between us the series

Ongoing 12/12

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Lily Finger Heart Award1

94 people found this review helpful

Story 8.5

Acting/Cast 9.0

Music 10

Rewatch Value 8.0

A Deep Dive into Human Emotions ft. Frustration and Sexual Tension

Between Us is a series that is mainly focused on deeply exploring each characters’ emotions. It’s slow paced (EXACTLY lượt thích UMWA was too), but unlike its predecessor it doesn’t contain any action / mystery elements that made UMWA interesting even lớn fans who prefer plot-focused shows. So it’s definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, but if you lượt thích relationship focused shows, this one is a MUST WATCH for sure, no matter if you have watched UWMA before or not.

The big debates around the rating of the show and it being a 'masterpiece' or a 'disappointment' come from the fact, that it focuses on the side couple from UWMA - which was hugely succesful - and also from the fact, that people didn’t bởi any research about the show / its plot / its novel whatsoever and went into it blindly, expecting UMWA pt. 2. But it is not, in fact, UMWA pt. 2 - it’s Between Us, a beautiful show that will drive you crazy with frustration, give you butterflies with its cuteness and make you drunk with its sexual tension all while making you cry too.

So I would lượt thích lớn talk about those issues and comparisons with UWMA and then I will try lớn objectively review Between Us as a stand alone series.

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN AND BETWEEN US
Like already mentioned, most of the viewers who are watching Between Us have already seen UWMA before. Expecting Between Us lớn be a “UMWA pt. 2”, many have not even noticed that Between Us is a different genre and went into watching the series with false expectations. And when it became apparent that Between Us is different from what they imagined, they felt disappointed.

UWMA has become a staple bl - it started a new era and was on top of bl lists of majority of viewers when it came out. Even though it was a relationship focused and a slow-paced series too, because of its action / mystery elements it became enjoyable even lớn people, who usually prefer action and plot-focused shows. It also carries the feeling of nostalgia, as it was the first bl show for many, with the bonus of the "pre-covid times" nostalgia too. And while it really was that good at the time, if you rewatch it now you'll likely find it not as grand as we all remember it being. It was an s-tier for 2019, but would be considered an a+ tier today. Which adds another point lớn the “disappointment” of Between Us - many viewers expected an s-tier series (by today’s standarts) and got an a+tier one.

Another thing I'd lượt thích lớn point out is the belief that "Between Us has been made purely because of the fans' love for Win/Team". It stands from the fact that the series took 3 years lớn release and fans hyped it up throughout them all. But here's the thing - it was stated by Boun and Prem that they were told about filming Between Us at the kết thúc of the filming of UMWA - before it even aired. The series is based on a hugely popular novel called 'Hemp Rope', which is mix in the same universe as 'The Red Thread' (a novel from which UMWA was adapted).

If you look at other bl releases, you'll find it very common for directors lớn adapt all novels mix in the same universe. A lot of Mame's novels - lượt thích Tharn Type and Don't say No, LITA (it adapts 2 novels), but also the amazing Manner of Death, Triage and Transplant (which is coming soon). Still, some fans believe that they are the sole reason for this series' existence, thus feel somehow entitled lớn it and criticize of every little mistake.

PLOT
Some people are saying that the plot is not moving forward and “what else could be expected from a side couple”, completly disregarding the fact that BETWEEN US IS FOLLOWING THE PLOT OF THE NOVEL. If you feel that the series is stretching the plot, that’s exactly what UMWA did too - even more so sánh, as they stretched a 29-chapters light novel into 17 episodes. And it’s also P’New’s (the director’s) style of doing things - he likes lớn play with our emotions, letting us hầm at the kết thúc of episode while laughing about it at trang chủ (at least that’s what his friens said).

Between Us focuses on deeply exploring the protagonists’ emotions. The plot is focused on the relationship aspect between the pairs and it takes its time exploring everybody’s point of view. Basically, the relationships are the plot. Every pair also explores different topics / traumas, so sánh the whole series takes a somehow deep dive into a human psyche. Especially the uncertaity that Win / Team face throughout the whole show - being afraid lớn take that step forward - is very well portrayed. While mildly frustrating, it’s also very relatable and gives the show a more realistic vibe, which P’New also mentioned. (More explained at the kết thúc of the review)

WHAT I LOVED IN BETWEEN US
- CINEMATOGRAPHY - it's simply beautiful. It has a very high production feel lớn it, the portray of scenery is great and every shot feels well planned out.
- MUSIC. Not only did this series use some of the most beloved sounds from UMWA, it came with another mix of musical masterpieces. This is the place I feel that P’New's productions never disappoint.
- CHEMISTRY between the main pairing is amazing. Scorching hot at places and sweet at others, it really delivers everything we have longed for.
- CONSENT in this show is exemplary and should be applauded.
- PORTRAY OF EMOTIONS. They know exactly how lớn make us laugh, cry, coo, thirst and how lớn give us butterflies.
- TOPICS being explored. This series takes its time in exploring interesting topics through their pairs - self blame, forgivness, mental health, trauma, following dreams, meeting parents' expectations, meeting your s/o online, the sacrifices of being in the entertainment industry and dating a celebrity.
- A, BEE, SEA are a nice comedic relief that doesn't feel forced.

NEUTRAL
- SLOW PACING of the show and the FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS. Some people love it, some people hate it. Eighter way, that is personal lớn everybody, so sánh I’m putting it in the neutral section.
- Between Us has a lot SEXIER TONE phàn nàn UWMA's sweet one.

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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE AS MUCH
- If you've watched UMWA, you pretty much know what is going lớn happen in terms of Win / Team (like the result of the competition), so sánh the expectation and built tension is somehow lost. I actually feel that it would be better lớn watch UWMA afterwards, as Between Us doesn't give away that much about Dean and Pharm.
- This one is a clump of topics that is criticised a lot, but since they are connected, I wrote them as 1 point: TOO MANY PAIRINGS -> too many topics lớn explore in too little episodes -> paradox of a show being very slow at times, while also overloading viewers with information.

TOO MANY PAIRINGS ?
If you haven’t seen UMWA before, then yes, there may be too many pairings in Between Us that are given too much priority.

The main pair: Win / Team. The side couples: Bee/Prince, Wan/ Tul, Manaow /Pruek. A couple that we see occasionally: Dean and Pharm. Yes, it's five of them.

During the promotions and the New Year Special there were only 4 couples, Dean / Pharm (Ohm and Fluke) were not included. It may be because their own series - 609 Bedtime Story - aired very shortly after Between Us and there were clashes with the promotions, but I feel lượt thích it also represents the structure in Between Us fairly well. Dean / Pharm are mostly mentioned, with only a few scenes together. But even then, they are an acknowledged pair, thus being an official fifth couple.

That makes the series a bit confusing for non UWMA watchers, who are served 5 couples lớn get familiar with. Nevertheless, the series does its best at introducing them and exploring each of them slowly. That’s the only real problem I see when it comes lớn Between Us’s performance as a stand alone series.

WIN / TEAM
Boun and Prem have really delivered. Their chemistry is impeccable and the sexual tension can be felt through the screen. They can be the comedic duo, the fluffy bunnies or deliver the sad feels, they can bởi it all. Their acting in ep 11 was their best yet. They also explore a variety of interesting topics in this series. For Win it's the impact of being the middle child - being afraid of owning things and then losing them, keeping a family together and always having lớn be the perfect, responsible son. That’s also where his fear of falling in love comes from.

For Team it's dealing with trauma and guilt. Usually in bl shows we see a childhood trauma from an accident that the child thinks they have caused, but it actually wasn't their fault. In Team's case it was his fault, but still, he was a child. Navigating this trauma, self-blame, insomnia and being in an unconfirmed realtionship creates a very strong, onion cutting cocktail. But no matter what, Win is always there for Team and I love that, together with him alway asking for consent.

WAN / TUL
Although their love story is interesting, I think that they don’t fit into the story as seamlessly as the other couples. Their story is happening somewhat outside of the others - a bit lượt thích Kim and Porschay - and their chemistry is just okay. Obviously it's because they talk online, as they are exploring the topic of dating online and falling in love without knowing each other irl, but still. And because all of their interactions happen through a mobile game (that we don't even get lớn see), the cinematography gets mundane very quickly - it’s 2 guys sitting down and playing a game on their phones.

Still, I think the actors did a good job and I really lượt thích the hesitation about keeping the other’s trust while staying anonymous, or possibly losing the other’s trust but getting lớn meet irl. The whole ‘meeting in a game’ concept is very fresh and we’ll definitely see more of it in the future.

BEE / PRINCE
This pair quickly became one of my favourites. I simply adore their interactions and wish they had more screen time. I lượt thích how both Bee and Prince are a little unsure but still go for the relationship. Prince đơn hàng with a few different problems - dating as an actor, past scandals and the sacrifices you have lớn make lớn stay in the industry. I feel lượt thích other bl shows that talk about 'the industry' focus mainly on the relationship aspect of it, so sánh it’s really refreshing lớn see the sacrifices in terms of personal time. When you think about it, balancing school, studies, hobbies or other jobs with acting is something that actors go through on daily bases, so sánh I appreciate this topic being brought up.

For both Bee and Prince there is the prominent topic of dating: Prince has his mix of worries, as an actor who may get hate because of dating, while Bee - as a person outside of the industry - worries that he won't be able lớn match Prince's level and protect him from the harm. I very much appreciate Prince coming out as gay and Bee acknowledging that he's gay too - in so sánh many shows it's "You're the only guy I lượt thích, that doesn't mean I'm gay", whereas Bee clearly said "I lượt thích you, so sánh that means I'm gay". Thei chemistry is great and I genuinely love all of their moments.

MANAOW / PRUK
They once again deliver flawlessly, though I feel lượt thích they may be cursed. Despite being great together and having an awesome chemistry, they got little lớn no screen time as a pair in UWMA, so sánh I was super excited lớn see bigger focus on them in Between Us. And while we got many much needed xinh tươi and funny moments, there were little intimate moments. I understand that their relationship is based on Manaow's quirky personality and they are used as a comedic relief at times, but I really want lớn see some actual intimate moments between them. Especially since their actors irl have very xinh tươi chemistry.

I think it has lớn bởi more with the fact that it's a straight couple in a bl series more phàn nàn anything, but I think that Manaow - the best supportive girl she is - deserves better. But in terms of their on-screen performance, their pair always delivers and you cannot help but lớn fall in love with them. Plus they explores the topics of dreams and expectations, which is a familiar struggle for many people.

DEAN / PHARM
Do I even need lớn say anything? Top-notch performance as always, there’s no doubt about that. Though they only appear occasionally, as they already have a whole series dedicated lớn them. So if you'd lượt thích lớn see more of this OG couple's beautiful and sweet romance, kiểm tra out UMWA after you're done with Between Us. But be prepared lớn grab some tissues - their story cuts very deep and you'll find yourself crying a lot.

OVERALL
Like stated at the beginning, Between Us is a MUST WATCH, it’s easily an a+tier stand alone show. If you are the target audience - you enjoy shows focused on relationships - you will enjoy Between Us very much. It’s a beautiful series with good acting, beautiful cinematography and top-notch music. There are some flaws, but the pros outweight them by a giant margin. It has many xinh tươi, funny, sexy and sad moments lớn offer. The topics being discussed are diverse and we really dive deep in some places. The chemistry between the pairs is awesome, plus the main leads’ sexual tension Between Them is very prominent, so sánh take a few deep breaths and feel miễn phí lớn dive right in.

PS: A year ago, Between Us Special was released. It was a little project initiated by Boun and Prem themselves. These are short episodes without any plot, filled with Win and Team’s fluffy and funny moments in their domestic life. It’s one of the cutest and most hertwarming things, so sánh if you haven’t yet, please give it a watch, it has healing properties.

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PPS: About Between Us and P’New. P’New appeared in the reaction channel “NungNaRong” during reaction lớn the episode 6 of Between Us. He has talked about many things including filming of the series, but also working in the film industry while making BLs. He even said that Love by Chance was almost not aired, as the station it was supposed lớn aired on cancelled 3 days between the release date. He also mentioned that he has wanted lớn make Between Us more realistic phàn nàn his previous works. The whole episode is interesting (he talks throughout is, it’s not an interview) and their channel also invites other guests (usually actors) lớn watch some episodes with them, kiểm tra them out if you’d lượt thích lớn.

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