Another intriguing Chinese drama is airing now, New Face (2020). This cdrama revolving around a stolen identitystars Zhou Yi Wei (The Longest Day in Chang’an) and Mabel Yuan Shan (Above the Clouds) along with Chi Jia and Cao Xi Wen. It started airing on November 24, two days a week and Tencent production may have English subs.
Synopsis: Pan, a desolate plastic surgeon, lived a repetitive and boring life every day until a conspiracy happened. He woke up in an abandoned factory, and found that someone had replaced his identity with a face exactly like him. His world has been completely overturned and left in a perilous situation. Can he overcome the difficulties and peel away the truth? How would he regain his identity? (Source: Baidu)
More suspense on the way with kdrama Awaken (2020) coming soon. Kdrama Awaken (2020) starts November 30, 2020 on tvN channel and airs two days a week on Monday and Tuesday. The story revolves around cops who look into a mysterious incident that occurred 28 years ago. Namgoong Min (Doctor Prisoner) takes the lead here, along with Lee Chung Ah, Kim Seol Hyun and Yoon Sun Woo. Hopefully, someone will English sub this!
Synopsis: About a series of mysterious incidents that are connected to an incident that took place in a village 28 years ago. Do Jung Woo is a capable and legendary team leader of a special task force at the National Police Agency. He has messy hair, a constant slouch, and sucks on a lollipop all day like a kid, but he has a mysterious secret behind his sly exterior.
Gong Hye Won is a passionate police officer who does not let anything get in her way. Behind her pretty face is a hot temper that won’t cool down unless she says what she needs to say. She is one of the strongest and best fighters on her team, and can drink the others under the table, but she also has a surprisingly clumsy side. Jamie is a detective on loan from the FBI. She was adopted as a child with almost no memories of her life before, but she returns to Korea to solve the serial killer case that is related to those lost memories from 28 years ago. (Source: Soompi)
There is a solid team behind the cameras as well as in front of them. The director is Jo Soo Won who also directed Doctor John, Thirty But Seventeen and the mega popular I Hear Your Voice. The screenwriter, Shin Yoo Dam, wrote only two dramas before, High-end Crush and Go Ho’s Starry Night and neither of those were mysteries, but still a good team. I also like Namgoong Min’s new look, he’s a great actor and very versatile.
So I’ve pretty much watched everything on my watching list (and more) and will be making a post about my reactions to those dramas soon. But I wanted to make a separate post on Trab Fah Mee Tawan, now known as My Forever Sunshine (2020) because it’s good. Really good. Production wise, directing, writing, acting, this is a grand slam. It’s the only lakorn I’ve watched so far this year that I’ve felt that way about. By the way, I have started posting on instagram as I watch, I might try twitter and/or facebook as well, but my instagram is here, so you can follow along as I watch.
Synopsis: The story about Paeng, a girl with a tragic life. After losing her father, she has to go live at Artit’s house. The only way for her to be able to stay at this house is to be with him. But no one expected that her approaching Artit nearly costs him his life. He ends up hating her to the bones and she is exiled far from home for four years until the day they come across each other again. One might think that time will lessen hate, but not for Artit. Not only he still hates her, but he also hates her even more than before. But in order to keep her final promise to Artit’s father, she must endure it! (Source: VIU)
I’ve watched the only episode out so far, and the airing schedule is really wacko.
I have a feeling this has to do with it being on Viu tv and Tencent, not to mention WeTv. So lots of places for fans to watch. You can watch this on Muse as well.
Our first episode starts with Artit, the pra’ek showing off his soccer skills at a match, then eating with his friends as he moons over the girl of the group, Ling. Next we see our nang’ek Paeng/Fahmai who is getting bullied by other girls, but Artit steps in and helps her. Paeng tries to hid her injuries from her dad, but he seems to know what’s up anyway. Then mom comes home and we get this great shot of a close, happy family in a group hug.
That happy family? Immediately, immediately undercut a few scenes from now. Paeng comes to eat and learns her mom isn’t there. And she goes off. She goes to a club with her maid and pretends to drink and poses with guys, all to get her mom’s attention. Artit is asked to go after her by her parent and does so, getting in a fight with some guys which lands them at the police station.
At school the next day, Paeng is about to skip school, but is stopped by Artit who tells her he knows what she is doing and asks her if it’s working? He tells her to try being good instead and she takes his words to heart, only to come home to an empty house and she eats all alone.
Meanwhile, we see Artit being greeted by the staff and his parents with warmth and sitting down to eat with them.
Later, he goes on a bike ride and passes his servant who’s playing and has the nerve to try to dictate to them how they should spend their FREE TIME and then plays soccer with them. Not sure of the purpose of the scene except to make him out to be a total prick. Writer? Could you elaborate?
That scene was completely typical and awful. But regardless, he redeems himself soon anyway. His father has been fooled by his new business partner and it looks like the family has lost their farm. This lands his father in the hospital. Artit stands up against the lawyer who comes to their farm with hired guns who came to their farm and then Paeng and her father shows up.
Turns out Paeng’s father and Artit’s father are old friends, and Paeng and Artit knew each other when Paeng was just four and Artit was? Not sure how old, at least 8 or 10 or something. Paeng and Artit promise friendship with each other at the same time we see Paeng’s father helps Artit’s family to keep their farm by loaning them money.
We also see more of Artit’s friends and their connections, don’t really want to go into it, suffice to say both Artit and his friend have a rivalry going on for the only female member, Ling, of their group, and there’s the usual comic sidekick too.
Paeng and her dad had gone to the farm after Paeng got upset learning her mom went on vacation with friends without telling her first and Paeng and her mom reunite and mend ways after her mom apologizes and gives Paeng one of the matching bracelets she bought.
This doesn’t last long of course, as her mom reneges on a dinner promise she made with Paeng and Paeng goes to find her. Paeng does find her mom after asking around, but when they get in an argument, Paeng accuses her mom of not caring about her and runs away. Artit is tasked with finding her and does so, finding she’s safe and sound, if not a bit hungry. She doesn’t want to go home though, and Artit agrees.
My thoughts: This is good. It’s been one episode, things can change, but this lakorn really surprised me with the strength of its acting, writing and directing. I loved how we see this picture of a big happy family that Paeng desperately wants, and that is immediately undercut as we see Paeng’s desperation to keep her mother close and how she tries to get her family together (in one scene, she orchestrates an elaborate date for her parents, telling them she wants a sibling.)
I also loved the way the director (I’m assuming it was a directing choice) chooses to layer scenes together and ties them together. For example, the picture of Paeng sitting alone is cut by scenes of Artit with his family. Then we have Paeng and Artit promising to be friends while we see their parents SHOWING their deep friendship to each other. The directing reinforces the previous scenes, giving both more weight. That’s what good directors do, give more underlying meaning to scenes.
And can I just say how much I appreciate Kao Supassara’s performance as a 15 year confused and vulnerable teen? She nails it! The deep yearning in Paeng for a real family, the desperation she feels when she thinks that family is slipping away from her. The relationship between Paeng and her mom makes me uneasy. I can’t tell if its because of the acting (and I’m not talking about Kao) or that their relationship is supposed to make me anxious, because it’s so unstable and fraught (on Paeng’s side) at least with emotion.
I also appreciate Mark’s performance here as well. It’s not just that his character is much more likeable than in My Husband in Law, his caring scenes with his father, his brotherly advice to Paeng and how he looks after her feel very nature and realistic. Maybe this has something to do with the directing as well.
I was unsure based on the synopsis, which seems to suggest Paeng tries to get Artit by seducing him, that I wanted to watch this because, yuck. That’s more a nang’rai’s action then the nang’ek. But now I totally understand and get it. Of course Paeng would do ANYTHING, ANYTHING to have the warmth and love of a family forever. We’ve seen how loving Artit’s family is and I can imagine Paeng wanting to hold on to that by any means necessary. Definitely will be watching more. In terms of recapping, this will have back to back to back episodes, so I don’t know about more recaps, that would be alot to do in a timely fashion. But who knows? We’ll see.
I’ve a number of dramas I’m interested in that I haven’t talked about because my time is limited, but I wanted to promote these dramas, not sure if they’re good or not, one hasn’t come out yet, but I wanted to at least talk about them a little bit. Except for the 1st drama, these dramas are light on romance, so read on if you’re still interested.
Synopsis: When Momoko Adachi was in high school, her parents died in an accident. She was left with her 3 younger siblings. To support her family, Momoko Adachi gave up on going to a university and picked up a job at a hardware store. 9 years later, she is now 27-years-old. Her 3 younger siblings are 20, 17, and 14-years-old. Momoko Adachi places her sibling’s happiness before anything else. One day, she meets Yoshioka-san at work. She is attracted to Yoshioka-san, who smiles all the time, but he has a secret. (Source: AsianWiki)
I find the plot appealing and I’ve been watching for a Japanese dorama to watch. This started airing October 27, 2020 and only airs 1 day a week. Arimura Kasumi stars as the female lead who meets and has a romance with Yoshioka-san, played by Hayashi Kento. This is being played on Fuji TV and hopefully some kind soul will English sub this.
Synopsis: The police are investigating a case that involves a death directly caused by a rare bug known as the bullet ant. In order to clear his name, Tan Jingtian, an Insect toxicology graduate becomes involved in the bizarre investigation and collaborates with forensic doctor Jin Ling. As they dig deeper, they uncover the mystery behind his own identity. Along with police captain Chen Han and the other detectives, they trace every clue as they solve one case at a time to uncover the murderer that has been in hiding for many years. (Source: Chinesedrama.info)
Okay, insects creep me out a little, but still or because of that, the title of this Chinese drama caught my eye, Insect Detective (2020). Insect Detective (2020) started airing November 3 and airs three days a week on Youku so there is a possibly that it might be English subbed. The trailer is intriguing enough so I might have to overcome my natural aversion to insects and give it a try.
Synopsis: Jiao Jia Ren was saved by pediatrician Gu Li Feng as a child and followed in his footsteps as a young adult. Aware of her talent and potential, Gu Li Feng, now the director of the top children’s hospital in the city, bends the rules to take her in as a registrar.
Surrounded by a group of elite specialists at her new workplace, Jiao Jia Ren is no longer the cream of the crop and works extra hard to make up for the gap in skill level. Jiao Jiaren and her colleagues Deng Ziang, Gu Jiaren, and Wang Hang goes through many challenges.
They not only have to fight the disease on the front line of the clinic, but also face various difficulties in life. They learn and mature and grow into competent specialists to protect and serve children wholeheartedly. (Source: Weibo, baidu)
Healer of Children (2020) caught my attention as well because of the title and the poster. It stars Chen Xiao (Above the Clouds) and Wang Zi Wen (When a Snail Falls in Love) and this is touted as more of a slice of life drama, so I wonder if romance will play a part. This starts airing on November 30, 2020.
Wow! Another interesting drama from China. I have to say, I’ve been loving Chinese dramas this year. This time, To Love (2020) is the latest cdrama filled with romance and suspense and a hidden identity. The trailer is really intriguing and the drama stars Kenny Lin (Princess Agents) and Gai Cass (Sanatorium For Love). This drama starts airing November 19 on Youku two days a week so I’m hopeful it will be English subbed on Youku, and it may be subbed on Viki as well.
Synopsis: Yan Jin, a businessman who used to work as a policeman, decides to investigate a drug-trafficking case that caused the death of his close friend many years ago. He decides to infiltrate into the organization as an undercover cop, and in the process gets to know Ji Xiao’ou. This causes Zhan Yu Meng, who has a one-sided crush on him, to be jealous. However, later on, Zhan Yu Meng was murdered and Yan Jin becomes the number one suspect. With Ji Xiao’ou’s help, Yan Jin sets out to clear his name and to investigate the murder of his close friend. (Source: DramaWiki) (Source: mydramalist.com)
Another Channel 3 lakorn I’m interested in. Honestly think they’re my favorite Thai channel, outside of GMM which I love just because they English sub lots of their lakorns! Trab Fah Mee Tawan stars Mark Prin, who is having a busy 2020, after starring in no lakorns in 2019 and one in 2018. This will be his 2nd lakorn of the year,Trab Fah Mee Tawan (2020). Kao Supassara is the nang’ek in this lakorn. It airs November 19, 2020. Hopefully this will be English subbed.
Synopsis: Fahmai moved into Arthit’s house after her parents died. She knew she was going to get kicked out of the house so one day, she set up a plan to get Arthit into bed. Instead, Arthit stormed out of the house and got into an accident. He survived but his hate for her grew. She was sent abroad for 4 years then 4 years later, she returned because she made a promise to his parents. She thought time will heal all wounds but that wasn’t the case, instead, it intensified even more. (Source: MarkimPhilippines at Facebook) (Source: MyDramaList)
Kao Supassara is the nang’ek here, and I’m wondering from her clothes if she plays another tomboy character like she did in Kao Waan Hai Noo Pen Sai Lub. I hope not. This seems similar to Mark’s other 2020 lakorn too, My Husband in Law, where the leads meet each other young and grow up together. Here, it looks like the pra’ek hates the nang’ek for a reason, where as in MHIL, the pra’ek didn’t really have a reason to treat the nang’ek badly. The English titles are As Long as the Sky Has The Sun, and My Forever Sunshine which sounds very romantic, so let’s hope we get a lovely romance in this lakorn.
It seems like more and more dramas are being made from manga, webcomics, and novels in Japan and elsewhere. Not a bad thing, but this particular Japanese drama or dorama also has a marriage without love plot, so of course it’s going on my to watch list 😉. Shanai Marriage Honey (2020) stars Itagaki Mizuki (Sixteen Shoukougun (2020)) and Matsui Airi from the 2020 dorama Kono Otoko wa Jinsei Saidai no Ayamachidesu. It airs November 12, 2020 on MBS. It should be a short dorama with only 7 episodes at 30min each and will be English subbed.
Synopsis: A young couple got married almost immediately after meeting each other through a dating app and did not realised that they were working for the same company. They decided to keep their marriage a secret from their company and friends. At first, both parties thought it’s okay to get married without love but they gradually got attracted to each other. (Source: DramaWiki) ~~ Based on manga of the same name by Fujiwara Emi.
I already talked about Rahut Rissaya (2020) in a previous post, but now we’ve got some teasers and an airing date and I’m still excited!!! Pinkploy Chansamorn (Khing Kor Rar Khar Kor Rang) stars as the scheming nang’ek out for revenge and Artit (Bank) Tangwiboonpanit (Panthakan Rak) is the pra’ek whom the nang’ek plots against. This is a remake of a 2007 drama and hopefully they’ll keep the forced marriage theme. The lakorn airs Monday and Tuesday on Channel 7 and I’m hoping it will be English subbed.
Synopsis: When the heiress of a billionaire family lost everything including her parents who got murdered…lost all the properties to her aunt and her daughter. Her revenge starts with a businessman who is a fiancé of her aunt’s daughter, as he becomes a chess piece in her game. She uses a confidential document that shows his father’s bad deed as a way to force/pressure him. But their closeness turns to love. Before she starts to see the value in his love and to learn how to forgive, everything is almost too late. (Source: Choi’s_(MY) at MyDramaList)
I watched the the 2007 version of Rahut Rissaya and it remains one of my top ten lakorns to this date. (You can watch it from here.) The heroine was one of the baddest I’ve ever seen in lakorns as she was calculating, cool and focused on her revenge. The hero or pra’ek was overall sweet and attracted despite himself. Both he and the heroine went back and forth in that drama, it was awesome. He tied her up, she tied him up, etc. I hope that they don’t get rid of that back and forth, she was more than his equal in that lakorn. The nang’ek or heroine in that version blackmailed the hero (pra’ek) into marrying her because she needed to be close to his family to get more evidence on who killed her parents.
I’m hoping that they continue to have the forced marriage theme here (although it’s usually the other way around, this time it was the girl forcing the guy into marriage, 😂.) There was rape in the 2007 version which they could easily do without though this time around. Definitely will be watching this one!
Mik Thongraya has already had 2 lakorns come out in 2020, the newly airing Jark Sadtroo Soo Hua Jai (which is being subbed by Neko and Muse) and Sapai Import (subbed by Muse), but there’s always room for one more, right? Talay Luang (2020) is an upcoming Channel 7 lakorn starring Mik Thongraya and Sammy Cowell (Lhong Ngao Jun(2019). I like both actors and look forward to this pairing. No word yet on who will sub this, but both actors have their fan groups, so I’m hopeful it will be English subbed.
Synopsis: A strange man with amnesia appears on an island; there he meets Moya, begins to fall in love and starts building her an island resort. Against the warnings of her best friend, Moya starts to fall in love with him too. However just as their love blooms, a pregnant woman arrives claiming the man is her husband. She takes him back. So Moya tries to forget him, but he returns with memories intact as a player. (Source:thaidramatic_update)
I was wondering whether this is a new pairing, but apparently Sammy Cowell and Mik Thongraya have been in two series together, Paragit Ruk Series and The Fire Series, but they weren’t a couple in either one. This seems like it could be a remake of Prince Turns to Frog (2005), where a man with amnesia falls for a girl, but no, a Thailand remake of that drama is already in the works at GMM called Rak Woon Wai Jao Chai Kob (2020) so this may just be an original story. Regardless, I do like this type of story, so I’m looking forward to when it airs.
Finally, a lakorn I’m interested in watching. Nee Kiattiyot (2020) begins November 3 on Channel 7 and has the nang’ek trying to cope after the death of her father and learning about the circumstances behind his death. It stars Maggi Apa (Suparburoot Jorm Jon: Duang Jai Kabot) and Oath Ratthee in what appears to be his first starring role. This lakorn airs weekdays, at 50min each. Neko has this on her list, so it should be English subbed.
Synopsis: An irresponsible father dies by suicide, leaving all his family to shoulder the responsibility of repaying his gambling debts to gangs and loan sharks. In addition, his son needs to care for his sick mother, and a sister oblivious to their suffering who enjoys nothing more than shopping her life away. What will Pan Tawan do? (Source: MyAsianArtist) (Source: MyDramaList)