[TH DRAMA] Hormones the Series: Season 1 (2013)

warning: may contain spoilers

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Hormones is a drama depicting about the lives of Thai teenagers.

Plot:

Hormones depicts the lives of Thai teenagers as they face various issues in school and at home. Issues that are not commonly seen in dramas like homosexuality, teenage sex, and violence are relevant in this drama. The drama features nine main characters from all walks of life studying in an upper-secondary school. They have their own personalities, family background, interests, and problems. Some characters deal with love and friendship, while some deal with their relationship with their parents. Some characters question themselves as to who they really are and what are they supposed to do. Some just loves getting into fights. It’s a drama that happens in an everyday life of a teenager. Topics that are taboo and things that we don’t often talk about are portrayed in this drama.

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Opinions:

I’ve watched a few Thai movies, but this is my first time watching a Thai drama or lakorn. I find the movie version cute and nice. Upon hearing that they made a drama version, I became curious and intrigued and want to watch it too. Definitely no regrets after watching this drama. 14 episodes of 40 minutes each was very well spent. Hormones reminds me of Brown Sugar Macchiato, a Taiwanese drama, who also had a big cast– plus a believable storyline minus the good-looking boys. It also kind of reminds me of Boys Over Flowers, a Korean drama, which is also a school-based drama– minus too many coincidental happenings and flowery boys. Hormones leans more into a simple but realistic concept. Let’s go on talking about the specific issues..

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Bullying/Violence:

The issue of bullying and violence is nothing new in dramas, especially in Korean dramas. School 2013 and Boys Over Flowers are famous for it. I guess this issue can be taken lightly than other issues. Who’s never experienced being bullied? Or are you the bully? Or you’ve probably seen someone being bullied. Bullying frequently happens in school and I’ve personally experienced it. That’s why I felt sad for Toei when she was left out by her friends and the restroom incident. Let’s face it. All school-based dramas just have to include this in their storyline.

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Homosexuality:

This is really a taboo in Korean and Taiwanese dramas. I’ve seen only a few who came out of the closet and who has really been open about their sexuality. What more if there’s a kissing scene between two same genders?! I’ve never seen anything like that in any drama that I’ve watched. Even if I see two Korean male idols holding hands, it’ll be super awkward. These things should just be kept in fan fictions and imaginations. I like how Thai dramas step out of their comfort zone and show these things. On a side note, I applaud Thee and Phu for their courageousness in filming this scene. lol

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Teenage Pregnancy:

Another taboo in many Asian dramas. This issue is prominent in many countries and I don’t know any better way to solve this problem. The drama portrayed this issue in a very clear way as we see in Dao’s situation. She was very scared to death as she’s starting to imagine things and worried about her future. I guess it’s kind of a lesson to us that we shouldn’t trust the other person easily.

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I think these kinds of dramas is really meant for me. Instead of just focusing on a couple or a character, I like it more when a drama has many characters and each of them has their own story to tell. They were also given equal screen time as much as possible. At first, I thought that Win and Kwan would be the focus of the story since they’re like the leaders in the batch. I’m glad that they gave time for each character to develop. It was sort of equally divided as I saw no bias in this drama. This is something that I really liked about the drama.

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With so many characters each possessing their own personality, I think one will be able to relate to at least one of the characters. The director even said that it’s not only for the teenagers, but a drama for parents, teachers and family as well. I love how the drama doesn’t only concentrate on showing taboos but showing family values as well. The drama showed how teachers would have their own problems and how they handled them. Parents too, have difficulties in communicating with their children, and the drama sort of showed how parents approached their children in different ways.

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The drama was filmed in a non-chronological order as shared during the behind the scenes at the last episode. The last scene when they were at the rock festival was filmed during their first few days of filming. It wasn’t obvious at all, and I probably wouldn’t notice if they didn’t tell me. I didn’t sense any awkwardness between the characters. They seem just to get along and have fun. I’m glad that Hormones made an introduction and ending episode wherein they introduced the artists as well as share some behind-the-scene moments. Korean dramas always have teasers, but those 30 second teasers doesn’t really tease me enough. Taiwanese dramas sometimes have behind-the-scenes, but most of the time the full version is only available if you buy the DVD. I love how this drama made use of those 2 episodes. I don’t know if it’s the same with other lakorn, but I really think that it was a brilliant idea. The number of episodes was also either just right or too short. Some dramas have the tendency to prolong and extend their episodes if it has many viewers or if it became really popular, but sometimes it’s just not right to drag the story. I love how Hormones sticks to its original plan in spite of the success with having many viewers. I agree that making the second season was the best idea.

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The casting team, particularly the director was great in choosing the actors. It can be seen that he spent so much time to create the story and the characters. All seemed to be suitable to their respective roles. The boys aren’t the usual “flower boys” you see in Korean dramas, but each of them possess charms of their own. The girls on the other hand are pretty. In my opinion, I find them prettier than those young teenage Korean girls who probably underwent plastic surgery. Although many of them are still amateur and didn’t have many acting opportunities yet, I think they really tried hard to deliver their characters the best way that they can.

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Characters:

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Pachara Chirathivat as Win — My first impression of him is bad already. There’s so much self-confidence in him. When he was asked during the first special episode, he said he was casted as Win just because he’s handsome. lol Well, he’s partially right because he’s one of the good looking boys in the batch, but I just couldn’t like him. The character Win is a popular guy in school. He always goes against the teachers and try to make his own rules. Even he’s a troublemaker, he’s still loved by girls because of his looks. Now thinking about it, I think that Win’s character is really suitable for Peach since Win is oozing with arrogance and confidence. lol

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Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha as Kwan — Ah! I love Pattie so much. She’s probably one of the reasons why I decided to watch this drama. I’m familiar with her as I’ve seen Bangkok Traffic Love Story and the movie version of this drama: Hormones. I really find her very cute and appealing back then when she still had short hair. Now, she still looks the same but very feminine with her long hair. She’s also considered one of the oldest now in the cast. It is very noticeable that her acting is one step higher than most of the cast members. She probably has the most acting experience, that’s why her acting is more natural. I love how she portrayed the role of Kwan, a perfect girl who’s the best in school. This changed though as she learned about the secrets of her family. She suddenly wanted to rebel against her parents. Pattie really showed how she matured from a young girl to a young lady. I can also see progress in her acting.

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Sutatta Udomsilp as Toei — A new favorite! I consider her the prettiest in this batch even though she’s the youngest. She seemed like same age friends with Pattie, but I can’t believe that she’s a 97-liner. She sure matured at a young age. At first, I was skeptical if the role, Toei, was really meant for PunPun. I mean Toei has sort of a tomboyish personality who gets along with boys more than girls. She doesn’t like girly stuff and enjoys being with boys more. There’s really nothing wrong with that, but other students think she’s a slut who likes getting the attention of boys. PunPun’s acting can get awkward most of the time, but I can forgive her obviously because she’s so young and she’s pretty. lol Sometimes that awkward acting was really suitable for the scene. I really like her love line with Phu. I’ve been stalking their instragrams lately and they seem so close in real life too. I’m secretly shipping them. hehe

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Chutavuth Pattarakampol as Phu — Talking about Phu, here’s Chutavuth Pattarakampol or March for short. Phu questions his sexual orientation. He used to be Toei’s boyfriend back in middle school, but their relationship fell apart after. Now, he has a awkward relationship with her. At the same time, he develops feelings for his fellow male bandmate, Thee. These three’s involved in a love triangle. From what I’ve heard, March is known for acting gay roles and he even won an award for that. So March acting this role as Phu is nothing new for him. Director Yong thinks though that he’s the worst in the batch, as he’s the one with the most NGs. I really like his team up with PunPun and their chemistry was natural towards the end of the show. I’m glad that he has decided to stay as a man. I hope it won’t change lol

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Sirachuch Chienthaworn as Mhog — A guy who’s so enthusiastic about camera and photography. He loves his camera more than his girlfriend. Sirachuch Chienthaworn or simply Michael is also a familiar actor that I saw in the movie version of the series. I think he has a love triangle with Pattie if I remembered it right. He’s considered one of the oldest as well, but he looks the youngest to me. Michael didn’t draw my attention much because he’s a soloist. lol I mean, he doesn’t have a love line and prefers to be with his camera. He looks fine with his acting. I guess the character Mhog was specifically made for him since he’s also into photography in real life.

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Gunn Junhavat as Tar — Okay, finally we have a person who uses his real name as his nickname. While Mhog is an art enthusiast, Tar is a music enthusiast who aspires to be a great guitarist. He wanted to audition in the school’s band so he practiced really hard. He is also seat mates with Toei and develops feelings for her. Toei on the other hand, only sees him as a friend. This caused some misunderstanding and awkwardness between the two after Tar confessed his feelings to her. In the end, Tar is another soloist and I rather group him with Mhog. Gunn’s acting was quite okay for me.

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Sananthachat Thanapatpisal as Dao — Another girl that I came to like. She’s super cute and doesn’t look Thai at all. The character Dao is an innocent girl who loves writing fan fictions and often write about her own fantasies. Her stories are popular among her friends. Fon, a nickname people usually call her, confessed that it was hard for her to adapt to the character. She tried reading these so-called fan fictions but couldn’t understand what’s so nice about them. She couldn’t relate to her character at all. That’s probably one of the biggest challenge, but it wasn’t noticeable that she’s having a hard time. Also, included in the behind-the-scenes was the part when she filmed all the eating scenes in a single day. If they didn’t tell us, I wouldn’t know too! It must have been hard for her to do all those scenes in one day. I simply adore Fon’s portrayal of Dao.

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Thanapob Leeratanakajorn as Phai — I can recall Thanapob Leeratanakajorn, or simply Tor, as one of the guys that caught my attention the most during the first few episodes. He doesn’t look like a bad boy to me from my first impression of him. I wondered if he was really suitable for the role. The character Phai loves to get into fights and is often seen having bruises all over his face and body. I learned that Tor used to get into fights in real life when he was in school as well. In the behind-the-scenes, it was also shared how the fight scenes were actual fights to make it look realistic. Phai is a character that I personally like because he sticks to his principles. He doesn’t fight just for the sake of fighting, but he’s actually fighting with a reason. Although at times, I find it immature, at least he changed for the better during the end. I also have to say that Phai and Sprite’s chemistry was really intense!

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Supassra Thanachat as Sprite — Speaking about their chemistry, the other half, Sprite is portrayed by Suprassra Thanachat. Kao, as people fondly call her, is a new face in the entertainment industry. She auditioned and was successfully chosen to be part of the cast with the role as Sprite. One of the reasons Director Yong chose her was her sex appeal. I can’t agree more since her face was really suitable for the role. Kao has a beauty different from the other girls, maybe others just look innocent and she doesn’t look like one. The character Sprite is a carefree and liberated girl. She freely have sex with other male students. This perception changed after she fell in love with Phai. Overall, Kao’s acting doesn’t seem like a newbie to me. She’s even less awkward than the other actors.

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Ending:

This season doesn’t have a decent ending. It just signals the end of the school year. Some of the characters changed while some didn’t. Phai and Sprite are two that changed the most and I like their character development the most as well. She stopped being a playgirl and just sticked to one. She turned out to be a kind person after all. Phai, from a bad boy became a good boy by being a monk. I think that phase signifies a new beginning. Win is the same old person from the beginning to end. I didn’t like his character at all. It’s clearly a realistic drama because stories don’t always end with a happy one. I’m quite sick of dramas that always have happy ever after endings. It’s obvious that the writers want to please and satisfy the viewers– making the ending a happy one for the sake of just ending the show. This drama doesn’t, but sticks to being realistic until the end. I’m looking forward to how the characters will continue to develop and mature in the second season. I hope I won’t be disappointed.

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Final Thoughts:

Hormones may not be a perfect drama, but it will definitely stay with me for a long time. It was an easy watch for me and I didn’t get bored. Having watched countless of Korean and Taiwanese dramas, it’s really new and refreshing to my eyes and ears. The drama shows no taboos and it’s so different from other dramas. This drama is just my style and I surely didn’t regret watching this. It’s my first taste of a Thai drama or lakorn. I will definitely recommend this to anyone who’s looking for something new or who wants to see a Thai drama for the first time.

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Rating: 9/10

P.S. Sorry for the super long entry. I could go on talking about the drama for a thousand more words. This just proves how I loved and enjoyed this drama. ^^

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