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Raeng Prathana (Powerful Desires) aired its first episode today amidst the turmoil going on behind the scenes of Nuer Mek 2, the very first lakorn that has been cancelled prior to completing its course on TV. Perhaps it will go back on air, after the controversy and political chastising has simmered down. It is unfortunate but it is clear that the government controls the media. Being so far removed from the goings on, one can only speculate at the unfairness of it all.

But it is important to breathe, take a step back and remove the frustrations from the new lakorn that happened to be in line behind Nuer Mek 2: Raeng Prathana, and give it its due diligence.

From the production team LakornThai, Raeng Prathana, starring the beloved Nadech Kugimiya and rising female phenom Kimberley Woltemas, opens the lakorn with a faceoff between Sudapa (Kimberley) and Pittiya (Nadech.) Their first encounter (for us anyway) is character revealing and sets up the premise of the drama.

Sudapa or Thae is a spoiled rich girl and very demanding to Pittiya who works at her father’s company. He also happens to be an adopted son, therefore lowly status in Thae’s eyes and worthy of bullying. She feels she can tell him to do anything and he must obey. Pitt on the other hand, despite inevitably obeying her orders, he doesn’t do so without a fight. He never gives in to her emotional, flighty ways, which pisses her off to no end. Thae doesn’t come from a broken home, although she is motherless, she has an adoring father and an older brother and sister who love her. One has to question, why the hostility towards Pitt?

They have a history together. Pitt was brought to the household at a young age, upon the death of his mother. Thae’s father, a kind and generous man, welcomed Pitt with open arms. The older brother (P’Yai) and sister (P’Tai) consider Pitt as one of their own as well. Thae has been known to shadow Pitt and worships the ground he walks on. Somewhere along their growing up phase, they had a falling out. Thae starts to treat him like crap and now he can’t stand to be in the same room as her. The suspense in this drama is to uncover what caused the falling out and ultimately, the goal is righting the relationship- bringing Pitt and Thae back to where they were at.

And solving this problem will be an interesting one, especially when Thae promises to give Pitt a taste of his own medicine. It happened after a scene on her father’s birthday. Thae’s dad turned 60 and discovered that he has a heart disease. He starts to worry about who will take care of his baby (Thae) and upon the surprise birthday party, he drops a bomb on Pitt: he asks Pitt to marry Thae and take care of her in his stead. This request came out of the left field for Pitt, he would do anything, could do anything for this man, but to marry Thae? The two older brother and sister practically jumped out of their seats in surprise. Pitt explained to the older man that he has to deny this request because he is already in love with someone else (Ravee, played by Mint Natwara.) Not taking the rejection easily, Thae tells Pitt to step outside with her.

It is clear that Pitt’s rejection hurt her. She disguises the hurt with anger and lashes out at him. Pitt declares that he will never love a person like her. Seriously Thae, haven’t you taken a good look at your behavior? Pitt walks back to the house and offers respect to Thae’s father. Realizing his tackiness and lack of consideration for his kids, Thae’s father apologizes to the younger man. But he explains that he merely wanted someone he loves the most to be taken care by the person he trusts the most. What the older man fails to see (according to his two older children) is that Pitt is a very proud person. He will refuse to marry Thae because he doesn’t want to be known as a gold digger. Growing up and being adopted was a hard enough, negative connotation that trying to reach for a swan would be devastating to him. Nadech, shedding tears of sorrow (of letting his “father” down) is a sad scene. But even though Thae’s father asked out of fear for his declining health, he’s still a respectful and lovely man, and is not afraid to apologize.

Heartbroken more than she could admit, Thae vows to make Pitt realize what it is like to be rejected (to be left.) She puts her plan into action: she will break up the relationship between Pitt and Ravee. Little did she know that Pitt and Ravee have their own obstacles already. Due to his status, Ravee’s mother disapproves of their relationship. She believes her daughter deserves someone with high status and money. She picks out a man named Puwadon (Alex Rendell) as her daughter’s prospective husband and tells Ravee to break up with Pitt. Puwadon is the proverbial playboy, Mr. Casanova, and his tie into the plot is quite interesting. His parents are still alive, but they do not get along. His father had been with a woman named Pim but was forced to break up with her and marry Puwadon’s mother. It just so happens that Pitt’s mother who passed away is also named Pim.. before taking her last breath, she had Thae’s father promise her that he won’t reveal Pitt’s real father to him. Will we have two brothers fighting for a girl?

There’s so many hard feelings involved, and inclinations of twisted subplots, one have to wonder, how will they fall in love as adults? Are you ready to watch the rounds between Thae versus Pitt?

So far, as with LakornThai productions, they have managed to make me laugh. I adore Thae’s family and their willingness to tease her. It doesn’t appear to be any love lacking there, but she just has a personal vendetta towards Pitt. I should probably dislike her behavior (Thae’s) but Kimberley’s spoiled girl version is actually fun to watch. It helps when the interaction with her own family makes it enjoyable. Nadech as Pitt is really quite handsome. The scene with Thae’s father was performed well, such a tear jerker. Despite the advertisement of excess drama in this lakorn, I find it to be easy to watch and makes me smile, a lot. As for the chemistry between Nadech and Kimberley, it’s not instantaneous for me. I have to watch a few more episodes to see if it’s going to be there. I do hope to spazz over them. Separately, Nadech and Kimberly are doing a great job. And if you are looking for the falling on each other, looking deeply into each other’s eyes- LakornThai’s signature essentially- you’ll get them and more. It is more than enough to keep me tuned in and see how Pitt and Thae reconcile their differences.

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