Friday, February 3, 2012

In Which I Watch Some Thai TV

I've been on a big lakorn kick for a while as my choice of entertainment when the little guy keeps me up.  There's a ton of them with English subtitles on YouTube, so there's no lack of material to keep me busy.

Lakorns are Thai soap operas.  They're like Mexican soap operas in that they have a definite beginning and ending rather than going on and on and on like most American soap operas, and they are always love stories.  They generally have a fairy-tale ending where all the loose ends are tied up, the good guy and girl get together, and the bad girl and optional bad guy (there's always a bad girl, but not always a bad guy) get their just rewards.  A lot of them are incredibly cheesy, but they're good clean fun for the most part.  No, really-- Thai television is way more censored than what we watch over here, and Thai culture as a whole frowns on PDA.  Most of the sexual tension in the lakorns is built up with risque secret-hand-holding-in-public and the occasional peck on the cheek.  Even in the more serious ones, pretty much everything is implied rather than shown on screen.  To tell you the truth, it's pretty refreshing, even if the acting is way over the top and the plots are ridiculous. 

I'd like to say that I watch them to learn more about Thai culture, but that would kind of be like trying to learn about American culture from Days of our Lives.  While I do pick up the occasional tidbit here and there, mostly I watch them for the entertainment value.  Currently I'm halfway through Phoo Yai Lee Gab Nang Ma (Headman Lee and Mrs. Ma), which is a good place to start if you're interested in romantic comedy done Thai style.  Also it has perhaps the most ridiculous opening credits song ever.  Nothing like rap interspersed with banana peel and cow sounds to get things started off right!

I'm hoping that maybe watching an evening lakorn episode or two will be something that Ellen and I can do together, maybe as a special mother-daughter activity after Connor goes to bed.  She's apparently a fan of the historical lakorns (lakorn boran), so I'm trying not to watch any of those so I can save them for when she's here!



Anonymous said...

Are the ones you're watching subtitled?

-Julia (who cannot seem to be able to log in from her new phone)

Jess said...

Yep! My Thai is nowhere near good enough to watch them without subtitles!

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