Meow Ears Up is a Thai BL series about the love story between a human and a humanoid cat. The lonely protagonist adopts a stray cat, only to discover this magical creature can turn into a human form. Although the cat can communicate, he doesn't understand social etiquette or protocols. As the characters live together, they are involved in various comedic hijinks and silly scenarios.
Unsurprisingly, this love story with a cat is as ridiculous as the premise sounds. Beyond the stupid concept, Meow Ears Up annoys me with its shallow plots, foolish characters, and nauseating cutesiness. The love interest acts infantile, seemingly incapable of mature relationships. Even though the series is meant to be goofy and frivolous, I don't want to champion this crap.
Meow Ears Up Summary
Around 7 hours
Cute and sweet
Around 45 minutes
Dermdem is a graphic artist who lives by himself. He is used to a solitary lifestyle without many friends or an active social circle. His only connection to the outside world is Jin, an editor who hires him for artistic projects. Otherwise, Dermdem's life is perfectly ordinary and uneventful.
One day, Dermdem adopts a stray cat from the streets. Some kids were hurting the animal until he came to its rescue. However, Dermdem is startled when the cat transforms into a human form. This magical creature is Meow, a unique humanoid cat species with the ability to communicate with him. However, Meow is unintelligent and doesn't understand social protocols.
Dermdem begins taking care of Meow in his home. His feline companion is childlike, curious, and easy to please. Even though Meow can sometimes be disruptive, Dermdem enjoys spending time with his new friend. However, he must hide Meow's identity whenever they go outside. Meow lands himself in inadvertently, getting easily distracted and unable to obey simple rules. Dermdem must always keep an eye on him.
Meanwhile, Meow's older brother Faiyen is a university student. Faiyen also belongs to the humanoid cat species, although he is more intelligent and can hide his identity better. Faiyen has been searching for Meow after the brothers got separated from each other. At school, Faiyen befriends Evan after a casual basketball match. However, he discovers Evan isn't just an ordinary student on campus.
Dermdem's editor Jin is a hardworking business professional at her agency. She's dedicated to her career and spends almost all her time working. Jin recently hired a new intern to help with her workload. Yet, the clumsy and careless Manni often makes mistakes around the office. Despite her earnest personality, Manni isn't skilled at her job and fears not passing her probation period. Jin tries her best to mentor the new intern and put up with the blunders.
Meow Ears Up Trailer
Meow Ears Up Cast
James Prapatthorn Chakkhuchan (เจมส์ ประพัฒน์ธรณ์ จักขุจันทร์)
Meow is a stray cat adopted by Dermdem. Unlike regular cats, Meow is a unique species with a secret ability to transform into a human appearance. In his humanoid form, he can communicate with Dermdem. However, Meow has a childlike innocence and doesn't seem to understand social etiquette. Meow begins living with Dermdem and hides his feline identity by wearing a woollen hat.
Gap Kittichat Techahuasing (กิตติชัช เตชาหัวสิงห์)
Dermdem is a graphic artist who lives by himself. He rescues a stray cat from the streets, only to discover this magical creature can transform into a humanoid form. Dermdem begins taking care of Meow, serving as his primary caregiver. Dermdem was raised in an orphanage and prefers a life of peaceful solitude. Meow's disruptive presence changes his everyday routine drastically.
Bright Thanapon Apisuttimaitree (ไบร์ท ธนพล อภิสุทธิไมตรี)
Faiyen is Meow's older brother. He is also part of the same humanoid cat species. However, he is more intelligent and can hide his identity better. He's even a university student who goes to school like any ordinary human. Faiyen has been searching for his younger sibling ever since they got separated. The two have a close bond, and Meow feels attached to him.
Bodo Schaefer (โบโด้ เชเฟอร์)
Evan is Faiyen's love interest. They meet during a basketball match on the university campus, where Evan's athletic skills impress Faiyen. The two meet again in the lecture hall. However, Faiyen discovers Evan isn't just an ordinary university student. Nonetheless, they become friends. Evan comes from a different country and misses his family while living abroad.
Kris Zenthoelyn Tanwitu (คริส เซณเธอลิณณ์ แทนวิธู)
Jin is Dermdem's friend and editor. She is responsible for giving Dermdem work and checking up on him. Their friendship stems from their time at the orphanage together. Jin is a hardworking career woman committed to her job. She hires a new intern to help with her workload, but Manni makes many blunders and constantly creates more hassle.
Po Wichada Atiwesangkun (วิชาดา อติเวศย์อังกูร)
Manni is Jin's newly hired intern, currently on her probation period. Manni has an eager and enthusiastic personality. However, her carelessness leads to many outrageous mistakes around the office. Jin tries her best to overlook these mistakes and mentor the new employee. Manni idolizes Jin and looks up to her. Manni has a habit of always wearing a quirky hat at work.
- Meow's actor (James) starred in the 2019 Thai BL series The Effect, a much heavier story than Meow Ears Up. He also appeared in the 2018 drama Love by Chance.
- Porsche's actor (Mark) appeared in various Thai BL dramas. His career portfolio includes I Am Your King (2017), Love By Chance (2018), Love By Chance 2 (2020), and Bite Me (2021).
Meow Ears Up Review
Drama Review Score: 4.6
Meow Ears Up didn't stand a chance with me, and I hated its premise before even starting the series. The love story between a pet owner and his domesticated animal is terribly unappealing. After watching the first ten minutes, I already can't stomach the ridiculous plot or the unbearable cutesiness. Everything about the dumb, frivolous BL drama evokes a visceral annoyance in me. My immediate reaction to Meow Ears Up is that crap like this shouldn't exist.
A romantic story about falling in love with your cat is icky, to say the least. However, I understand it's a piece of fiction and try my best to restrain any instinctive discomfort. Officially, the series explains the feline characters are a hybrid cat and human species, similar to how humans evolved from apes. Maybe this theory is acceptable if I don't overthink the technicalities. Even so, it's still impossible to immerse myself in the zany plot. All I see are the actors behaving quirkily as they wear fake animal ears.
The main character's infantile demeanour bothers me. Meow acts like a developmentally stunted child, incapable of intelligent thought or mature decisions. He isn't independent and can't take care of himself at all. Emotionally, the discrepancy between Dermdem and Meow reminds me of an adult and a kid. I feel super uncomfortable with the romantic connotations in their relationship. Also, Meow's cutesy mannerisms are cringy and sickly sweet. The juvenile antics emphasize his youth, constantly reminding me he's an inappropriate love interest.
Meow Ears Up introduces two other romantic subplots. Honestly, the secondary couple crosses into the territory of so bad, it's good. Faiyen and Evan's storyline provides unintentional entertainment because the writing is laughably absurd. Also, the series figures out an ingenious excuse to justify the actor's stiff emotionless performances. The GL pair is genuinely enjoyable, and I like them as supporting characters. With that said, all three relationships are very sanitized. Meow Ears Up goes for a cute and casual vibe instead of affectionate or amorous interactions.
Although Meow's childish persona annoys me, his actor (James) does a decent job with the embarrassing material and catlike tendencies. His costar (Gap) can't handle the emotional moments. There's a scene where Dermdem consoles his crying friend, yet his expression looks like he's suppressing a smirk. I like Faiyen and Manni among the supporting cast, although their roles only consist of feigning perkiness and smiling enthusiastically. All the actors must put up with shallow characterizations, trite dialogue, and insubstantial storylines from a lacklustre script.
Meow Ears Up is better towards the end. Once the characters become familiar and their relationships are in full swing, the scenes carry a pleasant dynamic. The series almost seems okay if we treat it as carefree, lighthearted fluff. Still, my overall impression remains unfavourable. I don't want to endorse this flawed BL drama with saccharine romances, stupid writing & superficial themes. I also can't cope with an immature love interest who lacks cognitive ability. The bottom line is that I refuse to support a sketchy romance between a human and his unintelligent pet.
Meow Ears Up is about a human falling in love with his cat. The story is as ridiculous and stupid as it sounds. There isn't much depth to the characters, their exchanges, or the overall plot.
I feel uncomfortable with Meow as a love interest due to his infantile behaviour. His cognitive ability is similar to a child, yet the series suggests romantic connotations in his relationship with Dermdem.
Meow's actor (James) is okay, but I hate the character's cutesy and sickly sweet mannerisms. His costar (Gap) is inexperienced and doesn't give consistently good performances.
Meow Ears Up has a happy ending for all three romantic pairs. Since their relationships are mild-mannered and sanitized, don't expect any amorous fireworks in the finale.
The cute, lighthearted series has a decent visual presentation. However, the fake animal ears feel like low-effort props for an integral part of the plot.
Meow Ears Up is a frivolous BL series that annoys me with its overly sweet cutesiness. I can't champion the sketchy love story between a pet owner and his unintelligent cat.
Meow Ears Up Series Explained
Human & cat attraction
I'm sorry, but someone needs to say it. Can we not make the B in BL stand for bestiality? I know Meow Ears Up is a frivolous fictional tale that shouldn't be taken seriously. However, I don't want this drama to set off precedence for normalizing many human-animal attraction stories in the genre. Please don't make me review a spin-off series called Dog Paws Up, Bird Wings Up, or Horse Tails Up.
Beyond my qualms about developing a romantic attraction to your cat, the whole concept is weird. Dermdem rescues a stray animal who magically turns into a human. He barely registers any shock or outrage. Instead, he's already taking a shower with the naked humanoid cat in the next scene. Within the first ten minutes, they're even sleeping in bed together. Is this a normal reaction? Am I the weird one for thinking these events don't make sense?
Adult & child dynamic
Meow's emotional immaturity makes this love story uncomfortable. He behaves like a child, thinks without cognitive development, and must rely on a caregiver to satisfy basic needs. He also can't analyze situations, understand instructions, or solve most problems on his own. How is Meow prepared to have a romance if he isn't even ready to be independent?
In Episode 5, Dermdem goes to work while Meow stays in the hotel room to play with toys. The contrast shows everything wrong with their dynamic. They aren't two equals in a relationship. One is an adult, the other acts like a kid, and there's a discrepancy in their intelligence. Yet, Meow Ears Up teases a romance, clearly pandering to the fanbase. The suggestive interactions have the opposite effect on me, and I'm turned off by the BL prospects of Meow and Dermdem.
Meow Ears Up suffers from being too annoyingly cutesy. The characters think their antics are adorable, but they come across as cringy and corny. Maybe some BL fans will be more receptive to these lighthearted gestures. However, I have a low threshold and can't deal with the nauseating oversweetness. Meow is the worst offender, yet Manni and Faiyen also suffer similar issues. These characters display a contrived naivete that irritates me more than it is endearing.
Also, I wish Meow Ears Up is more creative and introduces diversity in the characters. Maybe I can tolerate one cutesy character, but Meow, Manni & Faiyen have very similar temperaments. Everyone's behaviour is silly, bubbly, and perky. Some pets are cuddly, for sure. However, other cats can be aloof, shrewd, or temperamental. I would have liked to see these different types of personalities so that we aren't getting the same cutesy archetype three times.
OMG. Does anyone think Faiyen's character is pretty villainous? Don't be fooled by his toothy smiles and boisterous personality. This guy might the most sinister character in the whole series. First, Faiyen loses touch with his developmentally stunted little brother for weeks. Then, he abandons his sibling under the care of an unrelated stranger without even a background check. His giddy celebration after ditching Meow is like the hallmark of malevolence.
Let's not forget Faiyen finds out Evan is his university instructor and immediately proceeds to hit on him. Wow, this guy is not subtle about his agenda. He even manages to coax his tutor into giving him free one-on-one English lessons! The scariest part is how Faiyen hides his self-serving streak beneath a cheery, happy-go-lucky persona. You may not realize it, but the three animals in Meow Ears Up are a cat, a gerbil, and a SNAKE. 🐍
Dermdem & Meow
Dermdem is a lonely individual. Traumatized by his childhood at the orphanage, he develops trust issues and doesn't socialize with others. He cuts himself off from the outside world, so his employer is the only person he interacts with. Once Meow is introduced to his life, Dermdem quickly grows attached to this domesticated animal. Meow fulfills his social void, giving Dermdem the love and connection he lacks from other humans.
Notice how Dermdem cries when Meow leaves with his brother. It's not exactly the healthiest response. Meow is returning to his rightful home, so it should've been a happy occasion. Yet, Dermdem feels devastated because he's losing a rare meaningful relationship in his life. Maybe if Dermdem had more friends, he wouldn't put so much undue weight into his rapport with a stray animal. It's because Dermdem lacks human bonds that he needs to rely on Meow for emotional support.
Surprisingly, Meow & Dermdem could have a riveting dynamic underneath their jolly, frivolous interactions. However, the series portrays their relationship superficially, never delving into the complex undertones of their bond. It's a missed opportunity. An astute storyteller would highlight the psychology and given us insights into Dermdem's codependence on his pet. Imagine if this cute, silly series had darker and deeper themes that nobody expected. It would elevate Meow Ears Up as a BL drama. Instead, the story doesn't quite reach that level of sophistication.
Faiyen & Evan
Faiyen and Evan have a terribly written storyline, lacking substance, charm, or relevance. At least Faiyen is more lucid and intelligent than his younger brother, so his romance with Evan doesn't feel as controversial. Nonetheless, a university student hooking up with his instructor still seems morally objectionable. Despite their problematic dynamic, the writing for this couple becomes so bad that I enjoy them ironically.
An example is the classroom scene in Episode 3. Let's start with Evan's styling. He resembles a prim headmistress of a grammar school, complete with big gold-rimmed glasses. J'adore this inspired aesthetic. Anyway, Evan turns down his students' requests to add him on LINE. I was about to commend him for keeping professional boundaries. But after everyone leaves, Evan immediately hits on Faiyen and asks for his contact info. Oh, Professor Evan only gives out his digits to the students he wants to sleep with. 🙃
Another example happens in Episode 8. Faiyen and Evan show up at the orphanage for no real reason. They have zero connection to this place. Yet, the series makes up a BS excuse because the finale needs to gather everybody in one location. Anyway, their characters must look after the children. Shockingly, there's a random subplot about the orphanage kids bullying Evan. Meow Ears Up manages to vilify these six-year-old orphaned girls, making them ostracize an adult man in the schoolyard. This series has outdone itself, reaching peak levels of hilarious absurdity.
Jin & Manni
I always welcome a GL couple in a BL series, so the Jin & Manni pairing excites me. Surprisingly, they have an enjoyable subplot for a tertiary pairing. It isn't close to being the best love story by a long shot. Nonetheless, their lighthearted scenes are decent for a minor workplace romance in an eight-episode series. I'd hold them to a higher standard if they were a more prominent couple. However, the relationship content is proportionate to their significance to the plot.
From a viewer's perspective, Manni's mistakes are silly and entertaining, made better by her earnest personality. Realistically speaking, her blunders are too over-the-top and unacceptable in a workplace environment. She probably doesn't deserve to pass her probation period and should consider a career change. However, I like how Jin doesn't lose her composure and still treats Manni respectfully. She is a good boss, showing patience, forgiveness, and understanding to a new, nervous employee. Jin's compassion towards Manni makes me like her character more.
I figured out that Manni must have a secret identity because she wore a hat in every scene. Although the plot twist is predictable, I still appreciate Meow Ears Up for maintaining the mystery for a few episodes. It made me interested in Manni's character, wondering whether she's another humanoid cat or not. Plus, her coming-out scene was kinda cute. Overall, I like this GL storyline and their easygoing office romance. They were good supporting characters to include in Meow Ears Up.
A unique detail about Evan's character is that he cannot express emotions. Oh my god, I think it's the smartest storytelling decision in the entire series. The writers must realize the actor delivers his lines stiffly. So, they get ahead of the criticisms by making his emotionlessness a legitimate plot point. Ha, we outsmarted all the BL viewers who would've bashed his acting! Evan doesn't need to emote because we turned it into his character's backstory!
Okay, I'm kidding. I don't know if that's the real reason and have no idea if the actor (Bodo Schaefer) is good or not. With that said, his role seems challenging or at least not that fun. His screen partner (Bright) gets to be animated with big smiles and lively reactions. In contrast, Bodo isn't allowed to smile, frown, get angry, or express emotions in any scene. What a drag. I don't want to criticize his acting because it's a weird role with unusual restrictions. How are you even supposed to work with this material?
If there's one detail I love about Meow Ears Up, I appreciate this drama's commitment to hats. 👒 Meow's classic orange hat is the most recognizable look, integrated into part of the story. However, you may have noticed that Manni's character also rocks a lot of stylish headwear. In fact, she changes to wearing a new hat in almost every scene.
My favourite item is the animal hat she wears in Episode 7. Essentially, she's wearing a fake animal hat to cover up her real animal ears. That's so meta, I love it lol. Besides being a stylish accessory, the hat also represents Manni's growing bond with Jin. When she finally lets her hair down and reveals her hatless self, it highlights how the two characters have grown closer. In other words, Manni is comfortable being herself around Jin. Don't you love when a cute piece of fashion also has a thematic meaning?
Meow Ears Up Episodes
Meow Ears Up has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 45 to 50 minutes long. It is a BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 7 hours. Meow Ears Up started airing on April 12, 2022 and ended its last episode on May 31, 2022.
Meow Ears Up has a happy ending for all three couples in the BL drama. This series doesn't have much conflict, but it introduces some last-minute tension in the final episode. It's the holidays, and Jin tricks Dermdem to visit the orphanage together. However, this trip brings back painful memories for Dermdem. He almost got adopted as a child, but his prospective parents bailed on him at the last moment. The memory haunts him to this day, making him feel unloved and unwanted.
Although Dermdem is upset, Meow arrives to comfort him. Dermdem appreciates the kind gesture and they embrace. Meow realizes his ears don't pop up anymore in his presence. It symbolizes Dermdem is becoming the most trusted figure in his life. Meanwhile, the other two pairings also reach happy outcomes. Faiyen helps Evan overcome getting bullied by the orphanage kids. As for the GL pair, Jin tells Manni that she officially passes her probation period. Manni can join her agency as a full-time employee.
The series ends with all the characters celebrating on the beach. They see a shooting star and make a wish collectively. Some characters offer sincere sentiments, while others treat the moment more lightheartedly. Evan, being an emotionless robot, was like, "I don't believe in shooting stars~" and refused to participate lol. Anyway, the final line is given to Noi, the lady at the orphanage. Her wish is: "I wish everyone can meet their true love, have the courage to embrace, and engage with each other forever." It's a lovely sentiment to cap off the BL drama!