Episode 3 of Until We Meet Again equally covers the stories of the two main couples – past and present – and acting showdowns were held. Whoever said that BL actors are not capable of excellent acting is wrong.

There is a delightful juxtaposition of how the two lead couples met for the first time. It was sweet, romantic, and anything a BL fan can anticipate.

More than that, dir. New employs technique that is totally unexpected. Such directorial style gave this Episode a distinctive look and feel.

Let’s get down to it:

  • The events described in previous episodes are hints to what happened in the past. A tragedy occured and an ill-fated lover (Korn and In) committed suicide,
  • Many years later, two guys – unbeknownst to each other – will continue the abruptly ended relationship. That would be Pharm and Dean.

Dir. New (some call him P’New) made sure that the 2 previous episodes created enough sentiment for viewers to anticipate the first meeting of Dean and Pharm.

While this becomes a highlight of Episode 3, an equal measure of Korn and In’s tension-filled first encounter was also on the spotlight. It made for a double layer of delights.

Yet there is that big elephant in the room.

Homosexuals during Korn and In’s time were not properly treated. In fact, history tells us that homosexuals in the early 70s are the target of brutal discrimination.

While this appears to be an underlying theme of the series, it is tackled on piece meal – making less of an impact yet its always there, and we wait for its ugly head to appear in the most unexpected ways.

On Pharm and Dean | The Present

  • Ohm, who plays Dean, made use of his eyes so effectively. Such is the control and power that I wonder if this is really his first drama;
  • No surprise when it comes to Fluke’s acting. 2019 is a highly competitive year for BL actors and Fluke is at the very top of the acting ladder;
  • There is a direct demonstration of the Uke+Seme distinction where Ohm dominates Fluke. Just see photo/screenshot above;
  • The texting that is made into a direct eye to eye conversation is cute and innovative. It further personalizes the relationship to a deeper level without the characters in close proximity to each other;
  • The food and what “eating” means in the complicated Thai language has both sexual and dietary meanings;
  • Some awkward moments when they started to officially “introduce” themselves to each other;
  • The loud noise and Pharm’s traumatic reaction, yet Ohm is not entirely convincing in this scene.

They have their moments together in an almost intimate way, both trying to find a common sense of familiarity which is not yet there, at least for now.

While I advocate for equality, I do prefer to have my BL couples to be straight. It’s a personal bias – pure and simple.

I have been sitting on the fence on this one. I like Fluke a lot yet there is this nagging feeling that it could have been different if someone with a less “androgynous” physicality was cast. However, this character requires a seasoned BL actor and there is no one more capable than Fluke.

Food for Thought

The biggest appeal of BL for me is that I am completely aware that the lovers in the series are played by straight actors.

When I see Ohm Pawat romancing Singto, Tay Tawan kissing New, or Mew Suppasit having sex with Gulf. I don’t have any lingering feelings of doubt. This doubt is more pronounced with Earth Katsamonnat, who plays one of the couple in the past.

I have never been a fan of Earth. I just thought him to be more “effeminate” than most who play the uke role.

On Korn and In | The Past

  • Perth Tanapon appeared as expected. If you’ve invested much in the series already, you know he’ll appear in Episode 3. People who have read the books are surprised to tell me that there is no equivalent of Perth’s character;
  • In was surprisingly aggressive to approach Korn and introduce himself. Nine (who plays Korn) looks pained and almost ready to become violent, yet this apparent show of machismo is only a pretense;
  • Korn is ignored. Other students are afraid of him. That’s a bit understandable since Korn is tall and masculine and has Mafia ties.

I know that Dean (Ohm) is the reincarnation of Korn (Nine). I don’t see a perfect match here, yet I’m keeping an open mind as to any other explanation for the casting choice.

This is getting to be quite a lengthy review even by my standards. There are a lot of issues I want to open and I think UWMA is the perfect series to do so.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guidxe]

7 Comments »

  1. I watched UWMA Episode 3, 3 times to improve my understanding with the nuances of the subtitling. I’ll concentrate on just a couple of aspects.
    I agree wholeheartedly that the acting in some BL series can be somewhat “wooden” at times, but all the better to contrast the sheer talent that flows from this drama. I know it’s cliché, but as Pharm, Fluke knows that the window to the soul of his character Pharm is through the eyes. He expertly telegraphs through these lovely orbs the feelings and thoughts of his character, from the bloodshot tear-stained panic attacks, to the twinkle after Pharm realizes he just accepted a breakfast meeting with Dean. The young actor also shows his versatility in his PTSD-like reaction to the exploding transformer (with snippets intercut of Korn’s/In’s trauma in Pharm’s mind).
    I’m not sure that I am totally locked into the whole Seme/Uke dynamic. I just don’t see it as that rigid. Being feminine is not the same as being “nellie” and bitchy (which we see in droves all the time in BL series). Androgyny itself in boys has always had an appeal with some – young men can be beautiful.

    Being a fan of Earth since his heart rendering performance as P’Tar in LBC, I have no problem with his femininity. His character In’s aggressive initial pursuit of Korn just strikes me as “I get what I want”. In the States I suppose there could be a loose equivalency between this aggressive behavior and what’s referred to as a “power bottom”.

    What I find emotionally jarring at times is the juxtaposing of the two time periods with the overwhelmingly different moods. Tears to joy and comic relief, back and forth – it’s manipulative, but effective. It also serves the notion of how bad it was verses how nice it might be in this day and age.

    I realize these thoughts are jumbled. But at times, I think so hard about differing elements, and divergent paths, that’s it’s sometimes hard for me to put them all down in a totally, cohesive narrative.

    Also one day, I would love to see a Linguist, one fluent in Thai and English, have a go at doing the translations for subtitling, and maybe dive a little deeper into the subtleties of the two languages. ………..or I could just learn Thai. But dear god, no dubbing.
    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so love the term power bottom.

      On the issue of uke-seme dynamics or the lack of it, I just prefer to have someone totally dominate another and show it in a romantic, sweet manner. I can fantasize what happens after since, it would be extremely difficult for the Thais to actually show full frontal nudity as the French or Germans can do.

      I just have to mention Free Fall and one of my favorite German actors, the amazing Max Riemelt. The scenes of intimacy and romance in that movie is beyond what Asians can do. However, they are fast catching up, especially the Taiwanese.

      No worries if you think your comments are jumbled. I actually thought of it as very poetic and you have such an amazing way with words. I read it twice already and will be reading it again because I am getting more and more insights as I read it multiple times.

      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey there, been reading and enjoying your blog for a couple of months now but had to comment for the first time here. You’re entitled to your opinion and I know you may not mean it in a bad way but always worth remembering that gay men are real people. And these stories while fantastical are depicting people that really have existed and currently exist and live in the world. So you may like the fantasy of the characters being played by straight actors but if you really support LGBT equality that would include having the best actor (who may be gay or bi) play those roles.

    Also, worth noting however straight an actor may seem, you can never know for sure unless they have identified themselves that way. It’s totally possible some of the “straight” actors you mentioned could be gay or bi but just are not as obvious as someone like Earth.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comments. Being gay myself, I know where you are coming from. As i said, this is just a personal preference. You see, when I know the actor is gay, it somehow gives me the idea that the kissing scene or intimate scene are no longer his “first time”. If the guy acting the role is straight, there is that feeling that maybe it is his first time to kiss another guy. That’s a big difference. That’s what I’m driving at.

      No offense meant to Earth. Many like or even adore him, I just don’t prefer his acting. This applies also to White Nawat, who also gives me the same vibes. He’s the guy in Lovesick and for me, he is the reason why I never became a 100% fan of that series. In contrast, I adore and is a loyal fan of Love of Siam for the same reason as Pchy and Mario – as I know them to be – are both straight. I’m saying this in all candor because even though I review drama and movies, I also have my own personal biases.

      I also know what you mean by straight acting but is actually a closet queen. The more exciting that is because he is acting in real life and is now being true to himself in the drama.

      Like

  3. Hm. We’ll have to agree to disagree on parts of this one, but I really appreciate your perspective!

    In BL fandom, I think it’s important to separate the characters and acting from the real people portraying them. It feels like fetishizing the actors to prefer that they be straight men portraying gay men (or, as happens more often, for fans to insist that they must be gay *and* involved with their acting partner in real life, which gets really creepy). If they are convincing in the role and have good on-screen chemistry with their on-screen partner, what does it matter what their own orientation is? It’s really none of our business, and gay actors deserve the same opportunity to audition for these roles without discrimination.

    The uke/seme stereotype is a weird obsession of BL and yaoi fandom that doesn’t accurately reflect the diversity of gay men’s sex lives and attractions. But there do seem to be many gay men who are attracted to the cute little “twink” type, and lots of men and women who find androgyny very very hot. It sounds like your bias is toward seeing two more conventionally masculine/straight-presenting men together, though, is that accurate? Like Forth/Beam on 2Moons2 or Arthit/Kongphob on Sotus? I see the appeal there but also enjoy the cuteness of a classic big tough surly guy/adorable sassy little guy pairing.

    I’d love to see BL shows explore more of the nuances of gay attraction, but I guess that’s a lot to ask of a genre that’s 90% fluff and fantasy. The more important ask, I think, is that these series and their fandom don’t perpetuate harmful stereotypes and myths. Reviewers like you can be a real asset in calling them out when they fail at that, so I’ll continue to read your posts with great interest!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi and thanks for this really insightful and honest comnents. As reviewer, its easy to be objective when watching something like The Datk Knight or a Thai horror film. Both are safe IMO but when it comes to BL, it becomes personal since it involves one’s own sexuality. Since gays have been suppressed for years, it is only recently that real life sexual intimacy are portrayed. Gay porn is different but BL offers more than just a hard on ; my apologies for being so forward and a bastard in my use of sexually charged terms but everything about BL is personal for me hence I am finding it hard to separate the actors’ persona and their characters when they are enacting a sex or romantic scene. However, I am still conscious that they are acting and their sexuality should be segregated.
      Yes on the pairing. Its a personal bias. I would definitely prefer seeing Singto and Ohm versus Nine and Earth. Because at my tender age, 😰😂😂 I never; for once, contemplate acting girly, wear girl’s clothes or act nelly. Dafuq if I ever. So with such a mindset, I enjoy the straight looking guys having a go at it than someone who is a bit soft.
      If androgyny is the consideration, then Ill still prefer Dior Homme models when Hedi Slimane was the in-house designer. Our Thai boys (like Earth or White) are great but still not my cup of tea.

      Like

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