Summaries (Spoilers, obviously) and comments
Note: I group summaries by story line, not in presentation order. If you want to know how the scenes actually played out in their official sequence, why not follow this link to Kuda’s site and watch for yourself?
Phun, Noh, Aim and Yuri go on a double date. Aim and Yuri announce that they would like to take a vacation with the boys. The boys reluctantly agree. After dinner, Yuri leaves to buy swimsuits, Aim departs after she gets a mystery text message and Phun asks Noh about what they are to each other. In the cab ride back to Friday College, Noh falls asleep and Phun positions himself so that Noh will sleep on his shoulder. Golf discovers Aim in a bar on a date with another boy.
At Friday College, the music club, cheer team and student council prepare for a homecoming soccer tournament. Noh falls asleep in the band room and awakens from a dream to find Earn beside him, who offers him a choice of drinks. Earn reminds Noh about his promise to take care of Earn at the soccer tournament. Khom has decided to try to earn money selling concessions at the tournament. Neung mocks him. Fists fly again, but other members of the swim team separate the two. At home, Khom starts making out a budget in a ledger book. It doesn’t take long since he doesn’t have anything, but it is clear that money anxiety is a problem for him.
Jeed and Mo go shopping and are joined by Liew and Grace. Jeed and Mo discuss how to evaluate a man. Jeed’s father finds out that she is using his credit card without his permission and cuts off her access. After a charge is rejected in front of her friends, Jeed leaves to argue with her father on the phone. Grace attempts to be nice by purchasing the pair of shoes Jeed wanted. However, she overhears Jeed calling her an “idiot” during the argument and throws the gift at Jeed’s feet. Jeed goes to a modeling agency, hoping to find a sugar daddy.
Golf meets Mo in a parking garage and helps her carry her bags. Mo and Moan eat dinner and he receives a text to meet up with someone.
The day of the soccer tournament arrives. Fi is still upset that the Angels are going to be performing cheer routines and is worried that the alumni will complain to him. After overhearing his rant, the Angels decide to tone down their act to avoid embarrassing the school. Earn lectures them on the importance of being themselves. The Angels perform their full routine as their full campy selves to the enjoyment of the crowd.
Phun overhears Earn on a walkie-talkie reminding Noh that Noh has promised to serve him water during the match. Phun also overhears Noh say that he has always wanted to wear the jumpsuits the technical crew always wear during homecoming. Phun and Noh exchange clothes and Phun goes in Noh’s place to be with Earn. Noh gets to wear a jumpsuit after all. Two Angels notice Phun and Earn together and wonder who is the top and who is the bottom. After the event, Phun presents Noh with a dog tag keepsake from the event. (Note: In the novel, Noh explains that this keepsake is usually given to underclassmen for their girlfriends to wear). Golf corners Noh and shows him a video of Aim about to have sex with another boy.
Despite being broke, Jeed offers to buy her friends refreshments. She bumps into Khom at his refreshment stand. Grace sees them together and decides to get back at Jeed by humiliating Khom for being the son of a noodle vendor. Jeed leaves. Khom refuses to sell Grace refreshments. Neung hides and overhears that Jeed is Khom’s ex girlfriend. He schemes to sit next to her at the soccer tournament and pretends to be an ideal boyfriend. Grace storms off, angry that Jeed is flirting with a guy she has been watching for a while.
Film and Om worry about Mick. Film admits that he gets jealous when people are around Mick even though there is nothing going on between them. Mick almost faints while the marching band is warming up. Om and Film revive Mick with smelling salts. Later, Om looks at Mick and starts to visibly sweat.
Love Sick Series 2 finally began last weekend. Two episodes each weekend. 25 more to go to answer those pressing questions about the happenings at Friday College. The characters did not appear to use the eight-month series hiatus to solve their old problems. We are right where we left off. Noh and Phun have decided to be apart for the sake of Yuri and Aim; Khom is still poor and working his way out of the financial hole he found himself in after his brief courtship with Jeed, Jeed is still looking for a rich boyfriend, Golf still obviously likes Mo, who is still with Moan. Earn still wants to get Noh’s attention. And no one really knows why Pete is featured so prominently in the credits but doesn’t appear to have a role in any story line.
Season 2 promises to be all about boys love, and optimistically that may be true. By season’s end male-male romantic pairings may outnumber heterosexual pairings 5-2, although I think the final score will be 3-3, with Pete remaining a free man and a broken-hearted Shay recovering from Pop’s rejection. You win some, and lose some on this show, and with Pete, you just kind of scratch your head and wonder if he is playing at all.
The events of season one took place roughly over three weeks of the Friday College school year, basically following Phun and Noh’s timeline in p’Hed’s novel. They began acting as boyfriends for Pang’s amusement, and ended up in bed together a week later, only to decide that they needed to separate because of their girlfriends, real in Phun’s case, and maybe imagined in Noh’s, he’s not quite sure. This season opens with them separated but with Phun obviously trying to keep a toe in the doorway, preventing Noh from getting too close with Earn. At the end of episode 1, Noh states that he believes that he will need to make a decision: choose Yuri or Phun. However, when he dreams during episode one, he dreams of a choice between Earn and Phun. Yuri isn’t in the picture. You decide the meaning of that. What he says his story is about and how he actually behaves may be significantly different, a feature from the Love Sick novel that I hope is retained going forward.
Episode 1 can be summarized as “Pink, Choices, and Food,” as p’Andy and Company try to set the tone for the year. We had heard that they heard fan complaints about acting and production values and were improving things this year, but I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting the first episode to change its look so much. Pink! Everything was pink, even the white Friday College shirts and atmosphere. I understand what the team was thinking, establishing in the early scenes that evaluating subtle differences between pink dresses and pink drinks was similar to making choices between types of relationships and lovers, but I didn’t expect them to take the follow through to such an extreme. But in case they were worried we wouldn’t get the point, we were subjected to pink over and over again as the color that will represent the girlfriends when they aren’t around and the choices between lovers this year. Thankfully episode 2 ended that nonsense (hopefully for good) as we moved on to different themes.
The food motif was more pleasant to follow. The central event of the first episode was a meal between Phun, Noh, Yuri and Aim that was largely taken directly from the novel, if a bit out of sequence. The idea that one lover will know exactly what the other lover will want to eat is a carry-forward from season 1 (the most doted over bowl of instant congee ever!), and we see it again on display during the meal. The girls order food for the boys in their competition to show who knows their boyfriend the best. The boys, of course, do not return the favor, and Phun’s handling of the meal reveals just how little he is thinking about Aim. He is, however, very interested in what Noh has ordered, especially after Yuri makes the connection between Noh’s pork hock and his meaty thigh. That piques Phun’s interest in obtaining a taste, but Noh decides instead to share with Yuri (although he ruins her taste with mustard), rudely turning down Phun’s request for a piece of him. I loved this scene in the novel as it captured where they couples all stood with each other at the time and highlighted the truth about the boys: that despite what they promised, they are just too into each other to ignore their feelings, even with the lovely ladies present.
Unfortunately the scene is marred by the acting. I am going to hold off on the criticism of that for a bit. But Primrose’s acting limits are increasingly sucking the air out of any scene Aim is in. It’s possible that this is intentional, but until we see her do something differently, we have to wonder if Aim has any personality at all, and if not, why Phun fell in love with her. I just can’t decide whether the character is dull or the actress is. In the novel, Phun does admit that he was disappointed that Aim wasn’t more cheerful and bright like Noh, but I took that to mean that she was dour and crabby, not emotionless. That said, the scene was supposed to be awkward and they pulled that off by being themselves.
The lover’s banquet motif is repeated again later in the episode, this being Love Sick, where arrangements around a theme take precedence over coherent narrative. The feast gets off to an inauspicious start as Mo drops her groceries in the parking garage, only to have Golf show up to help her gather her limes and carry her bags again. It is the role he has chosen for himself with her, always being there to help, hoping that this time he’ll have a chance. Sadly, he realizes that she is taking food home to Moan, so he won’t be at this meal. Good soldier that he is, he’ll carry her bags anyway. Mo’s meal with Moan is a tense one, as he offers her food from his plate, even though she brought the same take out meal for both of them. His constant mooching that he pretends is a gift is grating on her. He has nothing to offer. A text message on his phone reveals that he is cheating on her once again, despite his promise last season to focus on school and remain faithful to her.
In Episode 2, a food theft is repeated again, this time with Noh stealing from Ngoi. We ’ll have plenty of time to discuss whether Moan and Noh are the same kind of moocher as the series goes forward. I admit, though, that it is one of the things I like about the series so far: the purposeful insertion of repeated acts, once by the heroes and once by the villains, causing us to question why we treat them differently. When Noh steals from Ngoi, it’s cute, but when Moan does it, it’s distasteful. When Phun cheats on Aim with Noh, we cheer the cheaters on and hope for more. But the reverse isn’t true for Moan and Aim. Are we being a bit hypocritical? Or are the series writers?
Episode 2 isn’t about food, but focuses on the class divide between characters that has been driving the stories of Khom and Jeed from the beginning. If I were to sum up episode 2, it would be “Don’t be embarrassed to be who you are, but don’t be poor.” The Angels cycle comes to a close at the soccer tournament. The debate that Fi and the more socially skittish members of the student council have been having with Earn and the social progressives over the visibility of the kathoey is over. The Angels don’t need to “butch it up” to be accepted and thankfully their cheer routine goes well. I was beginning to worry that the whole point of having the Angels on the show was comic relief. Since last year’s version of the gang could barely walk without falling down let alone dance through a cheer routine, I was never convinced that the show would follow up with a win for them. It was a win for them, and win for Earn for rallying them. Of course, it is easy to score a victory when the dreaded “alumni” turn out to be college freshmen and not stodgy old men, but we’ll take it. “All is one” at the united Friday College campus.
Except of course, it isn’t. Not if you are poor. Khom’s plan to make some extra money selling refreshments could be successful, but he opened himself up for social mockery, first from Neung in episode 1, then harshly from Grace in this episode. Grace in particular undid any goodwill she built up with the audience by reminding us that she really likes to humiliate poorer students when she can. Neung is just an ass and hasn’t done anything to make us like him, but Grace…we had hopes for Grace! Jeed could have said something to defend Khom, but of course she wouldn’t. At least she didn’t pile on, as she suffers from crab bucket syndrome, but she left when the insults started to come her way. Good for Khom for refusing to sell anything to Grace after that, but he’s not going to make money if he won’t sell to snooty convent girls. There’s a lot of those in this series. I’m not a fan of Jeed, but she may not be entirely wrong to go to great lengths to cover up her background, even though she can hardly afford to do so. Show yourself to be honestly poor, and the vultures come out. Khom is getting angry. I hope he can channel that anger effectively.
The Jeed/Khom/Neung/Grace knot is going to be interesting for a while. Due to certain laws of dramas, at least one couple is going to form out of that mess. At this point I’m going to put my money on Grace/Khom, but as this is Love Sick, so Khom/Pluem is probably just as likely. I have no idea what will emerge. Neung is after Jeed and put on a very good “perfect potential boyfriend” act this episode. Can he pull a Phun or a Noh? Will acting like a boyfriend turn him into one? It’s too early to tell. But so far everyone who has gotten to know Jeed has reason not to like her. I doubt Neung, who only wants her to hurt Khom, is going to find her any more enchanting than the rest of us.
I found it interesting that Noh only owns one pair of jeans. He warns Phun to be careful with them as they trade clothes because that is his last pair. Later in the episode, Ohm jokes about the one smelly pair of jeans Noh always wears. The issue of the difference in class between Phun and Noh hasn’t really come up before in the series and was kind of brushed aside for the most part in the novel. Noh, of course isn’t poor, he’s middle class. But compared with Phun, he might as well be. As friendly as Noh’s friends are, don’t give off a hint that you might not have a wardrobe full of clothes – your Friday College friends will notice. Once again, Jeed might not be wrong doing what she’s doing.
As for our new couple, Min was very cute as Mick. I don’t have much else to say about Film and Om. The love triangle is in its infancy. We will wait to watch it develop at its own pace. I hope the production team can keep it funny, since the three primary couples are entering their dull, serious phases. BWe have yet to see Pang, Pop or Shay this season. That’s the other triad that I hope can stay comical so the show’s light mood isn’t drown by too much “couples in turmoil” angst.
Up next? A trip to the beach and a drunken post soccer tournament party if I recall. And a chance to see if the acting in season 2 has really improved.
- Khom’s money jar is going to be unexpectedly empty again shortly. (probability: 50%)
- Khom crushed a blue cup in episode 2. One of the Angels crushed a pink cup. Someone in episode 3 will crush a cup. I’m predicting Per will make his first appearance that way. The cup will be purple. (probability: 5%)
- By season’s end, we still won’t know the purpose of Pete (probability 80%).