If you’ve see some Thai BL dramas, after a few episodes, you may get the feeling that they have very skewed ideas about romance. And probably close to no clue about the concept of “consent”. Most of them usually have a kissing scene where one protagonist is either –
A. Too drunk out of their mind to understand what’s happening around them
B. Sleeping so soundly that a smack on the lips won’t wake them up
Both scenarios lack consent and are usually cringe-worthy.
Enter 2021 Thai series “Lovely Writer” directed by Tee Bundit Sintanaparadee, which throws shade at its own industry. It’s about a writer Gene (Up Poompat Iam-samang) whose novel about a gay couple is getting adapted into a series and the lead actor Nubsib (Kao Noppakao) falls in love with him. But with media and fans constantly hounding the upcoming actor, can a romance between the two be successful? From mocking unrealistic tropes, toxic fan behavior, unreasonable expectations from actors, this series tries to rise above its peers, but with a weak script to boot, it never goes too far.
What really works in favor of ‘Lovely Writer’ is the gorgeous lead-pair – their chemistry is adorable. It helps that the rest of the cast is good-looking too, especially the antagonist Aey, played by the Bruce Sirikorn Kananurak. While Aey isn’t your typical scheming evil villain, he has complex grey shades that makes the viewer feel both scorn and sympathy for the character. Bruce is brilliant as the toxic Aey, with self-esteem issues and a constant need for validation as a rising star in the entertainment industry.
The cinematography is quite pleasing to the eye, everything is shot in bright or pastel colors. Although it is a little too picture-perfect, pretty sure no viewer would be complaining about the aesthetics of the show. Most fans were happy about the straightforward way in which Nubsib makes it clear he is attracted to Gene. We don’t have sly and silly mind-games. While the two are still in the courtship phase of their relationship, Nubsib almost always vocally seeks Gene’s consent before making any physical move on him. There wasn’t any sexual harassment that was passed off as ‘romance’ at any point in this series.
‘Lovely Writer’ has a very sunny upbeat title track ‘One to Ten’ that one gets to hear throughout the series and blends perfectly well with story-line. There are times when the viewer might even want to hear the title-track when certain scenes unfold (just the title song has 1 million views on YouTube now). Some of the flash-back stories and side plot-lines involving the talent managers weren’t necessary.
The lead actors keep you invested in this series. The climax was a little random, it’s like the writers didn’t really know how to wrap the show up, so they just made some stuff up to give it a funny but sweet ending. Some of the support cast is completely forgotten by the last episode, like we don’t know what happens to Aey? Maybe a season two would explain things.
If you are looking for a fun, light gay romantic series, “Lovely Writer” definitely makes the cut. It might not be very intelligent and gripping, but it’s silly and cute; sometimes that’s just what some of us need for some weekend watching. It’s a 7/10 from me.
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Listen to episode 29 for some fun movie recommendations.