Call It What You Want 2 Summary
Around 3 hours + prequel
Dark and toxic
Around 20 to 30 minutes
Bas, an actor, is still coping with the trauma of his sexual assault. He spends time with Marco, who keeps him company and takes care of his friend's mental health. As Bas and Marco learn more about each other, a lighthearted rapport forms between them. Thanks to Marco's positive influence, Bas eases up and doesn't feel as tense as before.
During their chat, Marco tells Bas a story about his necklace. The necklace is a family heirloom passed down by Marco's parents. Based on a Taiwanese folktale, he wants to give this necklace to his lover. In the same chat, Marco also admits that he has romantic feelings for James, who remains unaware of his friend's secret crush.
At night, Marco and Bas share the same bedroom together in the resort. When Bas is jolted awake from a bad nightmare, Marco is there to console him. Bas feels highly grateful for Marco's kindness. Later, he kisses Marco on an impulse. The two of them embrace throughout the night as they drift off to sleep.
Bas becomes spooked when his employer Tee initiates a private meeting with him. However, he doesn't dare to defy his predatory boss. Bas fears that speaking up about his sexual assault will cause him to never work in the acting industry again. This fear of failure is worsened by the pressure that he faces from his family. Although Marco tries to convince his friend to contact the police, Bas is stubborn and won't report Tee's crime.
Meanwhile, James and Ait are enjoying time together as a new couple. Ait becomes jealous of the close connection that James and Marco share. Although James insists they're just friends, Ait is convinced that Marco harbours romantic feelings. Besides this love triangle drama, Ait also feels troubled about having to keep their relationship secret or risk losing their jobs.
Call It What You Want 2 Trailer
Call It What You Want 2 Cast
Michael Kiettisak Vatanavitsakul (เกียรติศักดิ์ วัฒนวิทย์สกุล)
Bas is one of the costars in the BL drama 2Night. His manager, Tee, sexually assaulted him, leaving Bas deeply traumatized. He cares a lot about his acting career, which is disapproved by his stern father. Bas currently lives with his brother Bank, who is a university student.
Daniel Chang (常誠佑)
Marco is a Taiwanese model and James' best friend. He is in love with James, who doesn't reciprocate his feelings. Marco spends time taking care of Bas upon discovering his sexual assault. His character has a kind, patient, compassionate, and understanding personality.
Time Dhamawat Suntanaphan (ธามวัสน์ สันธนะพันธ์)
James is the director of the BL drama 2Nights. He is secretly dating the lead actor Ait, but conceals their relationship from the public. James has a mature personality and usually tries to follow his moral compass. He doesn't know his best friend Marco is in love with him.
Benz Panupun Vongjorn (ภาณุพันธ์ วงศ์จร)
Ait is one of the costars in the BL drama 2Nights. He is secretly dating the director James, but feels troubled that their relationship can't be disclosed to the public. Ait has a slightly childish and immature personality. He is threatened by the close relationship between James and Marco.
Bas' old co-star
Call It What You Want 2 Review
Drama Review Score: 7.3
Once again, I'm flabbergasted by the wasted potential that never materializes in Call It What You Want 2. While this sequel is a marginal improvement over the first season, it's frustrating they don't do a much better job. The series created two immensely likable characters, played by talented actors, who shared sizzling chemistry together. Some BL dramas are lucky to meet any criteria, whereas they have the trifecta. But even with gold in their hands, Call It What You Want 2 still fumbled and couldn't produce consistent quality.
I got my hopes up so much after the promising premiere, which was sensitive, thoughtful, and poignant. It seemed to be on the right track, continuing smoothly from where the Season 1 finale left off. Unfortunately, Call It What You Want 2 peaked in the first episode, struggled to keep the momentum going, and never found that sweet spot again. Even though subsequent episodes had explosive drama with amplified emotions, they didn't move me as much as the quieter, more intimate moments during the premiere.
Like my review of the first season, Call It What You Want 2 is most compelling when the story focuses on Bas and Marco. These two characters are obviously the heart and soul of the drama. I want to watch six emotionally complex episodes of Bas processing his trauma and Marco guiding him through a therapeutic journey. However, Call It What You Want 2 veers off in a misguided direction, spending too much time on other insignificant plots. Who cares about James or Ait? We want Bas and Marco! Give us Bas and Marco!
Call It What You Want 2 goes overboard with the trauma. Bas suffers nonstop to the point that I feel fatigued and desensitized to his excessive agony. Although his actor (Michael) gives a powerful performance, even he overdoes the emotions in a few scenes. During Episode 5, the tension with Bas climaxes in a dramatic moment, but the aftermath is handled clumsily. I feel unfulfilled by the rushed resolution, not to mention there's a tone-deaf sex scene in the same episode. As steamy as the sex might be, the timing is totally wrong.
With a sympathetic portrayal and profound experiences, Bas remains my favourite part of the Call It What You Want sequel. His character isn't always rational or emotionally stable, but I root for him nonetheless. I'm also such a fan of his sweet, delicate relationship with Marco. Even if the storytelling flaws diminish the impact of their romance, I'm still enchanted by this pairing. They bring a heartwarming sentimentality that only the best BL couples evoke in me.
Overall, I can't hide my disappointment with Call It What You Want 2, which suffers many of the same pitfalls as its first season. I feel let down by the narrative choices that squander the most interesting plots, which aren't given adequate closure. Since the series ends pretty decisively, I don't think the story will extend into another season. I only want to see Call It What You Want 3 if they use it to redo Season 2 properly this time.
The story in Call It What You Want 2 is all about Bas. One of the biggest improvements between the first and second seasons is that it focuses on his character more. In Season 1, Bas is just a supporting character until his breakout episode near the end. In Season 2, he's in the spotlight and the plot revolves around him.
Being a hardcore Bas fan, I obviously love all the attention that he received during this season. However, a lot of the story is so emotionally heavy. I don't mind the dark and gritty tone, but it weighs on you after a while. It sucks that I have to watch Bas suffer, cry, and endure emotional trauma every episode. Only in the last few minutes does he finally find his bliss. 😟
Watching Bas heal from his trauma could've been just as interesting as his downward spiral. Evidently, Call It What You Want 2 didn't feel the same. Episode after episode, they pushed Bas to the brink of a breakdown until his mental state was completely destroyed. In contrast, his recovery process was condensed to maybe half an episode. Clearly, they were more interested in depicting his pain and anguish rather than his happiness and healing.
Trauma & mental health
Call It What You Want peaked between the last episode of Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2. Both episodes featured Bas prominently, as he coped with the psychological trauma of his sexual assault. The drama felt intimate, hitting the right emotional tone. While some other episodes in Call It What You Want 2 were too overwrought, the premiere showed restraint and achieved that perfect degree of melancholy.
In the first episode, my favourite moment was when Bas had that abstract nightmare. He dreamed of being stranded by the seaside, surrounded by pitch darkness, with no one else around him. It was an effective piece of symbolism, capturing the state of his deteriorating mental health. The actor also did a great job at conveying the desperation and desolation of his character.
This reference is kinda random, but did anyone watch the original Digimon anime? There's a concept of the "Dark Ocean", where the sea is like a physical manifestation of trauma and negative emotions. Bas' nightmare reminded me of the same wistful vibes, resonating with me extra powerfully. Any time I see a ~sea of darkness~ imagery in a show or movie, my mind always jumps back to that Digimon episode, haha. 🤓
In my opinion, Bas' suicide attempt in Episode 5 was a gigantic misstep. If you're going to depict suicide in the series, you better be able to follow up on the aftermath in a thoughtful and nuanced way. I don't get that feeling from Call It What You Want 2, which rushes through the incident and diminishes the emotional impact.
Suicide is a very extreme event, taking the plot to such an extreme. When portrayed correctly, it can lead to a powerful surge of emotions. On the flip side, you run the risk of trivializing what happened if you don't handle the aftermath delicately. I don't think Call It What You Want 2 was THAT bad, but the storyline wasn't handled with as much care as it needed.
Basically, Marco had one conversation with Bas, they jumped to sex, and then his suicidal desires vanished overnight. I thought there'd be more of a nuanced mental health journey, consisting of therapy, support from friends & family, with Marco by his side along every step. Instead, Bas' recovery felt insignificant when it should have been the highlight of the series. I never got the feeling that he took any necessary initiatives to heal from his psychological trauma.
Healing & recovery
Call It What You Want 2 would be better off excluding the suicide attempt altogether. Showing Bas hang himself on the noose took the story one step too far, crossing into the territory of tasteless sensationalism. The narrative suffered because it wasn't able to de-escalate smoothly from the intensity of the incident. There were more effective ways to depict mental distress without resorting to suicide.
The series also missed an opportunity by not using Marco more in the storyline. Yes, there were a few great moments, and one of the series highlights was his sensitive chat with Bas after the suicide attempt. However, there was so much potential left unexplored. I wanted even more scenes with them together, such as:
- Get Marco to help Bas with his family situation, improving the relationships with his brother and father.
- Show us Marco's exhaustion and frustration as he tries to stay positive around Bas.
- Explore their romance in a slow, sensible way, as Bas cautiously opens up to intimacy with another individual.
Unfortunately, Marco's involvement never reached the depth that I expected to see. It's annoying that he jumped into bed with Bas straight away. After his sexual assault, Bas could've struggled more about opening up to physical intimacy, a plot that easily fills up an entire episode. Instead, all the storytelling potential goes to waste when there could be so much emotionally riveting drama.
Bas and Marco
The quality of each Call It What You Want 2 episode is proportionate to how much screentime Bas and Marco receive. Any time the two characters interact, their on-screen chemistry is palpable. Whether they are having a cute lighthearted chat or a more serious and heartfelt exchange, their moments together are captivating. I'm always giddy and excited to see how their relationship will progress.
What I like about Marco is his compassion. He's the only character who shows kindness towards Bas, helping him cope with his trauma. Throughout the series, Marco is sensitive, caring, and empathetic with an open heart. He knows how to lighten the mood around Bas and not dwell on the negatives. At the same time, Marco remains firm when Bas shows moments of vulnerability and weakness. For instance, he sticks to his guns and refuses to delete the incriminating video of Tee.
My favourite Bas and Marco moment would be any of their three kisses:
- Their first kiss was full of sexual tension. Bas showed some apprehension before he leaned in for a surprise kiss. I felt my heart beating a little faster, not knowing how Marco would've reacted to this advance.
- The second kiss was steamy as hell. Clothes were flying off, bedframes were being rocked, and kisses were being swapped like rapid gunfire.
- Their third kiss was really sweet. Even though the last episode was a mess, I liked how empowering the kiss felt. Bas broke free from his abuser's control and finally took control of his narrative.
Bas and Marco sex
Call It What You Want has an unfortunate history of including sex scenes at the most questionable times. In the first season, James and Ait had sex right after they learned about Bas' sexual assault. In this season, Bas has sex with Marco in the same episode where he tried to kill himself earlier. I swear to god, how does an episode start with a character hanging himself from a noose, but ends with him getting lucky in that same bedroom where he tried to off himself!? 😬
I feel conflicted about this. On one hand, the scene is so tactless and tone-deaf, with terrible implications that sex can resolve suicidal tendencies. On the other hand, it serves as a powerful release of repressed emotions. Bas needed a productive outlet to expel all his negativity. Having sex is one possible way to take him out of that downward spiral, I guess…
Even though the timing could be much better, the sex scene between them is pretty hot. Those two actors really went at it with gusto. Their steaminess was enough to make me stop clutching my pearls and just enjoy two guys making out. As Marco pinned Bas to the bed and ravished him, a scene that should've annoyed me ended up arousing me instead. 😚
James and Ait
Compared to Season 1, James and Ait took more of a backseat in this series, but still occupied too much time with their mundane plots. I got annoyed with Ait's character, whose childish reaction to Marco's love confession was such a turn-off. I mean, I understand why he might be upset, but he still irritated me with his silly theatrics and immature tantrums. Stop whining, ya little twerp!
James and Ait also have a subplot about hiding their relationship from the public. It's an okay storyline with some relevant points, but doesn't introduce anything new to the plot. A better storytelling angle would've been getting James and Ait to conspire as a couple, uncovering proof of Tee's misdeeds together. They can try to locate other victims, or Ait goes undercover and baits Tee into doing something incriminating. These subplots already sound more interesting than another repetitive round of "I want people to know we're dating!"
Sadly, the chemistry between James and Ait is still weak. After twelve episodes, I'm just not invested in this couple because there's no spark between them. Honestly, my preference would be to keep their scenes to a minimum, focusing more on the Bas and Marco relationship instead.
I'm not a fan of the love triangle between James, Ait, and Marco. However, I understand they needed to wrap up this storyline from the previous season, so I tolerated all the annoying relationship drama. As they untangled this complex web of relationships, there was a lot of mundane dialogue exchanged. Something along the lines of I like you, but you don't like me back, so let's stay friends, yadda yadda yadda.
There was one interesting plot development that came from the love triangle drama. In Episode 2, Bas and Marco got into a disagreement. Bas felt jealous after Marco admitted that he was going to see James. In the heat of the moment, Bas retaliated by OUTING James and Ait's secret relationship. 😮 Once the scandal was publicized, Ait blamed Marco for the anonymous leak until Bas confessed to being the culprit.
Understandably, Ait got annoyed and said some unkind words to Bas. It was this argument that pushed Bas to the edge, triggering his suicide attempt. In Ait's defence, he was being a little rude, but didn't say anything THAT provocative. Nonetheless, the disappointment from upsetting a friend was the last straw that broke the camel's back. Ait remained oblivious to the impact of his words, unaware that he almost caused Bas to take his own life. 😟
The love triangle itself wasn't interesting, but it ended up having dramatic consequences that I didn't expect. I wished they highlighted the dynamic between Ait and Bas after their quarrel. Imagine the guilt that Ait feels upon discovering Bas' suicide attempt. It would've given Ait's actor some substantial material instead of just pouting and whining about his relationship.
The only actor who gets to shine in Call It What You Want 2 is Bas' actor (Michael), who has the juiciest scenes for sure. The rest of the cast don't have much material to work with, making it hard to judge their acting skills. I guess they're fine, but nobody comes close to stealing the spotlight from Bas. He carries the bulk of the emotional drama in the series.
As with last season, Michael is stupendous in his role. He conveys the powerful feelings brilliantly, capturing the fear and vulnerability of trauma. With that said, he overdoes it in a few instances, pushing himself too hard to exert the emotions. I also think there's fatigue from watching him be miserable all the time. I didn't keep the exact count, but it felt like his character had a dozen crying scenes in Season 2. I got numb from watching his emotional distress after a while.
The angst is so excessive, requiring the actor to cry, emote, and pull all sorts of strained reactions almost constantly. Under such a heavy workload, I don't blame him for missing his performance once or twice. Less is more, and his acting would have resonated better if the dramatic moments were kept to a few instances. I also would've liked to see more variety than just Bas being tormented all the time. If only there were more scenes for his character to display other emotions, it would've showcased Michael's talent diversely.
There's a happy ending in Call It What You Want 2. The main characters work together to expose Tee during a press conference and dismantle his production empire. Originally, Tee scripted everything in the press conference, so James and Ait only had to play along with the softball questions. However, Marco suddenly appears as a journalist, asking them to address their relationship rumours. James goes off-script, admits to the romance, and gives a meaningful speech about not wanting to hide their love anymore.
As the press conference gets derailed, Bas and Kaprao put their secret plan into motion. Amid the chaos, they broadcast the video evidence of Tee being predatory towards Bas earlier this season. Everyone is scandalized by the footage, as Tee quietly slinks off-stage before the video clip finishes. No, he doesn't get any comeuppance for his sexual assault. His character simply disappears and we don't hear from him again.
The media attention now shifts towards Bas and Marco. Marco gives his necklace to Bas and then smooches him in front of all the cameras. All the journalists and BL fans in attendance cheer excitedly as the two of them share a passionate kiss. In the final scene, we see that production has resumed on the BL drama. It indicates that normalcy has returned even after the two couples came out during the press conference.
While Call It What You Want 2 has a happy ending, the last episode is a disappointing mess. Half the finale is filler, teasing about this ~big press conference~ with little subtlety. It's so obvious what will transpire, so can we hurry along with the plot already? Imagine how much smoother the finale would be if they start with the press conference and expose Tee right away. The rest of the episode can focus on the main characters, giving their stories closure.
Sadly, the actual finale feels rushed with almost zero aftermath following the events of the press conference. We don't address the fallout, abruptly ending the story right after the two couples came out. It's super annoying how Tee doesn't get his comeuppance after building him up as the villain for the entire series. The worst part is that Bas and Marco barely feature in the episode until the last few minutes.
Episode 5 was already sloppy in rushing through their relationship, but I had hoped they'd receive more development in the finale. Instead, Bas and Marco were largely missing in action other than a quick kiss in the end. Can we at least get a meaningful conversation between them? Also, why aren't we addressing Bas' suicide attempt, sexual assault trauma, or mental health recovery? So many loose ends are left unresolved by this unsatisfying ending.
Although I have a lot of gripes with both Call It What You Want seasons, my frustration comes from wanting to see the best version of the series. There are other BL dramas so mediocre that they don't inspire any opinions in me. In contrast, I feel strongly about the story, the characters, and the message in Call It What You Want. It succeeds in making me care so passionately, but it falters in delivering the quality that I believe this drama could achieve.
The best part about the Call It What You Want ending is James' speech, one of the only things I like about the final episode. Marco poses as a journalist during the press conference, confronting James and Ait about their relationship rumours. Ait follows the script and gives a diplomatic answer. However, James chooses this moment to come out and admit that he is indeed dating Ait. He then gives a moving monologue with a sentimental message about love.
His speech reveals the meaning behind the title Call It What You Want. James decides to go public with their relationship because he wants to celebrate love instead of concealing it. He wants to inspire other couples to be open, courageous, and prideful with their relationships. Love is a normal part of life. It's not supposed to be shameful or secretive. If you love someone, don't be afraid to admit this.
As James says himself: "Whatever you want to call our relationship… Just call it what you want." In other words, I love him no matter what you say about us. The speech demonstrates that he prioritizes his love for Ait over how others will perceive their relationship. Yes, others might gossip. And yes, it might jeopardize their careers. But no, he doesn't care about these consequences because loving his boyfriend matters most to him. It's a firm and decisive stance on romance, attached to a positive message that we can use more of in this world.
Despite its imperfections, Call It What You Want has crafted a powerfully emotional journey throughout its two seasons. Bas' story concludes in a way that empowers him. Previously, he was afraid of the consequences of speaking up against his abuser. In his own words, he doesn't want to be seen as "the victim". By the final episode, he has gone through a dramatic transformation. Bas takes back control of his narrative, not letting the sexual assault define him anymore.
I like the symbolism of the empty birdcage in Episode 5, signifying his character is no longer a prisoner of his trauma. He wasn't ready to confront his sexual abuse before, but Marco has freed him from his psychological burden. As he approaches Kaprao, Bas looks comforted, reassured, and liberated. This is the Bas we wanted to see.
I'm glad Bas got a happy ending after everything his character experienced. While I wished his mental health recovery was emphasized more delicately, I'm just relieved that he broke free from his trauma. At the end of the series, he has an incredible boyfriend, his career remains intact, and he appears to be in a much better place mentally. Bas deserves to find happiness in this world, and I'll be rooting for him on his path to self-enlightenment.
Call It What You Want 2 Episodes
Call It What You Want 2 has a total of six episodes. Each episode is around 20 to 30 minutes long. The last episode is around 30 minutes long. This is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 3 hours.
Call It What You Want 2 released its first episode on July 23, 2021 and concluded on August 20, 2021. Season 1 aired earlier in the year, consisting of six episodes.
⭐ Best episode
Episode 1 is a strong episode with a heavy emphasis on the Bas and Marco relationship. It carries the same vibe as the last episode of Season 1, achieving a good balance between sentimentality and melancholy. During this episode, Marco and Bas enjoy time together in the resort. They end up spending the night together, engaging in intimate chats and lighthearted jokes.
Later in the episode, Bas and Marco share the same bed together. There's a lot of sexual tension between them as Bas contemplates kissing him or not. Ultimately, he goes in for the kiss and Marco accepts it, but they don't proceed further. Marco simply wraps Bas in a warm embrace and they spend the night in this position together.
💕 Most romantic episode
God, I can't believe the most romantic episode is the same one where Bas tries to kill himself. You can blame Call It What You Want 2 for the way they paced the story. 😬
Nonetheless, Episode 5 stands out because it features very intimate exchanges between Bas and Marco. The suicide attempt brings the two characters closer together. Marco is full of compassion, sensitivity, and encouragement as he takes care of Bas. He reaffirms Bas' self-worth during a heartfelt chat. His positive words were precisely what Bas needed to hear to get himself out of a dark downward spiral.
The episode culminates in a steamy sexual encounter between Bas and Marco. In the next morning, Bas is given the confidence he needs to make changes in his life. It starts with him approaching Kaprao to go public with the sexual assault allegations.
😭 Tearjerker episode
Episode 4 was an emotional episode where Bas gets piled on by everyone. His strict father yells at him for being useless. His friend Ait yells at him for his betrayal. Bas yells at himself for disappointing everyone around him. He feels terrible about himself, dwelling on all the negatives as he cries constantly.
With his self-esteem at an all-time low, Bas can't take it anymore and contemplates taking his own life. We don't actually see the suicide attempt in this episode, but it happens at the start of Episode 5 instead.
😡 Most triggering episode
Episode 2, 4, and 5 are the most triggering episodes of the series. Episode 4 and 5 take Bas to a dark place, as he contemplates hanging himself, which is very triggering, to say the least. Episode 2 is also quite disturbing, albeit in a different way.
In this episode, Tee visits Bas at his house. The two of them are seemingly alone, although Marco has snuck into the house to record incriminating video evidence. During their time together, Tee becomes very predatory towards Bas, getting touchy-feely with his employee. Bas looks terrified, but he's too crippled with fear to say no. Fortunately, the sexual assault gets interrupted when Bas' brother arrives at the house just in time.
Afterwards, Bas and Marco get into their first quarrel because they can't agree on what to do with the video. Marco wants to hand it over to the police, but Bas won't give him consent. He's afraid it'll tarnish his acting career. Marco refuses to delete the video and storms off to see James. Feeling jealous, Bas leaks the secret video footage of James and Ait. After sending the video anonymously, Bas feels terrible about what he did, but the damage is already done…
💪🏻 Episodes with skin
Episode 1 & 5
Both Bas and Marco get shirtless plenty of times during Episode 1. After Bas throws up on Marco during dinner, they get cleaned up in the ocean. Marco takes off his shirt as he goes into the water, encouraging Bas to do the same. My favourite line is Marco exclaiming, "How beautiful!" as Bas takes off his shirt, but he's actually describing the stars in the sky. 😄
The two characters also have plenty of shirtless scenes in Episode 5. They have a steamy sexual encounter during the episode, featuring lots of skin-on-skin contact between Bas and Marco.
💋 Episodes with kissing
Episode 1, 4, 5, 6
Bas and Marco kiss three times during the series. Their first kiss happened in Episode 1, their second kiss in Episode 5, and their third kiss in Episode 6. The steamiest kiss was probably in Episode 5, but my personal favourite was the finale kiss. I love that they have the courage and confidence to kiss each other in front of all the cameras.
James and Ait also share a kiss with each other in Episode 4. Of course, the two of them kissed many times during Season 1, so you can rewatch that series and revisit their best hits!
Call It What You Want Season 1
Call It What You Want 2021 series Drama review
Call It What You Want is the first season of the franchise, released earlier in 2021. Season 1 introduces the characters and storylines, focusing more on the James and Ait relationship. Bas and Marco are more like supporting players this season, whereas they rise to prominence in Call It What You Want 2.
You'll definitely have to watch Call It What You Want Season 1 before you begin the second season. The story in Season 2 picks up directly from where the first season finale left off. In fact, you can consider Call It What You Want a standard twelve-episode BL series that gets divided halfway into two separate seasons.
Call It What You Want 2 Behind The Scenes
Call It What You Want 2 Information
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Commetive Production Co., Ltd
Commetive Production Co., Ltd is a Thai BL studio that made Call It What You Want and its sequel Call It What You Want 2 (2021). It also made the BL films Present Perfect (2017) and Present Still Perfect (2020).
Cannot comment as I haven't watched yet but I have to say that I just loved your "Their steaminess was enough to make me stop clutching my pearls"… just had to! lol