The pride month is about to end in a week and recently I found myself re-watching one of my favourite LGBTQ dramas. Will I pay heavens to make me experience the feeling of watching it for the first time again? Yes absolutely yes!
The drama that I’m talking about is called “I Told Sunset About You”, also known as ITSAY (yes, I couldn’t think of a better title for the blog). If you are a fan of Asian dramas then you have definitely heard of the BL genre. BL (Boys’ Love) shows although depict romantic relationships between men but are targeted towards teenage female audience. The genre has often been accused of wrongly portraying gay relationships.
Coming back to ITSAY, it is a Thai drama released in 2020, though marketed as a BL in the beginning but due to its realistic portrayal of same sex love and not following of conventional BL tropes, ITSAY is considered a LGBTQ coming of age drama. The story follows the lives of two teenage boys Teh and Oh-aew, played by Billkin and PP Krit respectively, who live in Phuket and are chasing their common dream of becoming actors. Teh and Oh-aew used to be childhood friends but had a fallout due to their shared dream forcing them to be competitors.
Finally, in the last year of school while preparing for University entrance exams Teh and Oh-aew meet again at Chinese language tutorial classes where Teh agrees to teach Oh-aew Chinese and their friendship blooms again. Teh is in love with a girl named Tarn who is also his classmate and they both have decided to start dating after entering University. The five episode drama then tells the story of both the boys exploring their identity, realising their love for eachother, chasing their dreams, while dealing with family pressure and teenage angst simultaneously.
As a coming of age drama, ITSAY portrays the complexities of a teenager’s mind really well. The struggle to strike a balance between what the heart wants as opposed to the mind and the constant fear of not being able to conform to the norms of the society makes up for a emotional roller coaster ride. Teh helping Oh-aew learn the Chinese language gives us some of the sweetest and heart fluttering scenes in the drama. The feelings of jealousy, helplessness and longing for eachother when a constant pressure of entering a prestigious University and making good career is lingering above them makes ITSAY relatable to many of us.
I can’t help but talk about a particular scene in the drama where the fear of loosing Oh-aew, the pressure to be up to the mark like his elder brother and several other things piled up together cause Teh to have a mental breakdown in the middle of writing his exam. Another heartbreaking scene is where Teh is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and thus refrains from getting closer to Oh-aew. This prompts Oh-aew to try on a red bra as he wonders what he is lacking in? Why is he not enough for Teh to love him back?
Talking about ITSAY and not appreciating its soundtrack and cinematography is soon going to be counted in top ten gravest sins one could commit in their life. The soundtrack is as memorable as the show itself, with each score resonating with various human emotions. My personal favourite is “Home Coming”. As for the cinematography, I will just say that ITSAY feels like a trip to Phuket with your two favourite people.
I can keep on writing paragraphs about the brilliance of this drama, it’s storyline, acting, direction, music and everything else but that will make this blog extraordinarily long. So, if you want to fall in love with beaches, sunsets, hibiscus, coconuts, the colors red and blue, and reminisce about your teenage love then please watch ITSAY without wasting another minute.
ITSAY is followed by a 14-minute short film, titled Last Twilight in Phuket and a second season called I Promised You The Moon.