Tawan’s Sassy Rose – A Review
Posted on June 4, 2014
My favorite time of the year is the brink of Summer, right when the dew of Spring dries up, making way for long and slow days. The days are a little more effortless; the mood is a little more uplifting. Thus, putting me in the mood for some light hearted and fun lakorn. What better way to enjoy the onset of Summer, than to live vicariously through the lives of Rose and Tawan at Tawan’s Farm? There is something about a city girl having to live her life in the countryside – farmland even – and giving up the simple measures of life’s conveniences, that makes the viewing experience quite empathetic. A romp in the pigsty is just what the doctor ordered, but don’t forget the boots!
Channel 7 and Polyplus production presents Kularp Rai Korng Nai Tawan (Mr. Tawan and his Sassy Rose) a romantic comedy, feel good type lakorn, which aired the beginning of this year with a total of 15 episodes. It’s about time that Kan Kantathaworn plays a Pr’ek role in primetime TV, all glorious six feet of him. He has always been a compelling actor even as a villain, so it’s nice to see his dynamic acting skills put into good use. No need to steal the limelight from other Pr’eks anymore, this baby is all yours.
We open the story with Miss Diva Rose (Mai Davika) returning from England to the detriment of all employees in Queen Rose Hotel. Red dress, red lips and a hot red attitude to match her name Rose (of the red variety) and orders her beloved Grandpa and only living relative that she is ready to take on the responsibilities of running a hotel. Granted, her Grandpa loves her and could – would – do anything for her, but it is the hotel’s livelihood after all, and someone with no experience just won’t do. Grandpa tells Rose that she needs to learn the hotel business from the ground up. Appalled that she would have to fold towels or greet the customers along with the likes of her employees, Rose’s notorious finger raising anger erupts, and she threatens to return to England pronto. No one, not even her Grandpa dares to upset her.
Until she runs headlong into Tawan (Kan Kantathaworn) and his orchids, that are currently being utilized at the hotel. Rose and her haughtiness points out that her hotel is called Queen Rose for a reason – thank you very much – and in no way shape or form should they decorate the hotel with orchids, except for the fact that she hates orchids and it’s her way or the highway. But Tawan would choose the highway any day because he doesn’t care who she is. They have a face-off the minute they meet, and much to his chagrin; he ends up saving her from a disgruntled employee who had her at knifepoint. Grandpa is impressed with Tawan and offers to show his gratitude. But when he hears the reminder of the name “Tawan Farm,” it almost brought him to his knees. As it turns out, his long lost best friend forever is Tawan’s Grandpa!
The two old time besties reconnect after 20 years apart, not without pointing fingers over the fact that Tawan’s Grandpa had lend Rose’s Grandpa investment capital for the startup of Queen Rose Hotel, but after Rose’s Grandpa made it big, he invariably vanished into thin air. Tawan’s Grandpa argued that Rose’s Grandpa is rich enough now to investigate the whereabouts of his dear friend. Heh. And like meddling old ladies, they come up with a scheme that will not only resolve the problem of the debt to the satisfaction of both parties, but will connect the two families forever. The Grandpas decide that their two grandkids will get married! It’s a win-win in both grandpas’ point of view. For instance a) when Tawan and Rose were little, they had been very close and Tawan had promised to take care of Rose FOREVER, this promise invariably jinxed Tawan from ever finding his happily ever after, according to his Grandpa. Not for the lack of trying, Tawan’s three previous girlfriends all rejected him. Grandpa believes that if Tawan marries Rose, his jinx will be erased. b) The biggest win for Rose’s Grandpa is that this union may possibly change the very nature of Rose’s disposition, after all, Tawan is the only person who dares to challenge Rose.
However, people are not like puppets where you can pull the strings whichever way you want: both grandkids refuse to get married simply because their Granddaddy said so. But this only puts a slight kink to their ultimate plan: instead, the Grandpas challenge Rose: if she could work at the farm and be a value to the farm within one year’s time, she would not have to marry Tawan and the debt would be forgiven. However, if she steps foot outside of the farm before that expiration date, she would have to marry Tawan immediately and they both would take on the hotel mutually. Tawan on the other hand, is told that if he wants to be a dutiful grandson, he would not want Granddad to rescind his words. Those Granddaddy promises are beyond legal binding in lakorn world. Tawan is curious enough to see if Rose can hold her own (and devilishly enough to make a fun out of tormenting her.) While Rose is stubborn enough to take on the challenge just to thumb her nose at her Grandpa and the beguiling Tawan who thinks she’s not up to snuff.
There we have it, the premise of the story. Can Rose overcome the farming difficulties and come to find the happiness out of living simply? Can Tawan ultimately impact her disposition and “change” her from a “bad” rose to a “good” rose – a rose with consideration for others? This story is more than a hero entering a spoiled heroine’s life and changing her into a caring individual. Instead, the argument of the story is from two perspectives: Tawan and Rose, and the difference in how they approach life. Tawan believes in receiving what he puts in. He works hard, he treats his farm employees like his family and even though he cares too much about people, he can also be stern enough not to be a pushover. Rose on the other hand, believes the world will fall at her feet if she gets angry and demanding enough.
At the end of the day, who’s approach is the right approach- who wins in the end? Will Rose stand by her approach in life or take on Tawan’s approach? We are not talking about a change in the very nature of Rose’s character- which I can appreciate that she maintains her spitfire and joie de vivre- but she learns, through poignant experiences, that she can no longer be as selfish and as self serving as she has been. At the onset of this challenge, Rose is determined to sabotage Tawan’s farm by killing the one thing that means the most to him: his orchid greenhouse. She thinks that by damaging his farm, he would be angry enough to kick her out. So she is caught by surprise when he shepherds her to the hospital instead, worried about the amount of carcinogens she might be exposed to when spraying his greenhouse with weed killers. Rose then learns from Tawan’s tight knitted family that Tawan loves those orchids so much because they were his parent’s life mission to create rare-breed orchids. The day after they’ve created the greenhouse, his parents unfortunately died from an accident. So this is the closest thing to a memory of his parents. Rose may be spoiled and haughty, but she knows what it feels like to destroy something that someone loves. Despite wanting to leave the farm, she decides to stick around until she can recreate the greenhouse that she destroyed. Tawan has awakened this rare feeling of responsibility.
But he also gave her a sense of true happiness when you do things for others. Rose learns this by being forced (by Tawan no less) to teach the village children how to hula-hoop and compete regionally. She resisted to the idea at first because who cares about winning a hula-hoop contest? But it matters to the children to win something, and through a twisted ankle and sleepless night; Rose doesn’t give up until they win the trophy. Not only do these experiences teach Rose a thing or two about hard work and helping others, it shows Tawan that Rose has the capacity to change, and thereby, changing the way he feels about her.
Let’s consider the ultimate goal. If Rose doesn’t change her ways, she will end up alone. This speaks to the biggest fear that her Granddaddy has, and invariably the show: if Grandpa’s gone from this world, Rose will no longer have anyone by her side. That’s a really sad prospect. If Rose can change her mentality and spoiled behavior, she will only attract good and warm people in her life. This is what Grandpa wants, and as the show progresses, it’s the sentiment the viewers share as well.
After all, what a lovely relationship throughline, it’s not instant, but through biting arguments, the desire to prove each other wrong, and sheer stubbornness, their love blossomed. Even though they try to deny it, they are intensely attracted to each other. Tawan seems to be spellbound by Rose when he sees her dressed in a country girl getup, and Rose would make snarky comments that he’s stunned by her beauty. Ha, which is true. Who wouldn’t? But through the funny and cute interactions, we get some doses of realism too. They each show the other their approach in life, and even though we know that Tawan’s approach is the better approach, we also see that Rose can teach him something too. For example, having a dream is important. Tawan knew instantly that he wanted to be a farmer and take care of his parent’s flowers. He doesn’t know what it’s like to truly want something. But Rose shows him that when your dream becomes a reality, it’s the best feeling in the world. Perhaps Tawan may not have a particular dream, but he couldn’t resist the fact that through her, he can see how dreams can make someone happy. And once the shenanigans and challenges come to an end, what’s going to persuade Rose to stay? Perhaps the two will have to finally settle matters of the heart.
Kan has made Tawan simply adorable. He’s the kind of guy – if there is this kind of guy out there – that will put you first even when he’s livid at you, he will go against his own belief if he knows it will make you happy, but he will also put you straight on the errors of your ways, and without making you think that he doesn’t believe in you 100% of the time. Kan is so cute as Tawan that I want to shrink him and put him in my pocket. I tuned into this lakorn after seeing him in Sanaeha Sunya Kaen, and I’m so glad I did. He plays Tawan, the stubborn but lovable (not to mention gentle) farmer so well.
And Mai Davika, who knew she could play such a spitfire diva? Her character is a little nuts, but watching her transformation (without losing the essence of herself) is truly entertaining. Her chemistry with adorable Kan is so palpable; make sure you have a pillow handy to squeal into it, because there’s going to be a lot of squealing.
I also love the relationship between the Granddaddies. Despite trying to maneuver their grandkids into doing what they want them to do, I know that if the grandkids refuse outlandishly, Granddaddies will ultimately do as they wish. Because when you love someone, you don’t want to see them hurt. The grandkids feel the same way about their grandpa. Tawan is aware of Grandpa’s game, but he doesn’t have the heart to stop him. It’s adorable. The rest of the farm cast is fun to watch as well- Nam Rapeepat as Peera is so silly (in a good, harmless way.) I love that his schemes to have Rose all to himself almost, always backfires.
Do you want a capable baddie? Well the baddies in this show – namely Decha – seems to be a step ahead of our hero, which is bad for the hero, but good for the story. This baddie is actually smart? Go figure. Now if they have a more compelling actor to play the baddie (perhaps another version of Kan? We can make a twin twist story right? Where one of them is actually bad? Yes, please.) I bet another Kan to play the baddie role would be oh so enticing! I might even fall for the bad guy, ha. Are you taking notes, show?
All in all, it’s quite the fun jaunt in Tawan’s farm. There’s action, romance and comedy. You have my encouragement to go out and meet a loveable farmboy like Tawan. Especially one who is gentle, kind and has strong abs and arms. I’ll give you a moment to drool. You’re welcome.
Ok, you guys are officially cute.
Pic credit to original owners.
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