Netflix’s desire for playview domination in Asia made headways in Japan and Korea already. Now, it has begun campaigning in Thailand and other South East Asian countries. Today, the streaming giant launches The Stranded about 30+ students who got lost on a remote island.
With some Lord of the Flies, di Caprio’s The Beach, and Lost (American Tv series) vibes, The Stranded offers some unique Thai horror and lore blends that made it engaging and entertaining.
Let me give you some intro first:
The Stranded is a mystery show that follows 37 private school students who are left abandoned on a remote island in the Andaman Sea following a tsunami. When a series of mysterious events start happening, the teenagers realize that no one is coming to their rescue and that it’s up to them to get off the island if they hope to survive. [source]
The chaotic scene of helpless students who are used to splurge on clothes, gadgets and non-essentials appear sad and tragic enough. Though you may wonder, how can they possibly survive when they study in a posh, elite private school and used to luxury and an easy life?
That appears to be the narrative behind the show. With Netflix’s almost unlimited resources to provide the best technical production values, The Stranded is touted to be viewed by an estimated 150 million viewers worldwide.
No wonder, Perth Tanapon was quoted as saying that his experience as part of the cast is truly extraordinary.
Here are my first impressions which will be subject to updates as I go about watching (rewinding, rewatching, fast forwarding ) the 7 episodes.
- Beam Papangkorn as Kraam is the glue that binds the other 36 students. He comes from a poor family but his survival instincts made him the undisputed leader. I have been a fan of Beam from Waterboyy days to that Volleyball bromantic series (Spike) with Oab Oabnithi. Oab was a standout in The Blue Hour and Beam’s co-star here. I’m really glad that Beam got the lead role because he has grown to become a dramatic standout;
- March Chutavuth could have been perfect as Anan, the annoying Alpha male pretender, except that he can sometimes go overboard. Still a decent performance among a stellar cast;
- Jack Kittisak, who is March romantic interest in Home, portrays the wild and rebelious Ice. I would add more about Jack later on.
Now, lets focus on Perth Tanapon and Mark Siwat.
- In what could have been a sensual and sweet portrayal of childhood BL sweethearts, their characters are somewhat “doomed’;
- Such dramatic turnaround can break the fragile hearts of the actors’ fanatical followers – yet it would launch their acting careers to greater heights;
- Without going into the “seme-uke” specifics, both actors showed domineering and submissive characteristics;
- As Jack, Mark Siwat appears to be the more vulnerable. He dreams of becoming a filmmaker once they leave Thailand and settle in the States. It has been my impressions of Mark as an intense actor who can tease viewers with his mischievous, naughty side. I can confirm that in this series, I’m correct;
- Perth Tanapon plays Krit. He is required to do dramatic, demanding scenes that show mixed emotions. As Jack’s partner, Tanapon gives an inspired performance that borders on the tragic. This is a milestone in Perth’s young, blossoming career.
Scriptwriter and director Jim Sophon Sakdaphisit is a master of the horror- mystery genre. He made sure that both technical and acting conditions are perfect.
It would also be hard to find real high school students (15-17 y.o.) who can act like the current cast. In this case, getting Beam, et al is justified.
My rating and additional critique, plus more casting reviews in parts 2-3.
- Lord of the Flies is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize–winning British author William Golding. The book focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their disastrous attempt to govern themselves. The novel has been generally well received. [Wiki];
- The Beach is a 2000 film starring Leonardo di Caprio. Richard (di Caprio), a young man, travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of an odd map. Rumours state that the map leads to an island paradise. Accompanied by a few friends, he sets out to find it;
- Lost the series: The survivors of a plane crash find themselves stranded on a mysterious island. They are forced to work together for their survival when they realise that they are not alone on the island.