In a Relationship is a Thai BL series about a teenage romance developed over video calls. After losing a bet, the main character must fulfill three wishes for the winner. Surprisingly, one of the requests asks him to enter a romantic relationship. The protagonist is opposed to the idea initially, but he bonds with his love interest over many virtual chats.
Unfortunately, In a Relationship restricts its potential with a limited storytelling structure. The leads only meet through video calls, which are hardly comparable to in-person interactions. The format also magnifies flaws with the weak script, awkward flirting, and uninspired acting. Despite some juicy drama near the end, this juvenile romance is too low-stakes and feels like insubstantial fluff.
In a Relationship Summary
Around 90 minutes
Cute and sweet
Around 5 minutes
Tono is a teenager who plays online video games. He has gained some minor attention through his live streams. However, an anonymous commenter criticizes his gaming skills in a chatroom. Feeling annoyed, Tono tracks down this hater on social media and confronts him. His rival, Boss, challenges him to a video game competition to settle the score.
Tono loses the match-up to Boss. According to their earlier agreement, the loser must fulfill three requests for the winner. Surprisingly, Boss uses one of his wishes to ask Tono to be his boyfriend. He wants to change their social media status to "in a relationship". Boss also reveals he had a crush on Tono for a while.
Tono is shocked and refuses to accept this outrageous request. Nonetheless, he continues to stay in touch with Boss afterwards. Since there's currently a pandemic lockdown, the two teens communicate regularly via regular video calls. They'd chat casually about their loves, crack jokes, and get along. Even after they become friends, Boss constantly flirts with Tono. Unlike previously, Tono seems more receptive to being in a relationship with Boss.
In a Relationship Cast
Nine Summasub (ตฤณ สัมมาทรัพย์)
Tono is a teenager who plays online video games. He confronts a hater who left a mean comment in the chatroom, challenging him to a competition. After Tono loses the match-up, he must fulfill three requests from Boss. Tono is shocked and unreceptive when Boss asks him to be his boyfriend.
Pheeranut Athicomnanta (พีรณฐ อธิคมนันทะ)
Boss is a teenager who has a crush on Tono. After winning a video game showdown, Boss earns the ability to ask Tono to fulfill three requests. Surprisingly, he asks his partner to be in a relationship. Although Tono responds unfavourably, they continue communicating via regular video calls and soon become close companions.
In a Relationship Review
Drama Review Score: 5.5
In a Relationship consists almost entirely of video calls. There may be several snapshots of text messages or short clips with the characters doing ordinary activities. Otherwise, the leads sit in front of a camera and converse virtually, never interacting in person except on one occasion. This narrative format is tricky for BL dramas to pull off successfully. How can you convey a romantic connection without the two leads meeting face-to-face? In a Relationship lacks intimacy and on-screen chemistry in its weak love story.
Don't get me wrong. I believe it's possible to create a compelling romance via video calls. Mastering the format requires a sharp script and lively line delivery, both aspects that aren't in this drama's wheelhouse. In a Relationship suffers from poor writing and uninspired acting. It can't execute the fun back-and-forth banter between the leads. The dialogue is too mundane, made worse because the young performers don't have enough enthusiasm to elevate the material. Unlike other BL, In a Relationship can't rely on body language, physical contact, or cinematography to hide its flaws.
I'm not a fan of this couple. Boss tricks Tono into dating him, which is already morally dubious. On top of that behaviour, Boss keeps hitting on Tono despite the latter's discomfort with the advances. The cheesy and cringy pick-up lines give off a sleazy vibe, causing second-hand embarrassment. I don't think Boss is a bad guy, but he needs to slide out of the DMs and learn how to flirt. While the leads share a few cute exchanges, many interactions between them feel clumsy and awkward. I don't get a romantic vibe while watching In a Relationship.
Both leads have a boy-next-door charm suitable for a teen BL drama. With that said, their performances are too subdued and lack charisma. They read lines in front of a camera without bringing much dynamism to their delivery. Also, the story format restricts them from moving around or interacting with their environment. They have limited ways to express themselves compared to other actors. After the finale, In a Relationship included behind-the-scenes footage of Nine & Pheeranut behaving with way more exuberance. Where was this vibrant energy during filming?
The characters spend considerable time in the bedrooms, embellished with posters, toys, and mementoes that highlight their interests. These beautifully decorated rooms make a cozy and attractive backdrop. However, Boss and Tono don't go anywhere else. We stare at the same static setting for the entire series, which gets stale quickly. Other BL dramas film in various locations, utilizing the environment to enhance the narrative. Meanwhile, In a Relationship limits its creativity and doesn't invest as much effort into the production. There's a severe shortage of artistry.
After many unremarkable episodes, In a Relationship introduces juicy drama before the finale. The storyline explores clever themes, enriches the relationship dynamics, and creates engrossing tension between the characters. I welcome these exciting developments, which add maturity and complexity to a juvenile BL series. The problem is that they come too little, too late. I wish In a Relationship contained more substantial plots instead of filling the narrative with frivolous fluff. This project feels too light and low-stakes, only showing blips of interest near the end.
In a Relationship has a light, low-stakes plot that doesn't feel substantial until the end. The story is told through video calls, a restrictive format that exposes the weak writing in this BL drama.
Despite a few cute exchanges, the leads flirt awkwardly throughout the series. Boss comes across as a sleazy love interest, giving cheesy and cringy pick-up lines.
Both leads have a boy-next-door charm. However, their performances lack energy and dynamism. They read the lines before a camera without bringing much enthusiasm to their delivery.
In a Relationship has a happy ending where Boss and Tono have a heartfelt chat, resolving their conflict. The final storyline is juicy, bringing maturity and complexity to this juvenile series.
Unfortunately, the video call format restricts this drama's creativity. The characters are stuck inside their bedrooms without a change of scenery. Looking at the same location gets stale quickly.
In a Relationship has too much fluff and fails to convey a powerful love story through video calls. The series suffers from awful writing, amateurish acting, and awkward flirting.
In a Relationship Episodes
In a Relationship has a total of 17 episodes. The first fifteen episodes are short, approximately three to five minutes each. The last two episodes are around twelve to fourteen minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 2 hours.
In a Relationship started airing on June 10, 2022 and finished its last episode on July 24, 2022. After its completion, a movie version comprising all the episodes in a 90-minute format was released.
The plot feels juvenile, deliberately targeting a young teenage demographic. Despite the immaturity, I don't think it's a terrible start to the series. BTW, what's up with the cat whiskers filter?
Not the biggest fan of the premise. "Gotchya, you're my boyfriend now!" isn't the best start to a BL romance. Also, is Boss going to keep wearing the filter for the whole series? What's the deal with him?
Wow, this episode is very gratuitous with the shirtless leads, although the actors are too young for me. I'm not a fan of Boss' aggressive flirting. He needs to tone down his sleazy behaviour.
So far, this story doesn't inspire me. This episode's drama feels like much ado about nothing. In a Relationship feels mundane, from the dialogue to the storylines.
I kinda like the cute exchange between the leads in this episode, even though they don't talk about anything important. Boss' Simon & Garfunkel shirt is an interesting wardrobe choice.
Tono's beef with his gaming friends feels trivial. Is it because I'm watching this teen drama from an adult's perspective? Boss' flirty comments to Tono are so damn awkward. He makes me cringe.
In a Relationship barely tried with this half-assed episode. The banter between Tono & Boss is so vapid. Can we get more substantial storylines than casual chats about video games & social media?
OMFG. What is the series trying to achieve with this rape fantasy!? Surely, there's a better way to highlight Tono's attraction than this scene? The entire episode feels completely unnecessary.
Aww, the friend's apology is sweet and ties up that subplot nicely. Otherwise, the story has been uneventful so far. I don't want to watch the lead do silly dances. Will anything exciting happen?
This fanfic subplot feels like filler. I don't really care if the brother wrote the Y-story or not. Sorry, but I don't have high hopes for where this storyline goes.
I like Tono's thoughtful response to the little brother. He handled an embarrassing situation maturely. After this incident, I think more highly of his character.
I don't understand the popularity of Tono & Boss as a couple. They're just two random guys on social media, right? Why do they have fans? I like Tono's introspective moment at the end of this episode.
Boss' video clip is cringy, but I like how this episode ends. Boss asks for a kiss, but Tono responds by giving him his foot instead. That's cute, haha. 😄 More cute exchanges & less cringy flirting, please.
I guess Boss and Tono are getting along now. However, I don't sense a romantic vibe from their interactions. Their bond seems platonic, and I don't feel there is love in the air.
OMG. Catfish drama! This series had so much fluff that I'm buzzing about a grittier plot. Am I twisted for hoping it's a super dark storyline? Boss takes off his filter and reveals he's a 50-year-old man!
I like the fallout between the leads. Let's rock the boring relationship with some juicy drama! This plot is surprisingly engaging. It highlights the artificial nature of Boss and Tono's virtual romance.
Boss presented an image of confidence. In reality, he feels insecure about his acne behind the camera filter. It's a clever twist, adding depth to this light BL series. I'm satisfied with the happy ending.
In a Relationship Series
In a Relationship Information
Jinloe Media Work is a Thai studio that made What the Duck (2018) and its sequel What the Duck 2: Final Call (2019). It also created the BL series In a Relationship (2022). In addition to its BL efforts, Jinloe has a history of producing other Thai dramas.