My original plan for the night was to be fast asleep at this very moment. But I made the fateful decision to begin Wannabe, and now I’m way too excited to sleep. To say the brand new Thai drama starts off strong is a heinous understatement: this first episode slaughters most drama premieres I’ve seen recently. Here’s to hoping the rest of the show keeps this momentum.
Speaking of momentum, can we talk about how perfect the pace is for this first episode? There’s absolutely zero foot-dragging as Wannabe demands (and maintains) your attention with a foot-tapping, head-bopping opening sequence that sets the tone for the episode — especially in terms of excellent production quality and intriguing storytelling. The following minutes clearly establish who’s who in this world — and why we, the viewers, should care about them.
And care we do. Before the first episode was finished, I knew I was in for the long run. I am already deeply invested in these characters’ lives (on a completely normal and healthy level, I swear.) I care about them and their goals, and want to know more about them. You really can’t ask for much more as far as character-writing goes.
Okay, so the pace is great, the characters are written well — how’s the acting? Oh, I’m glad you asked: it’s brilliant. And though I am less versed in the field of rap than in that of acting, it seems like the rapping is pretty amazing too. Whenever worlds intertwine, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is often called for. But in this case, I think both the rapping and the acting are totally solid. I don’t know if they got rappers who could act, or actors who could rap, or both (which seems most likely to me) — but so far, I’ve been extremely impressed with performances all around. Two of my particular favorites so far are Non and Dream.
Nonkul Chanon Santinatornkul plays Puen, a young rapper trying to make it big, and a self-proclaimed “wannabe.” Surrounding Puen are his rapper buddy Rang (Dream Supakit Thinjun) and sister Pun (Noon Pitchatorn Santinatornkul). During the course of the first episode, Puen and Rang write a rap song dissing their crappy fathers. By the end of the episode, they’ve finished and released it — and viewers get to see the song rapidly grow in popularity, particularly among youth. It’s the perfect catapult into action as we head into episode 2 — and also lends us insight as to how these two grew up.
Let’s continue with Wang (Gun Setthapong Eosuk), the high school kid who has a huge crush on Maam (May Varisara Asawapattanakun), his classmate and neighbor who dreams of becoming an idol. I’ve noticed that dramas will often take the dork archetype and pretty them up or make them super cutesy, but I appreciate that these creators made Wang a regular, realistic dork (or whatever term we’re going to use here…I think you all know what I mean); he’s that weird kid from school we all knew. He’s not overly awkward, but also doesn’t seem to have a lot of self-confidence. I have a feeling, however, that his love for Maam is going to fuel his bravado before too long…because the drama’s trailer teases him rapping — something I am awaiting gleefully and with sincerely high expectations (because, honestly, everything else has been great so far).
I don’t know how the rest of the episodes will go, but I do hope they at least stay on par with this first one. And I think they will. The bar may be set high by its stellar premiere, but something tells me Wannabe won’t be losing steam anytime soon.
As always, thank you for reading! Until next time.
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All-time favorite drama: Sakura no Oyakodon: Season 3
Anticipated upcoming dramas: D.P.: Season 2