- Despite minor missteps 2gether the Series is an enjoyable romance drama and a wonderful introduction to the Thai boys-love sub-genre.
RATING: 3/5 STARS
Major spoilers in the review
On May 15, 2020 “2gether the Series” (“2gether”) the immensely popular Thai Boys-love (BL) genre romance drama ended it thirteen-week run on a high after breaking all the viewership records for any GMMTV BL drama over the years.
Racking up over 100 million views online across all episodes 2gether is a major watershed moment in the history of Thai BL dramas and has ushered in a new wave of local and international fans for the sub-genre.
Much like the Korean Hallyu wave which developed on the backs of a few notable acts, 2gether and GMMTV, alongside several other internationally popular Thai BL dramas such as TharnType, SOTUS and Theory of Love, have taken the first steps in introducing the rest of the world to the Thai BL industry.
Bolstered by the accessibility of the show on YouTube and other web streaming platforms 2gether’s ability to sustain the interest of a large and diverse fandom is perhaps the shows greatest success.
2gether is inoffensive, modern, romantic and fluffy enough to appeal to a broader and younger audience, which demographic is critical for any growing fanbase.
As icing on the top of a well-crafted cake, the stars of the series Bright Vachirawit and Win Metawin are also armed with sufficient star power and visuals to keep fans engaged long after the show has ended. In this regard GMMTV has maintained the pairing’s momentum through various mediums such as sponsored broadcasts, online lives and paid concerts following end of the series.
However, despite its massive popularity 2gether is not without its problems. The theme of the show itself is not groundbreaking by any means.
2gether is a typical college drama about two young people at the most fluid stage of their lives who fall in love while figuring out their preferences. Thus, the show wisely follows the age-old romance drama formula that has worked for countless romance TV shows before it, be it heterosexual or boys-love.
As my initial review explains, the simple and inoffensive story line is refreshing and a major draw to both BL and non-BL fans alike who are somewhat wearied of the heavier subject matter that is prevalent in the boys-love sub-genre.
Keenly aware of the show’s strengths the writers of 2gether doubled down on the saccharine elements that were proven to have worked for the show in its first few episodes with varying degrees of success.
The first seven episodes of 2gether is, for me, where the magic of the series truly lies.
We are introduced to our main characters, Tine a college freshman and his band of four merry and occasionally wise friends who frequently gather to give Tine mostly absurd relationship advice.
The story begins in a simple manner. Tine is convinced by his four friends to seek out the male lead and campus heartthrob, Sarawat in a bizzare half-baked scheme to convince Sarawat to enter into a fake relationship with Tine in order to dissuade Green, Tine‘s overly interested male pursuer.
In these early episodes, the characters show the best of themselves. Tine is plucky and stupidly brave and thus he listens to his friends’ bad advice and participates in this illogical scheme despite the potential of suffering major embarrassment.
Unbeknownst to Tine (and to the viewers) Sarawat, our chic and handsome lead had spotted Tine at a Scrubb concert on campus and had fallen in love at first sight. The push and pull between Tine and Sarawat is fun and endearing while the antics of Sarawat’s friends as well as that of Tine also bring about many humorous moments.
By the end of episode 7 where Sarawat confesses his attraction to Tine viewers are thoroughly enamored with the entire cast.
However, following the very rewarding love confession at the end episode 7 it becomes quickly apparent that the show has reached its climax early.
From episode 8 onwards the show embarks on a long meandering denouement without much conflict or direction and is filled with meaningless villains.
Sarawat is randomly beaten on campus for ridiculous reasons. Mil a love rival for Sarawat appears and unconvincingly begins to woo Tine, the couple inexplicably face weak opposition from Tine’s friends and family and most bizarrely after the couple begin to formally date and move in together they appear plagued by relationship troubles and misunderstandings, again, for no convincing reason.
Even more tragically, from episode 8 onwards, viewers are also served with a gradual drop in the chemistry between the main leads. The only form of affection between our now established couple declines from the occasional sweet domestic moments, to doggy pats on the head from Sarawat to Tine, and ends in a disappointing hi-5 at the much-anticipated series finale.
Nevertheless, despite these relatively minor hiccups the show provides a pleasant and family friendly viewing experience and is well positioned to be a great and palatable introduction to the Thai BL industry.
Initial assessment 4/5 stars.
End of series assessment 3/5 stars.
Bonus: SCRUBB music.