180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us is one of those series that captivated me from the first episode. It’s smart, it’s sexy, and it’s absolutely wonderful!
Written and directed by Punnasak Sukee it’s honestly one of the most beautiful series I have ever seen.
A slow-sizzling drama, the series is set around Wang (Pond Ponlawit Ketprapakorn), the son of a popular Thai director Sasiwimol (Mam Kathaleeya McIntosh) who, while on a scouting trip for her next project, runs into her best friend from college, In (Nike Nitidon Pomsuwan) who invites the mother and son duo to stay with him at his stunning (and well secluded) home – which In designed himself.
To say Wang and Sasiwimol have a rocky relationship is an understatement. It goes beyond the normal busy mother / angsty teenage son drama of most families. There’s an underline resentment from Wang’s side, that Sasiwimol is well aware of. It’s something In tries (almost immediately) to help him resolve.
Four of the series’ eight episodes have aired so far, and while by this point, most dramas have already added romance and sex into the equation of the character’s relationships, In and Wang are still stoking that fire. While the sexual tension is dripping off Wang’s every thought, the fact that those desires have, as of yet, remained unquenched is one of the greatest strengths of this series.
While so many of the dramas that I have seen put the main characters in ridiculous situations to perpetuate an often unbelievable attraction between them, 180 Degree is genuinely building something truly beautiful. I attribute this to the fact that it’s Sukee’s original story, and while it’s his first official television / film credit (at least per what I can find) the man has been one of Thailand’s most prolific theatre directors for the past thirty years.
According to his biography on My Drama List Sukee’s directing credits range from classics like Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch – so, basically, the man knows his sh*t.
Also, the acting here is superb. With the cinematic feeling (and production value) of 180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us, it’s easy to forget that most of the series so far has taken place between the three main characters in one location.
While in comparison to his cast mates, the twenty-three-year-old Ketprapakorn may be a relatively new actor, he’s an incredibly talented one. Wang is an intense and interesting character with many complicated layers that Ketprapakorn portrays with honesty and earnestness. His eyes, as intense and deep as the sea pull you in while his innocent smile masks the volatile storm brewing just beneath the surface of Wang’s fragile personality.
Pomsuwan, the chiseled and stoic hero of Wang’s budding desires is truly one of the most beautiful men I have seen. Mysterious, yet kind, In like Wang is a man of many layers. On the exterior, he is a caring teacher, who has devoted himself to helping the villagers who live nearby. But inside, he’s a soft and sensitive man. While Wang’s eyes hold back a building storm, In’s conceal the sadness of a man who has loved deeply – and lost.
McIntosh, perhaps the most complex character of all, is truly a magnificent performer. Sasiwimol is a woman walking a fraying tightrope that at any moment could snap. Her eyes not only hold the same sadness of In’s, they’re also holding back the storm as Wang. There is a secret, one Sasiwimol may or may not know, and McIntosh’s portrayal is so good that, as the audience, you’re constantly wondering if she does or not.
All in all the series is so beautifully done, that I find myself chomping at the bit for the next episode while at the same time not wanting it to end. Rated 13+ 180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us is produced by Miti Art Media and aires on GMM One on Sundays in Thailand. For international viewers, the series can be streamed on GagaOOLala with new episodes dropping at 12:15 AM (TST) also on Sundays (here in the states).