Cutie Pie is a Thai BL series about two childhood friends in an arranged marriage.

Cutie Pie is a Thai BL series about two childhood friends and their arranged marriage. For many years, the protagonist's grandfather wanted him to marry the son of a close family acquaintance. The main characters have gotten engaged and intend to fulfill their obligations. However, many scandalous secrets and hidden tensions threaten to tear apart their precarious relationship.

I have a love-hate relationship with Cutie Pie, a polarizing series that leaves me intensely conflicted. The story is entertaining with polished production values, steamy encounters, and an assertive LGBT agenda. However, it also features frustrating plots, manipulative love interests, and toxic relationship dynamics. While I enjoy this BL drama superficially, I don't endorse the harmful tropes perpetuated by the romance.

Cutie Pie Summary

What is the drama called?

นิ่งเฮียก็หาว่าซื่อ

Where was the series made?

Thailand

When was the drama released?

2022

How long is Cutie Pie?

Around 12 hours

What is the genre?

Romance

How would you describe the series?

Sexy and steamy

How many episodes are in Cutie Pie?

12 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 60 minutes

Plot

Kuea has been childhood friends with Lian for many years. Kuea comes from a wealthy Thai family, while Lian is a Chinese immigrant with humble roots. Despite their different backgrounds, their grandfathers are close acquaintances. Lian's entire family feels indebted to Kuea's grandpa, who generously helped them with their business venture. The start-up has grown into a thriving company, thanks to the initial financial investment from their benefactor.

Years ago, Kuea's grandpa expressed a desire for his grandson and Lian to marry each other. Although not legal in Thailand, he wanted their two families to have a close connection via this arranged marriage. Before the grandfather passed away, Lian promised he would take care of Kuea forever. Since then, Lian and Kuea have become engaged. Both men respect the grandfather's dying wish and intend to get married in the future.

Kuea is a university student who loves music and motorcycles. Although Kura studies automotive engineering, he lies to his family about specializing in computer engineering instead. In addition, Kuea also performs indie music under his secret stage identity, Kirin. He is famous in clubs and has earned a fan following. However, Kuea is secretive about his engineering studies and music career. Kuea wants his family to believe he's an obedient child leading a respectable life.

Kuea is smitten with his fiancé. Every week, they go on dates to strengthen their relationship. Kuea acts well-mannered and maintains an agreeable demeanour. Deep down, he's moody, irritable, and rebellious. Yet, Kuea wants to make a positive impression and compromises his real personality in front of Lian. Kuea is only comfortable being himself around his best friend, Diao. Coincidentally, Diao is dating Lian's best friend and business partner, Yi.

Lian is mature, intelligent, ambitious, and sophisticated. He manages the family business, including a popular nightclub. Unlike his younger love interest, Lian doesn't seem enthusiastic about their relationship. The truth is Lian finds his partner dull and docile, although he still wants to marry Kuea out of family obligations. However, he admits to having no real romantic feelings, which breaks his fiancé's heart. During a heated confrontation, Kuea cries and calls off the engagement.

Cutie Pie Trailer

Cutie Pie Cast

Characters

Kuea

NuNew Chawarin Perdpiriyawong (นุนิว ชวรินทร์ เพริศพิริยะวงศ์)

Kuea is portrayed by the Thai actor NuNew Chawarin Perdpiriyawong (นุนิว ชวรินทร์ เพริศพิริยะวงศ์).

Kuea is an engineering student who loves riding motorcycles. He comes from a wealthy family, and his grandfather set up an arranged marriage for him ever since childhood. Kuea performs music under his alias, Kirin. However, he is secretive about his engineering studies and music career. Kuea wants his fiancé and family to think of him as agreeable and obedient.

Lian

Zee Pruk Panich (ซี พฤกษ์ พานิช)

Lian is portrayed by the Thai actor Zee Pruk Panich (ซี พฤกษ์ พานิช).

Lian is Kuea's fiancé. This arranged marriage has been in place between their families since childhood. Lian's family feels indebted to Kuea's grandfather, who supported them when they first moved to Thailand. Lian is a hard worker who manages the family business in the iced water industry. He also runs a club with his partner and best friend, Yi.

Diao

Nat Natasitt Uareksit (ณฐ ณฐสิชณ์ เอื้อเอกสิชฌ์)

Diao is portrayed by the Thai actor Nat Natasitt Uareksit (ณฐ ณฐสิชณ์ เอื้อเอกสิชฌ์).

Diao is Kuea's best friend, who met as exchange students and roommates in England. They have a close relationship and confide secrets only to each other. Diao has a sweet, humble personality and likes to care for others. He is dating Yi, but they live separately and don't initiate anything romantic. Diao and Yi have known each other since childhood.

Yi

Max Kornthas Rujeerattanavorapan (แม็ค กรธัสส์ รุจีรัตนาวรพันธ์)

Yi is portrayed by the Thai actor Max Kornthas Rujeerattanavorapan (แม็ค กรธัสส์ รุจีรัตนาวรพันธ์).

Yi is Lian's best friend. They have similar temperaments and manage a club together. In addition, he owns a car dealership and runs a racetrack business. Yi and Diao are dating, although their relationship isn't physically intimate. Yi has known Diao since childhood. He feels guilty about an incident that happened when they were kids.

Syn

Yim Pharinyakorn Khansawa (ยิม ปริญญากรณ์ ขันสวะ)

Syn is portrayed by the Thai actor Yim Pharinyakorn Khansawa (ยิม ปริญญากรณ์ ขันสวะ).

Syn is Kuea's classmate who studies automotive engineering at university. They are friends with the other engineering students, Ton, Jab, and Nuchy. When Nuer joins their social circle, Syn dislikes him and feels suspicious about this newcomer's intentions. They have clashed on several occasions. Syn is religious, and his faith is important to him.

Nuer

Tutor Koraphat (ติวเตอร์ กรภัทร ลำน้อย)

Nuer is portrayed by the Thai actor Tutor Koraphat (ติวเตอร์ กรภัทร ลำน้อย).

Nuer is a new student who joins Kuea and Syn's automotive engineering class. He was a top computer engineering student, but switched majors in his third year. Nuer comes from a well-to-do family. He starts flirting with Kuea upon meeting, which annoys Syn and his friends. Nuer and Syn do not get along initially.

Supporting Cast

Foei is portrayed by the Thai actor Poppy Ratchapong Anomakiti (ป๊อปปี้ รัชพงศ์ อโนมกิติ).

Foei

Poppy Ratchapong Anomakiti (ป๊อปปี้ รัชพงศ์ อโนมกิติ)

Jay is portrayed by the Thai actor Perth Stewart Nakhuntanagarn Screaigh (เพิร์ธ สจ๊วต นคุณธนัชกาญจน์ สเกร).

Jay

Perth Stewart Nakhuntanagarn Screaigh (เพิร์ธ สจ๊วต นคุณธนัชกาญจน์ สเกร)

Nuchy is portrayed by the Thai actress Pure Purewarin Kosiriwalanon (เพียว เพียวรินทร์ กอศิริวลานนท์).

Nuchy

Pure Purewarin Kosiriwalanon (เพียว เพียวรินทร์ กอศิริวลานนท์)

Ton is portrayed by the Thai actor Tonnam Piamchon Damrongsunthornchai (ต้นน้ำ เปี่ยมชล ดำรงสุนทรชัย).

Ton

Tonnam Piamchon Damrongsunthornchai (ต้นน้ำ เปี่ยมชล ดำรงสุนทรชัย)

Jab is portrayed by the Thai actor Barbell Jirakit Kanjanawaraporn (บาร์เบล จิรกิตติ์ กาญจนวราภรณ์).

Jab

Barbell Jirakit Kanjanawaraporn (บาร์เบล จิรกิตติ์ กาญจนวราภรณ์)

Kuea's mom is portrayed by the Thai actress June Poramaporn Jangkamol (จูน ปรมาภรณ์ จ่างกมลt).

Kuea's mom

June Poramaporn Jangkamol (จูน ปรมาภรณ์ จ่างกมลt)

Lian's dad is portrayed by the Thai actor Wit Phutharit Prombandal (วิทย์ ภูธฤทธิ์ พรหมบันดาล).

Lian's dad

Wit Phutharit Prombandal (วิทย์ ภูธฤทธิ์ พรหมบันดาล)

Lian's mom is portrayed by the Thai actress Kaew Apiradee Pawaputanont (อภิรดี ภวภูตานนท์).

Lian's mom

Kaew Apiradee Pawaputanont (อภิรดี ภวภูตานนท์)

Kuea's grandpa is portrayed by the Thai actor Plai Paramej Noiam (ปลาย ปรเมศร์ น้อยอ่ำ).

Kuea's grandpa

Plai Paramej Noiam (ปลาย ปรเมศร์ น้อยอ่ำ)

The young version of Lian is portrayed by the child actor Kim Achita Panyamang (คิม อชิตะ ปัญญามัง).

Young Lian

Kim Achita Panyamang (คิม อชิตะ ปัญญามัง)

The young version of Kuea is portrayed by the child actor Kuma Punnathorn Pornprasit (คุมะ ปัณณธร พรประสิทธิ์).

Young Kuea

Kuma Punnathorn Pornprasit (คุมะ ปัณณธร พรประสิทธิ์)

Ja is portrayed by the Thai actress Ya Janya Thanasawaangkoun (จรรยา ธนาสว่างกุล).

Ja

Ya Janya Thanasawaangkoun (จรรยา ธนาสว่างกุล)

Nong is Diao's dog.

Nong

Cast Highlights

  • Lian's actor (Zee) starred in the 2020 Thai BL series Why R U. In the same year, he also appeared in the drama You Never Eat Alone.
  • Diao and Hia's actors (Nat and Max) appeared in Why R U (2020), Y-Destiny (2021), and Close Friend (2021).
  • Jay's actor starred in the 2020 Thai BL drama My Engineer. He also appeared in Y-Destiny (2021) and KinnPorsche (2022).
  • The actor who portrays Ton (Tonam) appeared in various Thai BL series, including Why R U (2020), The Yearbook (2021), and Triage (2022).
  • The actor who portrays Foei (Poppy) has appeared in the following dramas: YYY (2020), Lovely Writer (2021), and Love Mechanics (2022). He also had a small guest role in Sky in Your Heart (2022).

Cutie Pie Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 7.8

B
A shirtless Lian seduces Kuea.

Cutie Pie stands out because of its polished presentation. This BL drama has a glamorous aesthetic, dazzling me with its premium production quality. The upscale surroundings, chic wardrobe, and glossy cinematography create a luxurious ambiance. Every scene looks bright and vibrant, but it shines the most during the romantic encounters. The steamy exchanges are brimming with style, sophistication, and sensuality. If we judge Cutie Pie based on packaging, it gets top marks for exuding a contemporary flair.

This series has an unusual premise because most people wouldn't associate arranged marriages and gay couples together. My first reaction is that Cutie Pie takes a plot meant for two heterosexual leads and forces it onto a BL narrative. However, I changed my mind and learned to appreciate its bold rebellion against conventional norms. The protagonist insists on marrying his same-sex partner, defying the naysayers who question the validity of their union. Cutie Pie takes a decisive stance on gay marriage and endorses powerful LGBT messages, earning my respect.

The premiere begins with an intense exchange where Lian insults his docile fiancé. Their relationship collapses afterwards, and the rest of the series is dedicated to the leads rebuilding their bond. Initially, I looked forward to Kuea's journey of self-empowerment. I tolerated his immature behaviour in the early episodes, assuming he'll grow as a person. Instead, his character regresses and constantly frustrates me with his stupidity. Kuea comes across as a spoiled rich bimbo with vapid thoughts. He's like the BL interpretation of an oblivious trophy husband.

I hate how Lian meddles with Kuea's life behind his back. Lian restricts his partner's autonomy by imposing constant surveillance, financial control, and intrusive boundaries in their living arrangement. He manipulates his naive fiancé, treating Kuea like a subservient puppet. Superficially, I celebrate their physical affections and passionate kisses. Nonetheless, I'm disturbed by the uncomfortable power dynamics in this toxic romance. Between Kuea's childish antics and Lian's domineering personality, the pairing doesn't work because I find both leads detestable.

Cutie Pie features a charming and attractive cast. Lian's character is tailor-made for his actor (Zee), who seems so convincing in this role. He carries a confident swagger, looks suave in his sharp suits, and mesmerizes me with those smouldering eyes. This series perfectly showcases his star power, proving why he's leading man material. The rest of the cast is okay, but you can differentiate between the seasoned veterans and the inexperienced newbies. Some performers are weaker than others, not showing much range beyond a few standard expressions.

I have a love-hate relationship with Cutie Pie, a polarizing series that leaves me conflicted. I'm annoyed by the messy narrative, awful characters, and loathsome romances. The last few episodes are exasperating, and I roll my eyes at the ridiculous turn of events. Despite its flaws, this BL drama is still enjoyable with sleek production values and thrilling sexual tension. The bottom line is I find the story campy, provocative, and stupidly fun. While I don't endorse the problematic tropes, Cutie Pie is an entertaining guilty pleasure that makes a memorable impression.

Summary

Campy story

Cutie Pie has an assertive LGBT agenda, portraying a gay couple in an unusual arranged marriage. Unfortunately, the messy storytelling and detestable leads undermine the positive messages.

Steamy romance

The leads are physically affectionate with steamy encounters that will appeal to BL fans. However, the romance between a domineering control freak & a vapid bimbo creates a toxic power dynamic.

Charming acting

Lian's actor (Zee) is convincing in his role. He portrays a suave, confident leading character with an irresistible swagger. The rest of the cast is okay, but some performers seem inexperienced.

Happy ending

Cutie Pie has a happy ending after resolving the intense conflict introduced in the penultimate episode. Personally, I found the melodrama ridiculous, exasperating, and insufferable.

Premium artistry

This series has a polished production with smooth cinematography, upscale surroundings, and a luxurious ambiance. The romantic exchanges are brimming with style, sophistication, and sensuality.

78%

Cutie Pie is a polarizing BL drama that promotes toxic relationship tropes in a problematic romance. Nonetheless, the campy story is entertaining and enjoyable as a guilty pleasure.

Cutie Pie Series Explained

Analysis

Arranged marriage

Kuea and Lian have an arranged marriage due to their family's wishes.

My first reaction to Cutie Pie's premise was WTF. Who came up with this unrealistic idea of putting two gay men in an arranged marriage? To begin with, the concept of an arranged marriage seems outdated. On top of that, squeezing this heterosexual framework onto a homosexual couple doesn't quite fit. Sorry to be blunt, but what is there to arrange when marriage equality hasn't happened in Thailand yet? I felt cognitive dissonance during the flashbacks with the grandfather, questioning whether this scenario was within the realm of possibility.

Throughout the series, many characters have doubted the validity of the arranged marriage. They echoed similar sentiments that I wrestled with in my mind. However, one of my favourite parts about Cutie Pie is that it shuts down the naysayers with overwhelming conviction. Someone would be like, "But I don't understand…", only to be met with a swift retort: "OMG! Get with the times, homophobe!" I love this hilariously indignant response, but I also feel contemplative. I'm like, Nuchy is right. Why am I skeptical about a gay arranged marriage? Do I need to confront my implicit biases?

Cutie Pie successfully swayed me after a while. What changed my mind was witnessing Lian's staunch determination to marry his long-term partner. Lian is surrounded by many voices that say his arranged marriage doesn't make sense. As others challenged the legitimacy of his love, he remained resolute against their opposition. He will marry his same-sex partner, no matter what. I'm inspired by his aspiration, righteousness, and defiance against conventional norms. Cutie Pie makes a powerful statement about marriage equality that earns my respect.

Annabelle doll

Lian insults Kuea and calls him an Annabelle doll.

The first episode features a memorable exchange between the leads. Lian becomes annoyed with Kuea, who adopts a meek and submissive persona to accommodate his fiancé. Eventually, Lian snaps and tells him, "I want to marry a human, not a doll. You are an Annabelle doll." It's a malicious remark intended to hurt and provoke Kuea, who calls off their engagement before leaving in tears. Lian's insult is dehumanizing. He has little respect for Kuea and describes him as a soulless object.

Initially, I loved this iconic scene under the expectation that the leads would grow after their encounter. I thought the plan was to knock the protagonists to their lowest point before rebuilding them on a journey of redemption. For Kuea, he'd become more honest, independent, and empowered. For Lian, he'd show more empathy, compassion, and remorse. I imagined these character arcs in my mind, predicting how the rest of the story would progress. Cutie Pie seemed promising at the start, making me excited about Kuea and Lian's future growth.

Instead, the plot trajectory never goes the way I envisioned. Frustratingly, Kuea doesn't seem independent or intelligent. He continues being spoiled, oblivious, and vapid throughout the series. I hate to say it, but his fiancé isn't entirely wrong comparing him to a useless doll. Meanwhile, Lian remains controlling and calculating. He acts more like a scheming puppeteer than a loving partner. Looking back, that Annabelle doll scene highlights how little Kuea and Lian grew as characters. I'm disappointed by their lack of development.

Kuea

Lian is Kuea's controlling and domineering fiancé.

Lian perceives Kuea as a doll because of his background and behaviour. Born as the only heir to a wealthy family, Kuea lives in a privileged bubble. He has maids taking care of his every need and doesn't have to lift a finger to do any work. This pampered rich kid spends his time in mansions, nightclubs, and race tracks. Kuea has no financial worries, no real responsibilities, and no practical life skills. Like a doll, he lacks purpose and productivity. Even his music seems like a casual hobby.

In addition, Kuea puts on a demure and docile persona around Lian. He does so deliberately, not wanting to upset his fiancé. He assumes Lian wants a sweet, pleasant, and agreeable partner. However, Kuea behaves so subserviently that he comes across as a pushover. He only smiles, nods, and conforms in every situation. His submissiveness annoys Lian, who wants a more honest and stimulating companion. Instead, Kuea resembles a doll that lacks authentic reactions.

However, Lian underestimated Kuea. He kept tabs on his partner, knew a few of his secrets, and made preconceived notions based on the limited info. Yet, Lian doesn't realize the extent of Kuea's facade. In Episode 2, Lian was intrigued when his fiancé called him a bastard, revealing a new side to his personality. He also attends the Kirin concert and discovers Kuea performs his music with genuine emotion. The heartfelt song forces Lian to reassess his opinion and admit he doesn't know everything about Kuea. Calling him a doll may be too harsh after all.

Kirin

Kirin is Kuea's stage alias when he performs music.

Kuea grew up with a predetermined path for his future. The arranged marriage is an obvious example since his grandfather found a life partner for him at a young age. Similarly, his parents made plans and sent him to study abroad. Kuea had to negotiate to stay in Thailand and switch his major to engineering. Even then, Kuea doesn't feel comfortable enough to admit he wants to study cars instead of computers.

Kuea's family isn't strict and never forces him to do something against his will. Nonetheless, they've prepared plans that come with expectations. Doing anything different puts pressure on Kuea, making him feel like he's disobedient, disruptive, or disrespectful. As the youngest family member, he's told to listen to his seniors, who supposedly know what's best for him. It's easier for Kuea to follow their orders, whereas going against their authority gives him anxiety. He'd rather compromise himself to appease others.

This mentality explains why Kuea tells many lies about himself. He maintains an illusion of the obedient goody-two-shoes that his parents and fiancé want to see. Behind their backs, Kuea secretly breaks free from his family to regain his independence. His stage alias, Kirin, represents the part of him not saddled with obligations or expectations. When performing his personal songs on that stage, Kuea can be himself without worrying about what others want.

Kuea and Lian

Kuea and Lian share their first kiss in Cutie Pie Episode 2.

Kuea has a crush on Lian. They played together for many years, and Kuea feels connected to this childhood acquaintance he had known for his whole life. Lian holds the endorsement of the beloved grandfather, adding to his appeal. Lian's physical appearance is a factor, of course. Despite questioning the arranged marriage, I think it's hilarious that the grandpa helped Kuea hook up with this ~supermodel hottie~. Thanks for locking him down, gramps! 😙

Kuea loves his fiancé superficially without knowing much about him at the start of the series. Maybe Kuea is too young, or Lian is overly aloof, but their childhood bond isn't profound beyond being playmates. Although they go on dates as adults, Lian doesn't seem invested in their time together. We've seen one of their so-called dates is a business meeting instead. Kuea and Lian may have been acquainted for years, but they don't seem close. Kuea is in love with the image and idea of his fiancé than Lian as an individual.

While Kuea's feelings are shallow, he idolizes Lian like a fantasy prince charming. Lian's Annabelle doll remark devastates Kuea since the hurtful words come from someone he cherishes. The insult shatters his self-esteem, causing him to cry on multiple occasions. Episode 2 ends with a drunken Kuea in tears, pleading for his fiancé to love him. When Lian initiates the kiss, his response is intriguing because it has a mix of guilt, pity, lust, and sincerity. The kiss is a turning point, and Lian tries to close the distance in their relationship.

Obligation

Lian flirts with Kuea in the bedroom.

Kuea's grandpa wanted Lian's family to unite with theirs through marriage. He felt confident about entrusting his grandson to Lian, a sign of tremendous respect. Lian carried the emotional weight of this arranged marriage for the rest of his life. Nobody is adamant about keeping the verbal agreement, but Lian doesn't want to break his promise. He intends to fulfill the grandfather's dying wish out of honour & principle.

Yet, Lian treats his commitment to Kuea as a contractual responsibility than a real romance. While Kuea immerses himself in the fantasy of the arranged marriage, Lian takes a pragmatic approach. This engagement is nothing more than a babysitting errand. He didn't love Kuea at the start of the series. Later, his character backtracks and says, "I've always loved you, Kuea!" However, it's a disingenuous remark because his aloof actions indicated otherwise. No matter how Cutie Pie tries spinning it, Lian's feelings weren't romantic in Episode 1.

The context of Lian's love is gratitude towards Kuea's grandfather that trickles down to his family. More specifically, he loved the financial support from his benefactor, and Kuea happened to be in proximity. Lian has a businesslike relationship with his fiancé, or the story begins this way. Lian changes his attitude after the first kiss, as his obligation turns into infatuation. Marrying Kuea becomes less an emotional burden and more of a genuine attraction, launching the exciting journey!

Dollhouse

Lian feels responsible for taking care of Kuea.

Around the end of Episode 3, Kuea and Lian reach an awkward point in their relationship. The storyline wants the leads living together in the same house, a classic scenario in many BL dramas. Putting them in close quarters drives the plot forward, invigorating their dynamic. Yet, the characters are still in conflict, and Kuea hasn't forgiven his fiancé. He's totally against cohabitating.

Lian commands Kuea to leave his home and move in together, not giving him any choice or consent. He doesn't try apologizing, reconciling, or communicating nicely. Instead, it's an authoritative order. In addition, Lian already schemed with Kuea's mom, coaxing her until she agreed to the living arrangement. Lian's manipulations further remove Kuea's autonomy. I hate this uncomfortable power dynamic where the domineering character imposes his will on his love interest. Kuea appears so helpless and distressed.

In Episode 4, Lian tells his assistant to decorate the house so that Kuea never wants to leave. I was alarmed. Why does it sound like Lian plans to trap his fiancé in this glorified dollhouse? Cutie Pie's story starts with Kuea having a secret hideaway, his personal space with much individual freedom. But now, Kuea loses his emancipation, forced to live with his captor unwillingly. His character is miserable and cries during the car ride to Lian's home. Moving in with your lover should've been a celebratory occasion, yet it feels like Kuea is going to prison.

Power dynamic

Kuea and Lian are an engaged couple with a rocky relationship.

The lopsided power dynamic between the leads feels disturbing partially because Kuea seems so dumb and oblivious. Their relationship might feel more equal if his character was more intelligent. It still wouldn't justify Lian's predatory behaviour, but at least Kuea doesn't come across as much of a victim. I'd be more reassured if Kuea appeared capable of fighting back, resisting the manipulations, and taking care of himself. Sadly, I don't get that impression.

Kuea's character frustrates me because he is such a bimbo. His thoughts are painfully vacuous. It's apparent why Lian wants them to move in together. Yet, Kuea is so stupid that he doesn't understand his fiancé's intentions. Oh em gee, I wonder why Lian decorates my bedroom with musical instruments? Does he know my secret? LIKE DUH. 🙄 Kuea's lack of awareness makes it easy for Lian to manipulate him. Lian's every gesture feels calculating because he's always many steps ahead of his love interest. Kuea seems intellectually outmatched by Lian's devious nature.

I like the sexy encounter in Episode 5 where Kuea grabs Lian's tie and yanks him closer to the bed. Lian is caught off-guard by his love interest's assertiveness. The exchange is exciting because it reverses their power dynamic temporarily, showing Kuea as the one in control. I want this bold, confident energy from him during their other scenes. Unfortunately, that moment is a rare exception in their relationship. Most of the time, Kuea is weak and submissive around his domineering partner. Kuea behaves like a powerless puppet and Lian is his shrewd puppetmaster.

Domestic life

Kuea and Lian cook in the kitchen together.

Despite my complaints, I must admit that Kuea and Lian share cute, charming scenes after living together. The cohabitation pushes this romance forward with positive momentum, creating a lot of sparks. Their relationship seemed sterile during the first few episodes, and you wouldn't believe they were engaged. Finally, they start acting like a couple for the first time. I feel giddy watching them interact~ 😙

It helps to see Lian's character in his house, an environment where he appears comfortable and relaxed. Typically, we only observe him in work mode, dressed in sharp suits and groomed to perfection. In contrast, Lian has let his guard down at home. He's making food in the kitchen, wearing an apron instead of formal attire. This domestic image is flattering as Lian exudes warmth and hospitality. He's smiling more, speaking gently, and forging a sincere connection with his fiancé.

Lian is integrating himself into Kuea's life. He cooks meals, drives together to school, and even kisses his fiancé goodbye. Previously, Kuea had a one-sided crush in this romance. Now, Lian is making an effort and reciprocating the affections. There are still many secrets and schemes between this couple, but at least their relationship is improving. Kuea and Lian knew each other more intimately after a few days of living together than they had over years of dating. 

Trophy husband

Kuer and Lian take a shirtless bath together.

As much as I enjoy Lian's domestic side, another flawed dynamic soon emerges in their living arrangement. Lian is doting, affectionate, and attends to his fiancé's needs. While his pampering seems cute, it also highlights how little Kuea can take care of himself. Kuea lacks essential life skills and self-sufficiency. After moving in together, he almost seems too dependent on Lian to do everything for him.

In Episode 6, Kuea helps Lian with meal prep in the kitchen. Unfortunately, this sheltered rich kid is so dense that he uses a knife to chop an egg. When Lian lectures him for being dangerous, Kuea cries because he feels useless. He says, "I can't do anything right. That's why you don't love me." I'm sympathetic towards his insecurities, but the response emphasizes Kuea's immaturity and fragility. As Lian coddles his fiancé with empty platitudes, this moment is the opposite of empowering.

In Episode 7, Lian surprises his lover with a present. Kuea is excited to see a new expensive sports car. The thoughtful gift matches his character's hobbies, yet I can't help but feel jaded. Kuea reminds me of a vapid trophy husband whose wealthy partner spoils on with lavish gifts. This scene reiterates his inability to make an earning and support himself, as if he must mooch off Lian. It circles back to Kuea's incompetence and lack of independence in their lopsided power dynamic.

Control

While Kuea is powerless in his relationship, Lian likes being the one to hold all the control. Lian has a domineering personality, exerting authority and dominance in every interaction. Kuea must live in his house and follow his rules. Lian keeps describing his fiancé as "naughty", but is he really? Kuea's activities are remarkably innocent, such as enjoying hobbies and meeting with friends. The so-called naughtiness is only because Kuea doesn't abide by Lian's expectations. 

Lian gives Kuea the illusion of autonomy. He doesn't expose his partner's undercover identity and lets him play music in the rival club as Kirin. Yet, Lian monitors Kuea's activities closely through constant surveillance. Lian's stalking is so extreme that he even buys the club's ownership to get the latest reports on Kuea's schedule. His oblivious fiancé thinks he sneaks around successfully, but Lian always knows where he's going and what he's doing. Lian's ominous reach has invaded every personal space, from Kuea's secret hideout to his performance venue.

Similarly, Lian pretends to let Kuea make some independent choices. He doesn't dictate the trivial details, allowing his fiancé to enjoy small victories like buying junk food. However, Lian exerts total control over the significant matters in Kuea's life, such as his living arrangements or financial assets. During the last few episodes, Lian never consults Kuea and proceeds with the homeownership transfer. Shockingly, the person most affected by this business transaction has no input. Instead, Lian is the secret puppetmaster who controls Kuea's future and makes all the decisions. 

Diao and Yi

Diao and Lia kiss each other.

The secondary couple echoes similar narrative themes during their storyline. Diao and Yi struggle with power, control, and authority in their relationship dynamic. There are slight tweaks to the characterizations to avoid being exact carbon copies. Diao is more self-assured than his friend, while Yi is less conniving than his counterpart. Nevertheless, Diao and Yi are like the water-downed versions of Kuea and Lian with less development.

I don't like either couple for the same reasons. These rich, powerful men make me uncomfortable with how much they control their young partners. Lian and Yi act like they have ownership over their love interests, as if Kuea and Diao are properties. In Yi's case, he feels guilty because his dog attacked Diao, causing childhood trauma. Yi compensates by looking after his companion, but he goes overboard and becomes obsessive. My favourite moment is when Diao flees his controlling boyfriend and visits a karate school called Freedom. The business name is pretty tongue-in-cheek, no? 

Generally, I'm fond of Diao's character and appreciate his sensitive personality. However, his romance with Yi doesn't engage me because the details are too vague. I wasn't sure why they feuded midway through the series, nor did I care about their irritating conflict. On a related note, I think Kuea and Diao would make a more compatible couple than their love interests. I don't necessarily ship Kuea x Diao, but at least their characters share a supportive, respectful, and easygoing bond. Maybe both should end their toxic relationships and date each other instead.

Cuties

Kuea and Diao are best friends with a close bond.

Cutie Pie is an intriguing name for this series. Primarily, it's intended as a term of endearment. When you call someone a 'cutie pie', the tone is casual, lighthearted, and sweet. It makes a playful nickname between couples, expressing how precious you find your partner. You may use it in other contexts like describing a child, a pet, or a celebrity crush. Whenever we watch a BL drama and see an adorable lead actor, some of us might gush, "Aww, he's such a cutie pie!" 😚

However, the 'cutie pie' term comes with a negative connotation. Cutie pie denotes frivolousness. It's a silly, carefree descriptor that trivializes somebody's value, reducing a complex being to a superficial appeal. The subtle implication is that you don't take this person seriously. If you respect their authority, using such a childish term wouldn't feel appropriate. A cutie pie gives the impression that you don't think there's a lot of substance beyond the appearance.

Kuea and Diao are Lian and Yi's cutie pies. The series picks this name specifically to highlight the uneven dynamics in their romances. The older characters patronize their younger partners, looking down on them as immature and incapable. Lian never calls Kuea his cutie pie, but his actions imply condescension. The same goes for Yi, who fails to recognize Diao's strength and sensibility. Cutie Pie is an astute title that summarizes the toxic relationship tropes in the BL drama.

Lian

Lian drinks a glass of wine.

Lian's background is a classic tale of rags to riches. His immigrant family arrived in a new country with humble means, but they worked hard and built a business empire. Lian is now a powerful tycoon who continues to be ambitious, confident, and hardworking. Unlike Kuea, Lian isn't a spoiled heir who grew up in a privileged bubble. His parents instilled discipline in him. Lian approaches every facet of life with a purposeful plan, from his diligent work ethic to his strict healthy diet.

Despite his impressive qualities, Lian is a manipulative control freak and the central antagonist of Cutie Pie. I disagree with his domineering behaviour, conniving schemes, or patronizing treatment of Kuea. Lian may be a successful business mogul, but he makes a toxic romantic partner. With that said, his character is complex and compelling, so he definitely intrigues me. In addition, I find him unintentionally funny. This fabulous villain struts around in full-piece suits, sips red wine, and has an entourage of gay friends from the cheerleading squad. Lian is high camp.

I didn't warm to Lian in the first half of the series, but my opinion improved after Episode 7. Lian brings Kuea to the club, introducing him to his university pals. During their chat, they describe Lian as "someone who said he didn't want to be a cheerleader, but in the end, he was the one who led the whole thing." This line is a game changer as I realize his campy appeal. The endearing character detail demystifies Lian, breaking down that suave and brooding persona. Now, I can see through his swagger and recognize a repressed cheerleader waiting to burst out. 👯‍♂️

Lian's dance

A shirtless Lian does a goofy dance in the locker room.

You'll remember Lian's locker room dance because that scene clashes with everything we know about his character. Until now, he projected an image of poise, composure, and sophistication. However, his celebratory dance looks goofy and ridiculous. It's worse because Kuea catches him off-guard in this comically uncool moment. Lian appears fallible for the first time, dropping the facade of perfection. Instead, he's giddy, flamboyant, and uninhibitedly himself.

Even though Lian's dance makes him look dorky, the gaffe is humanizing. Suddenly, he seems more adorable and less intimidating. Afterwards, Lian is embarrassed about what happened, revealing a self-conscious side despite his confident demeanour. Kuea teases him gently, which makes his fiancé flustered. Kuea's ability to joke around with Lian is a positive sign for this couple. The humour shows he's comfortable enough in their relationship to be a little playful

Lian goes on dates and moves in with his fiancé to understand each other better. The intention is to discover their compatible traits after spending time together. Inadvertently, Lian slips up and reveals some of his embarrassing attributes. However, that's actually a good development! Part of being a long-term couple is exposing your imperfections to your other half. Lian has seen Kuea's many flaws in the past, including his tears, anxieties, and struggles. Kuea can now observe Lian's insecurities, creating a more well-rounded perspective of his fiancé.

Kuea & Lian kiss

Kuea and Lian share a kiss in the club.

Lian genuinely wants to include his partner in different areas of his life. He opens up and commits to being transparent about himself. Episode 7 is the first time Lian brings Kuea to the club, introducing him to his acquaintances. It's a momentous step since he has kept his personal and business worlds separate in the past. Earlier, Lian shows Kuea what he is like at home. Now, he welcomes Kuea to his social circle. His fiancé gets the full tour of the Lian Kilen Wang experience. 

Lian's friends tease him during the meeting. The cheerleader anecdote isn't a big deal, but there's a mean-spirited vibe as everyone mocks him. In addition, Kuea makes fun of his offbeat dancing skills. Lian's buddies also ridicule him for being affectionate with his fiancé. Even Yi gives his BFF a tough time, needling him with provocative statements. This casual hangout is surprisingly stressful for Lian, and he appears upset throughout the night. Lian lacks a sense of humour, so he isn't someone to laugh off a few jokes at his expense.

Typically, Lian hates looking unsophisticated around others. Despite his discomfort, he endures the ridicule for Kuea's sake. Previously, Kuea perceived his fiancé as cool and suave. Lian could've maintained the illusion if he didn't arrange this meeting with his friends. Nonetheless, Lian is willing to sacrifice his image so that Kuea can understand him better. He lets go of his perfectly poised persona, even if it means Kuea may laugh at him. Fortunately, Lian's honesty pays off. Kuea feels closer to his fiancé, and the episode ends with a spectacular kiss between them.

Boyfriends

Lian and Kuea go running outdoors.

Although Lian's behaviour is controlling and manipulative, he appears sincere about his feelings for Kuea. Okay, there're a few times when he says ~all the right things~ to get laid. In Episode 8, he gives a phony apology about the Annabelle doll comment before carrying on with the sexual foreplay. I'm sorry about everything, so let's make out! However, he isn't faking it on most occasions. Lian's infatuation with Kuea feels genuine, coming from the heart.

I like Lian's comment in Episode 10 when he asks his fiancé to be his boyfriend. The distinction may seem minor, but this new label feels appropriate for their current relationship. Kuea and Lian are like a dating couple in the process of discovering more about each other. Being a fiancé also comes with a marriage obligation, whereas being a boyfriend means the relationship isn't a responsibility. Lian wants to express his love for Kuea and not associate it with the arranged marriage. They are fiancés to fulfill the grandfather's promise, but they're boyfriends out of authentic feelings.

Unfortunately, the dumb drama in the last few episodes eclipses much of the progress Kuea & Lian made as a couple. It's hard to rationalize Kuea's erratic behaviour, but I'll try to summarize the chaos. Generally, the tension comes from the accumulated dishonesty in their relationship. The characters haven't been candid with each other and concealed various secrets. These lies lead to trust issues that undermine the relationship's credibility, causing Kuea to feel insecure. They resolve their conflict after Lian reassures Kuea of his unconditional love.

Syn and Nuer

Syn and Nuer are engineering students who fall in love.

Let's end this analysis with my favourite couple in Cutie Pie. Surprisingly, I like Syn & Nuer a lot! I'm a sucker for their cute and easygoing scenes. A love story between two engineering students may be the biggest cliche in the BL genre, but so what? The straightforward subplot works in their favour, balancing the messy relationship drama from the other pairs. The Syn & Nuer romance salvaged the last few episodes for me. I watched primarily for this side couple and tuned out the main characters.

Syn and Nuer receive limited development, making me wish for more content. Nonetheless, I'm utterly charmed by their interactions. I enjoy their little feud at the beginning, the minor love triangle tiff in the middle, and the characters falling in love near the end. My favourite exchange is in Episode 7, when they sit in the park in the middle of the night. It's such a simple yet effective scene. The warm lighting, the intimate conversation, and the way they stare into each other's eyes create a cozy, enchanting ambiance.

Nuer is introduced in the series as Kuea's love interest. Nuer flirts aggressively, which irks Syn and the others. Somewhere along the way, Nuer shifts his sights onto Syn instead. Episode 8 has a clever classroom scene depicting their love triangle without dialogue. First, Nuer makes Kuea laugh with a funny picture, which aggravates Syn. Then, Neur shows Syn another funny image to cheer him up again. Afterwards, we observe his character weighing his feelings for both guys. The simplicity of this moment is highly persuasive.

Cutie Pie Ending Explained

Ending

Happy ending

Kuea and Lian kiss after they get proposed.

Cutie Pie has a happy ending where Kuea and Lian reconcile after calling off the engagement. Lian throws a birthday party for his dad, where he proposes to his fiancé officially. Kuea turns him down, shocking all the guests. Previously, Lian had transferred Kuea's financial assets under his name without consulting him. Lian explained that his in-laws instructed him to do so. Nonetheless, Kuea is still upset about the scandalous secret, which weighs heavily on his mind.

The rejected proposal devastates both leads. Later, they clear the air in a heart-to-heart chat. In addition to being upset about the homeownership transfer, Kuea is concerned because he also told many lies about himself. He's afraid Lian doesn't love the real him. However, Lian explains he already knows about his fiancé's secrets, which hasn't affected his unconditional love. Lian convinces him of his sincerity. They kiss and make amends.

Kuea and Lian want to redo their proposal. However, they try to outsmart each other and keep foiling the surprises. Finally, Kuea performs a song in the club, and his performance ends by asking Lian to marry him. Instead of just saying yes, Lian counters the proposal with another proposal. He gets on one knee and presents a ring. This time, Kuea accepts the proposal and they kiss. The final scene shows the couple happily engaged. They stand under electronic billboards that promote marriage equality.

Rejection

Kuea and Lian cry after the rejected proposal.

The drama in the Cutie Pie ending is annoying. Why didn't this couple resolve their trust issues before the last episode? Despite knowing each other's secrets long ago, the characters wouldn't confront their partners for some reason. They also lie unnecessarily. Lian could've explained the situation with the home transfer right away, but he kept delaying his confession. Oh, I'll tell him a few days later… No, you should inform him before signing the documents!

A birthday party with many esteemed guests for your father-in-law is an inappropriate place to broadcast your relationship issues. I understand why Kuea may have doubts about marrying his deceptive fiancé. However, there's a better way to reject him than crying uncontrollably and turning your heartbreak into a public disgrace. At least take your conversation to a private setting away from dozens of family acquaintances. Kuea's response is immature and embarrassing. He really could have handled the situation better. 

After the rejection, the leads have a quick conversation before settling their conflict. If that's all it takes to clarify the doubts, why did the tensions escalate so severely? Kuea and Lian could have this conversation earlier instead of dragging out their melodrama across the last few episodes. The simplified resolution diminishes Kuea's legitimate concerns about his relationship. The leads never address the other issues in their power dynamic, although I don't think Kuea realizes he's being manipulated. Despite the happy ending, I still feel skeptical about this couple.

Proposal

Kuea and Lian kiss in the Cutie Pie ending.

I'm also kinda annoyed by some of the scenes after the reconciliation. Kuea and Lian want to propose to each other again, but they deliberately sabotage the occasion multiple times. While the tone is humourous, I find their antics unnecessary. If you plan to marry him anyway, why not just accept the proposal? What are you trying to achieve by undermining your partner's efforts?

During Kuea's final proposal, Lian seems irked that his partner outsmarted him. His immediate response to Kuea's heartfelt speech is, "Why did you do this to me?" Just say yes, asshole. 🙄 In the end, Lian overrides Kuea's lovely sentiment and insists on being the one to ask the question. No, I will get on my knees and give you the ring! Once again, Lian asserts his dominance in their relationship because he must be the one to lead the proposal. It signifies a recurring problem with his character, like he can't relinquish control.

This finale represents everything good and bad about Cutie Pie. It has messy storytelling and frustrating relationship dynamics, balanced by beautiful cinematography and positive LGBT messages. I was actually ready to give the ending a low review score until the last scene. The series takes a decisive stance on marriage equality, literally with billboards advocating for the cause. Maybe the allyship is performative, but I don't want to hate an episode with such supportive messaging. I'm willing to overlook the various flaws and just focus on the sentimentality.

Cutie Pie Episodes

Episode Guide

Cutie Pie has a total of 12 episodes. Each episode is around 50 to 60 minutes long. The last episode is around 70 minutes long. It is a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 12 hours.

Cutie Pie started airing on February 19, 2022 and ended its last episode on May 14, 2022. This series is directed by Aoftion Kittipat Jampa.

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9
Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12

Videos

In addition to the twelve episodes, Cutie Pie also releases behind-the-scenes videos about the production process. Typically, the average BL drama only releases a few minutes of BTS footage. However, Cutie Pie has outdone itself by releasing hours of content.

Each behind-the-scenes video covers around approximately two episodes of content. You'll see all the actors or the production staff cracking jokes, giving interviews, or just being goofy in between filming.

Behind the Scenes #1

56 minutes

This is the first behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 1 and 2.

Behind the Scenes #2

60 minutes

This is the second behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 3 and 4.

Behind the Scenes #3

60 minutes

This is the third behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 5 and 6.

Behind the Scenes #4

52 minutes

This is the fourth behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 7 and 8.

Behind the Scenes #5

44 minutes

This is the fifth behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 9 and 10.

Behind the Scenes #6

55 minutes

This is the sixth and final behind-the-scenes video for Cutie Pie. It covers the content for Episodes 11 and 12.

Cutie Pie Information

Links

Mandee Channel

Mandee Channel is the Thai BL studio that made Why R U (2020) and Cutie Pie (2022).

Mandee Channel is the Thai BL studio that made Why R U (2020) and Cutie Pie (2022). This company has a close business relationship with the entertainment agency, Domundi TV. They have co-produced various BL dramas together.

  1. Ugh I wanted to like this show I really did. It started off promisingly with the arranged-marriage trope and polar opposite leads. Then the controlling and toxic relationship dynamic you mentioned really put me off it. The random drama and excessive melodrama didn't help either.

    Although its a step in the right direction, I also feel that sometimes BLs rely on performative LGBTQ+ allyship to detract from weak points in the plot or acting. In Cutie Pie, they don't really get into the struggles or experiences of LGBT people living in Asia. Somehow the family and grandfather is ok with it from way back but some friends now have an issue? It didn't really track for me.

  2. The Annabelle doll comment that Lian makes is supposed to imply that Kuea is naughty not a perfect doll… if you Google it, the doll is from a horror film…

  3. This drama confused the hell out of me. How can you uplift toxic domineering manipulative actions as romantic and in the same breath have social commentary on LGBTQ+ rights and consent?? I couldn’t finish it. The only good thing I got out of it was introduction to Zee which is why I’m now watching WhyRU. He’s so handsome 😍

  4. Cutie pie is beautiful in many ways- The bling style, the school scenes, the great actors, the chemistry between main leads, well executed intimate scenes and music. It is well worth watching it!!!
    I was somewhat upset from around ep 9 or 10 where too much drama for nothing happened and I felt like it was too much for me. They know each other for many years and got to intimate level but couldn't tell each other the truth?
    I felt like the writing at this point wasn't good, that the fighting wasn't build right and I was second hand embarrassed from what happened at the birthday party.
    I loved the last ep.
    p.s It was really hard for me at the beginning to see Zee with other than Saint. Their fighterTutor was so good in why r u. It took me three ep to get over it 😆 to accept the new couple.

  5. At the very end end, 4 men we haven’t seen appearing during Hia and Nunews final kiss. Who are they?? I can’t find the answer anywhere

    1. Two of the actors are Tommy Sittichok Pueakpoolpol and Jimmy Karn Kritsanaphan! Tommy and Jimmy were Zee's costars on a previous BL drama, Why R U?

      The others are James Supamongkon Wongwisut and Net Siraphop Manithikhun. The four of them were cast in another upcoming BL series from the same studio, but I think the casting may have changed since then.

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