This continues to be beginner’s week, so I’m targeting this to lakorn newbies, but I wanted to address the top three genres that lakorns excel at. What are the top three genres in lakornland?
I think lakorns are often seen as not as well made or good as other Asian dramas like dramas from Korea or Japan or even China. It’s true that Thailand dramas are very much lacking in the special effects department, they don’t have the big budget that some Korean dramas have, and computer graphics, well, like China, it is a growing industry. And well, don’t get me started on the fact that most lakorns are from novels, or are remakes from previous novels, not original scripts unlike with some Korean dramas.
But there are some genres that lakorns excel at, even with the limitations of budget, and script, lakorns still have great actors and actresses like Anne Thongprasom, Ken Theeradeth, skilled directors such as Aew Ampaiporn and compelling stories that will endure.
Kleun Cheewit synopsis: Mark Prin is Sathit, a young lawyer, grieving the death of his beloved fiancee from a car accident. The owner of the car who killed his fiancee is superstar actress and model Jeerawat, played by Yaya Urassaya. Sathit blames Jeerawat for the accident and tries to do everything in his power to bring her to justice. What will happen next and how will hate grow to be love? Well, you gotta watch it.
- Romance – Of course. I am biased, but I think lakorns have some of the best romantic stories out there for several reasons. In some dramas, the romance is skipped over or addressed briefly, but in lakorns, the characters, the plot, the music all serve to further the relationship. Look at the love story of Kleun Cheewit, about a young man who tries to get revenge on the nang’ek who he thinks killed his fiancee. I don’t think it’s perfect, but it works very well. Oh, there are so many good moments, how she tries to save him, how they look at each other and touch. But the best moment, or one of them for me came when they just address some anxiety that our nang’ek is having over the pra’ek leaving to confront the villain (see video below, skip to 6:52).
Maybe because of the focus on romance, I think lakorns linger more on small moments like that that really resonate with me and viewers. That’s not true of every lakorn of course, and there are some wonderfully romantic kdramas as well (That Winter, the Wind Blows, Goong) and cdramas (Eternal Love), I just think lakorns more often have great romantic stories and couples.
Pidsawat synopsis: Akkanee is an archaeologist who meets Sarochinee, a beautiful and mysterious woman whom strange things occur around. He is fascinated by her, as well as fearful, as unnatural deaths start cropping up. It all seems to have something to do with the past, and relics of the past that Akkanee found. What is the connection between Sarochinee and Akkanee? Why is Sarochinee out for revenge?
2. HORROR – Thailand has some well known horror films so it’s not surprising that they also have a lot of horror lakorns, usually they have some romance in them. There are kdramas out there as well that focus on horror, but what I’ve notice about lakorns are they are usually based on ghost stories, with a focus on past lives/reincarnation. Pidsawat is a good example of a lakorn with a focus on past lives. I’m not a big horror lakorn fan, (I’m somewhat challenged in the bravery department😜) but I thought Pidsawat did a great job of being creepy and spooky. It also has strong messages about how and if you can redeem yourself from past mistakes, as well as being well acted and directed.
A little heads up for my readers, I will be talking about rape in the next section, so please skip the following section if you need to.
SLAP AND KISS
Sawan Biang synopsis: Kawee finds that his new stepmom is Leela, a woman near his age whom had previously stalked Kawee and confessed her love to him. After Kawee’s cruel rejection of her, Leela vows revenge and finds it in marrying Kawee’s father. Leela and her family, including her feisty younger sister Narin, move into his father’s home. Kawee tries to get back at Leela after she gets him in trouble and targets Narin, who tries to stand up for her sister and against him.
3. Slap AnD kiss lakorns are so well known that they are sometimes considered synonymous with lakorns. Yes, I’ve read a number of comments before about ‘all lakorns have rape in them’ or ‘all lakorns are slap and kiss’ and both those statements simply aren’t true. Slap and kiss lakorns refer to a certain genre of lakorn that contains slapping and kisses and yes, usually rape. But for lakorns outside of this genre, they are unlikely to contain these elements.
So I don’t think I can not not talk about this genre. Sawan Biang (2008) remains one of the most talked about and popular lakorns of the genre. Starring that fab couple I talked about before Anne Thongprasom, Ken Theeradeth and directed by Aew Ampaiporn, this lakorn set a gold standard in acting, directing and music.
Sawan Biang was like my 2nd or 3rd lakorn and I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was riveted. The main reason why? Ken. Kawee is a selfish, abusive, violent rapist, but Ken playing Kawee convinced me Kawee was also sweet, passionate, vulnerable, troubled, charming. It also helps that the immature Kawee grows to become a better person. I think another reason why I like Sawan Biang is because Narin is a fighter and doesn’t take Kawee’s crap. Played by Anne, she is resourceful, strong and tough.
None of this excuses his behavior though, but I’m simply trying to explain why a character and lakorn who does such evil acts like rape, and where such acts are in can be… admired. Liked? What is the right word? Is there one? I have no idea. I do want to delve more into this topic at a later date though.
Do you agree with my top three lakorn genres? What other genres do lakorns excel at? Let us know in the comment section.