Manee Dan Suaang (Jewel from the Heavens) review … kinda?

23 Feb

A while back Fia posed a question on twitter, asking what we based our lakorn watching on and my response was ‘cast/synopsis will lure me in but plot/chemistry keep me on board’. In general my answer has not changed but in this age of easy fastforwarding of videos, I realised that I am able to get through a drama simply for the casts’ chemistry and I don’t even have to waste time wading through stupid plot and/or characters I don’t want to see. It happened for ‘Dok Soke’ where I picked the main couple’s moments to swoon over and skipped most of the surrounding family and other woman drama… and of course that infamous head-banging ending. I didn’t expect to put my ff skills to use again so soon but ‘Manee Dan Suaang’ (click link to read the synopsis) forced my hand by throwing Art Pasut and Sara Legge in this hot mess where people are beautiful and nothing makes sense. Pong’s charisma played a part in my liking of the main couple in DS but at the same time I enjoyed watching their relationship which began with pity/reliance slowly blossom into love.

In MDS though, my sole reason for watching was Art and Sara themselves and not the characters they play. How could I get behind Sam and Chiloh when their every encounter for the first 10 friggin’ episodes basically plays out like this:

S: Tell me the truth! Who are you?!
C: I’m an angel!
S: Stop lying!
C: I’m not a liar! Since you won’t believe me, I won’t say any more. Hmmmpf.

Seriously. Every. Single. Time. The actual conversations are even longer than this because Chiloh will repeat her story of having been banished to earth by her dad for breaking up Daran and Sirisuda’s wedding while Sam call her a liar and mock her for being a powerless ‘angel’. Ok, I get it already people, can we move on?! Even the villains are in on this game of repetition, with the ridiculously inept demon king’s son Asure and his equally inept minions continuously chasing after and continuously failing to capture Chiloh. There is no point whatsoever to these sequences – except maybe to showcase some very bad CGI.

Daran and Sirisuda’s love(?) line sounded slightly less like a broken record but also had me scratching my head. Daran is a cop who marries Sirisuda in a police operation to get evidence of her dad’s illegal activities but he is also supposedly deeply in love with her. When Sam later accuses Chiloh of destroying his best friend’s happiness, I was like what happiness? Did anyone expect Daran to ride off into the sunset with Sirisuda after, and if, he succeeds in throwing her father in prison? Oh well, why bother having their story make sense since nothing else does.

Going back to the main couple. I wouldn’t say ‘love at first sight’ is impossible but I believe more in relationships built over time and on understanding and I find it hard to accept Sam and Chiloh as soul mates simply because they are bound together -literally- by the strings of fate. No why or how, just because. The only kind of attraction I see between them is purely physical (which btw, I totally understand) and the lakorn capitalises on this by trading coherent story telling for random situations in which our pra’nang can have accidental and not-so-accidental physical contact. Hot? Yes. Point? Not so much.

Despite the rant above, I didn’t abandon ship and in fact held on for the whole 18 episodes and made it through a failed undercover stint and a wth-is-this rescue operation in demon-land!

I actually watched MDS without subs from ep9 onwards and it was perfectly fine because unlike in DS where I read recaps to know where the couple stood at a point in the story before watching their parts, I didn’t even need that here. Just have Art and Sara be pretty on screen and I was good to roll. I guess it’s now scientifically proven that fangirlism (with the ff option) trumps reason.

Art and Sara will be teaming up for an action lakorn ‘Kularb Fai’ next and if MDS is any indication, I’ll lap that one up too.

Stop being so hot you.

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