If you've watched Thai shows, you'll see that some dramas are titled 'Series,’ entailing that the show has only been released on the web and, thus, a web series. Lakorns, on the other hand, are television series that air on Thai channels and are more like soap operas than short dramas. A parallel example would be K-dramas released on national television channels like TVN and KBS. Lakorns cover a variety of genres like mystery, thrillers, revenge, fantasy, and love stories. Following are ten suggestions for beginners to Lakorns.
1. Klein Cheewit
This lakorn tells the story of a beautiful and talented actress with a secret, painful past which has affected her life for ages. She has been neglected and assaulted as a child, and as a grownup, she can't help but turn to alcohol to forget her traumas. When she accidentally kills a woman under the influence of alcohol, the victim's boyfriend decides to take revenge on her. This story is both sad and intense. It is not a drama for everyone but a good one.
2. F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers
F4 Thailand is one of the most anticipated series of the year. It is a drama based on what started with Meteor Garden in 2001. It has adaptions in several languages in several other countries. The most popular adaptation of F4 is the Korean version, Boys Over Flowers. The story is about an elite group of four boys and a new student at the school who gets tangled in a love triangle with two of them.
3. Heart Of Stone
Heart of Stone is a lakorn that embodies one of the most popular Thai revenge dramas. It is about a boy born out of wedlock and forced to live with his father’s side of the family. They are constantly abusive towards him. The boy feels compelled to run away from them to survive and take revenge. When he returns years later, he is dead set on avenging himself and his mother for all the wrongs committed against them, even if the abusers are his so-called family.
4. The Gifted
The Gifted is a Thai drama that was a start for many of the admired faces we see in the Thai entertainment industry right now. It takes after a novel of the same name, and the story is about the struggle and pain faced by teenagers who just want to reach their dreams. It is about how vulnerable students are to the education systems that exploit them for their own gain. The drama gained one of the highest ratings of the year because of how relatable and tragic it was.
5. Piang Chai Khon Nee Mai Chai Poo Wised
Piang Chai Khon Nee Mai Chai Poo Wised is a 2016 Thai drama series featuring a marriage of convenience. The male lead must marry the wealthy female lead to pay off his mother’s gambling debt. Despite the manner of arrangement of their union, the two characters slowly fall for each other. It has the central plot of a love triangle, as the couple is constantly made to face various trials of misunderstandings and is on the verge of splitting. This drama also got various other adaptations in Thai.
6. Full House
The drama Full House is about a Thai screenwriter who gets scammed and stranded during her trip to Korea and a young actor who becomes the new owner of her house. The drama itself is based on a K-drama of the same name. The story is adorable and cliche as the two characters fall in love while they are in the classic 'marriage contract.' It gained a lot of popularity because of how easy it is to watch.
7. The Judgement
This Thai drama exposes the various sadistic aspects of society– a place where people are prone to ruining others’ lives with malicious rumours and gossip. The main character gets sexually assaulted at a party, and instead of standing by her, people make her the subject of horrible discussions, which increases her trauma. Pictures and videos of the events also surface, and she realises her inevitable ruin. The story deals with an extremely sensitive topic and shows a realistic depiction of a blatant act of victim blaming.
If you love enemies and lovers, you will love this Thai drama. Rivalry is one of the fan favourites of 2022. It shows how the children of two families with business rivalries cannot stop themselves from falling for each other. The two are taught to hate each other from a young age. However, as they grow up and their interactions increase, they finally understand each other more deeply. They start falling for each other. The genre is mostly family drama and romantic comedy, and it was very well-known for the sweet chemistry between the leads.
9. A Gift To The People You Hate
A Gift to the People You Hate is a drama of the magical realism genre centred around a shop that allows you to buy gifts for people you detest. It is of the horror genre and based on a Thai comic. These gifts are also of four levels, depending on how you want the recipient to feel. It is interesting and thrilling, and the fantasy/supernatural aspect adds a kick to it that makes it very popular among horror viewers. If you are looking for such a drama, then this is the one.
10. Kiss Me
This Thai drama is based on the very popular Japanese manga Itazura Na Kiss, which has over 10 adaptations in various languages across East Asian media. It shows the development of a relationship between a bright girl with strong willpower who is known for being a bad student and the rich and popular guy in school, known for his looks and shining grades. The girl, Taliw, has a crush on the guy, Tenten, and even gives him a love letter. Spoiler alert: She is rejected and humiliated. Yet, as if that were not enough, she loses her house and is forced to live with her father at her father's friend's place. Which, surprisingly, is also the house of Tenten. The story is funny, and the chemistry and biking are top-notch. This drama is a 100% must-watch!