Paint with Love (2021) poster
7.3
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,442 users
# of Watchers: 12,707
Reviews: 55 users
Ranked #7340
Popularity #1229
Watchers 4,442

The story follows Phab, an abstract painter who is hired by the owner of a media agency, Maze, to do a painting at a celebrity's wedding. After a disastrous accident, Phab will start working for Maze to pay his debts. What starts as a not-so-friendly worker/employer relationship soon evolves into something more. Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • dansk
  • Country: Thailand
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Nov 26, 2021 - Feb 11, 2022
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Channel 3
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.3 (scored by 4,442 users)
  • Ranked: #7340
  • Popularity: #1229
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Reviews

Completed
agapi
80 people found this review helpful
Feb 11, 2022
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5
This review may contain spoilers

Really good series but why it isn’t that popular – an analysis!

I want to be clear from the start so I am going to tell you that Tae Darvid is my ultimate Thai person, so I will try to be as objective as I can. However, if you feel that I am playing favourites with him please let me know! Now, let me take you on a journey. I am going to review the series and point out some mistakes that didn’t help the series to be more popular and have more people talking about it. But before that, we must acknowledge the elephant in the room, and sorry for the following microaggression, but…

Can we all agree that the so-called rooster was a fuc***g CHICKEN? Like wtf? Do I not know animals? Is this an intended joke? Why didn’t they use a rooster? Plz help me… Don’t get me wrong I love Teriyaki (the chicken-rooster) but it must have an identity crisis. Here is what I think Teriyaki is thinking 24/7:

«Phap says that I am a rooster that knows how to have a slow-life and crows at 10 in the morning to wake everyone up”, Teriyaki thought. “But at the same time, they are eating the eggs that I lay”, Teriyaki continued his thinking and started to question its own existence. «Am I a rooster, or am I a chicken? »

CHARACTERS

Our main couple is Maze and Phap. Maze is the president of his company, is a money motivated person, and mainly uses his head to make choices. As his social status suggests, he has an extravagant lifestyle, wearing expensive clothes, living in a luxurious apartment, and driving a costly car. In addition to other rich BL characters (from other BL series), he is greedy with money and will do anything to have a bigger profit. He doesn’t carelessly spend money, and most importantly he will take advantage of every situation in order to gain anything. On the other hand, Phap is a carefree artist that specializes to abstract paintings. He is the exact opposite of Maze and uses his heart to make decisions. He is not rich, he believes in himself and his capabilities, and he loves nature and animals. He loves animals so much that he has three animals’ pals, Poco – a lizard, Steven – a cockroach (yeah, you read that correctly), and Teriyaki – a chicken-rooster with identity crisis.

The second lead couple is Nueng and Tharn. Tharn is an actor and Maze’s best friend (along with Nae). He cares for his friend’s emotions and is rather mature, soft spoken, and kind-hearted person. He is the balance between Maze and Nae. While Nueng is… Is it too soon to make this spoiler? Well, I am not going to tell you who is Nueng right now because it’s a massive spoiler, and you might not want to know that. However, if you keep reading my review you will eventually learn who he is. YOU WERE WARNED! Anyway, for now I will tell you that Nueng is a handsome actor, with a calm aura that everyone is jealous of.

The other supporting characters are the “As You Wish” gang, the employees in Maze’s company. The leader of the pack is Nae, Maze’s and Tharn’s best friend. She is not a company’s employee, but she is sth like an investor – or vice president, according to her – who helped the company when they were in need. Next, we have Noona, the mother of the gang; she has a colourful personality and is loud (“I am soooo confuseeeed”); Ruj, the workaholic one, who is complaining that has too much work, but always delivers on time; Kuea, the talkative one, and Elle, the quiet one, who becomes talkative when drunk.

Last but not least, we have the managers. Phueak is Nueng’s manager, and Pookky is Tharn’s manager. Between these two a “hate” relationship exists, as both do their best to promote their talent. However, Pookky uses “dirty” ways to get Tharn more famous. I loved and laughed with every scene with the managers.

PLOT

In the series we follow the storyline between our main and secondary couple. After a weird event sequence, Phap (played by Tae), the carefree artist, ends up being in debt to Maze (played by Singto), and to pay back his debt he is hired in the company. However, their polar opposite personalities and lifestyles, make their everyday friction difficult… at first! The aversion for each other could be seen, as they don’t address each other by their name, and they don’t use the honorifics “P” or “Nong”. Instead, they mainly use the informal way of saying “You” in Thai.

In the series we get to see how Phap is the first one to open up to Maze and how he does everything that he can to get the other person’s attention. Maze and Phap throughout the series learn more about and from each other. The artist teaches the young boss that relaxing is mandatory, that relying on other people is not that bad, and that living in the moment is important. However, the most crucial thing that Phap helps Maze with, is Nueng (more for that on “My opinion” section).

ACTING

I would like to start with Singto. To be honest, I don’t follow Singto that much. I have only watched SOTUS and SOTUS S with him (fun fact SOTUS was my first Thai BL series). In SOTUS, I was fascinated by his ability to use his facial expressions, and boy was I not disappointed in Paint with Love. For me, this series bring out the best of Singto and with the combination of funny scenes we have an amazing result. I know that I might not be in the position to say this because this is only the third series that I have watched with Singto, but this is my favourite series with him. He was sassy, angry, confused, mad, sad, and desperate when he needed to be, and trust me when I tell you that I believed him in every scene.

Moving on with Tae, I know that I said that he is my ultimate Thai person, but dude I am not a royal fan. The only series that I have watched with Tae is 2moons the series. DON’T CALL ME A HYPOCRITE! I really like his personality in real life that is why he is my ultimate. I was really happy when I learned that he would finally have a lead role, and I was not disappointed. In the series he plays a character that is quite different from him in real life, and I must admit that I really enjoyed his acting here. He portraits a handsome, goofy, confident, and a straightforward character, in a comedic way, which I loved. However, there were a few scenes in which his character was sad, and I was like “TELL ME WHO HURT YOU BABY!!!!”.

Regarding the second lead actors, everyone did an amazing job. Yoon and Yacht were able to captivate me in their story and you could see them grow together, be more open about their true feelings, and try to distinguish their work and personal life. You could see and feel Tharn’s (Yacht) internal dilemma on whether he should be honest to Maze about his feelings for Nueng, but not wanting to hurt his friend… Yacht did an amazing job there!!! As for Yoon, he was able to share his worries, concerns, and feelings for both Maze and Tharn. To be honest, I felt that everyone had a great chemistry with each other in the series, which is amazing! I think that my favourite for the other cast was Maengmum. Honestly, I love her! Her acting skills are off the roof, and she deserves every award ever! PLEASE GIVE HER A SERIES ALREADY!

MY OPINION AND THE MISTAKES THAT KEPT THIS SERIES FROM POPULARITY!

As an overall, I have a positive opinion for this series. The first thing that I really liked (beside the casting), was the fact that the story wasn’t developed in a university. I don’t understand why the majority of Thai BLs need to be in university, but I really enjoyed the change of environment. Now the second thing that I really liked, was the fact that even though Maze was rich, he was actually greedy and didn’t belittle the value of money, in addition to other series where usually the rich person doesn’t care about money at all. While another thing that I really liked was the lack of product placements! You don’t understand how much I despise straightforward product placements in series; however, here we have none of it, which I loveeeeeed!!!!

Another thing that I really liked, was the real interaction between the main couple. You know, something that I disliked in the other BLs is that they present false expectations on how two people flirt. The other series portray the couples in a cool way, and they only show us the handsome, jealous, confident, side of the characters, while in reality this is not true. In addition, in Paint with Love, we get to see how an emotional and touching scene could be “changed” by one of the characters. For instance, there is a scene in which Phap and Maze are talking about squids, and you hear Phap saying something deep regarding catching squid and how he does not enjoy doing that. For a moment you can see Maze softening up to Phap and looking at him with puppy eyes, but when Maze gets to say something to Phap, the later eats a squid and destroys the moment and atmosphere between them. Don’t get me wrong, but I love it. I feel that this behaviour is closer to reality, and I love it when it is shown in series. Take your always right, and correct behavioured characters, I will stay with the truer moments. Furthermore, you could see the dilemma that Maze had. He really liked Phap but he believed that the artist was someone lame, who wasn’t at the same social status as him. That is why he couldn’t openly say that he liked Phap and that he wanted to be him. Occasionally, he would bring up a wall between them and making more difficult for Phap to bring down that wall. In my opinion, Singto’s acting was on point in every scene. You could see his emotions through his eyes. He is an exceptional actor. Well done!

As for something that I didn’t like, was the story changes. I must admit that I haven’t read the whole novel, because I couldn’t find it anywhere with an English translation, but I must say that there is a huge difference in the novel and the series storyline. Before I elaborate more on the difference between these two, let me make the huge SPOILER right now. Nueng and Maze are stepbrothers since they were young boys, after Maze’s father married Nueng’s mother. That was the spoiler. Honestly, at first, when I was only watching the series, I thought that Nueng and Maze were ex-lovers, but I was wrong.

Now, let me go back to the main difference in the novel and the series. In the series, the two brothers fight with each other at an older age (when Nueng is trying to apply to university), while in the novel the brothers fight at a younger age, when Nueng was in Junior High School, after his mother’s death, for which he blamed Maze for. I feel that they should had followed the original approach and show us the true fight between the brothers, because this would explain Maze’s acting in front of Nueng in their adult years. In the novel it was stated that the two brothers were very close, and they cared for each other. Especially Maze, he adored Nueng, and he loved spending time with him; so, when Nueng blamed him for his mother death (whom Maze loved like his real mother), he is devastated and due to his really young age he cannot entirely understand what happens.

As someone with an older sister, I can tell you that I understand Maze’s actions in his adulthood. He is awkward, goofy, and trying too hard to be liked and acknowledged by Nueng. His true feelings come to surface when he is drunk, and he asks for Nueng’s approval and attention. Those are true actions. I remember when I was younger, I was doing the same thing and I was trying desperately to get my older sister’s attention. That is why I feel that they should have kept the original fight reason between them.

Now the second thing that I didn’t like was the lack of accessibility to the series. Actually, in my humble opinion, I feel that this reason was the root cause of why this series wasn’t that popular. You could only watch the series in GagaOOLala, by having a subscription, or in illegal websites where the episodes were uploaded in a few hours. However, there were cases in which an episode could take up to 4 days to be uploaded in any site with English subtitles. All of you know for which episode I am talking about! Episode 6…. It took approximately 5 days for the episode to be uploaded in Dram***ol. That didn’t help the series to build a momentum and have a loyal fanbase. Now, don’t get me wrong, but when I learned that the series are only available to a subscribed website, I knew that it wouldn’t be popular. I don’t want to use other Networks or Companies names, but it is important to look at what your competitors are doing in order to create your business and strategic plan. I believe that in this case this step wasn’t implemented. The majority of BL series that are currently on air, are offered for free on the official Youtube channel of the company that created the series (e.g. Bad Buddy was available with English subtitles, every Friday, on GMMTV’s youtube channel); while Paint with Love required a subscription. That was mistake No. 1.

Mistake No.2 was the lack of promotion. Pffffff… This series could have so much potential! The company could have created a promotion campaign to make this series more popular and to have fans to anticipate for it. They could use social media on their advantage, and arrange live streams with the actors and interact with the fans, or they could create funny compilations with behind the scenes videos (at first they did upload a few behind the film videos but they were too short), or they could have the actors appear to multiple shows (TV shows, radio shows, or social media shows) to make the series more known to the public.

Lastly, mistake No.3 was the inconsistency in the English translation. Before judging me and telling me that I should be grateful that we even have translation for the series, I will tell you that I know, and I am grateful for that. But please don’t underestimate the power that international fans hold. If I don’t perform research on the target audience on the BL series, I won’t be able to know for sure where the watchers are coming from; but from small research in the comment section of different BL series that are posted on youtube, the majority of watchers seems to be international fans. While watching Paint with Love, I felt that there were many scenes that didn’t make any scene, due to the poorly translation, and that kept me from fully understanding a point. I am not sure if I am the only one who had this issue with the English translation, but again something was not feeling right.

BONUS MISTAKE: I am not sure if any of you felt that way, but there were some scenes that didn’t make any sense because there was no built up. I just felt like they said, “Okay this is what we wanted to say in this scene, now cut!”. For example, in the business trip were Nueng was injured, we see that Phap was also injured but he didn’t say anything to anyone. And that’s it... There was no outcome from this incident. Why didn’t he say anything to Maze? Why was he so sad that day? He was the one who helped Maze make it up with Nueng. Did eventually Maze learn about his injury? WE DON’T KNOW!!!! And that’s bothering me! Another example is when Phap took a bunch of bananas to the office, and he handed them to Nae. THAT’S IT!!! NOBODY ADDRESSED THE BANANAS EVER AGAIN! WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE PLOT? WE DON’T KNOW! DID THEY EAT THE BANANAS? WE DON’T KNOW! For me a scene should have a purpose; an introduction, a climax, and a connection to future scenes! Anyway…

That’s it! Please let me know if I missed something, or if you disagree with my review! It is a shame, but this series could have been more popular than any other BL series that were aired at the same time!

P.S. GIVE THE STYLIST A RAISE!!!! EVERYONE’S OUTFITS WERE ON POINT AND I LOVED EVERYTHING! THANK YOU P’STYLIST!!!

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Ongoing 10/12
BeepingMoon
37 people found this review helpful
Jan 30, 2022
10 of 12 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This review may contain spoilers

Everything Feels So Unearned

The way I would describe this drama in two words is 'wasted opportunity'. It could have been good. A simple premise. Good actors. But it fell apart before it could get off the ground. The writing is a big, big problem.

So, I went into this drama for Singto (fickle I know, but I feel like most people did so there ya go). The trailer looked promising. The premise was simple, light-hearted and sweet. I love art and draw and paint a lot myself so I also thought I'd enjoy some of the art side of things too.

But, writing, writing, writing. *shakes head like stereotypical disappointed parent* (am childless tho...)

The writing of the characters and the plot is a big problem. It's so poor that I'm actually not sure where to begin.

Let's start with Maze. Who is he? As in what are his external motivations? Money, just money it seems. That's fine. What are his internal motivations? I haven't got a clue. Like at all. What is his backstory? Dunno. He has this step-brother who he argued with once upon a time and never resolved the conflict with (for literal years, like huh?). That's it. What are his dreams? His fears? What does he love? Hate? What makes him feel comfortable? Uncomfortable? Safe? Lonely? Bored? In this script he is a one-dimensional boss who wants money, money and more money. He is not at all fleshed out and his whole character changes in the blink of an eye without any development or substance of character.

What about Phab? If you look at the comments on here everyone loves Phab and loathes Maze for the most part. I dislike both. Phab is as much a walking one-dimensional stereotype as Maze, it's just his stereotype is more likable. Phab is an artist. In spite of being enormously broke he can still afford expensive art equipment and a nice place to live. He can afford food and other necessities for himself and his various pets. He also, simply out of a bit of a dislike, tries to refuse well-paid work when offered. Bruh, come on now. Don't be stupid. I really dislike this stereotype of artists and other creatives that they just don't care about having enough money to live (and somehow get by happily and comfortably). Being broke and being in debt is f*cking stressful. It's not a personality trait. Who is Phab? What are his external and internal motivations? He needs to earn a bit of money (although he seems mostly chill about this). That's it. That's all. What is his backstory? Who knows, maybe he is from the moon. His fears? Dreams? What makes him feel happy? Sad? Disgusted? Lonely? Bored? Who is he?

All of the other characters are not at all fleshed out enough either, but I can't be bothered to list it all here. Most are more consistent in personality than the two leads however.

Each episode of this series is predictable and unsatisfying. It is the same arc each time. Phab and Maze are in conflict over something (usually a small misunderstanding or miscommunication). At some point near the middle they are on good terms (usually unprovoked, they just are, for some reason), either sweet romantic moments or some sort of friendly situation. Then a short while before the end of the episode there is another conflict (usually a small misunderstanding or miscommunication), this then carries through into the next episode where the cycle repeats. There are a few episodes that stray from this but not many. It is a tedious viewing experience as the arc is incredibly unsatisfying.

I have just finished watching episode 10. I cannot afford a GagaOOLala subscription right now and am cancelling so I'm reviewing as I take a financial pause from GagaOOLala. Please bear in mind I'm writing this before the ultimate conclusion of the story.

Let me rewrite the overarching plot for the two leads to make the series better (according to myself).

The series begins with the first episode largely as it happens. But you see Phab has a part-time job at university teaching an evening class for art students. With this he can pay for art equipment (like I said, it's expensive, stop sh*tting around) but it doesn't support his living. Maze comes to meet Phab and offer him the work. Phab declines. Maze leaves, annoyed. A while later Phab comes across a stray animal who is injured. He takes it to the vet. The vet treats the animal and tells Phab he needs to pay for it. Phab hesitates but calls Maze. He says he'll do the wedding job if Maze pays for the animal's treatment (and the original amount). They negotiate and come to some fair amount. At the wedding Phab brings the animal. It causes havok and Maze and Phab have a similar argument to the one seen. Phab gets the job with the pay from the series and starts working at the company to pay Maze back and keep up the ruse.

As time goes on Maze and Phab bicker but we see Phab trying to work well with everyone (like in the series now) and Maze's work ethic. At some point Maze and Phab argue about the work. Phab isn't being serious enough, according to Maze. Maze is unforgiving and brutal, according to Phab. Towards the end of this argument Maze falls ill (fainting or getting dizzy or whatever) from overworking. Phab stays with him and insists he rest. Maze insists he has to work. They argue. Eventually Phab leaves but calls the VP character to stay with Maze at the office. There follows scenes/montage where Maze is overworking and Phab is noticing. Phab asks around but everyone says this is just Maze's way. After a bit of professional success the team go for drinks (like in the series). While a bit tipsy Maze gets annoyed with Phab and complains about his way of working. He then starts to talk about his own backstory. He is from a family that struggled financially. He had some sort of issue that made his parents' financial struggle worse (illness, injury whatever). He blames himself for this and feels that he caused their early passing with the stress it put them under. He is now used to overworking because he distracts himself with work and it makes him feel like he is repaying his parents or becoming more like them and their hardwork or something along those lines. He also keeps his distance from others because he's afraid of burdening them. He doesn't like when people don't work hard because it feels like an affront to his most important values. He feels personally disrespected.

Phab still draws Maze (this is still the small conflict from the series cause it was entertaining to me).

Following this information Phab becomes more considerate of Maze. He starts to bring him a nice drink at the office on occasion and pays attention to his schedule. He takes the job more seriously and becomes a bit more mature in the workplace. In an effort to encourage Maze to stop working so much Phab encourages Maze to come and spend time with the animal they both saved (and invites him to his art class in the evening). They bond over this and talk about work and their personal goals/fears/pasts etc while together. Maze talks a little more about his family and Phab begins to open up about his. Phab doesn't know his parents but he grew up financially secure and stable raised by an aunt and his grandparents. He is still close to his aunt, but lies a little about being financially fine so she doesn't worry. His grandfather died a while ago and his grandmother is ill. Money he inherited from his grandfather he spends on his grandmother's health. He learned to draw growing up in order to give comfort to his grandfather, who had dementia and would tell stories and forget them soon after. He drew them so that there would always be images of his grandfather's memory, even outside of his mind.

They connect over these memories and feelings for family. Both begin to feel romantically for the other, but Phab is more expressive and open, whereas Maze is wary and reserved. Eventually they sleep together and begin dating. Phab is open, Maze is discreet. This begins slowly to cause a little conflict.

Phab starts to feel like Maze is pushing him away. He tries to talk to him but Maze freaks out and closes off. They argue and stop speaking for a while. When Maze decides to apologise he overhears the job offer for Japan. His immediate feeling is one of fear and he tries to stop it from happening. As they forgive each other from the previous argument and Maze and Phab begin openly dating etc Phab then takes Maze to meet his aunt and grandmother. Here they learn of Japan and are encouraging. Phab is hesitant and reluctant cause of Maze. Maze realises how much of an opportunity this is and starts to encourage Phab to go.

They then do long-distance for an epsiode or so. In the ending they reunite in Thailand a while later. Phab has an exhibition on in Thailand and has got work in Japan designing posters and covers etc which he can do from Thailand.

Maze has learned to have a work-life balance. Phab has learned some maturity and adulting lessons.

In my version Nueng would be a childhood friend of Maze's. They still had the same argument cause Maze was overly dependent of, and possessive over, Nueng. It was around the time his parents died and Maze felt abandoned by Nueng. He later regretted the argument but didn't apologise because it was too connected to those horrible memories, so he buried it and remained estranged from his closest friend for years. Although he accepted he was in the wrong, he was also always hurt that Nueng never reached out afterwards either. There is no jealousy plotline with Nueng at the centre. Conflict with him is work-related and whatnot. His relationship with Than evolves similarly to the series just with fewer bs games. He doesn't try and manipulate Phab and is always polite to him.

This series needed fleshed out characters, with room for development, which is satisfied through the story. Just because it is a light-hearted premise and story does not mean your characters get to be superficial in their characterisations, all one dimensional and whatnot.

There are so many individual scenes I love. Any sweet scenes between Phab and Maze are great. The bickering, especially at the beginning, was entertaining a lot of the time. I really like the side characters. I like a lot of the humour (which is rare). But there is no narrative to this series really. It doesn't flow. The pacing is tedious. It is often like you're missing all of the information for the character motivations. It's annoying. This could have been such a nice, enjoyable watch. I enjoyed scenes, not episodes, not the whole series. I enjoyed the scenes as independent experiences. So it wasn't all bad, but it is a sign of a somewhat incoherent story/plot. They should be trying to tell us a story, led by characters. Instead they show us scenes with the characters on puppet strings just doing as they're told with no motivation or substance to them at all.

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Details

  • Drama: Paint with Love
  • Country: Thailand
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Nov 26, 2021 - Feb 11, 2022
  • Aired On: Friday
  • Original Network: Channel 3
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.3 (scored by 4,442 users)
  • Ranked: #7340
  • Popularity: #1229
  • Watchers: 12,707

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