The girl group Olives got it right when they sang “Wow wow wow” for Panyachon Kon Krua, also known as the Kitchen Scholar. This twelve-episode lakorn creeped up the end of the year, surprising the critics and knocking the rest of the airing lakorn thus far, from its podium. Unexpected, pleasantly surprising and effortlessly beautiful, Thong production- namely Anne Thongprasom- and her beloved pair, Mark Prin and Kimberly Voltemas simply knock this one out of the park.
The premise of the story surrounds Amika (Kimberly Voltemas) who is the daughter of a Governor of Chiang Mai in her last year of a performing arts university, trying to win a scriptwriting contest that will earn her a fellowship to study in New York. Our girl starts out with aspirations and naiveté, thinking that impersonating a maid ought to inspire her to write a compelling story. She is driven to prove her competitor Apichet wrong, and achieve her dream. It is a simple plot filled with comedic relief, yet managed to successfully tug at the heart. Amika as Cha-aim not only learns the intricacies of being a maid, but she also learns valuable lessons about life, family and love. Oh, especially love.
Amika is dating Pongtape in the onset of this drama. She thinks that because he is such continuity in her life, she thinks she is in love with him. That is until she meets the handsome Mr. Waret (Mr. Tum), the secretary to the minister, who challenges her every step of the way. And through his keen eyes and kind heart, she learns to differentiate the depth of love and that even though love can give you a poor disposition; it makes you look at things differently. And priority shifts. Amika discovers that achieving the fellowship award is not the end all anymore, because the experience she gained from being a maid has taught her and given her so much more.
This lakorn may not inspire deep analysis of character or plot, nor do we have despicable, true villains. But each character goes through their own character arch, learn poignant lessons and is forever changed because of it. I’ve grown to adore every character, especially our leads, who not only fill my days with happiness and smiles, they warm my heart too. It’s not an easy feat, that. As a viewer, I’ve gone through my arch with them- not only was I skeptical about this pairing to begin with, I didn’t think that this remake could be improved- and boy have they changed my mind. I’ve come to respect the talents of Kimberly and her infectious chemistry with Mark. I don’t believe I’ve crushed on an on screen sweetheart this badly before!
What I found so fascinating with this couple is that their love is not based off of revenge or hate or even spite. Their love is innocent and developed over a believable span of time based off of the debacles and experiences that they’ve shared together. Like Amika confesses to Mr. Tum in the end, even though she may have lied to him about her identity, she has always been sincere with him. Mr. Tum has loved her the moment he has seen her, even though he didn’t know who she was. No matter the person or name she takes on afterward, he is still drawn to her. His love is not that of possession or control, but one of honesty and trust. That is all he asks of her and that is why it breaks his heart to be refused of honesty from her. The barrier that kept them from being together isn’t really outside factors like villains, mothers or even prospective significant others- but themselves. And only until they have come to terms with who they are, will they finally accept each other’s love. They have their flaws but their strengths severely outweigh it.
Another aspect that this lakorn does so well is the significant screen time with our leads. There aren’t a lot of subplots that don’t revolve around them. And with a meager twelve episodes, that is very much appreciated. Not to mention the fast-paced and funny dialogue. We are able to get to know the myriad of characters and drool after the many memorable scenes of our leads. It is the type of lakorn that you can watch over and over again.
So I’m choosing to enjoy and remember this lakorn for what it is. Which is simply, wow wow wow.
- First Impression | Overthinking
- Ep 1 | Ep 2 | Ep 3 | Ep 4 | Ep 5 | Ep 6 | Ep 7 | Ponderings Ep 8-9 | Ep 10 | Ep 11 | Ep 12 Finale
- Cast of character at Asianfuse
Thank you for venturing on this wonderfully, memorable ride with me 🙂