GAP (2022) poster
7.6
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 6,117 users
# of Watchers: 17,452
Reviews: 68 users
Ranked #4976
Popularity #928
Watchers 6,117

Long after Sam first came to Mon's rescue when they were kids, Sam is unambiguously Mon's idol. In order to be near her, Mon gets a job working under her. When they finally meet again at the office, Mon is surprised by her icy exterior, so different from the image she'd had of her and what she herself wants to be. Mon and Sam aren't just different in demeanour; they stand apart in class and between them is a gap of eight years. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel "GAP" by Chao Planoy (เจ้าปลาน้อย). Edit Translation

  • English
  • Українська
  • Türkçe
  • Español
  • Country: Thailand
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Nov 19, 2022 - Feb 11, 2023
  • Aired On: Saturday
  • Original Network: Channel 3
  • Duration: 55 min.
  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 6,117 users)
  • Ranked: #4976
  • Popularity: #928
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Where to Watch GAP

ch3+
Free

Reviews

Completed
sapphicdisaster
115 people found this review helpful
Feb 11, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 16
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.5

Is it camp though? GAP and the messy politics of lesbian representation

We did it folks, Asia’s first full-length Girls Love. There is a lot to say about what GAP represents. As the name suggests, this was an earnest attempt to well, close the gap for lesbian representation in Thai cinema, which is mostly known for its variety of BL content. It's a groundbreaking drama that's breaking barriers for sure, but did it break the mold of mediocrity? This review will be a wild ride so let’s strap in (no pun intended!).

I’ve been advised to go easy on this drama and I will do my best. I fully recognize what GAP means and represents for Asian sapphics, and I also recognize that no one involved in this was going for art-house cinema. And I myself am also not immune to charming cheesy trash. But I can’t write this review without addressing GAP’s quality in some capacity.

Since I am trying my hardest not to lose my lesbian-license it might be a good idea to ease in with the good stuff:
GAP’s cinematography is a bit of a hot mess but it does have its more stylish moments. Surprisingly enough those ended up being the sex scenes. I genuinely felt like these were the visuals that the director put the most thought into (I will not comment on how I feel about that) and I appreciated that GAP didn’t feel the need to dial the steaminess down just because it featured two women instead of men. This was an aspect I had been largely worried about before GAP even aired. If BLs are produced primarily for a female audience, would that mean GAP would be produced for a male audience? The fact that the director/producer was male, didn’t ease my concerns. I feared that what I would be served was bound to be a product of sheer fetishization. But I also did not want GAP to feel sexless, just because it had female protagonists. Women having sexual desires is cool actually. Well, I am happy to report that I actually had no issue with how GAP portrayed lesbian sexuality. The male gaze might be impossible to escape but it was subtle enough that I, a bitter lesbian, could still get something out of those scenes.
I struggle with critiquing an actor’s performance, especially if it’s in a language I am not very familiar with, but I will say that Sam’s actress Freen brought a lot of charm and humor to her role. Sam is a bit of a bitch and while I don’t think that her character was executed brilliantly, I also recognize that a lot of measures were taken to make her more likable, which is an effort I can appreciate. One of those was making Sam sufficiently awkward, something that the actress embodied pretty well (maybe because she did feel a bit awkward, who’s to say). I appreciate this effort even more so, after I have been informed, that Sam actually behaves a lot worse in the source material. I think softening those edges was the right move for sure. But script changes aside, I thought that Freen’s characterization came across as charming either way. Charisma is a difficult thing to evaluate because it’s very subjective and also innate to a person, so it might be something that you can’t really praise someone for but I do think that Freen really did the absolute best with the material she was given.
I don’t want to imply that my favorite aspect of a lesbian love story was a male character but I do have to earnestly commend the show for Kirk. The show’s main antagonist is Sam’s grandma, someone so comically evil that all that’s missing is a big mustache she can twirl. Kirk is not that. In fact, Kirk is the guy that everyone at the office loves. Someone that at first glance might even seem like an ally. The guy your friends insist you should marry because he seems “like one of the good ones”. And Kirk is an absolute douchebag. This was a character that appeared likable, had solid motives for the way he behaved, genuinely believed he was doing the right thing, and he still managed to be a huge asshole in a way you had to build up to. Kirk didn’t “suddenly turn out to be evil” because he isn’t and he never has been. But his crime was entitlement. He believed he was entitled to the company as he believed he was entitled to Sam. It’s, dare I say, an attempt at social commentary, that managed to be both subtle and effective all in a show that tended to be painfully on the nose. Kirk as an antagonist amidst the mess was truly a breath of fresh air, I think the casting choice was also great. Choosing some BL-heartthrob to portray him was the right call.
I guess as far as representation goes, this is pretty solid. We obviously have two morally dubious sapphic disasters for our protagonists but we also have one trans woman who is not entirely played for laughs (and one that is….) and a butch/masc lesbian which is something you rarely see on TV these days. None of these characters are entirely “unproblematic“ representation but that is also such a boring standard to uphold so I can live with a little messiness if it means that we get a more diverse cast.
This is such a small thing and I am not sure if it even was intentional, but the OST when something 〜shady〜 was going on and when Sam and Mon were getting down to business were pretty much alike. This furthered the impression that their relationship was a bad and ominous thing that was happening. This might not have been what the show (that presumably is first and foremost trying to be a love story) was trying to imply, but since I have been blessed with both eyes and a brain, this was a conclusion I inevitably arrived at. The OST seemed to point at the concept that Sam’s and Mon’s inherent toxicity was supposed to be text instead of subtext, which I thought was neat at least.

The bad:
One fun fact about me is that I have severe scoliosis and awful posture which is why my physician ordered me to do extensive physical therapy for an entire year. This painful progress might have been erased entirely by sitting through this show as I had to watch it with my head permanently tilted. I am not exaggerating, nearly every second shot of GAP is a Dutch-angle (tilted picture). Sometimes this made sense. A Dutch-angle creates a certain uncomfortableness, an eeriness if you will. Also: Sam is in a higher position than Mon. The scales are tipped. But more often than not this was a creative decision that puzzled me. It’s obvious that the director just thought it looked cool so he decided to use it ALL THE GOD DAMN TIME WITH NO THOUGHT IN MIND. I thought about making a drinking game out of it but that would have been a genuine health hazard.
What is it that this company does? This is an office romance but I m not even sure what this office is ordered to do. Something something social media something something. I wouldn’t care about this if it didn’t play such a big role in the overall plot. Also: Sam wants to keep her company and we’re supposed to think that she is deserving of that but we never see her work ever. It is implied that she is harsh on her workers because their performance determines whether she can keep living her life or will be married off. Well girl, how about you do some work then? I get it, it’s inherent to the cruel nature of the exploitative capitalistic system that the CEO never does any actual work and only leeches of their employees so this is quite accurate to real life but GAP is a silly romance and I am supposed to root for the undeservedly rich. I can’t do that if I never see Sam actually achieve anything. Every little success is due to the work of someone else and it’s not because of her management style but despite of it. To a wage worker like me, this is quite the hard sell. And I actually kind of like Sam and for her to be a bitch and a bad boss at the start of this show is fine, but we never see the needed character development from her. Sure, she warms up a bit, but arguably not nearly enough to excuse her prior behavior.
Sam and Mon suck. Not nearly as much as individuals as they do as a couple. It’s not so much that they’re unhealthy, I think the show knew that to some extent and I don’t think all love stories in fiction need to represent what is desirable in real-life. It’s more that they were… annoying? Which is a weak criticism, I’ll admit. But their constant bickering never seemed worth what they were getting out of the relationship. I was never sold entirely on their love. They had chemistry, sure, but that is very little to build a relationship on. If this was supposed to be a fatal-attraction sort of deal where they cannot keep away from each other despite how unhappy they make each other, this drama also failed to address that in a productive way. I like messiness and flawed, dumb people (I myself belong to said demographic), but Sam and Mon only seemed to always reunite because the narrative needed them to. Not because they were good together or it seemed like something either of the characters would want.
The sound quality was pretty atrocious in a way that I can't explain how it even got like this. Some passages of dialog were completely fine while others sounded like they were recorded with a fork. But I am not a casual lakorn-watcher and I have been informed that for a production of this size and budget, this is quite normal so this is probably just something you have to get used to and I am willing to let this one go.
I want to address the plot but it’s difficult to critique something there is so little of. Which is fine, intricacy is not what anyone watched this for. I guess the story is best described by things happening. One thing happens and then another one. Are those events correlated? Who is to say. But things certainly kept happening, that’s for sure.

So, is GAP an amazing show? God no. Is it an okay show? Also no. Should you watch this? I don’t know, I honestly don’t. I don’t know if I am capable of celebrating something solely for what it might represent. And I can’t recommend this show no matter which framework I use to analyze it. But yet I find myself wanting to. I once wrote that there are two schools of thought when it comes to LGBT+ representation: Either “we want stories that represent our experience, even if painful at times” or “we want access to the same rom-com escapism that heterosexuals get”. And personally, I see value in both. The problem is that I don’t think that GAP managed to deliver either one though I can certainly see attempts in both. There are some hints of social commentary and there definitely is the over-the-top rom-com storyline. But GAP is not good, it simply isn’t.

Is it camp though?

Define “camp”, please. Well, camp describes “art or entertainment that deliberately does not follow traditional ideas about what is considered good in order to produce a humorous effect”. The two types of camp that exist today are purposeful camp and unintended camp. As the name implies, intentional camp refers to the purposeful use of camp in humor. Unintentional camp results from naïveté or poor quality or tastes. It’s “so bad it’s good”, it’s the love of the unnatural, artificiality and exaggeration. This sounds like an insult but truth is that camp and the LGBT+ community have been intertwined from the beginning. Being excluded from mainstream society and mainstream art meant that we had to create our own. And this is where we got our ability to celebrate the ugly and weird. Camp evaluates tasteless kitsch whereas the bourgeois feuilleton high culture scorns it. The camp's level of sensitivity ranges from intense adulation to sardonic, disinterested amusement. Therefore, the definition of kitsch and camp is mostly subjective. And in my subjective perspective, when I look at GAP and see the nonsensical plot, the questionable performances, the Dutch-angles, the fake crying, and the constant yelling, I see camp.
Is this too little of a basis to recommend something? That is up to you but this is the hill I choose to die on.

I understand why so many people needed this to be good. One of my first comments on here reads “If this show turns out to be bad, I will simply gaslight myself into thinking it’s good”. It’s not just the lesbian representation, it’s the longing for a story that is not dependent on men. And now that GAP failed to be even passable, there is the fear, that no one in Thailand’s entertainment industry will ever try again to produce a WLW-story. But truth be told, I think we will be fine. I have never been a BL-watcher but according to all sources, Asia’s first BL was absolute dogshit and yet the genre found its niche. More importantly, however, while successful representation is undeniably incredibly important, social progress comes first. Good LGBT shows, books, and movies have always followed social changes in the real world, not the other way around. As East Asia becomes more progressive, the entertainment they produce will inevitably diversify. But we shouldn’t put our hopes and dreams in these capitalistic constructs. Our liberation should not be dependent on how much money people can make off us. Instead of hoping that rich men in production companies tell our stories we need to get out there and fight for the rights and resources to tell them ourselves.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Ongoing 12/12
MatildaBoey
36 people found this review helpful
Jan 11, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Ongoing 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

MUST WATCH DRAMA

Excellent GL drama series. Freen Sarocha portrays the BEST Khun Sam with her excellent acting skills.

The narrative between both lead actresses are touching, soft and absolutely beautiful.

I am not a fan of roncoms but this series hits different though I do not speak or understand thai language. The emotions and attention that they placed into all the details are just spectacular I highly recommend this drama, waiting and hoping for both lead actresses to have another series together
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Recent Discussions

Title Replies Views Latest Post
Why it is called "GAP" by Drama_Dream 2 0
Drama_Dream
May 25, 2023
Official Uncut Streaming Links (LOOK HERE!) by aicto 4 0
yeaka
Dec 27, 2022
GAP (Pink Theory) OST by Gian 0 0
sparkle
Dec 1, 2022
1 DAY LEFT by kurayami 0 0 No discussions yet
11 DAYS LEFTT!!! by HereToHave Fun 1 0
kurayami
Nov 8, 2022
15 DAYS LEFT!!!!! by kurayami 1 0
Wynn Mei
Nov 3, 2022

Details

  • Drama: GAP
  • Country: Thailand
  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Nov 19, 2022 - Feb 11, 2023
  • Aired On: Saturday
  • Original Network: Channel 3
  • Duration: 55 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Statistics

  • Score: 7.6 (scored by 6,117 users)
  • Ranked: #4976
  • Popularity: #928
  • Watchers: 17,452

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