By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
For a good 14 weeks, late Saturday nights had been reserved for the mafia themed Thai series ‘KinnPorsche’, which starts off with a heated chase, gun shots and sparks at first sight. Directed by Khom Kongkiat Khomsiri and Pepzi Banchorn Vorasataree, the show follows Kinn, the heir of a mafia boss, whose path crosses with bartender Porsche while being pursued by armed enemies. Kinn offers Porsche money to defend him from the attackers, turns out – the bartender can kick ass. Impressed by his fighting skills, Kinn’s father persuades him to hire the puckish Porsche to be his personal bodyguard. An orphan, Porsche agrees to the new job after initial reservations, since he has a younger brother and debtors to take care of. What follows is an unlikely steamy romance, hence the 18+ rating.
In comparison to other series in the genre, KinnPorsche’s production value is quite high, it has stylish sets with striking colors, is gaudy when the scene demands it, and some groovy music setting the right mood for the tale. A good-looking cast makes the series easy on the eyes too. Actors Mile Phakphum Romsaithong and Apo Nattawin Wattanagitiphat plays titular leads Kinn Theerapanyakul and Porsche, two handsome headstrong men who have their own issues yet find falling for each other easy. The makers take their time with the romantic plot, putting focus on ‘how to become a good bodyguard’ in the first few episodes. Someone or the other is constantly trying to kill Kinn, and it’s up to his posse of bodyguards to keep him safe. A rivalry between his family and his uncle’s (father’s brother) family is one of the primary conflicts in the story, Kinn doesn’t trust his cousin Vegas Theerapanyakul (Bible Wichapas Sumettikul) who constantly seems to be plotting something nefarious.
The antics of the bodyguard pack provides amusement and comic relief. A pivotal character is Pete (Build Jakapan Puttha) who is Porsche’s easygoing roommate and in-charge of the security of Kinn’s older brother Tankhun (Tong Thanayut Thakoonauttaya). Despite having few scenes to himself, Tong Thanayut is riotous as the eccentric Tankhun, who wears flashy clothes at home and loves spending his days watching series with his bodyguards. One of the most entertaining scenes in the series is when Porsche convinces Tankhun and his squad to party and the boys raise hell at a bar. Speaking of ‘bars’, leads Mile and Apo have definitely raised the bar for gay romances, their chemistry is off the charts as KinnPorsche. From being passionate, to ridiculously playful, the two capture the essence of being in love with a lot of heart and necessary hilarity. The script gives them enough time and space to gradually grow genuinely fond of each other. For example, the whole of episode 6 is simply about Kinn and Porsche spending time together, after they get lost in a dense forest after a shootout. But once the romantic relation begins, next comes the conflict and trust issues.
Story-wise, the plot’s is pretty great until episode 9, however from episode 10, things get a little tedious, even for those who haven’t read the book. Right from the initial episodes, it’s pretty easy to see the character Vegas is trouble. So for Porsche to believe him over things is just extremely stupid and undermining his intelligence. There isn’t much story to push for 14 episodes, an early wrap up would’ve been a wiser decision. It’s also the reason why a lot of fans started getting excited over the romantic sub-plot about Vegas and Pete in the last few episodes. Because it’s the only new interesting thing going on – the horrible twisted Vegas gets hold of the Pete from the enemy camp, then tortures him for pleasure.
In a not very believable twist, the fun but fiercely loyal Pete falls for Vegas, a classic case of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, where a hostage begins to develop feelings for their captor. Not love. It’s just that the actor Bible and Build look great together and also act well. Had they cast a not so attractive actor as the evil Vegas, very few would’ve been thrilled over the side story. Vegas needed to be in therapy, and most definitely in jail. But then, well, so do a lot of other characters. Moving on… Another romantic sub-plot involving Porsche’s younger brother Porchay (Barcode) and Kinn’s youngest brother Kim (Jeff Satur) amounts to a whole lot of nothing. Unless there is going to be a season two.
The season finale turned out to be messy, with some shocking revelations that were too rushed, unnecessary and unconvincing. You are left with a lot of questions and have little satisfaction over the show finally ending. Regardless, it’s a well directed show for large parts, with a fantastic cast and a really good background score.
It’s a 7.5/10 from me.
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