Updated: Aug 1
Welcome back, Coziers! We are going to continue where we left off with Why R U? and the shenanigans therein. So grab a glass of sweet iced tea, (Americans - except the South, you can keep your bitter, unsweetened iced tea, thanks, but no thanks;) and an icebox cookie, it is time to talk chemistry.
Like in the previous recap, spoilers will be mentioned below, so readers beware if that’s something you need to steer clear of. Also, something to keep in mind, some steamier content will be brought up and discussed in these recaps. So please police your own eyeballs and mind-eyeballs!
The big names in Thai BL couples chemistry-wise including ZeeSaint
If you are newly diving into Thai BLs, like I am, you will stumble upon a common list of three portmanteau "couple" names that everyone brings up: MewGulf, OffGun and ZeeSaint. The Horny Trinity, if you will. The list may vary depending on the person's own preferences, but these are very popular pairings.
At this point, it is important to get a little insider baseball on how BLs are made and marketed. The vast majority of BL actors in any country are straight, and this can lead to some true dead fish kissing, mouths closed tight everyone looks so awkward. Bad kisses happen in hetero romances too, but we don't care about that today.
Try to give better, sexier vibes than this cartoon fish
Oddly, this dynamic can make sense for some characters, there are so many "not gay, but gay for you" storylines (gag) or storylines set in school, where people are just discovering their sexuality.
However, as a series progresses you expect the kisses to get better and less fish-esque, but alas, bad chemistry can prevail. Aside from natural chemistry, it also matters if the production is going to take the time with rehearsals to get two actors comfortable with simulating intimacy with each other.
Thai BLs, in particular, are prone to marketing their BL actors in "couples" across different series and promotional content. Not all Thai BL actors follow this path, and not every "couple" pairing persists,. (I know seeing Gameplay play a highschooler, would have been weird, but I still wish JeffGameplay was KimChay in Kinnporsche). But if you get solid chemistry and the pairing proves popular, why not keep them together and keep raking in the cash?
This brings us back to the three "couples" I mentioned earlier: MewGulf, OffGun and ZeeSaint.
Gulf is on the left, Mew is on the right.
MewGulf refers to actors Mew Suppasit Jongcheveevat and Gulf Kanawut Traipipattanapong, who gained popularity in the runaway BL hit, TharnType. (They reprise their roles in Why R U?, but the TharnType pairing shows up so many places, with different actors, as I mentioned last time.) I like their chemistry, but I dislike TharnType as a show, and I'm just going to leave it at that.
Off is left, Gun is right
OffGun definitely is the most prolific pairing on this list, and consists of Off Jumpol Adulkittiporn and Gun Atthaphan Phunsawat. It is weird to think they began as a beta couple to the hetero couple on a veterinary romance: Senior Secret Love: Puppy Honey, in 2016, which had two seasons. They have appeared in many, many dramas together, I'm just going to link a list for you. As of 2022, they are still appearing in reality shows together.
Zee is left, Saint is right. I assume this is Why R U? promotional concert footage, but I am not sure. Either way, damn!
ZeeSaint is why we are here, see what I did there, eh? Saint Suppapong Udomkaewkanjana plays Tutor and Zee Pruk Panich plays Fighter in Why R U? Their chemistry is undeniable.
Saint has moved out of the BL mould to some straighter fair, like Let's Fight Ghost! (That series is actually the first thing I saw him in, I need to go back and finish it. I was trying to find something similar to Oh My Ghost.) He has also started a dessert popcorn line, tasty. Zee is currently best known for his role in popular BL series, Cutie Pie.
What do these three pairings have in common?
They are higher on the heat scale. As you may have noticed, even in straight Asian dramas, many countries prefer to depict chaste-r romances, where you are spending larger portions of your viewing time yelling "Kiss. You. Fools!!!" (And also, "Just talk to each other, dummies!!!!" but that is every romance ever.)
By contrast, the beach episodes of Why R U? are not that, just you wait until we get there. It is just sweet talking and sexy times and absolutely nothing else for two whole episodes. Most BL pairings you look up their FMVs and we get about 3 to 4 scenes cut and recut. ZeeSaint, no, you are spoiled for choice on scenes to include.
Saint is an interesting case as a BL actor, he has shown great versatility in his more popular pairings. You would not confuse the reserved, quiet, sweetie Pete in Love By Chance for the bold, take-charge, sassy Tutor, we see here.
But in any case, we are here for a recap of episode two and spoiler alert, these fools kiss in this episode. If you are confused on characters, please refer back to my character guide from last time. So grab another cookie and let's go!
Episode 2 Recap - SPOILERS AHEAD
This episode picks up right where we left off last time, a bemused Tharn and Type and a trembling disaster, Zon. He definitely recognizes these two from Witch Zol's wall.
(I will be calling her, Witch Zol, for the rest of this, otherwise I will mix up their names. Thai family naming conventions, can really trip you up as a recapper. Porché and his brother Porchay in Kinnporche. Or the Rohrrim needing to start every name include "eo" in every name, Theodyn, Eomer, Eowyn.)
But I digress, Zon needs to get to the bottom of this, lest the curse become true. So the friendly interrogation begins. He needs to know are TharnType truly studying here? Are they hallucinations? More importantly, are they awkward hand gesture signifying gay dating?
Well are you?! Are you gay dating hand gesture?
Naturally, the Type response is rude jealousy. Are you crushing on Tharn, you gay disaster? Tharn, Tharn do you think he's cuter than me?
Zon crumbles like a warm apple crisp in the face of such sass. He leaves and awkwardly falls because see above re: disaster. But he's okay, but not mentally okay. Worlds are colliding.
Shhh, Type that is just his face.
We linger on TharnType, because we paid for these cameos damnit. Tharn is teasing Type about his harem of "wives." They wonder just what is up with Zon? But no time to linger on that, not when there are cute nose rubs to be had.
Brief sidebar here, in Thai culture it is common do a similar sniff kiss thing, mostly on the cheek, with family and loved ones. So if you are confused by such gestures in other dramas, that is why.
Cut to Tutor library trying to study, Day is napping, but soon wakes. Tor is staying late to meet Hwahwa after tutoring. Day, as a completely disinterested third party, with absolutely no person stake in the matter, wonders does Tutor like Hwahwa?
He presents his evidence: you don't have a girlfriend. You are always with her. You always take care of her and indulge her.
No other reason for asking, I swear.
Tutor affirms that he doesn't like her that way, they are just childhood friends. Day is relieved purely for friendship reasons, not because he likes her or anything. Tutor would be hurt by watching her date other people, if he liked her.
Saifah then joins, he skipped morning class because he overslept. He is also a bit perplexed at Tutor hanging around to wait on Hwahwa.
Did we ask these nominees if they wanted to be included? Heck no!
Meanwhile, the Chemistry Cute Boy Page/football club concert election news is broadcasting on Facebook Live. It is hosted by Soda and Luktarn. Basically, to get butts in fundraiser seats, the football club is partnering with the college Hot or Not?-style page to elect attractive concert performers.
Saifah is in the lead for the football boys, but Zon is the lead for non-football guys. Which, why is there a non-football electee for a football fundraiser?
Anyway, Soda explains that part of the uptick in Zon voting may be because Witch Zol's latest fic chapter, included a hot, non-PG rated scene.
Or maybe she is imagining things?
This in turn has sparked speculation, that maybe she knows something everyone else doesn't about them. Like that they are secretly dating?
The broadcast is interrupted by comedy duo, Naetee and Junior. They are both sad to learn they have not placed, but Zon has. Some guys have all the luck.
Exactly, why is the concert audition structured this way?
Soda and Luktarn tell their viewers to cyberbully them for their unwanted broadcast cameo.
Junior is going to turn this animosity around, or so he thinks. He flirts with Soda promising if she dates him, he will ask Zon about supporting the Football/Cute Boy fundraiser. Soda as a staunch Zon supporter, will ask him for cooperation herself. Soda don't take no scrubs. Broadcast ends.
Now, Blue and his lady friend are hanging out. She is laments that Fighter and Tutor are not in the lead, as they are her ship of choice.
RPF fanfic is not real life, girl.
Cute, lil Blue is not paying attention because lollipop. Annoyed, she asks if cute boys can like "lollipops" and football? And by "lollipops" we mean the "d".
Uh huh. Tell us more.
As Blue explains of course you can, even if everyone considers you the delicate type. His lady friend promises to come to his games to support him.
Time to check in with the comedic chorus in class. Junior is seeking sympathy for striking out with Soda, but that is not what clown friends are for. Instead, Naetee and Thantai chant, "leave our gang!"
Zon is still in a funk and it is noticeable. For sitcom reasons, Naetee has brought a blow dart gun with him to class. He goes to shoot Zon but hits Zen instead.
Zon is distracted by another couple from Witch Zol's wall, Tee and Fuse of Make It Right.
Or am I only dreaming?
The couple is entering complete with sparkly lighting and magic music. This sends Zon spiraling into a trauma flashback.
Witch Zol is in her bedroom explaining that she just drew them, because they made a cute couple.
She insists that they are not based on anyone.
Imagination, guys I saw in the yearbook, what's the diff?
But, but if that is true how are they in Zon's class right now?
Witch Zol, also says Tutor and Fighter are couple and maniacally chants "rival couple."
I'm sorry, she chants "couple lival." Subtitlers you are killing it!
Zon freaks out in his class and teacher shushes him.
My tenure says, suck it!
In fact, the teacher has had it with these sitcom shenanigans and college students in general. He ends the class early. Zon uses this opportunity to run down Tee and Fuse.
Naetee shoots Zen again with the knockout dart, because slapstick friends are the worst.
For the lulz. The evil lulz.
Poor Tee and Fuse are just feeding each other, minding their gay business, recreating a scene from their drama. Tee even kisses Fuse who is starstruck by the hallway PDA.
Zon rudely interrupts and goes for gay interrogation number two.
"Do you study here?"
"WFT would be here if we didn't study here?"
Tee is savage and has no patience for fools. He leaves.
Fuse apologizes. Zon needs to know if they are doing the romantic frickle frackle? Wink + eyebrow raise says, "yes, Silly, matching couple bracelets are for queers."
By substitute I think the subtitlers meant symbol?
Two couples from Witch Zol's wall in the real world, is enough to convince Zon that the curse is real. He is well and truly in a yaoi fanfic. (Gay sorcery is real, tell your friends.)
Jump smash cut, Tutor is busy tutoring; the session ends as Saifah joins them. Hwawa calls to let Tutor know that she is on her way.
"In front of my salad?" said Saifah
In fact, Hwahwa and Fighter are in his car. Fight wants to know why Tutor is always so busy tutoring. But it not because he needs to know why Tutor is too busy to date him or anything.
Hwa spills the tea RE: Tutor's financial troubles. Apparently, Tutor's family is very poor. They lost their house to creditors. It got so bad that his family went out of town to take jobs and left him alone in a condo. Tutor only manages to attend college due to a partial scholarship
But I want to help him. 'Tor is so adorable, I mean *ahem* *cough* Straight things. Basketball. Beef steak.
But Tutor still needs to support himself with tutoring and cafe work. (We know the true reason for his condo, future episode sexy times sans parents or dorm roommates.)
Hwa characterizes 'Tor as the type of person, who is too proud to ask for help. The true reason for telling his secrets, is that she wants Tutor to help Fighter with his English. This is both so they can learn to get along, and so Tor can get some extra cash. Be careful what you wish for, Hwahwa.
Fighter disagrees, because the gay feelings are get excitable with increased proximity. But Hwahwa asks him to think about it.
They then join Saifah and Tutor at the campus picnic table. In spite of tension in the air between Tor and Fight, ever the optimist, Hwa tries to sell them all, Saifah included, on the joys of forced social interaction over a meal.
The extrovert says so.
Tutor desperately attempts to get out of it. Not even Hwahwa insisting Fighter will pay can sway him. He has work! At the cafe!
Hwahwa reluctantly agrees, but announces that her birthday is tomorrow and 'Tor is not allowed to skip it.
Never underestimate what Tutor will do to avoid Fighter. He again claims work obligations, but Saifah sells him out,
Don't help me, Saifah! Is this payback for ignoring you earlier?
Tutor is smart enough to know when he's beaten and agrees to attend the party. Hwahwa is thrilled and hugs Tutor.
We know he is Hwahwa, we have eyes.
Hwahwa then insists that Fighter will drop 'Tor and Saifah off, as they are in the same condo complex. This time Fight joins in to affirm that he will drop them off.
However, before anyone can go anywhere, Hwahwa needs to find the restroom. How long was it since the last slapstick interlude? (Too long for the writers.) Hwahwa is too clumsy to exit a picnic table and will meet the boys in the car, thanks.
Tutor/Fighter share an intense stare. Their fight music is playing. Should we leave?
Back in Fighter's car, Fighter asks what he should Hwahwa for her bday. Saifah refers him to Tutor.
Tutor is in disbelief.
You've been dating for six months?!
Before Fighter can really get into it, (the arguing, not the eye sexing), Hwahwa returns. She can feel the tense atmosphere and knows they have been fighting. She straight up asks if they were. Poor Saifah has had enough of this bs, he takes the coward's route, feigning sleep.
Hwahwa scolds both guys, they have been fighting for two years for unclear (to her) reasons. But we know. Tutor just straight up leaves.
Hwahwa grills Fighter about fighting, is it because of her friendship with Tutor?
Fighter is concerned about the quality of her gaydar.
Saifah is really regretting not taking the bus.
Hwahwa says she will see Tutor less, if their friendship makes him jealous. Fighter says that it is not it, as well we know. And asks why she cares so much about this Tutor thing.
Hwahwa awkwardly explains that she is doing all of this because she cares about him, she loves him.
You're making her cry, Fighter.
Fighter is not prepared for this confession.
Okay, it is football practice time, their annual tournament is coming up. The senior captains: Dew, Champ and Japan will choose a starting line soon. They also remind everyone of the Chemistry Cute Boys/Football fundraising concert. It will raise money for underprivileged kids to get sporting equipment.
Champ is the Champ for a reason. His motto is: no slouches!
Junior is loudly wondering how Saifah can skip so many practuces and he can't? Dew explains that Saifah has a leg injury.
I also don't know how many smacks it will take to get you to shut it!
Junior would like to continue to argue but Thantai saves him by covering his mouth, because rule of funny.