If you have never watched a Thai drama (also known as "Lakorn") before, here are some you definitely need to check out - especially if you're a fan of popular K-Drama rom-coms. Although they have similar plot-lines, these Thai reinventions work to bring something new and enjoyable to the table.
Here are some recommendations to marathon these holidays if you're feeling bored and want to try something different!
1. Full House: นนัก รักเต็มบ้าน (Woon nuk ruk tem barn)
Full House starring Rain and Song Hye Gyo was one of the first Korean dramas I ever watched and instantly fell in love with. I went into the Thai version with trepidation and low expectations as I didn't think they could top the original Korean version and was pleasantly surprised!
The lead actors, Mike and Aom, have sizzling chemistry and the drama pays homage to the Korean version without being a complete copy. It even has a few references to K-Pop. eg. Mike dancing to Gangnam Style, Sorry Sorry and Nobody is absolutely hilarious!
It was great that they also did a cross-culture swap-a-roo. In the Korean version, the couple go to Thailand for their honeymoon and in the Thai version, the couple go to Korea. This is a version of the fake marriage drama that's definitely worth checking out.
2. Playful Kiss: Kiss Me รักล้นใจนายแกล้งจุ๊บ
There have been multiple takes on the popular manga series Itazura Na Kiss, with Korean (Playful Kiss), Taiwanese (It Started With a Kiss, Miss in Kiss) and Japanese (Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo) live-action adaptations. Having watched all the versions - some admittedly more than once - I'd have to say the Thai version is one of my favourites.
The production team were smart to bring back Full House couple Aom and Mike to star in the lead roles. Although playing different characters, high-schoolers this time instead of grown adults, their undeniable chemistry is one of the main reasons you can't stop watching. I also found the slight story changes and event twists to be refreshing and actually made it better. Great take on the story about a female lead pursuing a tsundere*.
*tsundere is a Japanese term to describe a character who is initially cold and even hostile on the outside but gradually shows a warmer side over time.
3. The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince: Coffee Prince Thai คอฟฟี่ปรินซ์ไทย
Popular Korean drama The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince, was a breakout hit for its main lead actors, Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye. If you loved the original version, you'll definitely like the Thai remake. It closely follows the original plotline about the romance between a hardworking tomboyish girl who pretends to be male and the manager of the coffee shop she works at.
A lot of the elements from the original Korean version were retained with some alterations to fit a Thai context. It's also reminiscent of other fun gender-bender Lakorns such as Taddao Bussaya and Dok Ruk Rim Tang.
These are my top three recommendations for those wanting an easy introduction into the world of Lakorns.
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