"If I am that right person for you then from now on, you can't say no to me." From friends to lovers. How will this relationship go, when one is a good guy but the other one is a bad boy. Is it possible to turn a bad boy into a lover? (Source: BL Update 2020 Instagram) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Don't Say No When Hearts Are Close" by Mame. Edit Translation
- Português (Brasil)
Cast & Credits
REASONS TO EXCERCISE CAUTION BEFORE YOU WATCH
Oh, where do I start?
Trying to pass off mental health issues as just being violent and manipulative ✔️
Trying to make the lead saying that he wants to imprison the other lead romantic ✔️
(Honestly listing all the toxic stuff that happened in this series might take a whole other review.)
THE REASONS TO WATCH
Now for the reasons to watch.
The number one reason you need to watch this is because, it is in fact, not a continuation of Tharn Type. Yes, Fiat and Leo are in it, but it feels like the characters here are a more accurate representation of what they were meant to be in Tharn Type 2. The storylines of both characters are explained much better here, and there are actual explanations to their behaviour in the prequel.
And yes, watching the prequel would help you understand some scenes better, but Don't Say No works as a standalone series just as well.
The second point as to why you should watch Don't Say No is because of the cast. I haven't seen most of the actors in any major works before this, and for beginners, they're quite good. They seem to have captured the essence of their characters perfectly and it says a lot about the actors when they are able to invoke the exact emotions from the audience suitable to their actions. Yes, some of the crying scenes and the intimate scenes could have been better, but for first timers you could tell they did their best.
Finally, if neither of the arguments have convinced you, or you're still on the fence, my final defence : Leon ☺️.
Just watch it for Leon. That boy has got me and Phob falling for him. Honestly I was quite suprised that such a sweet and respectful character is present in the MAME universe, but he is, and honestly, I believe he's reason enough to watch the series.
So there you go : this has been reasons to watch or not to watch Don't Say No.
Mame, why?Also, Kate why? Why are you always giving a chance to Mame shows, even if you know where it leads and how it ends. Why am I torturing myself?
Theoretically speaking, Mame's ideas are not bad, but for the love of God she cannot write a good story based on them. So she adds bullshit plot lines to fill the screen time that should be used on developing well written characters and relationships.
Don't Say No with better writing would be legit good BL, focused on the realistic portrayal of friends to lovers (with all the awkwardness and unsureness of it), the struggle with accepting your past, thinking it's holding you back, or affects how your loved one views you, found family trope...
But she just cannot put these ideas into writing. There are truly good scenes here and there, but they are surrounded by so much trash. What seemed like a refreshing story of two completely different individuals with different past and romantic and sexual experiences trying to make their relationship work, turned into a bingo game of what kind of external excuse will Fiat get for sleeping with people. I guess having someone who just likes sex and does not mind having different partners is still too much of a taboo topic.
As I said, it started well. I loved the scenes where the internal monologues show how both Fiat and Leo are unsure, how Fiat's past affects both of them and the choices they make in their current relationship. None of them wanted to take the first step - Leo in fear of being seen like the other Fiat’s partners, who only wanted him for his body, and Fiat in fear of looking like an easy guy who only thinks about sex. Scenes like that were truly well written, and presented both the lead's perspectives and what type of problems they need to face.
But then we’ve got the usual Mame tropes of sexual assault/rape (yes, blackmailing someone into sleeping with you when they don’t want to, and would never do it willingly is a rape). I just don’t understand the reasoning behind these themes in the majority of Mame’s adapted works. They are just cheap ways of making the show more angsty, and one of the lead characters to be either jealous or protective. The dynamics between Fiat and Leo were interesting enough to fill the screen time without adding that dark past. Why is this woman so obsessed with toxic sexual relationships and rape? It’s not like I’m completely against using these toxic tropes in the stories, but there is no novel of hers that does not include them. At best it shows her lack of skills in writing good quality conflict, at worst showcases her unhealthy view and romanticisation of assaults.
That one plot line addressing the blackmail annoyed me for one more reason - the focus that was placed on how bad Leo felt about it, and not Fiat who was the actual victim. Everyone was going around asking Leo if he was okay, Fiat included. I am sorry, but what the heck? Shouldn’t they care a little bit more about the guy that was the victim, and not his boyfriend?
Then there is the mom with psychological issues, Fiat’s suppressed trauma and the explanation behind his bad relationship with dad. Why? Was it needed? No. Not to mention, the whole topic of child abuse, like always in Mame’s adapted stories, was written with complete lack of understanding and respect.
The second couple was cute, and that’s kind of it. Pretty much the cliché stereotypical BL story of a shy good guy who is reserved about the hot playboy, who was never in a serious relationship but wants to give it a chance when he meets that cute shy potato. That said, I did like their ending a lot. It just makes sense. Relationships end, sometimes the timing is not right, sometimes there are more important aspects of your life that you should prioritize.
One of my favorite aspects of the show was Fiat’s interactions with Leo’s family. The found family trope is strong here and I’m all for it. Loved how Fiat and Leon seemed more like real brothers - bickering all the time, but caring for each other a lot. Watching Fiat and Leo’s mother just made me smile more than once. It was amazingly heartwarming and pure. If only the writing focused more on Fiat gaining the confidence while being surrounded by people who love and care for him...
Moving to the actual performance of the actors. I actually liked Ja a lot. He is quite good at conveying emotions with his eyes. The melo and romance were more believable than the few instances of him getting angry, but he just does have this soft aura about him.
And then we have First and I want to cry. This child is so cute, but he truly cannot act. Probably some of the worst dry eyes crying scenes I have seen in years. Even his less emotional scenes were sadly not the greatest. He tends to overreact with his face. I did not mind his line delivery though. It was all about not being the greatest in controlling his facial expressions.
The supporting cast did fine. There were no outstanding performances, but I also have nothing to complain about. I liked Smart a lot, but since the role itself was not exactly demanding, I can’t go into detail about his performance. He also lost me a bit in the last episode.
Production value and music are the typical Thai BL quality - good, but not breathtaking. Have to say though, the styling of Fiat is just amazing. Makes little sense for him to be the only student wearing checked long sleeved shirts over his uniform and walking around the house in a fashion show like outfits, but I still loved it.
Overall, I have no brain left. It started well, taking into consideration past Mame works as comparisons, but then it went into the same rabbit hole of toxic tropes. I don’t even want to talk and think about the stalker girl and King.