Thai-language anthology series Girl From Nowhere just landed its season 2 on Netflix and has been receiving lots of attention. While it is popular, it’s dark subject matter has attracted controversy.
Girl From Nowhere is about high school crimes and tragedies exposed by the titular “girl from nowhere,” Nanno, who each episode arrives in a new place with a new different story. Nanno, a demonic entity who disguises herself as an 11th grade student, uses simple psychological tactics to open the hidden truths and dark secrets of the students and teachers, and then give them the power to let those parts take control. How far will her targets go to express their various evils and desires?
The show explores such topics as jealousy, hatred and rape culture.
In the second season of the show, which debuted in May, Nanno continues going to new schools, continuing to stir up the troubles that are already there under the surface, but additionally the episodes are now linked to each other by a presence of a new character, Yuri.
The biggest success of the writers and producers of this show is that they were capable of capturing all of the issues in modern schools included sexual harassment, bullying, teenage prenancy, jealousy and the pressure of unattainable beauty standards.
Some critics have bristled at the show’s subject matter. They argue that this show provides a wrong message to the viewers and the depiction of triggering scenes can possibly be a bad influence to the youths.
An online review states, “It encourages bad behaviour, like manipulation, [making] use of other people… As a parent I will discourage my children [from] watching this.”
Multiple reports on the series state that the show was based on the true stories of various school girls in Thailand.
The filmmaker of the series, Khomkrit Treewimol, hopes the series helps the parents and children open discussions about the issues with each other. “Watching this series will help raise questions and create an exchange of family debates, which requires viewing the show together,” Treewimol said in a virtual interview with Filipino press. “That is the core message of the series. We do not have a formulated answer ready, as the questions posed in the series are controversial. Several solutions can be drawn and sparking debates with discussion can help.”
A lot of the enjoyment of the show comes from watching its fascinating protagonist. Kitty Chicha Amatayakul, playing as Nanno, has successfully displayed the character’s insanity and manipulativeness, most watchers get attracted by her crocodile tears, her creepy hair-twirling habit, and her signature psychotic laugh whenever she shows the cloven hoof of the culprits.
Amatayakul says that because Nanno is not a normal person and she has extraordinary ability so there must be something special about her. “The first time that we thought about [Nanno’s laugh], I felt like, since she’s like a devil who’s trying to blend in with human society, there must be something off about her,” she said during a virtual interview with Filipino press. “And I feel like when she’s laughing it’s like ‘seriously?’ or like ‘is this real?’ things-like-that laugh. So she doesn’t even know how to laugh like a human being. It’s like a fake one. So every time she laughs, it’s like from her heart, her soul, her bones, everything.”
Even pop star Harry Styles must have been impressed with her performance because he followed Amatayakul instagram.
In season two, the series introduces a new character, Yuri, who also has unique power. But not everyone is happy with this addition.
Unlike Nanno, Yuri is obsessed with killing. She wants all the culprits to pay for their misdeeds by death. Nanno, on the other hand, punishes the culprits by making them suffer pain but still gives them chances to open their eyes and be able to redeem themselves.
Some fans find this additional character unnecessary and annoying, saying that she always gets in the way of Nanno. However this addition adds a real relationship for the protagonist. Nanno doesn’t otherwise have feelings towards anything, whether pain, empathy or love, but the addition of another devil allows her to begin to go through the emotions of humans, adding more complexity to the character as season two progresses.
If you enjoy watching psychological thrillers and dark dramas, you should give this show a try. It is a harsh reality show with many valuable lessons that we can learn from.
But be warned that it does include potentially triggering scenes of sexual assaults, violence, death and gore.
Image credit: Netflix