When Studio Wabi Sabi announced the sequel to their highly popular BL series “Love By Chance,” the news swept through the fandom like fire, and everyone was ecstatic. The show, which got widespread recognition because of the amazing chemistry between main leads Perth Tanapon (Ae) and Saint Suppapong (Pete), left the audiences with a bittersweet feeling. While the fans celebrated Ae and Pete’s relationship growth, they were left devastated by how things ended for the second lead couple, Tin (Mean Phiravich) and Can (Plan Rathanavit). Can’s inability to accept his own feelings left fans bewildered.
—Edited by TheFNGee
While the audiences waited with bated breath for the sequel’s announcement, the 2wish fans (Mean and Plan’s official fandom) hoped for a “Second Chance” to see their ship together. The sequel was designated to be “Tin and Can’s” re-launch for romance. But did the sequel live up to these high expectations? Was the show comparably better or just lacking? Did “A Chance to Love” live up to the hype and buzz it created with the promise of forever?
The Good Things That Made Me Happy
Tul & Hin
Tul and Hin are the “underdogs.” They didn’t meet up until Episode 10, but still, the charm that their romance held never diminished. Although Tul is largely portrayed as a master manipulator and Tin’s nemesis, his human side was relayed via his relationship with son Phupha and love interest Hin. Just because Tul loves these two doesn’t mean he is a better person. Tul is a character with shades all the way to black. His softer edge is as dynamic as his vicious side. I was intrigued by this character, not just because Meen Nichakoon is smoking hot and convincing as Tul. Nope, Tul is the whole package, most probably the bad boy you want to win over. According to the book “Breath,” Tul and Hin have a destructive Master-Slave relationship which borders on torture and sexual abuse. None of which was portrayed in this show. Instead, we got a “broken man,” trying to be a good father and maybe a better brother. So finally, when his lost love Hin returns and the two are back together, I heaved a sigh of relief. Not because Tul got his “happily ever after,” but because Hin might stop Tul from scheming against Tin and making his brother’s life miserable.
Tum and Keen
Tum and Keen were the surprise package. Although author Mame deviated from her original storyline and gave Tum a new love interest, I’m not complaining at all. For some reason, I wasn’t a huge fan of Title Kirati and Earth Katsamonnat’s combination. I don’t feel like they had a connection. However, if you ask me to compare the Tum and Tar (Hiter Natthad & Kokliang Parinya) pairing from “TharnType the Series,” I had probably preferred that couple for the portrayal of Tum and Tar’s forbidden romance. Hiter and Kokliang have better chemistry than Title and Earth.
So I was quite happy when the storyline bought Tum and Keen together. Granted, they didn’t confess their feelings. But Keen has stood beside Tum as his silent support and is surely more deserving than Tar. I admired Keen as a character because his love for Tum is entirely selfless. Knowing that Tum is in love with Tar, he persists and supports Tum throughout his endeavors. That kind of love is priceless, and I’m glad that Tum finally realizes the importance of the person beside him. I would have been delighted if they had confessed their feelings, but I will make do with what I got. In the end, Tum and Keen are a possibility, and that’s more than enough.
Ae and Pete
Love by Chance was my first BL show. I guess it was “Love at First Sight” because I fell in love with Ae and Pete. My opinion might be biased since they are my first BL couple, and yet it is not. Because I have been consistently watching and reviewing BL dramas, and still their charm persists. Perth Tanapon and Saint Suppapong had blazing hot and sensual chemistry. But apart from that, Ae and Pete had a mutual understanding. Ae was Pete’s biggest support and Protector. Pete changed Ae in more ways than ever. So, watching a heartbroken Ae throughout half of the series wasn’t a pleasant experience. I understand that heartbreak is an integral part of everyone’s life, so I guess Mame wanted to address the issue. I’m glad that Ae’s friends Pond and Mai stood beside him and finally pulled him out of his misery. I was unsure about his decision to share his daily life on a public platform. Will it work or not? But it did because Pete has probably read all those posts, and he is finally back. The show ended on a cliffhanger, but the only good thing was that Ae might get back with the one true love of his life.
The Bad Things That Disappointed Me
Tin and Can
While I was watching Love By Chance, Tin and Can were my second favorite couple. The prequel showed the sudden shift of their relationship from enemies to lovers. It was slow, and the drift was understandable. The series ended with heartbreak when Can rejected Tin’s proposal. So, when Season 2 was announced, I was happy that my favorite couple would finally get a second chance. But that wasn’t the case, because suddenly the storyline was changed. The first seven episodes dragged through the flashback where Mame felt the need to rewrite their history. While she was trying to soften the edges and make Tin’s character more humane, the audience grew bored. We weren’t exactly looking for a reprieve because it was a total waste of time. What I expected was to watch Can grovel and earn Tin’s forgiveness. What I got was Can being easily forgiven because he lost a game. Yes, I admit we got to see how their relationship developed, but it mainly focused on Tin’s poisonous relationship with his brother.
Did Can feel sorry for the lost rich guy, or did he really have real feelings for Tin? You will never know because the answers are never clear. We must also address the incompatibility between the couple. For most of the part, it seems that Mean Phiravich is the only one putting any effort into making their kissing scene believable. Plan Rathavit seems uncomfortable and is not mature enough as an actor to overcome his negative feelings. They are great friends, but compatible costars, they are not. I was sorely disappointed with the apron scene. To be honest, I really wanted to watch Tin and Can grow closer, but somewhere down the line, I didn’t get the real deal.
Kengkla and Techno
These two characters are another couple whose sole existence disappointed me. I’m not a huge fan of rape scenes or for victims who fall for their rapists. To me, this pair made no sense from the start. Throughout the series, Kengkla kept apologizing to Techno but didn’t give up on stalking him either. Techno made it clear that he wants time to think, but Kengkla’s inability to understand this simple thing made me angry. He doesn’t give up on following Techno around and is still plotting and scheming with Technic (because, of course, Techno is fated to have the worst brother in the world) and won’t take “no” for an answer.
On the other hand, I have major issues with Techno’s confusion as well. You either want the guy, or you don’t. There shouldn’t be an in-between. Techno kept swaying between yes or no for most of the series, and his inconsistent mind gave me a headache. Finally, they got together in the finale, but I don’t exactly care about it. Also, the scene where they are shown to exchange a kiss was a total failure. Mark Siwat is quite comfortable performing kissing scenes, so why hide behind the mobile? Was Gun Napat feeling uncomfortable? Their romance was hopeless, and I was hugely disappointed.
Tul and Hin
You might be wondering why these two are here or if I’m of two minds? Although I did like that Tul and Hin got back together, their storyline was still a major disappointment for me. I understand that there are so many different couples, and not all of their stories can be merged into a single saga, but this couple had so much potential. First, their romance was never shown. There was no elaboration on their love life or how they got separated. Was Vadee getting pregnant the only reason for their breakup, or did something else happen? Hin is the kind of person who never makes decisions without Tul’s consent; that’s clear from their relationship. So from where did Hin get the courage to decide on their apparent separation? When Hin came back after ten years, we still didn’t get many scenes explaining their reconciliation. This couple intrigues me the most, and I wanted to see their backstory. What we got was rushed, and their destructive relationship wasn’t properly addressed. Meen Nichakoon and Est Ravipon might be newcomers and were together for just two or three scenes, but they are sensually compatible. It’s a pity that this great chemistry between the two of them was fully explored.
Ae and Pete
Don’t worry; I’m not suffering from split personality per se – a coin always has two sides. I’m happy that Pete got back in the finale episode, but that leaves us with the most important question. What’s next? Will Studio Wabi Sabi produce a third season? Will I watch the sequel if it happens? The answer is Yes. But only if Saint Suppapong returns to reprise his role. The glaring difference between LBC and ACTL is the absence of an experienced BL actor like Saint. Saint was half the reason for the popularity of the first season when you look at it, and his absence tanked the sequel. For most of the part, I kept comparing Perth and Saint’s chemistry with Mean & Plan. The conclusion – I found the latter solely lacking. LBC became a worldwide phenomenon because the audiences fell in love with Pete’s vulnerability and innocence. The fiery chemistry with Ae was a major positive, all of which was missing in ACTL. I might sound biased, but I’m not ready to watch another half-baked attempt. The first season was widely celebrated, and the sequel was highly anticipated. However, the show’s finale burned all the bridges and most likely any connection I might feel to the storyline. Although Director New Siwaj has denied all rumors related to a new Season, you never know.
The Final Word
I went into this show looking for a consistent storyline that made sense and a beautiful romance. I didn’t get either; instead, I was left with a medley of mismatched storylines that were absurd and forcefully stitched together. Comparing the sequel with the first season leaves a lot to be desired. The main couple was unable to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. They didn’t leave a mark on my mind, and frankly, I’m rather glad that the show has ended. I don’t understand where they went wrong, but they did, and the most anticipated drama of 2020 ended up being a major disappointment.