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City Of Stars (Thai Series)

I am so glad that I heard my friend Sailor Maan's advice to stick with the show. After the first three episodes, I wasn't very impressed with what was going on and thought of this show as just another one of those regular BL stories (which it is to a certain extent), but by the time the show ended, there were a lot of things that I ended up enjoying and appreciate about the show. I will write those down in more details later. At 12 episodes of 50-55 minutes each, this show requires a good investment of your time, but eventually it pays out.

There is an app called Zendaya that tries to focus only on positive comments for stars and their teams keep reviewing and deleting hurtful comments. One of their employees Krom, working in US, goes back on holiday but is also expected to continue to work from there. Once at home, he meet his neighbor Fueng, who also happens to be a popular star. Turns out, ever since he has become the neighbor, he has been visiting their house and has formed a crush of sorts on Krom. Before you realize they both confess their feelings for one another and start dating, but because of his work and being famous, they can't be open about it. Fueng's best friend and co-star is Kor and people ship them together for fun. Things are going ok, till Fueng gets a big international contract with a condition that he cannot date anyone. He wants to reject but Kor and Krom both ask him to take it up. But as you can expect, certain jealous folks would not have it and news of Krom and Fueng possibly dating and being a coupe is leaked. This disrupts the couple's life, but finally Fueng decides that enough is enough and he makes a public acceptance of his sexuality and the fact he likes his partner. His career goes nosedive with both him and Krom starting to receive very hateful comments of various social media apps. In between we also see Kor and his relationship with his first love who is now a trans female (very beautifully done). Soon Krom has to return to US to continue his job and the duo decide to continue with long term relationship, only till fates turn the table and Krom's company sends him back as the new manager of their Thai operations.

From a story pov, it does sound like the series has nothing new to offer; but eventually it's all about the treatment. And there are so many good things about this show. My biggest pet peeve always about BL shows is lack of communication and how it can solve most of the unnecessary drama that happens in life. In this life, life throws curve balls at not just the lead couple but also Kor and his girlfriend or the parents or the friends for that matter, but they talk and relate their feelings. We do not get situations where people just assume scenarios and there is a forced breakup or anything. And I LOVED that about this show. The importance of communication, and also doing that without putting it in your face. There is a genuine chemistry between the main leads, which feels natural and you feel that keeps growing in front of you as the show progresses. They always support each other, talk about life, their strengths, insecurities and got out of problems together, simply a very sincere love. Two working adults who are honest about their feelings and resolve any problem quickly by just talking. No shouting, no arguments. It is so refreshing! I was so so happy seeing this aspect of the show. They even talk about preferred sexual positions and how they are willing to adapt for one another. The beautiful friendship between Kor and Fueng is another highlight. Kor's character is actually quite important and he is the kind of friend one would want in life. Full of life, he is there to tease his friend, be naughty but at the same time extremely supportive of Fueng when needed. We do not get to see any hidden romantic feelings here or any toxic traits. We see a pure love story, no toxic ex's trying to ruin a relationship, and we see what healthy friendship can look like. Even the managers of these stars were not made to be evil and caricaturist. They were funny but also very understanding at the same time. And I really really appreciate how the makes focused on all the characters and their depth of character rather than just focusing on the main leads. We do get to see the very supportive family of Krom but we also see how eventually Fueng's mother comes around to accepting of her son's popularity and sexual acceptance.

The show very subtly touches on so many topics, like shipper culture, homophobia, the toxicity of the media, the loneliness of being a celebrity and there were conversations about being gay potentially ruining Fueang’s career etc and showing the importance of communication all this while an this was very very refreshing to watch. It reiterates the fact that having the right kind of people around you and support you can prevent you from upping into a very dark place. The whole chemistry of Krom and Fueng and the naughty but very important Kor are the key ingredients of this show. Watch the show not for the story (because it gives you the usual boy meet boy and falls in love story), but how it deals with all these other very important things that I have talked about anyhow the show makes it ok to be gay and acceptable. This is one of the very rare Thai BL shows which is all about positive messaging and in today's cruel world, we can all use some of optimism, love and just a general positivity around us. (7.5/10)


Sailor Maan said…
Wow you wrote exacly what I felt about the show, really happy we had the same feelings about it!
The first episodes were really underwhelming, especially with Krom's expressions that didn't fit more than once (very strange...), and I was rolling my eyes wondering why I was still watching shows like this. Now I know, because we keep hoping it can will better, but I never expecting this one would turn out so good!
As you said Golu, for once, the drama happens around a couple that stay united and fight it together along with their friends and family. Can't help but smile when you see them at times. No stupid breakup, no misunderstandings toxic ex or rival or whatever. Such a relief. Friendship between Fueng and Kor was another winning point. So was the trans woman (that is actually a real trans woman who won contests! thank you google)
The other thing that I loved is that for once we see a REAL young couple in love. Read: they have sex all the time because they just can't resist each other. They talk about it and their preferences and how they will adapt, they buy boxes of condoms that they will use up to the last one (the scene with the father finding out was particuliarly funny, and brings some kind of memories lol). Of course, how would Krom ever resist Fueng perfect bod... I mean cute smile (seriously, the body the guy hides beneath those clothes!)
I also like the way they deal with being publicly out and the consequences, as well as the toxicity of social media. Definitely not all butterflies here.
Once again, this show became such an unexpected good surprise!
Golu said…
Exactly my thoughts. and thank you so much for recommending this. I had already thing this and was almost thinking of giving up since it started as just another regular show but what a surprising nice show. Now more peop[le need to learn form this one on positivity.

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