Friday, 4 October 2013

Hormones: The Confusing Teens (2013)

Title: Hormones: The Confusing Teens
Network: GMM ONE TV
  • Pachara Chirathivat as Win
  • Ungsumalin Sirapatsakmetha as Kwan
  • Suthatta Udomsilp as Toei
  • Juthawut Pattarakhumphol as Phu
  • Sirachuch Chienthawon as Mhog
  • Gun Chunhawat as Tar
  • Sananthachat Thanapatpisal as Dao
  • Thanapob Leeratanakajorn as Pai
  • Supassara Thanachart as Sprite

Hormones: The Confusing Teens is my first lakorn, and it's a pretty good introduction to Thai dramas. It's not perfect, of course it isn't. I end up not caring for half of the characters and caring too much for the other half. But overall, it's a pretty good teen series.

Hormones is pegged to be the drama counterpart of the movie of the same name, but in no way are the stories similar. The only thing the two have in common are the hormonal teens who end up getting in trouble for their hormonal tendencies. Every episode is titled after different hormones. But I know nothing about that so I'll skip the part where I'm supposed to say how the episode titles are apt for the corresponding episodes. Anyway.

The drama follows the lives of a couple of students in one high school. We have the heartthrob, the rebel, the model student, the girl-next-door, etc. We pretty much have every stereotype there is. The thing is, you won't really who you'll be rooting for. From the very first episode, Hormones didn't hold back in discussing issues every teenager deals with one way or another.

It's not too long that the story dragged on, or too short to feel rushed. It's just long enough to flesh out the characters and to discover their flaws and insecurities. Romance and libido have definitely taken center stage, but friendship also plays a huge part on how the story rolls out. Maybe I just haven't watched enough teen dramas, but Hormones made me keep guessing what's going to happen next. It seems to start with the stereotypes and ended up with some rather refreshing resolutions.

I am pleasantly surprised how Hormones doesn't seem to care much about censorship. It openly tackles pre-marital sex, pregnancy, smoking, cheating, and pretty much every other liberated issues media censorship loves to uhm, censor. It's a lot braver than any other Asian drama I have watched. For a teen show, it's pretty brave to tackle issues that normal dramas probably won't even open up. Or maybe I'm just not familiar with the Thai media.

Though I generally like Hormones, I don't understand why its central character Win, played by Peach Pachara, has no substance at all. He plays some part in all the lives of each main characters, but he's the one that's least fleshed out. He is the most flawed, but we don't really see dimensions in his role. I was expecting something more form him but we were given so little. For someone who has the most parts, Win's character is pretty one-dimensional.

There's a lot to be desired with the main cast's acting. But I assume that it's the first time for some of them, or maybe they just don't have that much experience yet. Punpun Udomsilp, who plays Toei, is the star of this series for me, but of course, that's just probably my bias talking. And just so you know, my favorite pairing have to be Toei and Tar, and also Pai and Sprite. But I won't spill anything on how the pairings ended up!

Just think of Hormones as a more subdued Asian version of UK's Skins. But in some way, it's a lot more than that. After all, it may actually be the first time that an Asian teen drama has tackled taboo topics out in the open. Hormones isn't perfect, but it's a pretty good start to bring to light some of the actual things teens go through. I'm pretty sure I'll also be watching season 2.

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