Want something new and completely different to spice up your bingeing nights? Watch Thai dramas for a change. It's not news to true-blue Asian drama fans that Thailand serves up quite an interesting bunch of titles that give a refreshing spin to stories we love. But it is only now that Thai dramas or lakorns are getting their much-deserved love in the mainstream. If you're new or want to get into the whole Thai drama craze, we suggest checking out these titles.
If you're keen to compare how Thai dramas fare in giving an interesting twist to stories you love, then we suggest watching Kiss Me first. Why? This 2015 series, is none other than the sixth (yes, you read that right) drama adaptation of the Japanese manga series Itazura Na Kiss or Mischievous Kiss. A coming-of-age drama, this follows Taliw who has to deal with her complicated feelings for Tenten, as she moves together with his family when her home gets destroyed.
Why you'll like it: We've watched that love-hate tale between the ditzy and unassuming girl and the cold-hearted genius develop in basically the same way through the Taiwanese classic It Started With A Kiss, the J-drama Itazura Na Kiss: Love In Tokyo, and the South Korean Playful Kiss. But Kiss Me stands out for really developing its characters, making them rise above the tropes and cliches you'd expect them to operate in.
2gether: The Series
Self-confessed hopeless romantic? Another Thai drama you should watch, of course, is 2gether: The Series. Based on a novel, this TV show features Metawin Opas-iamkajorn (a.k.a. Win) as Tine, who, in order to deter an admirer, enlists the help of popular guitarist and football player Sarawat (played by Vachirawit Chiva-aree or, simply, Bright) to act as his boyfriend. Both of them deal with the ambiguity of their relationship and they find themselves slowly falling for one another.
Why you'll like it: Fake lovers that end up becoming true is, by no means, a new plotline in drama land. But Bright and Win's charisma and chemistry take this classic romance into the next level. Not only will this be your gateway to Thai dramas, but it will also suck you into the world of BL series as well.
Girl from Nowhere
We all love our light-hearted school dramas — they're the best form of feel-good shows there is. But, if you're looking for something a bit more chilling, Girl from Nowhere is your best bet. The supernatural horror stars Kitty Chicha Amatayakul as Nanno, a mysterious girl who frequently transfers schools. Wherever she lands, she uses her cleverness to expose the lies behind the scandals in each institution she enters.
Why you'll like it: Girl from Nowhere leaves you gripping your seats tightly at every shocking turn. It's not afraid to delve into the nitty-gritty and evil side of humans. Kitty, especially, is stellar as Nanno, as she delivers a maniacal performance that's still likeable in all its darkness.
The Crown Princess
You can get your fair bit of thrilling adventure from Thai dramas too. For a suspenseful mix of action, drama, and romance, there's also The Crown Princess to binge on. Get your popcorns poppin' and ready as you follow Princess Alice (played by Urassaya Sperbund) of the fictional country Hrysos as she fights for survival. Facing dangerous threat after her coronation, she secretly escapes to Thailand where a Lieutenant Commander of the Thai Navy becomes her personal bodyguard.
Why you'll like it: The Crown Princess is a bunch of dramas perfectly combined into one exciting ride that will leave you in a mix of emotions. You'd mostly be holding your breath in anxiety, awaiting how the whole show will resolve itself. But in between, you'll find yourself giddy and happy with their love story and sobbing in heartbreak the next.
Of course, there's no better way to learn of another country's culture than by exploring its rich history. Go back to Thailand's past with Love Destiny. The 2018 lakorn centres on Ketsurang, a 25-year-old archaeologist who, after suffering in a car accident, wakes up 300 years back in the body of Karaket, a woman hated by many. Now having no other choice than to live in the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya, she discovers that there's more to history than what she's learned from the books.
Why you'll like it: Its premise is highly reminiscent of fantasy K-drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, but Love Destiny presents a story completely different than that. As you discover more of Thailand's history with Ketsurang, you'll definitely laugh out loud with her goofy hijinks as she tries to settle in.
(Cover photo from: GMMTV via YouTube)