The Curious Case of Red and Green, by Rich Paschall
When the Thai mini-series Bad Buddy started out in late 2021, it garnered a small audience. A later showing online and an almost immediate posting to YouTube with English subtitles propelled the audience growth. Word of mouth and social media helped to push this simple story into an international sensation.
The stars of the series, Ohm Pawat as Pat and Nanon Korapat as Pran, were both well-known in their native Thailand. Ohm had revealed in interviews that he had originally turned down the role. It would be the fifth time he would be cast as a gay love interest and he wanted to move on to other things. When he learned that his friend Nanon Korapat was going to be cast as the other lead, he changed his mind.
Both actors were already accomplished at their craft and their friendship brought out undeniable chemistry. Fans fell in love with Pat and Pran. The Bad Buddy Series was becoming the most streamed show online and by Episode 7 of 12 it would trend on social media with each new episode. The climactic endings of some of the episodes had the fandom holding their collective breath as they waited for Pat and Pran to return the following week.
As the series was playing out on television, its stars were in high demand. Everyone wanted to hear from Ohm and Nanon. The boys were soon seen on the streaming show Safe House where many of the GMM TV actors were being kept away from the public in late 2021 while fears of the Coronavirus remained.
On the streaming shows the actors took care of the house and all of its chores. They also had plenty of time for activities that were certainly going to interest the audience. If you missed it during its five-plus hours of livestream per day, you could catch it on YouTube later. Fans were editing out pieces so you could see any interaction between Ohm and Nanon.
One curious moment from the Safe House came when Nanon was explaining the cameras in the house and the red and green lights. They were looking straight at a house camera.
Ohm: There is a Green light.
Ohm: Red light?
Nanon: Green is standby. Red is recording.
From this simple exchange, the Red and Green fandom emerged. Not only was the PatPran ship already sailing after a few episodes, but the OhmNanon ship was about to set sail under a green and red banner.
The friends were then seen everywhere. There were TV shows and promotional events. There were commercials and magazine photo shoots. There were appearances at shopping malls and private events. Everything brought out endless photos and videos. Fan Clubs emerged. Not a day went by without pictures of Ohm Pawat and Nanon Korapat.
Social media exploded with red and green hearts for #OhmNanon. Fans went crazy if Ohm and Nanon posted something back and forth to one another on Twitter. Any pictures they posted were quickly reposted by fans on Twitter, and Facebook. There is no shortage of online photos.
Their employer and management, GMM TV, could spot the commercial value of this pair. There was Ohm and Nanon merchandise. The Bad Buddy DVD set was certainly a hit, as was any merchandise related to Bad Buddy. The show itself picked up numerous awards as did the actors.
At personal appearances, the songs from Bad Buddy were always requested. Nanon encouraged Ohm to sing with him turning the popular songs into duets. “Just Friend?” and “Our Song” became their songs and the fans loved every minute of it. With so many cell phones at each performance, you could always count on fans to post videos of every event that had an audience.
The guys got their own show, OhmNanon Upvel (Level Up) where they were handed a different challenge each week including dog training, flow boarding, cooking, pottery making, and more. Perhaps the mixed martial arts show (Episode 2) brought out a few fan-favorite scenes. There was nothing like seeing the boys wrestling with one another.
Just like they did with Pat and Pran, fans fell in love with Ohm and Nanon. In fact, it was Pat and Pran come to life and living on for all the fans to enjoy. Theirs was a similar story. The boys admitted they did not like one another at first.
O: Before the shooting of “Bad Buddy” series, there were many things we disliked about each other…our nature was incompatible.
That feeling started to change when on set, the second queue according to both guys, when a Senior observed to Ohm, “I think you love him.”
O: I didn’t know what I was feeling was love.
Ohm considered this further on the Salmon podcast and said, “It meant that I cared about Nanon.” In his response, Nanon admitted, “He cared about me in every way.”
N: He cared about (me) like…a “soulmate.”
So there it was for the fans. Just like Pat’s sister Pa had called Pat and Pran “soulmates” before they realized it themselves, so too was Nanon referring to Ohm as a soulmate. There were a number of interviews where one or both of the guys claimed to love his friend. When Nanon was asked what did he mean when he said he loved Ohm, Nanon replied “Love is love.”
The ship was sailing full speed ahead when GMM TV planned a spectacular Ohm Nanon 1st Fan Meeting in Thailand. A massive multi-media set was built in the large convention hall in Bangkok. Intense rehearsals were taking place. Ohm was taking dance lessons, practicing his singing, and planning to play many instruments.
Playing the red and green theme for all it was worth, the opening film featured the guys in red and green. The opening song was about red and green racers. Ohm was in red and Nanon was in green. The three-and-a-half-hour musical extravaganza was everything the green and red family could want, and more.
At the end of the show, after an emotional tribute from red and green fans, Ohm apologized again for a weak moment earlier in the year (he was sick and crabby after the Maya Awards). He knew Nanon dreamed of a big concert and Ohm felt this was Nanon’s dream come true.
O: I worked so hard preparing this FM. I practiced a lot. I tried to sing well. What should I say? Because you sing so well I did not want the quality of the show to drop. Everything I had tried for, until today, I give it all to you. I’d like to give it to you as my apology.
Nanon was not accepting the show as his with Ohm as the supporting cast.
N: We worked for this FM together. It’s ours, not mine… I love you, asshole!
O: I know. I love you too.
N: I love you asshole, do you understand?
Never was there such an emotional ending to a live show as this. If any fans ever doubted it, they declared again that they loved each other. Their friendship endured a lot and the ship sailed on.
In November GMM TV held an event to announce many new projects for 2023. Since Ohm and Nanon were both scheduled to appear, the red and green fandom had high hopes for Bad Buddy Season 2. Casts for various projects were introduced and Ohm and Nanon were leading other shows. There was no Bad Buddy announcement. When the lead actors for the anthology series OurSkyy2 were introduced, there were Ohm and Nanon, front and center.
O: To be honest, PatPran had their happy ending in BBS, but I believe that many people still miss PatPran. Nanon and I also miss them very much.
There will be two new episodes with the Bad Buddy characters. It was as if the red/green fandom was just handed a consolation prize. It was not all that was hoped for but it was better than no new episodes.
For the rest of the year Ohm – Nanon continued appearances together and traveled to Southeast Asia cities with Fan meetings. After the Taipei fan meetings on Nanon’s birthday in December, there was Ohm at a celebration, handing Nanon a cake and repeating a number of times, “I love you.”
It was a magical year for Bad Buddy Series, Pat and Pran, Ohm and Nanon, and Red and Green fans around the world.
As the New Year began, storm clouds began to appear, and Ohm was taking a beating on Social Media. He was being portrayed as a bully and the haters would not let up. What did the popular actor do, exactly? It seems that when he was 10 years old (yes, TEN) at an all-boys school, he and some other boys were picking on others. It was not a new story. Ohm had mentioned it himself in a 2020 interview at a Unicef charity event. He talked about the lesson he learned and about equality and justice.
Why the social media haters decided to bounce now was anyone’s guess. It seemed to have an effect on Ohm’s promotional events and personal appearances. At the final OhmNanon Fan meeting in Japan in early March, Nanon grabbed Ohm’s hand for the final bow just as he did at the end of the emotional fan meeting in Thailand. Did Nanon believe this was the end? There were no more fan meetings scheduled.
Nanon continued on with promotional events and personal appearances as well as a filming schedule. Ohm also had series filming, but the guys were rarely seen together. Were they told to keep their distance?
Both guys were at promotional events for the theatrical release of My Precious in April. There was little interaction. Fans were upset at the lack of support for Ohm. How long were they going to let him and his family face cyberbullying and threats? GMMTV finally decided to sue one sponsor for defaming GMM and Ohm over a release regarding an alleged lack of response by GMM and Ohm’s management.
With dark clouds still overhead, Ohm, only a supporting player in My Precious, was set to meet the press at the My Precious premiere. With a huge press core set to descend upon Ohm, he took his place behind a massive amount of media microphones. No one stood with him. Once again he apologized for an event he had already addressed before.
O: I want to use this opportunity to apologize once again. The incident happened when I was in middle school. That time, I have completely received the punishment. And when this time happened, I contacted and apologized that friend once again.
When he was pressed further about the incident and the fallout in recent months Ohm added:
O: To be honest the story ended when I was in middle school. It’s the 4 months I didn’t sleep in peace, I didn’t stay still. I feel embarrassed and guilty. If I can come back to that time, I shouldn’t do that. I’m stressed. Sometimes I don’t want to go anywhere.
There was a massive outpouring of Social media support for Ohm, but some Twitter haters persist. Will this old story finally die out? Will all these apologies both public and private be enough? Will the damage to Ohm keep #OhmNanon apart?
Recently a short video appeared of Ohm and Nanon at a magazine photo shoot together (D magazine). The OurSkyy2 PatPran episodes will air at the end of May. Ohm and Nanon have been announced as performers together at Love Out Loud Fest 2023 this June. Does all this mean the two will be able to make appearances together again? Will Ohm be able to resume brand promotion with Nanon and on his own?
Will the upcoming Bad Buddy episodes on OutSkyy2 signal a return to the sea of the #PatPran and #OhmNanon ships?
See Also: “The Bad Buddy Phenomenon,” SERENDIPITY, September 2, 2022.
“Fan Meeting in Manila,” Ohm-Nanon review, SERENDIPITY, February 12, 2023.
Categories: Entertainment, Media, Rich Paschall, social media
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I loved your take on the entire thing. I SUPPORTED THEM THROUGHOUT, I WILL CONTINUE DOING SO. I agree I was a bit angry with Nanon initially but soon realized who am I to even question them. They are people just like us, dealing with issues coming their way. I just hope the rain passes like the storm and we see the SPRING again. Truly an individual and #OHMNANON ship fan.
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Because of the launch of Riser music and a number of projects for Nanon, GMM may be keeping them apart. Maybe not. We just do not know so we hold out hope for the future.
Thanks for this take on the whole deal. Considering how this year is huge for Nanon’s career – both in acting and a launch into his dream of making music, there’s a very good chance they’ve been PR-managed to not associate too much with each other in public, what with Ohm’s controversy and all.
We see time and again, little interactions or habits that remind us of old times, and they’ve always worked through their disagreements. So the odds seem to be in favour of them still being good friends IRL and keeping it away from the public eye.
I just hope that is the case, coz the bond they shared is too precious!
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All red and green fans hope that everything is OK behind the scenes. A couple of recent photo shoots look like old times. The D magazine one is on YouTube.
Obrigada pelo artigo 👏🙌 Acredito que o mais importante é a história deles e as pessoas que eles juntaram de tantos países diferentes aqui 🇧🇷 que os amam incondicionalmente e que sentem que eles se amam e isso que importa para os vermelhos e verdes e que esse navio que apenas parou para se abastecer vai continuar navegando em nossos corações ❤️💚 #ohmnanon
I agree. No matter what happens it will always sail in our hearts.
Why isn’t it included in the article that when issues hit, Ohm got the support of his friends in the industry like Perth and Force from GMM but none from Nanon? Or when Nanon thanked everyone for his Best Theme Song win, he excluded thanking Ohm? Or as early as January 2022, Nanon has been ignoring Ohm on social media and only interacts with him through paid events?
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There was a lot of interaction between the two on Twitter in 2022. This year we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. Perhaps they were told to keep their distance so Nanon will not be hurt by Ohm’s problems. It is hard to say what advice the two were given by GMM. Do they call each other privately? Send private messages? We see that Nanon’s father was hugging Ohm at the My Precious premiere and there are pictures with Nanon’s mother. We will know better in the next few months since Ohm has tried again to put the issue behind him.
Meus meninos são muito talentosos e incríveis, estou aqui no Brasil ,torcendo muito por eles e espero que eles nunca solte a mão um do outro.💚❤🇧🇷
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Ohm and Nanon are very popular in Brazil. Thanks for the comment.