Country Boy is a short BL miniseries that takes place in rural Thailand. A small group of friends go on a trip by the countryside, staying with a mother-and-son duo at their lodgings. The two leads are from different walks of life, one from the city and the other raised in a small rural town. They work together to help the impoverished lodging from going into debt.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Country Boy, a short and insubstantial indie series that’s too light on the BL content. Although the unique rural location is beautifully documented, the story lacks weight and doesn’t entice interest. The telegenic lead is wasted on a mediocre drama that doesn’t showcase his charisma.
Country Boy Summary
Calm and gentle
Around 30 to 35 minutes
Nabdao and his group of friends are from the city. The four of them go on a trip by the countryside, staying with a family at their rural lodgings. Unfortunately, the facilities are pretty run-down and there are no other visitors nearby. Nabdao’s friends observe this place is strange and spooky.
At the lodgings, Nabdao and his friends are welcomed by an energetic young man named Keptawan, who lives here with his mother. Keptawan is a friendly host, eager to introduce the city slickers to local cuisine and recreational activities. All four of them appreciate his hospitality, showing them a view of the countryside they’ve never witnessed before.
Keptawan and his mother are pestered by a loan shark, who threaten to take away the lodgings if they don’t pay an outstanding debt on time. Due to the pandemic, their business was severely impacted and they had to take out this loan to make ends meet. Now, they might lose ownership of this homestay, which means very much to Keptawan. To help out Keptawan, Nabdao and his friends decide to chip in to help the business thrive again.
Country Boy Trailer
Country Boy Cast
Nabdao Mon Hatsawatchon Wongsrisai (หัสวรรษชนม์ วงศ์ศรีใส) Mon Instagram
Nabdao is from the city, who goes on a trip by the countryside with his three friends. He is rather superstitious, believing the room in his lodgings might be haunted by Keptawan’s grandmother. Nabdao knows how to play the guitar and often entertains his friends with his singing.
Keptawan Oak Puwanart Runapnain (ภูวนารถ รู้แนบเนียน)
Keptawan lives by the countryside, running the lodgings with his mother. He has an older sister, who eloped after falling in love with one of the guests. With a bubbly personality, Keptawan is a hospital host who greets Nabdao and his friends with lots of energy.
- The two lead actors Mon and Oak starred in another BL project together in 2020. It’s a short series called My Friendship, handling more mature themes than Country Boy. However, that drama also has some rough narrative flaws, so don’t expect too much.
Country Boy Review
Drama Review Score: 5
To be honest, I have gone back and forth on my review of Country Boy, wondering if my score is too harsh. This short series is made by an indie production company, which doesn’t need me kicking it down with an overly critical review. Nonetheless, the truth is that I found Country Boy lacking as a BL series and cannot justify grading on a curve. A higher score wouldn’t be fair to other indie BL series that I simply enjoyed more.
When you only have an hour to tell a story, you have to be smart about your storytelling choices. Country Boy wastes too much time on scenes that don’t matter. For instance, we don’t need that first scene in the beginning with Nabdao and his friends at the café. Just start the series with the characters arriving at the lodging, so that the narrative moves at a brisker pace. You only have a limited amount of time to get to the heart of the story, so be intelligent with your storyboard and focus on the more interesting moments.
Country Boy is also bogged down with too much exposition, all of which are delivered very clunkily. How many times must the characters emphasize that they’re ~from the city~ before the plot point gets driven home? This leads to another problem, which is that I barely know anything about the lead character Nabdao. Okay, this guy is from the city and plays the guitar, but what else is there to his background or personality? Although Nabdao’s actor (Mon) is extremely telegenic, his role is generic and there’s no spark to his character.
For a low-budget production, Country Boy is filmed remarkably well. The countryside scenery looks stunning, captured majestically with artistic camera angles and bright vibrant colours. I’m impressed with the quality of the cinematography, which is Country Boy’s strongest suit. I just wished the story made use of the location better. Let the characters explore the wilderness and experience the countryside with more outdoor activities. The characters keep repeating how great this place is — show us!
Unfortunately, the visuals cannot elevate the weak story or the nonexistent romance in Country Boy. I found the loan shark plot unnecessary, which clashes with the calm, gentle vibe of the series. Surely, there are better ways to depict a financially struggling business than someone harassing a single mother and her son for money. As for the BL content, Nabdao and Keptawan are developed to an absolute bare minimum. The one or two scenes near the end might be enough to classify this series as BL, but just barely so. Whether this is a bromance or a love story, Country Boy feels underwhelming either way.
The story in Country Boy feels a little patronizing. These four city kids come with their worldly wisdom to save two country bumpkins from losing their business. It’s kinda cliché, don’t you think? Plus, I’m not particularly fond of the optics, portraying those who live in the city as the saviours to the “incompetent” people living by the countryside.
I also don’t like how there’s a tattooed loan shark caricature harassing a widowed mother and her kid, which seems way too overdramatic. This type of intense conflict doesn’t match the calm and gentle vibe of the series. Sure, the business can still struggle financially, but we don’t need all that over-the-top ridiculousness with the loan shark. Country Boy’s storyline should be kept simple and grounded with lower stakes involved.
I don’t know if it’s accurate to call Nabdao and Keptawan a romance? There’s barely anything romantic to their relationship, other than that hug on the swing. To be fair, that scene was beautifully filmed and composed, which kinda set an intimate mood between the two leads. It’s a fine example of where cinematography really helps with building the atmosphere.
Still, you’d be disappointed if you are watching this for the BL romance. The two leads barely even know each other and their bond is flimsy. Call me cynical, but I have doubts whether they’ll actually stay in touch once Nabdao goes back to the city.
I gotta say, the actor playing Nabdao (Mon) is super telegenic. Even though the character is kinda flat, Mon brings a bit of a twinkle in his eyes. After watching Country Boy, I saw another short movie that he starred in, My Friendship. I won’t review that movie in BL Watcher because it’s simply too short. However, I do think Mon is capable of acting dramatically.
Let’s see how his career progresses. I want to see him in another BL series with a better story that gives him more material to work with. With a suitable role, I think he could be a very bankable actor in the BL genre.
Country Boy has a happy ending, where Nabdao and his friends help stall the loan shark for another month. They also make improvements to the lodgings and business is now booming. To be honest, the ending is a little shallow. Like, what exactly did Nabdao and his friends do that made such a big difference? They cleaned up the place, took a few pictures, and…somehow that’s supposed to save a floundering business? Um okay. 😐
Nonetheless, I liked the final scene between Nabdao and Keptawan, where they exchanged phone numbers. Okay, that moment was cute in a very wholesome kind of way. Sometimes, you don’t need kissing, hugging, or any physical interaction to convey a connection between two characters. I dunno, maybe the scene stands out because the rest of the series is so deprived of BL content, but the ending felt appropriate based on the story I just watched.