Grey Rainbow is a Thai series about two best friends who discover their romantic feelings for each other. This drama covers the coming out journey in extensive detail, with an honest and raw depiction of LGBT issues. It also explores the family dynamic, including how some parents respond to their children’s sexual orientation.
Grey Rainbow takes a sensitive approach in portraying a nuanced and complex romance between the two male characters. Their love story feels special, like an epic journey with emotional highs and lows.
Grey Rainbow Summary
Sad and bittersweet
Around 75 minutes
Porsche is a sensitive and introverted university student, secretly pining after his energetic and outgoing roommate Nuer. While they are close friends, Nuer already has a girlfriend. At times, Nuer seems to give off mixed signals to Porsche, acting very chummy when it’s just the two of them alone together. This ambiguity brings Porsche’s hopes up, even though he never dares to act on his feelings.
After Porsche goes through a traumatic encounter, Nuer becomes even closer to Porsche, showing affection more explicitly than before. Their intimacy puts a strain on his relationship with Jane, who’s starting to suspect that Nuer cares about Porsche beyond just friends. As the sexual tension escalates between the two men, Nuer and Porsche have no choice but to confront their growing feelings for each other.
Watch Grey Rainbow OST
Grey Rainbow Cast
Porsche Karn Kasidej Hongladaromp (กษิดิ์เดช หงส์ลดารมภ์) Instagram
Porsche is a smart and sensitive university student in love with his best friend Porsche. He is studying law in university. Lately, Porsche has taken an interest in learning more about LGBT rights and activism.
Nuer Nut Nutchapon Rattanamongkol (ณัชพล รัตนมงคล) Instagram
Nuer is an energetic and extroverted university student, whose feelings for Porsche seem ambiguous. His parents run a resort at an elephant sanctuary, which he is set to inherit as their only child.
Grey Rainbow Review
Drama Review Score: 9
When I was watching Grey Rainbow, there was a certain point where the drama came pretty close to perfection. It was after Nuer came out to his parents, who had some time to process their initial shock. While their reactions were flawed and misinformed, they loved their son so much and prioritized his happiness above all else. Nuer’s mom even became their biggest supporter, moving all of Porsche’s belongings into Nuer’s room “to save expenses”.
This was meant to be a light comical moment, but I was so touched by the open-mindedness of these traditional Asian parents. It made me reflect on what a special series Grey Rainbow was, with such a mature and sentimental approach towards gay relationships. Keep in mind that the series came out in 2016, back when there wasn’t a lot of representation in the BL genre yet. Grey Rainbow feels like a pioneer, delving into LGBT topics that aren’t widely portrayed in East Asia at the time.
While Grey Rainbow can be a little heavy-handed with some of the LGBT themes, it has well-meaning intentions. The series has a lot of empathy towards the gay community, which is evident in the thoughtful and sentimental love story it tells. I’ll always appreciate the series and it has a special place in my heart.
📖 How is the story?
It’s a simple love story between two guys, one you’ve seen many times in BL dramas before. How Grey Rainbow distinguishes itself is the nuanced storytelling, which portrays a LGBT relationship in a multifaceted way.
The story goes beyond just Porsche and Nuer discovering their feelings for each other, but it also touches upon homophobia, the coming out process & the complexities of family. While the plot might be simple, the themes that Grey Rainbow explores are complex, universal, and timeless.
💕 How is the romance?
Very well-done. Grey Rainbow develops a long romantic saga, which builds up the relationship, explores the feelings, and amplifies the sexual tension between the two characters. They don’t get together right away, but both of them go through emotional journeys of self-discovery before they admit their feelings.
Although there was a lot of drama, this was balanced with many happy moments and sweet relationship scenes between the couple. The third episode was especially great, like a showcase of Nuer and Porsche falling deeper in love with each other.
🎭 How is the acting?
Pretty good, even though some of the scenes had stronger acting than others. Grey Rainbow featured lots of intense drama throughout the series, but everyone pulled through for the most part.
😎 Who’s the best character?
Nuer’s actor was my favourite. He has an electrifying smile that comes from the heart and just lights up the room. I also loved the marvelous scenes after he came out to his parents and they were coming to terms with their son’s sexuality. There were some powerful emotions conveyed in those scenes that really moved me.
🍆 Is there any fanservice?
Yes, the leads take off their shirts in a couple of scenes, but you don’t get anything more than that. There’s a scene in the boxing ring where they both get shirtless.
🎯 Are there any triggers?
Sadly, there was a lot of explicit homophobia. Porsche also faced a rape attempt and a homophobic assault, both of which got stopped in time. And of course, there’s the controversial finale, which is very triggering if you were looking forward to a happy ending.
⭐ What’s the best part?
There were a couple of memorable and outstanding scenes in Grey Rainbow that I loved. If I have to pick just one moment, then my favourite is probably the paper airplane scene, which I thought was so sweet. I had the same gushing reaction as Khampun when she discovered their little love notes for each other. Nuer and Porsche are so, so precious. 🥰
📝 What would you change?
End it earlier
I would end the series precisely after the wedding photos were taken. This felt like a good place to cap off the series, tying up all the previous plots in a neat little bow. We would’ve avoided the annoying Jane drama that dragged down the final episode. Most importantly, it gives us a happy ending with the couple, and Grey Rainbow would’ve finished on such a high note.
Nuer and Porsche
Out of the four episodes in Grey Rainbow, the first three were particularly strong and engrossing. Each episode was structured with an overarching theme in its narrative:
- The first episode was about Porsche, discovering his sexuality as he copes with his seemingly unrequited love.
- The second episode centered on Nuer, slowly dropping the facade and confronting his repressed feelings.
- The third episode placed the focus on the parents, initially struggling and later coming to terms with their children’s sexual orientation.
- The fourth episode was about a gay couple settling down with certain cultural obstacles they face along the way. There’s a lot to unpack in that particular episode, which we’ll discuss later in the review.
The first two episodes were pretty straightforward, depicting the will-they-or-won’t-they romance between Nuer and Porsche. You start off thinking that Porsche’s love is unrequited and he’s headed for a heartbreak, but there’s also enough ambiguity in Nuer’s actions to keep you guessing. Later on, we get clarity that Nuer is a big closet case, who doesn’t want to be honest with his feelings even after they kissed.
I know this type of love story sounds very familiar. If you’ve watched lots of shows and movies with gay characters, this exact scenario has played out many times before. Nonetheless, it was still interesting to watch their relationship unfold, with their sexual tension becoming more and more palpable. The characters make themselves very emotionally vulnerable, and it’s easy to empathize with them.
Their kiss in the boxing ring was the culmination of a long and emotional journey. It took over two hours for these guys to get their shit together and sort out their feelings for each other. When their love is finally reciprocated, it felt so satisfying to watch. No more confusion and no more denials. Nuer and Porsche are officially together, at last!
The third episode is probably my favourite one in Grey Rainbow. First of all, it takes place in a unique and gorgeous location: an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. In this picturesque environment, the characters actually get to interact with the elephants and take care of them, which is like super cool. Right away, the show is already more interesting by default just because the setting is so extraordinary. It’s like this BL drama turned into a nature documentary halfway.
The elephant sanctuary sets a romantic backdrop for Nuer and Porsche to continue their relationship. After watching their struggles in the first two episodes, I love seeing them so happy and intimate as a couple. Their relationship scenes are cute and tender, especially the moment when they flew paper airplanes with love messages to each other. Too sweet for words.
The coming out scenes in this episode were handled well, packed with raw and authentic emotions. I loved the compassion from Nuer’s parents, who didn’t understand his sexuality at first, but they reconciled out of love for their son. The reactions from Porsche’s parents were less favourable, but they also felt true and resembled the coming out experiences in more conservative families.
Jane and the baby
I would’ve given Grey Rainbow a perfect grade had it concluded earlier, wrapping up right after Nuer and Porsche took their wedding photos. Up until that point, the show handled all the drama in a riveting way. It was only in the last episode when the show went downhill, where the story lost momentum and started getting too convoluted.
Parachuting Jane and her baby into the plot was totally unnecessary, in my opinion. She brought complicated drama, but not in a way that’s organic or interesting to watch. It’s off-putting that the plot suddenly revolved around this minor character and her baby, to the extent that the focus shifted away from Nuer and Porsche. Also, I don’t like the optics of a struggling single mother being made into an antagonist, which is her “role” for getting in the way of the gay couple’s happiness.
Thematically, I think the show was trying to convey a bigger message about a gay couple’s struggle to start a family and have kids. It’s a big LGBT topic that should be discussed, but the way Grey Rainbow does it feels so ham-fisted. Like, they inserted a totally random baby into the plot and tried their best to stir up drama. I’m not into it.
What most people remember about Grey Rainbow is the controversial ending, which overpowers the rest of the series. It doesn’t matter that Grey Rainbow told a lovely, sentimental story with lots of happy moments up until this point. As soon as Nuer keeled over and died so suddenly on his wedding day, his tragic death would define the drama.
I’m actually not that against the idea of Nuer dying. His death is related to a message about cherishing the ones you love, because you never know when you’ll lose them. I mean, I kinda understand the sentiment. Even though I’d much prefer a happier ending where both gay characters stay alive, I would’ve been okay if Grey Rainbow handled his death in a really poignant, profound way.
Um, that was not what happened.
Instead, the best way to describe Nuer’s death is that it was a total shit show. In the drama’s final moments, he clutched his chest, made a pained expression, and then his body fell over lifelessly. Nuer’s death came as a total shock, because we had no prior explanations or foreshadowing. I only read online afterwards that Nuer was suffering from a hidden health condition all along. Okay, I’m sorry, but what the fuck!? Where did this illness come from!? Why did he have to die!?
The real kicker is that Nuer’s death happened on his wedding day. This was supposed to be an incredibly important milestone, where two gay characters are marrying on the happiest day of their lives. Instead, they choose to kill him in that exact moment. Like how tone-death do you have to be? As you might expect, this ending was hated by pretty much everyone, and the show finished on a low note.
It’s such a shame that the last episode turned into a mess, overshadowing all those incredible moments from earlier episodes. No, I didn’t like the ending either, but I hope more people will remember this show for its many strengths rather than its glaring weaknesses. If you’re willing to overlook the tragic ending, Grey Rainbow is truly a worthwhile series to watch.