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Jao Sao Jamloey – First Impressions

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Behold, a bride looking stunned at a man that is leaning close, he may or may not be her groom, he may or may not be her savior. But her senses are heightened, she is confused, and his voice sounds ever familiar. How did she get here?

I mean, it’s just the first episode, Fia, don’t get your hopes up so high. Chill, girl. These are some of the things I tell myself as I am sucked into this story full of visually stunning cinematography and rich characters. Jao Sao Jamloey, or Prisoner Bride, premiered this week on Channel 7 and I may or may not be a teeny bit excited after the first episode

Ingjan (Hana Lewis) is in trouble. An aristocrat by birth, Ingjan is left with a palace and jewelry business to safeguard. Unfortunately, Aunt has squandered all of the wealth and corners Ingjan to save the inheritance by marrying the loan shark. Ingjan refuses, as she has her principles, so Aunt colludes with the loan shark to drug her and force her hand. Whether the drug is weak or the will of her late father is strong, Ingjan stirs from the sleep induced drug and manages to escape. Stumbling through the hotel lobby and across the driveway, she nearly collides into a jeep.

Forget the white horse ridden by a prince charming, Sichon (BigM) is the dark horse that drives a mean looking jeep. He gets out of his car to confront the accoster, but he sees a disheveled bride instead. It’s HER! The shocked look on his face, he tries to get his bearing around him. Then everything happens so fast. Men swarm them, an older man and woman shouts for Ingjan (HER!) to stop running. He could see the woman in question distraught and refusing to go with them, she even took his arm. Sichon looks like he’s frozen in confusion as he witnesses the tug of war around him.

In her final shocking move, Ingjan declares that she has a lover, grasps the stranger by his lapels and brings him down for a searing kiss that shocks everyone, especially the stranger. As the drug starts to take its effect, Ingjan pleads to the stranger to get her out of there. Sichon feels her body going limp and deposits her in his car. They try to come at him, but he knocks them down skillfully one by one. Kyaaaaa.

Sichon (aka Nam) drives her to his winery. They also had me at WINE. I mean the man looks like a tall glass of wine, but I digress. Sichon is an up-and-coming winemaker in Thailand, trained from Tuscany. He managed to salvage a large plot of land inherited from his father, who had deemed the plot worthless. When his mother died, his father moved on with a new wife and kid, so Sichon was forced to move on and grow up alone. He turned the plot of land into a winery and got his stepmom/bro turning green with envy. As his dad’s business goes downhill, Sichon’s future is on the horizon. I could already tell that I may need to take blood pressure medication for stepmom/greasy bro, and ex-girlfriend (who is now greasy bro’s sloppy seconds!). Compliments to the director and cast, this show has no overacting thus far.

Back to Sichon waiting for Ingjan to come to. “Why do I have to see you again?” he says. OMO. He’s mad at her. We get a flashback in Tuscany where he was smitten at first glance. She was touring a winery and while he found her attractive, he didn’t approach her because that’s not how Thai ladies like it. But um, how will she know you like her? FATE, Sichon believes in fate and destiny and unicorns. I made up the latter. And he’s probably right, cos FATE brought her to him or him to her a few times, with this last time all rather unexpected. “Why did I help a deceiving woman?” we hear his voiceover, as we see a car in Tuscany winery flipping over. The pretty woman on the bottom of the pile, head bleeding. Yikes. Tell me more.

But we come back to present time. He’s not over her. You can tell by how he stands over here, looming over her like he’s some angry god. Like he’s mad she has the audacity to meet him again. LOL. I love this too much. This is how fate works, my friends, you see people you don’t want to see.

We get this stunning nighttime shot. Ingjan opens her eyes to the stranger, she asks if they’ve met before because his voice sounds so familiar. Ah, she has no idea. What happens next has so many underlying suggestions, Ingjan thinks he’s referring to her deception with the kiss/lie, while Sichon is referring to all the baggage they had together – ones that she isn’t quite aware of. Don’t you love it when someone hates you but you have no idea why? Regardless, Ingjan is a queen! I mean, she carries herself like one. Calm, collected, levelheaded, despite being in a wedding gown in god knows where. The man is condescending, but he also saved her, so she’s grateful. This nang ek isn’t yelling and screaming and accusing? Yes, I am watching a lakorn, with such a well written heroine, staying true to her character. 

The condescending man has also eavesdropped/overheard (if you ask him) about her predicament. In a solemn tone, Sichon presents an offer: marry me for a year. Ingjan stares at him like he’s grown two heads. WHY? She managed to croak out. He says he’s very rich and that he can pay off her immense debt and then some. He would benefit from her status and well he even leered at her body for effect. Ingjan wanted to laugh at her two choices (cos otherwise she would cry), either marry the old loan shark or marry this virile winemaker. But Sichon adds a caveat, if she doesn’t accept his offer, he would just hand her over to the loan shark, as he doesn’t have a reason to upset the older man.

Ingjan realizes she’s royally screwed. She does attempt a last-ditch effort to hightail out of there, but Sichon (the sneak!) had left a wedding ring in her pocket and while she races around the winery, he bellows “THIEF!” and literally every worker goes after her. I’m trying not to laugh, but it’s dang hilarious. Sichon preempts his business proposal to her again, which she took, cos she’s a prisoner taking a plea deal. Without further thought, Sichon announces his new wife and proceeds to take care of loose ends: paying her debt, alerting Aunt, and planning his pretty little wedding. I mean, let’s be real, who’s really excited about this wedding after all. Never seen a more blushing groom.

Ah, I am looking forward to Show unpacking the past, the misunderstandings, the resentments. Because underneath all that anger, and rationale that he’s teaching her an expensive lesson (ok Nam-laoshi), he’s going to realize that there’s a whole lot of love and yearning for the lady. And I’ll be there to watch it unfold! There are some steamy spoilers ahead and I may need to tag my future posts as 18 and over. HAHAHA. I feel like that is the direction we are going, and it’s only been one episode. Wine to quench your thirst, anyone?

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