By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
Except for a very good looking lead couple, ‘Don’t Say No’ the Thai series has very little going on in its favor. Oh, and a secondary couple that has a saner story + more chemistry than the protagonists.
Directed by Pique Passawut Sukbua, it’s hard to imagine that this Thai series is actually adapted from a novel. Because there is very little plot – Leo and Fiat, two childhood best-friends who love each other begin to date in college; but they are both infinitely insecure, don’t speak their mind and end up having a turbulent relationship; when it should’ve been as smooth as butter for them. And the plot has bizarrely forced plot-twists that are so out of place, it makes the viewers cringe out of extreme embarrassment.
It’s like someone told the writer – ‘you must introduce lot of conflicts into the story’. So what could’ve been a cute, fluffy romantic series, ends up being a chaotic mess, with ample of scenes that are completely unwatchable, due to the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Like a weird ex who pops out of nowhere to ruin the hero’s life just when things get better. Or an evil-abusive mom (who can’t act) who sashays into his life after a decade and tries to manipulate him. Or the random little shit of a girl who appears in the last few episodes to play a pathetic villain, all for a kiss. WTF is even happening?
First Chalongrat Novsamrong who plays Fiat, looks like an adorable bunny, but cannot act. He is cute in the scenes that do not require effort, especially bits where he is just supposed to be having fun, but when it comes to emotional sequences, he spectacularly fails and it’s hard to watch. Ja Phachara Suansri plays Leo, Fiat’s boyfriend/bestfriend, and the two of them are one of the most good-looking onscreen couples, but their chemistry is ‘meh’. Neither of them looks very comfortable when it comes to their intimate scenes, and they have a few lip-locks in almost every episode, most of which is directed quite terribly. It’s only in episode 11, that the two of them finally seem like an actual couple that’s used to be being physically close. The series is 12 episodes long, so they get their game together too late.
While other BL shows in the genre are making progress when it comes to showing functional relationships, ‘Don’t Say No’ has a lot of toxic stuff on display. Like college-going-kids blackmailing each other to get non-consensual sexual favors in return. Even the ‘intelligent’ Leo is blackmailed by an idiotic girl, who wants a kiss in return for some information. Like what kind of college kids are these? Making sex-tapes, blackmailing each other, hiring goons to kidnap and intimidate, spiking drinks…! They could’ve just made a mafia-themed gang-war kind of series, with a dash of romance, if they wanted to stuff in a lot of dark things. Against the college background, it feels like a circus.
I usually don’t have much to say about clothes/wardrobe choices in films/series (lack of interest), but some of the stuff they make Fiat wear are just weird for a college-kid, maybe it would’ve made sense if they gave him a part-time job as a model or actor. Some of the shirts have these belts around the waist, or are cut in a way that show more skin than usual – basically, he is made to wear garments that lay emphasis on his body, even when he is just lounging at home.
And then there are repetitive cringe dialogues, like Leo says things like “I cannot hold back anymore”, as if there are in a 1970s mills & boons novel. Even M&B was more classy. If the majority of the cast wasn’t so good-looking, most viewers wouldn’t bother to watch this show till the end. Who doesn’t like to ogle at beautiful things and people? And the secondary couple played by James and Smart have a sweet story. Smart plays Leon, Leo’s charming younger brother, who falls for a studious cat-loving senior Pobphan. The two have a believable college romance, slightly overtly sweet, but without a lot of non-nonsensical drama.
The last episode was an epic pile of boring shit, with a non-nonsensical twist that they don’t foreshadow at all, ruining the one good thing that was going on in the whole story.
It’s a 5/10 from me. I’d say 4, but I am going with an extra 1 for all the sweet young actors in the series, who obviously have no control on the crappy script.
Subscribe to our podcast on YouTube by the same name – Abstract AF
Listen to episode 52 for a ‘book vs series’ comparison of ‘The Haunting of Hill House’