The Importance of Good Dialogue: TharnType and the art of Foreshadowing, Parallels and Character Development

🔔 DISCLAIMER: This thread will be:

✓Purely subjective.
✓ Will only be according to English translations and will not be able to capture nuances of Thai language.
✓ Too damn LONG. Because my feelings are all over the place and this is the last thread I'll write for TTTS1.
When we think of DIALOGUE in BL series, what instantly comes to mind are cheesy pick up lines, iconic love confessions and dramatic one liners. Which is FINE.

But what is GOOD DIALOGUE, really? When can we truly say that a dialogue is well written and EFFECTIVE?
GOOD DIALOGUE is when the way the characters talk reveal their identities, motivations and feelings in the most NATURAL yet COMPELLING way.

It should let the audience have an insight about who they are, what they are going through, and what they will become later on.
Dialogue goes hand in hand with the Direction to bring the characters and the plot to life.

If a dialogue is bad, it would make the characters seem fake and therefore the story would lose credibility.

This is exactly why DIALOGUE is one of Tharntype's biggest strengths.
To be fair though, let me just say: If there's one thing I'd critique, it's the first 2 minutes of Episode 1.

I understand it's done for the sake of fast paced world-building, but I just found it INCONSISTENT how the voice over narration was only done ONCE in the entire series.
Which is kind of ironic because CONSISTENCY was one of this show's biggest strengths too. Perhaps it's fine since Type frequently talks to himself in monologues, but still.

For voice over narrations, it's either you use them REGULARLY each episode, or you never use it AT ALL.
Yes, I refuse to count this because it's just a single line uttered in the same episode, which could have just easily been said out loud by Type.

I understand, too, that voice over narration is pretty common as merely an introduction in many Thai series.

But y'know.
Quick note: Personally, outside of BL I've always preferred the stylized type of dialogue where there's lots of rapid fire verbal gymnastics involved.

TharnType however is one of those rare gems that made me respect and appreciate the beauty and cleverness of REALISTIC dialogue.
TharnType is a show that cleverly utilizes dialogue to FORESHADOW events to come, ILLUSTRATE parallels between episodes, MOVE the plot and PORTRAY evolution of characters.

Here's a look at the best dialogues of this series, by order of their appearance— and why they're amazing.
TharnType's first conversation is actually SYMBOLIC because not only did it establish that they actually started with good friendship, it also shows how strong of an impression Tharn's kindness has left on Type's memory that even in his nightmares he called out his NAME for help.
Referencing FOOD is such a simple, no-fuzz conversation between two college boys but it effectively laid out the groundwork before it all fell apart.

What's awesome is how food was REPEATEDLY utilized in dialogue throughout different stages in the story to show their EVOLUTION.
Sneaky foreshadowing has also been inserted in the scene where Lhong prodded Tharn about why he looked troubled one day.

In his three guesses, it straight up hinted at Tharn's ex (Tar), the showdown later (Type versus Lhong) and the beginning of Tharn's sexuality (P'San).
On the outer surface, the dialogues are telling us that they are very close friends and Lhong knows a great deal about Tharn's life.

But upon rewatching TTTS, the underlying meaning of Lhong's lines pretty much gave a PREVIEW of the conflict to expect in the series finale.
The best thing about enemy to lovers trope is the BANTER. In the same way cool fight scenes make an action movie amazing, good dialogue is crucial in bringing out the TENSION and setting the stage for DEVELOPMENT later on.

Remember what Tharn told Type after stealing a kiss?
It's SO GOOD because it brilliantly bridged Ep 1 and Ep 4 into full contrast, to illustrate their REVERSAL.

Because Tharn first used it as a DEFENSE to stop Type from messing with him. Then Type used it back as DEFENSE MECHANISM when he finally understood being an outcast.
The dialogue in Ep 1 built the world impactfully. But our first glimpse of Type's past on Ep 2 SHATTERED all our prejudices like a suckerpunch.

"DON'T HURT ME," he begs.

As spectators we're stunned: because what do you do when your tsundere is trembling and falling apart?
Ep 1 built Type up to be so unlikable and hateful while Ep 2 peeled his layers, starting from this scene: the very first time he said "I'm sorry."

All his arrogance crumbled into paralyzing FEAR and the effect is an understatement: we realize his ANGER had always been a MASK.
Dialogue is at its peak excellence when it blurs the line between heroes and villains. Who is right? Who is wrong?

This scene is so complex and so intricately acted by MewGulf in a way that they are both under each other's mercy: they are both the ATTACKER and the OPPRESSED.
Reversal of lines is a recurring trademark of this series and it does it so well. There are countless moments when Tharn and Type fought each other by BORROWING each other's words.

Not only is this fun and smart, it's a way for the show to flaunt its COHESIVE STORYTELLING.
The opening scene of Episode 4 is so finely crafted with piercing lines delivered with incredible intensity.

They're not shouting nor throwing punches here, but the weight of the words Type uttered were so heavy and sharp, you feel as if it sliced through Tharn like a knife.
You know a dialogue is good when you've gone past three episodes of them on fistfights, vengefulness and endless cussing, and yet a single quiet calm scene is the most VIOLENT one of them all.

Picture the pain of being told the world would be better off WITHOUT YOUR EXISTENCE.
TharnType may be popular for its legendary kisses and love scenes, but this moment of point blank HONESTY remains to be the most INTIMATE scene for me.

Here, Type finally expressed his pain UNFILTERED. "I hate you" was uttered no longer out of rage but out of TRUST AND FREEDOM.
Because when Tharn told him, "It's okay to hate me," Tharn wasn't just merely apologizing for his advances; this was his way of telling Type that he can release all that pain and burden on him, because he would take away and steal Type's sufferings and nightmares if he could.
Most of us are obsessed with the scene where TharnType decided to be exclusive on Episode 6. But we often forget how brilliantly written (and acted) the first confession was on Episode 4.

Before that confession scene happened, Type first had a talk with Techno earlier in the day about how Tharn pleaded on Type's behalf.

This is an important context to make sense of why Type kept asking Tharn "What do you want from me?"

What Type really meant: WHY DO YOU LIKE ME?
Suddenly, all those room switch rejection scenes on Episode 1 make sense. Because Type now is sincerely baffled how someone as nice as Tharn would like him when everyone seems to find him despicable.

So he kept asking Tharn: "What do you want?" He wanted to understand WHY.
If we are all going to be honest - Type included - we were all hoping for the usual cheesy grand declarations of love right?

But the dialogue here is somewhat an overall reflection of the whole series. We may be expecting melodrama or poetry but we get this instead: RAW HONESTY.
Best of all, Tharn said: "I want to sleep with you, but not now."

That's such a great line because it implied so many things. It speaks of Tharn's CONFIDENCE and certainty that one day IT WILL HAPPEN. But most of all, it showed his willingness to be patient and ENDURE for Type.
Most importantly, that single line is so clever because it so easily set the stage for DECEPTION which had us thinking that it will really be QUITE A WHILE to get to that point.

Thus, underscoring the shock value of the VERY NEXT scene where we get perhaps the MOST ICONIC line:
Sure the vulgar statement would be scandalous in any given context, no matter which series or film you put it into.

But what made this so UNIQUE was his rationale for requesting it. It was meant to be romantic, but he made it sound so TRANSACTIONAL like a bargain or trade.
This whole pre-sex negotiation is an excellent example of how MULTILAYERED and COMPLEX Tharntype's dialogues are.

As a result we're not just swooning and squealing; our mind's also provoked into weighing if this is right and if this should happen.

Listen, the first time they made love was GLORIOUS. Sometimes kisses are the best dialogues ever.

But what gave their lovemaking more depth was the pillow talk they had after. Type's interest in knowing Tharn and Tharn's openness are such spectacular illustrations of INTIMACY.
No matter how many times I watch it, I still reel at how TTTS really depicted so much CHARACTER GROWTH in a SINGLE episode.

It's so heartwarming how you can see through the way they talk that they are genuinely interested in knowing each other deeply. :(
Dialogue also assists the direction in terms of PACING. TTTS is a very fast-paced show but the lines help in slowing things down when it feels overwhelming. Ep 5 is exactly that, because it was all about DENIAL.

Here's a crazy theory: Type'e actually the one who GOT HURT FIRST.
The first kiss was so long you can't help but feel how Type was expectant and hopeful that Tharn would actually say they're more than friends.

But Tharn still said FRIENDS, even if he said FRIEND HE WANTS TO KISS.

Tharn unintentionally broke Type's heart for the first time.
It's funny how we've been led to think that Tharn was the only one who held a GRUDGE from that night.


Pay attention to the WORDS they say and you'll know the one WHO REALLY CAN'T MOVE ON from an assumed rejection.
But it doesn't mean that Tharn's pain was any less.

You know what they say about how sometimes the FEWER the words, the STRONGER the punch? This scene is such a great example of that.

A single line with two words was the FINAL STRAW that triggered Type to finally kiss Tharn.
Episode 6 was the turning point of the series and it's so fitting that it began with them on a CONFRONTATION about where they stand with each other.

The dialogue here matched that transition because this is the point where Tharn wanted to draw the line between sex and love.
The dialogue + direction here was 10/10 because it effectively mirrored their first ever fistfight.

Type's lines are so eerily similar but the scene still showed the difference in astounding clarity: Tharn DIDN'T avoid the punch this time.

Love makes us VULNERABLE like that.
But vulnerability doesn't always mean you're just exposing yourself to risks; it also means you're OPENING YOUR HEART to receive love.

It hits a whole different level of poignant when you realize that this is the only scene in the entire series where Type BACKHUGS Tharn.
The mark of an amazing dialogue is when something gets SAID without it actually BEING SAID.

This Episode 6 scene wreck and won hearts in many ways because it accomplished that: it's an unforgettable declaration of love, without actually saying the words "I love you" at all.
"It pains me," is such a compelling parallel to Tharn's "It hurts" line in episode 5.

But most of all, it's terrific how Tharn's repeated disbelief of Type's confession was a subtle mirror of Type repeatedly asking "What do you want?" on episode 4.

Fear. Expectation. HOPE.
Because you see, we might not have had a visual representation for Tharn's heartbreaks equivalent to the roommate rejection scenes we've had for Type, but the rest of the series made us see that Tharn has been abandoned many times too, and is just as TERRIFIED of trusting love.
So when Type tells Tharn this line, perhaps it was the best kind of assurance he needed. Not a direct in-your-face I LOVE YOU kind of confession, but a confession of love nonetheless.

When a dialogue does that seamlessly, it's almost like a magic trick. TharnType did THAT.
When a person's in love, it shows in their behavior but also in the way they talk. This bit in Ep 7 is so hilarious because Type keeps suppressing his feelings but he cannot shut up about Tharn.

"His large nose almost pokes my face!"

One thing that really sets apart TharnType from other BL series is HOW it depicted ESTABLISHED RELATIONSHIPS. Most BLs have plots revolving around the pre-dating stage but rarely do we see a series venturing beyond that phase.

TharnType EXCELLED in this. And the dialogue is KEY.
Where other BLs would inevitably drag a misunderstanding for several episodes, here we have TharnType tackling a common conflict of gay couples in just a little over a MINUTE.

Did they resolve it ASAP? No. But THEY TALK ABOUT THE PROBLEM AND THEIR FEELINGS. And that's important.
It's so frustrating sometimes how most people only have 2 opinions of TTTS: Either 1.) It's problematic or 2.) It's just NC scenes.

People cannot admit the fact that Tharn and Type STRIVED for a HEALTHY relationship and THEY COMMUNICATE AND TALK JUST AS BRILLIANTLY AS THEY KISS.
It's awesome how exactly halfway through the series, the tone of dialogue shifts subtly to indicate that this series doesn't end with how two people CHOSE to fall in love.

Ep 7 to the end was all about how these two people WORKED to ADJUST themselves to KEEP and STAY in love.
Because this is what this show wants us to understand: INTIMACY is not just being comfortable with each other's bodies. It also means being HONEST about each other's thoughts and feelings.

That's why the dialogue for their first big fight as couple in Episode 8 was OUTSTANDING.
Type's request was so unreasonable here but Tharn's response was amazing. Because he knew: that Type wasn't just merely being jealous. Despite it all, Tharn understands that Type's anger is still rooted deeply on LOVE:

Type just wants to be the person who knows Tharn the best.
The pacing of dialogue is also STUNNING. Did you know there's only 2mins33secs between "I will never sleep with you!" and "Sleep with me."?

But we don't talk enough about how it also took 2mins33secs for Type to go from "Let's break up" to "I don't wanna break up with you."
That's the CRUCIAL thing in Character Development: TIMING. I've seen some really well written BLs that suffered from delaying it, hence losing momentum. Don't get me wrong, SLOW BURN is valid; rushing things can also KILL the credibility.

But when it's done right? SATISFYING AF.
This is why P'San is such a great catalyst because he literally triggered all of Type's shortcomings so that he will be compelled to better himself.

But the best thing is how Type's character growth was first witnessed by the first person who questioned WHY Tharn fell for him.
THEMES per episode are super rare in BL dramas so whenever I see a show do it, I get impressed so easily. TTTS doesn't really use themes/ep titles but somehow every episode has a prominent CONCEPT or idea which binds all the scenes together.

Episode 10 opened with this dialogue:
Remember how I mentioned that FOOD is utilized so frequently in dialogue throughout this series?

In this single episode, food was used in SO MANY ways and it's mind-blowing how it seamlessly symbolized so many things without being too obvious.

It's genius because towards the end, it all made sense when a dialogue about FOOD yet again was what prompted Type to act on his suspicion.

Because Tharn has ALWAYS been consistently taking care of him through food and various meals, but all of a sudden, THIS scene happened.
You thought it ended there? Bro, even all the way to the CONFRONTATION dialogue, the line remained CONSISTENT with the unspoken metaphor.

This is not an original line, but goddamn, the usage and the timing and the parallels: IT'S BRILLIANT.
Type's lines here, in my opinion, were the BEST written dialogue for the Type Thiwat character.

We've seen so many BL drama couple fights where it's all about accusations and blame but I've never encountered an argument where someone is DESPERATELY hoping to be proven WRONG.
His lines were in direct CONTRAST from when they fought about the Sashimi Incident.

These lines tells us that Type is experiencing a more profound level of HURT.

Because he's willing to believe ANYTHING as long as Tharn denies it. LOYALTY was now more important than honesty.
Most of us remember Episode 11 because of the legendary break up scene but you know what's even more devastating? Type was actually breaking up with Tharn ALL THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EPISODE.

This is why this scene is 5 minutes and 15 seconds long. Because the breakup STARTED here.
It's amazing how something as simple as "Why were you sitting in the dark?" line can be so symbolic cause their jealousy fight scenes in the past used to always begin with that. But in that scene Type was waiting for Tharn in BROAD DAYLIGHT which meant his state of mind is CLEAR.
An important context to understand this specific scene is how, based on the timeline, this is AFTER Type already knew Tar's story. Type's INTENTIONALLY speaking in a CRUEL manner here cause this was the START of his plan to break up.

He's making it EASIER for Tharn to HATE him.
Remember that in order to confirm the truth of Tar's trauma, Type himself had revisited his own traumatic childhood. This scene is not just some random jealousy argument scene; Type's lines here are very reminiscent of how he spoke and acted prior to confessing his past to Tharn.
These dialogues are extremely crucial in order to illustrate how much Tharn's kindness changed Type as a person.

"You don't have to say anymore," Tharn tells Type on Episode 4.

"Say no more," Type tells Tar on Episode 12.

Character Development INSPIRES Character Development.
But the most heartbreaking thing about that dialogue-heavy scene was how Tharn remained patient and loving. At this point we already know that Type masks his fear with anger. And he was TERRIFIED cause the risk of losing Tharn after this is high. But Type held on to that promise.
All the events leading up to the final breakup scene was executed spectacularly. We were anticipating the pain, but the complete absolute wreckage still sent us reeling.

Because see, the dialogue was focused on their PRESENT emotions, but it successfully encapsulated their love story all the way from the very BEGINNING. In a subtle way, it made us think of how far they've come and how much they had to lose if they let each other go.
You can debate the merit of this series' writing all you want, but Tharn's lines as he begged are undisputably one of the legendary dialogues EVER written, not just in BL, but in ANY romance ever. It's the kind of love most of us can only dream of: one that sends us on our knees.
Amidst all this, one of my personal favorite dialogues was from Techno, in this underrated (but HIS BEST) scene, in Episode 12. It was so simple yet so poignant cause it's a great reminder that we often get too caught up with love that we sometimes take friendships for granted.
Type asking for Kom's forgiveness was also such a powerful conversation about friendship and acceptance.

What brings TTTS from goodness to greatness is how it portrayed Character Development as a CONTINUOUS PROCESS instead of simply an endpoint goal.
It's so impressive how the lines both effectively represent character growth and RELATIONSHIP growth.

In the past, Type's apologies come off as a little distant because it's driven by the need to right his wrong, but his lines here ACKNOWLEDGE Tharn's feelings as PRIMARY FOCUS.
Withholding "I love you" is no longer an original concept, but it's overwhelmingly SATISFYING in TharnType because it's such a striking contrast to how this series has been so generous in depicting kiss and love scenes. This was the show's way of preserving love as SACRED.
It's beautiful, how they talked about love in the way it should be: an act of grace, a challenge, a response, decision, a responsibility, a commitment. Love is so SIMPLE and so COMPLEX all at once.

The REALISM and SINCERITY is stunning.
Ultimately, it feels such a TRIUMPH when Tharn and Type arrived at the point in their relationship where they made HATE so INSIGNIFICANT and reduced it to nothing more than an inside joke to laugh about, and just a codeword for them to flirt.

See you in Season Two! ♥️
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