Don’t Say No - LeoFiat
It’s been a while but with another MAME offering, break out the pink milk and smores tumblr, it looks like it’s time for another dumpster fire of joy.
Don’t Say No Ep 0 AKA LeoFiat Special
Episode 0 iIs mostly backstory covered from TT2 using previous footage with added chemistry, agency, and flashbacks. Warning: child actors. It’s a bit slow but good as as a reminder. I liked that we got more insight into Leo this time around, and I loved that Fiat was handed the sexual agency - thank fuck for that. Also there’s a ton of communication at the end. Honestly, they could have just given us this special ep and I’d be happy.
So I did an analysis of FIat’s behavior way back during TT2. It seems to be based on a D/s dynamic -- caregiver codependency and the salvation trope. If you find his character frustrating that post explains the archetype in play (during TT2 at least). Not sure what’s going to happen in Don’t Say No. Especially as they already dealt with sexual tension.
Extreme Power Dynamic
I been thinking a lot recently about how informed MAME’s stuff is by early yaoi tropes, including the more problematic ones. LeoFiat’s dynamic ties to that.
There’s a sub trope from manga and early BL out of Japan and China where the uke is being kept as a household pet/subordinate/servant. This happens when one character is ultra rich and the other is not, and often involves codependency being established in childhood. There’s an almost prince/whipping boy aspect to it. 2016′s Irresistible Love (China) is one of the best examples of the trope (2008′s Forbidden Love from Japan is one of the darkest) trigger warnings on both, but a lot of contemporary set BL from China played around with it pre censorship, even Addicted.
Where Your Eye’s Linger from Korea and Golden Blood from Thailand also use it. Although it’s materially different when the seme (usually as a warrior/fighter character) is the poor one being kept.
These is all fool around with power dynamics as rich/poor (adding family wealth conflict to the gay) and is very D/s but carries with it certain inherent issues because of that source power dynamic. There’s this notion that the one being kept has somewhat sold his identity to the keeper. In narrative analysis this is called outsourced identity.
Anyway, this wasn’t how I meant to start talking about Don’t Say No but it’s bound to be the biggest sticking point for the new series narrative and it’s not like MAME has a history of being smart about her power dynamics.
The whipping boy trope suggests that Leo’s rich family has to come into play against the relationship at some point. Also we know from the trailer that there’s evil faen fatal and blackmail plus some good old fashioned slut shaming. I’m actually not upset by that last, since most BL glorifies purity it’s going to be fun to see how one of the highest heat franchises in the business handles this highly political matter. Main BL characters aren’t usually allowed to be sluts (with the exception of het seme sluts like Kai and Y-Destiny) so I’m intrigued.
Regardless, we (and LeoFiat) are in for a bumpy ride.
Don’t Say No EPISODE 1
I watched and it was... fine. The leads are cute. The story is... not there (but they who expect story from mame are doomed to disappointment). The friends are interfering. The manufactured angst is high. It's fine. I'm not being driven into a furor of verbal excitement because it was harmlessly banal.
IT'S FINE. I'M FINE. WE'RE ALL FINE.
Dropped with hard subs, so Frigay is back!
It opened with a confession & claiming = celebrity coupledom, so already we’re in unusual territory. So far it’s mostly Leo trying to be a good boyfriend and Fiat being a tiny basket case. It’s very seme/uke when what the characters require is hard core D/s (Dom/brat for those keeping sore) and I’m not sure the narrative will go there.
BUT THAT IS WHAT WE WANT.
JaFirst do not have the physical chemistry necessary for high heat but if they move into D/s (and they already started with that hold against the wall + Leo’s denial of Fiat’s attempt to take control of the kiss) they won’t need high heat, so in this instance I hope everyone practices some serious restraint.
Still it’s high production values and the acting & casting is on point (which appears to be a huge ask from Thailand this year), so it's modestly absorbing so far.
But what? What is the feeling I'm feeling?
Is it... ennui?
Don’t Say No EPISODE 2
Are you ready for this? I’m not, maybe I should eat something first? Snacks everyone. Get snacks. Okay. Right.
Runs off to get spicy chips. It’s the end of the bag. Up-tilts bag. Get’s spicy chip dust in eye. A metaphor for my relationship with MAME’s work? I think it might be.
So is Leo the ultimate rich Dom with too many toys?
He’s like: My brat needs a safe space. My brat doesn’t like this house? Buy new house. Problem solved.
Okay now let’s talk about the thing where Leo is all about consent (asking for the hug) and Fiat is just like, “you never asked before, just hug me, dude.”
What Fiat needs and wants is someone who takes complete control and never asks him to make a decision, including consent. So what we do in this situation, kinky darlings, is called prearranged consent, where we sit down and negotiate all the things that can be taken without asking, establish exactly how demanding the Dom can be, hard and soft limits, and a safeword. And TA DA, magic super-Dom.
Of course, this requires a ton of communication so I suppose we are in for an absolute shitshow with LeoFiat (no, not that kind of shitshow).
(And if you think I am going to let a SINGLE kinky pun slide with this series, you have another think coming. And should probably be following a different blogger. I expect your support in this matter with more puns in the comments. In fact, I demand it.)
Anyway, so for Fiat, Leo being hesitant or tentative is going to be a huge turn off. Also this is why you won’t hear me harping on about this particular uke lacking sexual agency. Fiat absolutely doesn’t want it. I think he’s made his requirements pretty flipping clear. He’s just going to get brattier and whinier until Leo throws him up against something or down onto something.
Meanwhile, enter a new brat who’s even brattier than Fiat. I don’t know if I can flipping handle this level of brattiness in one show.
In other news, the actor playing Leo’s younger brother seriously reminds me of someone but I can’t think who.
Hold my flag, Harold, we got us a pansexual!
Anygay, Leon appears to be an out pansexual character, so add that to the very... very... VERY short list that I had going somewhere of queer rep in Thai BL. We applaud this. Even if he is playing into the bisexual slut archetype. Speaking as a representative of this archetype myself... what can ya do?
Apparently pansexual players be playing.
Inquiring minds would like to know if MAME got edumacated about ze queers and ze kinksters since TT2 because boy am I getting a different vibe from this show than ANY of her previous ones. Did girl visit Folsom Europe? Because this plus the German national anthem casually playing the background is messing with my head.
I mean, a prostate wand? In a Thai BL? Seriously? What’s next... lube and condoms?
Incidentally prostate wand = dongardium leviosa!
(I have ALWAYS wanted to make that joke.)
Actually, that scene was really funny.
Meanwhile: One dimensional faen fatal baddie INCOMING! Plus some blackmail. Weeeee!!!
I am no longer at all bored with this show. My current state looks something like this:
And yes, that is a pun on pansexual. Bite me.
Don’t Say No EPISODE 3 - the world’s fanciest dumpster fire
Look, honestly, of all the liars to lie in BL Fiat might just have dropped the biggest fib EVER.
*whines* why are you making me watch this, universe?
Right, anygay, the smear campaign or whatever this DRAMA is has begun. I don’t mean to be cruel but 90% of the time with Fiat I’m like, he’s cute and all but PLEASE don’t make that boy act. It’s rough going watching him cry, or try to cry, or whatever is happening here.
Question for ya: I saw a cute boy feed a stray and fell in love with him now a trope?
I feel like it’s reaching peal the shrimp level. 2 Moons, 2 Moons 2, Puppy Honey, My Engineer, Light On Me, and now Don’t Say No. I feel like it’s a THING now.
Anyway I liked the subversion of the umbrella trope (using it as a gift and to get the heart knows trope beating) with these two too. I guess I’m getting into the side dishes.
I don’t wanna judge but what with Leon’s story arc and now Fiat’s drama, this whole show is beginning to feel VERY slut shamey. Viva monogamy, rah rah rah? Monogamy and trew lurv can save the slut from himself?
Do I smell?
Is that the whiff of puritanical judgmentalism?
Regardless it’s nice to get positive rep of a female friend in the narrative.
However, I’m having that issue I always have with her stuff which is my prevailing emotion while watching = the mad desire to grab the leads, shake them violently and scream:
“But this show is a trashfire in the world's fanciest dumpster and we have all accepted that into our hearts.“ ~ @heretherebedork who always speaks truth in matters BL
EPISODE 4, I’m Tipsy, let’s DO THIS
Okay Leo gets the prize for the least tough looking henchmen...uh, ya’know, EVER.
Don’t you just wanna pinch their cheeks and be like,
“Awe look and youz, being all tough or something” ?
They about a fierce as ducklngs.
I CAN’T EVEN WITH THIS WARDROBE DEPARTMENT THO.
What ARE they wearing? I just-----
What is going on?
I need more to drink to tolerate those socks. Not to mention that shirt.
Look I’m sorry but I already lived through my parents wardrobe in the 90s. I CAN’T DO IT AGAIN.
I’m spiraling here.
Blame the socks.
And one more thing:
Stop it, Thailand.
Look. I get it.
Boys in uniform is what you do.
WE ALL GET IT.
Please forgive us for asking for more? Just take us back to the land of black slacks and white shirts. I’ll take blue shorts. I’ll take faintly pink ill-fitting short sleeved shirts. Please, anything but this. What are you doing? What do you think you’re doing? Why do you hate our eyeballs? This isn’t fashion. This is a calamity.
I’m not able to handle this, okay?
I’m just not.
At least Fiat takes that ugly outfit off by the end of the first installment.
But what is this feeling I’m getting from JaFirst’s sex scenes? Is that? Oh yeah...
Why? What’s going on with the chemistry?
It’s just not there. I’ve talked about the fact that i think for a good high heat scene the audience needs to feel that the characters
like each emotionally
desire each other physically
are enjoying it (AKA understand each others needs intellectually)
I think I’m getting diminished returns on all of these elements with JaFirst but it’s #3 that they are really missing. This scene just did not work for me. Made me wince.
Look, i don’t mean to be rude, but we’ve had Taiwanese BL for the last 5 years. This weak-ass pink-milk chemistry bullshit isn’t gonna cut it anymore. I’d rather not follow them into the bedroom if they don’t wanna do it properly. MewGulf they are not.
Christ they aren’t even PerthSaint.
OMG I am SUCH a mean drunk.
In other news, DSN post production seems to be using the sound tech person from Lovely Writer. SOMEBODY STOP THEM. Are there any assassins for hire in that part of the world? I hear Zhang Zhehan is out of a job.
OMG I really am the meanest drunk ever.
TRUTH AT LAST! I’ll drink to that. This bit was cute. They are a lot better at after sex pillow talk flirting than they are at actual sex.
Meanwhile, I still like the side dishes, player versus tsundere is a good combo when it does’t go all Tom & Jerry (side-eyes BohnDuen).
Incidentally, if the scene in the library with Fiat and Leon talking honorifics confused you, not to mention the “informal pronoun” bit, I talk about it in this blog post.
That’s a mistranslation, what Leon says is essentially “my heart pounded/I was touched/I tingled all over (idiom) when he used phi with me.”
Phi is somewhat casual, but not necessarily informal.
I’m sure I’ve seen this dynamic before where the uke from one pair is intersted in the other or something. Oh yeah, TharnType 2. The semes being brothers is an interesting twist.
Anygay, I’m so very done with this ep. Gotta drink more.
EPISODE 5, Don’t Say No is a jello salad & I can explain
I think we are in TT2 territory where it’s all a whole riot of nothing happening. You know like those jellos they put in the middle of Holliday tables in the Midwest? Some of you probably don’t know, but here in the quality high falooting land of excess, we do this thing where we mix jello with canned fruit and sour cream/yoghurt/mystery-dairy-curds, put it into a mould, call it SALAD and then eat it with the savory mains. Do not ask. It’s a thing. It is not a very good thing. It is an abomination to all mankind and I can, in fact, eat a whole one myself because I am trash.
Where were we?
This show is like that... food item. (eerrrmm, would we call it food?)
It’s a kinda TT2 green jello foundation holding together a potpourri of LeoFIat mayonnaise and cottage cheese with the shredded pineapple of LeonPob and the occasional pecan because THERE ARE NUTS IN THIS TOO?
Watching Don’t Say No is like eating jello salad. I’m like...
What’s going on here? Am I enjoying this? Sadly I think i might be. Do I hate myself for that? What was that? Wait, WHAT was that? What did I just consume? Do I need to have more to know if I like it? Probably. Oh but it’s NOT sitting well.
Then again right now the alternative seems to be very dry turkey and whatever Aunt Gertrude did to those canned green beans. (Yes I am thinking of My Boy the series... But seriously avoid the green beans... and My Boy the series.)
Fiat does this thing every time Leo accuses him of doing exactly what he just did (like seducing him, or getting jealous). It reminds me of my big dunce of a cat who jumps and misses or slides off the table and then is all...
What? Who? NOT ME.
Sorry all, I can’t comment on the D/s dynamic or the toy in the sex scene because i just can’t watch JaFirst’s sex scenes. They aren’t working for me. So I’m skipping them.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Meanwhile, I SUDDENLY realized who Leon reminds me of! Mark in Gen Y - not in looks but in attitude.
He’s very forthright about what he wants and i admire that.
While Pob reminds me a bit of Kaow from Brothers.
Anyway, I like them a lot, cute combination.
Tropes included: library assignation, sexual punishment, my boyfriends closet, that stare, drag baby around, back hug, forehead kiss, domesticity, and hair drying.
extra special booty slap, a personal favorite, thank you DSN
Don’t Say No EPISODE 6 - please don’t make them, cry, sing, or play sports
So things are becoming abundantly clear in this episode
Fiat has TERRIBLE taste in men (and clothes)
He is also an absolutely awful team captain
If it’s MAME there will be blackmail
I have decided DSN is not actually a series with an overarching plot or character arcs or anything. So if I don’t expect more from the episode than a kind of “day in the live of disaster gays” soapy installment, ah la Queer as Folk or Friend Zone, it’s actually all fine.
I just gotta adjust my expectations going in.
Honestly while it’s clear LeoFiat are supposed to have a D/s dynamic the actors do a lot better with just sweet, tender, lower heat boyfriends. The feeding in the kitchen scene was really nice.
I like the side dishes more and more each ep, too.
Eh, yeah, know it’s the usual with MAME’s stuff.
We back up again.
Ep 6 was an up week. That’s nice.
EPISODE 7, OMG IT’S FAN FIC
I’ve talked about the fact that I think fan fic is a new kind of genre and style of writing (and that’s the PhD I’ll never do). But the point is, and I already have a point this week (look at me go), this show is fan fic!
MAME is writing fan fic of herself. TharnType 2 was the same thing.
I mean it watches the way fan fic reads:
There’s practically a new plot every week.
There is no established story structure or narrative theme.
it’s the same old characters who occasionally act entirely out of character.
There’s weird flashbacks and recons.
There’s random new characters that you’re not sure if you’ll like or if they will just be Mary Sues or psychopaths.
The soft stuff is cute if immature and the D/s is clearly written by someone who has no experience with sex, let alone kink.
I mean. Come on, right? This is fan fic in BL form.
Tell me I’m wrong.
And look, right now, I’m still really liking this one.
I’m a bit confused as to WHY I’m liking it.
But hey, that’s also fanfic.
So there it is.
Also NEW CANDIDATE for best mom in a BL. Leo & Leon’s Maah is THE BEST Maah. Or at least one of them.
No offense ficcers out there, of course I don’t mean YOUR stuff.
Your stuff is brilliant and magic and the quince in the pie of life.
Don’t Say No EPISODE 8 - AND a soap opera
Okay so given Fiat’s overreaction to... wait let me think.. oh yes
Plus the complete lack of any effort at a plot except a constant cycle of hurt/comfort. Add to that the mother escaped from the mental asylum trope, AND a case of mild amnesia, plus a sprinkling of plot device panic attacks and I’m gonna call this a fan fic soap opera.
MAME has invented a new genre.
Look we just need an evil twin and someone coming back from the dead and we are right back in 90s Days of Our Lives. Oh no wait I GOT IT:
The BL & the Beautiful
Ooo I can do more:
Sponge Baths of Our Lives
Rama Bridge 10100
The Young and the Bicurious
Although, to be fair, it also feels a lot like some of the worst of the Thai BL pulps only with better actors and cleaner production. Could be a new genre, also could just be a new version of an old one.
Anygay, back to the story.
Such as it is.
Fiat’s psychomom showed up. Did anything else happen?
Next week? Lemme check? Hurt/comfort? Oh it looks like MORE OF THE SAME.
Don’t Say No EPISODE 9 - I realize why
You know I keep thinking of this show as MAME fanning all over herself (in a slightly masturbatory way, shall we call it bullship? yes I think we shall) meets a soap opera and I finally realized why.
I’m watching Leo’s two random badly-dressed lackey characters show up again and found myself wince-laughing at them (and not for the right reasons). And sudden I got it.
Like a bolt of lightning. Like a light bulb over my head. Like whatever tired cliche you wanna reach for because...
This show is corny. Mame’s style now is basically just corny. It’s cheesy and slightly dumb. Definitely cliched. Predictable.
And that’s why I’m finding DSN a bit boring.
The psycho mom. The dad choosing the weirdest most dumb path (exactly like Tin’s dad in LBC2).
Look, I thought we talked about not making Fiat cry. Now I’m skipping the sex scenes and the crying scenes. There’s not gonna be much left for me to watch at this rate.
That said Leo’s dad coming to the rescue was a very nice touch. Although funny to see him being all nice when he was a such a stern mf in UWMA.
I would have given 10 points extra if they’d joked about dowries and arranged marriages at this juncture.
Meanwhile photo montage meets the post it love note trope. Cute. LeoFiat gave us every kiss variant: cheek, forehead, lips, even temple (usually only Taiwan does that one) and every other trope in this episode (piggyback, hand hold, face touch, back hug, drag baby around, striped shirt, central aperture framing).
I kinda feel like: where to go from here?
Not enough LeonPob for me, but ah well. Notice Leon calls his bf “Khun Faen”?
I sort of wish this were the final ep. It’s seemed good to end here.
Apparently with Don’t Say No we can’t have everything, but we can have every trope.
Don’t Say No EPISODE 10 - huh
Back in the land of nothing happening. Well, almost nothing.
Okay though the bit with Leon and Pob and modes of address was great. Leon says if Pob uses Pob (not Phi or P’Pob) to refer to himself when they are talking Leon will melt. Pob does, right before hanging up.
Then Pob does it again when he’s begging Leon later and Leon just crumbles. Pob is older but acting linguistically younger so it’s very very CUTE and subby to Leon.
It’s no Taiwan but these two do give good kiss. Also, they reminded me of J9′s MingKit a little, from 2 Moons 2, especially the sitting on the bed confessing.
The player versus innocent Tsndere works for that too.
I kinda loved the:
“It’s obvious you know what you’re doing.”
Well, shouldn’t one of us?
This was a serviceable installment. We all know what’s next. I’m not saying it’s possible to turn in a boring ep 11 in a Thai BL, but if it is, MEME can do it with this show. Let’s not challenge her.
Don’t Say No (the dreaded) EPISODE 11 -
MAME writes the most one note mustache-twilling (smart phone wielding) faen fatale characters ever put into a BL. And that is saying a lot. I have this issue with her stuff all the time, but evil characters are just evil to be a plot device they have no motivation of their own. It’s exhausting to watch... like a Disney villain. So I... erm... didn’t watch them.
Ooo, BITCH FIGHT!
Honestly how could anyone think they're able out bitch Fiat?
Regardless of the prevalence of bitches, this was basically just throw a faen fatal and a faen fatale conspiracy into the mix t break up the main couple, make them do dumb contrived shit and ta da! MISERY = that’s an episode 11. The amount of thought put into this?
There was no thought. It was thoughtless.
And now I’m pissed off at this show again.
Also, honestly I thought we already talked about NOT MAKING THEM CRY.
Thailand: no crying, no singing.
Apparently I’m back on a low with show. Look, at this point, I just want it to be over.
This is your brain on BL:
This is your brian on Mame’s BL:
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