was watching a whole different show and Matteo acting like an emotionless narcissist was the reason the play room situation worked. Returning to the murder investigation at the end felt like they were deliberately leading the viewers to assume that Matteo was most likely the murder suspect.

Is the show good? Yes, the perfect visuals, high definition picture is beautiful to look at. The characters seem well thoughtout but aren’t utilized properly. Like a badly played game of chess, knowing that Heda is going to have his own version of stepbrother incest as a plotline feels like an impossible game of Jenga. And I will be sad when it toppled under the weight of how much they are piling on. There is a chance they pull it off, and it doesn’t go the way of “WhyRu?!”. But we will have to wait and see.

Rating- 3 out of 5

Streaming on- Jinloe YouTube Channel

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