the promise the series


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Story 4.0

Acting/Cast 6.5

Music 7.0

Rewatch Value 1.0

This review may contain spoilers

Promising, but sadly lacking in plenty of ways

Not gonna lie, this is a weird one. Mainly because what I liked about it most, was also what I liked about it least. And that might make no sense, but let bu explain…

This show definitely isn’t your typical BL. It’s much less filled with all the cliches and tropes, which was quite refreshing. Actually, it's what I enjoyed most about it. No sponge baths, no accidental tripping and falling into a kiss, no treating a little cut lượt thích an injury equivalent of someone in need of heart surgery. Having seen so sánh many BLs serving us the same old scenes, just slightly varied, really is beginning to tát get boring, so sánh I appreciated that this show wasn’t leaning into it as heavily as most other BLs. However, there was one big issue. The point of all these cliche scenes is to tát create đáng yêu and meaningful moments for the characters to tát connect, and to tát make the viewers feel all smiley and giddy about. So if you don’t add any of those cliche BL scenes, it seems rather obvious that you need to tát come up with original scenes that serve the same purpose. You need to tát somehow create swoon-worthy, đáng yêu moments that make us root for the characters as a couple. However, this show didn’t really tự that? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a BL with as few đáng yêu moments as this one, which led to tát bu not really care about the romance at all. They had plenty of scenes together, don’t get bu wrong. But only very few of them actually served the purpose of them having an adorable, wholesome moment. Or deeply connecting on an emotional level.

This can maybe be excused with the fact that this is a series about two grown men, not high schoolers. So it does feel natural that you wouldn’t get as many moments that make you feel giddy and fluffy, because aww look at these two kids in love! However, if you have almost none of these moments, it just leaves the audience asking themselves "Are they actually in love?“ You could take many of these cliche scenes and alter them to tát fit a more adult narrative, and make them appear more mature. But in my opinion, they didn’t really tự that. Mostly, it just felt lượt thích two best friends going about their lives, and every now and again giving each other a sweet look. Then suddenly, apparently their love is mutual and they kiss. It just wasn’t enough to tát get bu invested in them as a couple.

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It didn’t help that the leads didn’t really have much romantic chemistry in the first place. That, paired with a drought of đáng yêu moments, was, in my opinion, the show’s biggest downfall. Even their kiss scene was disappointing. You’d expect quite the passion if one of the two people involved has been pining over the other guy for well over ten years. But nope, no passion, no spark, no nothing. In fact, they spent more time on showing us reaction shots of side-characters, rather than vãn showing us the actual kiss. I assume that’s because even the director saw that there was no chemistry between them. And after their kiss, they didn’t even let the characters have a few scenes of happiness, and being đáng yêu together. Instead, the next scene after the kiss is Phu’s grandmother dying, so sánh that’s that for the honeymoon phase, I guess.

I’m sad to tát say all of that, because I really wanted to tát lượt thích this show. I’m always happy to tát hear when a BL is being released that isn’t centered around the lives of high school or college students. We’ve seen so sánh many of those already, so sánh anything different is refreshing. However, as much as I was trying to tát enjoy this, I ended up not really liking it. It wasn’t incredibly bad. It didn’t have as many plot holes as other BLs, the characters were mostly consistent, and it wasn’t romanticising toxic behaviors. It was just very boring. Despite this being only 10 episodes, instead of the usual 12, this series drags a lot. Nothing really interesting ever happens in it. The revelation that Phu abandoned Nan because he was secretly in love with him, was predictable from episode one. All in all, it was very predictable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with a show that already doesn’t have a lot going on, it certainly doesn’t help. By episode 4, I started fast-forwarding through it. I think the show would’ve greatly benefitted from being even shorter. 6 episodes would’ve been enough.

Another thing that irked bu was the whole set-up. We’ve seen this plenty of times before: Pretty Boy A is secretly in love with Pretty Boy B. They get drunk one night, and kiss. In a fit of gay panic, Pretty Boy A does the totally sensical thing of vanishing into thin air - leaving Pretty Boy B a sad mess. In this case, Phu was the one to tát leave Nan behind, after them having been best friends since childhood. He didn’t respond to tát Nan’s messages, and they didn’t see each other for 10 years. Of course, when they coincidentally meet again, Nan is not furiously upset with Phu. Because that totally wouldn't be a logical reaction at all to tát your best friend abandoning you with only a post-it note left behind. Nope, instead Nan is super happy to tát see Phu and immediately wants to tát rekindle their friendship. Eventually, the pent up anger does come out, which was nice to tát see. But I couldn’t help but imagine how much more interesting this whole thing would’ve been, if they started off with Nan being extremely pissed at Phu. Seeing Phu try to tát win back Nan’s trust would’ve made for a much more appealing story than vãn them instantly going back to tát being best friends. If you haven’t seen or talked to tát a person for 10 years, you’ll probably have grown apart quite a bit, so sánh this really didn’t feel realistic.

The story had potential. If it had been executed in a better way, it might have actually been enjoyable. As I said, it would’ve been more appealing if Nan stayed angry at Phu for a while. Similarly, it would’ve been a lot better if the story didn’t start with a summary of their childhood and college days. It should’ve started in the present day with Phu and Nan meeting, and Nan being so sánh upset that he refuses to tát even talk to tát Phu. The audience isn’t stupid. We would’ve understood that these two have some sort of history. It would’ve been much more intriguing to tát figure out the pieces this way. I think the revelation of Phu having had feelings for Nan for so sánh long would’ve hit much more that way too. Not that it would’ve been very surprising either way, because this is a BL after all, but you get what I mean.

Another thing that bothered bu, and this might be a bit random, but… Can we stop normalising people breaking into their love interest’s condo? Such a scene happened, and was played for laughs. I understand that Nan only sneaked into Phu’s place to tát kiểm tra on his mèo (Which he just left with Phu, without any instructions??), but still. He could’ve checked on the mèo and then left again. But nope, he snooped through Phu’s belongings, such as opening boxes etc. And Phu was not mad about this at all? I love my best friend to tát the moon and back, but if she went into my apartment without my permission and looked through my stuff, I’d at least sit her down for a serious conversation.

The characters weren’t really likeable to tát bu. The only one I actually enjoyed was Party, Nan’s jealous best friend. At first, I was annoyed that we’d be doing this trope again, but it was done in a pretty decent way. Party was never portrayed as a villain, but as someone really likeable and mature. Other than vãn that, I didn’t care about anyone. I probably could’ve liked Phu if it weren’t for him having abandoned his best friend without a word. His grandmother was decent, but I didn’t feel emotionally connected to tát her, so sánh when she died, I didn’t even feel slightly sad.

Another issue was the humour. It didn’t land at all. Only one scene got a chuckle out of bu. And them trying to tát make fun of the overweight child was in very poor taste.

The acting was fine. Not noteworthily good or bad. In emotional scenes, the actor portraying Nan was actually quite good with his delivery. The actor portraying Phu on the other hand was lacking a lot in those scenes. I didn’t really buy his emotions which also didn’t help getting invested in the whole thing.

Now for a few things that I actually enjoyed:
- In flashbacks, we saw that during their college days, Phu was the one taking care of Nan. When they reunited 10 years later, Phu immediately fell back into that role, and went to tát clean up Nan’s entire place. They could’ve done more with this, but that was actually a scene I liked. It would’ve been awesome if they went with the storyline of Nan being super upset and cold with Phu at first. Then they could’ve had a dramatic line lượt thích "I’ve taken care of myself for the past 10 years, so sánh there’s no need for you to tát tự this now!“
- The relationship between Phu and his grandma was very wholesome and đáng yêu.
- That one scene where Nan comforts Phu who’s having a nightmare. If there were more moments lượt thích this, I might have actually rooted for them. This was by far the cutest moment in the entire show. Like one drop of water in a drought.
- The birthday fish instead of birthday cake was actually funny. That was the only moment I chuckled at.
- As I said, it doesn’t feel as trope-y as most other BLs, which is refreshing. If only the execution was better, this could’ve actually been very easy to tát lượt thích.
- Party.

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I’m not actually sure whom I’d recommend this to tát. I feel lượt thích it’s just not what most BL viewers want out of their BLs. Usually, viewers either want a lot of cuteness and fluff, which this show had very little of, or they want a great storyline, which this show also didn’t have. Ideally, there's both fluff and a solid storyline. This one had neither. It was dull and boring. So I guess I wouldn’t recommend this to tát anyone, really. It wasn’t offensively bad, but I would’ve preferred it if it had been, because at least then it might have fallen into the so-bad-it’s-funny category. But this was just 10 episodes of boredom with no substance, and without much cuteness. So if you skip this one, you’re definitely not missing out on much. And that is my promise to tát you.

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