BY RUBY CHINGU
Even though I am a professed lakorn lover, it is quite difficult to find a Thai drama to my liking. After watching a handful of them, one does became overly familiar with the cliched characters and predictable plots. To find a lakorn that offers something refreshing is almost impossible. Thus, one has to make do with what one has.
Which led me to start my 2014 with a quite interesting lakorn I found on the internet, Samee or The Husband in English. The main reason I am attracted to this drama is the lead actor and actress, Grate and Preem, who had acted together in Suparb Buroot Jutathep – Khun Chai Tharatorn. Although many people have commented that their segment was the most boring part of the 5-brothers series, I completely disagree. Call me a lame ass at heart but I do love seeing a complete gentleman who genuinely treat the woman he loves with care, respect and adoration. Grate as Khun Chai Tharatorna made me swoon over his character – a wealthy history teacher who fell in love with his childhood friend who also happened to be his student. Scandalous? Nope, not really. Sweet? Yes, superbly. I love how he treats Maprang, the heroine like a little princess and spoke gently and softly to her, even when scolding her. Gawdddd, if there is a guy like that on earth, I am more than willing to be a submissive to his dominance. *cries*
Back to business – SAMEE! So, what is my comment? I just finished watching 8 episodes of the 15-something episode series and I have to say I quite like it. Not so much for the story because like all the other lakorns, it has all the already-used ingredients on how to make a dramatic series. There’s the usual two families not in peace with each other, the abandoned son, the scorned wife, the jealous ex-boyfriend and girlfriend and many others. But what made the drama so utterly enjoyable to me?
The characters. Our hero, Khun Rarb and our heroine, Khun Ying Ai (Lady Ai) are unlike their typical counterparts in other lakorns. The story is this – our noble-blooded heroine, Mom Rajawongse Rasika Prakarkiat or Khun Ying Ai is a successful interior designer from a fallen nobility. Her father, a prince/relative to the royal family, lost all of his wealth prior to his death, leaving our Khun Ying with nothing but the palace that housed her family for generations. Her mother, whom she loved so much, worsened her life by marrying her father’s enemy, Jao Sua Reaw, a Thai-Chinese busines tycoon who is marvelously wealthy and lives in an illogically big mansion with a multitude of servants to serve the family. As our Khun Ying’s debtors were trying to kick Khun Ying’s noble ass out of the palace due to the unsettled debts, Khun Ying were pushed into a corner by Khun Rarb, Jao Sua Reaw’s eldest son, and married him to repay his family’s deeds in preserving the palace for her.
So, you see? Khun Rarb and Khun Ying Ai are married to each other. Khun Rarb’s father and Khun Ying Ai’s mother are also married to each other. *telling myself that this is not weird. This is not weird. This is not weird. God, this is super weird.* But well, what are lakorns without the weirds?
The main theme of the drama is EGO. Egos, egos, super high egos everywhere. Even when you poop, you can still smell the egos of our hero and heroine miles away. Add a few ounces of romance, a tablespoon of shy glances, three cups of assisting-him-with-wiping-his-body scenes and I am sold!
Let’s start with my favourite character in the series – Khun Ying Ai, a noble lady of modernistic inclinations but traditional values. Our Khun Ying is a designer who does not rely on her family’s wealth to succeed in life – maybe because there is none left. Even though she is super confident and bright, she retains a paramount sense of pride and honour in herself. Her deep sense of righteousness makes her a blatantly honest person, never scared to speak her mind. This has led people to misunderstand her as an arrogant bitch, though I do not really blame them. Nevertheless, she is unflincing in her principles. She remains sceptical towards her husband mainly because he has used the justification of money to marry her. Thus, she initially deemed Khun Rarb to be of low moral standing (and for me, she’s not completely wrong). Calm and mature in facing obstacles in her life, she became the sought-after daughter-in-law for Jao Sua Reaw, who wanted his son, Khun Rarb, to have a strong woman by his side to help him manage their super rich family – which is apparently filled with maniac unstable siblings and one resentful former mistress.
The more interesting character in the series, though, is Khun Rarb, for he is not what you think he is. Let’s start with his good points – he is a dutiful son, a smart businessman, a supportive eldest brother with great leadership qualities, a polite man, a kind man, a man of a big heart, so to speak. When he smiles, it melts your heart. He never says a foul word to anybody and he is, generally, a very loving man. Now let’s go to his bad points….
Where do I start??
1- He loves using his money to coerce Khun Ying Ai to comply to his wishes, albeit subtly. He never yells at his wife and is always soft spoken to her. Maybe that’s what makes it so disturbing for me – the fact that he knows he does not have to force her to do things by yelling at her. It is enough to make her submit to him by using the one thing he has that she does not have – money. When Khun Ying’s friend said that he used money to force Khun Ying to marry him, our Khun Rarb retaliated that no, he was not. He was using money for an opportunity to make her love him. Which does not really make sense to me. Because that ‘opportunity’ he was talking about was forced upon our Khun Ying.
2- He told his father that he wants to win over Khun Ying Ai’s arrogance. Khun Ying Ai’s egoistical and prideful self is what attracted Khun Rarb the most. He was used to having women clinging to him, begging for his attention. He was used to having women submitting to him. Despite his kind personality, he clearly loves the attention. Then, comes a woman in his life who dared to insult his millionaire father in public. That woman did not even bother casting a glance at him, what more wanting him. Khun Ying Ai’s dislike towards him somehow pulled him closer to her. He wants to break her ego and prove her wrong. As she had, on many occasions, expressed her spite against his family, he wanted to win over her. It is power-play at its best. He’s a dominant. She’s a dominant. Who shall prevail?
3 – He kept a mistress and dumped her the moment he decided to marry Khun Ying Ai. Judging from how he managed to maintain a mistress, Khun Si on the sly, I suspect Khun Rarb to be a major playboy prior to meeting Khun Ying Ai. He provided Khun Si with a house and monthly allowances but had always made it clear to her to he would never marry her and their relationship would be over anytime. In other words, he is not really interested in a relationship with her, all he wanted from her is sex, he had no problem compensating her heartbreak with money when she did eventually fall in love with him and he was the upper-hand between them who had the power to cut her off whenever he chose to.
At least Khun Rarb is being honest with his sexuality. “Hey, I’m a kind polite gentleman. Doesn’t mean I don’t fuck around.”
4 – He told his mistress straight that he did not want any baby from their relationship, though she was already pregnant. Khun Rarb practiced strict birth control while being with Khun Si. However, the mistress, being the paranoid kept lover that she was, tricked him into making her pregnant. Once he was told of the pregnancy, Khun Rarb dismissed Khun Si and informed her quite straightforwardly that he does not want the child. His justification? Because he already has a child from a previous relationship and does not want his child to feel less loved with the arrival of the new baby.
Like…. what the fuck? Is that all you have to say to the woman you banged? Next time, check your condom, you idiot.
Afterwards, Khun Si lost the baby in an accident involving Khun Ying Ai. FYI, our Khun Ying still has no idea that Khun Si was Khun Rarb’s former mistress. When Khun Si lost the baby, our Khun Rarb was more worried about Khun Ying’s emotional distress than the foetus in Khun Si’s womb.
I am not saying that Khun Rarb should not feel what he feel – trust me, I believe he has the complete freedom on how to pursue his happiness – but please, can’t he be more considerate. Just because he did not have to pursue his mistress like how he pursued his wife, that does not make his mistress less valuable as a woman. But she clearly was from his perspective.
5 – Honesty is NOT his policy. All the while after being married to Khun Ying Ai, Khun Rarb devoted his energy to woo her. He wanted her love so desperately. He paid for all of her palace expenses, took care of her and her loved ones, be there for her, became her support system and is even willing to die for her wife. Nevertheless, one major oversight he committed was the refusal to tell her the truth about his past.
Maybe because the theme of this series is “Forget your past, go for the future”? I don’t know. How the hell can you escape your past anyway if it keeps haunting you down?
I have not reached the episode where Khun Ying Ai would finally learn the truth about Khun Rarb and his mistress-having ways. However, I am quite disappointed to see that he makes no effort in telling her. Maybe because for Khun Rarb, it is not much of a big deal. So what if I used to have a mistress and knocked her up and refuse to take responsibility and dump her once I met you, my lovely deary wife?
Wait… Now I know why he doesn’t want to tell her! He does not want his wife to know that beneath that gentle perfect-man demeanor, there lies a self-centred hatred-inducing bastard.
However, it is difficult to hate Khun Rarb. Grate plays him so well and interpreted the character as a charming, steadfast man who is superbly loyal to his wife notwithstanding his flaws which are so enthuthiastically explained above. Once he was aware of his feelings towards Khun Ying, he never wants to lose her again. And his smiles… God, he makes Khun Rarb such a perfect man to watch on screen.
By the way, the actress who plays our heroine, Preem, is barely seventeen years old. Yes, people, she is SEVENTEEN! But God, she surely can act! Having to act Khun Ying Ai who would at least be ten years older than her, Preem displayed a confident aura of poise and grace. I love LOVE her, perhaps even more than Yaya.
I am enjoying the series at the time being. Can’t wait to see the ending. Lakorn highs, gimme gimme more!