Latte is a young footballer who has to rest during competition season due to a knee injury. During this time, he decides to open a coffee shop with one of his friends on the team, Arty. Latte is determined to become a football player again until Nam Nam, a close friend, brings over Phudit. Physiotherapy becomes the starting point of their love. What will happen to the love of these two people when a handsome young cupid comes to help them, but unexpected events occur? (Source:The Cupid Coach and Lare) Edit Translation
Where to Watch The Cupid Coach
Cast & Credits
I am not rating this an 8 to balance poor reviews. I really liked it.There are a few qualities to this show that I think are special, and I'll put it in list form to respect your time.
1. There are no toxic female characters. In fact the female character is very strong. She handles getting dumped like a boss.
2. The lead is openly and unselfconsciously gay from the start.
3. There are no manufactured crises thrown in for drama. The drama is all in the interaction between the characters. Although a real life crisis in the form of COVID torpedoes the ship and they needed to patch it up as best they could.
4. While there are screeching predatory trans characters, They're only in the first two episodes then disappear forever. I assume the producer sent back the script with a note to add more screeching predatory trans characters "because that's how it's done", and the writer hoped he wouldn't read the revised version past the opening eps.
5. No fem shaming. When there are screeching trans characters, the attractive boys are polite to them, and there doesn't appear to be any opprobrium attached to femininity.
6. People actually communicate when they have problems and conflicts, and they talk things through and find a way to forgive and remain friends. There's a character that likes another, then finds out the guy was in a secret relationship with someone else. The character's reaction was "If I had known, I wouldn't have burdened anyone with unwanted attention." I almost choked to death on a cookie when he said that. Nobody ever acts like an adult in these situations. Two guys are dating, a third boy that one of the couple knows walks by and there's a brief and awkward conversation. The other boy in the couple can tell there's something between them so he asks, and the first one tells him the full truth that he's a guy he used to have a crush on. I almost choked to death on another cookie. The formula would mandate a lie which is soon discovered followed by insane jealousy, sulking, and a montage of good times spent together with a sappy ballade blaring. The new bf is happy the explanation is so harmless and that's it. The exception to the authenticity of conversations is that people don't seem terribly curious about the god that lives in their house - I might have some questions about god life, and god friends & stuff.
7. Absolutely zero seme/uke dynamic - just two guys. It's so refreshing that they don't pigeonhole the characters.
8. No tropes. (a couple of them, but limited) No accidental kisses, no "I'm not gay, I only love one single guy (forever)", no agonizing over liking a man, no parents agonizing over their son liking a man, no falling so their faces end up too close together and they stare at each until they turn gay (it does happen once, but it's subversive), no evil girlfriend, no insane jealousy over their gay bf talking to a woman. Actually, there's almost no jealousy at all. There are NO ENGINEERS.
8. Plenty of cuteness.
9. The main character has a certain something. Sort of an effortless manliness while still being boyish. He's a good actor - not a huge range, but he does what he does well, and he's never cringey. He also looks unusually good with his shirt off. He's a reserved character, but when he needs affection, he's adorable. And he has a moment of romantic aggression that's very wow.
10. It's not completely predictable. There is no possible way you could predict how it ends unless you read spoilers or have superpowers. Even the beginning parts - you think it's going to go a certain way, then you realize it's not, but it makes sense how it went.
11. When he's feeling heartbroken, Tae does something that a normal person might do, and has a normal-person reaction afterwards.
12. There's some funny use of classical music, especially Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King.
The bad qualities:
1. The production is average. Better than most low-budget series, but not to the standards of the mainline shows.
2. The acting is uneven. One of the main characters is good, a few of the other characters are good, but overall pretty meh. Cupid is such a naive doofus that he's charming and cute, but not a lot going on in the acting. He's not the same actor that was in the initial promos, so something went wrong somewhere.
3. The directing is not too good. It's fine for scenery, and it's clear the Chiang Mai chamber of commerce is a sponsor of the show, and maybe the tourism board, because there is a LOT of time walking around and going into random stores. But they also visit temples, which are interesting. You learn how to ff through things that bore you.
4. The subtitles are OK, but maybe take more effort to read than they should. It's not a dealbreaker, and it's 10 times better than So Much In Love, where I never did come to understand why the principal wanted to destroy a girls' volleyball team.
5. Editing is not great. There are scenes that are too long.
6. The first episode is bad. They're lucky that many people stayed with the series. Confessing my shallowness, there's a good fifteen minutes of the main character showering and walking around in a towel, or I might have dropped it.
Not exactly a bad quality, but if you watch it, it's better to be prepared, You can skip this section if you want to just be surprised:
This was filmed some time ago, and was interrupted by COVID in a major way. It was originally supposed to be 10 eps, not 12, and sure enough, the main crisis happens in Ep 8, and then "poof!" They resumed production months later, and apparently a lot of actors were unavailable, so they had to make some big adjustments. They way they resolved the problem will not be to everyone's taste. As it was airing, some people were upset, but other people thought it was much better than before.
The acting and the production are better in the last four eps. The main character's hair is a lot different, but I liked it. He also wears more flattering clothes and it's a bit of a shirtless goldmine. A new character joins the cast who is super-cute and a good actor, with a lot of charm - he won most people over. The ending is not what you were expecting when you started watching, but it does actually fit perfectly into the story. This series is about the main character finding his soulmate, and there are suspects that aren't really viable and what they chose to do gave it a lovely human quality.
So do I recommend it? Definitely, with some caveats. If you don't like it by the third or fourth ep, you probably won't enjoy it, but if that's the case, you can abandon it and move on to Ep 9, because the last 4 eps will make sense as a stand-alone romance that is sweet and special. But Ep 1 is pretty bad, so you have to look past that if you want to give it a chance. The people who liked this REALLY liked it - I've bonded with some fans over it. To me, Tae is gorgeous - not just his body, his face, those beauty marks, lips, personality, everything. In the last 4 eps you'll probably see it, due to the changes in his appearance. And I'll be 100% honest - I know that 1,000 Stars is roughly 100 times better than this show, but I looked forward to this more, because it just has a unique pleasant quality and 1,000 Stars stresses me out.
There are really wonderful and unique elements in this show, and if the next production by this company can fit them together in a more expert way, they could have a top-tier series.
Explanation of Ratings
Story: The plot doesn't deserve a 7, but the avoidance of tropes and the skillful post-COVID shift were impressive.
Acting: It's heavily focused on Tae, who is good & there's a good actor in the last 4 eps. Otherwise I would have rated it lower.
Music: Generally standard, a couple of good moments here and there that stood out.
Rewatch Value: I've rewatched a lot of scenes, so I gave it a high score.
Overall: The ratings suggest a 7.5, but I gave it an 8 because I liked it so much - that it drew me in and made me happy is a good thing.
THIS IS ME BEING NICECute cast - check! Unique storyline - check! Good location - check! But what started out as a promising fantasy rom-com slowly fell flat, and then fell hard on its ass with that lousy ending. Im giving it a 6.5 out of 10 and this is me being nice!
The fantasy theme hooked me initially- after tens of high school and university themed BLs, I thought it was a breathe of fresh air. However, after the first episode when they at least tried to incorporate some cheap special effects, it became evident that they didn't really know how to utilize what was supposed to be its strength - the supernatural element - was minimized that you almost don't feel it, until that brief moment in that episode when the cupid, Nite, disappeared completely (and that wonderful pink glow appeared again). By the end I was almost thinking if maybe the main characters Tae and Namwhan were just high on something and they just imagined the whole Cupid thing.
I love how cute the main actors were - Tee as Tae and Peace as Nite are so easy on the eyes and although the acting were a bit amateurish, i think they at least carried the show. Noey as Namwhan was also adorable and I loved that they didnt write the main female character as an annoying side show.
Also to be fair, although the story wasnt fully developed, I had a more pleasant experience listening to their lines - the script was written in a way that feels like the characters are real people, not actors acting in a drama.
Another good thing is the setting - Khon Kaen was such a wonderful background, and although at times it felt like a tourism ad, i still loved the way they showcased the city. Also, that brief moment in Chang Mai was mesmerizing to say the least. There was however, quite a lot of establishment and product placement that it was distracting. I cant remember how many times they showed the Emma house model signage with its 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2 parking - i though it was part of the cast.
I heard production was hindered by the pandemic, but I think what they should have done is waited a bit, to wrap the story properly with the same cast. The last episodes felt so detached and was filled with so many flashbacks to extend time- it was so obvious that the last four episodes were just made to complete contractual obligations without really caring for whoever was left still watching.
And no, there was no real resolution to the story. When Cupid disappeared I was left heartbroken, and my heart hasn't healed properly, up to now. Id recommend skipping this one, unless you really, really need to watch something and there's no other option.