What makes a good drama? Lakorn stereotypes

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.

Lakorn Stereotypes

Source: Bangkok Post 2013

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 Comparison

Lakorn Stereotype (from poster)Marn Bang Jai (2020)Mia Archeep (2020)
1. Snoopy maidHeck yes. No maids really
2. Camp ladyboyNONO
3. Camp gay manNOYes?
4. 2 women fighting over manYesYes
5. Mia noi – MistressNONO
6. Mia luang – Main wifeNONO
7. Nang ek disguised as manNONO
8. Someone with evil eyeProbablyProbably
9. Mean mom-in-lawNONO
10. Maid sitting on floorYesNO
11. Man having more than 1 loverYesNO
12. Mansion with Roman columnsYesMaybe?
13. GossipingYes Yes YesYes Yes Yes
14. Someone being poisonedNONO
15. Villains saying evil plans out loudYesYes
16. Nang rai drugging pra’ekYesNO
17. Nang’ek sleeping in fake eyelashesYesYes
18. Nang rai screamingYesYes
19. Nang’ek disguising herself as manNONO
20. Someone being pushed down stairsNONO
21. A slap followed by a kissYesNO
22. RapeYes, not nang’ekNO
23. Snuggling under white sheetYesYes
24. Pra’ek with overseas education, naïve about life.NOUnsure

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).

Marn Bang Jai (2020)

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.

Mia Archeep (2020)

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?

Credits: mydramalist.com, asianfuse.net, asianfuse.wiki