THE CHARACTER OF BAD BUDDY – PART 2

The Main Characters, by Rich Paschall

For a story to be a success, the reader or viewer must connect in some way with the main characters. How many stories have you stopped reading or shows have you stopped watching because the main characters did not hold your interest?

The main characters need to have traits that the reader or viewer can identify with. They need to engage with us on an emotional and intellectual level. Above all else, we need to care about what happens. If there is no proper development of the characters to go along with the storyline, there is no hope of success. The Thai mini-series Bad Buddy provided essential character development throughout the 12 episodes. From the outset, we liked the main characters and cared about what happened to them. We saw the characters grow, mature, and overcome.

Pran
Pran (Nanon Korapat Kirdpan) is a serious student and we will learn along the way that he is somewhat afraid of the actions of his mother. When Pran’s mother learns in the first episode that Pat is at the same university she responds, “I wouldn’t have transferred you here if I knew you two would meet again.” She previously transferred Pran from his high school to get him away from Pat. They were playing together in a band. When Pran leaves the guitar with Wai (Episode 6), he is asked “How come your mom hates guitar so much?” Of course, it is not the guitar, it is the memory of Pran and Pat playing together. Pran admits that if his mother knows he is playing again, she might transfer him.

Pran’s mother also says Pran can date who he wants, except for the kids next door. This is literally what will keep Pran in the closet for a while. He fears being found out. He fears being transferred. Only one person will be able to remove those fears.

We know that Pran and Pat had a friendship in high school, and a flashback reveals that Pran had a crush on Pat. So the end of Episode 4 might be a surprise when Pat asks Pran “Would you like me?” Pran answers “I hate you.” We are probably thinking the same as Pat, “What the heck?” We know it’s not true, so why does Pran say it?

Pran fears that Pat wants a relationship with Ink and that Pran will never have one with Pat. It is fear of “Unrequited love.” We can see the tear roll down Pran’s face at the end of the episode. Pat’s confession of liking Ink is breaking Pran’s heart.

If Pran desires Pat, then why does he reject Pat after the emotional climax of Episode 5? Pat has kissed him (and Pran kisses back), but we see conflict on Pran’s face as Episode 6 opens. Pran is afraid of the very thing he desires. It could lead to rejection by others and transfer to another school. Even after he agrees to compete with Pat to try to win the other over, we see him try to keep the friendship a secret.

Pran will have to learn to deal with his fears and accept what is in his heart. Like it is for many LGBTQ+ individuals, it will be a difficult journey at times. His love for another will help him have the courage to stand up to his mother (Episode 10).

Pat (L) and Pran. They still have each other.

Pat
Pat (Ohm Pawat Chittsawangdee) is a rude sort of guy who may be on the way to being like his father as the story begins. We see a number of examples in the early episodes of Pat’s father pressuring him to play rugby and win medals. He also puts pressure on him regarding the Freshy Day music contest. Despite any pressures at home, Pat is allowed to get away with his crude behavior.

When Pat is pursuing Ink, is he just doing something that would be expected of him? Near the end of Episode 4, Pat is locked out of his room and Pran lets him stay overnight. When Pat lists his good qualities as reasons Ink should like him, they are actually reasons why Pran should like him. Pat follows by asking if Pran would like him, but Pran is hurt and answers he hates him. Pat says, “We will see if you can find someone half as good as me.” Neither realizes just how true that is.

By the time we reach the rooftop at the end of Episode 5, we have seen highs and lows for each of our main characters, but we now know that Pat has feelings for Pran. When Pat asks Pran what is their relationship, Pran replies “Why? Do you want us to be friends?” Pat struggles to get out his reply before answering, “No.” Why does he say this? We know he now wants to be friends with Pran.

Pat wants to be more than friends. He proves this all through Episode 6 as he continues to pursue Pran despite what seems like rejection. Pran may have had a crush on Pat in high school, but now Pat has a crush on him. After they start competing with one another, Pat will be guilty of dropping clues with the #Just Friend?

When Pat and Pran become boyfriends and get outed at school by Wai, Pran’s best friend, Pat offers to repair the friendship by posting a status saying he and Pran broke up (Episode 9). “I can say you dumped me if that gets Wai to talk to you. I can really do it for you.” Pat offers to say he is the heartbroken one. Of course, Pran is not going to let him do that. They have come too far.

Pat comforts Pran

The Truth – Episode 10
The lies the boys have been told to create a dislike between them get revealed when Chai sees Pran and Pat together (Episode 10). He reveals the stories they have been told about the rivalry are untrue. When Pat says it must be a misunderstanding, Chai corrects him, “Your parents know all about this”  The boys will then start an investigation to find out what are the real reasons for the rivalry and hatred.

Eventually, they learn there was a friendship between Pran’s mother and Pat’s father. Pran says, “I don’t think their relationship ended well.” So what went wrong? It will finally come out when Pran’s mother confronts Pat’s father at his home.

This, of course, is not the only truth to come out. When Pran and Pat are caught at the supermarket together by Pat’s parents, Pat stands up to his father, “You want to know the truth? We are boyfriends.” This declaration is just as much a surprise to Pran as to Pat’s parents. He was not expecting this admission.

When Pran returns home, his mother has heard the story and is waiting for him. At first, Pran tries to deny a friendship, but finally admits, “We are boyfriends.” He adds “Everyone wants the truth. Now that you all know, why can’t you take it?”

The lies, the hatred, and the deception have all come crashing down. The boys have been outed at school at the end of Episode 8 and are now outed at home. It is all too much for Pran to bear and this leads to another dramatic rooftop scene to close out the episode.

Better Men
“We just like each other. Does anyone have a problem?”  – Pat, Episode 11
“We like each other. Why does it bother anyone?” – Pran, Episode 11

Pat takes care of Pran

As the series opens, Pat is on the path to becoming like his father. As Pat gets to know Pran, however, his priorities begin to shift. He becomes Pran’s protector. At first, it is because Pa has made him promise not to hurt Pran. This causes Pat to help Pran when Korn is chasing him. Later it is because he has feelings for Pran. In the rugby match, Pat wants to protect Pran from getting hurt, despite the fact that Pran is on the other team.

Pat has learned the importance of putting someone else first. By the end of Episode 10, when Pran is crushed by the events at home and at school, Pat will comfort him. He will be his strength. He will take him away from all the ugliness. This is not the same guy we met in the opening scene.

Pat has given up some of his bad habits from the past. At the beginning of Episode 2, we see Pran get out of bed when the alarm goes off, while Pat is a lazy student who has to hit the snooze button until the last possible moment. In episode 12, Pat is like Pran and gets up to the alarm. He has become a responsible adult. What would he have been like without the influence of Pran?

We can see from the beginning that Pran is concerned about what other students think and more importantly what his mother knows and is willing to do. He overcomes his fears because of his love for Pat. He too has learned to put someone else first. “I can be anywhere, as long as I have you (Episode 11).”

Pran is finally able to finish “Our Song,” Ep. 11

Near the end of Episode 8, Pran tells Pat he can go ahead and post hints on social media even though he previously objected. When Pat asks if he is afraid people will find out, Pran says he is, “But I care about you more.” He admits he is Pat’s boyfriend, something he could not say before. “If I can’t handle this little thing, how can I make this relationship work.” He was brave enough to join the fight at the beginning of Episode one, but he has developed a different form of courage through his friendship with Pat.

The boys are better men as Bad Buddy comes to an end. We saw them develop throughout the series and when the Episode 11 cliffhanger hits us, we really care about the way the story will end. If the characters had not been so well developed, would we have cared so much?

“Being with you already feels like freedom.” Pran to Pat, Episode 11
“Thank you…For trying to make a silly guy like me happy.” Pat to Pran, Episode 11

See also: “THE CHARACTER OF BAD BUDDY,” Part 1, Developing Real People, SERENDIPITY, November 13, 2022.
THE ART OF BAD BUDDY SERIES,” Clues, Hints, Irony and Chemistry, SERENDIPITY, October 16, 2022.
THE BAD BUDDY PHENOMENON,” SERENDIPITY, September 2, 2022.
GIVING IT YOUR ALL,” ON Friend CIity review, SERENDIPITY. August 22, 2022.
WHO WE ARE NOW,” And Who We Are Not, SERENDIPITY, August 15, 2022.
SO HOW DOES IT END?” Bad Buddy Series, SERENDIPITY, January 27, 2022.
And:
FIVE FOR PRIDE,” SERENDIPITY, June 27, 2022.



Categories: Celebrities, Entertainment, Rich Paschall, TV Review

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2 replies

  1. There will be no secrets. It will always be revealed no matter when and how. I find this to be one of the foundations of Bad Buddy, and you’re correct about many things. Specifically, the discussion on parent rivalry and how to channel into the boys is already enough to come up with another series or season (for that matter). I may have been keen not wanting to see the parents, but after all, they exist and they created such a mess, yet the boys know better.

    I think that’s love through and through.

    and this:

    Pran tells Pat he can go ahead and post hints on social media even though he previously objected. When Pat asks if he is afraid people will find out, Pran says he is, “But I care about you more.”

    Pran’s (and Pat’s) love for each other is unconditional. Unlike some of the BL stories, we get to watch. There is no selfishness here, just pure, unconditional love.

    How to deal with parents – the very same people who give the food, allowance, the room to study and live and have fun? For Pat and Pran, there is no other way. They need to become financially independent and work something out – which they did in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe the boys did what they had to do and no one blames them for that. In the end, the parents knew their adult children were together. It was too late for them to ruin it so they had to accept it.

      Like

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