They could not find a dreamier Khun Ramet in James Jirayu, with relaxed hair that brushes below his ears, body clad in tailored but effortless suit, lips that wield into an easy smile, with sharp eyes that don’t miss a beat. He epitomizes the relaxed and down to earth feel that is Chiang Rai, a city in which he builds his hotel conglomerate. He expands his work throughout this large city through ethical means and truly cares about the livelihood of its inhabitants along with the preservation of its natural resources. In other words, he’s a dream developer to local citizens, much to the chagrin of the greedy developers who want to turn a quick profit. Right off the bat he has conflict with a competitor who wants to buy out all of the land unethically by bullying local people. But Khun Ramet is astute and clever as we can see that he comes out as the hero each time.
Although he may appear relaxed, Khun Ramet runs his hotel with strict rules and regulations; he doesn’t tolerate tardiness or disloyalty. We see that a secretary was paid by the enemy to infiltrate his safe and steal proprietary information. The man was caught with his hand in the cookie jar so to speak, and as he tries to run away, Khun Ramet fires a gun to stall him. He doesn’t bat an eye as he digs the gun into the traitor’s chest and demands to know who sent him. Prior to this, he had wiped the traitor’s bloody nose that spilled on his shoes. This man expects perfection from his staff, and has such a cold way to deal with their shortcomings and disloyalties; yet, I totally buy his dimensional characterization. He damn well looks perfect, but there’s that darkness lurking beneath. I love it. It’s only the first episode, but I’m already falling in love with this character! And James Ji is making hearts shoot out of my eyes.
His polar opposite is Pimrapat, a spoiled, rich model. She expects people to bend over backwards for her because she’s the shit. One of the most popular models today and could demand when she waltz in to work and what temperature the room ought to be so that she could get in the mood of pulling off whatever concept she’s portraying. She might be living in her own, little, spoiled world because no one else around her thinks this is a good, nice or professional behavior, but they condone it because whatever she touches turns into gold. Except for her former step mom or dad’s former wife, Matavi, who is an up and coming brand owner. The unfortunate thing is, she relies on great models like Pimrapat to wear her clothes and sell it. But Pimrapat would rather strut on a runway naked, than to wear her stepmom’s clothes. I can appreciate that principle.
Another indication that Pimrapat lives in her own, naïve world is her father. He’s a famous, rich business owner but is falling on hard times. Pimrapat doesn’t seem to understand this (when everyone else in the world seems to know this) because she demands for a new sports car despite her father struggling to rub pennies together. He made a bad business decision and the debt is compounding, with investors threatening to sue him. She yelps that dad must buy her the car in order to show him that he loves her and that he’s keeping the promise to her deceased mother. She guilt trips him about his poor decision in marrying the gold digger Matavi, which has caused undue stress on her (because she only knows me me me right now). Dad succumbs to her tantrum and buys her that sports car. Then he starts planning an end to his own life, unable to deal with real world consequences.
Pimrapat has a “hi-so” fiancé who is knee deep in gambling debt. He seems to dote on her and puts up with their chaste relationship that is going on more than a decade now. He even gets the green light from dad to marry Pimrapat whenever he is ready, though fiancé says that he’s leaving it up to whenever Pim is ready. In the meantime, he’s ok stealing her expensive purses and selling it off for a profit to pay off his debt.
But Pim’s rose covered reality starts to lose its tint. Things start to clear up as step mom becomes more prominent in the fashion world and people start to see her for who she is. And the last straw? Her beloved father is found dead on his bed from overdose. Before taking his own life, he had made her promised (despite how rough life will get for her) that she would never get rid of the swan pin that grandfather gave her, and to keep her chin up. The day she wore that pin, dad felt it was the right time to go.
Khun Rames gets introduced into the fashion world from his friend who has opened a new hotel in Bangkok. He had hired some models for the opening party, and Khun Rames is immediately smitten and mesmerized by Pimrapat. He overhears about her personality but during his second time encounter with her, he learns that she is the daughter of his idol, a man he looks up to as one of the best CEOs. The man had confided that his daughter, Pimrapat, had been his inspiration for his work. He’s a famous developer. Khun Rames could not forget her face, nor their subsequent literal run in when her high heel digs into his shoe. She had blamed him for getting in her way and almost causing her to fall (when instead he had prevented her from falling). He could not put a word in edgewise, nor tend to the pain in his toes. Sometime later (back home in Chiang Rai), as he looks at his shoes, he only recalls their encounter with a smile. Someone is smitten. Someone is ADORABLE.
Khun Nong makes an appearance in this show. She’s the second lead in Tarm Ruk Keun Jai, as her boss, Nai Singh is a close friend and business partner with Khun Rames. They are planning a fashion show for their hotel opening and Khun Rames has recruited Matavi to help facilitate the fashion show. The older woman agrees immediately as she can’t take her eyes off of him (I mean, could you blame her?)
And so we close out the premier episode with Pimrapat facing reality without her dad and the riches. She’s not the most likeable heroine, but her journey in this show is a bit of self-discovery and whether her swan feathers can be softened when she meets the one person who won’t give in to her. I recall her fiancé telling dad that he likes to do whatever Pimrapat demands, because he’s happy to. While Khun Rames is certainly another beast, who can’t even tolerate the slightest insult to time, productivity and flawed shoes. This will make for an interesting tussle, as we know someone is already smitten – can he stop the attraction long enough to go tete-a-tete with our spoiled heroine?
I felt the first episode a little slow to start with. We were given a long intro on Pimrapat and her diva like ways, along with the different aspects of Khun Rames, which I understand will be important for character development down the road. But all I thought about in my head while watching these two apart, was that I can’t wait to see more of them together. I love their differences and I love how Khun Rames is just the guy for her (after her fiancé disappears of course once he finds out she won’t be rich anymore.) Khun Rames characterization already reminds me so much of Nai Singh from Tarm Ruk Keun Jai because they are such steady leaders with their heart in the right place. But Khun Rames has more of an edge because there’s that interesting darker element in his personality than Nai Singh, who is what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy. It’s not surprising since the same writer and director created the two stories.
It’s engaging enough to keep me wanting more, which is not easy to say recently with the lack of interesting shows out, and my current, insane, exhausting life. But if anyone can keep me invested, I’m hoping it’s the dreamy Khun Rames, aka James Jirayu and his awesome chemistry with Kimberly. *He certainly cleans up nicely, as seen in the images below. Swoon.
pic cred: BuangHong.official