What do you get when Thai Indiana Jones meets royalty meets a striking student? Well, Khun Chai Tharatorn of course, story one of the Five Gentlemen Series. The premise of the story centers on Khun Chai Tharatorn Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Yai played by Grate Warintorn), eldest of five siblings, hailing from a long line of Mom Rajawongs (Thai Honorables) who is a professor and archaeologist. This is where the Indiana Jones comes in because our Khun Chai Yai goes on an archaeological excursion to a prasat (ancient castle) and finds himself having to protect the national treasures.
Conflict number two comes in the form of an old age promise his noble father made to his friend: that one of his five sons must marry one of his friends three daughters. We learn that this is due to a debt that their father owed his friend: he saved his life during WWII. Now if one of the three daughters were our main girl, then all would be a fairytale story. Instead we have three girls whom two are pretentious and self-serving, while the eldest is a good egg. Between the two families, everyone presumes that Khun Chai Yai will be best suited for Khun Kate (Mint Natwara), who is demure, unpretentious and kind. It’s hard to hate the girl and you can’t blame Khun Chai Yai for agreeing to see if they click and have any potential future together.
The only problem is, Khun Chai Yai grew up with Momluang Raweerapai aka Maprang or Prang (Pream Ranida), our main girl. She’s sharp, adorable and praises the ground upon which Khun Chai Yai walks upon, not to mention that she’s his student (scandalous!) Khun Chai Yai adores her and treats her very platonically although secretly he thinks about her more than he should think about any mere student or “sister.” But needless to say, our guy is not fully aware of his feelings about this Nong Prang.
The plot comes together in a nice, organic way. Khun Chai Yai is adorable with Prang and you want to root for them. But Khun Kate is darn nice and you want to root for her too. But it’s ok, folks! Khun Kate has an admirer; his name is Khun Chinagorn (Deaw) who is a fellow professor and friend to Khun Chai Yai. He loves Khun Kate upon first sight, when he drops a curtain of fabric on her head. Then falls even more in love when he dances with her under the sparkling chandelier. Yay Chinagorn, it’s fun to root for him too.
So it’s only heart breaking to see that Khun Chinagorn and Prang eventually learns that Khun Chai Yai and Khun Kate are practically engaged. What is practically engaged anyway? Oh, that darn promise. So the story takes a turn when Prang’s father falls ill, and she decides to embark on the archaeology excursion to watch over him. The only problem is, her father forbids it because it’s hard work and there are only men going. But Prang is undeterred; she is persistent and stubborn after all. She confides in her Professor, Khun Chai Yai and he comes up with a solution: she must masquerade as a man (or boy.) He adds that he would only allow her to go if she brings a friend. Apparently it’s safer to masquerade in two’s.
In come our four younger brothers, Khun Chai Ruj, Khun Chai Pat, Khun Chai Lek and Khun Chai Pee. They all have formal full names, but we’ll get to that later. Among the four, one in particular strikes to me the most. He’s sharp, observant, and absolutely astute, and is also the black sheep in the family. I’m talking about Khun Chai Ruj (Pope.) Every time he’s on screen, he grabs me by the lapels and won’t let go. Heck, I want to watch his story, and soon please. He probably will have the most interesting one of all. First off, his mother is probably a lowly person because he’s not regarded by his grand aunt at all. She condescends to him, says that he doesn’t have to abide by their father’s promise at all, because he’s not a swan like the rest. Say what? But they have the same father. Khun Chai Ruj is taking this all in strides. He knows his place and that’s what makes his character so real and sad. I like rooting for the underdog. Secondly, he’s as sharp as a whip. He can probably tell you what you’re thinking before you think it. Maybe he’s a mind reader? He is able to assess situations without having to listen. He’s perfect for government work. Thirdly, when he gives you that perceptive look, it’s like he’s looking into your soul. Yeah, I dig it. I have my eyes on this guy.
The five brothers interaction is contagious. They are funny and cute together. Makes me miss the boys of Four Hearts of the Mountains.
Anyway, coming back to the topic at hand. So Khun Chai Ruj recommends that his older brother, Khun Chai Yai think about asking Khun Kade to join Prang in her dress up attempt. He advises that it will give Khun Chai Yai an opportunity to get to know Khun Kade before he agrees to marry her. So we have Khun Kade and Prang enlisting help from their friend’s moms who are wig and makeup artist gurus. Over a couple of days, Khun Kade and Prang wants us to believe that they are ready to be men.
Now what kind of trouble could we possible get into? On this archaeological excursion, we have girls pretending to be boys, greedy people after the national treasures, and two love stories just waiting to happen! (Khun Chai Yai-Prang and Khun Chinagorn-Khun Kade.) Ultimately, what will Khun Chai Yai choose between duty and love? I’m sure Prang will get scandalized by just spending time alone with Khun Chai Yai, especially when everyone finds out that she’s actually a girl.
A straightforward enough plot, interesting enough characters, but is it making me spazz? Not in the sense of spazzing for a pairing. But it’s enough to keep me going, because I’m realizing that in order to get to know the rest of the five gentlemen, you have to watch from the beginning. There are little nuances and personalities that are thrown in there- and you just don’t want to miss it. I’m primarily interested in Khun Chai Ruj, Khun Chai Pat (the doctor) and a little bit of Khun Chai Pee (Ronnapee.) Now, if the youngest KC Pee, is a little more compelling as an actor, I might be very excited for him.
So I’ll be watching this series. Let’s see where it takes us.
*BTW you can watch Eng Subs here!