by Bloom C, January 23, 2021
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Recently I have been experiencing some withdrawals after binge-watching the new Netflix series Bridgerton. Something about the royalty and the wealthy falling in love while abiding to the strict social rules and hierarchy drew me in completely. The show is set in England which still has a standing and ruling monarchy and is an addicting periodical piece. Like Bridgerton there are a lot of Thai dramas out there that tell stories of the nobility falling in love in a  conservative culture  and therefore a lot of similarities can be found between the two shows. Bridgerton is based on a series of books each focusing on a different sibling of the Bridgerton family. Below I have listed some Thai dramas you are sure to enjoy if you loved Bridgerton as much as I  did.

           Prissana (2000)

Based on a novel written by an actual Thai Princess, Prissana tells a story about Prissana Suthakul a young modernized girl raised by her uncle in the U.S who returns to Thailand where her mother and 3 sisters reside. Back in Thailand, her “western” behavior is difficult for some to understand and attractive to some who are used to conservative women. Among those attracted to her assertive and extroverted personality is the most eligible bachelor in the Tun Chai Pote town, an orphaned Nobility member. Unfortunately for Tun Chai, his best friend has also fallen head over heels in love with Prissina. Make sure to watch the 2000 version, because the 2015 one does not have great reviews.


Similarities
  • Bridgerton and Prissana are both periodical pieces with fun music.
  • Both the female ladies are outspoken and not shy to criticize the flaws of their love interests, although Prissana does it more frequently than Lady Bridgerton.
  • The male leads in both shows are the most eligible bachelors who all women dream of marrying.
  • The male leads also rank higher in social status compared to the female lead, are both orphaned and live lonely lives.
  • While Bridgerton was only the first series of many focusing on the love lives of each sibling, Prissana shows us the love lives of all Suthakul sisters in one drama.
  • Both female leads in the two shows are considered the most beautiful ladies in society.
Differences
  • Prissana is a very tame show in terms of mature content so you can watch it with the family.
  • The male lead in Bridgerton is a boxing, nomadic playboy, while the male lead in Prissana is a respectful and dutiful doctor.
  • While Lady Bridgerton can defend herself with punches and is outspoken, Prissana can hold her own with words, tennis skills, and sass.
  • Lady Bridgerton would like to marry for love as long as that love is a rich man. Prisanna wants to be rich on her own and does not care for a man’s social standing.
  • Lady Bridgerton is considered to be a proper lady with proper manners, while Prissana’s western behavior is the subject of gossip and critique.

   

     Sapai Jao (2015)

The drama tells a story of a promise between two families who promised for their children to marry in an arranged wedding. Srijittra the oldest daughter of the Rachadamri family is promised to Khunchai Rong the second son of a royal family, however, Khun Chai is reluctant because he is already in love. His family does not accept his girlfriend Khunying Koy who married a rich man and divorced him. Understandably the family is determined to have a proper daughter-in-law as their oldest son proved to be a disappointment and married the maid.
The reluctant Khunchai Rong ignores his betrothed while giving all his attention to Ying Koy. Khun Chai is caught in an intimate moment with his lover by Srijittra’s much more assertive and outspoken younger sister Salim who decides to protect her older sister and save her from philandering Khunchai.

Similarities
  • Both Bridgerton and Sapai Jao are periodical series focusing on the romance of the nobility.
  • The second book of Bridgerton (and the currently filming season 2) follows the oldest son of the Bridgerton family who becomes engaged to a kind woman. However, the sister of his fiance is antagonistic towards him due to his playboy ways and is determined to find a way to end the engagement. The plot is nearly identical to that of Sapai Jao.
  • The female leads of both shows are outspoken and not afraid to point out the flaws of the male lead.
  • Both shows have amazing and fun costumes and hairstyles.
  • Both shows have male leads of the nobility who are considered one of the most eligible bachelors in town.
  • Both male leads rank higher on the social ladder than their romantic interests.

Differences
  • The female lead is the younger sister in Sapai Jao while it is the oldest sister in Bridgerton.
  • The female lead in Bridgerton is a proper lady who follows her brother’s decision while in Sapai Jao, Salim is very independent and even has a job.
  • The male lead in Sapai Jao is not an orphan, and his mother is very involved in his life.`


         Suparburoot Jutathep

It's a series that follows 5 brothers from a noble family of the Jutathep who are dubbed “The 5 Lions Of Juthathep” by society. The Jutathep family made a promise to marry one of their sons into the Taewaprom family also of nobility. The head of the family, the brothers’ grandmother is determined for her at least 3 of her grandsons to marry all 3 of the Taewaprom daughters and preserve their noble title. This series like Bridgerton has a different drama/season focused on each sibling and thus the Suparburoot Jutathep is a 5 part series.


First is Khun Chai Taratorn which focuses on the oldest brother who is an archeologist and promised to the oldest daughter of the Taewaprom family. The engagement to Katesara weighs heavy on his shoulders for he is unknowingly already in love with his childhood friend and student Mom Luang Raweerumpai  or “Maprang”.
(It is entirely possible to watch one series without watching another however at least two plotlines span from one series to the next). I say this because Khun Chai Taratorn to me ranks number ⅘ as his brothers have a much more interesting love.
Similarities
  • Both the male lead and female lead come from influential noble families.
  • Both shows are periodical pieces.
  • Both male leads face pressures to marry from their motherly figures.
  • Both male leads are orphaned.
  • Both female leads are portrayed as brave.
  • The female lead’s mother is supportive of her love for the male lead.
Differences
  • The male lead and female lead rank the same in terms of nobility.
  • Unlike the male lead in Bridgerton, Khunchai Taratorn is a dutiful grandson.



Second is my personal favorite Khun Chai Pawornruj which tells a story of the second brother of the Jutathep family who was born from a different mother, the main wife’s servant. Khun Chai is treated differently by some nobles due to his inferiority to his brothers and is conscious of that fact. His grandmother plans to marry him not to one of the Taewaprom sisters, but to their niece from the countryside. Chai Ruj is reluctant to marry her because he is nursing a heartbreak from his girlfriend who left him to marry a rich foreigner.
While in Switzerland on a business trip as Thai diplomat, Chai Ruj encounters Rasa who introduces herself as a merchant’s daughter but is actually a childhood friend of his, who ranks above him in terms of nobility.
Similarities
  • Same similarities as Khun Chai Taratorn.
  • In both shows, both female leads have the attention of a higher ranking member of royalty despite their affections to the male lead.
  • Both female leads are viewed as one of the most beautiful in society.
Differences
  • In Khun Chai Pawornruj, the female lead ranks higher in nobility compared to the male lead.
  • The female lead is more aggressive in chasing the reluctant male lead.
  • Unlike the male lead in Bridgerton, Chai Ruj is a dutiful grandson and responsible diplomat.



Third is my second favorite Khun Chai Puttipat who is the third son of the Jutathep family and a no-nonsense doctor, Chai Pat. While his family expects him to be the one that finally fulfills the family’s promise to marry one of the Taewanprom sisters. The middle sister Marathree, is a nurse at the hospital he works at who seems to have an obsession for Chai Pat and is determined to be the one that marries him. Unfortunately for her, his attention seems to be placed on the newly crowned Miss Thailand.

Similarities
  • Same similarities as Khun Chai Taratorn.
  • Just like the male lead in Bridgerton, Chai Pat deviates from what his elders want from him and lives his life as he sees fit.
  • Both female leads are seen as the most beautiful women in society.
  • The male lead ranks higher in social standing than the female lead.
Differences
  • Unlike in Bridgerton, Chai Pat is a proper and dutiful doctor.
  • Unlike in Bridgerton, the female lead does not come from the nobility.



Fourth is Khun Chai Rachanon which follows Chai Lek, the fourth brother of the Jutathep family. Chai Lek is a flirtatious engineer who is under pressure to finally become the brother that marries into Taewaprom family even if it is to the brother of the man who was given the promise. The idea of arranged marriage weighing heavy on his shoulders, Chai Lek decides to escape to the jungle where he encounters the Jungle princess Soifah who is determined to become a warrior despite her gender.

Similarities
  • Same similarities as Khun Chai Taratorn.
  • Both male leads are rebellious and ladies men.
Differences
  • Khun Chai Rachanon is set mostly in the jungle.
  • The female lead ranks higher than the male lead.


Last is Khun Chai Ronapee which focuses on the youngest brother of the Jutathep family, the air force officer Chai Pee. Chai Pee is a ladies man who has no intention of following his family’s expectation to be the one that finally fulfils their promise and marries the youngest Taewapron sister, Wilairampa. Unfortunately for the family, Chai Pee has finally put aside his playboy ways as he has fallen in love with the rising star actress, Pieng Kwan.

Similarities
  • Same similarities as Khun Chai Taratorn.
  • The male lead ranks higher than the female lead in social standing.
  • Both male leads are playboys.
Differences
  • Unlike in Bridgerton, the male lead has a career which he is earnest about.
  • The female lead is not of nobility.


Conclusion


While Bridgerton is very addicting with the guilty pleasure it provides us with watching the nobility fall in love. Thai dramas are just as exciting if not even more so, in that they ramp up the comedy and the drama. There is not one clear villain in Bridgerton but you better believe that Prissana, Sapai Jao, and the Suparburoot Juthathep series have them and they are delicious to watch. If you are like me patiently waiting for season two of Bridgerton which is expected to air in 2022 then make sure to watch these dramas to was your waiting period.



Edited by: Yuanwei (1st editor) 

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