We start with a montage to the tune of Shake: Phun helping his sister study, Noh going out with Yuri. At school, Noh is doing meditation? He annoys Best Kan LOL. Noh plays soccer. Phun gives Noh back his ball. I LOVE WHITE’S SMILE.
The girls make fun of Jeed for having a poor-ass boyfriend from the countryside. Class divide? Khom laments that he can’t get a hold of Jeed. He says Jeed is better off without him (WTF?)
Phun tricks someone into giving him some books to carry up to the teacher so he can see Noh who is carrying some books with Khom. He is stalking Noh! The plan falls apart when a teacher asks Phun to do something for him so he can’t keep following Noh around.
The guy with the drums, Pui, is at FC to collect his money and the band members fear he will get mad because they don’t have the money. They quickly suggest Noh ask Phun for the money because “you are close to him”. Noh replies they should stop saying that. The kids answer back, “Rumor has it Phun is gay”. They suggest Noh give Phun a kiss. Oh boy, are they far behind the news. Noh gave him a kiss and more than that already LOL.
Pui turns out to be nicer than I expected. He is OK with Noh taking the drums and giving him the money later. I love Captain’s cute faces trying to apologize to Pui…
The kathoey practice their cheerleading to get ready for the upcoming soccer match. It is funny to see August with a pubescent mustache. Earn sees Noh alone in the bleachers and tries to invite Noh to the cheerleading club. Noh tells Earn that he has drums but no money to pay for them. Earn offers to give Noh money so he can pay for the drums for the club. This is Earn’s personal money. They go to the ATM and Earn gives him 34,000 baht (about $1,000USD). Holy macaroni, Earn has a lot of dough! He says it is a loan. I can tell you now that Phun won’t be happy with this. Earn asks that in exchange for the money…. Noh needs to get him water during the match. I know, collective sigh. I know what you were thinking. I know because I was thinking it too. At least we know Earn is still innocent. I can’t say the same thing about Noh…
Noh calls Earn on his phone. Earn’s ringtone has a song that goes something like “I am in love with you but you don’t know it”. Jeez Earn, could you be less obvious? Oh, and Noh, could you be more woke? Wake up! Earn likes you!
Mo and Moan seem to be on good terms. Moan looks sexy with that haircut. They argue about Golf and Mo leaves.
The next day, back at the school, the cheerleading club and the school council is looking at the tag necklaces they had ordered as gifts for the volunteers who will help at the stands. Ern mentions that he ran into Noh and he had dinner with him yesterday. Phun seems a bit bothered by this until Noh calls him on his phone. Phun answers and he makes sure Earn knows he is talking to Noh.
Noh sees the gift for the volunteers and asks Earn to save him one. Earn says no problem, he can have one right now. Noh tells him it is fine but Earn insist and Noh takes the tag necklace. Phun storms out. Noh follows him. Noh confesses that he no longer needs the money because Earn is paying for the drums. Phun gets extremely upset when he realizes that Noh confided in Earn and that Noh had accepted the money from Earn. Remember, Phun had promised to help Noh so Phun now feels like Noh didn’t trust him.
At home, Noh feels guilty about how things ended up with Phun. He sneaks out of the house to go eat or get Phun. To his surprise Phun is outside his house waiting for him. As my husband would say, scary.
Closing quote: Love hurts, not because it is gone but because it still exists (IL MARE)
(Il Mare is a 2000 Korean Movie)
Noh tells Phun to jump on the bike with him so they can grab a bite. Phun reluctantly agrees. They go eat porridge. Phun asks if the place is good. Noh says you will see. When the server comes, Noh smiles to her in a suspicious way and Phun taps him under the table and says “I know what you are thinking”. Is Phun jealous of Noh? (Heteronormative trope?) As they eat porridge, this is love plays on the background. This is love is the first song we hear in Episode 1!!! Noh, the bottom boy, is checking out the girl that works there. Phun ask Noh to forgive him for earlier today. He complains about Noh telling Earn and not trusting in Phun to solve the problem. “Go back to Earn”, Phun tells Noh as he picks up the check. Phun is such a jerk sometimes. Noh asks Phun to forgive him once more to no avail.
Noh drops Phun at his house. Phun notices that Noh is hiding the necklace that he got from Earn. He takes it from Noh and offers to return it so he doesn’t have to. Oh, Phun….(White looks so sultry here. Those eyes….) Noh tells Phun that they don’t belong together. WHAT???????????????????
Phun looks at Noh with those tender and big eyes, “If you want me to get over you, I just can’t do that”. He gives Noh an Eskimo kiss and then kisses his forehead. I DIE… I DIE DIE DIE DIE [Insert fudanshi scream] 😉
We then get a short montage at the tune of Sun bae ni (aka SHAKE) of the boy’s story….. “You made me realize what love really is, now I know why my heart shakes likes this whenever you are near me” AHHHHHHHHH KILL ME…. LOL I am crying…. With the song still playing in the background, we see a montage of what happened to all the characters. Mo and Moan make up and Golf sees them, smiles, and leaves. Khom is standing by the pool alone, reflecting on what has happened with him and Jeed I presume. Jeed calls a modeling agency. Noh and Phun are on a double date with their girlfriends. They meet outside of the mall. Phun looks at Noh, both of them smile, and there is a glimmer in their eyes that lets us know season 2 is not too far away.
In the original broadcast version (available on Kuda’s YouTube channel), not the Netflix one, you can see “We will be back for season 2 soon” on the bottom of the screen. The broadcast version also has behind the scene footage and interviews with cast members. It ends with the song, “My Heart Has Only You”, which to me is the most romantic Thai BL OST song ever.
Oh, the finale of season 1 brings back so many memories. I will talk a little more about it below, but for now let us focus on what transpired in the season finale.
The last two episodes of season 1 center around Phun’s jealousy and Noh’s reactions to it. This will become a recurring theme in season 2. Noh does X, Phun gets mad, Noh apologizes and they are all happy until Noh once more does something to make Phun jealous. It does get a bit tiring but it makes for great drama and through each iteration of this dramatic formula, we get to know Noh and the depth of his love for Phun. Watching this for the umpteenth time, I realize that Phun is really manipulative in a sense. He acts like he is upset in order to get Noh to do what he wants (turn down Earn’s gift). I have always thought of Phun as the ideal Seme, but maybe I am wrong. I also always though that PhunNoh was the ideal BL couple but maybe they are not as healthy as I once thought. However, I will say that in every relationship there is a power dynamic which is not always toxic. It is natural for a person in a relationship to try and get their partner to do what they want. For Phun, this is how he gets Noh to do what he wants without directly asking Noh. He lets Noh feel guilty first, then when Noh is more vulnerable and willing to say yes, he will ask him. I can see them in the future knowing each other so well that one look from Phun is all Noh will need to know that he shouldn’t accept someone else’s random gift.
All of the above is not to say that Phun didn’t have a right to be upset at Noh. After all, he had made a promise to help Noh and Noh decided to accept Earn’s help. This also is a recurring theme in the series: Noh has a hard time saying no to people. He is often vexed with indecision and frozen with fear because he will not want to hurt someone. Noh is a people’s person and his biggest fear is that he will disappoint the people he loves. We see this time and again with Yuri but he also shows the same behavior towards Earn, Phun, and even Aim.
We also get our first glimpse into the Phun/Earn rivalry. Earn is unbashful about his feelings for Noh. This will set the stage for a huge showdown in season 2 between Phun and Earn. Also, on a side note, if you didn’t know that Friday College was mostly for the rich kids, this episode should be a reminder: Earn loans Noh $1,000 dollars, which to Earn seems to be like Monopoly play money.
Back at the convent, we see that Jeed may go for a modeling career and that Mo and Moan patch things up and Golf seems to accept being in Mo’s friend zone. Phun’s sister continues to ship Shay and Pop and is unaware of Pop’s feelings. Meanwhile, both Aim and Yuri seem to be oblivious to the fact that their boyfriends are in fact more into each other than they are onto them.
The final scene gives us a glimpse of hope that perhaps Noh and Phun still have feelings for each other. As they say in my country, “where a fire was, ashes remain”. The fire is still burning between these two!
What did we learn from these two episodes? It seems that the central theme of these two episodes is how the characters deal with the heartache of breakup. In Episode 11, all main couples are broken up: Noh and Phun are no longer together, Mo and Moan breakup, and Jeed breaks up with Khom. In Episode 12, Mo and Moan go back together and Noh and Phun smile at each other in a way that suggest that the passion is still alive. On the other hand, Khom and Jeed go their separate ways. Thus, they represent the 3 potential paths for a relationship after a breakup: going back together (Mo/Moan), ending things for good (Jeed/Khom) or staying officially apart while still having feelings for each other (Noh/Phun).
The cast interviews are interesting. We learn that P’Andy is the main force behind Love Sick. He read the novel and decided to bring it to television. We also learn that the actress who played Jeed was originally going to play Aim. How interesting that would have been, as she is a lot better actress than Primrose. We also learn that at least some of the kathoey are kathoey in real life, which I find very refreshing. In the West, a lot of extremely effeminate characters are played by straight men which results in effeminate gay men being portrayed in a very cartoonish fashion. The cast also discusses the fact that White “was very macho” and became more “feminine” as filming went on. I think this brings up an interesting issue: it seems that in Thai culture being soft spoken or tender with another man is often seen as effeminate. This should not surprise us as one of the themes in Love Sick is the repeated contrast between Phun/Noh and the kathoey. We also learn that neither actor was comfortable with fanservice at first but once again, this changed as time went on. The interviewer asks Captain if he is straight, to which Captain answers with “100%” and White simply says “Do you really have to ask me that?”. I found interesting that Captain then asks White something like “are you straight?” and his reply is “wanna try me?”. I don’t know Thai culture but I don’t know any straight men who will answer with that question. Yes, White, I want to try you. LOL
Another little bit of information I found interesting is that Captain confirms something I had suspected for a long time, which is that he has a lisp. Apparently, he couldn’t say Love Sick The Series because he can’t pronounce the S. The OST video for Shake begins with Captain’s solo acapella rendition of the first stanza of the chorus of Shake. Trying to learn Thai, I had been stumped for a long time with his pronunciation of the word “Jon”. If you listen closely, his pronunciation and the singer’s pronunciation of this word are very different. I finally decided that Captain most have a lisp. I guess I was right.
We also get to see Cheewin and New, two famous directors. New, who is Captain’s cousin and looks like him is rumored to be gay. He totally looks like a gay version of Captain. He is very handsome and cute. If you don’t know, New is the force behind Reminders and he is the director of the highly successful Love by Chance, the critically acclaimed Until We Meet Again, and the less successful Love Mechanics. He was also involved with both seasons of Make it Right, and his production company helped produce the Make It Live on the Beach MIR special (which was a flop TBH). Cheewin was involved with the MIR franchise and also directed Why RU, YYY and the bromance series You Never Eat Alone. Andy, New and Cheewin are the architects of modern Thai BL.
Also, on a more superficial note, I was impressed by how good looking and clean the actor who played Moan is. In the series, he is a bit of slob and it shows in the way he is dressed, etc. In the interview, he looked so good and clean I didn’t recognize him. Also Best Kan wearing sweatpants for the interview? Oh my, that boy is a walking temptation. LOL. Speaking of temptations, there is also a guy in the crew named Toom who kept touching his package while talking about White. He pretty much had me drooling the whole interview. He was also wearing the shortest shorts I have ever seen. Oh, and then there is New. He is a skinnier, cuter, more handsome version of Captain. I have to say, I knew he was hot but wow, he is stunning.
And so, it ends. I remember the very first time I watched Season 1, I was so moved by the ending. I don’t think I knew at that point how far I will find myself in the BL hole LOL. The ending of this first season also marks the beginning of the modern BL era. The success of this season led MCOT to green light airing of a much longer season 2 and it eventually opened the door for other BL series to air as well, including Make It Right and SOTUS.