Hidden Agenda is a Thai BL series about two university students on the debate team. The main character has a secret crush on a classmate and finds an unlikely ally in her ex-boyfriend. The ex offers to be his relationship coach and gives him dating advice. They become close over time and participate in debate competitions as teammates. However, the protagonist is unaware his new buddy has an ulterior motive for befriending him.
You can expect predictable plots with clunky narratives and transparent messages in Hidden Agenda. This mediocre series bores me with its uninspired, cliched writing. The characters also have bland personalities and behave obnoxiously. While the generic love story doesn't seem appealing, the couple is openly affectionate. BL fans may appreciate the copious amounts of fanservice scenes, which include deep, immersive kisses.
Hidden Agenda Summary
Around 11 hours
Cute and sweet
Around 45 to 60 minutes
Zo is a nerdy university student on the school's debate team. He has a secret crush on Nita, one of the club members. However, he's too shy to flirt with her. Even though they sometimes communicate, their relationship remains platonic. Zo's friends, Pat and Kot, encourage him to be more assertive. They give Zo ideas on how to hit on a girl. Nonetheless, he doesn't feel confident about making the first move.
Nita and Joke used to be a couple. Zo's friends suggest that he get relationship advice from Nita's ex-boyfriend. Zo dismisses the idea and thinks asking the ex for help is strange. However, Joke overhears their conversation on the bus. Surprisingly, he can offer a few pointers to help Zo win over Nita. Yet, Zo refuses his help. He doesn't want his classmate involved in this courtship, especially since they are barely acquaintances.
After the declination, Zo and Joke run into each other on campus. Joke taunts his classmate for being too shy and awkward around Nita. Zo is upset about his snide remarks. Tensions escalate when Joke performs a song about unrequited love. Zo believes the music is another dig at him. That night, Zo gets drunk at the bar. Joke tries to help bring him home safely. Yet, Zo lashes out at his rival. He doesn't understand why this cool kid keeps picking on him for not having the confidence to ask out a girl. Zo calls him an asshole and throws a punch at him.
The following day, Zo apologizes for his violence. Joke forgives him. Zo still feels guilty and acts extra kindly toward his rival to overcompensate. Due to these efforts, they are finally on good speaking terms. Zo admits that he'd like Joke's help to win over Nita. Joke agrees and starts giving relationship advice. The process involves several steps. First, Joke gives Zo a stylish makeover, transforming his dweeby wardrobe into more fashionable attire. Second, Joke takes Zo on a few practice dates to teach him how to flirt.
Zo and Joke become closer. Zo asks his new friend to join the debate team with him. According to the club's rules, Joke must win a competition to earn his membership. During the contest, Zo and Joke debate about relationships with hidden agendas. Joke believes keeping a few secrets from a romantic partner is understandable, whereas Zo insists couples must be honest. The club's president, Wave, dislikes Joke. However, Nita and the other members vote for him anyway. Joke becomes an official debate team member and feels happy to spend more time with Zo.
Hidden Agenda Trailer
Hidden Agenda Cast
Dunk Natachai Boonprasert (ดัง ณัฎฐ์ฐชัย บุญประเศริฐ)
Zo is a political student and part of the school's debate team. He is an only child. His dad is a farmer with health issues. His mother is a language teacher and highly values academic achievements. Zo has a crush on Nita but lacks the confidence to make a move. He sees himself as a dweeb. Zo is friends with Pat and Kot.
Dunk Natachai Boonprasert
Dunk Natachai Boonprasert (ดัง ณัฎฐ์ฐชัย บุญประเศริฐ) is a Thai actor. He is born on October 1, 2000. His first BL leading role is the 2022 drama, Star in My Mind. He also appears in Bad Buddy (2021), Sky in Your Heart (2022), Our Skyy 2 (2023), and Hidden Agenda (2023).
Joong Archen Aydin (จุง อาเชน ไอย์ดึน)
Joke is a university student. He used to be Nita's ex-boyfriend, but they remained close after their break-up. After discovering Zo's crush, Joke offers to be his relationship guru. Joke has a distant relationship with his family. He is the middle sibling with an older and younger brother. Joke doesn't get along with his dad.
Joong Archen Aydin
Joong Archen Aydin (จุง อาเชน ไอย์ดึน) is a Thai actor. He is born on March 10, 2001. His first BL project is the 2019 drama, 2 Moons 2. He stars in Star in My Mind (2022) and Hidden Agenda (2023). His other roles include Sky in Your Heart (2022), The Warp Effect (2022) and Our Skyy 2 (2023).
Boom Tharatorn Jantharaworakarn (บูม ธราธร จันทรวรกาญจน์)
Pok is a university student and a younger member of the debate team. Zo is his friend and mentor. Pok and Jeng have been dating happily for a while. However, they haven't disclosed their relationship status to anyone. When Zo finds out they are a couple, he is upset that Pok has kept a secret from him.
Boom Tharatorn Jantharaworakarn
Boom Tharatorn Jantharaworakarn (บูม ธราธร จันทรวรกาญจน์) is a Thai actor. He is born on September 28, 1998. His first BL project is the 2022 series, Enchanté. Boom also had a supporting role in Vice Versa (2022) and Hidden Agenda (2023).
Aou Thanaboon Kiatniran (อู๋ ธนบูรณ์ เกียรตินิรันดร์)
Jeng is a university student and Joke's cousin. The two relatives have a good relationship. Jeng is in an undercover relationship with Pok. However, Jeng is closeted and doesn't want others to discover their romance. Only Joke knows they are dating. Jeng is on the school's football team. He is nervous his teammates would react poorly to his sexuality.
Aou Thanaboon Kiatniran
Aou Thanaboon Kiatniran (อู๋ ธนบูรณ์ เกียรตินิรันดร์) is a Thai actor. He is born on January 9, 2000. His first BL project is the 2022 series, Enchanté. Aou also has supporting roles in Vice Versa (2022), The Eclipse (2022), Be My Favorite (2022), and Hidden Agenda (2023).
Jamie Juthapich Indrajundra (เจมี่ จุฑาพิชญ์ อินทร์จันทร์)
Louis Thanawin Teeraphosukarn (หลุยส์ ธณวิน ธีรโพสุการ)
AJ Chayapol Jutamas (เอเจ ชยพล จุฑามาศ)
Pod Suphakorn Sriphothong ( ศุภกร ศรีโพธิ์ทอง)
Guy Sivakorn Lertchuchot (กาย ศิวกร เลิศชูโชติ)
Arm Weerayut Chansook (อาร์ม วีรยุทธ จันทร์สุข)
Cong Duong (Công Văn Dương)
Title Kirati Puangmalee (ไตเติ้ล กีรติ พวงมาลี)
Joke's older brother
Joke's younger brother
Chokun Puttipong Jitbut (โชกุน พุทธิพงษ์ จิตบุตร)
- The leads (Dunk and Joong) starred in the 2022 Thai BL series Star in My Mind. They reprised their roles in the spin-off Sky in Your Heart and the anthology series Our Skyy 2. Park's actor (Arm) also has a supporting role in Sky in Your Heart.
- Dunk has a supporting role in Bad Buddy (2021), while Joong appeared in The Warp Effect (2022).
- The secondary leads (Boom and Aou) first played a couple in Vice Versa (2022). In addition, both have supporting roles in Enchante.
- In addition, Aou has supporting roles in various BL dramas, including The Eclipse (2022) and Be My Favorite (2023). Pat's actor (Louis) also appeared in The Eclipse as one of the couples. Likewise, Puen's actor (Title) has a supporting role in Be My Favorite, where he played one of the villains.
- Wave's actor (Pod) is the lead of the BL comedy series Tonhon Chonlatee.
Hidden Agenda Review
Drama Review Score: 6.2
Hidden Agenda is a formulaic love story that plays out like every other university BL series over the years. It regurgitates the most basic plots, overused tropes, and dull characterizations. The leads, Dunk and Joong, already starred in a school romance last year. Once again, they're in a similar campus setting, portraying another mediocre couple. Are you bored yet? Because I certainly am. Everything about Hidden Agenda feels stale, from the storytelling to the casting. This series astounds me with its lack of originality.
Hidden Agenda has one unique detail. The protagonists are on the school's debate team and participate in competitions. Unfortunately, these dialogue-heavy scenes are tedious. It requires sharp writing to create a stimulating back-and-forth exchange, which isn't the drama's strong suit. Instead, the characters ramble incessantly about mundane topics. Besides the snoozy debates, most other plots are generic and forgettable. For a series about hidden agendas, you can predict everything in the transparent storylines without surprises. Expect many tired cliches from the clunky narrative.
Both leads are unappealing. Despite his handsome looks, Joke seems devoid of charm. He behaves obnoxiously, pesters his love interest, and never leaves him alone. Joke is pushy about getting his way and constantly imposes his will on Zo. Also, his juvenile flirting is embarrassingly corny. Likewise, Zo throws annoying tantrums in the later episodes. He's a wet blanket who gets upset easily. The supporting cast receives shallow development. Nita is merely a walking plot device with no personality, while the secondary couple is defined only by their relationship drama.
Each episode contains bland romantic fluff that seems vaguely interchangeable. None of the cutesy, fluffy relationship scenes leave a distinct impression. While the vanilla love story does nothing for me, I appreciate the copious amounts of gratuitous fanservice. The couple is comfortable with each other and shows physical affection throughout the series. Their deep, immersive kisses have persuasive power, compensating for some shortcomings in the writing. It's easier to believe Zo and Joke have developed feelings when I see them making out vigorously.
Hidden Agenda overuses the soft-focus filter, making some scenes look blurry with distorted colours. Along with the cast's styling choices, there's a dated vibe that doesn't remind me of a youthful, contemporary drama. In addition, the acting is average at best. Zo's lead (Dunk) is okay in most scenes, but his performance dips during dramatic moments. His telegenic costar (Joong) hasn't connected with Joke's character. There's no personality, charisma, or substance to his vapid portrayal. Also, the actor playing Pok (Boom) needs to work on his emoting.
Hidden Agenda slogs to the finish line. The last set of episodes drags on with unpleasant conflicts and clumsy character arcs. My prevailing opinion is IDGAF about these plots. A part of me feels sorry for the leads since they get saddled with crappy roles in lacklustre scripts. GMMTV doesn't give them the resources to succeed. Yet, I don't want the studio to waste its best material on JoongDunk, who has underwhelmed for two consecutive series. I associate this pairing with persistent mediocrity. Let's hope they find better projects than Hidden Agenda in the future.
Hidden Agenda is bland and cliched. The formulaic story plays out like every generic university BL series. It suffers from predictable plots, tedious dialogue, and obnoxious characters.
This bland romance coasts on cutesy romantic fluff that feels vaguely interchangeable. I appreciate the copious amounts of physical affection. Both couples are involved in gratuitous fanservice.
The acting is unremarkable. I find Zo's performer (Dunk) okay, but he doesn't leave a lasting impression. His costar (Joong) doesn't inject charisma, personality, or pizazz into his role.
Hidden Agenda has a happy ending. The last few episodes revolve around family melodrama, which is resolved in the finale. The couple commits to loving each other openly and transparently.
Some scenes, especially in the debate room, seem foggy since the series overuses the soft-focus filter. Also, the production has a dated aesthetic. It doesn't look like a fresh, youthful, or modern drama.
Hidden Agenda is another mediocre series for JoongDunk, the kings of generic school BL dramas. Their affectionate fanservice can't compensate for the cliched plots, bland romance, or dull dialogue.
Hidden Agenda Episodes
Hidden Agenda has a total of 12 episodes. Each episode is around 45 to 60 minutes long. The last episode is around 60 minutes long. It is a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 11 hours. Hidden Agenda started on July 9, 2023 and ended on September 24, 2023.
My first impression is that I hate Joke. He keeps pestering Zo and making unprovoked snide digs at him. Ugh, this guy is annoying. Also, the plot doesn't inspire me, like something I've watched before.
The visuals are ugly. The excessive use of soft-focus filters distorts the colours and makes many scenes blurry. The styling also seems dated. It doesn't look like a modern series produced in 2023.
Joong is so good-looking. I get lost gazing at his modelesque features instead of paying attention to the scenes lol. Even though Nita is central to the story, I barely know her. She's like a plot device.
OMG, Joke's flirting is so corny. I felt mortified when he held that video of the sun. Ooh, Zo and Pok's tension is unexpected. With more development, this subplot could have been intriguing.
Besides his looks, Joke is so unappealing. His personality is grating. He won't leave Zo alone and makes unannounced visits. He can't take no for an answer and always imposes his will.
I cheered when Zo's friend lashed out at Joke. Get her, Jade! 🤭 Nita is a walking plot device. She has no personality and only exists to prop up storylines. I still like her better than Joke, though.
This episode is my favourite because I like seeing the secondary couple make out lol. 😙 Ugh, the ex-friend storyline is so patronizing. Joke's grandma is cute and brings out the best in him.
I like how Hidden Agenda doesn't shy away from physical affection. The stalker storyline is awful, even by this series' low standards. Joke exhibits similar stalker habits and isn't the hero he thinks he is.
The conflicts in this episode are so annoying. IDGAF about Zo's hurt feelings. Stop being upset about dumb crap. Pok and Jeng's feud also feels clunky. The storyline isn't established well.
I got excited about Wave & Trin for a brief moment until the vibe became icky. The actors make such a hot pairing, fuelling my fantasies. Yet, the series still finds a way to ruin the chemistry.
The debate scenes are so dull. Zo's need for parental approval also annoys me. Most of the time, this series either bores me or irritates me. The story has dragged on, and I'm not having fun.
I like the message in the final scene about being open with your feelings versus having a hidden agenda. It's corny, but I respond to it. The rest of the finale is carried by generic sentimentality.
Hidden Agenda Information
GMMTV is a heavyweight in the BL world. It has produced numerous acclaimed dramas and launched many successful careers over the years. GMMTV is the leader in the Thai BL industry and possibly around the world. Some of its well-known works include SOTUS (2016), Theory of Love (2019), 2gether (2020), A Tale of Thousand Stars (2021), and Bad Buddy (2021), among many others.
Tee Bundit Sintanaparadee (ตี๋ บัณฑิต สินธนภารดี) is a Thai director. His first BL project is the 2019 drama, TharnType. He also directed Lovely Writer (2021), Something in My Room (2022), and Magic of Zero (2022). His other works include Step by Step (2023) and I Feel You Linger in the Air (2023).