Love By Chance (Series Review)

The Flame of Love By Chance: Burned Hot, Burned Out, Burned Fans Hearts

Before we start, I should give a shout out to Caitlyn, Oppa, and Amanda. They are my LBC companions on twitter and the ones who know far more about this subgenre than I know about most things.  Stick around for a list of shows that they would recommend.

So, I was asked to write something about the minor phenomenon of Love By Chance (known as LBC), a Thai drama, because Kakashi and Jo thought  the comments some of us were making on twitter (sometimes while live tweeting the show) humorous. I’m also writing this because I HAD SO MUCH FUN WATCHING, and I wish the cast the best in all their future endeavors including the continued popular fan meets that are happening.

I also have to say up front that this is a BL (Boy’s Love) drama. We are an inclusive blog here. Check your homophobia at the door or don’t read. You always have a choice.

I was only going to write a couple of words in a RAWR about this show because even though I enjoyed the show a LOT, I wouldn’t say it was a good show. LBC, like many dramas the world over have before it, started with so much potential—interesting source material (based on an online novel series, so we know that script writers and director don’t have to make up things on the fly) and a charming cast. But it fizzled where it could have flourished and ended at an awkward place with a mishmash of plots from different books and behind the scenes drama creating fan wars and a block against closure.

This show has so much cute and sweetness that you felt like you needed to go to the dentist, but then so many cringe worthy scenes (intentional and unintentional) that I needed friends to help me through.

I say this all because, once again, I may get some hate from the true believers—the fans that repeatedly talk about this show with stars in their eyes as being perfection incarnate. Don’t read on if you are one of those earnest people. Yes, Ae has a way of making people like him, as Pete says below, but neither would ever think they were perfect.

The invitation to write about show came because, as I said, Kakashi and Jo found our conversation on twitter about this show funny. If you know them, you know they wouldn’t think we were funny if we were just gushing. You also have to had watched the show to get all of the jokes about peeling shrimp. (This is definitely a shout out to the fans)

First the Facts

A GMMtv show, LBC aired on Linetv every Friday for 14 episodes. It was based on an online novel series titled Accidentally in Love/My Accidental Love is You by a writer who goes by Mame. Linetv website only has the English subs; however, the official Youtube channel has it is 27 languages. Yes, you read that correctly: 27 languages. Thai BL has a worldwide fan base. In fact, as of November 25, Line has recorded over 100 million views for the 14 episodes combined.

This is also the first time that a fan subbed for Linetv. The subber, known as JayBL, was even sent the episodes a day early so she could sub them when they were uploaded, It didn't always work because she would get busy, but they were always subbed before the weekend was out. She would send the subs to the director, who would then forward them to Linetv to upload.

There are countless twitter handles for the different fans in different countries, including a general international fan twitter where Linetv would post the links to all the original shows and links to the official subbed shows. There was also an invitation to fans to participate in a LBC around the world project (#LBCAroundTheWorld).

 As of this writing, there were pictures posted from 148 different places around the world.  Take a look at the complete map at LBCAroundTheWorld. I've included some of the postings from twitter from Warsaw, Oregon, and Sydney.




There wasn't smooth sailing for this show. Despite the popularity and relative large number of BL dramas (or dramas with BL sub plots) filmed in Thailand (or maybe because of this), the Thai government got stricter concerning the representation of LBGTQ stories and characters on television. Originally, the show was supposed to be on MCOT, but the company changed its mind, concerned about the show's content. GMMTV took on the show and complied with government rules, providing edited episodes for on air broadcasting. However, the uncut episodes are uploaded on Linetv.

Basic Plot

The show revolves around two guys and their friends. Ae and Pete meet by accident when Pete almost gets run over by a car and Ae saves him in a typical meet cute fashion. Pete is gay, but Ae has never dated anyone before. Ae, played by Perth Tanapon Sukhumpantanasan, is honest and straightforward to a fault, something Pete, who is being blackmailed by the guy he thought loved him, needs.

Saint Suppapong Udomkaekanjana, who plays Pete, has the most luminous skin I have ever seen on any man, woman, child, or newborn babe.

They are adorable together.  When they are together, unicorns and fairies frolic. Well, at least when they aren't making out. Then the unicorns and fairies cover their eyes and giggle.

Ae is roommates with Pond who is obsessed with porn—to the point that neighbors in their dorm complain about the noise because so many people come to their room to watch porn. He is annoying and intrusive but the biggest Ae/Pete Shipper in this show.

Ae plays soccer/football and is on a team with Can, which is sort for Cantaloupe (really). Can is a simple guy—a bit dense but with a big heart. He likes people who are nice and hates people who aren’t. Seriously, he really is that simple. We can all say that we all do this, but we are all more complicated than that. Can is not.

He is fiercely loyal and protective of his friends and family. This becomes important in his relationship with one of Pete’s friends, Tin. Yes, Jo, this is the Tin/Can couple.

Tin and Pete are from the upper class. Tin thinks Ae and Can and the others are just trying to take advantage of Pete because he is rich. He can’t believe that anyone would just like/love someone without wanting anything in return because he was betrayed by the brother he loved dearly in a horrible way. Because this is a Thai BL drama, he falls for Can. Because to have a true Thai BL drama, you must have multiple couples at least half of which are from the LGBTQ community.

There are three other couples/pairs in this show that solicit varying degrees of interest.

Pond and ChaAim (Aim): You would think that Pond would remain the comic relief or at least the annoying best friend character throughout the drama. And he does. . . partly. He falls for a girl who initially doesn't give him the time of day because he is loud and too confident. He's annoying but proves to be a true friend to Ae and Pete, not afraid of a fight or giving (sometimes problematic) relationship advice. He also--despite the porn--is actually a really good boyfriend.

Techno and Kengkla: Techno is on the soccer team with Ae and Can. He is actually one of their seniors on the team. Nice guy and always gets talked into treating his juniors to meals. He has a younger brother Technic, who is in high school. Kengkla is Technic's friend and has a major lust/crush on Techno.

The Boring Brothers:  Okay. Their names are Tum and Tar, and they are step brothers. Tar returns from Europe at beginning of the show, apparently studying there to be a chef. Before the timeframe of the show, he was sexually assaulted, and it appears that is one of the reasons why he studied in Europe rather than studying cooking in Thailand. He doesn’t tell Tum this because he doesn’t want his brother to worry or feel guilty. Instead, Tum feels jealous because he thinks Tar is still hung up on another guy, who is dating one of the other seniors on the soccer team.


OTP: The relationship between Pete and Ae is so warm and awkward  in the way that ideal passionate young first love is. They really compliment each other and provide what the other person really needs--even if they never realized that is what they want. It is pretty smooth sailing with the only angst coming in Ae's feeling of inadequacy for not being rich and Pete feeling like Ae rescues him all the time.  There is quite a bit of skinship in this show. But on the whole, they are just so sweet together that I think I mentioned rainbows more than once about them on twitter.

Friendships: The friendships of our main group are great. Even Pond, who you want to punch half the time, sticks to his friends and actually gives some good advice. Ping and Bow hang out with them all, too, and fawn over Pete when Ae shows up with with him one day. They end up being just as protective of him as Ae. Can is ready to fight anyone who messes with his friends. He is surprised, even shocked when Tin reveals the true nature of Ae and Pete's relationship, but that doesn't stop him from defending both of them immediately from Tin's insults.

Pete is a big Tin/Can shipper and spends some time facilitating their meetings subtly.

The other two real couples: As I mentioned above, Pond is, ironically,a good boyfriend when he gets the chance and respects his girlfriend’s choice to not be physical with him yet. He just likes her and has the best speech about people doing things when they are ready in the drama. He says to her, "If someone complains because you won't let them touch you, then you should stop seeing that terrible person. Although, I'm a big pervert, That is not the whole point of a relationship, right? If my girlfriend isn't ready. I can wait." Every single person on the planet should take this to heart.

Tin and Can start out as the couple who go from hate to love. Tin is that cold-hearted Darcy character who really is just broken inside from a past betrayal. Can provides exactly the person he needs--someone who is loyal to a fault and can't be bought. Tin is initially frustrated and suspicious of Pete's 
"poor" friends, but Can changes his mind, and his pursuit of Can is fun to watch. I also feel as though he falls for Can's family as much as he falls for Can. And who can blame him? They are as welcoming and warm as his family is judgmental and cold.

The families:  Pete comes out to his mother near the beginning of the drama because he is tired of being blackmailed.  She responds the way I'd hope every parent would.  Her asking Ae to spend the night while subtly telling Pete's old school friend (the girl everyone watching wanted gone) to go away was priceless. She even encourages Pete to get an apartment of his own closer to campus (and closer to Ae).

Ae’s family welcomes Pete right into the house, putting him to work helping  and amazed that Ae has such a nice friend when usually he hangs out with the loud jocks.  Pete loves the informality of the group and adores the little niece just like everyone else.

Can's family, including their sheepdog, Gucci, seem to like Tin more than they like Can! He is, of course, really polite to them and they don't know the bad blood between the two, so he is able to ingratiate himself with them as a way to get Can to forgive him. Can’s sister’s crush on Tin and her interest in BL manga is hilarious, especially because she fantasizes about a relationship between Pete and Tin, never guessing that Tin’s pursuing her brother.

And did I mention Pete's skin? I think I talked about it in every show. It's like Saito's hair with it's own special lighting. He looked like a skin care product commercial in every shot:

I'm reading the novel in translation now, and Ae's sister-in-law in ch. 24 actually says the same thing. She wants Ae to ask him what products he uses. I laughed out loud when I read that. Clearly, Saint was hired partly because his skin matches the luminosity that Pete's has in the original novel. No wonder Ae wants to touch his face all the time.


For a show that has only 14 episodes, there are too many couples in the show, so none of them really get developed in proportion to the complexity of their story lines. Of course everyone would like to spend more time with Ae and Pete and the whole story of Trump; his drug/gambling induced blackmailing spree was completely dropped. The couple also don't officially come out to their families although everyone is pretty sure that Pete's mom knows. As I said, I'm on ch. 24 of novel, and it's all Ae/Pete so far.

The whole backstory of Tin's brother's betrayal is fascinating. I want to know why he did that and why he is acting the way he is now. Also, Can's decision at the end concerning his relationship with Tin makes sense, but it doesn't provide a conclusion, so of course we want more. And everyone on twitter wants to see Lemon's face when she realizes that Tin is actually in love with her ordinary brother not the godlike Pete!

Boring Brothers are sooo is boring. How can you take such a trauma-filled story and an actor who can cry like that and still have their scenes seem to slow the drama to a frustrating malaise? It reminds me of the subplot in the Taiwanese drama Bromance with the girl who has cancer. I remember at the time wondering how a show could make me not care about a person with cancer. Well, this show made me not care about a person who is suffering from sexual assault trauma.

When I would ask questions about them in our twitter conversations, Amanda never knew the answer because she almost always fast forwarded these scenes. Their house is the only thing I liked or found interesting in their plot. And if sexual assault wasn't enough, they throw in the idea that the older brother is in love with the younger brother and the fact that the ex-boyfriend (who we never see) and the new boyfriend of the ex-boyfriend (he's the only connection they have to the rest of people in drama) somehow know about the attack. Too many layers for a side plot.

The Tech/Kla plot undermined all the other good points the show made about mature decisions concerning sex, consent, and open conversations with your significant other. It was starkly disconcerting considering the whole subplot about sexual assault. Kengkla spends all his screen time getting Technic to give him intel on his older brother not to get to know him better but to better plan on how to trick him into sleeping with him. He gets angry at anyone who seems to be getting close to Techno and ends up taking advantage of the older boy when he's drunk and then plays all innocent, asking him to take responsibility. Because you know, that's the way to build a long lasting relationship. The show ends with poor Techno caught in this trap. Pfft. Not funny show only creepy.

The Ending: The ending was a weird mishmash of throwing in more of the side plots at the end without development and taking away time from the people in which we have an interest. It also broke up a couple in which viewers had a vested interest without any closure. This would be fine if there was going to be another season. And why not, you might ask, since there are multiple novels online from this series?

The Drama Behind the Scenes

I'm going to share what Caitlyn tried to patiently explain about the background drama that is going on. Depending on who or where you look, you could get a different perspective on who is to blame.

Saint (Pete)'s agency publicly complained that Perth (Ae)'s agency were excluding them from events, which Perth's management denied. Perth's management then tried to say that Saint's manager wasn't asking for enough money for events. Then both accused the other of wanting to promote their own ships--Saint with Mean (who plays Tin) and Perth with Mark (who plays Kengkla and who had been in a previous drama with Perth). What you should know is that BL pairs in Thailand frequently promote and do fan meets with each other. They often do variety shows together. The only problem with this theory is that Saint and Mean aren't represented by the same agency. Then there was a rumor that Perth's agency wanted Saint out of Season 2, but that the investor wanted Saint in. It looks like the director, who has the rights to the novel, is done with the controversy and has decided not to do any more seasons although the fans still have hope.

The Crew's top pics for Asian BL drama

I decided to include our top choices of Asian BL drama since none of us would include LBC on our list of top shows. Be warned, BL dramas tend to end tragically. We are NOT into those endings. 
Caitlyn (or as we call her, The President):
#1 Sotus Series (both 1 and 2)
#2 HIStory2: Crossing the Line
#3 Together with Me
Honorable Mention: Puppy Honey for introducing Off/Gun pairing

#1 Sotus Series (both 1 and 2)
#2 HIStory2: Crossing the Line
#3 Kiss Me Again (Pete/Kao cut)

#1 2Moons
#2 HIStory: Obsession
#3 HIStory2: Crossing the Line

#1 HIStory2: Crossing the Line
#2 Ossan's Love
#3 Together With Me
Honorable Mention: Kiss Me Again (Pete/Kao cut)

The clear winner if you had to pick one would be from the HIStory franchise. HIStory2: Crossing the Line