Hi all! So I went to Forsaken this weekend, if you don’t know what that is, it was a Shadowhunters con in London with Maxim Roy (Jocelyn), Jon Cor (Hodge), Kaitlyn Leeb (Camille) and Joel Labelle (Alaric).
It was so much fun, and since it was their first con/they’re not the main cast it was so small, nice and chill. They were all so down to earth, humbled and overwhelmed that we came to see/speak to them. They each had two panels (one on each day) and a full guest panel, I’ve managed to write up most of what I can remember below. Obviously there’s a lot I haven’t captured, but highlights/best moments are under the cut!
A lot of things we discussed were personal/non-Shadowhunter related, if you just want to read the bits to do with the show, just read the bits that have been bolded.
Okay, okay, so I’ve seen a bit of the Karamel relationship for myself now, and I definitely like what I’m seeing. Love the whole “star-crossed lovers” trope they’re doing. Two kids from rival planets falling in love is classic. Mon-el learning Earth culture is also quite possibly one of the greatest things ever (he called Kara’s mom a babe, oh my god). I feel like him adjusting to Earth is going to end up being everything I ever wanted to see with Hook adjusting to Storybrooke on OUAT. I seriously wish we had more scenes where he was trying to figure out modern technology. That would have been awesome, but I’ll definitely take all I can get with Mon-el. Oh, and we also have Mon-el already being snarky and somewhat flirty with Kara, and sometimes you can tell she’s feeling it, but then she’s like “oh, shit, no.” Definitely giving me the CS feels on that front. This is just what I’ve gotten from their first interactions, so stay tuned for more.
I will only talk about the BL storyline since I only watched In and Sun’s scenes and because it was mentioned that it’s supposed to be a separate story from Oh and Peach.
Is the plot of In and Sun realistic? For the most part, yes. It is not mandatory for the story to be realistic but the series tackles an important real-life dilemma of gay teenagers, that is, falling in love with a straight friend. The charm of In and Sun’s arc relies on a real human problem that many viewers would find relatable.
The spark between In and Sun kicks off with an eye contact scene. It is very cliche but the music, lighting and slow motion effect made it so dreamy. It’s just exquisite. That scene is the very definition of love at first sight. It’s one of the scenes that I will never forget.
“I’m going to be honest with you. You know how I feel about you. If that kind of relationship is impossible, then I think you should just let me go.” - Sun
Unlike most Thai BL series, this one featured a legitimate gay character in the form of Sun. He’s not necessarily effeminate or feminine but the writers throw the usual stereotypes to his personality like reading gay novels and watching gay movies. He is not portrayed as a boy who likes girls until In entered his life. He is attracted only to boys and, above all, he knows who he really is and he can admit it to himself.
A character like Sun is one of the fundamental elements missing in most boy-to-boy romance nowadays. Mainstream BL series are obsessed with protagonists who are labeled as straight and who are masculine in nature. There is an irrational thrill in watching boys chasing after boys yet still end up being straight. The existence of Sun’s character (among others like Thee in Hormones and Rome in Puppy Honey) is another step forward for me.
“Sun and I have always been friends. He’s really a great friend. He’s the one I’m closest with. But suddenly one day he thinks of me as something else. That’s freaking unfair to me.” - In
On the contrary, we have the typical BL personality in the character of In who at first likes girls, then becomes in denial and then becomes confused. After all what he feels becomes clear to him, he still doesn’t want to be categorized with any label. It’s far from real but it is an appropriate balance to Sun’s character.
In is introduced as a bully. In the middle, he becomes a loner. After that, he is a great friend to Sun. Towards the end, he becomes a heartless, inconsiderate jerk. His character is all over the place. The script has failed to define who In is. As mentioned in the series, he can do anything and be anything he wants to be. He just doesn’t know it yet and that’s exactly what I feel about him. I wish he had more scenes projecting his point of view so that the audience know what he really thinks of Sun and their situation. His strongest moment is when he was talking to Ainam when Sun didn’t show up in the tutorial class because it shows a glimpse of his perspective.
“Someone you like is… Someone who knows what you like to eat and don’t like to eat. Someone that when they’re missing, you worry about them. Someone that you want to know what they’re doing. Someone that you’ll get angry at if they have read your Line message but don’t respond. Someone that when you’re crazy about something, you want to tell them first before anyone else. Someone you feel at ease with. Am I that person?” - Ainam
There are dialogues in the series that are really precious. The confessions are genuine. The rejections are harsh but honest. The arguments presented by the characters are truthful yet sincere. The meaningful conversations are mostly driven by Ainam. She is portrayed as a level-headed and logical person but at the same time she is compassionate. Instead of being the hindrance that the viewers expect her to be, she turns out to be instrumental to In and Sun’s relationship.
Throughout the show, Pluem has fared well in terms of acting but he wasn’t given much opportunities to explore his emotions deeply. On the other hand, I thought Chimon is excellent. His acting is subtle but you can feel the inner pain and struggle. That tear falling after he got rejected is heartbreaking. He has a certain depth on the way he interprets the emotions without being exaggerated.
Despite the plot’s weakness, it is very evident that their chemistry is extraordinary. They are the only BL couple that I can think of who can pull off matching outfits. It’s just effortless. They are so cute and adorable that you want their relationship to succeed.
Is it a happy ending? Yes and no. I can say that the story of In and Sun in the series finishes on a high note but the process to get there is emotionally exhausting. Sun’s point of view is very clear. I love how he tried so hard to keep a distance from In. Falling in love with a straight friend is a dead end. It is a losing battle. For me, this is where the moral of the story lies. No matter how much it hurts, walking away is the most rational and bravest move you could ever do when you fall for a straight friend. There is no other escape but to accept that some things are not meant to be and I applaud Sun for having the strength and courage to do that at such a young age.
The deciding factor whether it is a happy or sad ending depends on In. After getting confused and realizing that it is Sun who truly makes him happy, he has decided to give in and do whatever it takes to keep Sun by his side even if that meant being in a relationship with him. What falls short for me is how the resolution was executed. In’s character development is the weakest point because it was done abruptly. I wish his confusion was given more focus. It’s a bit scattered. The resolution felt like forced. As a result, there is no solid conclusion.
In the end, what matters most is Sun’s happiness because that’s what we all want. I see a great deal of myself in Sun. I found myself in his situation more than once in my life. That is why I’m rooting for him. Seeing him happy is a good enough ending for me.
Is the ending sustainable? In and Sun are still young. They are at the edge of 17. So far, what was established is a strong emotional connection between the two of them. We have yet to find out what will happen when their hormones start to kick in. If the writers stick to what is realistic, anything could happen. I had issues on how GMMTV heavily advertised In and Sun but I hope they will not put the new ship to waste. Pluem and Chimon’s chemistry is undeniable. Indeed, the ship is sailing. We need a season 2.
I watched this in one sitting. That alone should’ve given you the big picture. I absolutely love the casts, so I’d like to focus on that.
Lee Jong Suk as Choi Dal Po / Ki Ha Myeong
He, and Park Hye Run (the screenwriter) were my reasons to watch this drama at the first place. Amazing act, as usual. I like his character; bad past, revenge, crying, screaming, trying to find the real meaning of justice *cough* Soo Ha-ya *cough*. Not to mention he had one of the best make-over sessions in kdramaland.
And of course this make-over was done by none other than… the dad.
One look at fashion magazine, and this abeoji turns into Cinderella’s fairy godmother. *hail abeoji*
Park Shin Hye as Choi In Ha
This is where I started to get mixed feelings. Don’t get me wrong; I like Shin Hye. She’s pretty, talented and has great chemistry with all of her counterparts. Thing is, she cries. She criesA LOT. She tends to play similar characters in all of her dramas: damsel-in-distress, that one pretty caring girl who doesn’t realise her beauty and its effect on men. Although I like how brave and honest In Ha is, I really wish Shin Hye would play different kind of character on her next project.
I was tempted to make a collage with screenshots of her crying. But then I realized, I wouldn’t be able to finish it by tonight. Even when she doesn’t cry, she gets teary-eyed and it almost seems like she’s ready to weep anytime anywhere. I don’t even know how she does that. Well done, Shin Hye.
Kim Young Kwang as Seo Bum Ju
Ah, my ‘Good Doctor’ crush. He is an absolute delight here. Loyal, hardworking, a bit flirtatious, but always honest. His bromance with Lee Jong Suk can easily make Kim Woo Bin jealous too. I like his character, although I feel his love to In Ha is forced at times. It seems like the writer really wants Bum Ju and Yoo Rae to become a hurdle in Dal Po - In Ha relationship; although it’s really unnecessary, since Dal Po - In Ha is solid even from the start.
His crying act though..
Lee Yoo Bi as Yoon Yoo Rae
Where to start I LOVE HER WOHOO!
An ex-sasaeng who became a reporter?! I’M BUYING IT. She’s perfect for her role. I love her style, her screaming and of course her relationship with Hwang Gyo Dong sunbae. It’s so cute, so pure, so … AAAACK
Jin Kyung as Song Cha Ok
One of the best villains out there. I don’t know why but she reminds me of Snape. It’s really worth to spend 20+ hrs just to watch her.
Yoon Gyun Sang as Ki Jae Myeong
I only have wishes for this particular gentleman. I wish he had more scenes, I wish he didn’t end up that way, I wish I would be able to see him more on screen in near future.
I really feel the urge to list down every actors / actresses that make this drama exceptional, but I’m lazy that would be too much of spoilers. I will recommend this drama, especially to those who love 'I Can Hear Your Voice’ (they came from the same writer, had the same male lead, and even Lee Bo Young & Yoon Sang Hyun made cameo appearances). Personally If I have to compare, I like 'I Can Hear Your Voice’ more because it’s less corny, and I prefer strong female character. But after all it’s still a great drama. I could easily rate it 8.5/10.