Kim and Tha fall in love in a haunted dormitory in Hidden Love.

Hidden Love is a Thai BL series, featuring a supernatural mystery with romance and comedy elements. The plot takes place in a haunted university dormitory, rocked by a tragic love story ten years ago. In the present timeline, the main characters must live in the dorm for two weeks, as they endure the spooky conditions behind the urban myth.

I enjoy the boundless creativity in Hidden Love, keeping me entertained with zany humour and fun twists. This supernatural BL series is rough around the edges and suffers from a highly disjointed narrative. Nonetheless, it earns my respect for telling a story that is weird in a good way and feels different from the norm.

Hidden Love Summary

What is the series called?

หอซ่อนรัก

When was the series released?

2021

Where was the series made?

Thailand

What is the language used?

Thai

What is the genre?

Supernatural mystery

How would you describe the series?

Happy and upbeat

How many episodes are in Hidden Love?

14 episodes

How long is each episode?

Around 45 minutes

Plot

Kim and Tha stare into each other's eyes.

Kim is a university student who visits a haunted dormitory with his friends Mesa, Joke, and Pao Pao. Suddenly, there’s an announcement about a COVID spread on the premises. All guests are asked to evacuate immediately before the dorm goes into lockdown. However, Kim and his friends are stragglers, so they remain locked inside the building for fourteen days until the quarantine period passes.

Tha is another guest who fails to leave the dormitory on time. He is a famous musician and online celebrity. Kim is an enormous fan of Tha, going so far as to decorate his entire room with celebrity memorabilia. After discovering his crush, Mesa encourages her friend to introduce himself. It turns out Tha is a massive flirt and he hits on Kim aggressively.

As the dormitory residents spend their first night together, they discover ghosts are haunting the premises. According to an urban legend, a tragic death occurred outside this building ten years ago. A university student named Win got killed in a car accident. Before his death, Win caught his best friend Wit kissing his girlfriend Kaew. An argument erupted among the trio, prompting an emotional Kaew to run away into the middle of the road. Win saved her from oncoming traffic and died in her place.

In the present timeline, the dormitory residents are frightened by a headless ghost roaming around the hallways. The apparition is Win, simply playing a prank on them. Ever since his death, Win has remained trapped inside this location, unable to leave for the afterlife. Besides Win, there’s another ghost in the building. Wit’s spirit is also trapped here for many years, although the circumstances of his death are unclear. Unlike Win, Wit is a hostile ghost and wants to harm the guests living in the dorm.

On the first night, Tha is spooked by the ghosts and sleeps in the same room as Kim. On the second night, Kim and his friends want to capture video footage of the paranormal activities. They try to summon an apparition into Tha’s room, leading to unexpected results. Tha finds out he has a supernatural ability and can communicate with Win’s ghost. At the same time, Win gains the power to manifest physically in human form. He has reason to believe Tha is his key to escaping this dormitory imprisonment once and for all.

Hidden Love Cast

Characters

Tha Boss Thawatchanin Darayon (ธวัชนินทร์ ดารายน) Boss Instagram

Tha is portrayed by the Thai actor Boss Thawatchanin Darayon (ธวัชนินทร์ ดารายน).

Tha is a famous musician with a big online following. He becomes trapped in the haunted dormitory with Kim and his friends. Tha exudes confidence and can act a little cocky sometimes. He can also be very flirtatious. Beneath his macho demeanour, Tha is a softie and even sleeps with a giant pink plushie in his room. Besides playing the guitar, Tha also likes to draw art.

Kim Peter Chonpachara Jeepetch (ชลพัชร จี้เพชร) Peter Instagram

Kim is portrayed by the Thai actor Peter Chonpachara Jeepetch (ชลพัชร จี้เพชร).

Kim is a university student staying at a haunted dorm with his friends. He has been one of Tha’s biggest fans since the start of his music career. He also becomes a massive crush on Tha, but feels too nervous about introducing himself. His entire room is decorated with Tha’s celebrity memorabilia, including a body-sized pillow. Kim comes from a wealthy family and his friends point out that he can’t relate to their financial struggles.

Win Net Thanachar Paosung (ธนัฏชา เผ่าสังข์) Net Instagram

Win is portrayed by the Thai actor Net Thanachar Paosung (ธนัฏชา เผ่าสังข์).

Win is a ghost who died ten years ago outside the haunted dormitory. Before his death, he witnessed his girlfriend Kaew making out with his best friend Wit. The heated confrontation caused Kaew to run out into the road, where Win saved her from an oncoming vehicle. However, he died instead and has remained trapped inside the dorm since then. When Win introduces himself to the other human characters, his alias is Shan.

Wit Sun Chewanon Rabelbauer (ชีวานนท์ ราเบลบาแวร์) Sun Instagram

Wit is portrayed by the actor Sun Chewanon Rabelbauer (ชีวานนท์ ราเบลบาแวร์).

Wit is another ghost haunting the dormitory. He used to be Win’s best friend ten years ago. Moments before Win’s death, Wit was caught making out with Kaew. Years later, Wit has also become trapped inside the dorm building with Win. However, Wit is a hostile ghost and wants to harm the new residents. As a ghost, Wit has red eyes and wears a black mask that covers the left side of his face.

Supporting Cast

Mesa is portrayed by the Thai actress Tubtim Pharanya Labudomsakul (ภรัณยา ลาภอุดมสกุล).

Mesa

Tubtim Pharanya Labudomsakul (ภรัณยา ลาภอุดมสกุล)

Joke is portrayed by the Thai actor Ken Hasegawa (เคน ฮาเซกาวา).

Joke

Ken Hasegawa (เคน ฮาเซกาวา)

Pao Pao is portrayed by the Thai actor Eo Natpach Therdthanakan (แอล ธฤต เทอดธนกาญจน์).

Pao Pao

Eo Natpach Therdthanakan (แอล ธฤต เทอดธนกาญจน์)

Kaew is portrayed by the Thai actress Darran Sethinitchon Warasuthisiri (เศรษฐิณิช ชนวราสุทธิศิริ).

Kaeo

Darran Sethinitchon Warasuthisiri (เศรษฐิณิช ชนวราสุทธิศิริ)

Ann is portrayed by the Thai actress Oi Jirawadee Isarangkun Na Ayutthaya (จิระวดี อิศรางกูร ณ อยุธยา).

Ann

Oi Jirawadee Isarangkun Na Ayutthaya (จิระวดี อิศรางกูร ณ อยุธยา)

Cast highlights

  • The actor playing Tha (Boss) appeared in a supporting role in the 2021 Thai BL drama Nitiman.
  • Win’s actor (Net) starred in the 2019 BL drama I Am Your King 2. He also had a supporting role in the 2021 series My Boy.

Hidden Love Review

Review

Drama Review Score: 7

C+
Story

★★☆☆

Romance

★★★☆

Acting

★★☆☆

Ending

★★☆☆

Tha pretends to kiss Kim in bed.

I have mixed feelings about Hidden Love. In some places, this supernatural mystery impresses me with its creative plot, vibrant humour, and entertaining twists. At other times, the incredibly disjointed narrative leaves me perplexed with no idea what is happening. Many scenes also dance a fine line between comical absurdity and senseless stupidity. As much as I find Hidden Love enjoyable, it could’ve been a far better series with room for significant improvements.

Whoever came up with the story in Hidden Love must have a colourful imagination. When you watch this series, prepare yourself to embark on a wild adventure. The fourteen episodes take the viewers through every fictional genre imaginable. We experience a bizarre combination of lighthearted romance, tragic melodrama, slapstick comedy, murder mystery, supernatural horror, and psychological thriller. Hidden Love throws everything onto the storyboard and sees what sticks.

The messiness sometimes works, creating a strange yet fun journey with wacky hijinks and paranormal shenanigans. However, Hidden Love also struggles frequently, unable to maintain a clear, coherent narrative. The storytelling is a mess, switching back and forth between the two timelines haphazardly. You have to piece together the convoluted plot through scattered scenes, incomplete flashbacks, and random developments. Hidden Love quickly descends into confusing chaos and it becomes a challenge to follow along with the erratic events.

The romantic content in Hidden Love is decent, but both relationships have their pros and cons. I like that Kim & Tha flirt a lot during the series. The actors are compatible, have a delightful dynamic, and share physically affectionate scenes. However, their romance lacks a compelling trajectory. Part of the joy in BL is watching the attraction form between the couple. With Kim and Tha, their relationship scenes in the beginning and the end have the same intensity. Their courtship doesn’t feel gradual and I need more of a journey.

In contrast, Win and Wit have an epic relationship. Every trope gets thrown at this couple, oh my goodness. The two of them experience homophobia, love triangles, jealousy, revenge, trauma, death, and the list continues endlessly. There’s so much baggage between them that you barely have room to squeeze in an actual romance. The constant drama is almost a turn-off, although I can’t deny they’re an intriguing couple. Surprisingly, a few of their scenes even resonated with me on an emotional level. Between the two ships, I prefer Win and Wit more.

Hidden Love peaks around the middle after getting over its clumsy start. The series finds the right tempo for a couple of episodes, maintaining high energy and an upbeat sense of humour. The story is ridiculous enough to be entertaining, but not so much that it ruins the immersion. Then, it veers off again near the end, becoming too outlandish with a sloppy conclusion. Overall, Hidden Love is a fun, creative series with some hidden merits, which unfortunately get overshadowed by its narrative flaws.

Story

Strange story
Tha is scared when he has an out-of-body experience.

Hidden Love begins as a paranormal horror comedy. The first few episodes revolve around headless ghosts, evil spirits, and astral projections, which aren’t super scary or anything. Think standard low-budget horror fanfare. The ghosts can detach their heads from their bodies, but that’s pretty much the only trick they know. You won’t get any scarier than a character walking around like a jack-o-lantern.

The supernatural elements don’t make much sense to me. The ghosts have weird random powers that are never clearly defined. I find everything very bizarre, as if Hidden Love is just making up the story along the way. At times, the unpredictability is kind of fun and I enjoy watching these zany adventures. However, I also feel confused in many places, unclear on what is happening. The messy storytelling definitely doesn’t help, making it tricky to follow along with the convoluted plot.

Romantic melodrama
Win and Wit go on a date together.

After a while, Hidden Love becomes a romantic melodrama. We learn more about Win, Wit, and Kaew’s tragic love story from ten years ago. Faced with homophobia and self-loathing, it takes a while for Wit to accept his feelings towards another man. Later, a love triangle forms between the three characters. Wit gets confused over his feelings for both Win and Kaew, leading to much angst between them.

Hidden Love switches between the past and present timelines, not handling the transitions that smoothly. The many flashbacks feel disjointed, told through scattered bits and pieces. The series also purposely withholds information from the viewers, so you don’t get the full version of events. It makes for a frustrating viewing experience, where you must do unnecessary work to piece together the plot.

Also, Hidden Love has a lousy tendency to show us the same flashbacks that we’ve already seen multiple times. There’s a specific scene where Win and Wit are too afraid to hold hands in public, which keeps recurring episode after episode. Is it necessary to watch this identical flashback four separate times? 😕

Mystery thriller
Kaew might have turned evil in the end.

The final stretch of Hidden Love turns into a mystery thriller as we uncover the truth of who killed Wit. The murderer’s identity is pretty obvious, considering they don’t introduce many other characters in the series. The only suspense is whether Kaew played a complicit role in Wit’s death. A part of me thought she might be revealed as the evil mastermind in the end, but Hidden Love didn’t go down that route and Kaew turns out to be innocent.

There’s some amateurish sleuthing during these episodes, along with random abductions, ominous premonitions, and a gay wedding for some reason. I don’t understand the necessity of the fake wedding subplot, which feels like Hidden Love has ran out of ideas. By this point, the plot has gone off the rails and you just go along with the senseless chaos.

Romance

Decent romance
Kim and Tha become a couple quickly in Hidden Love.

There’s plenty of romance in Hidden Love. The main couple Kim and Tha exchange lots of flirtatious banter throughout the series. One of them would get cheeky, the other would resist a little, and then they would become lovey-dovey together. I enjoy their relationship dynamic, powered by many amorous gazes, intimate cuddles, and light kisses. Their physical affection doesn’t feel steamy or passionate, but the interactions are cute and delightful to watch.

Unfortunately, their courtship doesn’t feel that compelling. Kim and Tha don’t go through an extensive journey. They quickly get together and then spend the rest of the series flirting. You won’t notice much difference between their relationship scenes in the beginning and the end. The couple could’ve used more development, showing us the gradual attraction and how they form feelings for each other. Instead, the relationship flatlines and lacks a distinctive flair.

The Kim and Tha relationship is a missed opportunity. Hidden Love should’ve done more with this couple, giving them a substantial storyline instead of all this BL fluff. As much as I enjoy the cheeky banter and cute flirting, but these characters needed a better love story. Their romantic journey felt trivial, especially compared to all the emotional drama that Win and Wit experienced.

Tragic love story
Win tries to comfort Wit after his death.

The other couple, Win and Wit, aren’t as intimate with each other. They go through a turbulent relationship that takes them through emotional highs and lows. It’s a pretty tragic romance. The two of them can’t be together when they’re alive. Then, a misunderstanding wrecks both their lives. They spend the next ten years as lonely ghosts, harbouring misery and regrets.

However, Hidden Love never goes too deep with the emotional drama, so it doesn’t feel too overbearingly sad. You don’t have to worry about grabbing a tissue box to wipe your tears or anything like that. Despite the tragic circumstances, the series still maintains a pretty happy and upbeat tone overall.

Acting

Okay acting
Kim's friends get scared by the ghosts.

The Hidden Love cast brings a high level of energy to the series. The actors do alright with the comedy, even though I sometimes find their performances too hammy. With that said, they have to respond to some really outrageous scenarios in the story. They have to cope with headless ghosts, evil spirits, suicide attempts, and scheming murderers. So, I don’t blame them for giving over-the-top reactions to these ridiculous and wacky hijinks.

Similarly, the dramatic and emotional moments are acceptable, but these actors don’t give a high calibre of performances. I won’t point out any weak links, even though some were worse than others.

Acting highlights
Wit removes his mask, revealing a scarred face.

I thought Wit’s actor (Sun) did a surprisingly good job depicting his mental breakdown after Win’s death. In the romantic scenes, he didn’t really seem that engaging. However, he was pretty believable as somebody who lost his sanity after a tragedy. Sun’s character isn’t that sympathetic, but the actor brought a vulnerability that made it easier to connect with him.

The actor was also involved in two emotional scenes that stirred my feelings. The first was when he took off his phantom of the mask, revealing a scarred face. There was a fragility in his emotions that resonated with me. The second highlight was when Wit healed Win’s burning hands. Usually, I found their mantra of “If we hold hands, we can overcome anything together!” really cheesy, but the line worked well for this moment. Wit’s actor brought some gravitas to elevate the sentimentality in this scene.

Ending

Happy ending
Kim and Tha share their last kiss in the Hidden Love ending.

Hidden Love has a happy ending where Kaew reunites with Win and Wit in the present timeline. She clarifies the misunderstanding from ten years ago, revealing that Wit didn’t feel any attraction after he kissed her. Wit has also regained his conscience, thanks to the positive influences from Win and Tha. He no longer feels resentful about the past.

Although Win and Wit can finally be released from the afterlife, they choose to remain in the living world instead. The two of them want to spend more time together as a couple, since they no longer have to hide their love. Although their spirits cannot leave the dormitory premises, they can enter Kim and Tha’s bodies, experiencing the outside world through their conduits.

Towards the end, a heavenly light shines on Win and Wit, indicating it’s time to transition to their next life. Kaew gets emotional, but she’s prepared to say farewell to her friends. Hilariously enough, Win and Wit still don’t reincarnate because they have to stay behind and plug a product placement. 😅 The last scene features the characters throwing a party on the rooftop, as Tha and Kim share their last kiss of the series.

Wit’s killer
Ann dies in the Hidden Love ending.

In the ending, we find out that Ann is the person who killed Wit. After Win’s death, Wit’s mental health deteriorated and he started hanging around the dormitory in a daze. Kaew took care of him, but it constantly broke her heart to see him in this state. At one point, Wit got violent and Ann intervened before Kaew got hurt.

Ann wanted to free Kaew from the responsibility of Wit’s caregiver. So, she locked him inside a trunk and let him starve to death. Kaew had no idea what Ann did and simply thought Wit had left the dorm on his own. Tha suspected Ann was the killer because the smell in her room matched his brother’s scent. After the characters dug up dirt in her room, she couldn’t flee after getting outnumbered by the group. Ann finally confessed to being the murderer.

When Ann tries to escape again, Tha chases after her. Ann almost gets hit by a car, but Tha pushes her out of the way. There are intended parallels in the ending, corresponding with how Win died saving Kaew from the car accident. However, Win and Wit use their powers to swerve the vehicle, missing Tha and killing Ann instead. Strangely, the characters don’t react to Ann’s death. They’re all laughing and exchanging romantic gazes while there’s literally a dead body right next to them. 😑

Ending review
Kaew reunites with Kim and Tha in the Hidden Love ending.

The Hidden Love ending made me feel like I was watching total nonsense. In these last few episodes, the plot rapidly deteriorated and stopped making sense. Not that the story was ever strong from the start, but at least it kept up an illusion of logic and coherence. The part that lost me was when all the characters casually chatted and laughed while Ann got slaughtered in a car accident. It’s hard to focus on the jokes or romantic moments when there’s a dead body next to you!

With that said, I didn’t feel sad about Ann’s death. That woman got what she deserved. I don’t think Hidden Love emphasized enough how coldblooded she was in killing Wit. She locked up a mentally disturbed man, stuffed him inside a box, and let him rot to death. No wonder Wit turned out to be such an evil ghost, because the way he died was really horrible.

Hidden Love kept teasing that Win and Wit’s spirits would reincarnate soon, but then it never happened. During the wedding, Kaew started crying and said her goodbyes as her friends departed from the world. Then, Win and Wit stayed behind anyway. In the finale, Kaew cried again and prepared herself for another farewell, only for her friends to still be here. How many times will she get emotional over Win and Wit until they finally leave for real? 😅

Hidden Love Series Analysis

Analysis

Kim and Tha

Kim and Tha stare into each other's eyes in bed.

The Kim and Tha relationship began as a seemingly one-sided crush. Kim is a secret fanboy, pining after his unattainable celebrity crush. Their relationship dynamic makes Tha feel a little cocky, knowing that he holds a powerful sexual allure over Kim. However, Tha also falls for Kim along the way. Exploring these feelings is an uncertain process that makes Tha feel less confident and less in control.

At the start of Episode 2, Kim and Tha are sleeping in the same bed. Tha is asleep, but Kim stays awake and caresses his face. In the next episode, the two of them sleep together again, except Kim is asleep and Tha lays awake this time. The roles are reversed, and Tha uses this opportunity to gently touch Kim’s face. I thought this was a nice detail that indicated their feelings are reciprocal. It’s no longer a one-sided crush from Kim, but Tha also feels the same way.

Tha

Kim gives Tha an embrace from the back.

As a celebrity, Tha is understandably conscious of his image. He wants to appear cool and tough to the public eye. However, Tha cares about people’s perceptions of him to the extent that he comes across as insecure. The blackmail storyline in Episode 2 might seem silly, just because Tha doesn’t want his fans to know he sleeps with a pink plushie. However, it indicates the severity of his self-consciousness that he’s scandalized by such a trivial secret.

One of Tha’s biggest insecurities must be his masculinity. You’ve probably noticed how many times Tha insists that he’s the dominant party in their relationship. I’m the one on top, I have to take charge, I need you to know your place! His assertions reach a point that you wanna roll your eyes and be like, “Okay, we get it, you’re a macho guy. Give it a rest already. 🙄”

Thankfully, Kim is more secure about his sexual identity, not caring at all whether he’s dominant or submissive. As Kim says, “Whether you’re top or bottom, I still love you the same.” And that’s the right mentality to take. With Kim’s patience and guidance, maybe Tha will learn to be more comfortable with himself.

Kim

Kim didn't get much character development during the series.

Sadly, Kim lacks character development and we don’t learn much about him beyond his crush on Tha. Not only do the other three leads overshadow him, but even a supporting role like Kaew had more nuance than Kim. Keep in mind there are fourteen episodes in Hidden Love, so it’s unforgivable that his characterization remains so shallow.

What Kim needed was an independent storyline dedicated to himself. Tha got a lot of the juicy plots, whereas Kim was relegated to comic relief scenes with Mesa and the gang. He’s supposed to be the protagonist of the series, so give him more to do! This series is called Hidden Love, not Hidden Character Development. Show us his personality, interests, aspirations, or basically anything besides his schoolboy crush on Tha.

Kim’s lack of depth drags down his romance with Tha. I can’t feel engaged in their relationship scenes when I hardly know anything about one of the characters. It’s a shame because I like the actor, but not the role he plays in Hidden Love.

Win and Wit

Win and Wit are happy about how much progress has been made in LGBT perceptions.

The Win and Wit relationship serves as the emotional core of the series. While Kim and Tha were introduced to us first, they almost feel like the secondary couple compared to Win and Wit’s epic love story. They definitely have the more emotionally complex storyline, packed with nonstop drama, angst, and tragedy.

It’s a heartbreaking romance about two guys who fell in love, but they had many odds stacked against them. At first, Wit had to overcome homophobia and self-loathing to accept his same-sex attraction. Afterwards, he enjoyed a short period of happiness with his lover, only for Win to die in a ghastly accident. To make things worse, the last thing that happened before Win’s death was Wit cheating on his boyfriend.

The grief of losing a loved one, compounded by his guilt, felt so overpowering that it drove Wit to insanity. Later, Wit died in horrible circumstances after encountering a cold-blooded killer. He spent the next ten years as a hostile spirit, driven mad by anger and agony. Not only did Win and Wit have a doomed romance, but they were two young men who lost their lives abruptly and painfully. What happened to them was tragic on so many levels that no wonder they couldn’t move on from the afterlife.

Forbidden love

Win and Wit share a kiss together.

The concept of ~hidden love~ refers to how Win and Wit must conceal their love for each other in public. Back then, LGBT support didn’t have as much mainstream acceptance as nowadays. As a result, their characters encountered lots of judgment and homophobia, so they weren’t even comfortable holding hands around the university campus.

This forbidden love narrative works in some capacity, but it also doesn’t feel completely authentic. The characters keep reiterating how much progress has been made in LGBT perceptions from ten years ago. Every time they talk about how enlightened society is towards the gay community, an eyebrow of mine gets raised. I wanna tap these characters on the shoulder and be like: “I hate to tell you this, but homophobia is still pretty prevalent today.”

Also, the characters reminisce about the past as if it was 100 years ago, back in the old days of the gramophone or black-and-white television. The truth is that Win and Wit lived only a decade ago in 2011, which had smartphones and laptops. Sometimes, I pause and think to myself, “Remind me again when this story takes place? Why does Kaew sound like they were fighting on the frontlines of homophobia in the pre-Stonewall ages? 😓” Although I understand the message that Hidden Love wants to convey, it feels too exaggerated to register with me emotionally.

Love triangle

There's a love triangle between Win, Wit and Kaew.

The love triangle between Win, Wit, and Kaew plays a significant part in Hidden Love. When the first episode introduced their romance, it seemed like these two guys were fighting over the girl. However, the twist is that Win and Wit were actually in love, while Kaew came in between their relationship.

Kaew was supposed to be Win’s best friend. She even agreed to be his beard, pretending to date Win in public while he sneaked around with Wit in secrecy. Their arrangement worked for a while until Kaew and Wit developed feelings for each other. Win had his suspicions, but his two closest companions kept lying to him and acted like he was paranoid. “How could you accuse us!? We were just buying you a birthday cake! 😬”

Eventually, the love triangle drama culminated in a devastating climax. Wit and Kaew met up during a secret rendezvous, while Win caught them in the middle of a kiss. Poor Win was betrayed by both his boyfriend and his best friend. The confrontation got heated and Kaew tried to run away, while Win died saving her from a reckless driver. Kaew and Wit were left dealing with the consequences, since their actions that night inadvertently contributed to Win’s death.

Wit and Kaew

Wit and Kaew kiss behind Win's back.

As despicable as Wit’s actions might be, his feelings for Kaew weren’t wholly senseless. It was established at the start that he felt attracted to her when they first met. Even though Wit pursued a relationship with Win, his attraction for Kaew didn’t subside completely. Since she was the beard, they had ample opportunities to spend time together, which must’ve reinvigorated his hidden desires.

I don’t want to make excuses for Wit’s unfaithfulness. Cheating on his boyfriend was wrong and the kiss shouldn’t have happened. However, there’s also a complexity to his confusion. Not only is he attracted to her, but she’s also an easier romance target than Win. If Wit dated Kaew instead, he wouldn’t have to hide their relationship or worry about homophobia. They would have a more secure future together than his secret gay romance.

Another factor is that Wit’s self-loathing never completely went away. He overcame a lot of psychological barriers before getting together with Win. However, the homophobia is so ingrained in his psyche that he still feels averse to his same-sex attraction. When you have to hide your relationship, it comes with a sense of shame. His inferiority complex may have complicated Wit’s feelings, influencing him to reconsider Kaew as a love interest.

Kaew

Kaew supported Win when he was rejected by Wit at first.

It’s easy to hate Kaew for coming in between the BL couple, but her predicament is complex. As Win’s best friend, she is the first person to accept him for being gay. She became his closest confidante, comforting him when Wit rejected his feelings. Later, she willingly agreed to be his beard. Before her betrayal, Kaew has been on Win’s side more than anyone in his life.

Being in a fake relationship with Win is complicated. Instead of normally dating a guy who likes her, Kaew becomes an undesirable third wheel to a pair of gay lovers. While Win and Wit are happily in love, she doesn’t get anything from this bearding arrangement. Plus, she’s exposed to their lovey-doveyness all the time, making Kaew yearn to experience a real romance herself.

However, Kaew’s fake relationship prevents her from meeting an actual boyfriend. No eligible male suitor will approach her because she’s seemingly taken. It puts her in an unfavourable situation where the only guy to show interest in her is Wit. No, that doesn’t give Kaew the right to cheat with her best friend’s boyfriend, but it adds a nuanced layer to her dilemma. Before we plaster her character with the scarlet letter, there’s more of a story behind her actions than just treacherous adultery.

Wit

Tha gives his older brother Wit a hug.

Wit is the most emotionally complex character in Hidden Love. Although he made some mistakes in his life, Wit suffered such tragic circumstances that you end up feeling bad for him anyway. He watched his loved one die, lost his sanity, separated from his family, got imprisoned inside a box, and then starved to death miserably. Few people deserve this type of cruel fate, certainly not a confused schoolboy who was indecisive between his boyfriend and another girl.

It’s bad enough that Wit died, but he also has to spend the next decade trapped in agonizing limbo. I’m not surprised his ghost is filled with rage and wants to kill everyone in sight. I’m very sympathetic towards Wit’s character. After suffering for ten years since Win’s death, Wit atoned for any sin committed back when he was alive. Let him find love, let him find peace, and let him find closure.

With better writing, Wit’s journey could’ve been so poignant and epic. Instead, the shoddy storytelling in Hidden Love diminishes a lot of the emotional impact. Some moments still feel sentimental, but the plot is too fragmented and incoherent that it never builds up enough momentum.

Tha’s brother

Tha suffers from a mental health crisis after encountering a ghost.

There was a surprising moment in Episode 8, where Tha revealed he is Wit’s younger brother. We learn that his brother ran away from home and went missing for ten years. To this day, Tha is still profoundly affected by his sibling’s disappearance. In fact, he visited this dormitory to investigate the last place where Wit showed up alive. I thought this excellent twist added complexity to the plot, gave Tha’s character purpose, and introduced a vital connection between the two timelines.

Tha’s breakdown during Episode 3 seemed like an isolated incident at first, until you discover his older brother also suffered from distress. There’s a case for showcasing how mental health struggles might run in the family. Or at least it reflects how the lasting effects of trauma could pass from one person to another. One of Tha’s strongest childhood memories is his brother lashing out violently at him after suffering from a severe episode. The memory still haunts him more vividly than any ghost in the dormitory could.

Understandably, Tha becomes preoccupied with seeing his brother again and finding the truth about what happened to him. However, Kim gets jealous because Tha wouldn’t pay as much attention to him. I recall a scene where his character was whining annoyingly, “I know you care more about those two spirits, but WHAT ABOUT ME!?” Bitch, you’ve known each other for less than two weeks! Your boyfriend is out here trying to solve a lifelong mystery of his dead missing brother. Sit your ass down and know your place. 🤡

Guardian angel

Hidden Love flirted with a Win and Tha romance at certain points.

If you look back at Episode 3, there’s actually a pretty scary moment where Wit possesses Tha’s body and jumps off the roof. Thankfully, Win shows up just in time to save Tha’s life. Otherwise, we came close to an epic tragedy where Wit inadvertently kills his own brother. Hey Wit, just when you thought your suffering wasn’t bad enough, wait until you find out who you killed! 😨

Speaking of Win, Hidden Love teased us about a romance between him and Tha for a few episodes. Ultimately, the characters never went there, but their intimacy was definitely intentional. The connection between Win and his dead lover’s brother could’ve parlayed into a juicy relationship storyline. Every time Kim was getting whiny and acting jealous, I rooted for Win and Tha to get together as a couple. Screw the annoying human! Hook up with your guardian angel instead!

Joke and Pao Pao

Joke and Pao Pao share multiple kisses throughout Hidden Love.

When you play visual novels, there’s sometimes a hidden route that you have to unlock. Surprisingly, Hidden Love has a third secret romance that won’t seem evident at first. Have you noticed that Joke and Pao Pao are the third couple in the series? Yes, these comic relief characters are the secret pairing that kissed not once, but TWICE during the episodes. To put it into perspective, Joke and Pao Pao kissed more times than Win and Wit. Let that statistic sink in for a bit.

Both kisses were initiated by Mesa, who jokingly pushed their heads together. However, seeing their characters kiss repeatedly has unlocked another mind-blowing revelation for me. Oh my god, I just realized that Mesa, Joke and Pao Pao are the present-day versions of Kaew, Win and Wit. If you look closer, there are eerily similar parallels between their love triangle dynamics. History is repeating itself again! These two guys are the real couple, and she’s their beard!

You thought Kim’s friends were just supporting characters who delivered dumb jokes. However, there’s a secret symbolism that I don’t think even the show creators realized. In the biggest surprise ever, the true hidden love of the series is between Joke and Pao Pao. Move aside, Win and Wit, your epic romance has been dethroned! 😆

Hidden Love Episodes

Episode Guide

Hidden Love has a total of 14 episodes, with each episode representing a different day in the quarantine period. Each episode is around 40 to 50 minutes long. The first episode is the shortest and lasts only 30 minutes. The last episode is around 50 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 11 hours.

Hidden Love started airing on March 14, 2021 and ended on June 13, 2021.

Episode 1

★★☆☆

Episode 2

★★☆☆

Episode 3

★★★☆

Episode 4

★★★☆

Episode 5

★★☆☆

Episode 6

★★☆☆

Episode 7

★★★☆

Episode 8

★★★☆

Episode 9

★★★☆

Episode 10

★★★☆

Episode 11

★☆☆☆

Episode 12

★★★☆

Episode 13

★★☆☆

Episode 14

★★☆☆

⭐ Best episode

Episode 9

Tha and Kim get intimate when they clean the dorm together.

Episode 9 begins with a dramatic moment after Kim and his friends pull off a tricky scheme, revealing Win’s identity as a ghost. However, they also burned his hand and hurt him in the process. Tha is outraged by their antics, upset about their lack of trust. Win delivers a heartfelt line that hits home: “You guys hate me because I’m different. No matter how good I am to you, you’ll never accept me.” Poor Win is faced with discrimination, even when he’s dead.

After Win hurts his hand, Wit’s ghost shows up and heals his hand. It’s the first time we see a glimmer of compassion from his character after his death, showing that he still cares about Win. They also repeat that mantra, “If we hold hands, we can overcome anything together!”, a sappy line that works wonderfully in this context.

Afterwards, Kim and his friends make up for hurting Win with a lighthearted scene that clears the air. The rest of the episode is dedicated to a lengthy Win and Wit flashback, taking us through the highs and lows of their relationship. Overall, the episode is packed with plot, memorable moments, and the right amount of sentimentality.

😭 Tearjerker episode

Episode 12

Wit has a mental breakdown after Win's death.

Episode 12 focuses on Wit’s mental breakdown after Win’s death. While previous episodes showed glimpses of his struggles, it was the first time we saw precisely how severely he suffered. He’s a man wholly traumatized by grief, highlighted by a powerful performance from the actor. I really felt like the character was on the brink of losing his sanity.

In the same episode, there was another scene that tugged at my emotions. It had been two years after Wit ran away from home. Kaew still visited his family and tutored Tha. However, Wit’s mom tells her to stop making contact because they want to move on from the past.

Kaew tears up, knowing there’s undeniable truth behind the mom’s words. However, she finds it difficult to forget about Wit, someone so close to her heart. Much like Wit, Kaew has been affected by Win’s death and suffers in her own way. Both characters are traumatized and can’t seem to move forward with their lives.

😡 Most triggering episode

Episode 11

Wit and Kaew develop feelings for each other behind Win's back.

Episode 11 was an infuriating episode where Wit and Kaew discovered their feelings for each other. Win was suspicious and followed his intuition, accusing Kaew of making a move on his boyfriend. However, Wit and Kaew make him believe it was a misunderstanding. They were only meeting up together to buy him a birthday cake.

Win starts crying and feels like a horrible person for doubting his friend. The irony is that his suspicions ARE correct. Win and Kaew have been flirting with each other, coming close to an actual kiss later in the episode. It’s triggering to see Win portrayed as the bad friend when the two cheaters get off scot-free.

💪🏻 Episodes with skin

Episode 2, 8, 12-14

Ann strips Kim and ties him up, revealing his sweaty shirtless body.

Win and Wit have a shirtless scene in Episode 2, where they wash the paint off each other’s bodies. Kaew sees them in a compromising position and assumes they were doing something indecent. As Wit chases after her, he loses his towel in the process, although we don’t see any actual nudity.

Ann kidnaps Kim in Episode 8. She ties him up, strips him down to a pair of shorts, and then sprays his body with disinfectant. We actually don’t get a clear view in this episode though. Instead, the flashbacks in Episode 12 and 13 display Kim’s shirtless body in much closer detail. I must admit, it’s a pretty sexy visual to see his sweaty bare torso bounded by rope. The actor never looked any better than this scene.

Finally, we get another shirtless scene of Wit in Episode 14. He helps Mesa with her online videos by posing in different clothes. Of course, it becomes more of a strip show than a fashion show!

💋 Episodes with kissing

Episode 4, 6, 11-14

Kim and Tha share their first kiss in Hidden Love Episode 4.

Kim and Tha kiss numerous times during the series. I must include a disclaimer that none of these kisses are passionate or steamy. The actors just press their lips together until the director calls, “Cut!”

Nonetheless, Kim and Tha still accumulate a number of kissing series. Their first kiss occurs in Episode 4, where Tha teases Kim flirtatiously by putting their lips very close. Then, Kim takes the initiative and kisses him for real. They share various small kisses between Episode 11 and 14.

Win and Wit kiss once in Episode 5. Wit and Kaew also kiss in Episode 1, and the same kiss is repeated again in Episode 13. Finally, Joke and Pao Pao have kissing scenes in Episodes 11 and 14. Both kisses were the result of Mesa messing around and pressing their heads together.

Hidden Love Online

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