Recently, I’ve been hooked on Thai dramas or what they call “lakorns”.
The last time I’ve been hooked on anything related to Thailand was when I watched the movie, Love of Siam. I was so into that movie (great story, acting, and soundtrack!) that Thai culture suddenly appealed greatly to me. I believe this was the time I started my first part-time job, so I can have money to go to Bangkok. Unfortunately, the trip never happened as the emergency Japan came. Later on, some friends were able to pull me to Singapore, so until now, Bangkok is still a far-away city for me. A source of great curiosity.
Anyway, I’m not exactly sure how, after so many years, I got interested in Thai shows again. I just remember having this phase of watching romantic-comedies until I ended up browsing titles from Thailand which got me to the lakorn Lovesick The Series and then to our featured topic, Hormones The Series.
(I’ll have a seperate post for “Lovesick” as it would be a fujoshi-full type of writing. TEE-HEE.)
“Hormones” has a “the series” attached to it because there was an earlier movie with the same title. The movie also featured teenagers, but it was more romantic-comedy. On the other hand, this lakorn is more serious. Well, serious in a sense that they have more serious themes such as confusion in sexuality, rape, family issues, teacher-student relations, pre-marital sex, abortion, drinking, smoking, drugs, and bullying in teenagers lives. These issues along with the puberty stage makes teenagers one of the best case study subjects. Despite the listed themes, these were discussed sparingly through each episode with lighter themes of friendship, romance, and junior-senior relationships in good humor to balance the atmosphere.
I admit to watching this series because I have to wait for two weeks before the new season of Lovesick begins. Fortunately, I was in good hands. I’ve had the season 1 in my HD for a long while now, but I just was not in the mood to watch it yet, so I guess this was the right time. I was only reminded of it again when a friend pointed out that there’s a gay couple in the series. Well, well.
I don’t know much about Thai culture, censorship and media or if Thai society is tolerant or conservative, but I’d have to give it to the writers of this show. They were unapologetic to the conservatives when they decided to show a series about the real chaotic lives of teenagers. I’m not sure if we’ve ever had such a bold television series in the Philippines. The most that I can remember is an old teen-oriented show called “TGIS” which has one episode involving one of the characters smoking. They focused most on why it should not be done by the audience. I suppose the lakorn’s point is not to lecture on bad habits, but just to really portray the real lifestyle of teenagers. It’s very eye-opening to parents, I assume. The next set of action would be a good discussion or debate on how to effectively help teens with their problems or even just how to understand them better to forge a good relationship as they mature with their hardship.
I remember the first episode of Season 2 which features a popular lakorn about a love triangle between students. The lakorn is also featured in a school, so it directly reflected the lives of the characters in Hormones. The issue of the episode is whether TV shows with sexual content, even if they are just implied, should be banned or not; what should be or not be censored to teenagers. The episode had a long debate between parents on the matter. Some parents were fine with the lakorn, saying that right guidance and explanation is the best way to help children when faced with such contents (I agree with this since this is how my mom made us aware of such things), while some parents wanted the lakorn banned as they fear it to be a bad influence. At some point the discussion concluded on the parents’ relationship with their children. I thought this was one of the best episodes of the series as that is also a similar problem in the Philippines. No, I think this applies anywhere.
There were also episodes about drugs, rape, abortion, and confusion in sexuality which struck me most. Mind you, not because I’ve been through those (only the sexuality part), but because they are heavy issues and are not ever comfortably discussed between people, especially teenagers. Moreover, there’s no cheesy love story here. The trajectory portrayed in relationships were also very honest; so honest some of them hurt already. Huhu~
Aside from the themes, I love the directing and acting of the actors in this drama. There were several times I cried in some episodes haha~ The amazing soundtrack has introduced me to a lot of Thai bands and singers.
So there, I definitely recommend watching this drama. Nevermind the language if you’re still uncomfortable with the sound of Thai language, you’ll get used to it. 😀