Since my last rant on Ann’s character Saya in Ab Ruk Online, the tables were turned in the later half of the lakorn when Pidprao assumed the identity of Ab Ruk and ‘came out’ to Non. She became the one living the lie and of course that doesn’t end well … though this being a lakorn things still fall into place ultimately when Saya and Pranon both realise who they really love.
While browsing the ARO thread on baidu forum, I came across a comment from fan of Kim’s (presumably) complaining about the scriptwriter ‘blackening’ (slang for causing someone to be disliked) Kim by making Pidprao do something as despicable as lying her way into a relationship with Pranon. I was like whut??? If anything, that makes the story and her character more interesting and realistic for me. The ladies of this world isn’t divided into sweet dumb n’eks and evil psycho n’rais; we all fall somewhere in between (though some may veer towards the more extreme end of either spectrum? heeh). I find the later half of the lakorn a great mirror to the first act when Pridprao ended up doing the very things she accused Saya of. It really drove home the point that sometimes we desire someone/something so much that it blinds us to everything else and we end up doing things against our better judgement or even the values that we hold dear. So yes, I liked how Ab Ruk Online gave us something different from the usual neatly compartmentalized type of characters I’m used to seeing in lakorns.
On the down side, I felt like Lipda and Pranon played second fiddle to the ladies? I found their personalities a bit fuzzy and in turn I didn’t really connect with the two OTPs. I did enjoy watching Pranon/Pridprao moments and they made me awww on many occasions but nothing of the swoony fangirl level as other OTPs have done for me. As for Lipda/Saya… I didn’t mind watching them, but as one of the two OTPs, I should be feeling more than a ‘don’t mind’. I’m actually more entertained watching Saya interact with her bff Run. Also, the tension went out of the show after Pranon found out Pridprao was pretending to be ‘Ab Ruk’ because there was NO DOUBT who’s ending up with who, just a matter of how and when.
The last episode also could’ve packed more of a punch on showing how the two couples got together. Pranon actually advised Lipda to texted Saya anonymously over LINE to get her to open up on her true feelings towards him. Uhhh, seriously? I get that the premise of this lakorn is the ~ secret ~ online relationship Saya started with Pranon but he was in desperate situation when she first texted him: he had misplaced an important document containing customer’s information and he will be fired if he doesn’t get it back. Saya’s first texts were guiding him on the search and at that point in time he was simply reacting to the information coming through, and after that he had a reason to continue chatting to this stranger who essentially saved his ass. But to have Lipda chat anonymously with Saya on her relationship problems which led up to the big reveal and a happily after?? This bit lasted maybe less than half an episode but still doesn’t make sense to me.
Pranon and Pridprao were sent all the way to Germany for their reconciliation but what we ultimately see on screen (pretty MTV worthy scenes of them wandering about) do not seem proportionate to the budget which must have gone into shipping the cast and crew to Germany. I’m not complaining about the characters being filmed in the actual country they are supposedly in (we all recognize the fake ‘overseas’ scene where a few Caucasian extras hang out in the background) but why the need to film overseas? ‘Germany’ doesn’t add to the story in any way. They could’ve been in any foreign country. Heck, Pridprao could’ve simply moved to another part of the country. Ok, this is just me nit-picking and being too rational about dramas. Am I the only one who thinks of such stuff?? :p
All in all, I did like Ab Ruk Oline but it’s not a show I’m likely to re-watch or even think about much once it’s over.
The show has however successfully had me sold on the Mark/Kim pairing. I haven’t watched Kim since her first lakorn ‘Thara Himalaya’ and she has improved a lot since. I’m gonna give ‘Punyachon Kon Krua’ a shot now, despite not really digging the plot!