WhyRU, the Series came out strong not only for its visuals but also for its soundtrack. It is one of the most heavily promoted series from Thailand. With all the buzz created, people expect a high-quality “product” after being bombarded with amazing promotions.
Did Episode 1 deliver on the promise?
Let’s get down to it.
- Tommy Sittichok (who plays Zon) opens the premiere episode in a dream sequence that involves the other 3 characters. They make up the 2 main BL couples;
- It is implied that his friend, Tutor (Saint Suppapong) dates someone named Fighter (Zee Pruk). And that Zon himself is targetted by Saifah (Jimmy Karn). The dream ends with Zon walking up. So far, so good;
- The Y generation theme came up when Zon’s sister created her own Yaoi themed online novel. It involves characters inspired by real people, including her own brother;
- Going into the campus scenes, Hwawah, Tutor’s friend appears to be dating Fighter. There is a history of animosity between Tutor and Fighter during the former’s initiation rites;
- There is the same level of hostility between Zon and Saifah due to an accidental kiss during a confrontation involving a girl.
That’s episode 1 in retrospect. This episode is divided into 4 parts – released by LINEtv – right after its initial airing in Thailand.
Now for my review:
- What was quite exceptional is the use of anime that blends well with the dream sequence. It was totally unexpected and added excitement into the live-action cuts;
- The pacing is also quite fast. The initial conflicts between the two main couples have been laid out altogether. Knowing why they hate each other is important. While the way it was presented lack a certain level of fluidity, it succeeded to offer a background into the characters and their feelings;
- I have an issue with the background music. I don’t know if the technical staff are aware that silence is often used to highlight scenes. In Episode 1, the musical background did not complement the scenes but rather prevent the audience from getting fully engaged;
- Inexperienced actors are expected to do something – including memorizing their script, understanding their characters, putting on clothes that fit the character or just diving into another personality that may be the opposite of their real ones. These are the norms. They are also expected to be guided by the director so they know where to stand, where to walk into the scene and the timing of their interaction with their costars. That did not happen consistently;
- The directing duo (Dir. Thanamin and Jumba) fail to control the actors, thus over-the-top acting (becoming caricatures to be exact) occurs in many cuts. This is especially so with Perth, the actress who plays Sol;
- Comparing scenes and interaction between drama series is to be expected, esp. if there are similarities. In this case, the cinematography looks fine but it can never compete with 2moons2 where dir. Aam Anusorn offers some gorgeous shots. However, the scenes in the open fields are challenging given the chaotic nature of filming outside – where sound and pacing – can be hard to control. The team succeeds here with flying colors;
- There are scenes that somehow appear inspired by other series, including SOTUS and Kiss Me Again.
I was made aware by the writer that while the initiation scene is similar to scenes from SOTUS, it is a common tradition in Thailand for students. I was not aware of that. My apologies for the wrong assumption.
Here’s the tweet:
It’s great to know that the writer actually cares for feedback and it is much appreciated.
On the acting, here’s how I rate the main actors:
- Zee Pruk as Fighter projects arrogance as a defense mechanism for his actual feelings for Tutor. I am totally taken by Zee’s acting. If you got affected by Zee’s characterization of Fighter, then he was effective as an actor. For me, his scenes are the most challenging and he delivers;
- Tommy Sittichok is “pressured” to appear first. He is quite photogenic and his previous acting roles made him competent and convincing. From the time the series was announced, Tommy is already a personal bias of mine;
- Jimmy Karn is consistent with a fresh face. His inexperience, however, shows and among the main cast, he is the weakest link;
- Saint has transitioned from being Pete into becoming Tutor. The transition from a timid, bullied guy to someone who can be assertive and capable is a 360-degree turn for the popular actor.
Overall, the premiere episode – launched to some fanfare – offers a promising start.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars [See our Review Guide]