I’m finally here to give my final thoughts and feelings toward this series. Let it be known that this doesn’t reflect how I feel about the actual actors/actresses; of the ones I know, I do truly like them. So. Let’s begin.
My first reaction as I was watching this series as well as afterwards, was how much of a mess the story line was. Did the writers know where the story was going? Because I certainly didn’t (even my niece told me she stopped watching after episode 5 because she kept getting confused). I think I got confused after episode 3 to be real honest. There was just too much going on with too many story lines and characters. I figured since it was being taken from the movie, that Waii and Apo would be the main characters with everyone else being supporting. So you add on 2-3 other couples with other characters interacting with them and causing drama it just… My brain hurts thinking about those webs. And I understand that it’s not an exact copy of the movie. That’s fine. But other than the swimming, two boys falling in love, and the Coach/Kern issue, it just seemed too different. But that’s either here nor there (as in not such a huge issue with me).
One of my biggest issues was episode 3. Y’all know the one. Attempted rape is not okay. In any shape or form no matter the circumstances (I don’t care that Apo was actually kissing him when he was against the door frame, he didn’t consent in the first place). So I don’t understand how Apo was so chill and forgiving afterwards. Yeah he mentions that he hasn’t forgotten it, but he’s still buddy buddy with Waii and they even become bffs afterwards. (So to whomever reads this: attempted rape and the actual assault ARE NOT OKAY. Should it ever happen to you or someone you know, it’s not okay to just let it go not matter how it can about.)
Now my favorite part: Characters.
For the most part, I didn’t mind the characters. I certainly feel like Coach Mai was unnecessary. They didn’t need her for plot reasons. Trust me.
I think Wan was my least favorite. She didn’t have any character development the whole season even when she was suppose to be falling in love with Min; which I knew was suppose to happen I just couldn’t see it. And she was hella annoying. I believe she could’ve been less so even with her grudge against the swim team (which to be honest, couldn’t have been held on as long as she did. Her issue was with Kern and the Chancellor- not the current swim team as on the series. I get it- plot reasons- but if she would’ve used communication then she wouldn’t have been so annoying and that story plot wouldn’t have gone on for so long).
Let me tell you how excited I was to see a lesbian character and a main one at that! But it only fell flat. Yes Pan was annoying for most of the series as well. Her abuse of Fah was unnecessary and excessive as well as her obsession to get with that one girl (I can’t remember her name). I get that people can change who they love and even their sexual orientation (I’ve known people who felt they were bi instead of gay and whatnot) but it just made me sad to see the writers sweep that representation away instead of keeping her a lesbian.
We also needed more interaction between Kluay/Achi. I felt like their story was only just beginning even if it was just bromance…. was it? Tell me writers! And to be honest, we probably could have had less of Min/Wan and more of these two. They were cute and adorable, especially with Kluay teasing Achi all the time. I think I looked forward to seeing these two the most.
And now for the main couple… Waii/Apo.
I was confused? Somewhere around episode 8 or 9, I honestly thought they were together and I proceeded to be confused because did I miss where they decided to be? But then at the end of the episode they weren’t. Which was disappointing. But also with Waii! He kept saying things like- the person I care about the most- and taking pictures of them holding hands… did he understand what he was doing? Was he confused at any point about how he felt about Apo and was just all- we’re bros? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the bromance aspect for a while (the sit-up scene was hilarious) and I get that the writers were trying to build romance and a stable platform for a potential relationship, but it was kind of confusing the more you watched it. I mean. You can see Apo in love with Waii. Christ even Fay knew!
And while I disliked Fay in the beginning, color me surprised when I supported her more than I thought. Usually I’m all- bitch get out of the way of true love!- but damn. She deserved better. Apo deserved better. They both deserved better than Waii. I can’t tell you how many times I tweeted about Waii being a dick and Apo deserving better. Because he was. Waii was a dick for most of the series. He was selfish, especially ep 13 and 14 and couldn’t make a decision. He was overly possessive of Apo even when they weren’t together. And while for plot reasons, he just couldn’t get over his dad and Karn. It’s like communication doesn’t exist in these shows!!!! (I usually shout- communication is important- whenever I watch dramas. Heaven forbid they use it.)
However, there was probably two things I got out of it that I liked. First, I was impressed with the Kiss in ep 12. I’m always worried while watching BL dramas, especially Asian BL dramas, when it comes to kissing. I actually don’t mind small kisses, pecks, whatever, especially when the characters are just starting out together (that’s why I loved the 2Moons kisses) but a lot of the time they’ll do the fake kisses with bad angles and I just. No. So I was really hoping for a kiss between Waii and Apo mainly because of the chemistry they managed to have by that time (and quite frankly we deserved it after seeing Waii kiss Fay). And I was not disappointed. At all. I’m blushing just thinking about it. So well done New and Earth!
And secondly, I was glad for the decisions Apo made in eps 13 and 14. He knew he needed to get out and he did. (He’s a strong, independent man who don’t need no man!) And he kept his distance the best he could. He understood the situation and he knew that Waii had made a decision and respected that. I love him for that. Even going to America in ep14. I usually hate it when a character does that in a drama (ehem- Yoon Eun Hye in almost every drama she does-ehem) but I’m glad he left. It gave them a distance to think about what they wanted the most and Waii was willing to wait for him so. The ending was good for me (I also loved Apo purposely avoiding Waii’s kiss. Haha!)
In the end, I feel like the writers should have planned it out better for just 14 episodes. Because it was initially based on a BL movie, most of us are going to watch it for the BL aspect and that was muddied over quite often. Some of the episodes were underwhelming for the most part as well as some of the characters; which sucks because I really wanted this series to be tops as well as to love the characters.
Overall, I’d give a 6/10. I might watch it again in the future, but when, I’m not sure. I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch it. It’s clearly up to you. I went into watching it for New and Earth and I stayed for them. And honestly, take what I say with a grain of salt. I don’t know how they approached this series when they started and filmed it. I would watch it with an open mind and stick with it the whole series so you can form you’re own valid opinion of it. Because remember- this is just my opinion; how I felt during and after watching it. So give it a try certainly!
Thanks for reading through this…. It’s kind of a mess but that’s okay.
Stay classy fellow Peasants.