Cutie Pie (2022) Episode 2
The premiere begins with an intense exchange where Lian insults his docile fiancé. Their relationship collapses afterwards, and the rest of the series is dedicated to the leads rebuilding their bond. Initially, I looked forward to Kuea's journey of self-empowerment. I tolerated his immature behaviour in the early episodes, assuming he'll grow as a person. Instead, his character regresses and constantly frustrates me with his stupidity. Kuea comes across as a spoiled rich bimbo with vapid thoughts. He's like the BL interpretation of an oblivious trophy husband.
Cutie Pie (2022) Episode 2
I have a love-hate relationship with Cutie Pie, a polarizing series that leaves me conflicted. I'm annoyed by the messy narrative, awful characters, and loathsome romances. The last few episodes are exasperating, and I roll my eyes at the ridiculous turn of events. Despite its flaws, this BL drama is still enjoyable with sleek production values and thrilling sexual tension. The bottom line is I find the story campy, provocative, and stupidly fun. While I don't endorse the problematic tropes, Cutie Pie is an entertaining guilty pleasure that makes a memorable impression.
The first episode features a memorable exchange between the leads. Lian becomes annoyed with Kuea, who adopts a meek and submissive persona to accommodate his fiancé. Eventually, Lian snaps and tells him, "I want to marry a human, not a doll. You are an Annabelle doll." It's a malicious remark intended to hurt and provoke Kuea, who calls off their engagement before leaving in tears. Lian's insult is dehumanizing. He has little respect for Kuea and describes him as a soulless object.
Despite my complaints, I must admit that Kuea and Lian share cute, charming scenes after living together. The cohabitation pushes this romance forward with positive momentum, creating a lot of sparks. Their relationship seemed sterile during the first few episodes, and you wouldn't believe they were engaged. Finally, they start acting like a couple for the first time. I feel giddy watching them interact ?
Similarly, Lian pretends to let Kuea make some independent choices. He doesn't dictate the trivial details, allowing his fiancé to enjoy small victories like buying junk food. However, Lian exerts total control over the significant matters in Kuea's life, such as his living arrangements or financial assets. During the last few episodes, Lian never consults Kuea and proceeds with the homeownership transfer. Shockingly, the person most affected by this business transaction has no input. Instead, Lian is the secret puppetmaster who controls Kuea's future and makes all the decisions.
Cutie Pie is an intriguing name for this series. Primarily, it's intended as a term of endearment. When you call someone a 'cutie pie', the tone is casual, lighthearted, and sweet. It makes a playful nickname between couples, expressing how precious you find your partner. You may use it in other contexts like describing a child, a pet, or a celebrity crush. Whenever we watch a BL drama and see an adorable lead actor, some of us might gush, "Aww, he's such a cutie pie!" ?
However, the 'cutie pie' term comes with a negative connotation. Cutie pie denotes frivolousness. It's a silly, carefree descriptor that trivializes somebody's value, reducing a complex being to a superficial appeal. The subtle implication is that you don't take this person seriously. If you respect their authority, using such a childish term wouldn't feel appropriate. A cutie pie gives the impression that you don't think there's a lot of substance beyond the appearance.
Kuea and Diao are Lian and Yi's cutie pies. The series picks this name specifically to highlight the uneven dynamics in their romances. The older characters patronize their younger partners, looking down on them as immature and incapable. Lian never calls Kuea his cutie pie, but his actions imply condescension. The same goes for Yi, who fails to recognize Diao's strength and sensibility. Cutie Pie is an astute title that summarizes the toxic relationship tropes in the BL drama.
Typically, Lian hates looking unsophisticated around others. Despite his discomfort, he endures the ridicule for Kuea's sake. Previously, Kuea perceived his fiancé as cool and suave. Lian could've maintained the illusion if he didn't arrange this meeting with his friends. Nonetheless, Lian is willing to sacrifice his image so that Kuea can understand him better. He lets go of his perfectly poised persona, even if it means Kuea may laugh at him. Fortunately, Lian's honesty pays off. Kuea feels closer to his fiancé, and the episode ends with a spectacular kiss between them.
Unfortunately, the dumb drama in the last few episodes eclipses much of the progress Kuea & Lian made as a couple. It's hard to rationalize Kuea's erratic behaviour, but I'll try to summarize the chaos. Generally, the tension comes from the accumulated dishonesty in their relationship. The characters haven't been candid with each other and concealed various secrets. These lies lead to trust issues that undermine the relationship's credibility, causing Kuea to feel insecure. They resolve their conflict after Lian reassures Kuea of his unconditional love.
Let's end this analysis with my favourite couple in Cutie Pie. Surprisingly, I like Syn & Nuer a lot! I'm a sucker for their cute and easygoing scenes. A love story between two engineering students may be the biggest cliche in the BL genre, but so what? The straightforward subplot works in their favour, balancing the messy relationship drama from the other pairs. The Syn & Nuer romance salvaged the last few episodes for me. I watched primarily for this side couple and tuned out the main characters.
After the rejection, the leads have a quick conversation before settling their conflict. If that's all it takes to clarify the doubts, why did the tensions escalate so severely? Kuea and Lian could have this conversation earlier instead of dragging out their melodrama across the last few episodes. The simplified resolution diminishes Kuea's legitimate concerns about his relationship. The leads never address the other issues in their power dynamic, although I don't think Kuea realizes he's being manipulated. Despite the happy ending, I still feel skeptical about this couple.
This finale represents everything good and bad about Cutie Pie. It has messy storytelling and frustrating relationship dynamics, balanced by beautiful cinematography and positive LGBT messages. I was actually ready to give the ending a low review score until the last scene. The series takes a decisive stance on marriage equality, literally with billboards advocating for the cause. Maybe the allyship is performative, but I don't want to hate an episode with such supportive messaging. I'm willing to overlook the various flaws and just focus on the sentimentality.
Cutie Pie has a total of 12 episodes. Each episode is around 50 to 60 minutes long. The last episode is around 70 minutes long. It is a long BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 12 hours. Cutie Pie started airing on February 19, 2022 and ended its last episode on May 14, 2022.
In addition to the twelve episodes, Cutie Pie also releases behind-the-scenes videos about the production process. Typically, the average BL drama only releases a few minutes of BTS footage. However, Cutie Pie has outdone itself by releasing hours of content.
Each behind-the-scenes video covers around approximately two episodes of content. You'll see all the actors or the production staff cracking jokes, giving interviews, or just being goofy in between filming.
Cutie Pie 2 You is the second season of Cutie Pie. This sequel has 4 episodes. Cutie Pie Season 2 began on January 6, 2023 and ended its run on January 27, 2023. The follow-up continues the events of the original story, so you should finish Cutie Pie before watching Cutie Pie 2 You.
Mandee Channel is the Thai BL studio that made Why R U (2020) and Cutie Pie (2022). This company has a close business relationship with the entertainment agency, Domundi TV. They have co-produced various BL dramas together. 041b061a72