Thai Drama Review: Ugly Duckling Perfect Match

So I started watching the Ugly Duckling series out of technical order. I watched the first 6 episodes of Ugly Duckling Don’t which is the third part of the series. While waiting for more episodes to be uploaded, I watched the start of the series Ugly Duckling Perfect Match. Before continuing on when more episodes were uploaded, I started the second part of the series Ugly Duckling Pity Girl. I will probably do each individual series when I’ve finished watching them.

You can watch all the series with English subtitles on GMM’s official YouTube channel.

Overall, Perfect Match is a cute teen drama. I believe the whole series is based on comics or an illustrated novel, by the way. The start was enjoyable and I really liked Seua played by Put Puttichai (Push). Plus, at nine episodes this drama didn’t have a lot of time to get draggy and annoying. Oh, that doesn’t stop it from partially being annoying, though.

The story revolves around the rich and beautiful Junior [Worranit Thawornwongs] who leads a perfect life with friends and a boyfriend. Well…a perfectly shallow life. All she cares about is her beauty. While she is not a bad person, since appearance is everything, it shows her skin-deep values which are all cultivated by her mother. When she receives negative comments about her appearance (online friends commented that Junior was fat…this girl is no where near being fat *eyeroll*), Junior decides to get a thread lift. Unfortunately for her, she’s sensitive to the threads and her entire face and neck break out and only get worse. All of her friends, her boyfriend, and even her mother hate her changed appearance. This sends Junior into a fit of depression and she feels her life is over. She’s then invited to a special chatroom for “ugly ducklings.” She learns of a famous doctor out in a province and decides to enroll in the college there while receiving treatments.

ugly-duckling-perfect-matchOnce at the school, Junior becomes affectionately known as Joo to Seua who is an upperclassman that is the first to except her even with her altered appearance. He even defends her when people criticize her appearance. There Joo makes real friends who are a little put off by her outer appearance at first, but soon warm up to who Joo really is on the inside as her “ugly” outside allows her to grow and develop more depth as a person.

My main complaints about this drama have to do with criticism about Joo’s appearance from before her cosmetic procedure. She was obviously not fat and very thin so for her to believe all those harsh comments left by idiots was a bit crazy. But…I guess…even though looks were everything to her, she must not have been secure enough in her beauty since she took every vicious comment to heart. Yes, the huge mishap is what leads her to cast off her shallow existence, but again, I was just angry at how people called her names before the procedure when she really wasn’t a piggy at all. But…this does point out a flaw that is very much a part of societies all over with social media and comments. You would think Joo would be able to understand real friends would never do such things, but she really didn’t understand that.

Another problem comes with the romance between Joo and Seua. Joo always did her best to keep Seua at a distance because a hot guy like that could never like an ugly girl like her. Given how he stood up for her and always treated her like she was “normal”, I really don’t get her insecurities at this point. Sure, yes, her current looks were enough to send her fragile confidence spinning into the stratosphere, but Seua had time and again showed up little he cared about appearance, so why she couldn’t accept him at face value was a bit of mystery.

And then there comes Seua’s attitude. He liked Joo for who she was and not because of how she looked. His attitude got worse the better and better looking she got. He had a quick temper and was prone to jealousy. Him wanting Joo to stop her treatments so that she didn’t become conventionally pretty again was not very nice of him, especially when he started accusing her of a being a shallow flirt. I was okay with Seua’s character and enjoyed him until this point as he said a lot of awful things to her and became kind of an obsessive boyfriend you’d want to stay far away from.

Of course a love “rival” is introduced and this supposedly makes Joo realize that she really does love Seua with all of her heart. Now, I’m not saying Seua’s accusations were justified, but it’s interesting that he accuses her of two-timing, etc. and then instead of turning down the other guy she accepts his invite for a date and does all the things that used to make her happy. And what also makes no sense is she realizes her feelings for Seua and still sees the other guy when she ends things with Seua because of his mistrust. Shakes head. Why keep seeing a guy you don’t like and break up with the guy you really do (granted Seua did deserve a slap for his jerkiness in this part)?

Earlier in the series Seua’s longtime girlfriend broke up with him because her rich family wouldn’t accept a poor temple boy. This really put a dent in Seua’s confidence about his poor station in life. So, yeah, rival with money is introduced and his insecurities flare up which made him do stupid things, but that doesn’t justify all the things he did and said to Joo during this time.

Speaking of the wealth issue. Joo is keeping it a secret that she’s filthy rich. She even took on her nanny’s last name to hide her identity. That’s really neither here nor there. She is friend’s with Seua’s ex and after Joo breaks up with Seua, she tells ex-girlfriend that she is going to make the same decision and choose a man that is more suitable to her own status. So…rich jerk and stuff you no longer enjoy vs. poor guy and a simple life style you’ve learned to love? Joo never really exhibited anything like that before and was determined to do as much as she could without solely depending on mommy’s wealth and status, so it’s really from left field that she starts talking about choosing a guy that’s the same status. Of course, ex points out that she really regrets making that decision instead of following her heart and staying with Seua.

Aside from the actions showcased in the final episodes, it was a rather cute drama and Seua’s protection of Joo and warning other guys away really was adorkable. And it was good to see a hot guy can fall for a girl with a more unfortunate appearance. Of course, even with the blemishes marring her face, you could see how naturally pretty Joo was underneath it all.

The show is definitely worth a watch. I especially loved Put Puttichai’s Seua. Worranit’s Joo wasn’t bad, but there was just something that made Seua sparkle more so than any other character.

10 comments

  • Overall I enjoyed Perfect Match, too. Definitely agree that Seua was the best part though his character did get annoying and irrational toward the end. I couldn’t get into the female character though. She went back and forth so much and did things that made no sense. Plus I kind of liked them as friends more than lovers. The actress just couldn’t sell me on the romance part.

    • Agreed that Joo was more problematic of the two main characters with her actions…especially towards the end with that big jerk. The two leads did have some great chemistry…but I think you are right that not necessarily all that romantic now that I look back on it.

  • Haven’t watched the rest. Will only watch the last if it ever gets subbed. Yes, Seua was annoying at least but I felt the insistence of plastic surgery or whatever when there is nothing really wrong with you is also the worst message but I guess it was saved because Seua loved Joo regardless.

    • I think in a way, they were trying to speak out against what Joo did originally…but it really wasn’t enough of a statement on that department as they really focused on finding true friends and love when your appearance is considered more unattractive than being satisfied with your looks instead of going out for unnecessary procedures like that thread lift.

      • I admit…I never heard of a thread lift UNTIL this drama! Yuck!!

  • is it real that seua’s real name was leo?and he is rich?cuz i kinda misunderstood the part were junior woke up with seua and still calling him seua instead of leo??it makes me think that that was just her dream.

    • It was a completely random and weird sequence that didn’t quite fit, so yeah, I agree it was probably just a dream.

      • I think it was not a dream. There were some details in the drama showing this. Suae could change his phone when he wanted (a Samsung Galaxy S6, while he said that he didn’t have money to buy a new pair of flip-flops), he could drive a car (while he owned a nearly broken bike), and he actually paid 50,000 baht for the tailor so trouble was solved easily. Finally, when he and Ning broke up, he told her to wait until he graduated so they would live a thriving life together. Ning made her decision and he said that she would definitely regret it. Yeah he was actually a rich guy pretending to be broke. I think the sequence was made just to introduce the next part of the series.

  • I want to read the book it was based on- but I cant find anything about it. Can someone please help me? I really want to read it.

    • It’s hard to find translations on Thai lit and comics unless they become really popular.

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