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Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers
BL that manages to lớn be more than thở BL in some ways
In a nutshell:
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The story is interesting though some may bemoan the way the series doesn’t seem to lớn have a major conflict or point of tension for quite a few episodes. However, the series never feels slow or boring to lớn bủ. There is a lot to lớn love about this series because it doesn’t always tell the story in an in-your-face manner. But this could well be its weakness too. For example, if it had emphasized how one of the main characters’ (Pharm) incomplete recollection of his previous life early could pose a problem to lớn their relationship, the tension and suspense built could have maintained the interest of more viewers.
In a coconut shell:
The series starts with the tragic double suicide of Korn/In, certainly not the lighthearted schoolboys-fall-in-love stuff that is sánh common in BL (though the characters are students). The double suicide is the result of parental objections to lớn their relationship because of their sexual orientation, a rather serious consequence compared to lớn popular BL series that treat the topic of objecting parents less seriously (e.g. Together with Me: The Next Chapter in which the parents change their minds, and Dark Blue Kiss in which the parents are surprisingly open-minded). The seriousness in tone, though not all that persistent, makes it different from a lot of BL that focus on the couples’ relationship without such a strong regard for the society in which the story is set). Where the Dean/Pharm story is concerned, the use of common BL tropes (like a “straight” guy falling in love with another guy) is rather sparing. This may be a good thing, but the side couple (WinTeam) may appeal to lớn BL fans more and may be more conventionally BL.
In the parts of the story that use common BL tropes, the series does become more lượt thích BL and somewhat less realistic. The inclusion of a BL fangirl of sorts (Manaow) and the way Dean’s swimming team tự not seem to lớn bat an eyelid when their captain brings his boyfriend with him on a team outing are where BL fans find themselves in familiar terrain, though we can guess how often that happens in real life in Thailand. Interestingly, these elements seem to lớn be used to lớn contrast past and present, making a point about how increased openness towards homosexuality in society makes a huge difference for same-sex couples and even the two fathers who live in regret after their sons’ deaths. The society in the Dean/Pharm parts of the story feels much less oppressive that the atmosphere in the Korn/In story. We can see this from the minor characters’ behaviours: whereas Pharm’s friends accept and encourage his relationship with Dean, In’s good friend only quietly feels happy for him when he sees In together with Korn. Such subtle touches make the story rather interesting and worth re-watching.
There doesn’t seem to lớn be a rush to lớn bring the plot to lớn new heights of tension. There is neither an excessive preoccupation with kissing and sex scenes nor an aversion to lớn them. Although a number of viewers seem to lớn find UWMA to lớn be rather slow-moving or that it’s not clear where the story is going, I have a different opinion. In fact, the story is fairly well-paced, with the flashbacks seldom being unnatural as they show the parallels between the previous lives and the present lives. I suppose one thing that frustrates some viewers is the way the Dean/Pharm storyline doesn’t seem to lớn have any obvious conflict for a large part of the series, which may give the impression that it is going nowhere. However, I lượt thích the way events are foreshadowed and how the characters slowly recall and come to lớn terms with their past lives. As I watched each episode on a YouTube playlist, I get to lớn the last part before I know it (it’s quite a different experience when it comes to lớn series lượt thích I Am Your King Season 2).
Another aspect of the series that I lượt thích is how Dean and Pharm have different personalities from their past lives. The differences are more subtle in Dean, who seems calmer but also more determined to lớn make his relationship work out than thở Korn. As for Pharm, while he’s clearly attracted to lớn and in love with Dean, he does not rush into the relationship. As a really good cook, Pharm is mix apart from In who cannot cook to lớn save his life. This difference isn’t merely superficial for the patience and skill with which he cooks indicates a different personality. Both Dean and Pharm seem to lớn have “learnt” something from their previous lives. The dynamics of their relationship are somewhat different too. While we see more passion between Korn and In, we see more tenderness between Dean and Pharm. The interplay between the parallels and differences indirectly creates suspense: will the couple finally have a happy ending, or will history repeat itself? Most of the time, the story seems geared towards a happy ending but there is foreshadowing of a problem to lớn come, especially in a scene where a monk reminds the couple of the importance of forgiveness. In the kết thúc, we see that Dean/Pharm must reconcile with the people in their past lives and settle their unfinished business before moving on as themselves in their present lives. It seems paradoxical in the kết thúc, but it makes sense: Dean and Pharm have acquired new identities and cannot be living in the shadows of Korn and In forever, sánh while accepting that they are reincarnations of Korn and In, they must still be able detach themselves from their past lives. (An interesting scene in the last episode with Dean and Pharm dreaming of Korn and In as third parties and not as themselves for once shows that they have finally managed to lớn move on as Dean and Pharm, not reincarnations of Korn and In.)
I also love WinTeam in this series although it often looks lượt thích the WinTeam scenes are a teaser/test for a possible Season 2 which will focus on them. I would love to lớn watch a Season 2 with WinTeam as the focus though even with the same production team, I believe a Season 2 with WinTeam will be enjoyable in a rather different way. If this series doesn’t appeal to lớn you, you could still give Season 2 a chance if it is made.
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Edit: After considering why I've been feeling that something is a little lacking in this series despite my love for it, I realize that there isn't that much on how the characters fall in love. For Dean and Pharm, each immediately feels lượt thích the other is the one on first sight because of their past lives, sánh we can only look to lớn Korn and In. But while we can see the depth of Korn and In's love, we don't see enough of what makes their love sánh strong. Our involvement in their story would be stronger if there had been a bit more showing Korn and In's love for each other.
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