An Unlikely Duo
Thai drama Hook is one of those shows that will undoubtedly have a loyal following. With the drama making its debut on Netflix this week, Hook gets off to a pretty good start but it’s also a drama that follows a pretty cliched story arc that you may see orchestrated very early on.
If you can look past the fact some of the cheap set design and camera work, there’s actually a pretty charming core in this one that makes for an enjoyable watch; it almost feels like a web-toon brought to life at times.
Episode 1 of Thai drama Hook begins with the legendary fighter Wanchai in the ring, pummeled until he falls to the ground in defeat. As the bell echoes in his weary mind, he breathes deeply in defeat and falls unconscious.
We then jump forward in time to see two friends, Man (Mr Wanchai’s son) and Yod, discussing girl problems. Determined to stand up for his friend, Man bites off more than he can chew as he squares up to the boy who took Yod’s girlfriend. Unfortunately the odds are certainly not in his favour and he makes a pretty hasty retreat to escape from them.
This leads him to the suave and charismatic Saifah, who finds himself entangled in Man’s problems at the coffee shop. Outrunning the gang together, they hide out in a bathroom and discuss Man’s less-than-heroic mission to avenge his friend and his familial ties to Mr Wanchai, the legendary fighter.
Realizing what the time is, Saifah heads to class and sits next to his love interest Dandao while Man makes it to his art class fashionably late. It turns out they’re both university students at the same school and find themselves suffering some bad luck.
After a confrontation with his teacher surrounding Wanchai’s boxing, things certainly don’t look great for Man’s future grade prospects.
Saifah finishes class and finds himself face to face with the bullies who hold him up at knife-point, demanding to know where Man is by threatening him and Dandao. Despite being beaten, Dandao’s affection is enough to disguise some of the pain he feels both physically and to his pride.
Back at the gym things are rough with Man’s Father. After his defeat in the ring he’s turned to drinking in a bid to disguise his pain while Ying, Man’s sister, certainly shows her disdain toward what’s happening here. Things get even more awkward at dinner that evening, as Man throws shade at his Father for giving up. This inevitably leads to the siblings coming to blows as their Father walks away.
Meanwhile, Saifah curses his own lack of courage to fight back and turns the TV on to unwind. As he sees an advert for mixed martial arts, it immediately gives him the idea of joining the gym. As he arrives however, Man stands waiting for him with boxing gloves on and a padded helmet, believing him to be the thug from school.
Revealing himself, Man realizes the gang got to Saifah first and hurries off to confront the gang members himself (and getting a few decent punches in for good measure.)
At the gym, Ying greets Saifah warmly as he approaches their Father and asks for boxing lessons. He refuses of course, crashing back on the sofa again, as Ying decides to teach him instead. With Saifah excited for the training ahead, Wangchai listens solemnly from the sofa, which is where the episode ends.
With some quirky sound effects and over the top mannerisms, Hook actually feels like a lot like a live-action anime. The production design is pretty cheap too but there’s an undeniable charm to this one that makes it easy to look past some of these flaws.
It certainly won’t be for everyone, and it is a bit of an acquired taste, but there’s enough here to stick with for the weeks ahead.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!