The Gentlemen of Juthathep is a five part series taken place in the span of the 1960’s surrounding the lives of five brothers of Juthathep palace who were raised by their two grandmothers after a car accident that claimed the lives of their parents, namely Mom Chao Vichakorn Juthathep.
Born into the prestigious title of Mom Ratchawongse, the five brothers are set on a pedestal by their grandmothers to not only be a gentleman, but to set a good example, defend the underdog and marry well. Especially marry well. And we get to witness how each one tackle this issue.
This sets the premise of the struggles and conflict in this series. The five Juthatheps inherited a responsibility greater than the sum of their parts: one of them must marry a lady of the Thewaproms due to a sacred promise that their father made with a “friend” who saved his life. To avoid marriage is to be an ingrate and that is the biggest ado in this period.
So we start off with the eldest, Mom Ratchawong Tharatorn Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Yai) who is an archaeologist and professor. Because he is the eldest, he decides to take on the burden of fulfilling their father’s promise. One of his students and also a young lady that he has grown up with, Mom Luang Raweerampai (aka Maprang) inconveniently catches his attention and he finds himself having to choose between her and the sweet Mom Luang Katesara Thewaprom. They have an excursion in the ancient temples as the girls disguises themselves as men, where Khun Chai Yai unceremoniously falls for Maprang but doesn’t realize it. His story is easygoing, a mixture of romance tied in with protecting the country’s treasures. From this first part, our five brothers became known throughout the country as the Five Lions of Juthathep, due to their triumph over evil. It’s a good introduction to the series, a teaser of what is to come, if you will, and there’s no where to go but up.
Then Mom Ratchawong Pawornruj Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Ruj) comes along and throws a little kerosene into the firepit, flaming some serious attention to the Suparburoot series. A diplomat with a complexity: he plays mom to his brothers, ensuring all their needs are met because it’s what he likes doing despite being born from a mother with a servitude background. He is known as Kitchen Khun Chai for that matter, and it’s been his handicap ever since. On his diplomatic trip to Switzerland, he meets with Khun Rasa, who is actually Than Ying Wanrasa his childhood playmate, but disguises herself as a commoner because she resented the fact that he doesn’t remember her right off the bat. This deception bites her in the butt as the two fall in love, but his lower status and mentality keeps him from pursuing her. The two is able to mend their broken hearts from previous relationships, but faces their status differences and the arranged marriage with the Thewaprom girl, whom Khun Chai Thewapan had conveniently procured from the country.
Next in line to adhere to Daddy Juthathep’s promise is Mom Ratchawong Phutipat Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Pat, Khun Chai Mor) who is a progeny to medicine, the revered neurosurgeon. His debut on-screen, and the fans could not get enough. He meets his crutch in the crowned Miss Siam and champions her (although reluctantly at first.) Her character, ladylike skills won him over as he not only protect her from the army general who eats beauty queens for breakfast, but he must overcome the determined Mom Luang Maratree Thewaprom who is a nurse, as well as his grannies who must ensure one of the boys marry well and marry a Thewaprom. We watch (with awe) how a strict doctor turns into a doting husband.
The stakes are higher by the time Mom Ratchawong Ratchanon Juthathep happens by, a civil engineer and a gentleman who appreciates the ladies. He prefers to determine his own fate and arranges to oversee a construction project in Nong Khai, where he gets immersed in the middle of Wieng Phu Kam’s political turmoil. He meets his match in Soifah, a Warrior Princess who gives him a run for his money. Despite running far away from marriage to a Thewaprom, he finds himself seemingly happy to be married to Soifah even if it’s merely on paper. The plot thickens around the search for the crown prince, the resurrection of the throne, as well as introducing Soifah to his grannies, who can only see her as a savage in their eyes.
And finally, the youngest brother is in the limelight, Mom Ratchawong Ronnapee Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Phee), a revered pilot for the Air Force. He is the last hope for the grannies and for the Thewaproms, they are determined to see this through, at all cost. The drama is upped and so is the angst. Being the last one in line, Chai Phee is like a lonely soul, lost and somewhat confused with his own fate- until a beautiful angel falls into his arms and makes him want what his brothers have: a soul mate. But in order to ensure she loves him for who he is, and not his nobility line, Chai Phee becomes Khun Phee, a farmer. But love doesn’t come easily to Piangkwan, the actress, who believes that love inevitably fails you. Chai Phee is tasked with proving her wrong as well as fighting against his fears, her many baggage and overcoming his grannies objections. The conflicts are insurmountable, making me wonder if their love can be united in the end.
For four wonderful months, we have one enthralling series after another, following the lives of five gentlemen who are not afraid to question authority, confront shenanigans, stand up for righteousness and fight for what they believe in. They are so giving, so loveable in their own ways. And they learn that their name “Juthathep” should not be the end all, it should not define or make them better than anyone else. They have been expected to live up to the pedestal that Grandma Aiet has put them on, but confronting her that it hasn’t been easy being a Juthathep- to admit that and to finally fight for their loved one- is a liberating task, and a great climax to the whole series.
And so.. drum roll…I have chosen the top picks for our Suparburoot Series, that’s what we’ve been leading to after all, right? (This is really tough! And everyone has their own favorites so feel free to share your list.)
Khun Chai Ronnapee
There were some serious contenders (Pawornruj and Ratchanon), but none left an impact on me like Khun Chai Ronnapee did. It is an emotional ride with Chai Phee to the end, watching him singlehandedly take on his oppositions and coming out looking the hero we love him to be. This lakorn also has all aspects of a good, intense drama: the action, romance, intrigue.
Pope Thanawat, Khun Chai Pawornruj
Simply on the basis that Khun Chai Pawornruj has been given the most depth and that Pope plays him to a tee. He is able to portray the myriad of emotions going through Chai Ruj with a snap of his fingers. Skills.
Taew Nataporn, Khun Chai Ratchanon
She can speak Isaan flawlessly, she fights like a warrior, fierce and strong- Taew challenges us to rethink and do away with the clichéd lakorn heroines.
Medta Lae Mahaniyom, Khun Chai Ronnapee
The series is shot with filming camera, not lakorn cameras, which offers a video quality that beats out the other four. It has a moody, brooding tone that suits well with the change and electric charge of the atmosphere, allowing the actors to portray their characters beautifully. I know I’ve said it before, but this lakorn is breathtaking.
Khun Chai Ronnapee
The entire original soundtrack of Suparburoot is amazing, but specifically the songs accompanying Khun Chai Ronnapee stole the show: Rak Yoo Neua Garn Wayla, Ya bok hai chan pai (Don’t tell me to go) by Chin Chinawut (and it’s poignant score), Athit Ab Sang by Dom as well as the multiple use of other background songs and music that suits the mood of the lakorn perfectly. Every time I hear the score, my tears threaten to fall.
Khun Chai Ratchanon
In terms of plot and character development, Khun Chai Ratchanon has it in spades. From the leading actors to the supporting cast, they are full dimensional characters. The plot of redeeming the throne back to the rightful power has captivated the country, thus skyrocketing the ratings from the onset of its premier date.
BREAKOUT PERFORMANCE + BEST CHARACTER
James Ma as Khun Chai Ronnapee
From his cunning start to his poignant ending, I have felt for James Ma as Chai Phee. He is committed to the delivery of each scene and it packs a punch when you watch him go from the character of a spoiled younger brother, to a skillful pilot and fighter, to a dedicated lover. A+.
|BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Gubkib Sumonthip, Khun Chai Pawornruj
|BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Top Jaron, Khun Chai Ratchanon
James Ma and Mint Chalida
Pope Thanawat and Mew Nitta
Khun Chai Ratchanon
|MOST POPULAR ACTOR(FANGIRL)
James Jirayu, Khun Chai Puthipat
Vilairumpa, Khun Chai Ronnapee
It’s been a great journey with five different production teams, five different books, but completely five fresh stories to lose ourselves to. Suparburoot has taken us into a period where character is more important than station and that true love conquers all. It’s already so hard to move on, we’ve spent the better part of 2013 with these Khunchais. I am still a mess after Chai Phee’s story ended.
So I thank you for tuning in, reading my reflections, and spazzing with me. I think I’m all fresh out of tears. Channel 3 really knocked their 43rd anniversary project out of the park!
I can’t believe this is over- *sob*