Are you in the mood for something different? Then the latest weekend installment, Rak Ork Rit (Jinxed Love) might be a good lakorn for you. Premiered this past Saturday, Rak Ork Rit presents the debate about one’s belief in luck. Do you believe that life is what you make of it, or do you believe that your fate is predetermined? Is life mostly about cause and effect or are we fated to ride this Destiny train?

Joe (Pope Thanawat) believes in the former. Life to him is all about what you make of it, contrary to popular belief or what his past has depicted otherwise. The day he was born, he brought bad luck to everyone around him: his father went to jail, and every person that his mother left him with incurred terrible luck. Joe was marked as ‘Joe the Jinx’ and mom had no choice but to place him at the temple. Ironically, the monk was the one who taught him pragmatism and sensibilities. Joe learned to keep a sharp eye with his surroundings, develop keen deductions and think logically. Thus, he grew up to be a brilliant (albeit goofy) private investigator. He is willing to do anything to uncover a case for his clients, so much so, he was dubbed ‘A Thousand Faces Joe,’ because he disguises himself so convincingly.

This talent comes into play when Khunying Joom hires Joe to investigate Khunchai Jae’s (her younger brother’s) death. She suspects that his wife Wanisa (Mew Nitha) had been the one to murder him, since she stands to gain everything.

Much like Joe, Wanisa was born with a stigma as well. A psychic proclaims that she has terrible luck and any man who crosses her path would die an untimely death. This seed that was planted at a toddler age grew its roots until it became a full grown, breathing entity embedded in Wanisa’s mind. Her first marriage with Khunchai Jae was due to her mom’s pleading, then the man’s heart literally stopped as they were cutting the wedding cake. Wanisa married a second time due to her father’s manipulation to a Chinese-Thai mafia who runs an illegal gambling house, but he died mysteriously before they consummated the marriage. Two mysterious deaths propel Wanisa to believe that her fate has already been predestined. Any man who crosses her path will meet their makers.

But if two people with horrible luck meet, does that cancel out their bad luck? Hee.

Upon researching Wanisa’s background, an opportunity (or is it fate?) presents itself to Joe in the form of a snake. Who knew being bitten and seeing stars circulating the universe can allow two people to meet? Wanisa whisks Joe to the hospital immediately when she found him lying on the pavement, and Joe uses this snake biting excuse to feign memory loss so that he can be taken under her wings. Since Wanisa highly believes in doing merit (she thinks it will help balance out her bad luck), she hires Joe, whom she named Dao, to be her personal driver. This enables Joe to remain closer to his target and uncover the truth behind Khunchai Jae’s death.

The storyline is zippy and fun once you settle in after the first 30 minutes of the show. Unfortunately the inconsistent editing (video quality and sound editing) is glaringly distracting. We can fault the director on this. But if you can get past the first 30 minutes of a shaky start, the show only improves. The backstories and characterization will continue to draw you in, while the storyline keeps you invested.

Why is that, you may ask? For one, it’s different. We’ve recently seen a storyline of our main girl who has a history of dead husbands (Samee Tee Tra), however, Rak Ork Rit takes it up a notch and presents us with the reality of marrying said dead husbands. What of the fortune, responsibilities and families that are left behind? Who’s going to manage them? That’s what I love about our leading girl, Wanisa. After the death of her two husbands, she takes on the matriarch role. She runs their businesses, take care of their family members and prove to everyone that she can rise above the stigma of being a husband-eater. Despite acquiring many enemies, they all don’t have one single evidence that she’s the cause of their deaths.

But being such a badass takes a toll on one so little. Wanisa never imagined she would meet anyone who would truly understand how she feels. But the moment she rescues Joe (aka Dao), he need only make one single, astute observation that hits her squarely in the chest. Wanisa could only look at Dao and wonder how it is he could understand her so perfectly. Joe on the other hand, starts to hit a brick wall upon his investigation, what if everything that was said about her were completely untrue? And at the end of the day, whose perspective will win? Is fate really going to win or will a logical mind prevail?

I can appreciate that the show is giving us something different. Moreover, I can appreciate that Pope has embodied his role. Gone are the Khunchai tendencies, he is the walking, talking, goofy private eye that we can chew on. Mew Nitha plays a woman with backbones made of steel, but she also shows us that even a strong woman could have her weaker moments. It’s refreshing to see that all of the characters have a motive in this show and that our leading lady is capable of saving herself and the leading man. Perhaps we will witness two people with terrible luck, find the good fortune in each other.

Now, if only we can get the director on board with smoother transitions.. I would be a happy camper. All I know is that this cuteness is only the beginning, as more mysteries and fate will soon unfold, not to mention all of the other characters that will be thrown in the mix!

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