Grey Rainbow (2016): It’s a “Happily-ever-after”

Summary: Grey Rainbow tells the story of Nuer and Porsche, best friends, who struggle with their feelings for each other. Nuer is the son of an elephant camp owner while Posrsche is a law student. They room together in college and start a relationship and the drama focuses on their life after college as they come to terms with their love.

Quick Review: This is one of the best romances I have ever watched. Grey Rainbow is now among my top 5 dramas of all time. The cinematography was outstanding. The drama is set in Chiang Mang, Thailand and the drama captures the beauty of the land perfectly. Although the main leads are relatively young, it is refreshing to have a Thai BL drama set outside a high school setting. The mature characters also had to deal with more “adult” problems faced by the LGBT population, such as violence, marriage laws, and adopting children. I would not have guessed that neither Hongladaromp Kasidej nor Rattanamongkol Nutchapon were professional actors. The transformation of their relationship from best friends to lovers was portrayed brilliantly. This is not an angsty drama and is not the right fit for someone looking for a “hot” drama either. It is what one might call a “slow-burn” romance. Most people disliked the ending and called it ridiculous or even unnecessary.

I watched the drama, I loved it… even the ending. I hold an opinion that is different from most I have read and want to use this space to share why I think Grey Rainbow had the perfect ending.

Warning: Lots of Spoilers

I did not start Grey Rainbow because I was looking for a melodrama. In fact, I held off on watching it because I was warned about the “horrible” ending. I read comments that suggested not watching the last episode in order to enjoy the good parts and not be disappointed. This made me curious. What drama could be so good that the audience was okay with quitting three quarters of the way through and still find it worthwhile? After watching the first 20 minutes I knew why this was going to be a special show. What I learned is that it was not a bad ending. It was not illogical, rushed, or insensitive. It was not just thrown in there so that we could get another tragic Thai BL. It was just not what we wanted to see. It was not what most people considered a “happily-ever-after.”

This does not mean that the I was not sadden by the ending. In fact, I was sobbing for the entire last episode. At the same time, the joy I felt watching Nuer and Porsche’s relationship was equally intense. It ended with a feeling of happiness and comfort about what was, as opposed to disappointment about what could have been. Of course, it could have ended with Porsche and Nuer living together forever and having children and grandchildren but that would not have been as satisfying as this bittersweet ending.

“It takes a second to take a picture. But the picture can be significant to one’s life FOREVER. “ – Posrche

Every episode starts with this quote. Porsche is the storyteller and he seems to be reading from his journal while including quotes, a little “picture”, for how he felt during his time with Nuer. I do not think he was able to express these to Nuer when he was alive but when he reflects on their past, he is able to say what he wished he had. His final quote at the end of the series is, “Our love… will live on forever.” This is the only one he is able to express at the moment, when Nuer is already gone.

I judged the ending using the question, “Are the characters miserable at the end of it?” And the answer is very clearly, no. Of course Porsche and Neur raising their daughter together would have been a happier ending. Bt not all happy endings mean that lovers live together for all of eternity. In fact, most happy endings leave me wondering what happens during the rest of their time together. Are they happy forever? Do we ever really know that?

Nuer’s death saddened Porsche greatly but it also changed him greatly, in ways that I would argue, made him better able to face life’s challenges. It changed the way he interacted with himself when he was finally able to express all the love he felt for Nuer. In fact, Nuer becomes an even more important part of Porsche’s life. Of course, we can only assume that Nuer is okay after death, but as for Porsche, he seems happy and capable of living life as well as could. We see him do things like ride the motorcycle and care for Tang On, all by himself while he was dependent on Nuer in the past.

I knew that Grey Rainbow was going to be a complicated show and therefore I paid careful attention to all the little details. I am not going to pretend that I was able to understand everything that the makers intended, but, Nuer’s death was not shocking. There were plenty of scenes throughout the show that seemed out of place and indicated that something unexpected would happen. I am not really sure if Porsche knew of Nuer’s impending death. His actions seem to suggest that he did and if he did, Nuer’s heart attack makes sense. He needed that knowledge to stop time and use that “second” to say goodbye to Nuer. I know I need multiple rewatches before I am able to catch all the details. But if you are interested, there are many explanations and theories being discussed in online forums so do check them out.

In the last scene, Nuer, in the form of Porsche’s thought, says “Everything changes, Porsche. Except my love to you that will always remain the same.” This statement makes complete sense in this context because Nuer being dead now means that Porsche will never know anything different. He knew how much Nuer cared for him when he was alive and now he can continue living with that memory knowing that’s unchanging. This sentiment is not uncommon in male-female romance dramas but we rarely get to see that in our BL dramas. I  will always be glad to Grey Rainbow for giving our boys that happy ending.

What did you think about Grey Rainbow? What did you think of the ending in particular?