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Manner of Death is an adaptation of the novel by the same name by Sammon, a family doctor and author.
This Thai drama aired from November 2020 to February 2021 with a total of 14 episodes.
I went into this not really knowing much about it. I knew that it starred Max and Tul, and that it was going to have something to do with crime. I also went in knowing Tul plays a doctor (mostly because of the promotional pictures lol).
Bun (Tul) is a medical examiner who moves to work at a provincial hospital, in an area where several of his friends from his University days live. There is small and tight knit corrupt community that Bun finds himself going up against when his friend Jane (Meiko) is found dead. It is chalked up to suicide, but Bun is adamant that she was murdered.
In the midst of the chaos he meets Tan (Max), a local teacher who was close to Jane and works at the same school she did, and who Tan suspects straight away (to be fair to Bun, Tan is acts sketchy!). Despite this, the pair form an unlikely bond as they investigate what happened.
This drama introduces a lot of players in the first half and I like the way it was done, as it was interesting to see how they all connected. As well as Jane’s murder, the investigation is a lot broader due to these corrupted individuals being involved in illegal activities – mostly sex related. There are definitely trigger warnings for rape of women and school girls, coercion through money and drugs, and human trafficking.
The investigation itself isn’t that great… the twists and story are good, but Bun just isn’t that smart. A lot of the twists and intrigue happens on screen without much help from our leads.
And talking of characters, I enjoyed watching our main leads together – especially in the latter third – but they don’t have much depth personality wise and the relationship is rather rushed. My enjoyment of them hinged mostly on my prior knowledge of the two actors and their work together. Max and Tul have amazing chemistry which makes you enjoy seeing them interact on screen. Bun doesn’t really have much going for him apart from him being a doctor and I literally forgot that Tan was a teacher. In a flashback we see him in a lesson and I was like… oh yeah! He’s mostly the catalyst for Bun investigating as he’s intertwined with a lot of the aspects of it. He was her friend and colleague, his brother was dating Jane and his other brother is a gang boss. Plus, like Bun, Tan is intent on getting justice and this is a personality trait that really does bond them together.
They are helped by a host of characters, but some of them are unexpected, so I’m just going to talk about my favourites, which appen to be the two that are outright allies from the get go. That (Bhu) is part of Bun’s brother’s gang and is generally in the care of Bun and you can see that they are close throughout the drama. We first view him as a jerk, but with his friendship with Sorawit (Putter), we see his soft and playful side. Sorawit is drawn into this mess when his schoolfriend Nam (Wantanee Inchoiy) goes missing after behaving very oddly for a while. This loyal bestie won’t stop until he finds out what’s happened to her and where she is.
In the first half of the drama, I disliked Inspector M (Great). He’s very attractive – especially in his uniform – but he was annoying. By the end, he was one of my favourites. I think this drama does a good job of subverting your expectations of the cast. There are a couple of moments where characters show their true colours and it’s wild! For most of the drama, I trusted barely anyone!
Overall, the drama has a cool concept and is incredibly unique considering the normal dramas with gay main characters being made at the moment in Thailand. I think the writing was good, but character development and personality could have been a lot better. And whoever was in charge of the music choices in this drama was having a day… the music is far too intense a lot of times and rather loud!
I’m happy that I finally finished the drama and I would definitely recommend it for fans of mysteries ♥
Plot: 3 || Acting: 3 || Chemistry: 4 || Production: 2 || Ending: 3 || Enjoyment: 4
Director: Chookiat Sakveerakul + Nattapong Arunnate || Screenwriter: Title Nirattisai Ratphithak || Release Date: Nov 30, 2020 – Feb 22, 2021 || Based on Novel by Sammon
What are your thoughts on Manner of Death?
Thanks for reading!
I hope you’re having a lovely day and staying safe ♥
This has been on my radar for a while, was nice to get to know your thoughts on it. BL series branching out to include different genres makes for really interesting dramas!
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I hope you like it! You’re completely right, it can be a bit boring if all we see are university settings!