Why the gritty Thai drama Daughters should be in your 'to-watch' list

PHOTO: Instagram/kittychicha, Instagram/fluke_natouch

Korean dramas may be all the rage now, but Thai serials are quickly catching up and grabbing the attention of drama fans across the world.

Thai series Daughters in particular, has been creating buzz online in recent months for a slew of different reasons. For one, it is finally released after filming wrapped five years ago.

A remake of the 1994 Thai film Daughter, it tells the story of four girls who suffer from a lack of familial love and are entangled in various problems such as domestic abuse and drug addiction. They then rely on each other to help them deal with the trauma.

When the cast members teased about the release three months ago, the 'Daughters2020' hashtag trended at number one in Thailand.

PHOTO: iQIYI

Here are three reasons why we think you should give this drama a shot.

1. Most of its cast are very popular Thai celebs now

The series stars Kitty Chicha Amatayakul and Fluke Natouch Siripongthon, both of whom have each amassed more than a million followers on Instagram in recent years.

After filming Daughters, Kitty, 27, and Fluke, 24, went on to bag lead roles in major Thai and Netflix productions, boosting their popularity to what it is today.

Fans were especially impressed with Kitty's wicked demeanour in her portrayal of Nanno in Girl From Nowhere (2018), and Fluke's ability to cry on cue as Pharm in Until We Meet Again (2019).

As for Fluke's secret to crying, he told AsiaOne in an interview last Wednesday (Dec 2): "It's very simple, you just have to feel what the character feels and your tears will fall naturally."

In Daughters, Kitty plays the role of Poo and Fluke plays Yok. The drama also stars Ploy-Sornnarin Bunphong, Pat-Chayanit Chansangawej, and Praew-Praewpannarai Sansanapitayakorn.

2. The TV series features serious social issues

PHOTO: iQIYI

Different from the usual romantic-comedy genre we often see in Korean dramas, this Thai series touches on serious social issues such as rape, domestic abuse, and drug addiction.

Because of this, the show was delayed from telecast for five years as it didn't fit into the production house's content strategy at that time.

The series, deemed too gritty for broadcast TV in Thailand, is only showing now because iQIYI bought it to air on their international streaming platform.

"I thought it would be kept as a secret forever," Kitty shared with AsiaOne, with Fluke adding that he had already given up on it.

Both were young actors at that time — Kitty was 22 and Fluke 19 — and some scenes were especially hard to film. They also had to learn how to use drugs to make the scene look realistic.

Still, it wasn't all gloomy and there is one scene that was totally fun for the cast. 

In the series, the characters didn't have money to go to an amusement park, so there was a dream sequence where they went to the park to escape reality.

"We spent a whole day (filming) at an amusement park together, playing all the rides and eating popcorn," Kitty said.

3. The original film and its sequel are critically acclaimed

PHOTO: iQIYI

Daughters is based on the 1994 film Daughter, which is directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol.

It spawned a sequel two years later, Daughter 2, which also covered social issues such as teenage sex and delinquency.

Both films won Thailand's Golden Doll Awards in 1994 and 1996 respectively, under the best movie category. It is the oldest film award handed out by the Entertainment Reporters Association.

The sequel was also selected as the Thai entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards.

Mangmoom Rattakul, the director of the remake, is Yukol's daughter. In an interview with ContentAsia, she said Daughter was the one film she liked the most out of all her father's films.

"It's not just all ponies and rainbows, like I thought before. It helped me to grow and understand," she added.

The problems which existed then still exist now, she continued, and the fact that the issues are relevant today emphasises that "nothing has changed".

"If the show had been shown in Thailand (five years ago), every scene would have had to be censored," Rattakul said.

Daughters is available to watch exclusively on both the iQIYI app and its website, with two new episodes released every week. Subtitles are available in five languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Spanish.

trining@asiaone.com