First Impression/Recap: Trab Fah Mee Tawan EP01

So I’ve pretty much watched everything on my watching list (and more) and will be making a post about my reactions to those dramas soon. But I wanted to make a separate post on Trab Fah Mee Tawan, now known as My Forever Sunshine (2020) because it’s good. Really good. Production wise, directing, writing, acting, this is a grand slam. It’s the only lakorn I’ve watched so far this year that I’ve felt that way about. By the way, I have started posting on instagram as I watch, I might try twitter and/or facebook as well, but my instagram is here, so you can follow along as I watch.

Synopsis: The story about Paeng, a girl with a tragic life. After losing her father, she has to go live at Artit’s house. The only way for her to be able to stay at this house is to be with him. But no one expected that her approaching Artit nearly costs him his life. He ends up hating her to the bones and she is exiled far from home for four years until the day they come across each other again. One might think that time will lessen hate, but not for Artit. Not only he still hates her, but he also hates her even more than before. But in order to keep her final promise to Artit’s father, she must endure it! (Source: VIU)

I’ve watched the only episode out so far, and the airing schedule is really wacko.

I have a feeling this has to do with it being on Viu tv and Tencent, not to mention WeTv. So lots of places for fans to watch. You can watch this on Muse as well.

Our first episode starts with Artit, the pra’ek showing off his soccer skills at a match, then eating with his friends as he moons over the girl of the group, Ling. Next we see our nang’ek Paeng/Fahmai who is getting bullied by other girls, but Artit steps in and helps her. Paeng tries to hid her injuries from her dad, but he seems to know what’s up anyway. Then mom comes home and we get this great shot of a close, happy family in a group hug.

Paeng’s happy family

That happy family? Immediately, immediately undercut a few scenes from now. Paeng comes to eat and learns her mom isn’t there. And she goes off. She goes to a club with her maid and pretends to drink and poses with guys, all to get her mom’s attention. Artit is asked to go after her by her parent and does so, getting in a fight with some guys which lands them at the police station.

At school the next day, Paeng is about to skip school, but is stopped by Artit who tells her he knows what she is doing and asks her if it’s working? He tells her to try being good instead and she takes his words to heart, only to come home to an empty house and she eats all alone.

Meanwhile, we see Artit being greeted by the staff and his parents with warmth and sitting down to eat with them.

What are you doing playing around instead of working? Lah gag. As in this scene made me want to gag.

Later, he goes on a bike ride and passes his servant who’s playing and has the nerve to try to dictate to them how they should spend their FREE TIME and then plays soccer with them. Not sure of the purpose of the scene except to make him out to be a total prick. Writer? Could you elaborate?

That scene was completely typical and awful. But regardless, he redeems himself soon anyway. His father has been fooled by his new business partner and it looks like the family has lost their farm. This lands his father in the hospital. Artit stands up against the lawyer who comes to their farm with hired guns who came to their farm and then Paeng and her father shows up.

Turns out Paeng’s father and Artit’s father are old friends, and Paeng and Artit knew each other when Paeng was just four and Artit was? Not sure how old, at least 8 or 10 or something. Paeng and Artit promise friendship with each other at the same time we see Paeng’s father helps Artit’s family to keep their farm by loaning them money.

Artit and his friends – Love Rival, Comic Sidekick, Ling, Artit

We also see more of Artit’s friends and their connections, don’t really want to go into it, suffice to say both Artit and his friend have a rivalry going on for the only female member, Ling, of their group, and there’s the usual comic sidekick too.

Paeng and her mom mend their fences, for like two seconds, lol.

Paeng and her dad had gone to the farm after Paeng got upset learning her mom went on vacation with friends without telling her first and Paeng and her mom reunite and mend ways after her mom apologizes and gives Paeng one of the matching bracelets she bought.

This doesn’t last long of course, as her mom reneges on a dinner promise she made with Paeng and Paeng goes to find her. Paeng does find her mom after asking around, but when they get in an argument, Paeng accuses her mom of not caring about her and runs away. Artit is tasked with finding her and does so, finding she’s safe and sound, if not a bit hungry. She doesn’t want to go home though, and Artit agrees.

At end, Artit finds Paeng, whom he briefly feared jumped after seeing her backpack on railing.

My thoughts: This is good. It’s been one episode, things can change, but this lakorn really surprised me with the strength of its acting, writing and directing. I loved how we see this picture of a big happy family that Paeng desperately wants, and that is immediately undercut as we see Paeng’s desperation to keep her mother close and how she tries to get her family together (in one scene, she orchestrates an elaborate date for her parents, telling them she wants a sibling.)

Paeng eating alone.

I also loved the way the director (I’m assuming it was a directing choice) chooses to layer scenes together and ties them together. For example, the picture of Paeng sitting alone is cut by scenes of Artit with his family. Then we have Paeng and Artit promising to be friends while we see their parents SHOWING their deep friendship to each other. The directing reinforces the previous scenes, giving both more weight. That’s what good directors do, give more underlying meaning to scenes.

And can I just say how much I appreciate Kao Supassara’s performance as a 15 year confused and vulnerable teen? She nails it! The deep yearning in Paeng for a real family, the desperation she feels when she thinks that family is slipping away from her. The relationship between Paeng and her mom makes me uneasy. I can’t tell if its because of the acting (and I’m not talking about Kao) or that their relationship is supposed to make me anxious, because it’s so unstable and fraught (on Paeng’s side) at least with emotion.

I also appreciate Mark’s performance here as well. It’s not just that his character is much more likeable than in My Husband in Law, his caring scenes with his father, his brotherly advice to Paeng and how he looks after her feel very nature and realistic. Maybe this has something to do with the directing as well.

I was unsure based on the synopsis, which seems to suggest Paeng tries to get Artit by seducing him, that I wanted to watch this because, yuck. That’s more a nang’rai’s action then the nang’ek. But now I totally understand and get it. Of course Paeng would do ANYTHING, ANYTHING to have the warmth and love of a family forever. We’ve seen how loving Artit’s family is and I can imagine Paeng wanting to hold on to that by any means necessary. Definitely will be watching more. In terms of recapping, this will have back to back to back episodes, so I don’t know about more recaps, that would be alot to do in a timely fashion. But who knows? We’ll see.

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki