It’s now the month of July and I’m watching a number of airing dramas all at the same time! That never happens with me! But currently I’m watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020), Marn Bang Jai (2020), Payakorn Sorn Ruk (2020) and My Husband in Law (2020) and liking them all to various degrees! Keep reading for more thoughts on these dramas! Spoilers ahead!
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Synopsis: The story of a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who lives on 1.8 million won (approximately $1,520) a month and a storybook writer suffering from an antisocial personality disorder. A man who denies love and a woman who doesn’t know love defy fate and fall in love, finding their souls and identities in the process. Moon Kang Tae is a community health worker at a psychiatric ward who was blessed with everything including a great body, smarts, ability to sympathize with others, patience, ability to react quickly, stamina, and more. Meanwhile, Go Moon Young is a popular writer of children’s literature, but she is extremely selfish, arrogant, and rude. (Source: Soompi & Koreandrama.org)
Have you ever enjoyed a book or movie or tv show so much that you’re reluctant to move on, wanting to savor the magic? Two episodes in, I’m feeling strangely reluctant to continue watching IOTNBO. IOTNBO surprised me on so many different levels. There were visual surprises by the director, as well as surprises in how characters reacted to something or what they did and it is good. Marvelous. Awesome. Stupendous. I’ve written a recap of the 1st episode here and am expecting to continue the recaps. This is the masterpiece drama I was thinking The King: Eternal Monarch would be. I’m already dreading the end of this drama. On Netflix.
Payakorn Sorn Ruk Synopsis: Rosita gets into a car accident and suddenly gets a talent where she sees the future when she touches a rose. She becomes a famous fortune teller. One day, she makes a prediction in public to reporters that Theeruth, a famous actor, will make a woman pregnant and have a secret child. That prediction gets Theeruth into trouble and their relationship becomes antagonistic from that day.
A few years later, there is a charity event and the host invites Theeruth and four celebrities as special guests, and also invites Rosita to tell their fortunes. Five celebrities choose different roses and give them to her to read. Once Rosita touches those roses, she sees sweet scenes of Theeruth and herself hugging, kissing and loving each other very much. She is so shocked. Her reaction is so strange and the five celebrities are very curious about what she saw. Rosita does not tell anyone and claims that she saw nothing. But all the guests do not believe her.
After that day, something strange happens to her. She is attacked by someone and the suspect is one of the five celebrities whose fortunes she had read. The biggest suspect is Theeruth who had always been her opponent. But one day, he coincidentally saves her from the criminal and also offers to let her live with him as it is the safest place for her since everyone thinks that they are opponents. Their relationship improves little by little from that day through many dangerous situations to find the real criminal who wants to kill Rosita. (Source: James Ji Fansub)
James Jirayu is wonderful as Theeruth, coming off as strong, caring and compassionate. Ice Preechaya as Rosita also does a good job, but I think this is really James’ lakorn. This is a pretty solid production in terms of story, directing, acting, but also doesn’t really stand out outside of James so it leaves me little to say. The first two or so episodes were setup, and then we started to learn more about the story of the celebrities that Rosita told the fortunes about. We get more background about these celebrities and their motives. Minor spoilers ahead for episodes 1-6.
In just about every episode, Rosita is attacked and rescued at least once, if not more than once, although the methods and means vary. We’ve also been whittling down the list of suspects so after 6 episodes, with 3 suspects left, I wonder how they’re going to fill in the time for the remaining 7 episodes. Hopefully they’ll have some surprises left, because it feels like I know pretty much all there is to know about who’s trying to kill Rosita and why.
Another facet of this lakorn that I’m enjoying is the slow burn relationship between Rosita and Theeruth. They first start off as enemies, then reluctant allies, and finally we’re beginning to see a growing relationship between the two. Theeruth becomes more and more protective of Rosita, so much so that there’s some rivalry between him and Rosita’s boyfriend. Looking forward to seeing more of their relationship and this lakorn! Subbed by Muse
Marn Bang Jai (2020) Synopsis: Fuenglada studies at a boarding school and her father lives with his new wife Soithong and stepdaughter Soisoun. One day on the way to see Fuenglada, her father had an accident with Taen’s car and passes away. Taen is a rich widower with one daughter and lives with his brother Tai. On knowing that Soithong is trying to sell Fuenglada to an old Chinese man, he offers to marry her himself and thus begins their marriage life. Path to a peaceful love is not easy with Tai being suspicious of Fuenglada’s family and Soithong trying to make Soun closer to Taen
Marn Bang Jai (2020) should be around 15 episodes and it has one of my favorite tropes, marriage of convenience, which I love along with Weir Sukollawat as Taen and Mookda Narinrak as Fuenglada. I’m on ep 7, so I’ve seen a little less then half. So far, episodes 1-6 have only been the setup for the marriage, which is a bummer. During that time, they’ve introduced the villain who causes the marriage because he’s owed money by the Fuenglada’s stepmom and he wants Fuenglada as the payment. There’s also another woman, Montira, a friend of the family who’s after Taen and uses his daughter to try to get to him. But like most pra’eks in lakorns, Taen remains oblivious to her scheming and Montira has free rein of his house.
Taen also has a younger brother who’s a cop, Tai (played by Yotsawat Tawapee) and Fuenglada has a stepsister Soisoun (Noey Paphada Klinsuman) she is close to, as well as a trouble making stepmom who’s always on the lookout for more money. Before watching the show, I assumed that I would like it for all the reasons I mentioned above, the marriage, Weir. But the marriage isn’t here yet and Weir as Taen is pretty much sleepwalking through this, plus the relationship between him and Fuenglada have been mostly adversarial on her part and him treating her like a kid (yet having a lot of undue interest in her at the same time 😁). So I’ve been enjoying this show for different reasons, namely the growing relationship between Tai and Soisoun. SPOILERS BELOW!
We can see Soisoun is attracted to Tai from their first meeting, though it’s less obvious on Tai’s part as he has a girlfriend already. Soisoun gets on about her life and they meet again through different situations and become friends. Soisoun tries to play it cool, and even helps Tai in his relationship troubles, but it’s obvious she has a thing for him. As the series continues, we see they have a lot more in common than Tai does with his girlfriend, and he starts seeking her out more and more, and Tai hasn’t yet realized that he sees her as more than just a friend. This relationship is nuanced and realistic and the main reason for my score, as the rest of the lakorn is pretty cliched and trite. I am also enjoying some of the humor in the lakorn, as well as the relationship between the sensible, nice Soisoun and her selfish mom, who’s always exclaiming, are you really my child? because they think so differently. Subbed by Neko
My Husband in Law (2020) Synopsis: Muey is a young girl who lived with her mother, who has a very close friend. Muey also has a crush on Thien who is the son of her mother’s close friend. Although Muey loves him, Thien never seems to love Muey, instead, he always teases her, messes with her, and sometimes bullies her. Muey never got angry or responded to Thien when she got bullied because she loved him too much. One day, Thien was forced to marry Muey just to get rid of the wife of a powerful man. As Thien never looked at Muey as his life partner, he was not really okay with the marriage. In addition, Thien wanted a perfect woman as his wife, but Muey was never perfect in his eye. Will Thien fall in love with Muey at the end? Will Muey be the perfect wife for him? (Source: Collin Hypercuz at MyDramaList)
My Husband in Law (2020) is a 15 episode lakorn told from the pov of Muey, who’s been in love with Thien since they first met. I wrote a recap of episode 1 here, and was impressed by it as it seemed like the beginning of a beautiful marriage of convenience story as Muey marries Thien to save his life (literally). Then ep 2 changed the lakorn to a workplace setting and I thought, whoa, so it’s a workplace romance? Then ep 3 happened to leave a bad taste in my mouth and I don’t know if I want to continue recapping this. Spoiler ahead so highlight it to read:
In ep 3, Muey gets drunk and attempts to rape Thien and the whole thing is played for laughs. Now mind you, I love Sawan Biang which contained multiple rapes (and has the same director by the way), but I didn’t expect to see this in a romantic comedy and worse, played for laughs as if it’s not important. Why even go there? This seemed like such a throwback to older lakorns that it felt out of place. The whole scene seemed sooo unnecessary and stupid.
Then I went on to watch episode 4. And it took off into an entirely different direction from the previous episodes. Now I’m thinking I have to watch the whole series before I review anything, because honestly I don’t know what’s going on, what’s real or not. Maybe I missed something? Part of the problem is it seems to want to incorporate different genres and that’s hard to do.
By the way, there are things I very much like about this lakorn. The humor can be spot on, the way Muey looks at Thien, and moments of surprising impact, like when Muey and Thien are at the beach. So for now… Available at Muse, dimsum.my.
What are you watching now?