A new Monday-Tuesday Channel 3 lakorn has aired and it is full of drama! Produced by Good Feeling Production – who has really been into showcasing reality-based relationships – and starring James Jirayu and Gina Salas, gives us a story with some heavy topics. We are talking depression, drunk driving, vehicular manslaughter, jail sentence, miscarriage, just to name a few. The premise of the story is that Ohm Apipan (James) drunk drives and causes the death of Jay’s (Gina) fiancé, he gets sentenced to 5 years in prison, but the twist is that he is taking the fall for his pregnant girlfriend who had been driving at the time.

(There is another twist I sense, because the fiancé was acting shifty, and the pregnant girlfriend was acting guilty about her pregnancy. My guess is that the two had been getting it on behind Ohm and Jay’s back. I could be wrong, but my lakorn senses is telling me that I may be on the right track.)

The set up of the story is a lot, the two even meet in their own fender bender and dislike each other from the getgo. They have a misunderstanding where she thinks someone else (who later becomes her fiancé) had been the one to save her from drowning. This was exacerbated by the fiancé who took the credit and never corrected her from her mistake – his thinking is probably that he tried to save her life, but the male lead had successfully pulled her out of the water and performed CPR instead – and since the male lead did not take the credit, he would play the hero. Just based on that alone, the fiancé is not a good guy. He takes the initiative to pursue Jay after the incident and manages to win her heart. I want to digress to my comment earlier about Good Feeling Production striving for more realistic relationships. Remember how channel 3 had banned kissing on screen for a few years, now that that is gone, we see more kisses. Which I think it is great, but the whiplash for me is seeing the leads kissing other people. Hahaha. Jay locks lips with her fiancé and Ohm also locks lips with his girlfriend. All normal things I suppose, though I prefer that they lock lips with each other.

Jay struggles from depression, she sees a therapist, take meds for them, and still struggles daily from the trauma in life. She watched her mother die from a drunk driver ten years ago, so she naturally hates drunk drivers, her father brings a new chick home every week claiming that that is her new stepmom, so Jay questions whether her father truly loves her, and being the oldest daughter, she is also the target for her father’s enemies. In fact, her near drowning was caused by her father’s foes. Life for Jay is far from being peaceful, and I am no psychiatrist, but her own psychiatrist continues to ask why she is still stuck in her feelings of the past when the person who committed the crime has paid his dues. We can see this new focus of extreme feelings towards the death of her fiancé. She took it pretty hard, instead of mourning him, she puts her energy into ensuring the man who caused his death gets the maximum punishment. And even that doesn’t satisfy her. She wants to see for herself that he is enduring the pain that she believes her fiancé had endured.

It is difficult to feel for this type of vengeful character right off the bat, but part of the problem isn’t so much the characters, but the whole set up. For such a heavy plot, my eyes are dry. When I watch a drama, I am compelled to tears because the story and character is set up so that it pulls at my heartstrings. Om Fah Orb Din is a great example, the show does such a good job in telling the story and you just get swept up in the emotions. The Deadly Affair throws us one tragedy after another, it feels like a whiplash and you start to wonder can their situation get any worse?

Take for example the predicament that Ohm finds himself in. He’s a promising engineer (electrical I presume) and is about to go study abroad. He’s even about to be a dad. But suddenly his girlfriend wrecks a car, and he could not let her go to jail, so he takes the fall for her. He’s a jovially good guy and always strives to do the right thing, even saving someone from drowning. Then the tragedy hits, his mother dies recently after his sentencing, his girlfriend has a miscarriage, and potentially a hint of a darker future without her – while spending his time in prison and not being there for any of this.

What happens to him – if I were to find some silver lining or purpose – is that he is the polar opposite of Jay – in terms of how they handle life, and difficulties that come their way. His character drives home the message that even under the worst circumstances, you can still choose to do the best you can, to be the happiest you can be. This man excels in prison (imagine that!), he’s the model prisoner if you will. He takes on the work that nobody wants to do, he even becomes the expert electrician for the prison. He’s doing so well, the prison has allowed him to partake in construction endeavors with Jay’s company.

Their approach in life is so different, perhaps when Jay spends more time with Ohm – even while doing time, they still manage to interact, whether she sees him on the street doing sewage work or whether they have volunteered him to work with her company – eventually his perspective in life will challenge that of hers, and I find that to be the more engaging aspect of the show. What I like about these types of dramas is the redemption arc. Both Ohm and Jay need some healing and perhaps they will find it in each other. I am not sure whether this show will be therapeutic or if we will have to seek therapy after, but I am here if you need to vent or hold hands.

*Airs on Netflix (SE Asia) or Available on AlwaysGrumpyCat