So I’ve just finished multiple dramas in September, and now I’m in a bit of a drama slump. Without watching many dramas, I’ve little to blog about as my ideas usually come from what I’ve been watching. Hopefully that’ll change later in October!
But I have been thinking about what makes a good drama. Oftentimes, I’ve dropped lakorns I’ve considered ‘bad,’ but what are my criteria and why? So I thought I’ll start with looking at lakorn cliches or stereotypes. Usually, if a lakorn has these stereotypes, and don’t contribute anything new, like great couple chemistry or changing up the stereotypes to be a little different, it’s boring and I drop it.
For anyone who wants to learn more about the history of lakorns in Thailand, this is a great read in Bangkok Post from 2013 and it’s where I got the poster from.
- There are 24 stereotypes discussed here. I thought it would be fun to compare/contrast two 2020 lakorns to see which one is less stereotypical.
- But what makes a lakorn less stereotypical can also be about what changes are in it, as well as the stereotypes it has.
- I’ve decided to divide this up into categories, namely people and actions.
|Lakorn Stereotype (from poster)||Marn Bang Jai (2020)||Mia Archeep (2020)|
|1. Snoopy maid||Heck yes.||No maids really|
|2. Camp ladyboy||NO||NO|
|3. Camp gay man||NO||Yes?|
|4. 2 women fighting over man||Yes||Yes|
|5. Mia noi – Mistress||NO||NO|
|6. Mia luang – Main wife||NO||NO|
|7. Nang ek disguised as man||NO||NO|
|8. Someone with evil eye||Probably||Probably|
|9. Mean mom-in-law||NO||NO|
|10. Maid sitting on floor||Yes||NO|
|11. Man having more than 1 lover||Yes||NO|
|12. Mansion with Roman columns||Yes||Maybe?|
|13. Gossiping||Yes Yes Yes||Yes Yes Yes|
|14. Someone being poisoned||NO||NO|
|15. Villains saying evil plans out loud||Yes||Yes|
|16. Nang rai drugging pra’ek||Yes||NO|
|17. Nang’ek sleeping in fake eyelashes||Yes||Yes|
|18. Nang rai screaming||Yes||Yes|
|19. Nang’ek disguising herself as man||NO||NO|
|20. Someone being pushed down stairs||NO||NO|
|21. A slap followed by a kiss||Yes||NO|
|22. Rape||Yes, not nang’ek||NO|
|23. Snuggling under white sheet||Yes||Yes|
|24. Pra’ek with overseas education, naïve about life.||NO||Unsure|
Marn Bang Jai (2020) got 10 or 11 no’s out of 24 stereotypes, while Mia Archeep (2020) got 14 strong negatives, with 3 maybes so Mia Archeep (2020) has less stereotypes based on this chart. Yet on mydramalist,com, Mia Archeep (2020) has a rating of 7.4 and Marn Bang Jai (2020) has 7.8 so more people liked it (and watched it).
Both had their strong points. I really liked how strong the bonds were of siblings in both lakorns, but Mia Archeep (2020) felt like an updated lakorn plot, complete with employees instead of maids and modern apartments, while Marn Bang Jai (2020) harkens back to older lakorns in most ways, I did like the fact that both the nang’ek and her sister had jobs in it. In Mia Archeep (2020), the nang’ek’s relationship with pra’ek matches more with modern norms.
Stereotypes (which aren’t necessarily bad) can be a start in determining how good a drama really is, but it is by no means the only criteria or even the most important criteria you should follow. After all, we haven’t even considered things such as writing, directing, acting, production values, and more. But it is a step in the right direction at taking a more critical look at what you watch.
What lakorns can you think of that match most of these stereotypes? Or match it the least?