Television review, by Rich Paschall

When I was much younger, we used to watch broadcast television on the three major networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) plus local programming and syndicated programs on “Chicago’s Very Own” WGN. I must have watched a lot of television in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s because I remember them so well and sometimes watch them again on MeTV, Heroes and Icons, TV Land, Decades, or other channels. Many people still rely on formulaic dramas or the dim-witted comedies offered up by the networks, but I can say that is not me.

My network viewing time has been significantly reduced. I have been watching the reboot of the original Law and Order, aka Season 21, and NCIS LA. Most of my other television time is either devoted to sports or programs from elsewhere in the world. There are plenty of British programs on PBS. On Saturday nights I watch Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders. There is a BBC America channel and the subscription services BritBox and Acorn. While on our recent Adventure To The North, we discovered Roku had something Marilyn and Garry would truly love, a Midsomer Murders channel. Yes, you can watch murders in the county of Midsomer all day long. There have only been 132 episodes so far, but it is set to return sometime this year with new episodes. Fortunately, the British detectives always find the bad guys.

Various apps and online streaming services can bring you television and movies from around the world and in many languages. YouTube now streams many channels on its platform. Search youtube using the word “International” to start and see what you get. I picked news and found a large variety of English-language news broadcasts, many were live. In addition to syndication, programs can now find new audiences via their online streaming services, various apps, and YouTube channels. This brings new viewers to their programs and provides revenue streams via subscription fees, merchandise, and DVD sales. Why broadcast to just your country when you can play to the entire world?

Previously I mentioned the hit Thailand series, Bad Buddy. It ran on Friday nights in Thailand at 8:30 PM and was repeated online at 10:30 PM. The audience share of the broadcast was relatively small, but the online showing on WeTV Thailand and the repeated streaming requests made it the most-watched title online by just the 7th of 12 episodes. The show was broadcast and streamed in the Philippines dubbed in Filipino. It was also streamed with English subtitles. Japanese television picked it up as well. You could watch it just about anywhere the day after the broadcast on the GMMTV YouTube channel with English subtitles. This multi-layered approach to distribution is the future of television programming. Without broadcasts in other countries and streaming options around the world, the excellent Bad Buddy series would just be a tiny footnote on Thai television.

That brings me to the latest Thai mini-series discovery, the mystery-thriller “Not Me.” The 14-episode series began in December and ran through March. The story involves a set of identical twins nicknamed “Black” and “White.” At the outset, we see them played by identical twin boys. They are at a swimming pool, one goes to the shower but the other stays behind and develops a cramp and starts to drown. The other falls to the floor of the shower gasping for breath. Whatever serious things one feels, the other experiences it as well. Black is the defender of White and makes him promise to fight for himself and to always fight for one another.

NOT ME, “Gun” far left, with “Off” and the other suspects

The family splits up and the father, a member of the diplomatic service, takes White with him to another country. Black remains with his mother. When White returns 15 years later, he has lost contact with Black. His father tells him to forget him. He takes White to meet members of the foreign service and White is set to apply to follow his father. When he gets up at the restaurant where he is dining with his father and friends, he falls to the ground in severe pain. He is rushed to the hospital but they find nothing wrong. A childhood friend, Tod, tells White his brother is in the hospital in a coma. Someone has tried to beat him to death. White sees his brother and remembers his promise. He steals his earrings and takes pictures of his body to duplicate tattoos. He intends to take his brother’s place at university and in a motorcycle gang.

White goes to his brother’s apartment to dress like him and learn what he can. Pretending to be Black will not be an easy task. Tod can not offer too much information and White can not believe his brother is the bad guy others are saying. Soon White is in over his head and playing a dangerous game trying to fool gang members into believing he is Black.

In the early episodes, the circle of suspects only widens and White finds himself mired in a life that is the very opposite of his own. He does not know if he can trust any of the people he is associated with, and the gang’s “missions” put them further into danger. A few red herrings are tossed in to throw White and the audience off the scent. If Black should ever wake up, they could both be in danger.

The series stars “Gun” Atthaphan Phunsawat in the dual roles of the adult Black and White. I did not believe the small actor (5′ 6″) was going to turn into the action star of this thriller. He succeeds in becoming the Black that the others were afraid of. “Off” Jumpol Adulkittiporn plays Sean, a gang member who was no friend to Black and is suspicious of his changes in character. Sean has a personal vendetta to settle with a drug lord he thinks is responsible for his father’s death. This increases the dangers to all of the gang.

Off and Gun previously had a contentious relationship in the 2019 college drama, “theory of love.” It is a story of film students who have a falling out as best friends. That well-regarded series may have been the proof that the pair could lead this action thriller.

Categories: Entertainment, Rich Paschall, Television, Television Review

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11 replies

  1. I don’t get network TV but do watch several programs later in the week on Hulu. No sports for me, but I do love Acorn and PBS, especially the mysteries!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With English as your mothers language, you have a big benefit, also in watching TV. 😉 I am just on the way getting my rudiment knowledge in English back, and therefore the internet and the possibility of watching TV stations all over the world is a fantastic thing. :-)) Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not a huge network tv fan either, though it used to be the only choice and I certainly indulged in all of it. now, I’m into docs, special series streamed on various platforms, movies, etc. I’m going to check out your suggestion, it sounds really intriguing

    Liked by 1 person


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