Hello Asia! writer K-Ci Williams continues his year of TV-binging with I Told Sunset About You.
I have set myself a goal for 2021 to consume as much TV as I possibly can. Thanks to a glowing recommendation, I was led to I Told Sunset About You, a BL series from Thailand that was released in late 2020.
This series succeeds because of its cast. I’m never one to talk to the screen when I am watching something, as though the characters can hear me swearing at them about how foolish they are, but I could not help myself. Billkin and PP achieved something rather remarkable with their portrayal of Teh and Oh-aew, respectively. The result is a gut-wrenchingly honest and vulnerable show that has captured my heart.
Exploring Self-Identity and New Feelings
This series showcases genuine exploration of the self; leaning on their bond formed as children and developing that as they come of age, Teh is forced to confront the confusion he feels and Oh-aew explores what feels safe and true for him.
Oh-aew’s story still appears wide open; the bra scene feels like him in his truest form, perhaps something that will be developed further in part two of the series. It is left as a footnote beneath the heavier plot of the show, but it is also one of the most genuine and revealing scenes.
The ending moments of episode three are the most intimate scenes of I Told Sunset About You, as the pair explore each other’s bodies in close embrace, above the waist, taking in the scent of each other and revelling in one another’s touch. It is a credit to the series leads that watching them felt like an invasion of privacy. Between every heartbeat was intimacy explored between two people who knew the best and worst of one another. It was not inherently sexual, and somehow that made it more private. It was innocent and oh so beautiful. Ugh, it still makes me teary.
Flawed but Understandable Choices
Bas explains that seeing Oh-aew sad would hurt him the most, and in turn it is Oh-aew who says that he cannot see Teh sad. It is a neat sub-textual trick to confess whose feelings lie with which character, but it is also key in rounding off Bas’ characterisation as the softest boy in the show. He has nothing but love to give and though he is upset, it never clouds his proclivity for kindness.
Every character annoyed me at some point. They make flawed decisions, but I understand their motivations and how their upbringing resulted in such decisions. More than anything, I am glad that Bas and Tarn remain friends with Teh and Oh-aew.
I See “Me” Clearly
I cried my eyes out several times over the course of these five episodes, but never more than the tender moment between Teh and his elder brother, Hoon. It upset me. Seeing Hoon accept his brother, encouraging him to fight for Oh-aew even though he is a boy, flooded my mind with memories of childhood; being raised to know that boys date girls, that what I felt was wrong, as I spent years trying to make myself straight. I saw myself clearly in this show.
This kind of BL series elicits such a visceral reaction within me. It triggered me. But it was essential in helping me let go of even a tiny part of that pain. I hope that young me, who is feeling the way about boys that he should be feeling about girls, would look forward and be proud of the person writing this review now.