Well hello. I know I was debating earlier whether I’ll tune into Duang Jai Pisut (which premiered today), but when you don’t have anything else to watch and you’re bored as heck, beggars can’t be choosers. I figure, at least check out the first episode.
Let’s get right into the characters that make up this story world.
Meet our hero, Haht, good looking but uptight professor and human being. He detests loud noises, especially those coming from shrieky females. Which must be karma because you always end up with things you hate (so says the Thai proverb)- because (1) his students are squealy when they realize they have a handsome professor (2) his neighbor whom moved in with her mother sounds like a giant boar and fights with her nephew at all hours of the day.
The aforementioned neighbor is Chang who’s an artist and prefers to be alone, thank you very much, especially far from her rascal of a nephew. But her brother and sister in law are assigned to Africa and they left their son (Look Mee) behind with grandma. Seeing that grandma doesn’t want to be alone, she compels (more like forces Chang kindly) to move in with her for two years, at least until the parents come back. The minute Chang steps foot into the house in Bangkok, Look Mee throws her in for a whirlwind ride. Chang resents having to live in the city, as she much prefer to be on her own, wherever she pleases, so she doesn’t take to a mischievous child kindly and sets out to authoritatively discipline him. Which doesn’t work for the child, and they end up causing a ruckus.
This disturbs Haht’s precious sleep and concentration, the man next door. He thinks that she must be a large woman because she has very loud vocals, and their first encounter doesn’t bode very well. Look Mee had escaped into Haht’s home (he lives with his oldest sister Hatyai) and the little boy smacked his forehead against the stone, causing a goose egg bump to form on his forehead. Upon seeing this boy, Haht thinks he has been abused. Look Mee worsens the misunderstanding as he says Aunt Chang cannot find him otherwise his life will be over. Haht reports the situation to Child Protective Services and Chang’s household gets investigated for child abuse.
Chang is furious how the infuriating neighbor could tell on her, but matters resolve themselves when Look Mee tells social services that his aunt didn’t hit him, it was an accident. But Chang has her bestie who helps her adapt to being around her nephew and people in general. He’s a nerd with the glasses (which I didn’t catch his name) and they’ve been friends since forever. It seems like he likes her more than a friend, but Chang only considers him like a buddy. He’s dorky and funny, totally harmless.
Over in Chiang Mai resides another set of family, quite wealthy in the construction business. Haht’s middle sister, Hunsa, is married to Yak, who’s currently managing the family business. They have an only child named Pookie whom they love dearly, and grandma also dotes on her. Unfortunately this causes severe jealousy from his sister in law, who has three children but feels they don’t get the same treatment from grandma.
Pookie’s life gets turned upside down when her parents got into a horrible wreck, taking both of their lives. Grandma promises to raise her, but she also struggles with health issues herself. Haht and Hatyai (her uncle and auntie) asks grandma to take custody over Pookie because that is what Hunsa had asked of them, but grandma refuses, claiming that she can’t take Pookie from everything she knows in Chiang Mai, and the both of them are busy with work, who’s going to care for Pookie? Both brother and sister realize that grandma might be right, but more importantly, they surmise that grandma and Pookie need each other the most right now.
Sister in law’s jealousy worsens and she doesn’t remotely mourn the dead, she keeps trying to get the upper hand in grandma’s attention, though grandma tells her to work on disciplining her three daughters instead, who are brats, and have zero empathy. Wonder where they learn that from.
Grandma also has a younger daughter called Nadee, resident party girl in town. The minute she laid eyes on Haht, she’s immediately smitten. The party girl doesn’t even mourn her own brother’s death, and she bugs the hell out of me. I did have to laugh at Haht’s WTF face when Nadee hugged him upon meeting him for the first time.
All in all, there are some good parts and some bad, lakorn clichéd parts. Joy is doing a great job with what she’s given, because I hate her already, but I feel that her villain character is too one-dimensional. She’s a jealous bitch and will do what it takes to get what she wants. She has zero feelings that two people died. I know that even bad people in this world have a heart, but that they make bad choices, but unfortunately Joy’s character just falls into the standard “rai” role. Same goes for Nadee who’s a spoiled brat and has no sadness with the fact that her own brother died. She’s the way that she is because she thinks that mom only cares about her granddaughter. Ok, grow up. Those are two people that already annoy the hell out of me.
Perhaps Son’s acting is looking up because Yam Matira’s acting needs a lot of work. Show would have fared better if they chose someone more mature to help carry the story. Yam’s acting is on the same level as Patricia Good, which isn’t to say that it’s good. There are some scenes that she can be tolerable, but I don’t fault Son’s character who finds her loud and annoying. Let’s hope that she’ll get better as the story progresses.
Having said that, the show stealers are actually the child actors, Nong Maria and Nong Rotbat. Pookie will make you cry with her. The scenes between her and grandma are just heartbreaking, and I like that we get to see her with mom and dad prior to their death, because we know how much her life will unfairly change, and our hearts will inexplicably twist on her behalf. The evil aunt in law, the bullying children, I hope Uncle Haht and Aunt Hatyai can come rescue her soon, but I fear there will be some trauma before they get that chance.
I really like the scene between Pookie and Uncle Haht, they don’t often see each other and he approaches her cautiously at the funeral ceremony. She’s sitting alone, crying, hugging the doll called “Duang Jai” that mom made for her. There’s a red heart in the doll’s chest representing mom and dad’s love for Pookie. *tear. Uncle Haht asks if she remembers him and introduces himself as mom’s younger brother. He tries not to cry as he peers at his lonesome niece. He tries to gently prod her towards the ceremony hall, offering her a hand, but she doesn’t take it. He tells her that that’s ok, but it’s the unspoken words, the exchange of pain that gets me.
Although Uncle Haht is a strict man, I think kids need that calm and structuring influence. His encounter with Look Mee has already caused the boy to be responsible for his own actions. And perhaps Haht and Chang have more in common than they think – even though their personality is different – at the end of the day, they crave for the same thing: independence, and having to give up that independence may bring them closer.
I can’t wait for Look Mee to meet Pookie and make her loveable again. Because she could use a friend right now.