Tutor is said to be ‘wise’ beyond his age and acts rationally, while Fighter is the emotional kind. They started having some animosity with each other but developed a close relationship right after. Saifah is a popular musician and is often engaged in acts of mischief while Zon, a sci-fi writer, is shy yet stubborn. Due to a bet made with his sister Zol, he starts writing sci-fi stories. But after being scolded by his parents for not studying properly, his writing is cut short. Later, when his friends tell him to steal ideas from his sister, he sees that his name is being used in her fiction along with his enemy's, Saifah. (Source: LazySubber) Edit Translation
Where to Watch Why R U?
Cast & Credits
This is NOT 9.5/10 show… but it is. Let me explain.Technically speaking, the show was quite a mess. The editing, directing and pacing were all over the place, but Fightor storyline was close to perfection, and even if you don’t want to watch the whole show, watch Fightor. As far as I know, they are one of the best BL couples up to date with the most fresh and not stereotypical personalities. Or rather, nice twists to the boring stereotypes we know.
LET’S TALK ABOUT ACTING
While most of the cast did a good job, I want to focus on the talent Zee showed. I rarely ever get amazed and impressed by acting in BLs. Often I see the imperfections that make me feel less emotionally attached to the characters, because I don’t see them as real people. Meaning, I don’t immerse myself in the story completely.
Not here, though. Zee’s eyes… oh his eyes spoke volumes! I like to call them "Fighter's searching eyes". While his whole presence showed more of a cheeky and confident side, his eyes showed all the insecurities he had. He was also really good at controlling his microexpressions. Sometimes less means more and makes the performance seem realistic. Viewers are not blind. An actor does not need to make full theatrical gasp with a hand up to their face and huge eyes, for us to understand that they got scared, surprised or taken aback. Simple, short intake of breath is enough. The split second of a reaction, but that’s all we need. I appreciated these small things a lot in his acting.
Overall, he makes these small decisions while acting - when to close his eyes, when to open them, when to fix his gaze and when to make it unsure, when to swallow or take short intake of breath, perfectly timed and telling viewers so much about Fighter’s character.
Both Zee and Saint are also masters of using pauses for their advantage to make the storytelling even more believable and engaging. It’s a perfect example how sometimes not doing anything can enrich the portrayal of the character. With Tutor, the pauses are more intentional for the character, it's his time to "decide", think about the consequences of "what if you push forward a bit more" and with Fighter it’s not intentional, it's him not being able to get back to reality, not being aware whatever happened or was about to happen, ended.
Tommy aced his role. His overreactions were still natural and did not feel theatrical. As the story of Zon and Saifah progressed from comedy to romance, I was able to appreciate more of his subtle acting, with shy smiles and joyful laughter. The potential he has and the flexibility in this craft to fit different genres and moods of the story impressed me a lot.
Jimmy did well for his first role. He did feel more inexperience and his performance fell flat compared to other cast members, but I could see how much of a progress he makes in every episode.
TUTOR AND FIGHTER: DYNAMICS OF LOVE
Ever changing dynamics of their interactions were simply beautiful and amazing to watch, to the point I could write a book about it. Tutor is nothing like your usual stereotypical shy, confused, passive bottom and Fighter is anything but the dominant, overconfident, possessive top. Tutor does not let Fighter get away with the teasing and always questions his behavior, demanding answers and explanations. They pull and push, but never cross the line if the other person is not okay with it. THE CONSENT ladies and gentlemen was a recurring theme. Always giving each other space and time to back off and stop whatever was happening. I wish I could say no forcing yourself on the other person after you've been pushed away, but I guess (?) that was an important part of the plot and the development of the relationship.
THAT SAID, while the behavior of a character was definitely wrong, the way the writing and editing portrayed it was close to perfection. It was a situation that should never take place and the editing and acting surely did NOT make it look like a romantic behaviour. It was not one of the “force it till the other person gives in and starts to enjoy it”. Was it painful to watch? Yes. Was this scene well done? Yes Was it necessary? Yes and no. It showed the mental state of both characters in a raw way that could not be achieved in any other take. Sadly, because the writing of the show, up to that point, didn’t explain enough in how bad of a mental place one of the characters was, this behavior might have felt out of place. In my opinion, they could have mellow it down and not go that far, and still convey needed emotions, desperation and broken state the characters were in.
To sum FighTor up - it’s hard to describe the depth of what was happening between them without quoting specific scenes, but you can see so much through the acting. How both characters struggled with internal conflicts and the feeling of unsureness. And yet, they gravitated towards each other.
PROBLEMS WITH PACING AND EDITING
Shall I say the pacing was a clusterf*** even before the COVID-19 happened and I literally laughed at how confusing everything was? Coz that’s how I felt. But then I just said: wherever, let’s just enjoy this acid trip.
While I was in love with how they handled Tutor and Fighter’s story and the pacing was everything I might have wished for, the fact the drama focused on them so much made the other characters suffer. With the overload of characters and couples, it was doomed from the start - not gonna make it. How can you have well established and developed 5+ couples with their own side-stories? Goal impossible to achieve.
Zon and Saifah... where to even begin. Zon the first half of the episodes had 10 different personalities, I was confused. Because the director did not spend enough time showing us the gradual change in Zon’s perception of his situation and relationship with Saifah, everything just came out of nowhere. There were not enough scenes showing us how Zon went from panic to soft. Which was a bummer, because their sweet story could perfectly balance the drama happening between Tutor and Fighter. We were robbed of such an amazing story it truly pains me.
Don’t even want to talk about Hwahwa. Poor girl makes no sense, her feelings change every second. Just sad. Justice for Hwahwa and her beautiful hair flip.
It’s hard to comment on other characters and their plot lines since they were just dropped here and there without much linear progression nor explanation.
The audio editing was distracting. While the use of some comedic sounds was fine and brought a smile on my face, they definitely overused them. The scenes would be funny even without some random sounds dropped every few minutes. Video editing suffered quite a lot because of COVID-19. In later episodes there were some black screens showing up, the subs were missing, we got the same action done by characters shown in x number of angles, just to stretch the scene a bit more. It was not tragic to the point I could not focus on the plot, but the difference in the quality in the first and second half was quite obvious.
BACK TO POSITIVES
What this drama does have though, is an amazing message. While, in default, most BL dramas are supposed to promote - love is love no matter what gender, Why R U does not shy away from talking about it in a straightforward manner. Calling out and questioning homophobic characters, explaining to them how they are wrong, showing how being heterosexual does not mean your love it perfectly good and will never fail. There were quite a few scenes that deserve to be called “iconic” in BLs realm for how well written the dialogues for them were.
Overall, Fightor is life and perfection. I was legit obsessed with them and rewatched their scene every week. I was never as invested in any couple in drama ever (and I have seen quite a number of them). Watch their story, fall in love and let’s all fangirl together.
PS. While my rating is extremely biased and subjective, I tried my best to be more objective in the review itself. Hope it worked out well-ish :)
When it started, WhyRU had an air of meta brilliance. But whether due to bad writing, poor planning, or the Covid19 shutdown, it became instead an inconsistent tonal mess that isn't really about anything. I don't know what Why RU is or is trying to be. I don't think the writers and producers do either.
At the beginning, the story - about a University student, Zon, with a Fujoshi sister who believes himself cursed into a BL novel - danced on the edge of brilliance every episode but never quite made it. As a concept, the idea of him finding himself stuck living tropes and cliches from a BL novel had a lot of scope for humour. It meant the show could provide an old-school cliched BL love story while simultaneously parodying exactly that. And yet the show never quite nails it; being often slightly too serious about all its tropes for its own good. At its best, Why RU is like an over-the-top BL pastiche that will make you laugh out loud. At its worst, it degenerates into the genre it was supposed to be parodying.
And while the core relationships that underpin it are quite good - no harassment, stalking, assault or sexual violence and the two couples talk to each other and seem to genuinely like each other - the two clash tonally in a way that embodies the drama's tonal problem overall. Fight and Tutor's romance doesn't just seem to be happening in a different show - it's almost happening in a different Universe. One that really really wants us to visit Thailand's beaches.
Is Why RU a BL parody? An homage? Or just another standard show in a market that's close to saturation point?
It does help that the show is anchored by two strong young actors - Saint and Tommy - who can somewhat make up for the clunky and green performances of the other leads. Zon's increasingly funny freakouts as he tries to avoid being forced into BL scenarios with his designated love interest, Saifah, are by far the show's best aspect but these are jettisoned quickly in lieu of a standard Yaoi romance, albeit a super-cute one and a super-sexy one.
While a great deal of laughs can be had by e.g. a confused TharnType wandering through and monologuing randomly to the camera at one point or Zon exclaiming that Saint's character, Tutor, "isn't himself", the premise is never quite milked for the humour it could provide. The show never entirely commits to its premise and instead starts churning out a standard University BL instead.
Whether because of Covid or because the writers didn't really know what they wanted this show to be, the back half is a yawn fest with the thinnest of plots that culminates in a final episode that will leave you scratching your head as to what the show's plot even was. Other than an excuse to have cute boys make out in exotic locales.
It's a shame because this could have been very funny, very self-aware and delightfully meta BL.