Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk! In this post we’re going to talk about Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1.
Gay Ok Bangkok is a web series from Thailand. The story is about the lives of six diverse gay men living in Bangkok. The story focuses on their drama. Whether it be relationship oriented, career wise, family focused, or based on their sexual health.
Specifcally, the story follows friends Pom, Arm, and Off. Off is finding out that his long time boyfriend Big is cheaitng on him through gay hookup apps. Pom feels unloved and has a crush on and old friend, but one night he finds his best friend Arm making out with that crush. Things escalate from there.
My Thoughts Before Watching
I actually came across gay Ok Bangkok Season 1 before and almost watched it last year. I don’t remember what stopped me from watching the first episode, but then I got distracted by watching Make it Right the Series. I’ve only now come back to the series.
Like many of these posts of late, I don’t know anything to do with series, so I’m going in totally unbiased. Plus, I do know that season 2 is already playing, so I want to get through the whole first season to then watch the second.
This is Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1.
Where to Watch:
The Talk (Non-Spoilers):
Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1 is short and sweet. The production quality is high and the acting is pretty good too. In fact, I never felt like cringing due to the acting, but conversely the acting only amazed me a few select times.
What’s good about Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1 is that it got me to care about some of the characters, one more than others, and about their relationships. Plus, it serves the purpose of being a story about gay Thailand and safe sex without the light and fanciful flair that a lot of Thai BL dramas have. It’s real, its raw (but not too edgy), and it’s also about getting tested too.
The Talk (Spoilers):
Right now, this is just an intro, so I’m just trying to get to know the characters. That said, there was nothing that eye catching to help hook me.
I think the one thing that interested me the most was it’s similarity to Queer As Folk. Arm is like Brian Kinney. Then, Big and Oaf remind me of Micheal and Ben. Though Pom reminds me of the early stage Micheal (the shy guy personality).
Back to Arm, can we talk about how realistic Arm’s Hornet hookup was? He got messaged by a faceless torso pic, asked for a face pic, didn’t get it, and then the guy asked for pictures from him. Typical.
But at the same time, hitting on the guy he knows his friend likes? What a jerk.
My one complaint is that the text is hard to read (in the Youtube video above). Small and thin white text without any border makes it easy to get lost in the scenes. Plus, there’s a lot of white surfaces on the set to add to make it harder.
Other than that, the show seems to be well produced with great settings and good quality equipment.
At the start of the episode I was like, “Typical, the jerk character has a great guy as his friend who’ll help him out even after he’s done something wrong to the other guy. This really is a lot like Queer As Folk.”
That said, when Pom stood up to him and said things like, “Is it great being you?” and “Don’t you fuck with your friend” I was almost in tears. Thank you, THANK YOU writers for putting that in.
Who’s side are you guys on in the Arm/Pom argument?
With all my Arm/Pom talk though, that relationship didn’t have the most interesting scene to me. The scene with Oaf and Big was the most interesting. It was heated and intense and well acted. At first I worried that Oaf’s actor was trying too hard, but then as the scene got physical and angrier it wrapped me in more. That was a well performed scene.
Conversely, while one relationship crumbles, another grows. Seeing the happy and smiling Arm almost made me forgive him a little. Seeing him with Nat was so cheesingly sweet.
As for the end, when Nat started to get all serious I first thought that he was going to go, “I don’t want to date you. Let’s keep it casual.” That was mostly the cruel side of me who’s still mad for Pom. But then, I thought, “Oh god, he has HIV.” That was a well delivered cliffhanger.
Its very clear to me that this web series wasn’t made for the fujoshi/fudanshi crowd, at least not as the primary audience, but for gay men. The whole idea behind it is to talk about sexual health and safe sex. After all, TestBKK.org made the web series a reality. Prep and HIV are a big focus that’s introduced in this episode. It’s like Hanging Out‘s Episode 4 in that way. (That said, of course fujoshi/fudanshi (fans of BL content) found and loved the show anyway).
As for what actually happened in the story, the text got smaller but surprisingly didn’t distract me. Oaf has a new friend and possible love interest. I’m still mad at Arm for Pom, but I like his relationship with Nat. And, poor Big seems to be going off the deep end which is sadly too common a story in real life. There are many like him.
This Pete guy, he was flirting hard. I was hoping he was actually interested in Pom. What straight guy goes that far and then goes “No homo?” Really? Why does everybody mess with my poor baby Pom’s heart? Anyone else want to join the Protect Poor Baby Boy Pom club?
As for Arm and Nat, surprisingly I get where Arm is coming from. I think it was perfectly legitimate for him to be jealous and angry. Nat disappeared for hours with his ex-boyfriend. That’s suspicious.
That said, he took his suspicions too far. That scene with Arm was him just pulling one below the belt blow after another. Though, Ten, his actor, performed that wonderfully. I believed him throughout the song.
But you know who can’t be mad? Big. Actually, no. He can be mad that the dude he was into made him the “other man.” That said, I don’t feel totally sorry for him because of how he treated Oaf. I hold grudges guys.
As for the technical stuff, honestly this show is produced well and acted well. Nothing, besides the text, ever distracts me and the acting has never made me want to cringe. That said, only the acting in the fight scene a couple episodes ago was really good in my opinion.
One thing though, HOW DO YOU SPELL OAF’S NAME? The translation’s literally spelled it differently in every episode. Oaf, Aof, Off, at this point I don’t know so I’m sticking with Off since that was on Big’s Phone.
Part of me wanted to see Big make this grand apology to Off and get back together with him. But, at the same time Toh is such a better option for him. A good guy. A nice guy. For once let the nice guy win in love.
Of course, it doesn’t look like that happened. While there was no direct confirmation, it looked to me that the two were slowly easing back into a relationship. Again, part of me likes this for the idea that love can get through the obstacles, but at the same time I feel that Off may deserve better than Big. This middle ground however is a nice touch by the writing to present ease in this complex moment their relationship. But what do you all think?
Also, no offense to Big. Clearly that boy has some demons and is very unhappy with life after he left Off. I think its good to show that being sexually free can either work out like with Arm or go terribly like with Big. The balance is nice.
Also, Big’s actor did well with his five episodes. When he cried, I not only believed it, but I felt sorry for him. Something I was unwilling to do before.
Next, there’s Pom. Part of me is sad for Pom because he’s constantly getting his heart broken. Then part of me wants to be like, “No, you don’t need no man!” If anything, I just want that character to be happy. At least his job does that.
Lastly, when Nat said that he and Arm shouldn’t date I was actually surprised and sad. Then we skipped ahead 4 months (which by the way, what seasons are these episodes supposed to be happening in?) and they also started to creep back into a relationship. That was nice.
There’s a lot of good going on with Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1. I have a love/hate relationship with the Pom/Arm friendship, its acting and production value were great, and its purpose of relaying info about safe sex was wonderful.
Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1 was a simple series and a pleasant one, and it also happened to have a great underlying message of safe sex and living with HIV. I approve.
My rating for Gay Ok Bangkok Season 1 is 4 stars out of 5. What’s Yours?
- Why was Big touching himself in the bathtub with his phone out? That’s just asking for an accident.
- A Britney Spears cover was playing the background of the cafe scene in Episode 1.
- I like the battery they use to indicate the episode number.
- Look at me guys, I almost didn’t point out that Ten, Arm’s actor, was P in Part Time the Series. I’m growing.
- “Hi bitch. You got dumped again?” Friendship.