Top Secret Together (2021) poster
6.3
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,660 users
# of Watchers: 7,242
Reviews: 28 users
Ranked #10183
Popularity #2106
Watchers 1,660

The story of 5 couples in which each of them concealed secrets. They have a different meaning of love, both secret and love. In which path will they go? And how they will solve their problems? (Source: Non Noi Production YouTube) Edit Translation

  • English
  • 한국어
  • 日本語
  • ภาษาไทย
  • Country: Thailand
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 15
  • Aired: May 14, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: LINE TV
  • Duration: 40 min.
  • Score: 6.3 (scored by 1,660 users)
  • Ranked: #10183
  • Popularity: #2106
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

Photos

Top Secret Together (2021) photo
Top Secret Together (2021) photo
Top Secret Together (2021) photo
Top Secret Together (2021) photo
Top Secret Together (2021) photo
Top Secret Together (2021) photo

Reviews

Completed
cdvmty
29 people found this review helpful
Aug 20, 2021
15 of 15 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 6.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers

Confusing mess

OK, my reviews of Thai BL series are starting to sound so repetitive, but once again, series like "Top Secret Together" show how small companies really face a lot of issues when creating any type of story, not just BL. Low budgets, inexperienced actors, poor directing, confusing writing/plots, nothing original in the storyline, among other things, caused this series to be well below standards and nearly forgettable.

First, let's set the main characters...
Simai, Phob and MaiEak are friends who study together and have to finish an internship at a non-descript company. Phob is in love with MaiEak but he is oblivious to it. Simai meets Lukmo who is his supervisor and immediately likes him and tries to make him open up as Lukmo is super uptight and annoyed with the extroverted Simai.
Nampu and Copy are two university students. Copy is in the engineering faculty and I'm not sure where Nampu studies but he visits Copy at, yes, you guessed it, a copy shop he runs with his father and openly tells him he likes him and starts flirting with him despite Copy resisting all the time worried about what his father might think.
Plawaan plays basketball and wants to attend a competition hoping to be selected. In all this long process he is followed by a high school student named Suea (at least from what I assumed from his school uniform in episode 15) who motivates him and helps him train even if he misses classes (making his mother angry). However, Plawaan runs into Top, a rival, who wants to play a game and whoever loses will actually quit basketball. Plawaan loses and he is depressed but Suea is there to make him feel better.
Both and Newyear act nearly as themselves, both are a real life couple and here take roles as café owners who act like parents to all the younger characters who come to the café and give them advice.

Ok, those are the characters... now the confusing mess that was the plot, especially for the main couple and the MaiEak, Phob, Namo love triangle.
Oh boy, where to start?! I'll separate it according to each couple or it might get even more confusing.
Simai starts falling for Lukmo despite his cold demeanor and constant rejections. Lukmo starts opening up and warming up to Simai. They spend time together at work and also in Simai's house because Simai's mother loves Lukmo. Then, Simai's father arrives as he was working abroad and recognizes Lukmo as Kao, his biological son from a previous marriage (plot mess #1). Simai is mad because now that Lukmo is his half-brother he can't date him (plot mess #2... I will never understand Asian BLs that are obsessed with half-brothers or stepbrothers being in love as we've seen in "History 2: Crossing the Line" and "History 4: Close to You" from Taiwan; "Brothers", "My Bromance", "My Bromance 2: 5 Years Later" and "Love by Chance" from Thailand; and the cancelled "Addicted" from China). Lukmo/Kao is mad at him because Simai's father abandoned him and his mother for Simai's mother, then his mother died later due to cancer so he was all alone (plot mess #3). The father opposes to Simai and Lukmo being together (as usual in some Thai BLs) but then, suddenly, appears in Lukmo's office to tell him that is ok to date Simai because Simai is not his biological son (plot mess #4) so they are not really half-brothers only stepbrothers. Simai always thinks he is Lukmo's half-brother because the father forbids Lukmo from telling Simai the truth as "he is too sensitive to handle it" (plot mess #5). Then, Simai tells Lukmo he is going abroad with the father, leaving Lukmo all alone again for no apparent or valid reason (plot mess #6). They say goodbye in episode 15, Simai tries to kiss Lukmo but he rejects him and then falls asleep in 2 seconds. Then, near the end of the episode, Simai appears in his office but I still can't tell if he is real or if Lukmo is hallucinating (plot mess #7) because Simai has a different hairstyle in episode 14, he leaves as we hear an airplane in episode 15 and suddenly shows up at the office with his old hairstyle in the last part of episode 15 without any indication that some time has passed... we get a hint because Lukmo has a new hairstyle in that scene but in the behind-the-scenes we hear one of the assistants tell Kanok (who plays Simai) that he doesn't even appear on the scene as he is at the door frame so Mix (who plays Lukmo) can focus on something for the camera to shoot, so more plot mess.

The other main characters have Phob deeply in love with MaiEak and MaiEak being an idiot who can't recognize Phob's feelings and only uses Phob to do most his work during the internship and almost everywhere else in reality. In the middle episodes, Phob confesses his feelings for MaiEak only to be rejected which causes a change in Phob who becomes more distant as he is angry at MaiEak. Then, around episode 10 (I think), a younger guy named Namo visits the café and sees Phob and immediately likes him and tries to chat with him. This is when MaiEak gets jealous and begins to change which then becomes yet another storyline/plot mess when he tries to interfere in what is developing as a Phob-Namo relationship. All of a sudden, he confesses his feelings for Phob and tries to stop him from seeing Namo. He even tells Simai that he let Phob do most of the things for him because he wanted to see if he was special to Phob... I mean, what? after he confessed his love, you still make him do things for you? MaiEak has to be one of the most arrogant and selfish characters I've seen in a Thai BL because he calls Namo to brag about the time he spent talking to Phob (Namo later does the same but he really likes Phob from the beginning), he calls Phob all the time and tells him he loves him and calls him "babe", he tells Phob they will eventually end up together but I don't know if he is driven by love, driven by jealousy of seeing Phob being happy with someone else, driven by his desire to have Phob around to help him do everything, or a combination of all of the above. Sorry, but Phob is too good for you MaiEak... luckily, the writers decide the same thing and Phob gives a Namo a chance and end up together while MaiEak reflects by writing a boring letter to himself and hoping he ends up with Phob one day.

The other couples are not as confusing but don't show many interesting things.
Nampu chases Copy like a puppy all around campus, the copy store, the café, everywhere. Copy starts to slowly fall in love with Nampu and has a nice chat with his father who supports him 100% no matter who he decides to like (yay for the usual Thai BL clichés with the parents that either completely approve their son being gay or do the most ridiculous things when they are against it, but there never is any middle ground with parents in Thai BLs). That gives Copy confidence so he becomes Nampu's boyfriend. The story of this couple is dull and boring and they go through all the usual phases of a BL with the flirting, denial, rejection, jealousy, fighting, etc., etc. and Nampu is a bit too annoying with his actions at the beginning when he is almost forcing Copy to like him.
Plawaan and Suea see each other a lot at first with all the basketball practice but then Suea's mother tells him to study and grounds him so they don't spend much time together. In the end, Top tells Plawaan that he wasn't selected in the competition so Plawaan should try because the bet from the earlier episodes was a joke (yet another plot mess). Plawaan meets with Suea in his school and they go together somewhere but nothing else happens.
Both and Newyear are a couple. Both proposes in episode 12-13 while on vacation at the beach and they own a café. That's it... nothing memorable to tell.

The thing that bothered me in this series is that we see the couples, but aside from the moments with Both and Newyear in the café, at Neywear's party and the beach trip, they don't interact with each other. Simai-Phob-MaiEak are friends but I don't know how do they know Plawaan-Suea or Nampu-Copy aside from the friendship they share with Both-Newyear. And the other actors, like the guy who keeps trying to sabotage Lukmo's work and telling the girl in the office to do something or he will lose Lukmo, the 2 older women at the office, the company CEO, the café worker, even Simai's parents, do not provide any depth to the story, they don't bring anything interesting or do much... so I have no clue why were they were included in this series other than to have some airtime to fill.

The acting is a bit of an issue but is not as bad as other series (like Gun Napat in "Golden Blood" for example). Newyear and Aof (who plays Phob) have more experience than the rest with Newyear appearing in "I am your King Season 1" and "What the Duck 2" and Aof appearing in "Make it Right" and "Make it Right 2" while Tiger (who plays Plawaan) had a guest role in "My Engineer" as the annoying guy who flirted and tried to kiss Cooper.
The rest are newbies to acting... Kanok (who plays Simai) and Mix (who plays Lukmo) had good chemistry. There are some behind the scenes at the end of each episode and there is a scene with Kanok crying after discovering that he might be Lukmo's half-brother, when the director yells "cut", he keeps crying and is Mix who comes to console him, which was nice to see. The acting wasn't solid by any means, but they delivered decent moments when they had to. I believe directing and writing is what let them down in this series.

In the end, a series that was longer than what it should have been, that had some major plot issues and that didn't provide a satisfying end to the main couple caused by all those plot issues is what makes "Top Secret Together" another forgettable BL series. Also, anyone knows why there is a scared cat in the series poster? Makes absolutely no sense.

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Completed
labcat
16 people found this review helpful
Aug 19, 2021
15 of 15 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers

More isn't better when it comes to the number of BL couples

I imagine at least one creator behind this series thinking: "Let's throw in as many BL couples as possible. Maybe at least BL fans would find one of the couples their cup of tea."

The inclusion of Newyear and Both, a real-life couple that is semi-fictionalized here, is a symptom of this desperate attempt to make the series commercially successful. After all. the fans of their YouTube channel may be drawn to the series because of them. Never mind that their purpose in the story is really just to own a cafe that the other (mostly unrelated) characters patronize so that there is a semblance of a unified story world. The subplot of Newyear and Both is rather unimpressive as far as the creation of a series is concerned--even if they do look cute together.

The story should simply have focused on one main couple and one side-couple, namely Simai/Lukmo and Phob/MaiEak. Lukmo is an employee of the company at which the other three are interns, and the focus on just these two couples would have allowed their stories to be more developed.

Simai and Lukmo's story, while not original, is the most compelling. I think it would have been interesting if more had been shown of Lukmo's youth and the longstanding grudge he has been holding against his estranged father. More revelations of his inner world early enough would have made his uncharacteristic openness to Simai more moving. The transition to Lukmo's reconciliation with his father could also have revealed more complex emotions. For instance, how does he feel regarding his relationship with Simai when he is told that Simai is not really his half-brother. As for Simai, the actor playing this role seems to suit the role of the innocent and sweet Simai (with a dash of playfulness) very well. The story would have been more interesting if more work had been done on his struggles after being told that Lukmo is his half-brother. Surprisingly, the two new actors playing these two characters seem under-stretched in their roles.

Phob and MaiEak's story is the old story of secret one-sided love. They would have been a good secondary couple if there had been more scenes of them, such as the scenes of Phob's crush on and quiet sacrifices for MaiEak from the time they are freshmen. This is mentioned by the other characters but we don't see it for ourselves, and so we are unlikely to feel much for Phob. MaiEak's uncertain feelings towards Phob could also have been the focus rather than his (sloppily written) attempts to woo a girl in the company. The focus on his attempts to woo the girl simply makes it unconvincing that he would later start to realize that he loves Phob too--he is supposed to have felt something for Phob all these years, but it is not convincing. Adeptly executed flashbacks would have helped in the portrayal of this couple.

The other notable couple is Copy and Nampu, whose story is unabashedly ripped off SOTUS. The inclusion of this couple is unnecessary. So is the inclusion of Plawaan and Suea. Sure, more cute actors are thrown into the series, but at what expense?

If effort had simply been spent developing the Simai/Lukmo and Phob/MaiEak storylines, this could have been a rather good series. The disjointedness that results from moving from one couple to another would also have been effortlessly eliminated. To the credit of the series, at least the five couples are clearly differentiated and their stories are usually not confusing. But audiences have grown to expect more from BL.

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Details

  • Drama: Top Secret Together
  • Country: Thailand
  • Episodes: 15
  • Aired: May 14, 2021 - Aug 20, 2021
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: LINE TV
  • Duration: 40 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 6.3 (scored by 1,660 users)
  • Ranked: #10183
  • Popularity: #2106
  • Watchers: 7,242

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