SAMEE (THE HUSBAND) – 2013 Lakorn – Overview of Characters

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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.

ImageWhich 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?

ImageThe 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!

ImageLet’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.

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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.

ImageHowever, 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!

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Sood Sai Pan – 2013 Lakorn Review

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Review by Ruby Chingu

Title: Sood Sai Pan or End of The String

Starring: Toomtam Yuthana Puengklarng & Vill Wannarot Sontichai

Rating: 7/10

General mood of the drama: Indulgently stressful. Dramatic, angry, passionate with lots and lots of REAL kissing (meaning we can see the hero and heroine’s lips more than just touched, which is rare in lakorns). Like eating a plate of briyani rice with lots of curry.

Why I watched the drama: I came across a Youtube video that compiled the drama’s kissing scenes from episode 1 and 2. I was like, WHAT? They already kissed during episode 1? I have to watch this!

Why I love the drama: The main actress, Vill, who had to juggle two characters, playing both the heroine and the heroine’s evil twin sister. She is so AMAZING to the point where it did not occur to me that the roles were actually played by the same actress. Her persona as Gandaowasee, the good twin and Gandaomanee, the evil twin were so different – different ways of speaking, different tones, different manners, basically everything about the two of them. Heck, even the way they looked at people were so distinct from each other I almost thought the actress must have been suffering from bipolar disorder as a result of the roles she had to play. REAL KISSES. AND THE MANY TOPLESS SCENES OF THE HERO. *dies*

Why I hate the drama: There’s not much to hate about Sood Sai Pan except for the fact that the hero was incredibly stupid and confused halfway through the series. He was in love with the evil twin but married the good twin because he thought she was the woman he loved only to end up having feelings for the good twin, too. So when both girls appeared in front of him, he got confused. TERRIBLY confused. But really, who can blame the poor guy? Both twins were hot.

Review:

Before I begin, can somebody tell me where the fuck has Vill been hiding from my lakorn radar all these years? How can such a talented and raw actress slipped off my attention? Good God, woman! She is thissss close to replacing Anne Thongprasom as the actress I consider the best in acting in my heart.

Back to business of slaps, kisses, naked upper-half body and bed scenes, Sood Sai Pan is basically a drama about good and evil, represented by the main characters of the twins – Gandaowasee (Gaan) and Gandaomanee (Nee). The hero, Tithi, who was of noble lineage and super fucking rich, served as the connecting point between the two of them. A year before episode I began, Tithi and Nee used to date and fuck with each other. Nee used Gaan’s name because she wanted to create troubles for her twin since they were separated at birth and Nee was raised by their poor mother whereas Gaan was raised by their well-to-do father. Nee left Tithi abruptly after discovering that he was only a dessert seller (he did not know he was a noble son at this point). One year later, he encountered the good twin, Gaan and kept pestering her, thinking that she was Nee. He scolded her, begged her to remember him. When she insisted that she didn’t, he kissed her (again and again). Still, she rejected him. Then, his status was elevated when his noble family found him and made him the heir to their fortune.

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Tithi’s grandmother, knowing that Tithi was in love with Gaan, proposed to Gaan’s father and they were married. It was sad for me to see that Gaan, whom I thought was coerced into marrying the man who was in love with her ‘clone’, was in actuality already in love with him. As Tithi refused to believe that Gaan was the woman he fell in love a year ago, Gaan kept having nightmares that Nee would come back to their lives and take her husband away from him. It was soooo sweet at this point of time when we see how  Tithi loved her so passionately, protecting and respecting her. However, it is heartbreaking in a sense as we know that Gaan was not the woman Tithi loved, but Nee, but of that stupid bastard did not know that because he’s sooo stupid he can’t differentiate. But really, again, who can blame him??

Thus, when Nee did return to their lives, Tithi somehow chose Nee over his wife. He divorced Gaan, the good twin and installed Nee at his home as a mistress. However, one thing I like was that he refused to sleep with Gaan, most likely because he had began to have feelings for Gaan. You lucky bastard, I must say, since two superbly hot women were vying for his love and attention. Somehow, after many conflicts and misunderstandings and evil deeds of Nee who would go as far as committing murders to keep Tithi near her, Tithi’s character matured and was able to discover the truth and put Nee in jail. In the end, Gaan and Tithi got their happy endings.

Gaan, the good twin/the heroine is my favourite character of the show. I’ve seen many comments where people were hating on her because she’s too nice, kind and somewhat spineless. I disagree with the opinion, though. Why? Because her kindness does not stem from her stupidity or foolishness or ignorance but because she believes it is the right thing. As an elder sister who just found out that she had a younger twin sister who had lived life 1000 times worse than her, how could she not feel bad? In the bad twin’s own words, they shared the same parents, the same looks, the same DNA literally – yet Nee was the only one condemned to the life of poverty. Thus, when Gaan decided to give everything that she had, including her husband Tithi, to her twin sister, it is a completely justifiable move. She wanted to compensate Nee for all the love she could not provide her.

I also love how Gaan is such a calm character. She’s so steady despite many obstacles her way. She rarely showcases emotions of anger and is often in control. Maybe because she knew Tithi married her not because he loved her but because he loved her twin sister. When Tithi chose Nee over her, she did not flip out. She withdrew herself from the love triangle without any fuss. She left the main marital room they shared and moved into a smaller room outside the mansion. Upon knowing that she would soon to be divorced, she got herself a job as a teacher and a translator. She is also a dutiful daughter. She did not stay quiet, constantly seeking help from everybody else. She took care of her father and sister with her own earnings. She accepted Tithi the way he is. Indeed, I think the only time where Gaan had ever acted against her own sense of rationality was when she allowed herself to fall in love with Tithi. Why? Because that would be wrong – falling in love with the man who loved your twin. But she saw how passionate and devoted Tithi is to the woman he loves that she can’t help to fall for him. Plus, he kisses her all the time. And backhugs her. And takes his shirt off without hesitation.

ImageImageShe’d be a lesbian if she did not fall in love with that human being. Full stop.

As for the hero, his most attractive trait is his passion. He’s so passionate in his love, the kind of love where he could not get enough from the lover. He wants to constantly see her, love her, hug her, kiss her etc etc. When he meets the woman he loves, he has to make sure she stays by his side and marry him. He wants them to be together to the point of desperation. He’s very persistent in his love, very forceful. His passion, people, is extremely admirable (and HOT!!). Nevertheless, it was what blinded him for the truth. But of course I forgive him every time he planted a REAL kiss to our heroine as he slips his hands through her waist to hug her or every time he went topless.

This kind of devoted stupidly passionate hero is a staple in the lakorn world, especially in the slap/kiss genre. Their passion serves as their strength and weakness at the same time. Khun Tithi somehow reminds me of Saichon/Charles from Game Rai Game Ruk. Utterly devoted yet forceful beings who believe that their loves would triumph all. *Pukes* No, people, it does not! But in the lakorn world, it always does.

The plot tends to be draggy with its 17 episodes structure. Except for the hero, Tithi, there are not much layers to the character. It is, in the end, a drama about good and evil. How Gaan, the good twin, remained the good person that she was until the end of the drama. Nee, too, remained the most evil heartless bitch we have ever seen to grace our laptop screens. Tithi’s character was foolish at first. However, upon knowing Gaan’s goodness, he smartened himself up and was able to differentiate between the right and the wrong. He got over his love for Nee fairly smoothly. Well, seriously, who could love such a bitch? The trust issues he had with Gaan could be frustrating at times, therefore I found myself fast-forwarding the scenes.

Other than that, the amazing acting by the heroine and the shirtless burning chemistry between the main couple will keep you glued to the screen. I knew I did, shrieking of happiness and horny-ness while I was at it.

Jone Plon Jai (2003 Lakorn Review)

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Review by Ruby Chingu

Title: Jone Plon Jai or The Thief Who Stole My Heart

Starring: Sornram Tappituk (Num) & Donut Manasnan Panlertwongskul

Rating: 7/10

General mood of the drama: Dramatic, intense to the sadistic side, irrationally stupid without any common sense but HEAPS of sexual tension between the leads. It feels so good yet wrong at the same time to actually enjoy it. Like eating instant noodles and ramen – you know it’s bad for you but you love it anyway.

Why I watched the drama: I was swept away by the Num Sornram fever. He is super hot. And he has that masculine aura that I, like millions of other viewers, find so damn attractive.

Why I love the drama: True to his reputation as the highest paid actor for more than a decade, Sornram acted so well. His confused face, his emotional face, his remorseful face, his frustration, his sadness – oh baby, quoting Imagine Dragon’s lyrics, I feel it in my bones, baby, I really do. Donut, who played the heroine, was great, too. Their chemistry was good. Her verbal retaliation each time he treated her meanly is enjoyable to watch. Since she was tied and physically helpless, scolding him was the only thing she could do and she did it so well.

Why I hate the drama: The hero was just plain stupid. No moral standing. No principles. Possessed very bad judgment. Coupled up with some very bad temper. He was so weak emotionally that he did not have the guts to go against his mother when she ordered him to imprison the heroine against her own will. If I see this kind of character in real life, I will kick his balls so hard he won’t be able to function normally again (after I snap a photo with him, of course, because he’s hot).

Review:

I don’t know why but there are quite a lot of violent dramas in the lakorn world. They even have a specific genre for it called ‘slap-kiss’. Why? Because after you slap the person, you kiss him/her. Sounds like a make-up sex? I have no fucking idea. But I sure find it quite disturbing. These violent dramas usually involve the elements of physical struggles between the heroine and the usually more powerful hero, harsh exchange of words, kidnapping, false imprisonment, hatred, revenge and the one thing I hate the most, rape. God, why on earth would that be included in a romantic drama? Why, God, why????

Still, here I am.

Jone Plone Jai tells the tale of a man, an eldest son to a rich family who had a loving father. However, his mother and younger brother did not care an inch about him. His appearance in the earlier episodes could be surmised as plain repulsive. He had long hair and a bad careless attitude. Sure, he was kind but hell, I would not be able to differentiate him from a street criminal. One obvious thing about this man, Poo, is that he yearned for his mother’s approval. He was wiling to do anything to please her, no matter how unreasonable it was. And that is, boys and girls, the WORST factor of this drama. This fucker here is a grown-up man who studied overseas for many many years only to come back to cling to the hope of his mother’s non-existent affection? But I feel for him. That lack of love and blatant dislike showed by his mother must have fucked him up so bad.

His mother loved only his younger brother, Pee and she disapproved Pee’s relationship with a young poor singer named Mak, our heroine. Therefore, she hired thugs to kidnap Mak to separate her son from her. Mak got kidnapped by these thugs a few weeks later and was almost raped by them only to be rescued by our hero. She woke up only after he had rescued her and seeing her blouse quite torn, she immediately accused him of violating her. As he refused to face the accusation and end up going to jail for it, he took our heroine to a countryside home and kept her there against her will. Our poor heroine spent most of her days – from episode 2 to episode 7 – trapped in a room, her hands tied with a rope. Poo went to see his mother to ask for advice on what to do next. Being the evil mother that she was, she ordered him to keep her there for 2 or 3 months. He felt bad but being the STUPID person that he was, of course he complied to his mother’s wishes. Fuck you, bastard, fuck you! Did your father or teachers or anybody else not teach you how to respect women?

Of course the hero was kind at heart. However, he treated the woman very badly that I find his actions utterly disgusting. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with you? Why can’t you just let her go? Near the end of her captivity, he did have sex with her against her will after she insulted him. WTF? How can watching a lakorn can be so stressful? How can a drama be this morally wrong?

But of course, I am here to review the entertainment value of the drama, not the moral lessons behind it because honestly, I don’t think this drama has any.

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It is thoroughly enjoyable to see the fights between the hero and the heroine. She had a loud mouth, he had less-than-polite manners. The way she glared at him made it obvious that she wanted to kill him if only her hands were not tied. Once he tried to feed her, she spat the food to his face. He took a handful of rice and shoved it to her face. God, why are they acting like this? They are so violent with each other – it was not until the last 4 episodes that their behaviours toned down a little. The most memorable scene for me was during Episode 3, where the hero and the heroine had a struggle in the room after the heroine tried to escape. He found her and brought her back and gave her water to drink. She spat that water to his face (yes, people, a lot of spitting in this drama). Furious, he did the same thing – drank the water and spat it to her face, TWICE. God, so much angst in this drama!  So much hatred but why am I loving this? TT

The most disturbing scene for me was not one of the scenes where she was kidnapped, but after she got married to hero and had quite a good agreeable relationship with him (agreeable meaning they stopped cursing to each other). Just as the hero sat next to her, she WILLINGLY gave her hands to the hero with a pouting face, thinking that the hero wanted to tie her hands, without any hint of a struggle. No more “let me go,” “where’s my freedom?” etc etc (he didn’t tie her hands, btw, he was trying to act all lovey dovey and shits). My reaction was “GIRRRRLL, what the F?” But hey, if you like it like that, then you like it like that and I respect your decision. (But God, really?)

It’s quite sad to see that the heroine, who initially was a fighter, surrendered to her fate when she married the hero. She no longer felt the need to escape mainly because to make her poor mother happy. Nevertheless, I think she had thought about her decisions a lot, judging the pros and cons of the steps she would make. She had been used as a tool by the hero’s mother and younger brother. Marrying the hero and ending the cycle of craziness seemed to be the correct step. Plus, she was convinced the hero had been the one kindest to her and the one who would do anything to protect her. As a feminist, I disagree with her but as a human being, what can I say? Like is what you make of it.

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Despite the misgivings I find with its themes, Jone Plon Jai is a good drama. It’s very entertaining and dangerously exciting. Lots of actions, lots of romantic tensions, lots of hatred. It is a fast-paced drama that would keep you away from being bored. The hero was always tense. The heroine was UNDERSTANDABLY always angry. They make an interesting couple. At least, visually, they look good together. I like seeing how he changed from his irresponsible character to a loving yet ditzy husband. He’s always anxious when he’s in trouble, in contrast to his wife, who retained that fierce streak within her. Yes, he’s stupid but he listens to his wife well. When she’s upset, he gets scared. And each time she asks him to do something, he complies. Now, that’s cute. Hahaha.

Now, for the bad things about this lakorn – the plot does not make sense, so do characters. Thank God that the actors played their roles so well that it made the story seemed real. I’m not sure when or how the hero fell for the heroine and vice versa but it could be due to the fact that they spent so much time in each other’s company. Personally, I think no one would ever fall in love with the ones who raped them. Also, I think most people who had been raped would prefer to kill their rapists or at least put them in jail. In the end, the heroine told a secondary character that despite the violations the hero had committed against her, truth was, he was the only one who helped her when the whole world wanted to harm her. That made sense, in a weird kind of way, I guess. Or at least from her perspective.

Haih. *heavy sigh* What a burdensome yet thoroughly interesting journey!

Even if you dislike dramas of this genre, you should check this drama out for no other reason but Num Sornram’s hotness. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Tae Pang Korn – 2005 Lakorn Review

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Review by Ruby Chingu

Title: Tae Pang Korn or The Past Life

Starring: Sornram Tappituk & Anne Thongprasom

Rating : 6.5/10

General mood of the drama: Sweet, gentle, sad, not-so-physically-passionate. Like a proper cup of tea in a calm breezy afternoon, enjoyed with a plate of delicious plain butter scones.

Why I watched the drama: Have always been a huge fan of Anne Thongprasom. An amazing actress. She’s the only actress whose lakorns I would watch even if I’m not attracted to the main pra’ek (male lead).

Why I love the drama : Sornram Tappituk or Num who played the role of Than Chai Yai. It’s weird how his best performance was when he was acting as a ghost/aimless spirit trying to provide spiritual assistance to the heroine with support and encouragement along with those loving stares that could melt any female hearts.

Review:

I began watching this drama a few months ago because of Anne Thongprasom. Plus, I have always been a fan of lakorn boran, or historical lakorns. They always have a different feel to it, compared to modern lakorns. It’s a whole different culture with the bowing, greetings, caste system and ranking. Even the ways they handled their love lives were different. Elders in the family were always involved in fixing potential suitors. And the guys were always such great gentlemen. They might be stupid and brainless but hell, they had good manners.

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Tae Pang Korn revolves around the character of Rachawadee, a young teacher who had just started teaching in a school located near a riverside palace. Rachawadee often had visions of her past life, where she was actually a princess from the neighbouring Kingdom of Laos and the fiancee of a local prince, Than Chai Yai (our hero). Rachawadee’s personality at first was kinda boring – she was polite, soft-spoken and tooooooo proper that I felt no emotions could ever come out of her. However, after a number of encounters with Than Chai Yai’s spirit at the palace and upon finding out the truth of her past life, she began to care for him. Which was sad. Because he was dead. But she fell for him, anyway.

The flashback scenes involving the first lives of our leads – the prince and the princess – was quite slow. Playing the characters of royalties, there were no physical gestures involved in displaying their love for each other. They did not even go as a far as a hug. Instead, they relied a lot of facial gestures, secret glances and the gentle ways they talked to each other. After five episodes, I was bored as hell and postponed watching the drama for three months and resumed it just yesterday, finishing the next eight episodes overnight.

The Laotian princess died on the day of her wedding to the prince, leaving the prince heartbroken. He also ended up dead a few years later only to become a mournful spirit. He did not move on to the next life because he was waiting for the princess’s reincarnation to visit him. I did not know why – maybe because he could feel that the people around him wanted to harm her or something. But anyway, Rachawadee kept visiting the riverside palace and often called upon the prince’s spirit to talk about her past life. He was always there for her in his spirit form, giving her moral strength to survive any obstacles in her way. But it was quite sad to see him lamenting over the fact that since he was just a ghost, he could not do much to save her one way or another because he could not touch a human being.

At this point, the pace of the drama improved a lot. I love how Than Chai Yai’s spirit, when talking to Rachawadee, often said such smart and touching things like… “you can never change the past but you can look forward to the future,” or “everything’s that happened happened for a reason,” “it is all written by fate,” etc etc with that calm serious face of his. It was not long before Rachawadee fell for him and finally, displayed some emotions when the spirit of the prince had to leave her to be reincarnated.

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The part that almost made me cry was how both of them – the prince and the princess – vowed to love each other for every lifetime. This couple took their vows very seriously, people! Before the princess died, she swore to love the prince in her lifetimes to come. Before the prince died, he swore the same thing. Even when he turned into a spirit, he kept repeating the same vow to Rachawadee. He would be waiting, patiently, for the day they could be reunited as two living souls. OMG, this shit is soooo saddddd. And Rachawadee, too, on her deathbead (yup, she died, too) vowed to love the prince in her next lifetime.

That is some serious love. If all people can love to such extent, there won’t be a need for us to watch dramas anymore. Haha

For a brief two hours there, I believed in the concept of soulmate. Gaaahhh….

No worries, though, the drama has a happy ending.

Did I enjoy the drama? Yes, I did. Especially in the middle. Not so much during the earlier or the last episodes. The highlight of the drama for me are the scenes involving Rachawadee and the prince’s spirit. It is more enjoyable to watch them yearning for each other than watching them ACTUALLY being with each other because it gets kind of boring. He was proper, she was proper, they did nothing but stared and smiled shyly at each other.

For people who prefer fast-paced drama, Tae Pang Korn is not for you. However, for those who enjoy historical lakorn fused with some very sweet polite love, poignant dialogues and the idea of soulmate, then you should try this precious gem and indulge yourself in the princely glorious-ness of Than Chai Yai. That alone made a new fan of Num Sornram out of me.