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Where The Cherry Blossoms Fall


Where The Cherry Blossoms Fall
House of Stars thai drama review
House of Stars
15 people found this review helpful
by Sakura_Falling
Jul 31, 2023
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 3.5
Story 3.0
Acting/Cast 3.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
This review may contain spoilers

House of Boring

The trailer for House of Stars made me think it was going to be a dark, intriguing, sexy drama. I was sorely disappointed in every possible way. There is nothing sexy or intriguing about this drama and I'm already working to scrub the memory of it from my brain. It is just so poorly done from the acting to the writing and everything in between. The poor quality was compounded by the latter part of the drama feeling like a set up for a second season which is such a cop out. One way or another it's a terrible ending. It's not a cliffhanger per se, but nothing feels resolved. There was really no part of this drama that I enjoyed and it was simply a trial to get through.

The plot is all over the place. I feel like this drama didn't know what it wanted to be. Did it want to be a snapshot of actors' lives and a behind the scenes look at the not so pretty parts of them? Did it want to be a romance? Did it want to be a murder mystery? Or perhaps a revenge story? The problem is that it tries to be all of the above and more and it simply doesn't work. There's simultaneously too much and not enough, too many stories trying to be told, but they're not told well and it becomes boring. I reached the halfway point and seriously considered just dropping it because it felt like nothing was really happening. It was all just incredibly tedious and frustrating. Things finally started picking up at Episode 10 with the murder, but at that point it was too little, too late and all I could think was, if they had put this closer to the beginning, it could have actually been an interesting and decent drama. As it is, there's far too much crammed into those last couple of episodes and large parts of it end up feeling rushed. The final episode felt unfinished. Again, I'm guessing they're gunning for a second season, which I would not watch because this was such a disaster, but considering the fact that a second season isn't always guaranteed, it seems foolish to end it the way that they did with so much unresolved. It was a disappointing conclusion to a disappointing series.

The pacing was far too slow for most of the drama. It feels like there's a lot of filler and a lot that goes on that doesn't really serve any kind of purpose. Most of the romantic relationships progressed at such glacial paces it was infuriating to watch. I got so frustrated with the love triangle between Pitch, Gun and Soh that by the end I didn't give a damn who ended up with who. Weyha and Wayu's relationship was slightly more bearable, but even it got frustrating to watch at times. And the love triangle between Korn, Mintra and Phawin was just a hot mess and not the good kind. Also frustrating was the lack of knowledge provided, particularly regarding the house rules. We know that dating within the house was not allowed aside from Korn and Mintra since it was written into their contract, but otherwise they were not elaborated on and it got very tiring to have everyone talking about the house rules and how they had to follow them and reminding people to follow them when we had no clue what all of them were. It wouldn't have been that hard to have the rules weaved into the narrative at different points, but I'm guessing the writers never thought beyond the no dating rule. I also questioned how Weyha was treated. He'd obviously been failing auditions for a while, his speech was a known issue, so why was that not addressed until he was at the point of being kicked out and Wayu voluntarily stepped in to help him? Same with Pitch but to a lesser extent. He seemed to struggle with connecting to his character's emotions and emoting, yet nothing was done about that until he asked to shadow Gun and basically fixed himself. It seems like since Miss Susie was investing in them and needed them to be cast, it would have been common sense to hire acting/dialect coaches to help her actors reach their full potential.

Having a big cast is always an issue, in Thai drama especially, because they never seem to know what to do with those large casts and how to divide the attention evenly enough for everyone to get established. The relatively short seasons don't help either. Chinese and Korean dramas can get away with larger casts because they're typically much longer either in terms of number of episodes or episode length and can thus delve into their characters more and stretch out their stories and allow the viewer to get to know them more gradually. Thai dramas don't generally have that luxury and large casts rarely work out well. Here there simply was not enough time to really get to know all the characters well enough to actually care about them and what was going on in their lives.
-Pitch felt like he was supposed to be one of the more main characters initially as there was a larger focus on him than some of the others. But oh my goodness was he dull as a bag of rocks. He just didn't seem to have much of a personality and the fact that he had both Gun and Soh pursuing him was baffling. Like why? What on earth do you both see in this guy? He's kind of cute, but that's about it. To give him some credit, he did seem like a genuinely decent guy for the most part, if incredibly dense. How he didn't click that Soh had feelings for him is beyond me since it was painfully obvious.
-Soh was a surprise, to say the least. I had inklings that maybe he wasn't who he appeared to be, but wasn't fully expecting how far his revenge would extend. I do wish more of that side of his character had been hinted at throughout as he only really became interesting in the last couple of episodes. I was also confused by his character in that I was left unsure if he actually had feelings for Pitch or if he just didn't want Gun to have anything positive in his life. Either way, I was left with mixed feelings regarding his character.
-Gun was so perfect that he was boring. His expression was generally so stoic and he was so unflappable that he simply wasn't all that interesting to watch. Even his history with being responsible for Sin's accident didn't really give him much more depth. His romance with Pitch was poorly portrayed. The buildup was so minimal and I just really didn't feel anything between them. I also found it disappointing that he's so apologetic to both Sin and Soh about being the cause of the accident and yet he apparently has no qualms about pursuing Pitch when he knows that Soh likes him too.
-Korn was a colossal ass and I think he got exactly what he deserved. He was an incredibly unlikeable character what with cheating on Mintra then gaslighting her and eventually trying to use both her and Phawin. His whole attitude too that he was almost owed bigger and better parts was off-putting. In general, he was an incredibly selfish person and aside from being attractive, I don't know what either Mintra or Phawin saw in him.
-Mintra was one of the few more interesting characters in that she had my opinion of her go up and down several times. I started out with mixed feelings for her. On the one hand, I liked her strength and the fact that she could be the voice of reason for Korn. On the other hand, her sniping with Phawin and possessiveness of Korn made her seem like a jerk, to put it mildly. Once Korn cheated on her, my opinion of her took a major downward turn. I felt bad for her, but her manipulation and antics were just overbearing and quickly became tedious. My opinion of her changed again though when she apologized to Korn and broke up with him and basically paired up with Phawin to screw him over. I liked that side of her and I liked that she and Phawin got to a point that they were basically frenemies.
-Phawin also gave me mixed feelings because of course it was absolutely not okay that he knowingly seduced Korn when he was already in a relationship with Mintra, but I also kind of admired him for the fact that he was upfront about everything. He made all the snide comments to Mintra and was openly antagonistic towards her, but aside from hinting to the police that they should look into her as a suspect, he never stooped to her level of manipulation. Also just loved his sassiness. I do wish we had seen a bit more of what went on in his head to make him decide to reject Korn. It felt sudden and unexplained, not that I'm really complaining since the important part is that Korn got called out for trying to use him. And, again, I liked that he and Mintra reached a truce of sorts.
-I'm going to put Weyha and Wayu together because their characters pretty much ended up revolving around each other. They were a generically cute couple. I ended up rooting for them more than any of the other couples mostly because they were at least moderately interesting to watch and had the healthiest and most wholesome relationship. I felt the pacing regarding their relationship was the most well done and the most natural. I didn't have much of an opinion regarding them as individuals. I think Weyha was a bit more interesting with being the rookie actor. It gave him more room to grow and develop. Wayu was a generally nice guy and that was about it.
-Lalit made no sense in any way, shape, or form. She's a literal stalker who is somehow able to enter the house as an actress, no idea how that happened since we never saw her working as an actress, so how exactly did they find her? And then when Miss Susie catches her red handed, she decides to use her as a spy of sorts. And so she ends up facing zero consequence for anything that she does and ends up as an assistant to Host. Like, what?
-Sun was an odd character in that I didn't really see the point in him. He obviously scared both Miss Susie and Host, but we never find out why or really anything about him other than he was in prison (?) in another country. He just didn't seem to serve any real purpose other than being dark and imposing and making a far too convenient a murder suspect.
-And Miss Susie? She was a bit of an enigma, and a creepy one at that. The way she watched everyone hooking up with each other but then rarely, if ever saying anything, was disconcerting. For all the talk about the rules, it wasn't like they were always enforced. She was given some background, but so much about who she was and her thought process was left unknown. She could have been a genuinely interesting character, but that lack of information just made her out to be more of a raging ass than anything.

One of the biggest flaws of this drama though were the actors. I don't know who approved the decision to select an almost entirely rookie cast, but it was an incredibly foolish decision because in no way were any of the actors believable as seasoned, highly sought after stars. Frankly the only two I can really give any kind of credit to are Heng as Weyha and Boss as Soh. Double was also pretty decent as Phawin. Heng though was believable as a rookie actor because he is a rookie actor, so it worked perfectly. Also kind of loved the scene of him and Wayu filming together. His deranged laugh was entertaining. Boss absolutely carried Leo through pretty much all their scenes. The difference between them was almost painful because Boss was able to emote and bring his character to life and Leo was just kind of there. I could at least feel the chemistry on his end even if Leo didn't contribute. Double is up there because while his expressions could be repetitive, he at least was expressive. The rest were all very blah. Leo frankly cannot act. I usually like to give newbie actors the benefit of the doubt, but it was almost physically painful watching him. He had zero chemistry with anyone and the idea of Pitch and Gun having feelings for each other was laughable. Pepo had two expressions and spent most of the drama looking aloof and vaguely irritated. Again zero chemistry between him and Leo. Namchok and New were fairly bland, though Namchok's chemistry with Heng was decent if not a full blaze. Oaey and Katang were slightly better, but their expressions were just repetitive.

House of Stars is quite simply, in my opinion, a drama to avoid. There is really nothing worth watching here, it's just a colossal disappointment. It joins a steadily growing list of dramas that could have been decent, maybe even great, but was crippled by subpar writing and acting. I like dark and gritty dramas, but they need to be well done and this is simply not it.
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