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Fangirl Friday: SOTUS

Is 'Sotus The Series' (2016) available to watch on UK Netflix -  NewOnNetflixUK

Title : SOTUS (Seasons 1 & 2)

Native Title: SOTUS: The Series พี่ว้ากตัวร้ายกับนายปีหนึ่ง

Also Known As: Sotus The Series P with Mr. Waugh bad one

Main Cast : Singto Prachaya Ruangroj, Krist Perawat Sangpotirat

Genre : Thai BL (Boy-Love) Drama

Information from MyDramaList

The “Gear” is one of the engineering mechanical devices in the cogwheel system (as in a clock). Having one signifies that one is a student of the Faculty of Engineering. However, to get one, all engineering freshmen must first undergo the SOTUS (acronym for Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, and Spirit) system. Arthit, one of the third year seniors, often abuses his power over the freshmen by making them do things against the rules. Freshmen students are practically powerless to complain or resist any orders given by their seniors. Arthit was seemingly unstoppable until Kongpob stood up against the abuses by the former. Continual encounters between the two developed from animosity to something much more affectionate. ~~ Adapted from the novel by BitterSweet.

When I began watching BL drama’s, this was one that was talked about a lot. It seemed like it was one of the OG BL drama’s out there, and I was always intending to watch it, but then I watched a video on YouTube about the most memorable moments of BL drama’s and the scene for this was just hilarious. The snark of the MC, Kong, was on-point and brilliantly executed. The dual personality of Arthit – one minute an angry senior, and the next this squishy soft caring senior – was incredibly well acted and written. As soon as I saw that scene, I tracked down the english subtitled episodes on YouTube and binged.

I wasn’t disappointed. Not only is this series funny, cleverly plotted, and really well acted, but it all came together well. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything important. The relationship starts off enemies-to-lovers, with neither really thinking about an attraction at first. Although it’s not explicitly mentioned, I think both MC’s are straight when the story starts. Then, as their interactions grow more heated and nemesis-like, they begin to see a different side of each other and feelings begin to develop. The version I watched had each episode divided into 4 10-minute parts, and even those first 4 parts had SO MUCH chemistry that I was instantly addicted.

It’s hard to show a true enemies-to-lovers story develop from hate into romance, but the reason these two are enemies is neither longstanding or all that serious. It’s a problem limited to a certain situation, so when they start working to move past it, it’s believable. The reason feelings develop is also believable, and I can also understand why it’s awkward to admit their feelings, due to the seriously macho-male atmosphere of their college and friends.

Like many bi-awakening/gay-for-you storyline, one MC has trouble accepting it, and pushes the other MC away. In this show, unlike in some others, the other MC actually accepts it! After an initial confusion over the distance between them, which leads him to encouraging honesty and silently backtracking to friendship rather than boyfriends, he offers space. He tries to understand the other MC, his situation, and why he’s keeping his distance. He doesn’t force his time or attention on the other MC, but gives them space. The other thing I love about their relationship is that they find their way to each other naturally, without illogical behaviour or jealousy over someone else provoking them into a reconciliation.

Unlike many BL drama’s, this one has female characters who are both smart, pretty and likeable. They’re not the enemy, they’re not a problem to workaround or silly, jealous and vapid creatures, like in some shows. These girls are sweet, kind and have great personalities, as well as offering a great supportive friendship to the MC. The MC’s best friends were a great secondary cast, as well.

Overall, a great storyline that’s seriously well executed. Honestly, there isn’t much “romance” per-se, on-screen. There is about 1 kiss and the rest is innuendo, suggestion and flirting, BUT I think that’s what makes it so good. It takes it’s time to let the relationship grow naturally, for us to see the chemistry build, and the bromance between the actors who play Kong and Arthit is SO clear, on the screen, that it grabs you from the start. Once they get romantic, and the ad-libs, and Kong’s amazing personality shine through, you’ll find yourself addicted. The most romantic moments are when Kong steps in with the flirtations and Arthit has no clue how to handle it. Though more on-screen rep would have been amazing, this was one of the OG shows from back in 2016, so I can understand why they took their time and let the feelings stand out more than the actions, for this one.

Now, let’s talk about Season 2: SOTUS S – it was everything I could have hoped for, in a sequel. There is so much flirting, and Kong is a master genius at ad-libbed flirty one-liners. The chemistry is off the wall, plus there’s a secondary BL storyline for Tiew, who is an existing character from Season 1.

Most of all, what I really loved about Season 2 were the nods to Season 1. Because they’re sort of more original and spin-off rather than Season 1 and 2, the storylines were about 3 years apart, so you could forgive the plot for missing some of the history, but it didn’t. In fact, ALL of my favourite moments from Season 1 were referred to, mimicked or referenced in some small way that made me all warm and fuzzy inside. It was an acknowledgement of the history between the characters – not just the main couple, either, but their friendship circle, which was so integral to the success of Season 1. They were filmed a year apart, but are a rarity for TV drama’s in that both are equally as good as the other, and an equal length.

I promise you – if you watch SOTUS and enjoy it, you will not regret going straight into SOTUS S.

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