After a long time, a show is here that we would like to recommend to other people. While 6ixtynin9 doesn’t knock it out of the park with its entertainment, it is quite engaging, and we are happy with how we are leaving it behind. The promised black comedy takes an episode or two to start, and it delivers the way it should. We would say that 6ixtynin9 gives new meaning to the term “safest in the middle of danger,” as the protagonist runs around trying to make the best of the situation that she is in. On the other hand, Man Trisanu Soranun’s character, John, reminds us of the phrase “much ado about nothing.” While what happened to him is funny, we just love the actor a little too much to laugh at his character’s fate. Maybe someone more comedic would have suited John, but that could also be our bias talking.
Overall, this show is a “comedy of errors,” and perhaps due to all the idioms, this becomes a Shakespearean tale. There are a lot of plots running parallel, and the way they all come together becomes a little predictable, but it remains fun to watch. However, this means that every second of the story is important, and you really cannot afford to miss a moment.
One of the moments that strikes us is when we see how much sugar Toom takes in her coffee. Others might disagree, but this was the series’ peak of black comedy because though the amount of sugar looks severe enough to induce diabetes, it is an uncomfortable indication of Toom’s depression, which we get a clearer picture of as the series comes to an end. This also makes us think of her friend, Fon, who comes across as being happy with a determination, but we soon realize how deceptive the visual is. At the end of the day, 6ixtynin9 remains the story of a depressed woman trying to shoot her one shot at happiness, no matter what the cost of it all.
The series is based on the 1999 film of the same name and has been written and directed by the same person, Pen-ek Rattanaruang. Needless to say, we haven’t seen that film. However, when we were speculating as to what the series would be like, we said that the editing and unfolding of the story would be its USP. We had also said that we did not expect unpredictability from it. We still stand by that, to an extent. There were definitely moments that caught us by surprise, and then there were others where even we had to admit that the absurdity hit the mark instead of just being exasperating. But as the story progressed, we were left stunned at how the protagonist was the least interesting part of it. It did not affect the overall watchability, but it could have been an enhancement if Toom’s sugar intake was not the only striking part of her. On that note, the villains, Tong and Kanchit, were the best part of it all. Even the characters of the goons brought something to the screen.
Despite this being a complaint, it doesn’t seem like a big one, at least for us. It is also the fact that sometimes the story is the hero, and that means that the central character is not at the center of things. In the context of 6ixtynin9, it means that Toom is the woman who found the money, but the real issue is the politics and mind games between the others. What could have been settled over a phone call or a visit just went in different directions because the dealers hated each other’s guts to such an extent that they lost sense of the kind of people they must be doing business with. But again, business dealings can be funny because they put the value of things in perspective for us.
On a different note, there was some objectification in 6ixtynin9. It could have been to justify the title to some extent, at least, but we suppose they incorporated it well by making a joke out of that as well. Be it the part about the tattoo artist and Tud Titanic staring at the mistake of the tattoo or that of Jim actually taking a joke too far, we laughed as much as we got a little uncomfortable, especially at the latter. But there is a part of it all that we felt managed to serve no purpose, that of the “nerdy boy,” as he is referred to through the series, without being granted a name. We just did not understand his purpose other than to fill in a few minutes of screen time for the series. Even John had a purpose, or at least a funny one, but the nerdy guy was just a scene filler.
On the other hand, we noticed that the series was constantly talking about a student protest going on in Thailand in the background of the chaos around the money. For a while, we wondered about its relevance to the story. Was it a way of reminding the audience that there were important things happening in the world that we should not forget? We are reminded of a series we saw a while back named “Not Me” that similarly had important protests at the center of its narrative. But 6ixtynin9 took a more innocent approach to it, though we are sure that this was the intention. Or it could be a message as to the chaos that continuously keeps shaping the world: the good, the bad, and the ugly coming together with the innocent and the guilty, leaving nothing as pure as black and white and muddling it all up. That might be a stretch because we are more intent on the first theory.
Overall, 6ixtynin9 is a highly watchable show. It is easy and funny, and whenever Man Trisanu Soranun is on screen, it is great to look at. We would definitely recommend adding this to your watchlist.