Bad Buddy is a Thai BL series about Pran and Pat, two university rivals in a bitter feud.

Bad Buddy is a Thai BL series about two university students with an intense rivalry. The main characters are neighbours whose families have feuded for many decades. Their friends from the engineering and architecture departments are also involved in an irreconcilable dispute. Despite the hostility around them, these enemies find themselves growing closer instead of antagonizing each other.

Excellent from start to finish, Bad Buddy is a BL masterpiece. The epic plot, sizzling romance, and charismatic actors come together in perfect synchronicity. This fun romantic comedy is exciting, thoughtful, and super sexy. I hope I’m not overstating my appreciation, but it might possibly be the pinnacle series of the genre.

Bad Buddy Summary

What is the drama called?

แค่เพื่อนครับเพื่อน

Where was the series made?

Thailand

When was the drama released?

2021

How long is Bad Buddy?

Around 12 hours

What is the genre?

Romance

How would you describe the series?

Cute and sweet

How many episodes are in Bad Buddy?

12 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 50 to 60 minutes

Plot

Pran and Pat have a lifelong rivalry since their childhood.

Pran and Pat are next-door neighbours who have known each other since childhood. There is a long history of animosity between their families. They are business competitors who used dodgy tactics to undermine one another in the past. Pran’s parents hate Pat’s parents and the hostility is mutual.

Due to their family feuds, Pran and Pat developed an intense rivalry as they grew up. They competed against each other in everything, from school to sports. After Pran rescued Pat’s younger sister Pa from an accident, their tensions eased a bit. Both boys also found common ground through their mutual interest in music. However, they stopped interacting when Phan suddenly transferred schools after the 10th grade.

Years later, Pran and Pat reunite again at university. Pran is now an architecture student, while Pat studies engineering. Unfortunately, their departments do not get along. Pran’s friends and Pat’s friends have recently gotten involved in an escalating feud. Pran’s best friend Wai provoked Pat’s buddies, leading to fistfights and brawls between them.

The university authorities have threatened them with suspension if another fight erupts. The two warring factions have not reconciled despite the consequences, as Pat’s friend Korn continues to antagonize Wai. Under desperate circumstances, Pat approaches Pran to coordinate a truce between their friends. Although Pran is wary, they work together to pacify the fights.

Pran and Pat secretly keep in touch to ensure their friends never meet. These two former foes annoy each other over their personality differences. Pran is neat and fussy, while Pat is sloppy and nosy, so they often have disagreements. Nonetheless, Pran and Pat discover they get along compatibly as their communications increase. Yet, they must hide their amicable bond because of the bad blood between their friends and families.

Bad Buddy Trailer

Bad Buddy Cast

Characters

Pran Nanon Korapat Kirdpan (นนน กรภัทร์ เกิดพันธุ์) Nanon Instagram

Pran is portrayed by the Thai actor Nanon Korapat Kirdpan (นนน กรภัทร์ เกิดพันธุ์).

Pran is an architecture student and Pat’s next-door neighbour. Pran is the only child in his family, adored by his parents. He is neat, orderly, and a meticulous perfectionist. However, he often gets flustered when Pat throws his life into chaos. Pran’s hobbies include drawing, cooking, and playing the guitar. He likes to decorate his dorm room with various smiley faces.

Pat Ohm Pawat Chittsawangdee (โอม ภวัต จิตต์สว่างดี) Ohm Instagram

Pat is portrayed by the Thai actor Ohm Pawat Chittsawangdee (โอม ภวัต จิตต์สว่างดี).

Pat is an engineering student and Pran’s next-door neighbour. He gets along with his younger sister Pa, but likes bossing her around to do his chores. Pat has a cheeky and extroverted personality, strutting across campus with a confident swagger. However, he’s a slob with a total disregard for personal hygiene. Pat plays on the university rugby team because of his dad’s influence, even though he lost interest in the sport.

Supporting Cast

Love Pattranite Limpatiyakorn (เลิฟ ภัทรานิษฐ์ ลิ้มปติยากร)

Pa

Love Pattranite Limpatiyakorn (เลิฟ ภัทรานิษฐ์ ลิ้มปติยากร)

Ink is portrayed by the Thai actress Milk Pansa Vosbein (มิ้ลค์ พรรษา วอสเบียน).

Ink

Milk Pansa Vosbein (มิ้ลค์ พรรษา วอสเบียน)

Wai is portrayed by the Thai actor Jimmy Jitaraphol Potiwihok (จิมมี่ จิตรพล โพธิวิหค).

Wai

Jimmy Jitaraphol Potiwihok (จิมมี่ จิตรพล โพธิวิหค)

Korn is portrayed by the Thai actor Drake Sattabut Laedeke (เดรก สัตบุตร แลดิกี).

Korn

Drake Sattabut Laedeke (เดรก สัตบุตร แลดิกี)

Pat's father is portrayed by the Thai actor Leo Put (ลีโอ พุฒ).

Pat’s dad

Leo Put (ลีโอ พุฒ)

Pat's mother is portrayed by the Thai actress Yui Pattamawan Kaomulkadee (ปัทมวรรณ เค้ามูลคดี).

Pat’s mom

Yui Pattamawan Kaomulkadee (ปัทมวรรณ เค้ามูลคดี)

Pran's mother is portrayed by the Thai actress Ple Paradee Yoopasuk (เปิ้ล ภารดี อยู่ผาสุข).

Pran’s mom

Ple Paradee Yoopasuk (เปิ้ล ภารดี อยู่ผาสุข)

Pran's father is portrayed by the Thai actor A Passin Reungwoot (เอ พศิน เรืองวุฒิ).

Pran’s dad

A Passin Reungwoot (เอ พศิน เรืองวุฒิ)

Chai is portrayed by the Thai actor Gap Thanavate Siriwattanakul (แก๊ป ธนเวทย์ สิริวัฒน์ธนกุล).

Chai

Gap Thanavate Siriwattanakul (แก๊ป ธนเวทย์ สิริวัฒน์ธนกุล)

Safe is portrayed by the Thai actor Lotte Thakorn Promsatitkul (ลอตเต้ ฐกร พรหมสถิตกุล).

Safe

Lotte Thakorn Promsatitkul (ลอตเต้ ฐกร พรหมสถิตกุล)

Louis is portrayed by the Thai actor Marc Pahun Jiyacharoen (ปาหุณ จิยะเจริญ).

Louis

Marc Pahun Jiyacharoen (ปาหุณ จิยะเจริญ)

Mo is portrayed by the Thai actor Prom Theepakon Kwanboon (พร้อม ทีปกร ขวัญบุญ).

Mo

Prom Theepakon Kwanboon (พร้อม ทีปกร ขวัญบุญ)

Chang is portrayed by the Thai actor Mark Pakin Kunaanuwit (มาร์ค ภาคิน คุณาอนุวิทย์).

Chang

Mark Pakin Kunaanuwit (มาร์ค ภาคิน คุณาอนุวิทย์)

Toto is portrayed by the Thai actor Au Kornprom Niyomsil (อู๋ กรพรหม นิยมศิลป์).

Toto

Au Kornprom Niyomsil (อู๋ กรพรหม นิยมศิลป์)

Professor Pichai is portrayed by the Thai actor Chertsak Pratumsrisakhon (เชิดศักดิ์ ประทุมศรีสาคร).

Professor Pichai

Chertsak Pratumsrisakhon (เชิดศักดิ์ ประทุมศรีสาคร)

Tong is portrayed by the Thai actor Khom Kongkiat Khomsiri (โขม ก้องเกียรติ โขมศิริ).

Tong

Khom Kongkiat Khomsiri (โขม ก้องเกียรติ โขมศิริ)

Junior is portrayed by the Thai actor Cnine Passkorn​ Chaithep​ (ซีนาย พัสกร ไชยเทพ).

Junior

Cnine Passkorn​ Chaithep​ (ซีนาย พัสกร ไชยเทพ)

Junior's mother is portrayed by the Thai actress Amata Piyavanich (อมตา ปิยะวานิชย์).

Junior’s mom

Amata Piyavanich (อมตา ปิยะวานิชย์)

Cast Highlights

  • Pat’s actor (Ohm) has a long history of appearing in various Thai dramas. He was part of Make It Right (2016), Make It Right 2 (2017), and The Shipper (2020). Ohm had a leading role in the 2019 BL series He’s Coming to Me.
  • Nanon also has an established career leading in numerous Thai series. He is well-known for starring in The Gifted (2018) and its sequel The Gifted: Graduation (2020). Bad Buddy is Nanon’s first BL role.
  • The two leads (Nanon and Ohm) featured in the 2019 Thai drama Blacklist, albeit they didn’t play a couple. Korn’s actor (Drake), Louis’ actor (Marc), and Pa’s actress (Love) also appeared in that series.
  • Korn’s actor (Drake) had supporting roles in the 2020 BL drama 2gether and 2021 series A Tale of Thousand Stars.
  • Louis’ actor (Marc) was the lead in the 2020 BL drama My Gear and Your Gown.

Bad Buddy Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 9.8

A+
Pran and Pat confront each other on the beach.

Bad Buddy is an extraordinary achievement. The creators came together and said, “We are going to make the best BL ever.” And guess what? They pretty much succeeded. Each aspect is sensational, from the exciting story to the epic relationship. Best of all, the delightful romantic comedy is led by the two perfect heartthrobs, exuding infinite charisma. I am utterly astonished by everything about this drama. Bad Buddy is a top-tier BL series and might reign supreme in the entire genre.

It won’t take long before you are captivated by Bad Buddy’s brisk, energetic narrative. I was hooked from the premiere, which introduced memorable protagonists, fun rivalries, and complex backstories. The breezy momentum continues throughout the series, never falling into a slump. This BL drama is packed with entertaining plots, lighthearted jokes, and sizzling sexual tension from start to finish. Bad Buddy goes on an incredible streak with nonstop adrenaline, delivering one excellent episode after another.

Although Bad Buddy has numerous strengths, its most outstanding quality is the juicy BL romance. The leads embark on a momentous journey, starting from a bitter rivalry that develops naturally into a fierce love. Pran and Pat’s distinctive personalities mesh well together, funny to watch whether they feud or flirt. Passionate sparks fly between the characters, propelled by their off-the-charts chemistry. This enthralling couple makes me blush and gush with many sweet moments, cheeky exchanges, and steamy encounters. 

The leads (Nanon and Ohm) give relaxed performances and embody their roles perfectly. Nanon brings delicate sensitivity to Pran’s character, while Ohm radiates vivacious charm as Pat. They share an enthusiastic rapport, making their scenes cheerful, hilarious & engaging to watch. What also helps is that the actors look gorgeous on-screen, both at peak physical attractiveness. Nanon is handsome and adorable as a button. Likewise, Ohm is dreamy and dripping with sex appeal. I spend half of every episode thinking to myself, “Nanon is so cute~ 😚” or “Ohm is so hot~ 🤤”.

Let’s go down the checklist and mention everything else that Bad Buddy does spectacularly. This series is self-aware and genre-savvy, replacing the usual BL tropes with quirky twists that change up the formula. The writing is sharp, transitioning seamlessly from intense drama to upbeat humour to heartfelt emotional moments. There’s also a lovely secondary couple with a warm and mature budding romance. All these features are presented through sleek, steady, and stunning production values, from the polished cinematography to the lush soundtrack.

I can rave about Bad Buddy down to the nitty-gritty details, but the gist is I love everything. What’s not to like? Maybe I’d minimize the toxic masculinity, making these civilized students behave less like street hooligans. Several subplots in the second half could also be handled more smoothly. However, the minor blips don’t register in an impeccable narrative, like nitpicking on the tiny flaws of a clear masterpiece. Overall, Bad Buddy surpasses my expectations and sets triumphant standards for this genre. I genuinely believe it’s one of the best BL dramas in my lifetime.

Summary

Engaging story

Bad Buddy features a compelling love story between two childhood rivals. The writing is sharp, transitioning between lighthearted humour and emotional drama seamlessly.

Captivating romance

Pran and Pat’s romance is the definition of BL. Their relationship goes on an epic journey from animosity to affection. Their exchanges are predominantly sweet, but they can also be flirty and steamy.

Charismatic acting

The two leads (Nanon and Ohm) are heartthrobs who exude boundless charm and charisma. The actors embody their roles perfectly, giving natural and relaxed performances.

Happy ending

The last episode presents a surprise twist, putting the viewers through an unexpected journey. Ultimately, Bad Buddy ends on a cheerful and satisfying note.

Excellent production

Bad Buddy is backed by an expert production team, who have put thought and effort into polishing every scene. The series looks beautiful, sounds delightful, and feels wonderful.

98%

Bad Buddy is pretty much the perfect series with a superb narrative, sizzling romance, and stellar acting. What more could you possibly want from a BL drama if this isn’t it?

Bad Buddy Series Explained

Analysis

BL Romeo and Juliet

Pran and Pat come close to kissing.

Bad Buddy draws clear parallels to the classic Shakespearean tale Romeo and Juliet. The story is about the two feuding families and the young star-crossed lovers caught in the crossfire of the hatred. There are a few changes, of course. Thankfully, there’s no tragic death at the end. This BL series is also a lot more lighthearted and contemporary, like a modern love story that could realistically take place in the 2020s.

The family drama is introduced early in the premiere, but it doesn’t become a prominent storyline until the end. We save the epic melodrama for the last few episodes. In the meantime, Bad Buddy focuses on the animosity between Pran’s friends and Pat’s friends from university. I think that’s a smart decision. The family tensions can get emotionally heavy, so you don’t want to start a romantic comedy with that kind of melodrama.

Instead, Bad Buddy begins with the relatable & flexible storyline about two rival school factions, the architecture department vs. the engineering faculty. Their conflict is dramatic enough, but it doesn’t feel that serious. Therefore, it’s a far better way to introduce the protagonists and showcase their playful flirtations. You’ll laugh at the rapid banter between Pran and Pat. You’ll tense up at their well-choreographed physical altercations. The two protagonists are on opposite sides and can’t seemingly get along, creating an exciting dynamic that propels the early episodes.

Pran and Pat

Pran and Pat have lunch together.

The two lovable leads play a huge part in making Bad Buddy a successful BL series. Pran and Pat are well-developed protagonists with distinctive personalities. They have complex backstories, realistic strengths and weaknesses, as well as funny quirks and eccentric habits. Their characterizations are vividly crafted, helping to make this series come alive. I feel totally connected with these protagonists and their transformative journeys.

Pran is a gentle and sensitive character, demonstrating intelligence, responsibility, and good manners. He’s a well-adjusted young man, the type of perfect and precocious child that would make any parent proud. I also love his style and creative flair. Pran is always well-dressed and his beautiful room is decorated like a Pinterest board. Sometimes, his personality can be too neurotic and insecure. That’s where Pat comes in, helping him laugh and relax instead of fussing over perfection.

Pat is charming and confident, exuding infectious energy that lights up any room he enters. He has a cheerful disposition, childlike playfulness, and a cheeky sense of humour. Pat is the type of goofball who brings joy everywhere he goes. I like that he’s a lazy slob with a roguish disregard for etiquette or rules. His juvenile antics make me giggle, although I acknowledge the character’s likability stems from the actor’s natural charisma. Sometimes, Pat can be too inappropriate and obnoxious, but Pran will keep him in check and make sure he behaves.

Both characters have such endearing personalities, making each episode of Bad Buddy delightful to watch. Don’t ask me to choose my favourite between Pran and Pat, because I love them equally~ Look at them! How can I possibly pick one over the other? 😚

Pran eats a slice of bread.
Pat spits out the wonton in his mouth.

Toxic masculinity

Pat and Wai argue over a rugby match, almost getting into a fight.

Beyond the romantic comedy elements, Bad Buddy explores toxic masculinity, shining a spotlight on undesirable behaviour perpetrated by men. You may have noticed an overpowering macho vibe coming from this series, more than the usual amount you expect in BL. Between the physical brawls and intense rugby matches, there’s a lot of hypermasculine aggression on display. These young men are frequently angry, quick to provoke conflicts with fists, kicks, and guns.

The male posturing is most prominent in the early episodes, defined by bruised egos and petty jibes. The conflict between the two university departments began over watching a sports game in a bar. Pat and his friends escalate the tensions, refusing to brush aside an insult due to their pride. All Wai did was stick up his middle finger. Yet, he gets subjected to days of bullying, physical assault & workplace humiliation. Pat’s friends are jackasses who relish in abuse, and Pat himself is an active participant who succumbs to mob mentality.

Bad Buddy makes a case that toxic masculinity is amplified in group settings. Notice how Pat’s worst moments are when he tries appearing in a specific way to please others. Pat feels a constant need to assert himself to look “manlier”. He bullies Wai to protect his reputation as a tough guy on campus. He also lies to his dad about playing on the rugby team instead of acting in the theatre play. Pat’s character represents the performative masculinity that many men feel pressured by their peers & families. However, he drops the bravado around Pran’s positive influence.

Pran

Pran stares longingly at Pat.

Pran exudes a different aura from the other male characters in Bad Buddy. He’s thoughtful, sensitive, and emotionally intelligent. These qualities are evident in the first scene, where he’s asked to join the campus brawl. Instead of jumping impulsively into action, Pran takes the time to pack up his art supplies. While the comedic moment was played for laughs, it also showcased his calm and level-headed personality. Pran joins the fight to protect his friends, not because he wants to thrust his chest and assert his masculinity.

Pran subverts various male constructs throughout the drama, from defying small stereotypes like handwriting to challenging Pat’s views on heteronormativity. He’s also close to his mom, enjoys artistic pursuits, and maintains good personal hygiene (including make-up remover, btw). These traits are not widely associated with the traditional male identity, but Pran exhibits them proudly and openly. He presents a different definition of manhood, showing there’s another way to be a guy without the ego or aggression.

I love Pran because he’s considerate and highly attuned to other people’s emotions. In Episode 8, the couple has a minor tiff when Pran flinches after his boyfriend takes a picture of them. Pat brushes off the moment like it’s nothing. Nonetheless, Pran leaves a sea of memo notes as a creative apology, boosting his boyfriend’s spirits. Later, he goes to lengths to cheer up Pat after a tense call with his dad. Pran’s empathy and compassion shine brightly in many instances, making his character so lovable.

Heteronormativity

Pat confronts Pran about calling him his wife.

Bad Buddy is full of incredible BL exchanges, including a spectacular rooftop kiss that still makes my heart pitter-patter. However, the best moment in the series is not an inherently romantic interaction. Instead, my favourite scene is in Episode 9, where Pran visits an injured Pat at the hospital. Pat just finished a call with Wai over the police incident. Wai teases the couple’s intimacy, and Pat responds with a cheeky remark by calling Pran his “wife”. Pran waits until his partner finishes the call before asking him a pivotal question.

“Does calling me a wife make you feel superior?”

Damn, Pran just dropped the mic. He destroyed male chauvinism, toxic masculinity, and outdated heteronormative notions with one concise line. I was utterly shaken that Bad Buddy delivered a powerful, elegant statement about BL culture. Of course, Pat immediately backpedalled and covered up his comment as a joke. However, the remark is based on his deep-rooted insecurities about asserting his masculinity in a gay relationship. His character has a heteronormative outlook, perceiving romance only in terms of girlfriends and wives until he meets Pran.

What makes this well-written scene better is Pran’s poised demeanour. He never loses his patience or composure. Pran remains relaxed by making a tactful joke, reversing the roles to demonstrate his point. Pat feels silly using pet names like “hubby” and “wifey”, but he isn’t humiliated or shamed. Pran defuses an uncomfortable confrontation with calm humour, turning it into a learning lesson for his boyfriend. Best of all, the moment doesn’t feel preachy or heavy-handed. Bad Buddy is smooth at delivering its thematic messages under the subtle guise of romantic comedy.

Good buddy

Pran and Pat have a meeting in the dorm hallway.

This series is called “Bad Buddy” to highlight Pat’s bad behaviour, bad habits, and bad blood with his neighbour. However, the story is also about Pran being a good buddy to Pat. He is a positive influence for his companion, rehabilitating him on gender norms and redefining concepts about the male identity.

When Pat behaves problematically, Pran will call him out on it. Pat spent his life acting like an uncultured manchild, but everybody dismissed his antics with a casual “boys will be boys~” mentality. His parents don’t interfere, his sister has no influence, and his friends actually egg on the buffoonery. Pran is the only one to challenge this attitude, encouraging his bad buddy to grow as a person.

After spending time with Pran, Pat becomes noticeably less aggressive, less boorish, and less callous. He even starts using the makeup remover for himself! Pat becomes a more sophisticated gentleman and an all-around better guy near the end of Bad Buddy. He exhibits significantly less toxic masculinity while demonstrating maturity, empathy, and substance. This transformative character development is inspired by Pran, the best role model in his life.

Pat

Pran and Pat sit together by the boat.

Although I have concentrated on Pat’s faults so far, I love his character and cherish his many virtues. His charm compensates for a lot, but he’s also loyal, devoted, and resilient. Episode 6 is a fine showcase of Pat’s best qualities. After the rooftop kiss, Pran’s insecurities take over, afraid of confronting their new relationship dynamic. He gives Pat the cold shoulder, offering no excuse. Imagine kissing someone and they treat you like the plague. It can’t be a good feeling, right?

Pat doesn’t give up on their relationship despite Pran’s standoffish behaviour. He’s even thick-skinned enough to join a random field trip, ignoring the animosity from Wai and his clique. Pat is determined to reach out to Pran, no matter what it takes. Later in the episode, there’s a scene where Pran calls Pat an asshole on the beach. You can see Pat is visibly annoyed, but he doesn’t retaliate. He rises above the pettiness, shrugs off the contempt, and maintains his high spirits. Episode 6 concludes happily when Pat’s persistence pays off as Pran warms up to him.

What makes Pat so remarkable is his fierce, unwavering loyalty to Pran. He remains a devoted companion through the good times and bad times. Sometimes, Pran gets confused with his feelings or struggles with self-doubt. However, Pat is always there for him, displaying unconditional support. He acts as a pillar of strength when Pran suffers from bouts of personal weakness. You can act moody with me, but I’ll still be your buddy. I’ll smile through your silent treatment, crack jokes to counter the insults, and cheer you up until we’re friends again.

Secret relationship

Pran and Pat's secret relationship is exposed to everyone at school.

Pran doesn’t feel comfortable dating in public. He can be as flirty and goofy as Pat when they’re alone. However, Pran acts self-conscious about showing affection around others. He doesn’t want to broadcast his relationship and opposes Pat for suggesting they’re more than #JustFriends on social media. Pran is against the performative nature of romance, believing love is just between two people. He doesn’t see the need to involve outsiders and celebrate their intimacy before them.

The desire for privacy is not exclusive to gay romances. However, discretion is a predominant trait among same-sex couples, as they wish to avoid judgment or danger. Bad Buddy is clever because it draws parallels to this LGBT theme using a similar storyline. The series never references homophobia directly at any point. Instead, it uses a universal plot to subtly convey the gay experience to a broad audience. You may or may not interpret Pran’s secrecy as a product of his sexuality. That’s what makes this narrative so smart, because it carries unique meanings for different viewers.

Unfortunately, Pran and Pat aren’t adept at hiding their relationship. These guys try to sneak around with their secret dalliances, but they’re frequently exposed.

  • The first time is when they get caught in an embarrassing position before their university peers.
  • The second time is when Pat’s dad confronts them in the mall, assaulting Pran and humiliating him.

Poor Pran’s worst nightmare keeps coming true, as he gets outed in the most public places imaginable. I felt so bad for him in Episode 10, where he cried after a terrible day of everyone discovering the truth. He got slapped by his mom, shoved by Pat’s dad, and shamed in front of everyone. The power to control his own narrative is stripped away from Pran, as his private relationship becomes a public disgrace. 😢

Wai

Pran and Wai are best friends.

Let’s shift the focus to Wai, a controversial figure responsible for outing his best friend. I have complicated feelings about his character, fluctuating between sympathy and irritation. The bullying against him is horrendous. Beating up someone because they gave you the bird is overboard in the first place. What’s worse is that Pat’s friends provoke Wai at his workplace, baiting him into losing his temper and his job. These malicious assholes made Wai’s life hell and I feel terrible for him.

Despite his sad circumstances, Wai irks me because he’s annoyingly aggro. There are many times when I want him to just stand down and mind his own business. Stop making provocative comments. Stop escalating the tension. A lot of the drama in Bad Buddy could be avoided if Wai showed more composure. This guy wins a rugby match, walks past the losing team, and can’t resist making a smug remark about poor sportsmanship. Why are you like this, Wai!? Why do you have to be such a douchebag!?

Wai’s response to Pran and Pat’s relationship is infuriating. I understand his vendetta against Pat. I also recognize that he feels betrayed by Pran, dating the jerk who bullied Wai. However, Wai has no authority to get involved with his friend’s relationship. He definitely doesn’t have the right to out Pran in the most humiliating way, a rotten move with no justification. If you’re upset at your friend, confront him in private instead of targeting his secret vulnerability before a crowd.

King of chaos

Wai brings dark evil energy to Bad Buddy.

Bad Buddy never calls out Wai on his problematic behaviour, brushing past his toxic entitlement and evil antics merrily. “I need to forgive you, huh? Otherwise, I’m an asshole.” is genuinely the worst apology ever after outing someone. In defence of Wai (*takes a gulp*), I don’t think his intentions were homophobic. His actions stemmed from narrow-minded pettiness instead of a deliberate attempt to weaponize Pran’s sexuality. Nonetheless, his actions come with harmful consequences to gay couples and I cannot excuse what Wai did.

Besides that one ugly incident, Wai’s characterization consistently shows he’s exhausting as hell. He walks around with a chip in his shoulder. His hissy tantrums, angry outbursts, emotional terrorism, perpetual smugness, and insufferable self-victimization are too much for me. I try to sympathize with Wai, but damn, his personality is so difficult to like. 😒

With that said, I don’t completely hate Wai either. I secretly enjoy a bit of chaos and messiness in my BL dramas, which he delivers in spades. Plus, the actor does an excellent job, really catching my eye with his performance. Overall, I appreciate Wai’s ability to enter any situation and singlehandedly start reckless, unnecessary drama. Today, I’m gonna pick a fight with a pack of strangers! Tomorrow, I’m gonna shit-stir in your secret relationship! Wai sucks as a person, but he works as a disruptor. Bad Buddy wouldn’t be half as eventful without his character, that’s for sure.

Pa and Ink

Pa and Ink have a GL romance in Bad Buddy.

Here’s my hot take. I don’t believe Ink acts hostile towards Wai because she sees him as a love rival. I think Ink is repulsed by Wai because she can smell the douche off him. She doesn’t even try to hide her obvious contempt. Every time Ink sees Wai, her smile disappears, her eyes narrow, and her face turns to stone. Typically, she’s cordial and chummy with every other character EXCEPT for him. Ink felt Wai’s ~bad energy~ from the moment they met and raised her defences around him.

Initially, I also raised my defences around Ink. My fear was that she’d be the female love interest to come in between Pat and Pran’s budding romance. Once I realized Ink was also shipping these guys together, I immediately relaxed and embraced her. Ink’s character is pretty likable. She brings a strong, mature, and sensible femininity to the series, like a breath of fresh air amid the toxic masculinity.

The romance between Pa and Ink is a pleasant surprise, one that I champion wholeheartedly. I don’t have much to say about their simple, straightforward relationship, but it was warm and gentle to watch. More BL dramas should start adding lesbian side couples to their series. In fact, I’m a firm supporter of mixing BL and GL storylines together. As Bad Buddy successfully demonstrates, these LGBT love stories are complementary and can coexist. Let’s have fewer female characters getting rejected by guys and more of them finding love with each other instead.

Homophobia

Neither Pat nor Pa faces any homophobia from their dads.

Pat’s father is another controversial figure. The best compliment I can give him is that he defies convention and doesn’t express explicit homophobia. Am I twisted for expecting him to say something offensive about his gay children? I was so sure this bossy patriarch would be a raging homophobe and show his ugly bigotry at some point. To Bad Buddy’s credit, the series avoids an obvious plot, making us focus on other facets of his character.

Bad Buddy’s lack of homophobia is a deliberate storytelling choice. The parents and other straight characters never react to the two same-sex couples with anything but support. Like many BL stories, the series takes place in a safe, idyllic environment for the gay protagonists. Viewers can enjoy a fantasy escape as they watch the lighthearted romances that celebrate love without judgment. As relaxing as these stories might be, they don’t always feel realistic. They’re missing a few integral real-life experiences that make up the gay identity.

Bad Buddy is brilliant because it uses parallels in the narrative to convey LGBT ideas. The leads go through a familiar journey, showing discretion and worrying about family expectations. However, the storylines aren’t related to their sexuality and they don’t face homophobia. This series gets the best of both worlds, exploring the gay identity while retaining its fantasy escape. It remains a cheery romantic comedy on the surface, masking subtle themes that could resonate with relevant viewers. This duality is an elevated storytelling technique and I’m so impressed by Bad Buddy.

Pat’s dad

Pat's dad doesn't approve of his relationship with Pat.

What happens to the insensitive, entitled young men like Wai or Korn as they grow older? They develop into pathetic cowards that resemble Pat’s dad. Decades later, Ming hides behind his family and can’t admit to his mistakes. His ego is still so fragile that he won’t apologize to Pran’s mom for stealing her scholarship. Not that an apology could make up for his awful misdeed, but it was the least he could have done. Yet, Pat’s dad doesn’t even achieve the bare minimum, so small-minded and arrogant that he deluded himself into hating Dissaya.

During the heated confrontation in Episode 10, Pat’s mom makes a small yet crucial comment. She justifies her husband’s behaviour, stating Ming’s dad placed intense expectations on him. A crappy family situation doesn’t excuse his underhanded tactics whatsoever. However, it contextualizes his actions and reflects a scary trend of harmful ideology passing between generations. We have seen Ming try to control Pat’s life, from winning the music festival to playing on the rugby team. Now, we know this behaviour was trickled down from Ming’s own domineering father.

“I thought you knew your priorities,” Pat’s dad says in Episode 8, devastating his son. Of course, these so-called priorities are meaningless goals dictated by Ming’s ego. Nonetheless, Pat idolizes his father and adjusts his life to appease him. Bad Buddy has hinted that Pat was on the same trajectory as his parent, destined to carry the pattern of toxic behaviour. What rescues him from following in his father’s footsteps is Pran. Pat is fortunate to have a kind and thoughtful boyfriend, gently steering him away from his dad’s oppressive grasp.

Pa and Pat

Pa does all her brother's chores in university.

Pat isn’t the only one to suffer in his family. While Pa doesn’t receive much focus, I’ll still overanalyze her character and share a few observations. Have you noticed how little Pa’s father cares about his daughter? There are various signs I picked up throughout the series:

  • Go back to the family meal in Episode 1. The first line the dad says is, “Let your brother have that piece of chicken. He’s hungry.” Right away, we already know who his favourite child is.
  • Naturally, Pa’s dad never asks her to join the music festival or play any sports. All his attention and expectations are reserved for Pat, but not Pa.
  • An unusual detail is the laundry situation. Isn’t it a weird arrangement that Pat orders his little sister to wash his clothes at the dorm? Yet, their parents don’t say a word, insinuating this unfair request is okay.

I bring up these examples to demonstrate a recurring theme with Pa’s character. In the first few episodes, her role is seemingly to be Pat’s servant, doing his chores and fetching him items. There’s implicit patriarchy in their family, where Pa is conditioned to feel subservient and inferior to her brother. Basically, Pat is the golden child and she’s the maid.

What I enjoy about Ink and Pa’s relationship is their healthy dynamic. Unlike Pat, Ink treats Pa respectfully and doesn’t order her around. Ink is like a mentor, helping this younger student adjust to university life. Growing up, Pa is used to looking after her brother. Now, somebody is taking care of her instead. Pa ending up with a woman is a defiant statement, shunning the patriarchal notions imposed by her family. She’s finally free from her brother’s shadow because Ink liberates her and instills a sense of independence.

Scholarship

Pat and Pran find an old picture of their parents in high school.

In Episode 10, we discover the reason behind Pat and Pran’s long-lasting family feud. Back in their high school days, Pat’s dad sabotaged a scholarship opportunity for Pran’s mom. Ming’s underhanded betrayal caused Dissaya to miss out on her chance to go to university. She harboured this grudge for decades, defining it as the moment that ruined her future. Pat’s father didn’t even need the school grant, since he took over the family business after graduation. He only wanted it to boast to his parents.

This dramatic revelation plays out like a soap opera storyline, and I’m unsure if a few details hold up under scrutiny. What kind of scholarship is this if it can be undermined by a high school student’s unsubstantiated rumours? 🤔 Nonetheless, I understand Dissaya’s trauma and believe her anger is valid. She is an ambitious, intelligent woman denied the opportunity to advance in life because of male privilege and entitlement. Sounds pretty plausible, backed by years of history proving this exact concept.

If I was Pran’s mom, I wouldn’t forgive Pat’s dad either. The consequences were severe enough that her lifelong grudge felt justified. What Ming did was wrong, and what’s worse is he never owned up to his actions. It must’ve infuriated Dissaya how the scholarship thief continued to antagonize her with their business rivalry and other petty acts. According to Ming, they’re “even” because Dissaya stole his worker (which isn’t even true), exposing how broken his values are. Pat’s dad is a trashy scumbag, and I get why Dissaya doesn’t want her son to associate with his family.

Pran’s mom

Pran and his mom have an argument over the family feud.

As much as I sympathize with Pran’s mom, is it fair to transfer her grudge onto her child? Pran grew up to hate the family and kids next door without knowing exactly why. He is pressured into competing against Pat, placing an enormous psychological strain on his childhood. Pran also learned to sneak around and lie to his mom. He even feared that showing kindness to Pat or Pa would upset her.

Pran’s mom believes she needs to protect her son from the evil neighbours, and I understand her uneasiness around them. Ming is a morally corrupt asshole. His wife is an enabler, who knew what transpired and still acted hostile toward Dissaya. Surely, these two wouldn’t raise upstanding children with honourable principles. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. No, the broad generalizations aren’t fair to Pat or Pa. However, Dissaya’s judgment is clouded by significant trauma, making her distrust that family irrationally.

While Dissaya’s vendetta against Ming is justified, her thinking is too self-centred. Hating someone doesn’t need to be a team activity, yet she adopts a stark us-versus-them mentality. If I don’t like this family, you can’t like them either! And if not, I’ll transfer you to a different school! Dissaya is so blinded by agony that she doesn’t realize her extreme views hurt Pran inadvertently. As her fury overpowers her parental instincts, she shifts the emotional toll of her feud onto her child. Antagonize Pat’s dad all you want, but please leave Pran out of it!

Pran’s guitar

Pran's mom orders him to stop playing the guitar.

The guitar is a sore point in Pran’s relationship with his mom. He used to love music and joined a band with Pat. However, his mom was furious after discovering her son’s secret extracurricular activity. She forced him to transfer schools, separating Pran & Pat for the next three years. Pran never played the guitar again since then. Pat kept the instrument on his behalf, returning it to the owner in university. Pran still hid the guitar from his mom, anxious about upsetting her.

Pran’s guitar has various symbolic meanings. This instrument represents his camaraderie with Pat, which he gave up to appease his mom. It also reflects how Pran lost a part of his happy adolescence due to the ongoing feud. From Dissaya’s perspective, the guitar is a token of her son’s defiance. She taught him not to mingle with the next-door neighbours, yet Pran went behind her back and made a bad buddy. Pulling her kid out of school over a music performance is a dramatic and senseless move. The memory traumatizes Pran, who never wants to disappoint his mom again.

Pran is hesitant to play his guitar. He gives away the instrument in Episode 6, seeing it as a troublesome temptation. In the same episode, he avoids Pat after their kiss for that exact reason. Deep down, Pran wants to date Pat and perform music. Yet, he’s too considerate of his mom’s feelings and represses his own desires. Under Pat’s charmful persuasion, Pran is slowly convinced to play the guitar and prioritize his personal happiness. Pran’s song in Episode 11 is a culmination of his journey, liberating himself from the lifelong doubts as he openly expresses his love.

Past and present

Pat and Pran meet up in the high school reunion.

Pran’s mom returns the guitar to her son’s bedroom in the final episode. Her gesture is symbolically significant, illustrating how she has changed her views from the past. This musical instrument used to provoke a painful memory between the two characters. Now, it has positive connotations, representing Dissaya’s open-mindedness. You can play your guitar again, and you don’t need to hide it from me anymore. You can love that kid next door, and your relationship isn’t going to upset me.

Ming expresses similar sentiments, except he isn’t as explicit with his feelings. You may have noticed an undercurrent of tension between Pat and his father during the finale. Although their characters used to be really chummy, they have businesslike exchanges these days. We also learn that Pat argues with his dad frequently and hasn’t visited home in a long time. Pat maintains a happy façade during the dinner, but the relationship with his family is strained after the time skip. Unlike Pran and his mom, Pat can’t fully reconcile with his dad over the past events.

What causes the rift? Maybe Pat thinks less of his father after learning about the scholarship scandal. Or perhaps there’s resentment that his family won’t openly accept his boyfriend. Regardless, the present version of Pat is remarkably different from his younger self. He began this series as a reckless macho bro who idolized his dad and antagonized Pran. Now, Pat knows better than to follow his father’s flawed doctrine. His boyfriend’s gentle nature has rubbed off on Pat, turning him into a more sensitive soul by the end of Bad Buddy.

Bad Buddy Ending Explained

Ending

Happy ending

Pran and Pat are still a secret couple by the end of Bad Buddy.

Bad Buddy has a happy ending. However, the final episode throws a surprise curveball at the viewers, making us believe that Pran and Pat’s relationship doesn’t last after a time skip. It carries on the charade for half the episode, full of sad expressions and wistful glances from both leads. You are inclined to believe the characters have broken up because of the tensions between their families. However, the series then reveals their breakup is a deceitful act all along.

After Pran and Pat have returned from their trip, they devise a sneaky plan. Both agree to lie to their families about breaking off the relationship. That way, their parents won’t feel upset about them dating anymore. Yet, Pran and Pat meet each other in secrecy, maintaining an undercover romance behind their parents’ backs. They continue this discreet dating arrangement after graduation. Pran moves to Singapore for his architecture job, while Pat starts working at the family business. They still maintain a healthy long-distance relationship.

Pran returns to the country to attend a high school reunion, where he and Pat pretend they don’t get along. Except it’s an act to throw others off the scent. In reality, they are giving each other coy smiles and giggling over the phone afterwards. When Pat and Pran are alone, their relationship continues to be as sweet as ever. They even go on double dates with Pa and Ink, who are still dating. Wai and Korn also know about their secret relationship. These two former enemies are friends now and even manage a bar together.

Pran and Pat’s parents

Pran lies to his mom about breaking up with Pat.

Although Bad Buddy has a happy ending, not every storyline concludes idyllically. Pran’s mom and Pat’s dad never resolve their differences, continuing to antagonize each other. There’s no tearful apology. The characters don’t have any heartfelt chats. Against expectations, nothing gets wrapped up neatly in a feel-good, sentimental arc.

These two feuding families simply continue their day-to-day lives, despising one another from a distance. The lack of closure is messy and inelegant, just like real life. The decades of animosity between Pran and Pat’s parents are too dire to overcome. It wouldn’t have made sense for Dissaya to simply forgive Ming just because their kids are dating.

However, the series hints that the characters might have slightly softened their stances. When his enemy’s mail is accidentally delivered to Ming’s house, he makes an effort to put it into the other household’s mailbox, a very neighbourly thing to do. His small gesture is quietly observed and acknowledged by Dissaya. The viewers are left to assume that maybe, just maybe, their relationship has a chance of getting better. Or perhaps they’ll go back to arguing about garbage bins on the next day. Who knows?

Coming out

Pran and Pat kiss in the happy ending.

Since their parents still don’t get along, Pran and Pat continue hiding their relationship to avoid worsening the family tensions. It sucks they can’t date in the open or visit their boyfriend’s houses without sneaking around. When Pran brings a souvenir for his father-in-law, Pat vaguely says it’s a present from a “friend”. When they attend a high school reunion, these guys must pretend they barely talk. After dating for many years, they are still each other’s dirty little secret. 

Despite their secrecy, they are not miserable. The couple giggles to themselves, believing they’re so sly for pulling the wool over their parents’ eyes. Yet, Pran and Pat are unaware that their families already know about them. As usual, they’re terrible at being discreet, leaving behind obvious clues in their not-so-secret rendezvous.

However, Ming and Dissaya don’t get upset about their children dating. They pretend to turn a blind eye and maintain neutral reactions. It’s an improvement from the worst-case scenario, a promising sign that Pran and Pat’s parents already accept their romance. Bad Buddy suggests that they’ll be met with support and tolerance when the guys are ready to “come out”.

Ending explained

Pran and Pat imagine an alternate future where their families get along.

Bad Buddy deliberately chooses not to resolve all its conflicts in the ending. Pat and Pran’s families still don’t get along. Their animosity forces the couple to continue sneaking around and hiding their love to appease their parents. The conclusion is unsatisfying on purpose, refusing to give the viewers a tidy resolution that wraps up all the storylines neatly. Yet, this ending is thematically powerful, even if you might feel frustrated by the lack of closure.

At the end of Episode 11, Tong gives significant dialogue that reflects the themes in the ending:

“What I do might not be able to change the world. But it surely changes my attitude towards this world. You might think one man can’t change the world, but I want you to know this world can’t change someone like me either.”

Let’s apply this sentiment to Pat and Pran’s situation. No, they can’t change the feud between their families, who might disapprove of their romance for a lifetime. However, Pran and Pat can control their ability to work around the circumstances. They’ve learned to disregard the family drama and continue having a relationship anyway. While they must make compromises, their feelings for each other remain the same. Ultimately, Pat and Pran are still happy, regardless of their parents.

This series teaches us that some circumstances in life will always be out of our control. We can’t force two feuding families to get along, just like how we can’t convince bigots to accept LGBT relationships. We must admit our limited ability to influence certain external factors. That’s simply the inelegance of life. The best we can do is strengthen our convictions and hold firm to our personal values. Don’t change who we love based on what other people want. Even when faced with compromises, let’s not allow others to alter the source of our happiness.

Bad Buddy Episodes

Episode Guide

Bad Buddy has a total of 12 episodes. Each episode is around 50 to 60 minutes long. The last episode is around 1 hour long. It’s a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 12 hours. Bad Buddy aired its first episode on October 29, 2021 and ended on January 21, 2022.

Best Scenes

Technically, I can summarize the entire drama in the Best Scenes section because that’s how perfect I think the series is. Nonetheless, I’m going to resist my natural urge to include EVERYTHING and only narrow down to a handful of my favourite scenes.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 1

After the fight
Pat points his finger at the bruise on his face.

Pran and Pat spent most of Episode 1 in a heated conflict, butting heads, and sniping at each other. The moment outside the pharmacy is the first time we see a different facet to their dynamic. This scene takes place after their big campus brawl. Pran bought the last bruise remedy cream from the pharmacy before Pat failed to make the same purchase. As Pat storms away, Pran calls after him and offers to share the cream.

They sit outside the pharmacy together, applying the medicine to their bodies. Pat leans his face close to his companion, as if suggesting he needs help with putting on the medicine. “In your dreams,” Pran scoffs, until Pat clarifies that he just wants to know where the bruise is. Pran acts a bit bashful, realizing that he jumped to the wrong conclusion. 🤭

The pair has a surprisingly civilized conversation, far less hostile than their previous exchanges. Pat and Pran want their friends to stop fighting so they won’t get in trouble at school anymore. They suggest exchanging contact IDs with each other. Pran’s ID is @por_pran, while Pat’s ID is @patlnwza55+, prompting a snarky remark from his companion. Their chat is lighthearted and playful, almost like friends teasing each other. It’s the first time I could feel an amicable connection between them, making me excited about their dynamic!

Episode 2

Pran’s new dorm room
Pran and Pat confront each other on the bed.

In Episode 2, Pran and Pat discover they are roommates who live across from each other in the dormitory. Their unexpectedly close living arrangement leads to hilarious hijinks and sassy bickering between them. However, Pran overhears a conversation between Pat and his dad, where Ming badmouths his enemy’s family. Pran makes up his mind to move to another dorm room instead.

Pat feels guilty and tries to stop his neighbour from moving away. He interrupts Pran in the middle of a room tour at his new place. However, Pran won’t change his mind. As the guys bicker, their disagreement gets slightly physical, and they end up falling onto the nearby bed together. The tension defuses and they initiate a tickling match instead. When the tickling stops, Pran and Pat stare at each other intensely, realizing their close proximity.

Just then, the lady helping Pran with his room transfer barges in at that exact moment. She’s shocked to catch the guys caught in a compromising position on the bed. Pat and Pran immediately separate, but she already gets the wrong idea about their intimate encounter. A flustered Pran tries to clarify the misunderstanding, but she tells him that he can’t move into the new room anymore. “May I have your cooperation?” She says with a grimace, delivering the next punchline decisively. “Please do it somewhere else.” 😆

Episode 3

Guitar pick
Pat created a guitar pick for Pran in high school.

Episode 3 confirms that Pran had a crush on Pat since their high school days. In a flashback, Pran reminisces about a past memory of their alone time in the music room. Since Pran forgets to bring his guitar pick to school, he hurts his fingers trying to play the instrument without it.

Pat offers to help, using a bit of cheeky DIY ingenuity. He cuts out a small corner from his student card before giving it to Pran to use. This makeshift guitar pick contains a small picture of Pat. Or, as he calls it, “the world’s one and only handsome pick”.

It’s a really cute and innocent moment between these two high school boys. This kind gesture astonishes Pran, making him realize maybe his next-door neighbour isn’t as bad as his mom says.

The elevator scene
Pran steals a glance at Pat in the elevator.

Episode 3 highlights many of Pat’s best and worst qualities. He constantly annoys Pran with his terrible hygiene, lack of etiquette, and obnoxious douchebro attitude. Yet, he also comes across as cheeky, charming, and charismatic. Pat’s antics leave Pran with complicated feelings, unsure whether to yell at him or just laugh in exasperation.

I picked the elevator scene to highlight Pat’s roguish charm, although there are many other suitable examples. In this scene, the two characters enter a packed elevator. It’s crowded and they’re stuffed into a tight corner together. Pran voices his irritation that Pat is squishing him in their limited space. Pat gives a snappy retort, saying the situation is out of his control. A few seconds later, he deliberately presses his shoulder against Pran’s body, making them feel even more crammed together.

Pran is visibly annoyed. However, he sees the cheeky smile on Pat’s face and knows his companion is intentionally trolling him as a prank. Pran smiles himself, feeling exasperated yet amused. Maybe if it was somebody else instead of Pat, these actions would seem rude and disrespectful. Yet, Pat gets away with his naughty antics, compensating with his impish playfulness.

Returning the guitar
Pat teases Pran about losing the music festival.

After spending lots of time together, Pran’s crush deepens tremendously. Pran pretends to act annoyed, but it’s pretty evident that Pat has totally charmed the pants off him. At the end of the episode, Pat surprises his companion by returning his guitar from high school. Seeing his old guitar excites Pran, putting him in high spirits. Pat teases him and says he looks forward to competing in the music festival together.

“You seem so happy when you get to compete against me,” Pran observes curiously.

“I just like to see your face…” Pat begins. And for a moment, Pran looks a bit startled at the seemingly flirtatious comment. Against his better judgment, there’s a brief moment of him wondering if his feelings are mutual. However, Pat continues the rest of his sentence. “…when you lose!”

Nope, it was just a playful jab about their rivalry. As Pat exits the scene, you can see the myriad of conflicted emotions on his face. He feels silly overimagining the romantic context that wasn’t there. However, he also looks despondent and knows it’s a one-sided crush. Nonetheless, the episode ends with Pran switching his door sign to a smiley face, because hanging out with Pat makes him happy.

Episode 4

Cute dimples
Pat compliments Pran on his cute dimples.

In Episode 4, Pat notices that Pran has injured his shoulder after a rugby match. He offers to apply ointment on the wound. Previously, Pran strongly opposed when Pat entered his room. Now, he’s more receptive to his guest, indicating the improvement in their relationship.

After applying the treatment, Pat won’t leave the room. Instead, he asks Pran to help him wash off the makeup from his photoshoot earlier today. It’s a strangely intimate scene, and I didn’t think makeup removal could be this romantic~ Their conversation turns playful, as Pran teases his companion for needing to use this much cosmetics. When Pat insists on his physical attractiveness, his vanity and overconfidence make Pran laugh even more.

Pat compliments Pran on his cute dimples when he laughs. It’s a really flirty comment out of the blue, making his companion pause with hesitation. Pat almost seems to be giving off signals, like he’s hitting on Pran. However, Pran doesn’t overthink the compliment and keeps the atmosphere lighthearted. You’re left wondering whether Pat’s remarks about the cute dimples might have any romantic connotations…

Sleepover
Pran and Pat have a sleepover together in his bedroom.

Later that episode, Pat forgets the keys to his dorm room and gets locked outside for the night. Pran takes pity on his neighbour and invites him for a sleepover. Pat plans to sleep topless (of course), but Pran gives him an old shirt to wear. Pat comments on the pleasant scent of his clothes.

Unable to fall asleep, their bedside chat turns to the topic of Ink. Both Pran and Pat are curious whether the other person has feelings for their old classmate. Pat says yes, while Pran says no. Hearing Pat’s answer devastates Pran, who tries to conceal his heartbreak. The guy he secretly likes just admitted to having a crush on another girl instead.

“If you were her, would you like me?” Pat asks hypothetically. He is oblivious to his buddy’s misery and rubs salt onto his wounds. Pran is almost brought to tears. He has fallen so deeply for this straight guy who won’t reciprocate his feelings.

“I hate you,” Pran replies sarcastically, but there’s a bit of truth and rawness to his words. You hurt me, so I will raise my defences and say back something hurtful. However, Pat doesn’t pick up the subtle nuances, simply laughing off the response.

The episode ends with Pat falling asleep as Pran lies awake in bed. Pran sneaks a glance at his sleeping companion. We can see traces of tears near his eyes, evident that he had been crying. Pran flashes a melancholic smile as he looks at Pat, before turning away and wiping his eyes. Oh my gosh, Pran’s expressions in this scene tell an entire story. The emotions here feel so raw and real.

Episode 5

After the sleepover
Pat tries to act cute to impress Pran.

Episode 5 begins the morning after the sleepover. Pat has already made himself too comfortable and steals a bite out of Pran’s breakfast. Pran is ready to kick his guest out of the room. However, Pat has nowhere to stay until Pa brings the extra room key. He pleads for Pran to let him hang out in his room this morning. Of course, he does so in the cheekiest way imaginable.

😙: Please? Please? Pleeeease? *clasps hands over face* Please???
😳: Who on earth told you this was cute?
😙: You’re telling me right now~

Oh my god, this exchange is so cute that it’s making me blush. I didn’t think a grown adult man could act this adorable, but geez louise Pat pulls it off. You won’t be surprised to know that Pat’s charm offensive worked and he convinced Pran to change his mind. With a face like that, how could he resist?

Rooftop kiss
Pran and Pat have their first kiss on the rooftop.

Episode 5 will be remembered for the rooftop kiss, a memorable climax that defines Pat and Pran’s relationship. The events leading up to this moment are emotionally charged. Pat had spent the episode sorting out his confused feelings for Pran, slowly realizing his true love. At the music festival, Pran sings the song they co-wrote in high school. However, Pat feels jealous because Pran and Wai performed the song together, as if Wai is Pat’s replacement.

Tensions flare up, with Pat using a hostile tone around Pran and Wai. Since Wai has been itching for a fight, the two guys almost get into a violent altercation. Pran breaks up their conflict, but he’s angry at them both and storms off. Later, Pat cools down and joins Pran on the rooftop in the middle of the night. Pat confronts him about their high school song, but Pran doesn’t understand why he’s upset. Technically, they aren’t even friends.

Pat gives his love confession to Pran.

Pat opens up and shares his feelings. He talks about their childhood, the family feud, and his loneliness since Pran transferred schools. When the two of them reunited and started hanging out, it felt like they made up for their years of lost friendship. His words resonate with Pran, who felt the same way all along. However, both guys realize their feelings for each other go beyond just platonic friendship. 

“Do you think we can be friends?”

“Why? Do you want us to be friends?”

“No.”

Pran cries after his kiss with Pat.

Pat and Pran step towards each other, initiating their first kiss. They lock lips deeply and passionately for a while, unleashing all their repressed love in this romantic moment. All I can say about this kiss is wow, WOW, WOWWWW. I watch BL precisely to experience this rush of adrenaline.

Pat appears thrilled afterwards, delighted his affections are reciprocated. However, Pran is crying and looks upset. All along, he assumed Pat would never return his feelings in a one-sided crush. Now, Pran realizes that Pat does feel the same way about him, except they still can’t be together because of their families. In a way, it’s more devastating because Pran got a taste of what he desired, only to realize he can’t have this relationship that they both wanted.

Episode 6

Beach reconciliation

After their rooftop kiss, Pran desperately tries to avoid Pat throughout Episode 6, repressing his forbidden desires. Even though Pat is given the cold shoulder, he won’t give up and let Pran ignore him. They go on the architecture faculty field trip together, a scenic outdoor setting rich with ambiance. Pat’s natural charm and perpetual persistence win over Pran at last. The two of them break the ice with a heartfelt chat on the beach.

It’s a deep conversation, the most Pran and Pat have opened up about themselves up until now. “Do you hate me?” Pran asks his partner. Pat admits their childhood rivalry placed a heavy psychological burden on him, but he couldn’t hate Pran. The two of them discover they are a lot alike, entirely on the same page about their family feud. Pat comments on how being with Pran feels so easy when they are alone, but it’s like a matter of life-and-death around other people.

“What can we do? We’re just born this way.” Pat says, a line that resonates with LGBT audiences in more ways than one.

This discussion changes Pran’s mind about dating. It makes him realize Pat has more astuteness than Pran gives him credit for. This person sitting next to him on the beach has gone through similar experiences. When Pat kissed him, he knew the consequences and shared the same worries about their family feud. The only difference is that Pat has the guts to confront his feelings instead of running away from them. Inspired by Pat’s conviction, Pat finds the confidence that maybe their relationship could work out.

Episode 7

Shirtless Pat
Pat takes off his shirt and pours water on his sweaty body.

In Episode 7, Pat takes off his shirt and pours water over his sweaty body. That’s it. That’s the scene.

After writing thousands of words analyzing the literary merits of Bad Buddy, it’s finally time to drop the pretenses. Let’s just admit I love this series because it indulges in gratuitous shirtless scenes like these. Watching BL doesn’t have to be that deep sometimes. All it takes is a hot guy taking off his shirt and it’s enough to make me go, “Hmm. This episode deserves an A+.”

And it’s not just any ordinary hot guy either. It’s motherfriggin’ Ohm, a walking sex god at the peak of his physical attractiveness. Every shirtless Ohm moment in Bad Buddy is sizzling hot and deserves to be included in the Best Scenes list. 🤤

Episode 8

Breakfast in bed
Pran and Pat flirt over breakfast in bed.

Episodes 6 and 7 put Pat and Pran’s relationship through a turbulent journey. Thankfully, Episode 8 is packed with many sweet BL relationship moments. The first scene begins with Pat cooking breakfast in bed for Pran. There’s no special occasion. Pat simply wanted to do something special for his boyfriend.

😙: I just wanted to do it for you~ Do you like it?
😳: Yuck. You’re giving me chills. Just act normally.
😙: Hey asshole, just freakin’ eat!
😳: Too rude!

Hehehe. Afterwards, Pat tries to get a morning kiss as a reward, but Pran plays a silly prank on him instead. They wrestle playfully in bed for a while, but their intimate exchange is interrupted by smoke coming from the kitchen. It turns out Pat might have cooked breakfast, but he forgets to turn off the stove and almost burns down the place. This behaviour is very Pat. 😅

Holding hands
Pat offers to hold Pran's hand in public.

Pat wants to hold his boyfriend’s hand in the empty hallway as they leave the dorm. However, Pran is startled and recoils at the touch. Pran apologizes, admits that PDA is new to him, and he needs some time to adjust. Pat looks a little bummed, but shows understanding and patience towards his boyfriend.

A second later, Pran reaches out for his boyfriend’s hand and says he’s done adjusting. His sudden change of mind surprises Pat, who teases him for playing hard to get. Hehehe~ Nonetheless, they’re both happy to hold hands for the first time as a couple.

This scene introduces the central tension in Episode 8, exploring Pran’s reluctance to go public as a couple. Bad Buddy handles this storyline so well, using cute little scenes like these to subtly present the narrative tension. Isolated, the viewer thinks it’s just a perky BL moment between the couple. However, it’s part of a larger, more cohesive narrative that builds up to the episode’s climax.

Pran’s messages
Pran leaves many memo notes to cheer up his sulking boyfriend.

Later in the episode, Pat takes a picture of them to post for an online story. However, Pran reacts uncomfortably to the photo and flinches away from his boyfriend. Pran apologizes for his skittishness, but Pat acts unbothered and brushes off the incident.

The next morning, Pat wakes up to find that his boyfriend left various memo notes throughout his room. There’s one by the alarm clock, one on the toilet paper roll, one at the bottom of his lunchbox, and one by the doorknob. Each message has a few cute uplifting words with the intent of cheering up his boyfriend. For instance, the note by the door says, “You can only leave if you stop sulking~ :D”

Um, is Pran the most adorable boyfriend or what? His sea of apologetic memo notes is so cute and creative. Even though Pat acted nonchalantly yesterday, Pran is sensitive to his boyfriend’s emotions and cheered him up anyway. It also shows he’s familiar with Pat’s routine, knowing exactly where to leave the notes throughout the room. Pran’s thoughtful gesture succeeded in making Pat smile, lifting his spirits for the day.

Virtual hug
Pran cheers up his boyfriend in Bad Buddy Episode 8.

Later in the episode, Pat is bummed after a stressful interaction with his dad. Sensing his boyfriend’s sad-puppy voice, Pran hurries home and does his best to cheer him up. They go outside their windows, where Pran performs several silly and playful stunts. His goofy antics work, or at least Pat appreciates his boyfriend’s efforts.

When Pat says he wants a hug, the two of them do a virtual embrace from their windows. They literally extend their arms and wrap them around an imaginary space. It’s hard to describe, but their interactions are the most adorable thing ever.

As their conversation continues, the boyfriends exchange various inside jokes. They engage in lighthearted banter and gentle flirtations. Pran’s goal is to make Pat happier and forget about what happened with his dad. It works and Pat is noticeably in much better spirits when their chat ends. Pran also feels giddy, smiling and laughing delightfully like a man in love.

Shirtless xylophone
Pat plays the xylophone shirtless.

Besides the rooftop kiss, Bad Buddy’s second most memorable moment is probably the shirtless xylophone performance. You’ll remember the events because they are so bizarre. I can assure you that no other BL drama features a scene where their lead character takes off his shirt to play the xylophone on stage. Definitely one-of-a-kind and exclusive to Bad Buddy, that’s for sure.

Basically, Pran and Pat argue about keeping their relationship discreet. Pran feels uncomfortable with Pat publicizing their couple status on social media, leaving vague hints to make people curious. He’s also annoyed his boyfriend has worn his clothes in public, another careless sign that will inform others about their secret romance. His intense words upset Pat, who rips off his shirt in the heat of the moment.

Pat is called to do a stage rehearsal for the theatre play. He walks out on stage shirtless and performs a song on the xylophone. Yes, the moment is as peculiar as it sounds. Only Bad Buddy can pull off these ridiculous circumstances, randomly combining gratuitous nudity and xylophone music in the narrative. And you know what, I appreciate how the series isn’t above indulging in this kind of silly quirkiness sometimes. A shirtless xylophone scene in a BL series is unique, unusual and will have fans drooling. Why not have a little fun with the storyline?

Episode 9

Hospital scene
Pran gently tells Pat to stop calling him his wife.

Episode 9 has my favourite exchange in Bad Buddy. Pat just finished a video call with Wai. During the call, Pat jokingly referred to Pran as his wife. If you watched enough BL (especially Thai BL), you might have encountered this common pet nickname used between gay couples. It comes with negative connotations, stripping away your partner’s masculinity and implying he’s less of a man than you.

Let me preface by saying this topic is far more nuanced than what I can unpack in my review. However, gay men have a long history of contending with insults that undermine their male identity. Some labels perpetuate the harmful belief that gay men aren’t as masculine as their heterosexual counterparts. “Wife” is one of those words that extend this narrative, used commonly in BL without addressing the implications.

The “wife” nickname always bothered me in my years of watching BL dramas. However, nobody vocalized my thoughts as eloquently as Pran did during this scene. “Does calling me a wife make you feel superior?” is a brilliant, concise line that addresses the root of the problem. Bad Buddy gets it, providing insightful commentary about LGBT culture.

Best of all, the scene remains gentle and lighthearted. Pran keeps a poised demeanour, using intelligent humour to demonstrate why he prefers being called “boyfriend” instead. Pat also receives the message without being mocked or condemned. What an elegant, well-written scene with a powerful statement. After this episode, I viewed Bad Buddy with newfound admiration, making me appreciate its clever and thoughtful narrative themes.

Episode 10

Pran’s tears
Pran comforts his crying boyfriend at the end of Bad Buddy Episode 10.

Episode 10 ends with dramatic confrontations between the parents and their children. Pran is confronted by Pat’s dad in the mall, outing him in front of a public crowd. When Pran arrives home, he gets into a heated argument with his mom. After he comes out and admits to dating Pat, she slaps her insolent son.

What a terrible day for his character, huh? We know how much Pran cherishes privacy and discretion with his romance. We also know how much he cares about maintaining a good relationship with his mom. Both pillars of his life get demolished in a single day without warning. Imagine getting outed in public and facing your family’s condemnation, two infamous LGBT experiences happening back-to-back. Pran got the double whammy, basically.

After such distressing experiences, Pran barely holds together his composure until Pat arrives and comforts him. As soon as Pran sees his boyfriend, he unleashes all his emotions and breaks down in tears. It’s a devastating scene that concludes a dramatic episode, backed by powerful performances from the actor. I could really resonate with Pran’s helplessness and raw vulnerability. When the two leads embrace against a backdrop of the city landscape, it accentuated an epic feeling they’re two forbidden lovers in a brutal world.

Episode 11

Confession on the rocks
Pat and Pran proclaim their love for each other while standing on a rocky cliff.

After the intense melodrama last episode, Pran and Pat leave home. The runaway couple arrives at the same fishing village from Episode 6, uncertain of their long-term plans. All Pat and Pran know is that they want to spend time together, alone in a place where nobody can disrupt them.

Pat suggests they should commit to their isolation by disposing of the SIM cards in their phones. Standing on a rocky beach, they toss the microchips into the sea as a symbolic gesture. Later, Pat reveals he still has his card and only pretends to throw it away as a prank. However, Pran sees through his boyfriend’s dirty tricks and hasn’t gotten rid of his chip either.

“Being with you already feels like freedom,” Pran says sincerely. It’s a powerful line, possibly one of the most romantic things spoken in the entire series.

Pat and Pran proceed to shout their love confessions at the ocean view. “I like you!” “I like you too!” Yelling out these sentimentalities is a cheesy exercise, but it’s also sweet and liberating. It’s the first time their characters can proclaim their affections without worrying about others. They are just two lovestruck boys, shouting at the top of their lungs about how much they like each other. Watching them feels really empowering.

Pran and Pat kiss
Pran and Pat enjoy a passionate kiss in the middle of the night.

To be honest, I was getting a bit antsy around this point of Bad Buddy. I was not keeping close tabs, but it felt like a long time since Pat and Pran actually kissed on screen. Their last significant display of affection is the rooftop kiss in Episode 5. Otherwise, their romantic interactions are limited to quick pecks here and there. These gestures are totally fine, but I wanted to see more as a seasoned BL watcher.

Fortunately, Bad Buddy does not disappoint. This episode includes another steamy kiss between the couple, sitting by the beach in the middle of the night. They smooch for a few seconds, pull away to stare into each other’s eyes, before continuing to make out through the night. You can feel love is in the air and it’s overpoweringly hot.

In the next scene, the characters are lying in bed together. Their saucy dialogue suggests that they have consummated their love for the first time. It’s a classy, lighthearted way to denote the next stage of their relationship, coming at a perfect time in their romantic journey.

Pran’s song
Pran sings a song to express his love for Pat.

Pran’s guitar is a recurring motif throughout Bad Buddy. His love for music is an allegory to his relationship with Pat, a forbidden love that Pran would rather repress. He isn’t willing to play the guitar because it stirs up painful memories between him and his mom. However, Pat always encourages his boyfriend to play the guitar again. He eases Pran into opening up to his passion, accepting the repressed parts of himself.

Finally, Pran reaches the culminating point of his personal journey as Episode 11 closes. He performs a beautiful song, symbolic of his personal transformation. He’s no longer afraid to play the guitar in public or express his love for Pat. If this episode’s theme is about freedom, then Pran’s character is liberated from the anxieties that plagued him for his whole life. This context makes his song so powerful, knowing how much he experienced to reach this stage of self-discovery.

Before his intimate performance on the beach, Pran sums up his feelings eloquently:

“I’m always told not to be friends with this one guy. But we all know that forbidden fruit is always sweeter. From two people who can’t be friends, without knowing it, we become two people who can’t be just friends. I wrote this song for him.”

Pran’s words are so lyrical that his dialogue reads like poetry. His song is performed wonderfully, interweaved with various flashbacks that highlight Pran and Pat’s sweet romance. We also see a hypothetical universe where Pran and Pat’s families get along, cute fantasy scenes that come with a touch of melancholy. Episode 11 concludes with Pran and Pat standing outside their houses, ready to go home and face their families again. Overall, this entire episode is super well-crafted, resonating with me so much thematically.

Episode 11
Episode 12

Episode 12

Tin-can chat
Pat and Pran talk to each other through the night with their tin cans.

Bad Buddy’s final scene is an adorable game between Pran and Pat. The couple quizzes each other with various silly questions, followed by lots of flirting, bantering, and kissing. It’s a magnificent way to end the series and I loved every second of this fanservice. However, my favourite part of the finale is actually the moment preceding it, where Pran and Pat have a silly chat through their tin cans.

It’s such a simple, understated scene. Pat had just finished sneaking into his boyfriend’s bedroom, enjoying a bit of music and some light flirting. As he returns to his side of the house, Pran suddenly brings out the tin-can telephone from their childhoods. The two of them have a really goofy chat, laughing and talking giddily through the night. This scene ends with a flashback to the childhood versions of Pran and Pat, having a similar exchange with their tin cans years ago.

I love this moment because it reiterates the strength of their bond. These two spent an entire evening together, but they won’t separate and still want to talk after returning home. Pran and Pat don’t chat about anything serious, a childish inside joke that only they’d understand. As they laugh, the couple shares so much warmth and familiarity between them. The scene captures what makes this couple so wonderful, portraying a solid foundation of friendship since childhood. They aren’t just boyfriends or lovers. Pat and Pran are genuinely each other’s best buddies.

Bad Buddy Information

GMMTV

GMMTV is a heavyweight in the BL world. It has produced numerous acclaimed dramas and launched many successful careers over the years.

GMMTV is a heavyweight in the BL world. It has produced numerous acclaimed dramas and launched many successful careers over the years. GMMTV is the leader in the Thai BL industry and possibly around the world. Some of its well-known works include SOTUS (2016), Theory of Love (2019), 2gether (2020), A Tale of Thousand Stars (2021), and Bad Buddy (2021), among many others.

  1. Finally, you reviewed it (yay!!!) I’ve been eager to hear your thoughts since I am not over how amazing it was. amazing is not enough to describe it.

    1. Yay! I have taken my time with Bad Buddy, slowly processing each episode because I didn’t want this enjoyable experience to end. Even after finishing the series, I still go back to it and revisit my favourite moments all the time. I’m so shaken at how amazeballs it is! 😭

  2. There’s nothing much to say about bad buddy
    It’s a masterpiece, it will forever be marked as the peak of thai BL.

    1. Yup, Bad Buddy is a masterpiece that will hold firmly against the test of time. I can revisit this drama years from now and still experience the same powerful bursts of emotions. It really is the peak of Thai BL, and I would love to watch more dramas of this calibre.

  3. I was devastated by your review. I think I cried more in reading your review than I did watching the series; well, maybe not more. Your review was so beautiful, insightful, and thorough. I don’t think you missed a beat. You pointed out a lot of thematic arcs that I missed, for example the significance of the guitar and what it represents to Pran. You also highlighted some scenes and provided a point of view that added to my appreciation. Thanks for taking the time to write this perceptive, insightful review.

    1. Thank you for leaving this incredibly kind, encouraging, and touching comment. 💛 It means so much to me that my Bad Buddy review can enrich your appreciation of this drama, which I cherish dearly in my heart. I love knowing that my writing has resonated with readers, which provides me with tremendous motivation.

      I spent approximately a week writing this review, but Bad Buddy inspired me so much that the words never stopped flowing. I enjoyed rewatching every scene, picking up new nuances and gaining a deeper understanding of the thematic arcs. It might be one of my favourite things I’ve ever written, filling me with a sense of accomplishment. Like wow, I just wrote my favourite piece about my favourite BL drama – what a rush!

      I’m really, really grateful you have responded to this review positively. THANK YOU!

  4. Thanks so much for your beautiful response to my comments about your review. First of all, I’m glad to hear you spent a week writing it because your review was no coherent. But since you were so kind, I’d like to point out exactly how your review added to both my understanding and appreciation for this brilliant series.

    Let’s revisit the guitar as a thematic arc and how your review enlightened me. Consider Episode 6 when Pran goes to Wei’s room and gives him his guitar. I could never understand why he was doing this. As an aside let me add that I also play the guitar and it would take something huge to get me to give it up. And Pran admits “If I keep it close I might pick it up and play.” This comment was heartbreaking to me because that’s why we keep the guitar close — so we can play. But Pran was trying desperately to give Pat up. Giving the guitar to Wei was one way to give up on Pat. And as Pran himself said, “It isn’t just about the guitar.” How did I miss this? And then he adds, seemingly about the guitar, “we know how it will end.” I couldn’t understand what he meant but now I realize that he meant that we know how his relationship with Pat will end, so why not just give it up now before we get started.

    And for the rest of Episode 6, Pran tries desperately to give up on the brash Pat, who has no intentions of giving up. And finally when Pat and Pran escape on their “honeymoon,” Pat encourages Pran, as you point out above, to play the guitar. To give up trying to please his mom and try to please himself. And in the end, Pran wrote that beautiful song, signifying that he was never going to give up the guitar or Pat. Thanks again for your insights that enable me to further appreciate this unbelievable series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.