Jul122020

BL Dramas THE LIST – What to watch? PART II

This is the second part of a two part series on BL Dramas through the lens of an American genre author. Some of the terms used in this post are a continuation of the discussion presented in the first installment, PART I: BL Dramas Discussed & Analyzed from a Writer Perspective

As such I recommend you read that article first! Or you might not know what I’m on about.

* Both articles discuss triggers, consent, and sexual acts. 

PART 2

BL Dramas: THE LIST

I’ve chosen and am ranking these series by the ones I think will be most easy to digest for an American queer-identified or queer-allied fan (I talk about my reasons in Part 1). In other words, the ones least egregious in some of the non-con and other sexual stuff are listed first. Don’t get me wrong I love many of these, but that doesn’t stop me from being troubled by certain aspects.

(Actor names: Thai names are given as chue len + first name. Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese names are given as surnames + first name.)

TOC

I’ve put trigger warnings in all of them, and I discuss some of my concerns with each. Hence the reasons this is such a long post.

Some of these characters start life as sub-plots in a mainly het drama. Some of the BL Dramas were so popular they got second seasons, or follow-ups. And some of them have multiple adaptations from a written work.

Where possible, I linked to the official broadcast, and suggest a watching order. As always with YouTube, I cannot guarantee the series will stay live.

1. SOTUS

SOTUS: The Series | SOTUS S: The Series | Our Skyy: Episode 5

  • Online: SOTUS Netflix 15 eps (from GMMTV official)
    • SOTUS S YouTube 13 eps from (GMMTV official)
    • Our Skyy 5 1 ep (from GMMTV official)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2016 & Post College 2018
  • Sexual Content: Just kissing, and very little of that
  • Hashtags: #kongpobarthit #sotus #sotustheseries #SingtoKrist

Tropes:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Younger seme/older uke
  • Unrequited love, pining
  • Love at first sight
  • Sunshine one loves the grumpy one

Concerns & Triggers

  • Hazing rituals, school sanctioned bullying
  • Stalker action by means of relentless cheer and affectionate (if unwanted) care

Summary

Based on an online novel, SOTUS by BitterSweet, this stars Krist Perawat (AKA Kit) as Arthit Rojnapat, the uke character. Arthit is older, meaner, grumpy jerk who goes after his junior Kongpob (played by Singto Prachaya) because Kong objects to the Faculty of Engineering hazing rituals. (If BL teaches you nothing else, it’s that in Thailand, if you’re in engineering, you’re gay.)

The first series follows Arthit succumbing to Kong’s relentless pursuit, and them coming out to their friends.

The second series is both flashbacks to their second year as a couple (when Kong takes over as head hazer) and their current-day relationship, which is Arthit’s first job and Kong’s senior year/internship. It deals with coming out at work and has some interesting insights into corporate culture in Thailand.

There is a one episode look in, as part of the Our Skyy series, which follows Kong deciding to study abroad and Arthit’s feelings of abandonment after being the object of his obsession for so long.

Some Thoughts

There is an earnestness to SOTUS that lends it an air of authenticity that other BL dramas on this list simply don’t have. There is very little physical intimacy, and almost none of the culturally-understood intimacy (like head touching or forehead/cheek kisses). That, combined with so few triggers makes it easy to see why SOTUS was so palatable to Netflix mainstream. And it’s why it appears first on my list. (Although He’s Coming to Me might actually be even better now that it’s widely available.)

There is much less overacting/slapstick although there are a few cartoon noises and interjected clumsy pop songs. So, be warned, if you can’t stand SOTUS for this reason, you won’t be able to take any of the others listed here except those out of China or Taiwan.

The surrounding friendship groups for both characters are quite lovely. This is the only example on my list that depicts solid female friendships (with each other and the boys), as well as a lesbian character.

I like the dynamic of the uke being in a position of dominance and social power, it effectively negates any non-con action. Plus Kong is such a sweetie who would never force physical intimacy. However, the flip does occur, with Kong’s only option being to follow Arthit around like a lost puppy, which gets kinda stalkerish.

Their relationship, when it finally develops, is very teasing and sweet. The chinks in Arthit’s armor are all the more special for how hard they were for Kong to earn. I like to think of these two as the entertainment industry’s first acesexual homoromantic pairing.

Bonus nugget of insider info: The general BL obsession with pink milk, engineering, and gear symbols comes from this series.

2. Crossing the Line

History 2: Crossing the Line 

History2: Crossing the Line

  • OnlineViki 4 eps (part of the History2 feed official eps 5-8)
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Setting: High school 2018
  • Sexual Content: Kissing and not much of that

Tropes:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Bad boy tough kid meets strict kindness
  • In world shipping
  • Younger seme/older uke
  • Big’ol love confession
  • Sports romance

Concerns & Triggers

  • There’s a sub-plot of two step brothers getting together that’s pretty taboo/odd
  • Characters depicted are minors (actors clearly are not)
  • Glorified fighting

Summary

Punk ass young trouble maker, Hsia Yu Hao (Fandy Fan), is basically press ganged by two senior students including Qiu Zi Xuan (Zach Lu), into joining the volleyball team.

Full of natural talent, he finds himself reluctantly interested in the sport, but more interested in Qiu Zi Xuan.

Soon enough, he falls madly in love with Qiu Zi Xuan, but the older boy won’t do anything in return, because his sister has a crush on Hsia Yu Ha.

Some Thoughts

The plot is thin but the earnestness of Hsia Yu Ha’s crush is charming. I liked how this addresses a cornerstone of the queer experience: how admiration for someone of the same gender can be initially misconstrued as wanting to be like them, when it’s really wanting to be with them. This BL drama is notable in that it has almost none of the triggers in terms of non-con etc that most BL has.

Basically this is just a sweet story of a boy who falls in love with another boy, declares himself, and then gets rejected… or does he?

Bonus points for accurate volleyball rep (I played in high school) plus a solid understanding of the love confession trope and classic representation of how it works in BL.

3. Until We Meet Again

 

Until We Meet Again

  • Online: Until We Meet Again YouTube 17 eps (from Studio Wabi Sabi official)
    • Between Us (in production spin off featuring side characters)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2019 & College 1989
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, hugging, touching, implied demands and off screen sex
  • Hashtags: #UntilWeMeetAgain #DeanPharm #WinTeam

Tropes:

  • Fated mates, eternal love
  • Instalove
  • Stern emotionless seme/sweet loving uke
  • Forbidden love, tragic destiny
  • Minor in world shipping
  • Older jaded seme/younger innocent uke

Concerns & Triggers

  • Suicide is both pillorized and romanticized, and it is depicted on screen in graphic detail
  • Homophobia in the past from family members with the power to destroy the relationship
  • Tragedy, lost love for one sub-plot
  • Seme’s shameful sexual needs injure or diminish the uke
  • Saving self for “the one and only” and having no other option but to submit

Summary

Until We Meet Again is the most dramatic drama to dramatize dramatically on this list. It stars Fluke Natouch as the uke character, Pharm (and boy does he have to cry A LOT), and Ohm Thitiwat as the older seme love interest, Dean. (Incidentally, Ohm is possibly the hottest human on Earth – fight me).

It’s based on The Red Thread by LazySheep which, I gather, is on Wattpad but otherwise impossible to get hold of in print/translation (for which I am VERY sad).

Two modern-day college students meet and fall in love, but are also plagued by a nostalgic misery and dream memories when they are together. These lead them to realize that they’re the reincarnated souls of two past lovers who committed double suicide because their fathers forbade a gay relationship. They have been tied together for eternity by a red thread.

Dean is an older student athlete who has never dated and seems always to be looking for someone. He’s stiff and unemotional and estranged from his family.

Pharm is a freshman who makes friends easily but lives alone and has various phobias and panic attacks. When they meet there is an instant connection. Dean begins a slow courtship of the shy sweet Pharm. Pharm responds with food (yes, please). While things are going well for them in modern times, the tragic deaths of their past selves threatens to undermine everything.

Dean and Pharm must determine exactly what happened, and why, and learn to forgive their families and each other, before they can heal and move on together.

Sub-plot: Swimmers flirting

Pharm’s protective friend Team, and Dean’s master of the side-eye tatted-up bad-boy BFF, Win, start a possible relationship which is supposed to continue in a forthcoming BL series Between Us.

Since I love WinTeam, and consider this one of the better sub-plots in all BL, I’m hoping Between Us happens. Win’s tattoos and piercings are fab, and it’s awesome to see an uke character like Team be all protective of Pharm, and tough with his seme. He’s so cute and fierce.

Also, notice Team drops the P’ with Win when they are alone together, but uses it in front of others? Interesting, no? He is, indeed, as Win says naughty.

Some Thoughts

First and foremost, we all need someone in our lives who looks at us the way that Dean looks a Pharm. The adoration is strong with that one.

Although, to be fair, I only really look at pastry that way.

You can feel Pharm and Dean’s need to love each other, and you really believe they are reincarnated.

There is so much crying in this series and so much pining it can get a bit frustrating. Dear Thailand, could we please see more of Fluke where he doesn’t have to be sad or depressed all the time?

The suicide thread is a big deal and runs throughout, so if that’s a trigger for you, do not watch this.

That said, Until We Meet Again, is probably the best, most cohesive, and well written stories on this list. The plot is so good and well paced and perfectly twisty.

What’s weird is how different Dean and Pharm’s current personalities are from their past selves, Korn and Intouch. That threw me a little. I wish Pharm had just a bit more of Intouch’s gumption.

Dean is impossibly kind and gentle with Pharm, but that does lead to the trope of “sex with the innocent uke makes him impure.” Dean is clearly ashamed of his sexual desire for Pharm and unlike most BL, the story is aggressively anti-dub-con to the extent of being anti sex. As if sex somehow cheapens their love, and Dean wanting to screw Pharm is a big’ol sin. I wanted Pharm to have more agency, even if only sexually. It would have fixed some of negative aspects of their power imbalance.

Despite its flaws, Until We Meet Again is possibly my favorite BL drama on this list.

It’s wonderful to see Dean’s strained relationship with his siblings and grandmother get repaired by Pharm and his cooking. What’s even better is how supportive and fun Pharm’s two besties are. Speaking of, Win and Team are adorable, and I really hope the spin-off happens.

This is one of those dramas that will put an ache in your throat for hours, so yeah, if you’re into that, go for it.

Also the food, the FOOD!

Food is a vital thread connecting Pharm to his past self, and it’s his primary love language. There is a scene where he feeds Dean a purple dumpling that is hotter than any sex scene ever filmed.

Pharm is an amazing chef and we get to see him cooking Thai meals and decorating Thai sweets. Also we learn about the meaning and history of many of the desserts.

Oh, and there’s no Faculty of Engineering theme in this one… who knew?

A quick word on Dean’s linguistics.

He doesn’t say much, in fact he’s as close to monosyllabic as you can get in Thai. He uses almost no polite particles, few honorifics or personal pronouns, and heaven forfend he ever Wai. In fact, by all accounts, Dean should be considered one of the rudest characters in BL (when actually that award probably goes to Type or Ae). However, he’s considered more like a curt aristocrat by the narrative ~ stern, like he can’t be bothered with trivial social mores, or aloof, like it’s not really his society to participate in.  It’s fascinating that Dean is not considered utterly intolerable by everyone. But the way side characters reference his attitude is partly based on his linguistic identity.

Bonus points for casting an out gay actor in a leading role, for an in-narrative self-identified bisexual character, and for discussing condom use. Also for an actual cohesive solid plot structure.

See BL? I knew you could do it!

4. Right or Wrong

History2: Right or Wrong

  • OnlineViki 4 eps (part of the History2 feed official eps 1-4)
  • Country: Taiwan
  • Setting: College 2018
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, topless sex scenes that fade to black

Tropes:

  • Student/teacher
  • May/December (12 year age difference)
  • Single dad/manny
  • Grumpy seme/sunshine uke
  • Out gay uke/gay-for-you seme
  • Found family
  • Old fashioned courtship

Concerns & Triggers

  • Uke experiences self hatred for his gayness
  • Child neglect and abandonment treated casually
  • Older seme in his early 30s but younger uke is only 19

Summary

Adorable sweetheart gay boy college student, Fei Sheng Zhe, with some confidence and self hatred issues meets the battle-scared cynical professor of his dreams, Shi Yi Jie. Turns out, they actually have met before, a couple of times and in different ways, until suddenly Fei Sheng Zhe finds himself the manny to the professor’s little daughter.

Shi Yi Jie is a divorced archaeology professor with a 7-year-old daughter, Yo Yo, who he’s trying to raise by himself (badly). After absorbing Fei Sheng Zhe into his family, he finds himself falling in love with the boy.

Shi Yi Jie is a little startled to find he’s enamored with a man, but he’s analytical and scientific and doesn’t have an easily ruffled personality, so he goes with the flow.

He decides Fei Sheng Zhe is perfect for him and starts formally courting him. He goes to Fei Sheng Zhe’s mother to ask permission and even agrees to a test of celibacy until Fei Sheng Zhe turns 20.

Then his ex wife shows up.

Some Thoughts

This one has some of the most Western sensibilities in terms of a classic American gay romance novel. It basically made me squee with the cute from about episode 4 onwards. It’s a bit rough going at the beginning but once the family dynamic is established and Shi Yi Jie’s neglect of his daughter is explained away, I loved it.

I didn’t even mind when the ex-wife shows up because she’s a perfect plot device for Fei Sheng Zhe to get his confidence back and claim his man. I love it when the uke’s lack of agency works against him and he has to step up and be more than just a passive partner. In Fei Sheng Zhe’s case, he remains sweet and submissive, but it’s established by the story that he will not be letting Shi Yi Jie walk all over him for the rest of their lives. Yes!

And when the sex finally happens, it’s very clearly mutual and super sweet. So, yeah for that, too!

There’s also some great dialogue.

Most of the time, because of translation, subtleties in dialogue are missed. This one has its issues but also some really well written moments that come across in captioning. There’s a scene where (very gay) Fei Sheng Zhe is part of a drama club and doing a romantic scene with his female BFF:

Fei Sheng Zhe: “Do I really have to kiss you?”
Actress BFF: “Yes!”
Fei Sheng Zhe: “But, you’re a GIRL!”

All in all, I left this series with an “aw, my babies!” feeling and hearts coming out my eyes. I think it falls short of a lot of BL lists because it satisfies so few traditional BL tropes, but also because only one half of the couple satisfies the criteria of boy.

But, gah, it’s SO CUTE!

“I don’t have to pay for your regrets.”

Bonus points for ready made family of adorableness.

5. Dark Blue Kiss

Kiss Me Again | Kiss the Series | Dark Blue Kiss: The Series | Our Skyy special

  • OnlineKiss Me Again Pete & Kao Cuts – Youtube 3 eps (from GMMTV official)
    • Kiss the Series Episode 14 – YouTube 1/2 of ep 14 (from GMMTV official)
    • Dark Blue Kiss: The Series  –YouTube 12 eps (from GMMTV official)
    • Our Skyy special (GMMTV official)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2016 – 2018
  • Sexual Content: Heavy kissing, sexual innuendo, implied sex, lots of shirtlessness
  • Hashtags: #PeteKao #DarkBlueKiss

Tropes:

  • Enemies to lovers but also friends to lovers
  • Bad boy meets kind nerd
  • Secret love/hidden relationship
  • Rough flirting of the pigtail pulling type

Concerns & Triggers

  • They punch the stuffing out of each other, especially early on
  • Pete is a real punk at the start with major anger issues
  • It’s implied that Pete’s relationship with Kao basically saves Pete from bad things
  • The poor little rich kid slander plot in Dark Blue Kiss is actually one of the better villain concepts I’ve seen in Thai BL, but it is really rough going content-wise in terms of child neglect, slander, and cyber stalking

Summary

You really need to at least watch the Pete/Kao fan assembled clips from Kiss Me Again or Dark Blue Kiss (their actual BL series) will not make sense.

Their sub-plot in KMA follows their journey from outright enemies in high school, to on-again off-again friends freshman year of college, to secret lovers. They are, indeed, in the Engineering Department.

Dark Blue Kiss picks up during their third year of college with Pete and Kao still together, out only to Pete’s dad and their close friends. Pete (Tay Tawan) brash and take-no-shit seme wants to be out, but Kao (New Thitipoom) sweetheart uke wants to remain closeted. Which effectively leaves him open to sexual blackmail.

Kao has to work tutoring high school kids to help support his mom and sister. His mom’s boss asks him to tutor his son, Non, who develops a huge crush on Kao. Meanwhile Pete and Non are in the same online competition and instantly hate each other.

Non figures out Pete is Kao’s boyfriend and starts a campaign to undermine Pete and steal Kao from him. Kao doesn’t see it. Pete gets increasingly jealous.

Non ends up claiming publicly that Kao seduced him (which has pedophile connotations), destroying Kao’s reputation and income, and putting Kao’s mother’s job at risk. All because Non has taken things too far and can’t admit he’s gay to his homophobic father. Of course, Pete comes to the rescue and Kao finally comes out.

There is a second plot line featuring café owner Sun, Kao’s sort-of ex boyfriend, trying to get bad-boy Mork to change his ways.

Some Thoughts

I flipping love Pete and Kao. They’re one of my favorite pairings in BL. There’s better sexual chemistry with some of the other couples (yes, Tharntype, of course it’s Tharntype, isn’t that everyone’s best?) but these two are so darn cute together. There’s a very puppy love teasing thing with them. It reads really well on screen as a college LTR.

They are more “equal” in their relationship than most BL couples, partly because Kao may be the uke but he doesn’t take any of Pete’s crap.

Also I LOVE LOVE LOVE their friendship group. Gah, they are all just so adorable.

And Pete’s dad. OMG Pete’s dad is beyond sweet, and so is Kao’s mom when he eventually tells her.

I can’t comment on the café sub-plot because I’m utterly unable to watch it for a really weird reason: the actor who plays Mork looks SO MUCH like my ex from college I actually find it unbearable. It’s not that I hate my ex or anything, it’s just creepy weird in a nails-on-chalkboard way.

Bonus points for little use of clumsy pop songs and cartoon sound effects. Across the board the acting is much smoother than many BLs. I actually really LIKE the intro music to Dark Blue Kiss. 

6. 2gether

2gether: The Series

  • Online: 2gether: The Series – YouTube 13 eps (from GMMTV official)
    • Still 2gether AKA 2gether the Series Season 2 (from GMMTV official)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2020
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, lots of sexual innuendo, implied off-scene sex, shirtlessness
  • Hashtags: #tinesarawat #2gether #brightwin

Tropes:

  • Fake boyfriends
  • In world shipping
  • Easygoing clueless uke meets demanding gay AF seme
  • Pining and obsession
  • Instalove
  • Embarrassing public declarations

Concerns & Triggers

  • Over feminization and predator-representation of “out” femme gay
  • Drinking and over drinking with sexual intent
  • Forced coming out
  • Bad singing
  • Overuse of cartoon noises
  • Egregious product placement

Summary

Tine (Win Metawin) is being pursued by an older flaming gay boy, Green. For various contrived reasons, Tine just can’t just say,

“No, go away Green.”

Because he wants to date girls and Green is cramping his style, Tine and his friends decide the best thing to do is to fake date the hottest boy on campus, Sarawat (Bright Vachirawit). Because obvs only a fake gay relationship will convince Green to go away (?!). Unfortunately for Tine, Sarawat is totally gay and totally into him.

Wat (the seme) is this introverted musician who kinda hates how popular he is with the ladies because, ya’ know, hella gay, and has been pining after this boy he met at a concert for, like, evs.

Lo, said boy shows up, demands he pretend to fake date, and Wat is gonna fake it ’til he macks all over it.

Tine spends the whole series just oblivious af and rolling with the punches (sometimes literally) until he accidentally finds himself in love with Wat at which juncture they promptly move into together.

There’s a sub-plot of Wat’s frankly awesome friend Man, King of Bi, getting the hots for Tine’s bitchy older brother. And another with his younger brother flirting with the campus bad boy.

Some Thoughts 

Okay so the fake boyfriend trope is so flipping contrived, and Wat’s cold/hot/awkwardness is unexplainable and unexplained but (and you knew there was a but) Wat is so gone over Tine it’s kinda adorable.

This one is the campiest, most over-acted, and most ridiculous on my list, yet somehow it’s become a favorite. It has a lot of problems with representation, but… argh, I still like it.

At first, because the Green thing is SO ANNOYING, and Tine so passive, I couldn’t even watch it, but Wat won me over.

2gether basically hits every BL trope there is with a club, dresses it up in a frilly apron, and then drags it around singing at it:

  • care and illness/injury tending
  • lost in woods
  • hair touch, tousling
  • teasing with sexual intent
  • confessions (and more confessions)
  • food = love
  • unrequited pining
  • arms around the shoulder in public (gasp)
  • love songs as public declarations
  • secret love songs as public declarations, again, and again, and again
  • possible ex girlfriends showing up at the worst time
  • caring when injured
  • and… REPEAT in Still 2gether

Okay yeah, the plot is cray-cray. But I kinda love watching this for Wat’s googley eyes, and Tine’s utter obtuseness.

Plus it’s nice to get a Thai drama where one of the boys is just clearly completely gay and all over his love interest both sexually and romantically. (Usually, it goes one way or the other and is closeted gay for you.)

Bonus points for condom representation, even if it is a gag gift.

7. 2 Moons

2 Moons the Series

  • Online2 Moons the Series – YouTube 12 eps (ripped only)
    • Gen Y the Series – recon, reboot, spin off-ish (ripped only)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2017, college & high school 2020 (for Gen Y)
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, sexualized tickling
  • Hashtags: #2Moonstheseries #PhaYo #MingKit #MarkKit

Tropes:

  • Willfull misunderstanding
  • Instalove
  • Older experienced seme/younger innocent uke

Concerns & Triggers

  • Uke can come off as innocent to the point of stupid
  • Uke has a collection of photos of Phana that is stalkerish bordering on psycho
  • King of awkward pauses
  • Casual references to rape as humorous
  • The music is really bad

Summary

Based on a three book series.

Phana/Dr Pha (so called because he is a med student) fell in love with a boy in high school but let him slip away. Years later that boy is a freshman at his university. Dr Pha is “Campus Moon” AKA hottest dude on campus.

Wayo, the love interest, is picked to represent his department in this year’s Moon competition. Pha doesn’t recognize him and they clash, although Wayo has also been in love with Pha since high school.

The 2 Moons series of books follows three pre-med best friends (the Wild Doctors) and their gay relationships. The main plot, the “2 Moons” of the title, features Dr Pha/Wayo. Their’s is a bog standard dominant demanding older smarter hotter seme falls instantly in love with, and in pursuit of, younger innocent uke. There’s some miscommunication to start but basically it’s a fated obsession on both sides.

This first installment starts a sub-plot of Wayo’s BFF, Ming, who’s a total womanizer but decides to go after Pha’s bestie, Kit, anyway. I like this better as a story. Kit is a prickly snarky asshat of a uke who resists being pursued by younger playboy Ming. My favorite 2 Moons sub-plot of Forth and Beam isn’t picked up until the second series, 2 Moons 2. This cast and iteration lost the rights to the series, but does a somewhat spin off of Ming and Kit, as Mark and Kit, in Gen Y. (Think soap operas, it’s complicated and illogical.)

Some Thoughts

This show is fluffy as all get up, the main relationship is basically just cute and pining.

I like some of this first installment better than the reboot, 2 Moons 2. But if you only watch one, watch that one instead. I think there’s slightly more chemistry between Wayo and Pha in this one, but that thread is my least favorite and the least interesting. Although Dr Pha wins first in class on the longing look of longing long-time, this version is very slow moving, but definitely more romantic in the long run than the second installment. (See what I did there?)

Bonus points for the adorable, enduring friendship between Wayo and Ming. And P’Forth, everyone’s favorite no matter who portrays him. Why are Thai engineering departments so good at giving us a tatted-up gay bad boy with a heart of gold? (I think we should make Win an honorary engineer.)

Oh and PinkMilk’s captioning is great, if you get their version. The extra MST3K commentary is most amusing.

8. 2 Moons 2

2 Moons 2 (reboot + further adventures)

  • Online: 2 Moons 2 – YouTube 12 eps (from Mello Thailand official)
    • 2 Moons 3 in production?
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2019
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, topless fooling around for the main characters, full on sex for Forth and Beam (fade to black)
  • Hashtags: #2Moons2 #PhaYo #PhanaWayo #ForthBeam #MingKit

Tropes:

  • Misunderstanding
  • Instalove
  • Older experienced seme/younger very innocent uke
  • Also playboy bisexual younger seme/jaded older uke
  • Also friends-to-lovers, sexual chemistry first, relationship second

Concerns & Triggers

  • Wayo can come off as innocent to the point of stupid
  • Wayo has a collection of photos of Phana that is stalkerish bordering on psycho
  • Casual references to rape as humorous
  • Some very predator behavior
  • Dub-con due to alcohol, possible sexual assault
  • In world shipping
  • Cliff hanger ending

Summary & Thoughts

2 Moons 2 recasts and then re-films 2 Moons on a compressed time line. Then the second half picks up more of the sub-plots and side characters and advances the story arcs into three romances occurring simultaneously. But basically the first half is exactly the same as the original 2 Moons, only as cliff-notes.

As such, I can’t avoid a direct comparison.

I like the Wayo actor slightly better in this one, but Dr Pha better in the first one (both actors have now left BL). Either way, these two take up the majority of the screen time but have the least chemistry and least interesting story arc.

I’m mostly indifferent on Ming/Kit casting since I like their characters and story better either way. But if you pushed me, I think I like these two actors better than those in the first installment. Prickly little Kitkit is so cute, and Ming a touch less sleazy in version 2.2.

However, 2 Moons 2 wins for me because I like Forth/Beam so uch. In fact, their sub-plot (which only comes to fruition at the end of this series) is my favorite from both 2 Moons adaptations.

Incidentally Forth… Engineering Faculty, here we go again.

Forth/Beam also the most modern feeling love story, in that they’re both brokenhearted, get drunk, end up in bed together, and have sex. Then bad-ass-squishy-center Forth decides he really wants to have a relationship with Beam and starts flirting hardcore in this teasing aggressive way. It works very well as a friends to lovers dynamic, and puts them on a more equal footing from the start than most BL. Although Forth is PUSHY.

All three romantic pairings end up basically together at the end of 2 Moons 2 but there is a cliff hanger for the Wayo/Pha relationship at the very end of the last episode, with sexual assault implications.

There is supposed to be a 2 Moons 3 although the actor playing Wayo has left the franchise. I’m hoping it still happens and that we get more of Forth and Beam. And, since I’m being all demanding of the BL universe, why not make them verse? Come on, break ground in a GOOD way Mello? You can do eeett!

Bonus points for a great portrayal of complexity inherent in the friends to lovers trope for Beam and Forth.

9. My Engineer

My Engineer the series 

  • OnlineMy Engineer the series – YouTube 14 eps (from My Engineer Official)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2019
  • Sexual Content: Kissing
  • Hashtags: #myengineertheseries #BohnDuen #RamKing #MekBoss #TharaFong

Tropes:

  • Misunderstanding
  • Rake changing his ways for the right guy
  • Grumpy/sunshine
  • Also tortured seme/sweetheart uke
  • Also friends-to-lovers
  • Also enemies to lovers (maybe)

Concerns & Triggers

  • Duen can come off as innocent to the point of stupid, but is also a complete brat
  • Dub-con due to alcohol, possible sexual assault (turned into a joke)
  • Some very predator behavior
  • In world shipping
  • Cliff hanger ending on two sub plots

Summary

Consciously playing on the trope that any given Thai engineering department is full of gay boys, this follows essentially two groups of friends. One group of all freshmen and mostly pre med, and the other all second year engineering students (natural-muh).

The primary couple is bad boy womanizer campus heartthrob Bohn and his earnest pursuit of bratty Duen.

Secondary couples include Duen’s over-protective, reticent, tattooed friend Ram and his sunshine boy, King. There is also a friends to lovers plot between two of the engineer BFFs, Mek and Boss. And an unfinished enemies to lovers plot between Bohn’s rival, Fong, and his love interest Dr Smolder, Thara.

Thoughts

If 2gether hit every BL trope there is with a club, dressed each one up in a frilly apron, and dragged it around singing at it, then My Engineer put them in moon god robes and surrounded them by thousands of Y-fans screaming and hurling little pickles.

The Bohn/Duen thread is fine, a pretty standard seme/uke. It’s a bit exhaustingly hot/cold constant misunderstandings and jealousy. Ultra pushy Bohn does all the pursuing and Duen all the “oh noes, I couldn’t,” “no, don’t speak, don’t speak,” plus requisite dashing into the forest alone. But at least Duen fights back on occasion, and his friends are sweeties. While it’s always fun to see a bad boy go soft for the dorky nerd of his dreams, Duen is a little too much of a whiney damsel for me, and while it has some sweet moments, I think some of the sub plots are better.

The Mek/Boss BFFs falling in love sub plot is mostly pat longing looks, but cute enough.

I liked the Fong/Thara sub plot, it’s more mature, and better acted, but was given very very little screen time.

The Ram & King sub plot is my favorite, and they were given a cliff hanger ending. Ram’s not-speaking thing is a bit overdone (maybe because Thai is not the actor’s first language?) but King is utterly adorable. His love language is lecture notes and potted plants. I mean, come on.

This was by far the best conceived and acted story arc. These two had the most chemistry among the four couples. (Although, what is with Ram’s family’s accents? His mom speaks English with a strong French accent and Ram speaks Aussie.)

Pretty much everyone loves them best and if the producers know their bread/butter situation, they will have a more primary role in the next season (should it happen).

The best thing about this couple? No clear uke/semi dynamic.

There is supposed to be a follow up season in 2021 with the same cast, but love in the time of Covid is hard, even for Thai engineering students. I’ll watch it if we get one, if only for Ram and King.

Bonus points for at least addressing how ridiculous the idea is that one half of a gay couple always has to be the top.

The TharnType Universe

My final BL dramas all take place in the same universe with tons of crossover characters.

The only major crossover character we see on screen in the core entries is Type (played by different actors). However, his relationship with Tharn is represented and discussed in almost all of them, so I’m went with “TharnType Universe” as the catchall name.

In world chronological order is:

  1. Tharntype
  2. Tharntype Special
  3. Make It Right
  4. Love By Chance
  5. Love By Chance 2
  6. Why R U
  7. SiafahZon Story
  8. Tharntype 2

But for various reasons, I don’t suggest actually watching them in world order.

All of these are pretty problematic so I am presenting them in the order I watched them.

10. Love By Chance

Love by Chance

This one released first. But in world chronology, it follows TharnType by a few years. Type appears as a “senior” (AKA not-freshman) side character in this series, but is played by a different actor than in TharnType & Why R U. 

  • OnlineLove by Chance – YouTube 14 eps (from Studio Wabi Sabi official)
    • Love by Chance 2 – a retcon reboot spin off featuring secondary characters (Viki behind a paywall)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2018
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, topless fooling around, almost full on sex with a fade to black
  • Hashtags: #AePete #LoveByChance #TinCan

Tropes:

  • Discovering identity
  • Friends to lovers
  • Care and protection

Concerns & Triggers

  • Depicted gay bashing
  • Blackmail
  • Aggressive consensual flirting
  • Some very predator behavior in the sub-plots
  • Non-con rape due to alcohol sub-plot = very bad

Summary

Based on My Accidental Love Is You by MAME12938, the main plot of this story is actually one of my very favorites, unfortunately there are distressingly messy sub-plots.

Ae (Perth Tanapon), a freshman in Engineering (of course) and also a football player, accidentally tumbles into Pete’s life (Saint Suppapong) and then refuses to get untangled.

Pete is a freshman at the International College (private, expensive, and taught in English) and Ae is in the Engineering department (yep) of the Thai program (which IC kids treat a little like being in community college).

There’s a lot of class and language use differences with the two main characters. I know I missed a ton of nuance not speaking Thai myself. I ended up researching at lot of stuff for PART I of this blog series on race, class and language because of Love By Chance. What I learned was fascinating and I really enjoyed this aspect of Ae and Pete’s relationship.

Pete is a smart rich shy boy who knows he is gay and is having all sorts of issues with an abusive ex, blackmail, domineering friends, and life in college. He physically runs into and then gets adopted by Ae, a rough and tumble boy from the other side of the tracks with a heart of gold.

Ae is super sweet and caring and decides what Pete really needs is a BFF/bodyguard/butler, and Ae is the boy for the job. Ae comes off as gray/demi/ace and admits to never really being interested in anyone sexually or otherwise.

As his friendship with Pete becomes more loving and intimate Ae finds himself really wanting to look after Pete and be with him all the time. Eventually Ae is surprised to find he’s sexually attracted to Pete, when he’s never been attracted to anyone before (so I’m going with demisexual).

Eventually, Ae decides that if Pete is it for him, he better seriously pursue him. At this juncture Pete tries to put the breaks on because he believes that if Ae has a choice, he should choose to love a woman. That way Ae won’t have to go through all the misery Pete’s been through as an out gay boy. Of course, Ae is having none of it.

Sub-plot: Can/Tin

Tin (seme) is an entitled prick with a poor-little-rich-boy abusive home life and huge chip on his shoulder who becomes weirdly obsessed with Can (uke) – outgoing, chatterbox, ADD, eccentric. Can has no idea how to handle it. Can is occasionally whiny and annoying but also hilarious.

Sub-plot: Tar/Tum

Technically, in world chronology, this follows Tar’s sub-plot in Tharntype and it is a (step?)brother-lovers thread. Younger brother/uke, Tar, returns from France still broken from being raped in high school, and still refusing to tell his beloved older brother/seme, Tum, about it.

Finally, Tar tells all.

There’s definite brothers maybe wanna get it on thing here. Are they step brothers or are we getting all Flowers in the Attic? I don’t know. I think maybe there is a language barrier issue that’s indicating to Thai watchers the exact nature of the boys’ familial relationship that the caption person didn’t realize NEEDS TO BE MADE CLEAR to the rest of us.

Or there’s just, you know, casual incest going on with this sub-plot.

Sub-plot: Techno/Kla

This is the biggest problem child in the TharnType universe, like worse than possible incest (okay, maybe not, eh, anyway). Techno is this happy-go-lucky party-too-much sweetheart who gets maybe-it-can-be-said-seduced but really just raped by Kla, into a relationship? Nuh uh, honey.

Kla is a sexual predator regardless of the fact that he’s a minor. He basically f**ks Techno when Techno is blackout drunk and couldn’t possibly consent. Also, Techno’s younger brother is selling his older brother’s ass to Kla.

This thread is unredeemable.

Some Thoughts

Ae’s sexual awakening aspect is handled well, and I love seeing demi represented on the screen (openly acknowledged or not).

I like that even though Pete is definitely a submissive, he is the one with more sexual experience. Ae, as the seme character, is sort of bumbling along, eventually doing actual research into how to have gay sex. It’s adorable. And yeah, education!

This is the only BL drama on this list that addresses lube as a necessity. (Although, condoms are repped in Until We Meet Again, Why R U, TharnType, and 2gether).

Lots of other standard uke/seme tropes are flipped. For example, a lot is made of the fact that Ae is shorter, poorer, and less well educated than Pete.

There’s fun glimpses of different kinds of family life in Love By Chance, too. Although Pete comes out to his mother, Ae considers but does not come out to his family.

The sub-plot with Tin and Can is intriguing, although the actors don’t have great chemistry together, I still want them to get their HEA. However, it’s left as a cliffhanger that’s picked up in Love by Chance 2. AKA A Chance at Love this spin off focuses on Can/Tin as the primary couple, but rewrites and retells their narrative as if their original sub-plot didn’t exist. Meanwhile the other sub plots continue, including Ae/Pete breaking up(!). I found this second installment very uneven.

Incidentally, Saint, who portrays Pete, goes on to portray a different character in the same universe, Tutor in Why R U. Just to confuse matters.

Bonus points for depiction of researching how to have gay sex properly and lube use. (The ONLY example I’ve yet encountered.)

11. TharnType

TharnType: The Series

Technically speaking, in world chronology, this series comes a few years before Love by Chance, with TharnType Special occurring at the same time/after Why R U.

  • OnlineTharnType: The Series – 12 eps (ripped only)
    • Why R U: Episode 2 part 1 – (ripped only)
    • TharnType Special (ripped only)
    • TharnType 27 Years Of Love (ripped only)
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2019 (in world 2015, 2018 & 2020)
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, blow job, basically full on sex without being actually porn
  • Hashtags: #TharnType #TharnTypetheseries

Tropes:

  • Homophobe who’s closeted
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Care and protection
  • Bad boy uke/caring sensitive out seme
  • Grumpy uke/sunshine seme

Concerns & Triggers

  • Verbal gay bashing with little redemption
  • Possessive behavior, including violence and sexual claiming
  • Uncorrected conflation of gay with pedophile
  • Aggressive dub-con touching and more
  • Bargaining for sex, trading favors for sex
  • Childhood abduction and abuse described and somewhat depicted
  • Non-con molestation when drunk

Summary + Thoughts

Ooof, where to start with this one?

So Type (Gulf Kanawut) is a tough, hot tempered, immature jock, with some serious emotional control issues. He’s also a raving homophobe who is openly verbally abusive towards gay men. This all stems from being kidnapped and abused as a kid.

(The narrative makes no effort to separate being a pedophile from being a gay man, which is just one of its many issues.)

Freshman year he’s assigned this crazy-hot roommate, Tharn (Mew Suppasit), and guess what? Tharn is openly gay.

Let the fireworks commence.

So there is a lot of fighting and abuse hurled and punching/kicking each other. It’s pretty clear that Tharn has it bad for Type from the start, despite his jerk ways. Why, tho? Just because Type is super hot, I guess. (Although I would like to point out that neither is in the Faculty of Engineering, or all their problems might be solved.)

Tharn is clearly going to get Type ass-up if it’s the last thing he does. Oh and I mean ass-up. Don’t think Tharn is the good guy here. Pretty much by the end of the first episode he is leaving hickeys on Type’s inebriated homophobic ass (not literally) and arranging things so Type thinks he’s been f**ked while black-out drunk. Because that’s hilarious. Yet Tharn is praised by Techno (later to be drunk raped himself in Love By Chance) for not actually taking advantage of Type – because Tharn is such a gentleman.

Seriously?

Tharn starts aggressively teasing Type because he thinks they’ve got that kind of relationship going. Type starts pranking him back, if not sexually responding, until one day Tharn pounces and starts making out with Type. Tharn obviously expects Type to either succumb or just kick his ass. Instead, Type breaks down and regresses, then starts having nightmares.

Remorseful, Tharn realizes Type is dealing with serious trauma and switches tactics to becoming relentlessly gentle and nice, secretly caring for Type through illness, feeding him, that sort of thing.

Then, suddenly, Tharn basically forces a blow job on Type. FYI, BJs in yaoi are payment/penance submissive acts performed by the seme in order to woo the uke. They have a ton of subtext and are almost never depicted in BL dramas, so this scene is super significant in many ways, but still… consent is REAL sketchy here.

After that, Tarn presses Type to explain why he hates gay men when he clearly likes both Tharn and the BJ.

Type confesses what happened to him as a child in detail. Tharn backs off but falls utterly in love with Type and continues to dole out affection and friendship and flirting.

And then, suddenly, whoa boy, Type is like:

“Tharn, let’s have sex.”

It’s weird.

So then they start (still arguing, and Type still being a homophobe) sleeping with each other on the regular as fuck buddies. It’s hot and yeah, Tharn is an unequivocal top, (with one possible exception later on), but still…

What. The actual. F#$k?

So Tharn ruins Type for girls. Type tries to have a “normal” relationship with a chick, but can’t get it up, so comes crawling back to Tharn. Because apparently Tharn is so good in the sack that Type falls in love with him.

They become covert boyfriends.

Everything is lovey dovey until wham bang there’s some contrived reason why Type has to break up with Tharn and pretty much destroy Tharn’s heart. Turns out Tharn’s psycho bandmate stalker Lhong keeps ruining Tharn’s relationships. Type can’t come up with a better plan to expose him.

Type’s plan works. Lhong is outed as insane. Type and Tharn are finally officially together. Slowly more and more people learn they’re boyfriends. They totally adore each other.

And… the end!

In TharnType Special we get a series of reflective HEA on three years of a relationship.

The couple also has one really sweet appearances in Why R U episode 2 as they’ve kinda become the model gay couple for the whole campus.

I’M CONFUSED TOO.

TharnType 2 picks up 7 years later with them both working and still mostly closeted. Tharn wants to marry Type and the drama begins again.

Sub-plot: Tar/Tum

This installment covers the fact that Tar (Tharn’s sweet uke ex-boyfriend) was set up to be gang raped by Tharn’s stalker, Lhong. Tar then dumped Tharn because Tar was too messed up to deal. He refused to tell Tharn why or what happened. Also he’s somehow still being manipulated by Lhong. Tar had a mental breakdown and his brother is overprotective and blames Tharn (but doesn’t know what really happened).

Tar flees to France at the end of this series after confessing all to Type. Type and he form a friendship because Type understands rape/abuse first hand. In Love By Chance this thread picks up with different actors.

Sub-plot: Techno/Kla

We see the beginning of Kla stalking Techno. It’s not as skeezy as in Love By Chance, as nothing happens. The same actor plays Kla, different actors play Techno.

TharnType Special has a look in on Tin (all HEA over Can, so we know that worked out okay) and a visit from Pete (but no Ae).

Some More Thoughts

Look, I know, right.

Didn’t I say there were tons of problems with this one? Not the least of which is the plot. (What plot?)

Here’s the thing, the chemistry between the leads is insane. The way the look at and touch each other is flipping genius. There is a reason the internet basically went crazy over them and will not believe the actors aren’t actually dating in real life. (It helps that the actors, Mew and Gulf, are pretty happy to play along. They know which side their bread is buttered on… in this case, both. In fact, there is no bread, it’s ALL butter.)

Look. Okay. It’s just… They are profoundly hot on screen together.

Tharn clearly just adores Type so much and Type is such a little shit to him, and then such a big ol’ ball of angsty loving shit to him, and on screen they are SO GOOD together.

Also Type is not even remotely submissive, in fact I would hesitate to say this has a uke/seme dynamic at all, more of just a plain old top/bottom. In that regard, it makes this whole series feel more modern.

Type’s love confession is fantastic. I mean, it’s genius from a writer perspective.

So, bah. You’ve been warned, but, yeah CHEMISTRY WORKS.

Sigh.

Bonus points for a uke who is, eventually, really into sex and bottoming. Oh and condoms. Again, gag gift, but still… implied regular condom use, so thumbs (er) up for that!

Extra bonus points for breaking the internet and making modeling history: Mew and Gulf appeared in the February 2020 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Thailand, the first BL couple to do so in the history of the magazine. The number of BL fans trying to read the article caused Harper’s website to crash. Since then multiple BL actors have appeared in Thai modeling campaigns, on billboards, in TV commercials, and in print.

12. Why R U

Why R U

Technically, in world chronology, this follows Love By Chance 2.

  • OnlineWhy R U – YouTube 12 eps (ripped only)
    • SaifahZon Story – 3 episode follow up
  • Country: Thailand
  • Setting: College 2020
  • Sexual Content: Kissing, topless fooling around, groping, basically full on sex without being actual porn
  • Hashtags: #WhyRUtehseries #FighterTutor #zaintsee

Tropes:

  • Instalove
  • Discovering identity
  • In world shipping
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Hot then cold, pining
  • Coming out

Concerns & Triggers

  • Aggressive consensual flirting
  • Cheating (with/on girls)
  • Very bad singing
  • Gaslighting
  • Homophobic father
  • This is actually the least egregious in terms of triggers set in the TharnType universe, but unfortunately its also the most cheesy awkward, which is why it’s last on the list

Summary

Zon (Tommy Sittichok) learns about BL and the fact that his sister Zol is basically shipping everyone on his campus and writing about it. Suddenly, he starts seeing gay relationships everywhere and gets freaked out that he might want one, and maybe has a crush on musician Saifah (Jummy Karn). Or is Zol just writing this into existence?

Meanwhile, second year Tutor (Saint Suppapong who also plays Pete in Love By Chance) and third year Fighter (Zee Pruk Panich) have serious angst and chemistry and history. Everyone kinda knows they should be together but for some reason Fighter is super hot/cold and resistant to the idea and Tutor is sick of his bullsh**.

Fighter has had a crush on Tutor since Tutor was a freshman but he hazed and teased him instead of actually doing anything about it. Possibly he’s a closet case and resents Tutor for making him want, or maybe he’s just bad at flirting. Fighter has a homophobic dad and other issues (like being apparently unable to button up his shirts), plus, you know, a girlfriend (beard?).

Fighter’s near constant GAY PANIC every time Tutor gets close is, pretty much, hilarious. And Tutor is a real pushy uke. I get the feeling Fighter’s unequivocal hots for Tutor is actually considered a flaw in their ability to have a romantic relationship.

The separation near the end is very contrived but eventually they work it all out, through lots of sex, and hooray, HEA.

Oh, and are they in the Faculty of Engineering? Sure are.

Some Thoughts

The Zon/Saifah plot is weak, awkward, and occupies too much screen time at the beginning and almost none at the end.

Fighter Gay pAnic

Seme with a bossy uke be like: Wait, what have I gotten myself into?

However the Tutor/Fighter story is hot if utterly confusing and the actors have great chemistry.

Frankly anytime Saint (the actor who plays both Tutor and Pete) gets all heavy lidded and seductive you know someone is going down – probably the nearest toppy boy.

He’s actually such a different personality as Tutor that I had to look it up to make sure it wasn’t different lookalike actor siblings or something. So yeah, ACTING!

Storywise I like an aggressive uke with agency and secretly suffering meets confused emotional seme. (I just wish I had  a better handle on WHY Fighter is suffering so.) However, the plot is incomprehensible.

Why is Fighter such a jerk? Why is Tutor so mean to him at the break up? What did Fighter’s dad hope to accomplish? Is Fighter actually just totally gay and everyone knows it?

Nevertheless, it’s still sexy and it has a toothsomely sweet ending with an implication that Fighter actually lets Tutor top him… ooo how shockingly gay of him! Verse in the BL verse, who knew that could happen?

Bonus points for a falling in love musical montage ’80s rom-com style, condom use, consent (!), and a demanding uke who is as into sex as the seme. These two get the most fan made music videos, and with good reason.

13. Make it Right

Make It Right Seasons 1 & 2

This may or may not exactly fit into the TharnType universe but it does have one set of cross over characters, and for that reason alone I’m sticking it here on the list. This can be considered this universe’s answer to Love Sick. It’s not as good, but covers similar ground.

  • Online: Make It Right – YouTube Season 1 12 eps, Season 2 14 eps (ripped only)
    • Why R You (character check in) – ep 2 part 2 (ripped only)
    • Make it Live on the Beach (follow up mini series) – YouTube 5 eps (ripped only)
  • Country: Thailand 2016-2017, 2019
  • Setting: High school
  • Sexual Content: Just a little kissing for the main couple, topless simulated sex for others
  • Hashtags: #TeeFuse #makeitright

Tropes:

  • Friends to lovers
  • Secret romance
  • Solid surrounding friendship group

Concerns & Triggers

  • Parental neglect
  • Characters are minors and look it
  • Very messy plot
  • Cheating (with/on girls and with/on guys and more)
  • Sexual blackmail
  • Self harm attempted suiside (pills)
  • All the consent issues

Summary & Thoughts

Make It Right follows two boys, Tee and Fuse, and their extended (increasingly) queer friendship group and multiple relationships. Tee and Fuse are semi-friends who fall drunkenly into bed together in episode 1. There is some attempt at consent, but Fuse is drunk and Tee should know better. Fuse has a girlfriend and is not pleased with the resulting situation. Tee is the type of seme who feels responsible and emotionally attached after “dirtying” his uke, and when Fuse lashes out at him, ALSO feels really guilty about drunk fucking him without established consent (thank you!). This is the only one on my list that specifically addresses dub-con due to alcohol, and Tee spends most of the first series guilt ridden about it.

Fuse is basically a really easygoing cheerful dude. He’s also an idiot, who, it turns out, can’t resist Tee and basically strings Tee along (for sex) while deciding whether to break up with his (plutonic) girlfriend… for about 20 episodes. Tee just lets Fuse walk all over him (sigh).

So far as queer representation goes, Fuse is touted as gay for you, but Tee clearly really likes boys. But, there are a ton of sub-plot characters who identify as gay or bi, some of them are out, and one of them is femme. It’s kind of nice to see that get some rep in BL.

Tee and Fuse have the best chemistry of any of the couples, and the least sexitimes, they barely kiss (it’s kinda weird and might be ’cause the actors are minors) but some of the other pairings are cute (like Frame and Book) ~ if you can get over all the triggers and other issues.

The Tee and Fuse check in we get in Why R U is lovely. It’s nice to know they stayed together and went to college still a couple.

Bonus for condom use made sexy in Season 2 with Frame and Book, and for Frame (at least) acknowledging he likes all genders (even if the lens shows this as slutty).

Others of Note

I’m pretty sure these push too far into the extremes for my readers to enjoy, or the quality is just too poor, or they don’t have great endings. I’m listing them for the sake of record keeping and because they carry weight in the BL community.

Love Sick

Love Sick AKA Lovesick The Series Seasons 1 & 2

This might be thought of as the BL drama that started Thai BL. It was the success of this series in Thailand that convinced Thai production companies to film more BL series and monetize them on YouTube. The hand holding bookstore incident is iconic.

It’s an afterthought on this list mostly because it’s just SO LONG and the video/captioning quality is so bad. But I really like it.

  • Online: YouTube Season 1 12 eps (or go for the 5 hr BL cut), Season 2 36 eps! (ripped only)
  • Country: Thailand 2014-2015
  • Setting: High school
  • Sexual Content: Just a little kissing
  • Hashtags: #PhunNoh #lovesicktheseries

Tropes:

  • Friends to lovers
  • Fake boyfriend
  • Secret romance
  • Solid surrounding friendship group

Concerns & Triggers

  • In world shipping (light)
  • Characters are minors and Noh looks it
  • Very slow moving
  • Public singing for love
  • Cheating (with/on girls)
  • Later episodes in season 2 are badly captioned to the point of incomprehension

Summary & Thoughts

Love Sick follows two boys, Phun and Noh, and their extended high school friendship groups and many relationships. Phun, the rich son of a politician, is a model student with a girlfriend and can’t quite figure out why he’s suddenly obsessed with Noh. Noh is a goofy, easygoing, sweetheart, easily influenced by his friends, and a total gentleman. The two boys fall unexpectedly and deeply in love with each other.

This is touted as gay for you, but it’s actually a pretty decent representation of bisexual discovery, identity crisis, and sexual awakening.

Neither of them handle their burgeoning romance well. Both of them are already dating girls. So there is cheating, rejection, tons of confusion, and pining.

“It’s a terrible feeling not knowing where the line is between us.”
~ Noh to Puhn in Love Sick 2

There is nothing more than kissing (implied fooling around), and even that takes forever. But the leads have good chemistry and their friends are, on occasion, laugh out loud funny. This one is probably more realistic and less idealized than lots of other BL dramas on this list. It is way less tropey and lacking in camp. Also quite well acted.

The first installment features multiple couples (soap opera style) with Phun and Noh as the main plot, with het side -plots.

The second season drops most of the het stuff and picks up some BL side-plots for Noh’s friends. It’s very slow moving, messy, but has a somewhat happy ending. The captioning use of gendered pronouns and terms, makes it impossible to know whether Phun actually comes out to his father or not, and that’s a critical plot point in the final episode.

Note:

After rewatching Phun’s coming out scene a few times, and knowing a little more about Thai pronouns I’m reasonably sure the entire thing is actually gender neutral. So when you watch try mentally substituting they/them for all she/he/her/him. Also substitute lover/partner for boyfriend/girlfriend (we are in faen territory again) and the whole thing will make more sense.

Both Phun and his dad are alluding to the fact that Phun is dating Noh without actually specifying it. Thai pronouns allow for this because they speak in third person singular gender neutral (in English we would say singular they/them).

In Thai, self-gendering is obligatory (the word “I” has gender attached to it and changes depending on the speaker). So the 7+ ways to say “I” in Thai are all translated as “I” in English. But there’s an opposite comprehension issue with he/she translations. While third person can be gendered, he/she Thai pronouns are most likely to be gender neutral.

Note the highlighted Thai words above for he/she are mostly exactly the same? Regardless of whether the person being talked about is male or female?

The Reminders series has a check in with Phun and Noh as seniors in college. And while it’s fun to see Noh with hair, the couple isn’t treated well by the narrative and it left me ultimately disappointed. If you just wanna see what the two actors look like grown up, watch this music video instead.

Frankly, Love Sick would probably be much higher on my list were is not so long, the video so crappy, and the captioning so challenging.

Bonus points very little uke/seme dynamic and no consent issues.

Addicted

Addicted web series – Heroin 

  • Online: YouTube 15 ep + deleted scenes (ripped only) & Viki uncut version has better subtitles
  • Country: China (I know, right?) 2016
  • Setting: High School
  • Sexual Content: Heavy petting, rough kissing, one very hot fade to black sex scene

Tropes:

  • Enemies to lovers
  • Bad boys
  • Poor little rich kid
  • Class struggles
  • Taboo relationship (both gay and step-brothers)

Concerns & Triggers

  • Ambiguous ending
  • Main characters physically fight, haze, and bully each other at the start
  • Kidnapping for love
  • Cheating (with/on girls)
  • One is poor the other rich and this is, somewhat, played for laughs
  • Divorce paints mother as a whore
  • Characters are minors, actors are clearly NOT
  • There is tons of subtext in terms of gay = perverted & unnatural
  • All initial sexual encounters are rough/rapey/demanding, however the one actual sex scene is not and is incited by the uke (but is probably what got this show banned)

Summary & Thoughts

Probably the best known and acted Chinese BL. Don’t worry, there is no drug use in this series (I was scared too) the subtitle “heroin” comes from the way the seme becomes addicted to the uke, plus a combination of their character names.

Bai Luo Yin (Xu Weizhou) lives in a poor part of town with his careless but loving father. When he’s 16, his estranged mother remarries a rich high-ranking military official. Meanwhile, Gu Hai (Huang Jingyu) has always hated his father and resents his new step-mother.

The step-brothers are unexpectedly placed in the same class in high school, without knowing each other’s background or their connection.

At first they hate each other, but Gu Hai realizes all his angst and physical violence and emotional feelings towards Bai Luo Yin are actually obsessive love (hello, classic seme). Then he decides to pretend to be poor, move in next door, and pursues Bai Luo Yin. (Oh, and Gu Hai has a girlfriend. Also, master of the pining sigh.)

Three episodes before the season finale (right when they stop fighting and start living together), this drama was removed from all Chinese streaming sites by order of SAPPRFT. This series is now inaccessible to Chinese viewers. Rumor is that China has banned the two actors from appearing on screen together (possibly because they have excellent chemistry).

The cut sex scene from the final episode 15 is available as a deleted scene on YouTube or as part of the final episode on Viki. I suggest stopping after watching that as the defacto ending.

If you, like me, become obsessed with candied hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida) AKA Bing Tanghulu as a result of seeing this show, it apparently tastes like a crabapple coated in red colored candied caramel, here’s a recipe.

Bonus points for the music in that sex scene, which is KILLER and perfectly chosen. Oh and for the fact that Xu Weizhou looks a bit like this generation’s Jonathan Rhys Meyers, because come on, who doesn’t want that?

Seven Days 

7 Days

Seven Days 

Japan started the BL movement. They did so with live action yaoi manga adaptations in early 2010-2015. Filming style, dialogue, plot all came directly from yaoi as they basically used popular manga for story boards (they still do this today, see Love Stage.) Thailand, responsible for the second wave of BL and what we think of as the genre today, does come from yaoi and we can still spot yaoi it in the narratives, but is stylistically very different. If you want something that bridges the gap, Seven Days will do it. New Japanese entry, Cherry Magic is more modern BL and Restart After Come Back home possibly the most classy BL movie but Seven Days occupies a place in my heart that cannot be shaken. It’s pure delight.

Tropes:

  • Secret relationship
  • Friends to lovers
  • Game of love

Concerns & Triggers

  • None that I can think of, the hair is kinda weird but that’s typical of Japanese live action manga

Summary & Thoughts

Super popular freshman Seiryo will go out with the first girl who asks him starting every Monday. But he always breaks up with them before the week ends. He has the reputation for being a great boyfriend though, for that ONE week. On impulse, third year Yuzuru decides to see if that policy also applies to boys, so he asks Seiryo out. Surprised, Seriyo nevertheless agrees and, like he always does, tries his best to fall in love.

Yuzuru is sweet-faced and beautiful, but his personality is the opposite. He’s honest to the point of insulting, changeable and moody, and has the tendency to alienate people. His girlfriends have always dumped him because once they get to know him, they don’t like him anymore. Seiryo, however, adores Yuzuru’s bluntness. He always knows where he stands with him, and he likes being ordered about. He makes this fact clear to Yuzuru, who starts to fall in love with Seiryo because of the joy of being liked for who he really is.

Meanwhile, Seiryo thinks it’s all just a game to Yuzuru, but he’s falling in love too. Despite the fact that both want it to last more than a week, they’re afraid to break the magic between them by asking for more. Generally, I don’t like a story driven by miscommunication but this one is honestly wrought, since they are both young and nervous and playing a one week game that, in the end, neither wants to play. The ending is lovely and it’s probably my favorite early BLs.

Others Talked About

This is by no means a comprehensive list (and I stopped updating in 2020). In many cases I simply skipped to the final episode to see what the end was like (and then didn’t watch because SAD). Or I read the comments and knew I would not enjoy the drama. In other cases, I don’t have platform access or the video has no eng sub.

The ones I’ve  listed here are ones I enjoyed or at least thought were okay.

  • Amore (YouTube) Philippines, messy house of gays boys, everyone loves Joey. DNF
  • As If You Whisper (Vimeo) – Korea, musicians fall in love which impacts their chances of fame
  • Bangkok Love Stories (Netflix) – Thailand, mixed couples soap series including 1 BL thread that is decent and has an HEA
  • Cherry Magic – Japan, it’s SO GOOD
  • Color Rush – Korea, one of the best BL’s ever made, certainly the best out of Korea. Just WONDERFUL.
  • Counterattack Web Series AKA Falling in Love with a Rival (YouTube) – Taiwan?, very bad captioning
  • Gameboys web series (YouTube) – Philippines wonderful little series of two boys falling in love online in the time of Covid.
  • Gen Y the series – Thailand, hot mess with soem good threads and fun parody, but certainly not beginner level BL.

LOVED IT:

He’s Coming To Me (finally on YouTube GMMTV offical!) – Thailand, PNR of a boy (Thun) who falls in love with a ghost (Mes). It’s actually really good and features the actors who play Kong in SOTUS and Frame in Make it Right. They are great and both boys identify as gay in the narrative. There is even a good honest coming out sequence for Thun. The plot is also excellent, a favorite of mine.

  • Hey Rival, I LOVE YOU! (YouTube) – Vietnam, two boys courting the same girl discover she’d two timing them, plan to get revenge, fall in love with each other instead.
  • History1: Obsessed (Viki) – Taiwan, uke dies tragically for love and then gets a chance to do it all over again
  • History3: Make Our Days Count (Viki 10 eps) – Taiwan, good but VERY SAD

LIKED IT:

History 3: Trapped (Viki 10 eps probably) – Taiwan, ambiguous ending, but if you just don’t watch the very last scene, this is actually good. That said, it is also not BL, it’s gay romance. I have it on the list because it’s classified as BL online, but this has none of the hall markers of a true BL drama.

It’s just a decent gay romance mixed with mystery and action. I recommend it. It’s about a police investigator trying to solve a cold case who falls in love with his only witness, who happens to run a crime syndicate. Tropes include: enemies to lovers, cop/criminal, grumpy/sunshine, cat & mouse, and bad boy with a heart of gold. Bonus: All the plaid suits you could ever want.

  • I Told the Sunset About You – Thailand, more a queer coming of age romance than a BL. High quality and very well done, think Call Me By Your Name, but rough going from a queer identity perspective. It felt almost too honest, but it might possibly be a work of actual genius.
  • Ingredients the series- Thailand, so flipping cute, cook falls in love with musician roommate, they part ways at the end but it’s still sweet.
  • Love of Siam movie (YouTube) – Thailand, ambiguous ending (early Thai BL)
  • My Bromance (YouTube) – Thailand, movie and also multiple series with different actors,  second season My Bromance 2, step brothers fall in love, tragic ending (so far).
  • My Day – Philippines, super cute chefs being all adorable.
  • My Gear and Your Gown – uneven pacing but cute, enemies to lovers, high school to college.
  • My Tee AKA ‘Cause You’re My Boy (Youtube 12 ep) – starts out as a fun high school take on fake boyfriend trope (also in world shipping, parental homophobia) but goes pear shaped into a sad ending (fixed in an episode of Our Skyy). It has some interesting takes on gender dynamics, condom use, and sexual communication but also contains undefined time-lapse and flashbacks which make the narrative hard to follow.
  • Oxygen the Series – Thailand, sweet and soft with great communication but one poor sub-plot

EXCEPTION ALERT!

Puppy Honey 1 & 2 (YouTube) – Thailand, actually this series started as a het romance with a BL sub-plot. But Pick and Rome got so popular they kinda took it over. I recommend it because Pick and Rome as a couple are so cute. It is quite gentle and low heat. It has lots of tropes that I love, and no triggers: grumpy/sunshine, Rome (the uke) is shy and innocent but also playful and confidently gay, Pick’s coming out crisis is handled well and never touted as gay for you, and they are good at communicating in each other’s love languages. The two actors Off and GUn have played a couple in several series now and they are clearly good friends and comfortable with each other. (The Papii thing kills me.)

  • Roommate the series (YouTube) – Thailand, short 5 episodes (15-20 min each) plotless but sweet drama of roommates falling in love. Could have been great with some character dev but… got Covidized, maybe?
  • Theory of Love (YouTube) – series in which film students pine a lot, happy ending, same actors as Puppy Honey
  • Tonhon Chonlatee (YouTube) – Thailand) childhood friends reunite and fall in love, this is Thai BL trying to be woke, it’s only somewhat successful but the cast is GREAT.
  • Together With Me, Together With Me The Next Chapter & Bad Romance (YouTube 13 eps each) – Thailand, the infamous (in BL circles) Korn and Knock romantic thread which goes bonkers in plot ways that seems to have driven fandom bananas (see #KornKnock). If you choose to enter this minefield it does, eventually end happily, but there is tons of cheating and weird personality flips and it’s all rather insane, more of a soap opera than a BL. Also these dudes are ADULTS.
  • To My Star – Korea, like all Korean stuff a bit short and underdeveloped but so good, actor suffering from a scandal hides out with a very grumpy chef and falls in love with him.
  • The Untaimed (Netflix) – China, epic fantasy based on a BL story (yaoi?) with all the gay taken out, so it’s just a sad bromance, ugh, it could have been SO GOOD
  • Water Boyy (YouTube) – Thailand, movie and series with different actors, swim team friendship turns to love, sub-plot of student/teacher with creepy huge age difference, ambiguous end
  • We Best Love – Taiwan, SO GOOD.
  • Where Your Eyes Linger – Korea, bodyguard mafia, it’s fine
  • Wish You (Netflix, as a movie, was a series) – Korea, two musicians meet and fall in love while trying to break into the industry (features k-pop idol Song of Imfact). A bit instalove but terribly sweet.
  • You Are Ma Boy (YouTube) – Vietnam, pop star falls in love with a barrista, fame causes issues.
  • YYY the series and YYY2 – Thailand, extremely campy sitcom, with ambiguous ending fixed with an EXTEMELY weird follow up covid project.

AFTERWARD

You’ll note that my personal preferences do not include Korean or Vietnamese BL? I’ve seen some of these but in many cases I’m not wild about the story telling style and a lot of them have intentionally ambiguous/sad endings.

There are a few other out of the Philippines that I’m going to give a try. But I’m kind of stuck on anything filmed in Thailand right now, because I am fascinated with the language. It’s my favorite new thing to study.

Reminder

Unless attached to a longer series, I did not include movies or short films on my list. Also, I did not tackle anything for which BL was not a main plot or did not have, at least, the spark of a happy ending.

So if you’re a BL fan and you notice that some big titles are missing, that’s probably why.

Top Picks

  1. Best chemistry? TharnType 
  2. Most palatable & underrated? He’s Coming To Me & Seven Days
  3. Favorite plot & cast? Until We Meet Again
  4. Best character development? Arthrit (SOTUS series)
  5. Not BL but still great? Poly suspense adventure 3 Will Be Free & Gay Romantic Suspense drama series Manner of Death 
  6. Best concept and allegory for the queer experience? Color Rush
  7. Favorite Taiwanese BL? We Best Love
  8. Favorite Pinoy BL? My Day
  9. Favorite Korean BL? To My Star 
  10. Favorite Vietnamese BL? You Are Ma Boy 

Okay, I’m done now.

Happy watching,

Miss Gail

Tags: ,

94 Responses

  1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Dark Blue Kiss: Links to the Pete/Kao compilation cuts from Kiss Me Again is wrong — well, it goes to the first ep, but the playlist with all three eps at the start is here.

  2. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I found all episodes of “He’s Coming To Me” on Dailymotion (passable English translation, although Thun’s name is consistently misspelled as “Than”, and semi-opaque banners crediting the subbers keep popping up, sometimes covering a third of the screen). Probably not quite legal, but since it’s unavailable in its entirety anywhere else, I’m posting it here anyway, because I can really recommend it.

    The story is about a young man, Mes, who dies in 1997 at the age of 22, and then is forgotten/ignored by his relatives, and for some reason cannot move on and reincarnate, but remains as a ghost. Nobody visits his grave, until a little boy (Thun), visiting a relative’s grave with his dad on some kind of annual grave festival, takes pity on the neglected grave — and Mes gets a feeling that he can actually see and hear him (which his ghost friends Noong and Jeng say is impossible). Thun’s visits over the years become the highlights of Mes’s afterlife, until they suddenly stop. Mes thinks he’s been forgotten again, until one year, present time, Thun appears again, all grown up, and asks him to come and stay with him in the city. We get a nice “time-traveller” story here, with Mes a bit agog at all the tecnological advances in the 20 years since he died (he’s been unable to leave the cemetery in all that time), and some nice “why is that weird young man talking to himself” gag moments.

    It was a super sweet paranormal romance with very few of the typical BL tropes, besides the fact that the young non-ghostly protagonist and his friends are in college (with the requisite “a bunch of guys and one girl” friendship group). Aside from that there’s no seme/uke dynamic, no predatorial behaviour, no consent issues, no terrible product placement, no fanservice, no terrible girlfriends (although the girl naturally is the romantic catalyst), no typical “gay panicking”; just the confusion and conflict any young person might feel when they’re realising where their preferences lie (for Thun; Mes already knows that he’s gay). Also no homophobia. After all, the hardest thing for Thun’s friends to accept isn’t that he’s gay, but that he can see and talk to ghosts. It’s classified as a BL, but I’d rather call it a gay New Adult paranormal romance.

    The story is both a very light mystery, where they are trying to figure out who Mes really is, and what happened to him to prevent him from reincarnating, and a sensitively handled coming-of-age and coming-out story. There is very little in terms of physical affection, just some hugs, some hand holding and low-heat kissing, because Mes is non-corporeal most of the time. It was super sweet and I cried a lot in the last ep.

    SPOILER for the ending, in case anyone needs to know if it’s a HEA or not:
    *
    *
    *
    *
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    It is.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      And I am loving it! Thank you so much for the recommendation! It’s fun to see actors form other series (SOTUS and Make It Right) playing new characters. Also I love that Thun actually has a dramatic coming out moment, kinda adorable.

  3. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I was afraid to watch SOTUS because of the hazing rituals, which I tend to find very triggering… but I am so enjoying watching Kongpob pwn Arthit at every step. SO SATISFYING.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Oh I am so glad. I feel scared that people won’t give this one a chance because of the hazing. So I am glad you gave it a try.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        I just finished series 1. It was incredibly well scripted and acted, and I’m really glad I watched it! So, so good! And the switch in Arthit’s character between when he’s being Head Hazer and when he’s just being himself is amazing. Well done, Krist.
        Though I’m a bit miffed that the hazing ended up being touted as something Ultimately Good™ (but perhaps that is on me as a non-neurotypical person with social anxiety — I would not have survived that) .

        I’ll have to see if I’ll be watching series 2, but if it’s anywhere near as good as series 1, I probably will.

        As for the lack of intimacy: I get what you mean about them being ace! Compared to 2gether, which only has a very slight amount more of physical affection than SOTUS, I didn’t feel cheated at all, like I did with 2gether. Maybe because 2gether is mostly just pretty boys and fanservice and not much else, while not actually delivering on it, where SOTUS was a well-made drama with great and convincing characters. Also I don’t think dim characters are cute (like Tine, seriously, he’s like the dumb blonde girl in a 1960s movie, and don’t talk to me about the guitar playing *grumble grumble*), which is also what put me off Make It Right, because Fuse is such a clueless lackwit. Also it felt super adolescent in a way that didn’t appeal to me. I stopped after five eps and couldn’t bring myself to watch more for the time being.

        I also stopped watching Love By Chance before the second-to-last episode, because the Kla/Techno subplot was beginning to squick me out, and I wasn’t feeling Tin/Can at all, and Pete and Ae seemed to have resolved most of their relationship by that point. And speaking of actors turning up in different series, can I just say DAMMIT SAINT! I mean, Singto wasn’t at all bad in either SOTUS or He’s Coming To Me, but Mes and Kongpob aren’t really all that different from each other, except for Mes being a little quieter and Kongpob having a wider range. But Pete and Tutor! Wow. If Why R U hadn’t turned so cheesy in the latter half (and the quality of the YouTube videos hadn’t been so bad, and also because Zon seemed to be kind of mindfucked into a gay relationship with Saifah), it would have been one of my top faves so far, because of Saint and Zee.

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          Darling, you are speaking my language. I am so glad I have someone to talk to about this.

          Series 2 of SOTUS is almost as good as one. I think you’ll like it. Don’t bother with the Our Skyy follow up though (if you can find it)

          > As for the lack of intimacy: I get what you mean about them being ace! Compared to 2gether, which only has a very slight amount more of physical affection than SOTUS, I didn’t feel cheated at all, like I did with 2gether. Maybe because 2gether is mostly just pretty boys and fanservice and not much else, while not actually delivering on it, where SOTUS was a well-made drama with great and convincing characters.

          Yes exactly! Although I have come around to 2gether because of the way they ended up, and because, currently, Still 2gether is the only thing airing new eps and I need to get my fix somehow. Tine being oblivious AF is really frustrating.

          > Which is also what put me off Make It Right, because Fuse is such a clueless lackwit. Also it felt super adolescent in a way that didn’t appeal to me. I stopped after five eps and couldn’t bring myself to watch more for the time being.

          Yes, I can see that. He’s also kind of borderline emotionally abusive to Tee, as Tee just feels so guilty and falls so totally in love he lets Fuse walk all over him. Fuse is somewhat redeemed at the very end of season 2, because Tee makes Fuse pursue him to prove his love and that’s *almost* a redemption arc, but it never gets away from being very juvenile. Love Sick is 100x better representation of high school bi self discovery, with many of the same tropes but treated more gently. Probubly because Love Sick is in the SOTUS universe, while Mare It Right is in Tharntype.

          > I also stopped watching Love By Chance before the second-to-last episode, because the Kla/Techno subplot was beginning to squick me out, and I wasn’t feeling Tin/Can at all, and Pete and Ae seemed to have resolved most of their relationship by that point.

          You’re right, they did and had. The last episode, at least, is a total bust since Ae and Pete are separated and Tin and Can are given a cliff hanger. It’s frustrating it went off the rails so badly. Because I really do LOVE Ae/Pete.

          > And speaking of actors turning up in different series, can I just say DAMMIT SAINT! I mean, Singto wasn’t at all bad in either SOTUS or He’s Coming To Me, but Mes and Kongpob aren’t really all that different from each other, except for Mes being a little quieter and Kongpob having a wider range. But Pete and Tutor! Wow.

          I know RIGHT? He’s actually a really good actor!

          > If Why R U hadn’t turned so cheesy in the latter half (and the quality of the YouTube videos hadn’t been so bad, and also because Zon seemed to be kind of mindfucked into a gay relationship with Saifah), it would have been one of my top faves so far, because of Saint and Zee.

          I only watch it for them and fast forward through the Zon bits. It’s very much an overdramatic soap opera though. But they are so hot together. Are you going to give TharnType a try? If you can get past the squick factors during the first three episodes they are the best chemistry in BL and their ending is really very good. If you like Saint and Zee, Tharn and Type will kill you with the hotness.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            Yes, TharnType was the second series I watched, after Until We Meet Again, and I loved it! Unfortunately I commented about it under part one and not here, for some reason, so you may have missed it. Maybe I should just copy those comments and post them here as well, so we’ll have all the series discussions in the same place?
            Summarised: I was blown away by TharnType, once I got past the problematic stuff in the first two-three eps. And MewGulf! *anime nosebleed* After having watched several more (I really need to make a list) I think TharnType is still my favourite, and I might rewatch it soon. It’s a shame the other instalments in the same universe are so uneven and discordant, with lovely pairings like Ae/Pete and great ones like Tharn/Type, and then creepy ones like Kla/Techno and Tin/Can. (Saifah/Zon were rather sweet as a couple, but I can’t get over the mindfuck thing.)

            Yes, I did catch Ohm in Make It Right! He was totally different there, too, but since he was just a side character and I didn’t see too much of him before I stopped watching it, I can’t judge his acting very well.

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            I would agree that TharnType have the best chemistry in BL followed by Fighter/Tutor. But I just can’t forgive those first few episodes.

            Ohm gets to be a main character in Make it Right 2, but his uke has depression and other major issues. Still they have some good chemistry together (Fame/Book) better than Tee/fuse (although I have grown to love them too).

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            I just realised that Ohm who plays Frame in Make It Right was only 16 at the time. That’s probably one of the reasons why I found it hard to watch — they’re all actually that young. Peak (Fuse) was 17 and Boom (Tee) was 15. Only a couple of them were older, and only by five years or so. But damn, the acting skills of those kids!

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            I figure every time the have an obvious physical restriction on kissing that the actors are minors. I didn’t know Ohm was that young, because in MIR2 he gets some serious sex scenes. Have you tried Love Sick yet? I know it’s a huge buy in, but it’s really quite good.

  4. Bruce maxwell said:

    There are a couple of Filipino BL short series that I could recommend – Game Boys and Hello Stranger. Game Boys addresses some of the pandemics hard issues of isolation, dating on line, death in the family, bringing the virus into the home and safety. Hello Stranger is just sweet.

    1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

      Bruce Maxwell: I’m watching Gameboys, and it’s blowing me away! The acting, the writing, the brilliant way they’ve worked around making a TV series during hte pandemic, and making it so, so excellent! Thank you so much for the recommendation!

    2. Tara said:

      Yes, I was just about to suggest both Gameboys and Hello Stranger. The writing for both shows is phenomenal, and I feel that they have raised the bar for the BL genre.

      1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

        Okay, I tried Gameboys at the beginning and it didn’t grab me, but I’ll give it another go. I have to say Pelerine’s suggestion of He’s Coming To Me is a good one. It doesn’t play into any of the tropes at all, and it’s sweet.

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          So I watched Gameboys last night and it was lovely! Really charming. A little too much of a reminder of the times we are in right now (AKA not enough escape from reality for me) but I enjoyed seeing how they handled that. And nifty that they got the actor’s brother to play his brother, because… Covid. And you’re right, it escapes basically all the worst tropes and triggers.

  5. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Copying my comments from Part I to here, since they fit better here. Below is what I posted on 12 August about TharnType.

    Okay, so I watched TharnType, and I am going to fight you on Thitiwat Riprasert being the hottest human being on Earth. It’s obviously Suppasit Jongcheveevat (Mew). You are wrong and I am right. There.

    (I reserve my right to change my mind later when I have watched other things. But for now that is an immutable fact.)

    I LOVED TharnType. Yes, despite its many, many issues. It just feels so bloody *real*. I feel that if you get past the first two-three episodes with all the vile homophobic outbursts and the weaponised gay non-con harrassment (and yes, the very contrived, out-of-the-blue, from sexual PTSD to unconcerned “hey, let’s have sex just one time” — and the equally fucked-up “sure, who cares what your reason is”), it turns into a pretty decent story about self-discovery, self-reevaluation and slowly coming out of the closet (except for the bi-erasure). I love that they don’t have the classic seme/uke dynamic, and are pretty evenly matched, and that the chemistry on screen (and off-screen, yes I admit to watching some behind-the-scenes) is off the charts. (I can see why there’s such insane MewGulf shipping.) The enemies-to-lovers thing is hot AF, but boy would I like to utterly rewrite that whole beginning. (And adress the pedophile thing, because ugh.)

    I would have liked to see Type coming out to his family and ESPECIALLY apologising and making up with his gay childhood friend (whatshisname, Khom? something), but I guess (hope) that will happen in series 2?

    I can’t get over how much I loved this. Once we get past all the hate speech and non- and dubcon at the beginning, we actually have enthusiastic consent here, the thing I felt was the greatest flaw in Until We Meet Again.

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I found the TharnType special “Everlasting Love” episode set three years on, where we do see them go to visit Type’s parents (his dad is terrible and hilarious), and Type does make up with Kom! (It’s here, just in case you haven’t seen it).

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Ah ha! Yeah I get you exactly. TharnType works from, what, about ep 3 on? And yeah, I was gonna say, you get to see Type come out to his parents, and make up with his old bestie in TharnType 2. Plus their scene in Why RU is really cute too. I just struggle with the TharnType universe. It gets some things so right and then just GOES OFF THE RAILS. ARGH. Can’t they just give us one drama with that kind of chemistry AND a decent plot and no horrible triggers? Please?

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        I know, right? But the genre is still fairly young — only about, what? Five years? — and we may yet see some growth (hopefully in the right direction).

        I was talking to a friend about how we don’t really have anything corresponding to these BL dramas here in the west (unless you count M/M fiction, and perhaps the A/B/O-verse* in its cray-cray glory, but not very much in the way of visual media), and wondering what the effects are going to be on LGBTQ rights in Asian countries (afaik only Taiwan has legalised same-sex marriage so far, and China seems to be going in the wrong direction). On the one hand, there’s visibility, and positivity, and happy endings, which may well lead to greater acceptance. On the other hand, so many heteronormative misconceptions, tropes, and outright harmful fetishisation of problematic power dynamics (and pretty young men), and the monetisation thereof. If we could just have one without the other, pls…?

        *It strikes me that A/B/O is in fact immensely popular in Asian fandom, too. With very strong elements of RPF. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          I didn’t know that about omegaverse stuff which I really respond negatively to. I mean I *tried* in order to understand the appeal. But NOPE.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            I can enjoy A/B/O when it’s subverted, but most of the time it’s served straight up and kind of squicks me out, for a number of reasons. I was trying to get a feel for the genre a while back, so I searched the tag on AO3, and the hits with most kudos were almost to a fault K-pop boyband Omegaverse RPFs. O.o

            Likewise, when I was searching for The Untamed and Guardian fanfic, a fair number of hits were Omegaverse mpreg stuff (and tons of RPF, at least for The Untamed, which is what put one of the main leads in some very hot water and led to AO3 being banned in China.)

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        I must admit (after having watched some more dramas) that Zee is a runner-up. Some cheekbones on that young man, too.

  6. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    No, I haven’t tried LoveSick yet. So far, I’ve watched UWMA, TharnType, Love By Chance (except the last two eps), WhyRU?, HIStory 2: Right Or Wrong and Crossing the Line, 2gether, He’s Coming To Me, four or five episodes of Make It Right, SOTUS, HIStory 3: Trapped, Gameboys, Hello Stranger, Addicted, and Puppy Honey 1+2, for OffGun (I doubt anybody watches that for the straight couple…)

    Next on my list is SOTUS S, but I’m currently rewatching WhyRU? because I finally found working links to good quality videos of that (unlike the YouTube ones, some of which are downright terrible). I’m trying to work myself up to Theory of Love, but I’m putting it off because I have a feeling my heart is going to break in every episode, haha. But I’ll put LoveSick on the list now, because the list of things I haven’t watched yet is growing rather short. Heh.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Theory of Love is SO overblown I found it more annoying than sad. OffGun is better in Puppy, if you ask me. You might like Love Sick, it’s working it’s way up my list, but gah on quality. I’ll check out the Lazysubber link for WRU rewatch, because ARGH on that one on YouTube.

    2. Skylark said:

      Thank you for the link to WhyRU?! I started rewatching it on YouTube and the video isn’t synching correctly with the audio.
      First time I watched it I ended up playing the sound on my phone while having the TV on mute to try to match up. So very frustrating.

  7. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    …and apparently my reply refused to nest in the correct thread. I hope you get which comment I was replying to , anyway.

  8. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    The WhyRU? links on that blog page seem to be the official Line TV videos — which is strange, because I cannot access the Line TV page from my country, but these links somehow work. I’m not complaining!

    I enjoyed my rewatch, and actually liked the series better this time over. Zon falling for Saifah seemed less of a mindfuck this time. And a bit of the disconnect I felt last time might be due to the fact that several of their scenes were cock-blocked by covid-19 and didn’t get filmed. And Fighter and Tutor are incredibly hot together, with fantastic chemistry. And something I seem to have missed the first time around is that they actually switch toward the end — Tutor gets to top Fighter. I’m not a fan of how Tutor starts playing hard-to-get-uke when they go to the beach (and the “I promise never to do that again!” thing, ugh), but that does turn around after a while, and he starts taking the initiative again, yay.

    And Saifah and Zon, who are more cute than hot for most of the series, do get really intense and emotionally charged in their bed scene. There’s crying! And french kissing (GASP)!

    The breakup still seems stupid to me, but maybe it’s a cultural thing, that family (and deferring to seniority) is seen as the most important thing, so Tutor doesn’t feel he has the right to go against Fighter’s father? But it still seems weak to me — he should have fought for Fighter, and let Fighter decide for himself where his happiness lies. (If I were Fighter, I would have been furious with him even after I found out that he was coerced.)

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      I agree with the breakup thing exactly. Like you, I caught the switch in the final sex scene on a rewatch, which made me way happier with this series. I think if we ever get a truly verse couple out of BL it will be from the TharnType universe. But I’m not holding my breath.

      I rewatched the BL subplot of Puppy Honey recently and actually liked it more a second time around because Rome is so self aware and doesn’t fall into any of the bad BL tropes (possibly because sex isn’t really a thing). You can see why Offgun is one of BL’s Holy Trinity.

      Also, have you seen the thing in fandom where BL shipped actor couples play with their fans by have “kids”. Like, for example, Fiat is KrisSingto’s kid (at fan mets promoing SOTUS 2 he calls them mummy and daddy). This might contribute to the A/B/O mpreg crossover shiz.

  9. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Oh! Oh! Oh! I found this: LinkyLinks, a tumblr with a BL masterlist of currently airing (ongoing) series, with links to where to watch. A couple there I didn’t know about! *rubs hands*

    It’s apparenty in the process of moving to its own website, so in case someone reads this much later and the original tumblr is no longer active, the new page is here.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      This is very exciting, I will check it out. And yeah, most of the BL groupies are on Tumblr, which is a pain of a platform.

  10. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    You’re right, I do like Love Sick! Except for the girls who are really terrible. Really, really terrible. (Except for Mo. I kind of like her.) But Phun and Noh are lovely. I liked that we don’t see much of the sexytimes on screen, given the age of the actors, but that it’s strongly implied that the characters had full-on sex pretty early on, while Noh, as we find out in s2, has never done anything even remotely sexy with Yuri (unlike Phun and Aim), which strongly implies that he is, in fact, just not really into girls that way (and not in the “ukes really aren’t into sex” way). Disclaimer: I’m only four eps into the second series. So far I’m finding it slighty more polished than the first, and playing up the comedy more. And much gayer… It’s also kind of sweet to see several of the side characters played by baby versions of actors who keep returning in later BL dramas!

    I found better quality videos for the second series on DramaCool (though I was tempted to go for the BL cuts on YouTube, haha. Because TERRIBLE GIRLS UGH).
    I’m now trying to strengthen myself against the only somewhat happy ending.

    I really liked Rome in Puppy Honey. Pick was a bit of a git, and Rome was way too patient with him, but Rome was just so confidently gay and comfortable with himself and what he wanted. And they really had great chemistry.

    And haha, no, I had NOT seen the Krist-Singto-Fiat thing! LOL. When fandom is driven by straight girls, things get really weird sometimes. I feel that telling people I’m watching BL is on par with telling them that I’ve read A/B/O. I’m definitely still in the closet with this. (Which is why I’m spamming your blog post with comments. Apologies.)

    I think Why R U? is drifting toward the top of my favourites. I guess I was a bit floored by TharnType when I first watched it (and got annoyed by the terrible quality on YT), but it really grew on me during my rewatch. And speaking of, apparently Saint won several awards at something called the KAZZ Awards very recently (as did Krist and Singto, for the fourth consecutive year). It’s nice to see that he’s bounced back so soundly after what he was put through.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      I’m so glad you’re liking Love Sick. Season two is really good. And Yuri, at least, totally redeems herself. In fact, she has one of the best character arcs. (Did you notice she also plays Del in Until We Meet Again?) I feel increasing bad for Earn though. But then the series is called lovesick.

      I think you’ll be okay with the LS ending, just don’t watch the Reminders follow up.

      I feel you on the the epic reuse of so many actors. Between Make it Right and Love Sick it’s like Juilliard for BL. I’m at the point with all Thai Dramas where I am suspicious of a new actor I haven’t at least seen in the background at some point.

      > And haha, no, I had NOT seen the Krist-Singto-Fiat thing! LOL. When fandom is driven by straight girls, things get really weird sometimes. I feel that telling people I’m watching BL is on par with telling them that I’ve read A/B/O. I’m definitely still in the closet with this. (Which is why I’m spamming your blog post with comments. Apologies.)

      Please DO NOT APOLOGIZE. I couldn’t be more pleased. Me too on the semi-closet thing. That’s why I’ve kept these two posts protected. Although I’m more scared that if I post them publicly, some of the more crazy BL fans are going to drop by and get psycho on me for having complex thoughts on the subject. BL is a weird thing to have gotten into enjoying suddenly in middle age. Although I think it appeals to the same part of me as YA. That coming of age, finding yourself and learning who you are narrative has always appealed to me.

      Saint: Yes! I’m happy for Saint. I mean I only know what’s on the internet but it seems like he got the raw end of that Love By Chance fracturing. To be fair, it’s easy to be pleased for him when he knocked the Tutor role out of the park, and had such good chemistry with Zee after showing equally good chemistry with Ae. He’s more versatile that I would have given him credit for initially.

      It’s funny how there are some pairings that happen, like OffGun, where I’m just like: Okay, those two are fun together but I’m not sure it would work otherwise (in fact I just watched The Gifted where Gun has a girlfriend and nope, I don’t believe it, it was like seeing Krist play straight in Puppy Honey 2). On the flip side, there are those like Mew, Max, Fluke, Singto who have great chemistry with different on-screen partners, but pretty much play the same role over and over again. Saint is one of the few who’s shown real range. Although that said, I have faith in Fluke, I think he could be really great in a comedy but hasn’t been given a chance.

  11. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I’ve just finished watching all of Love Sick (and no, I don’t have a life, why do you ask…) and I really, really liked it, despite all the terrible girls. (I do feel that Jeed got off lightly — that was actually *mumble mumble spoiler*! (Don’t know how to hide spoilers in these comments.) Khom was really being incredibly lenient to not call the police on her, but at least they didn’t get back together.) Aside from the psychotic girls, it had a wonderfully realistic feel, unlike a lot of later BL (I’m looking at you, 2gether/Still 2gether — so much more polished and pretty, but so lacking in actual content…)

    The actors were young enough that you could actually see them grow up physically during the two series — especially White (Phun) noticeably changed, and Pluem (Khom) too!

    I liked that Pang got her own subplot, and that they addressed the toxic side of yaoi shipping (something that makes me worry for some of the more dedicated fanservice “couples” out there, like MewGulf — if either of them gets a girlfriend, the fandom is going to turn really dark. But they are grownups and we have to assume that they know what they’re doing.) And like you said, Yuri got to grow up a bit, too. She was really too girlish and naive at the start, but also the kind of adorable bubbly “little sister” type that I can really see Noh getting protective and sweet about. And I like the way the breakup went, that they didn’t make her another crazy Girlfriend From Hell (except in that one dream sequence of Noh’s, haha). I definitely cried along with Noh in that photo booth. And I felt that Aim was if not redeemed so at least given somewhat of a psychological background for her rather compulsive behaviour.

    All the other girls, except for Nongnan (Sammy, who has since played basically the same comedic girl side character in a whole bunch of later BL dramas) and Tangmo, were the kind of people I can’t tell if they are accurate representations of certain high school girls or terribly exaggerated — but then I was very removed from those cliques when I was in school (not to mention that type of school, I guess).

    And no, I completely missed the fact that the Yuri actress plays Del in UWMA!

    I feel you on the ambiguity of the scene with Phun’s dad. Did the translator screw up? Or are the words gender-neutral in Thai, and his dad didn’t get that Phun actually meant a boy (and the translator just picked the English terms they thought were intended)? As it stands, it makes it really weird, and it diminishes a scene that is a key point in their story arc. Very frustrating. And I would have liked to see them come out to Noh’s parents, too (although I get the feeling that at least his mum would have been okay with it — I mean, they were practically living together at Noh’s place for an extended period of time, and at least the housekeeper must have been aware.)

    I really loved Noh as a character. Phun, too, although he was more of a love interest than a full protagonist. But Noh was such an adorkable sweetheart, whose greatest flaw was that he really didn’t want to let people down, and thus couldn’t say no to people, which got him into trouble, but also in fact into the relationship with Phun in the first place. (Which, granted, may also be categorised as trouble.) And Captain’s dorky adolescent flailing was terribly endearing.

    I was intrigued to see people in various comment sections mentioning a possible season 3 being done. I guess time will tell. In the mean time, I’m vacillating on whether to check out ReminderS or not. Some people seem to like it, and others don’t.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      > I feel you on the ambiguity of the scene with Phun’s dad. Did the translator screw up? Or are the words gender-neutral in Thai, and his dad didn’t get that Phun actually meant a boy (and the translator just picked the English terms they thought were intended)? As it stands, it makes it really weird, and it diminishes a scene that is a key point in their story arc. Very frustrating.

      I got so frustrated I went off and learned some pronouns & vocab and then rewatched the scene. (I too have no life right now). I amended the post above, but here’s what I learned:

      I’m reasonably sure the entire thing is actually gender neutral. So if you re-watch try mentally substituting they/them for all she/he/her/him. Also substitute lover/partner for boyfriend/girlfriend (we are in faen territory) and the whole thing will make more sense. Thai pronouns allow for this because most third person singular is already gender neutral in Thai (in English we would say singular they/them).

      Both Phun and his dad are alluding to the fact that Phun is dating Noh without actually specifying it. That’s partly why Noh gets so twitchy and bugs out at the end. He’s being talked about, and also pointedly NOT talked about at the same time, putting him into an unknown social limbo where he would have to change the way he addresses Phun’s dad (and maybe even Phun and himself with regards to pronouns), but hasn’t been directly shown how.

      In Thai, self-gendering is obligatory (the word “I” has gender attached to it and changes depending on the speaker/social situation). So the 7+ ways to say “I” in Thai are all translated as “I” in English. “You” is equally complicated. But there’s an opposite issue with he/she translations. While third person can be gendered it’s rare, he/she Thai pronouns are most likely to be gender neutral. So the caption writer has to make a gender call for the English audience. I think they aren’t taught singular they in ESL. It would make this all much simpler.

      > I was intrigued to see people in various comment sections mentioning a possible season 3 being done.

      I’m tempted to say that’s eternal optimism. But then the studio system over there is very 1930’s Hollywood style. Studios seem to have tons of power over a contracted stable of actors, so maybe it’s easier for them to pull together a reunion than LA? Certain pairings you see all the time, like OffGun, are partly because they are under some kind of broad sweeping contract together to the same studio.

  12. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Thank you for the linguistic explanation! I did read a little bit about the language on Wikipedia, but didn’t get much further than that (but enough to at least suspect the gender-neutral thing).

    So basically Phun drags Noh along to be a witness to his half-confession to his dad, while not actually coming out – thus both protecting Noh and simultaneously putting him in an awkward position? I suppose if Phun wanted to really come out he’d have to say something like “I’m dating a boy”, directly specifying the gender (or even “Noh and I are together“, which he notably doesn’t do.) If I’m understanding this correctly, he’s saying “I’m in a relationship, I know what I’m doing, and I’m being responsible and serious about it, get off my back”, and his dad takes this at face value, accepting it, but making his own assumptions? And poor Noh has no idea what is going down or what he is doing there, and feels like he’s standing on embers the whole time. Lol.

    Language is fascinating!

    I did check out a couple of PhunNoh fanvids from ReminderS, and Captain has really grown into himself, much more poised, while White looked mostly the same as in the latter parts of Love Sick. (And I must confess that I prefer Captain with hair!)

  13. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I watched Long Time No See on DramaCool with English subs (split into three parts). It was nice! Realistic fight scenes, great chemistry, love conquers all. Plot and background story were perhaps a bit sketchy, but the two leads were good.

  14. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Managed to hit post too early with my comment about Long Time No See. >.<
    Triggers: Flashbacks to homophobic abuse and graphic violence (they are mob hitmen, after all), but the encounters between the two main characters are lovely, with no obvious seme/uke dynamic, and a happy ending. Both are adults, though one is younger than the other (but not a college kid). More gay than BL, I'd say.

    The plot is simple: Chi Soo (AKA Flying Dagger), who is a hitman for a mob boss, and is also writing a novel online about an assassin, meets his no. 1 fan, Gitae, and they have instant chemistry, hook up and fall in love. But there is a turf war going on between old mob rivals, and the rival gang have their own new and unknown hitman called Wild Dog… and secrets will be exposed.

  15. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Hey, Miss Gail! I was talking to a friend of mine who is very interested in BL dramas, too. Is it okay if I send her the link and password to these blog posts? I can vouch for her being a good person.

  16. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Wonder of wonders — I’ve discovered a Chinese (!) BL/gay series called Honey Sir, which seems to be a series of standalone short films (ca. 15-20 mins) each with a different gay couple and a situation in their lives. There have been three so far, and they’re very sweet and romantic. And in the first one they are watching TV and it’s an episode of SOTUS S, haha!

    Subs are (as seems par for the course with Chinese content) too small (impossible to read on a small screen) and too fast to follow without pausing all the time, but the translation is actually good.

  17. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I saw that Love By Chance 2 has started airing. I can’t make up my mind whether to watch it or not, especially since I stopped before the last two eps of LBC1.

    Also, I watched Together With Me, and liked it. Knock was a little bit TSTL, and Korn let Knock walk all over him, but when they were good, they were really good together. I really liked that they are very obviously two big guys, and not a guy and a quasi-girl. And the obligatory psycho girlfriends were nicely balanced by the awesomness of Yihwa and Faii, who must be the best girls in all of BL (or at least Thai BL; Pearl from Gameboys is a strong contender).
    The doctor and first-year subplot was creepy and heartbreaking, and I’m happy to say it didn’t get a HEA, because that would have made me punch something.

    A lot of people seem to hate Bad Romance, so I’ll consider for a bit before I commit to that. Not sure whether it’s possible to skip BR and go directly to <Together With Me – The Next Chapter… I’ll have to find out somehow.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      > I saw that Love By Chance 2 has started airing. I can’t make up my mind whether to watch it or not, especially since I stopped before the last two eps of LBC1.

      It’s a recon/reboot focused on Tin/Can with Pete separated from Ae, and Ae turning into a sad sack. I say the first 2 before Viki took them off YouTube. If they’re free on Viki I’ll continue to watch but I don’t trust this writer, so I’m not sure what will happen. I’m scared.

      > Also, I watched Together With Me, and liked it. Knock was a little bit TSTL, and Korn let Knock walk all over him, but when they were good, they were really good together. I really liked that they are very obviously two big guys, and not a guy and a quasi-girl. And the obligatory psycho girlfriends were nicely balanced by the awesomness of Yihwa and Faii, who must be the best girls in all of BL (or at least Thai BL; Pearl from Gameboys is a strong contender).

      I mostly managed the first season. Then I jumped to Together With Me but it was too discombobulated for me. Then I tried Bad Romance, which was almost like an alternate universe. So I gave up.

      I’ve been watching Still 2gether (which is fine), My Day (which is cute so far), and Amore (which is giving me My Engineer whip lash, and freaking me out because if Wil doesn’t win the boy I will eat writer heads and I just don’t think it’s going that way). Of the three My Day is the best, although I have the most faith in Still 2gether because they are so in touch with the fan base. Still it’s nice to have something to look forward to each week.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        >>It’s a recon/reboot focused on Tin/Can with Pete separated from Ae, and Ae turning into a sad sack. I say the first 2 before Viki took them off YouTube. If they’re free on Viki I’ll continue to watch but I don’t trust this writer, so I’m not sure what will happen. I’m scared.

        I found both eps on YouTube, and have saved them for later. I did like Ae and Pete, but I thought Saint was so much more enjoyable in Why R U, so I’m not as torn up over his absence as I might have been — although heartbroken Ae would be hard to watch.

        I’m saving Bad Romance and Together With Me – The Next Chapter for later, too. My list of BL to watch is shrinking rapidly, so it will depend on how desperate I get when I run out of BL, haha. And I did like TWM — I kept laughing out loud in the first half of the series, and LazySubber’s running commentary made me cackle with glee.

        I’ll have to check out My Day. I did start watching Amore, but like you I really shipped Joey and Wil, and that doesn’t seem like the way they’re heading at all. Instead it looks like they’re going for the bully/abuser, and that just didn’t sit right with me. (Judging by the YT comments, most people seem to agree.) So I bugged out in the middle of episode 2.

        I kept seeing YT suggestions for a Thai paranormal thriller series (not BL) called The Gifted, so I checked that out, and so far it’s good. I’ve just seen the fifth episode, which is where Gun Attaphan’s character is the focus, and oh boy, does he get to shine. (Sing and Fiat are in it too.)
        Now I’m tempted to give Theory of Love (which I abandoned after one episode because it felt too painful) another try just to see Gun’s acting chops.

        Speaking of non-BL, I’m entertained by the fandom tearing its collective hair over the fact that the Holy Trinity are all going to be in I’m Tee, Me Too, and IT’S NOT A BL. Hahaha. Major trolling of fujoshis from the production company. XD

        1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

          Heh, and I only just now saw your latest newsletter, where you recced The Gifted, LOL!

          1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            Ha, yes! It’s really good! I love the ending. And the second season is airing right now. So I’m excited about that.

        2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          > I found both eps on YouTube, and have saved them for later. I did like Ae and Pete, but I thought Saint was so much more enjoyable in Why R U, so I’m not as torn up over his absence as I might have been — although heartbroken Ae would be hard to watch.

          I think you’ll find they’re down again, at least here in the States. I’ve started subbing and watching things right after they drop because this keeps happening. (And I have nothing but time these days.) They even filed a take down on a fan-made music vid that used footage from LBC2.

          > I’ll have to check out My Day. I did start watching Amore, but like you I really shipped Joey and Wil, and that doesn’t seem like the way they’re heading at all. Instead it looks like they’re going for the bully/abuser, and that just didn’t sit right with me.

          Yep. Me too. Try My Day instead. It’s a slow burn but the most recent ep put the romance front and center and the producers are not shy that it will be BL. It’s a cheerful show, so I can’t imagine they will end it sad or cliff hanger either. I have hope.

          > Now I’m tempted to give Theory of Love (which I abandoned after one episode because it felt too painful) another try just to see Gun’s acting chops.

          I did exactly this! But it really doesn’t pivot until like ep 7. It is kinda hilarious to see how physically comfortable OffGun has become over the years with each other. They are so stiff in Puppy Honey and then so floppy affectionate by the end of Theory.

          > Speaking of non-BL, I’m entertained by the fandom tearing its collective hair over the fact that the Holy Trinity are all going to be in I’m Tee, Me Too, and IT’S NOT A BL. Hahaha. Major trolling of fujoshis from the production company.

          Yes. So much this. I’m very amused. You know it’s just an excuse for them to all hang out together.

          On a completely different note, I’ve been watching Ingredients. Thai lockdown web series? Have you checked that one out? So far only very very gently BL, and I’m not sure it will go there. But the kid who plays Tops could be Mew’s younger brother.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            It’s really very obvious which actors are comfortable with each other and who aren’t, isn’t it? Some of them are very obviously doing it for the job, some are obviously good friends, but others seem to be having a lot of fun with it. And even if you aren’t buying into the fanservice delusion, it’s very refreshing to se straight (or at least not otherwise stated) guys being so physically comfortable and touchy-feely with each other. Judging by the initial onscreen reactions of the supposedly “straight” main leads in most BL, it’s not more common there than it is in the West for guys to be in physical contact that doesn’t involve punching or football. (Although it’s a shame that it can only come with association with gayness, which means it does nothing to de facto counteract the stigma. Sigh.)

            > I think you’ll find they’re down again, at least here in the States. I’ve started subbing and watching things right after they drop because this keeps happening. (And I have nothing but time these days.) They even filed a take down on a fan-made music vid that used footage from LBC2.

            This is exactly why people turn to sites like DramaCool and Dailymotion instead. I can still find a couple of engsubs for LBC2 ep 1 and 2 on YT, but they’re not the same ones I watched, so probably they’re new uploads… According to the new LinkyLinks website, it’s going to be released officially (?) on Viki from the 9th of September.

            Yes, I did watch the first two on YT. It seems like they’re shuffling the timelines a bit — Tin/Can is obviously rebooted from the start of their arc, but the Kla/No thing has already happened, and the Ae/Pete breakup too. I saw someone in the YT comments saying that the breakup is actually in the novel, and Saint not being in the cast just means that we don’t get to see the whole painful breakup process (which I’m okay with, TBH). So apparently it was always going to happen? I just hope that doesn’t mean they’re going to throw Ae at someone else. IDK, but I want my romance to be HEA.

            I found out that you can buy the TharnType Special ep legally on Vimeo, so I did that. Yay legal avenues.

            Thanks for the Ingredients rec, I hadn’t heard about that one. I’ll definitely check out that and My Day. Right now I’m totally sucked in by The Gifted, though. It’s so, so good! About to start ep 11 now.

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            It’s really very obvious which actors are comfortable with each other and who aren’t, isn’t it?

            Yes this is why I like he evolution of OffGun so much. Plus I find it fascinating that they consciously turned it into a mutual brand.

            Some of them are very obviously doing it for the job, some are obviously good friends, but others seem to be having a lot of fun with it.

            It kind of reminds me of my high school crew, we were pretty physically affectionate across gender and sexual orientation lines.

            Judging by the initial onscreen reactions of the supposedly “straight” main leads in most BL, it’s not more common there than it is in the West for guys to be in physical contact that doesn’t involve punching or football.

            I actually think they are more physically affectionate with each other, at least when younger. Kind of like Italian or Arabic men. Although that might be shifting now. Which is not to say there isn’t a patriarchal heteronormative machismo in place.

            According to the new LinkyLinks website, it’s going to be released officially (?) on Viki from the 9th of September.

            Yep, but not sure if it will be pay to play or not. And I really dislike that they are mucking with the timeline, though.

            I saw someone in the YT comments saying that the breakup is actually in the novel, and Saint not being in the cast just means that we don’t get to see the whole painful breakup process (which I’m okay with, TBH). So apparently it was always going to happen? I just hope that doesn’t mean they’re going to throw Ae at someone else. IDK, but I want my romance to be HEA.

            Yeah. Me too.

            I found out that you can buy the TharnType Special ep legally on Vimeo, so I did that. Yay legal avenues.

            Is it just the visit to Type’s parents or is there more than that?

            Thanks for the Ingredients rec, I hadn’t heard about that one.

            Slow moving, but the most recent episode makes me think they might go BL. And, like I said, the actor playing Tops could be Mew’s younger sib.

            I’ll definitely check out that and My Day.

            It’s my top choice right now in new releases. Although jarring every time it starts because it’s not inThai. Along with Gifted Graduation.

            > Right now I’m totally sucked in by The Gifted, though. It’s so, so good! About to start ep 11 now.

            It’s SO GOOD. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. And the ending doesn’t disappoint! Yeah for great twists. I really loved it. The books should get a translation and YA release in the states, if you ask me.

          3. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            > Is it just the visit to Type’s parents or is there more than that?

            It’s mostly that. There’s quite a bit of checking in with everyone three years on, and then a long flashback to when Type brought Tharn with him to visit his parents (timewise, the flashback is set just after TharnType). It’s pretty much played for the lulz, except for the reconciliation with Khom, which is nice. So it’s a lot of fanservice in the sense of letting everyone know that Tharn and Type will stick together, even in the face of terrible dads, and some very cute scenes. It’s uploaded on other sites, so I’d actually already seen it (I mentioned it in my first reaction post about TharnType), but when I saw it was available legally I decided to pay. I know most of that will go to Wabi Sabi, but at least some of it will hopefully go to the actors.

            > I actually think they are more physically affectionate with each other, at least when younger. Kind of like Italian or Arabic men. Although that might be shifting now. Which is not to say there isn’t a patriarchal heteronormative machismo in place.

            I guess it does vary with individuals, time, culture and subculture. It used to be totally normal for men to walk arm in arm in public in the West, too, a century ago. But when I was growing up, it was unheard of. Later, I’ve known guys who were very comfortable with physical closeness, straight or not, and also guys who were very uncomfortable with it (and guys who became more comfortable with it once they were convinced they wouldn’t be ridiculed for it in the friends group). Physical closeness between girls, of course, has always been more normalised where I live, and in my acquaintance.

            But even here, with increased tolerance and visibilty for LGBT+ people, many guys are still scared of being thought non-straight if they deviate from the heteronormative machismo. It’s sad, both because I believe that everyone would be happier/healthier with more everyday physical affection (and not have to rely on sex to get that), and because physical affection between same-gender couples wouldn’t stand out so much. We really need some progress in this area.

            Oh, and I’m all caught up with The Gifted now! It was amazing! I’m still a bit confused about what actually happened to the Gifted program between The Gifted and The Gifted: Graduation, but I’m hoping we’ll learn more about that in upcoming episodes. I’m so stoked for the new series.

            I did try something called The Best Twins, because Mild (whom I loved as Techno in TharnType) played a main role in that, but sadly it was absolutely awful, and I dropped it after two very painful episodes. It was trying to be funny, but failed completely. Also very misogynistic. Ugh.

  18. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I just watched the Gameboys finale live (sometimes timezones are your friend!) and at the end they confirmed that there will be a season 2!

    I also finished watching all of Theory of Love, and it was really good, worth all the tears in the first half. Good writing, great acting, and managing to be low-key funny and heartbreaking at the same time. It’s definitely going on my favourites list.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Oh I’m glad you liked Theory of Love. I keep trying it, but it’s not sticking for me. Maybe I’m just not in the right mood for it?

      I just watched the first episode of Oxygen, and I really like it so far. Finally something new that has real promise.

      I’m looking forward to the Gameboys finale.

      Still watching and enjoying My Day, but I think I’ll give up on Amore. And I’m barely hanging on with LBC2. I just can’t watch Ae crying all the time. (Same thing that turned me off Theory of Love).

      But Oxygen is good so far. Hoping it has an HEA.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        Yeah, I think you have to be in the right mood for ToL. I initially abandoned it after the first quarter of ep 1, but decided to come back and watch it for Gun Attaphan’s acting, and that approach worked a lot better for me. Off Jumpol is good too, and they play off each other really well, but it’s clear to me that Gun is the better actor. And don’t get me wrong, I wanted to seriously maim Khai in the first half and a bit of the series, but he got a pretty okay redemption arc in the second half, and he really had to work for the audience’s (and Third’s) forgiveness.

        I tried My Day, but found it a bit too cartoonish for my liking. It would probably have worked better as an anime. Or maybe I just didn’t like the main characters very much? Or both.

        I’m sticking with LBC2 so far (Viki works for me, though eps are released a week later than on WeTV). I did stick with Still 2Gether as well, and even though it annoyed me a lot, it did at least deliver a proper kiss (FINALLY, cries all of 2G fandom) at the end.

        I liked Ingredients and will continue to follow that! I saw the same two actors in the tragic but really good miniseries He She IT, and they seem to get along very well (although Jeff has said that he will probably focus on his music in the future, so we might not get much more with them). Kudos for casting a real musician and a real chef as Win and Tops! And Jeff Satur’s music and singing is AMAZING. The song he plays in He She IT gives me goosebumps.

        I’m about to finish My Engineer, which is at least better than 2Moons2 (+ for addressing that top or bottom isn’t something you can tell by looking at someone), but like 2M2 I don’t really feel the main couple. In ME it’s Ram/King that floats my boat.

        Off to check out Oxygen now! Thanks for the rec!

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          Ooof, I missed these comments. I have thoughts (of course).

          > Yeah, I think you have to be in the right mood for ToL. I initially abandoned it after the first quarter of ep 1, but decided to come back and watch it for Gun Attaphan’s acting, and that approach worked a lot better for me. Off Jumpol is good too, and they play off each other really well, but it’s clear to me that Gun is the better actor.

          I totally agree with this. Off seems to mostly just play a version of himself in all his stuff, also he seems to mostly do hosting and such now. With is fine with me.

          > I tried My Day, but found it a bit too cartoonish for my liking. It would probably have worked better as an anime. Or maybe I just didn’t like the main characters very much? Or both.

          I get that. I certainly have to be in the right mood for it. But it pivoted recently and I’m enjoying the not angle.

          > I’m sticking with LBC2 so far (Viki works for me, though eps are released a week later than on WeTV).

          You have a subscription then? I’m going to wait until they get through to the end and then if the word is good (you’ll report in for me?) I’ll maybe sub to Viki just to watch it and then cancel my sub.

          > I did stick with Still 2Gether as well, and even though it annoyed me a lot, it did at least deliver a proper kiss (FINALLY, cries all of 2G fandom) at the end.

          I actually liked Still 2gether about 100x better. The two actors are so much more physically comfortable with each other and I loved the final kiss scene. Tine is much less of an idiot.

          > I liked Ingredients and will continue to follow that!

          You and me! We are like the only people watching it.

          > Jeff Satur’s music and singing is AMAZING. The song he plays in He She IT gives me goosebumps.

          Oooo, I’ll go check him out.

          > I’m about to finish My Engineer, which is at least better than 2Moons2 (+ for addressing that top or bottom isn’t something you can tell by looking at someone), but like 2M2 I don’t really feel the main couple. In ME it’s Ram/King that floats my boat.

          Ram and King are EVERYTHING. I got confused about Ram’s accent and looked it up. Perth half Thai half Australian but grew up speaking English. Apparently, he’s only been really speaking Thai for like 5 years! Also he speaks Japanese. Then I say this clip of Talay acting in English (on an Indian drama). So the two of them are crazy polyglots.

          > Off to check out Oxygen now! T

          I have to admit I am kind of LIVING for Oxygen. It has a Dean/Pharm UWMA vibe to it. And the chemistry between the leads is great. Solo is played by another actual musician, who is actually a GREAT musician. He sings the theme song. After suffering through multiple BLs where there are musician characters who clearly can’t play the instrument they are pared with, I am so happy to see an actual musician pick up the guitar. Only two episodes in but the second episode (the SECOND one) starts with them actually having a conversation about being outted online and whether they are both okay with this. Like a real, mature, proper, conversation about a serious issues, with feelings.

          I was floored.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            I’ve watched all the released eps of Oxygen so far, and I really like it! I think I was tired when I watched ep 1, and the time jumps confused me, but I’m enjoying it a lot now. I agree about the lovely feel of it, and the chemistry between Solo and Gui, it’s great! And yes, I feel you on the casting for supposed musicians — that’s another thing that annoys me about 2Gether, although I feel bad because it’s like I’m constantly harping on it now. (I did like Still2Gether in the end, it had some redeeming qualities, although I will probably never understand why so many people rave about 2G and S2G.) I saw Supanut’s official MV for “My Oxygen”, and he was so different there — definitely not playing himself in the series! — and yeah, wow. And yeah, the conversation about being outed online was a pleasant surprise. I felt that the other storyline about being outed online (the two doctors) got a bit silly, and detracted a bit from that (she was seriously crossing the line, repeatedly, and kind of got away with it…? Because the doctor liked her…? I don’t even) (Also I couldn’t figure out where I’d seen him before and had to look it up — he played Todd on SOTUS S.)

            I’ve been thinking about 3 Will be Free too, and will probably check it out in the future. I started watching My Dear Loser: Edge of 17 for early Nanon & Chimon (which does have a BL side story), but the bullying is very, very hard for me to watch (which is actually a little bit of a problem with My Gear and Your Gown too, for me).

            I also tried a couple of eps of Blacklist, but all I could think was how it seems like a cheap knock-off of The Gifted, with the same actors… I mean, why?

            I’m also thinking about YYY, even though it has an ambiguous/unhappy(?) ending, but season 2 is starting at the end of the month, so it might get a HEA? Who knows… But I really have withdrawal after mainlining so much BL in the last month or so. And Talay is in it.

            I even considered My Bromance (movie + second series), but really don’t want tragic and unhappy endings of that calibre, even if they retcon it later, so I probably won’t.

            I stalled on Bad Romance after one ep. I think the problem is that even though it’s set after Together With Me, it was made before it, which is always weird (I mean, the same thing happened with Love By Chance and TharnType, but at least they didn’t have the same couple in the main storyline). I liked TWM, though. Max and Tul were really good in it (although Knock really gave me Fuse vibes), and Yihwa was great there. Maybe I should just leave it at that and not muddy things up with BR and TWM: TNC…

            LBC2 proved to be problematic to watch. The first two eps are free on Viki (at least for me), but the rest are behind a paywall. Ripped eps turn up and vanish on YT and Dailymotion, with varying quality. It’s the same with a currently airing Korean BL miniseries called Mr. Heart (3 eps so far). But no, I don’t have a subsciption. I may wait until all the eps are aired and then go for a free trial? (I’m trying to not watch them illegally, but mostly failing.)

            If My Engineer 2 happens, I’ll be watching it just for Ram/King. (Who knows what will happen with Boss/Mek, since the Chinese guy who played Mek was booted from the series, rumours abound. Unless they recast Mek, I guess…) I don’t care about Bohn/Duen. But RAM/KING! <3 *grabby hands*

            I'm still enjoying Ingredients, even though it does at times look like a strange hybrid between a commercial and a BL drama… but I just enjoy seeing Jeff and Gameplay, who seem to be kind of playing alt versions of themselves, LOL. (Or should that be 5555? HALP I’M GETTING THAIFIED)

            Speaking of alt, did you catch the special “Alt-Gameboys” ep that was released out of the blue yesterday? I had my suspicions about it, and they were vindicated in the best way 🙂

            Things I’m looking forward to/keeping an eye out for:

            ~ Gameboys 2 (“soon”)
            ~ Gaya Sa Pelikula/Like In The Movies (this Friday)
            ~ TharnType 2 (end of 2020?)
            ~ My Ride (shooting, end of 2020?)
            ~ Between Us (2021) (Win/Team)
            ~ Innocent (Taiwanese, indie, relying on crowdfunding)
            ~ Lovely Writer (2021)
            ~ A Tale of Thousand Stars (2021-2022?)

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            I’ve watched all the released eps of Oxygen so far, and I really like it!

            Oh good, I am so glad I am not alone.

            And yeah, the conversation about being outed online was a pleasant surprise.

            Yes I loved this. It said a lot about both characters that they were both all: yep, we are out and I guess we are gay (or bi) and that’s just not an issue for us. I think Gui has no family and Solo is estranged from his, so this might make sense under that context.

            I’ve been thinking about 3 Will be Free too, and will probably check it out in the future.

            Let me know if you like it?

            I started watching My Dear Loser: Edge of 17 for early Nanon & Chimon (which does have a BL side story), but the bullying is very, very hard for me to watch (which is actually a little bit of a problem with My Gear and Your Gown too, for me).

            I understand it doesn’t end happily either. So I gave it a pass.

            I also tried a couple of eps of Blacklist, but all I could think was how it seems like a cheap knock-off of The Gifted, with the same actors… I mean, why?

            Yep, this.

            I’m also thinking about YYY, even though it has an ambiguous/unhappy(?) ending, but season 2 is starting at the end of the month, so it might get a HEA? Who knows… But I really have withdrawal after mainlining so much BL in the last month or so. And Talay is in it.

            So I gave it a try, the rips available online are not good and it is BEYOND campy. The ending is separated but not super sad. The follow up is only going to be 3 episodes or something. I’ll watch it for Talay. I even tried to find his Indian drama where he plays an straight arse (acting in English), but I can’t find it.

            I even considered My Bromance (movie + second series), but really don’t want tragic and unhappy endings of that calibre, even if they retcon it later, so I probably won’t.

            Tried both of them. Not happy. Will watch follow up because Fluke, but yeah. It’s sad.

            LBC2 proved to be problematic to watch. The first two eps are free on Viki (at least for me), but the rest are behind a paywall.
            I may wait until all the eps are aired and then go for a free trial?

            This is my feeling. I’m monitoring the tumblr chatter to see how the story arc goes. I actually managed to catch eps 3 and 4 and started to like it a bit more, at least Tin is better. I have always found Can a bit much and I can’t stand watching Ae be a sad sack so I am not invested. But I might jump on the Viki free trial to watch the rest (once aired) and one or two others behind the paywall, and then cancel. Honestly I’d pay the sub and stay loyal if they just had all the BL there in HD w/o ads. But since they only have a few, it’s not worth it to me.

            If My Engineer 2 happens, I’ll be watching it just for Ram/King. (Who knows what will happen with Boss/Mek, since the Chinese guy who played Mek was booted from the series, rumours abound. Unless they recast Mek, I guess…) I don’t care about Bohn/Duen. But RAM/KING! <3 *grabby hands*

            THIS SO MUCH THIS.

            I’m still enjoying Ingredients, even though it does at times look like a strange hybrid between a commercial and a BL drama… but I just enjoy seeing Jeff and Gameplay, who seem to be kind of playing alt versions of themselves, LOL. (Or should that be 5555? HALP I’M GETTING THAIFIED)

            Yep, this too. I tried their weird horror thing, He She It. Too odd for me.

            Speaking of alt, did you catch the special “Alt-Gameboys” ep

            I saw it drop but didn’t watch it. Should I?

            My Things aright now are:

            ~ LBC2 which I watch when I can catch an ep, 13 eps
            ~ The Gifted, 18 glorious episodes
            ~ Oxygen, 13 eps
            ~ My Gear, 12 eps
            ~ I’m Tee, 8 eps

            Things on my list
            ~ YYY2, Spt 29, 3 eps
            ~ Location (movie), Oct 10
            ~ Thonhon Chonlatee, Nov 13, 13 eps
            ~ TharnType 2, Nov? 2020, 12 eps (!)
            ~ My Ride, Nov? 2020, 8 eps
            ~ Gen Y, Nov? 2020, 12 eps
            ~ My Bromance 2, Dec 9, 2020, ? eps

      2. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        I’ve watched Oxygen, and it seems good but a bit confusing (or else I was *really* tired when I watched it). I also watched the two released eps of Quaranthings, a Pinoy BL series that seems good (and seems to be taking real LGBTQ+ issues seriously), and the first ep of My Gear, Your Gown, which seems to be pretty standard fare, a kind of schoolboy enemies to friends to enemies to lovers story. Fiat and one of the twins are in it. And guess what, one of the MCs is in Engineering… 😉

        After binge-watching all these series, it feels really strange to be watching weekly releases, haha! I’ll probably catch I’m Tee, Me too on Friday (or whenever it gets subbed), because I’m like Green in your gif above and don’t know what to do with my life now.

        I recced The Gifted to my just-turned-18-year old niece. If she reads the YT comments and ends up checking out BLs, it won’t have anything to do with me, LOL!

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          > I’ve watched Oxygen, and it seems good but a bit confusing (or else I was *really* tired when I watched it).

          Try it again with the new episode? I NEED someone to talk to about it! (Did you catch the Gui is an Engineering student?)

          > My Gear, Your Gown, which seems to be pretty standard fare, a kind of schoolboy enemies to friends to enemies to lovers story. Fiat and one of the twins are in it. And guess what, one of the MCs is in Engineering…

          Yep. I agree. I think it could be good, I know the story is much beloved.

          > After binge-watching all these series, it feels really strange to be watching weekly releases, haha! I’ll probably catch I’m Tee, Me too on Friday (or whenever it gets subbed), because I’m like Green in your gif above and don’t know what to do with my life now.

          OMG i feel you on this one. I watched Tee the first ep and really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to. I think it’s going to be a story about friendship and I’m cool with that. Gun is the main POV character, and since he’s the best actor in the group, I’m delighted by this. They are letting OffGun be their usual floppy affectionate selves, although I don’t think we will get a romance from them. I’m liking it.

          I’m thinking of giving 3 Will Be Free a chance. On the rec of another BL fan. Although it isn’t, it seems like a good suspense thriller. And I love Tay Tawan, so I’m happy to watch him in anything.

          > I recced The Gifted to my just-turned-18-year old niece. If she reads the YT comments and ends up checking out BLs, it won’t have anything to do with me, LOL!
          AHAHAHAHAHAHA

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            > I watched Tee the first ep and really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to. I think it’s going to be a story about friendship and I’m cool with that. Gun is the main POV character, and since he’s the best actor in the group, I’m delighted by this. They are letting OffGun be their usual floppy affectionate selves, although I don’t think we will get a romance from them. I’m liking it.

            It did not pass me by that they ended up putting Off and Gun in the same room. In the same bed. While all the other “couples” are split up. “Walk-in closet”, indeed.

            > I understand [My Dear Loser: Edge of 17] doesn’t end happily either. So I gave it a pass.

            Supposedly their Our Skyy ep fixes that? Haven’t watched any of those yet, because I’ve heard such disparate opinions on them.
            And I haven’t seen Dark Blue Kiss, either, because I’m not sure I’m up to angst and blackmail and scheming, so I wouldn’t watch the TayNew ep either. They are still kind of nebulous for me as a BL couple (I’ve only seen the BL cut of Kiss Me Again, and New in a bunch of stuff where he was a non-BL side character.) Please tell me it’s worth the pain?

            >>LBC2 proved to be problematic to watch. The first two eps are free on Viki (at least for me), but the rest are behind a paywall. I may wait until all the eps are aired and then go for a free trial?

            > This is my feeling. I’m monitoring the tumblr chatter to see how the story arc goes. I actually managed to catch eps 3 and 4 and started to like it a bit more, at least Tin is better. I have always found Can a bit much and I can’t stand watching Ae be a sad sack so I am not invested. But I might jump on the Viki free trial to watch that and one or two others behind the paywall, and then cancel. Honestly I’d pay the sub and stay loyal if they just had all the BL there. But since they only have a few it’s not worth it to me.

            I have caught up with LBC2 as well. Not sure if I’m okay with what they’re doing with No/Kla, but the rest of it is fine. Ae is heartbroken, but I like that his friends are taking him to task about it and pushing him to break his vicious circle of self-pity and self-destruction. And honestly, if Pete was forced to move abroad and break up with him (from what I can gather from the comments, in order to save Ae and his family from his homophobic father’s vengeance, according to book canon), I would expect Ae to be heartbroken. I would be a lot angrier if he weren’t, if that makes sense?

            I’m warming up to Tin/Can. Can is a bit all over the place, but I read him as an ADHD puppy with a strong sense of decency and honour but no ambition. People laugh at him for being flaily and oblivious, but in the end he is a better person than all the clever schemers and go-getters, or at least very different from them, and that’s what pulls Tin to him, I guess. They’re getting a lot more time to develop their relationship this time around, which also helps it make more sense than it did in LBC1. So this far, I’m onboard.

            I’m giving up being righteous, and finding it where it can be found. The same with the Korean Drama Mr. Heart, which has three mini-eps out now (it drops three at a time), and very nice so far. As a commenter on DramaCool said, Korea appears to be going from zero BL to 100 in just the first ep of this series. (LBC2 is on there in decent quality now, too, BTW.)

            >> Speaking of alt, did you catch the special “Alt-Gameboys” ep

            > I saw it drop but didn’t watch it. Should I?

            I think you should (unless you really hate Terrence). I saw the twist coming — or rather, it was what I’d been hoping for, but I liked it. It’s not Caireel-centred at all, though.

            > Thing on my list

            Thanks for that, I had seen Thonhon Chonlathee popping up in the margins but kept forgetting to check it out. And also Gen Y, although from what I can tell I should really watch the original 2Moons first, since it’s a kind of AU fanfic spin-off of that?

            I’m putting YYY The Series on my binge list, anyway. Otherwise my current things are:

            ~ Monday: My Gear and Your Gown
            ~ Wednesday: LBC2 (or whenever it appears somewhere in watchable quality)
            ~ Friday: Quaranthings; I’m Tee, Me Too; Gaya Sa Pelikula and Mr. Heart (or whenever that appears in watchable quality somewhere)
            ~ Saturday: Oxygen; Ingredients
            ~ Sunday: The Gifted

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            > And I haven’t seen Dark Blue Kiss, either, because I’m not sure I’m up to angst and blackmail and scheming, so I wouldn’t watch the TayNew ep either. They are still kind of nebulous for me as a BL couple (I’ve only seen the BL cut of Kiss Me Again, and New in a bunch of stuff where he was a non-BL side character.) Please tell me it’s worth the pain?

            OMG SO WORTH IT. They are great! The baddie, Non, is handled and acted really well. It’s totally understandable why he does what he does (and it’s only accidentally malicious) and he plays on Pete & Kao’s honest faults as characters. Plus the bits where you get to see Pete and Kao as a LTR helping and supporting each other are ADORABLE. DBK is one of my favorites. Please try it? Please? Plus you won’t have my issue with the Sun Mork side plot, so you can actually watch it and tell me whether it’s any good.

            > I have caught up with LBC2 as well. Not sure if I’m okay with what they’re doing with No/Kla, but the rest of it is fine.

            Yeah, I hate the non-com prevalent in stories from this author. They should just drop it.

            > (LBC2 is on there in decent quality now, too, BTW.)

            On DramaCool?

            > And also Gen Y, although from what I can tell I should really watch the original 2Moons first, since it’s a kind of AU fanfic spin-off of that?

            Maybe? 2 Moons orig is a lot of work. I didn’t know it was fan fic.

            I’m putting YYY The Series on my binge list, anyway. Otherwise my current things are:

            ~ Monday: My Gear and Your Gown
            ~ Wednesday: LBC2 (or whenever it appears somewhere in watchable quality)
            ~ Friday: Quaranthings; I’m Tee, Me Too; Gaya Sa Pelikula and Mr. Heart (or whenever that appears in watchable quality somewhere)
            ~ Saturday: Oxygen; Ingredients
            ~ Sunday: The Gifted

            SOLIDARITY!

          3. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            > On DramaCool?

            Yes — which is where I’m watching YYY right now, too. And I’m loving it! For all that it’s silly and ridiculous and over-the-top, and claiming to be utterly nonsensical and devoid of any serious message, it actually manages to be *better* about a lot of stuff than a lot of “serious” BL? I mean, aside from the ridiculing of kathoeys, which appears to be a comedy staple… But romantic rivals actually being supportive of each other, and not plotting to destroy the other? Getting drunk and brutally smacking down the suspicion that the lecherous guy will be taking advantage of the passed-out drunk person? And speaking of, I did not miss the — sober — re-enactment of TeeFuse’s drunken propositioning in the first ep of MIR. And speaking of allusions to other BL, all the Why R U references, including the music score, LOL (extra funny because the actor who plays Porpla, the super fan of Why R U, played Junior in that series). I’m so ready for the 3 ep special that’s starting next week.

            > Maybe? 2 Moons orig is a lot of work. I didn’t know [Gen Y] was fan fic.

            Not sure whether it is actual fanfic or not (I meant that in a loose sense), but it does seem to be referencing it pretty heavily while not being an actual sequel or by the same writer? It has a few of the 2 Moons cast playing identically or similarly named characters, so it doesn’t look like a coincidence. (It also has practically all of the actors from The Moment + The Moment Since.) I went for 2 Moons 2 instead of the first version, so I’m honestly not sure I’ll want to go through the original as well. Maybe just the first ep, to familiarise myself with the cast. I got all this from MyDramaList (where I caved today and made myself an account, so now I can add and keep track of all the series I’ve watched or dropped or put on hold or plan to watch. Apparently I have now watched 32 complete BLs. O.o ) (Though I really shouldn’t count Kiss Me Again as a complete watch.)

            It has to be an AU, because we’re also supposedly getting a 2 Moons 3 next year, with the cast from 2M2…

            > OMG SO WORTH IT. They are great! The baddie, Non, is handled and acted really well. It’s totally understandable why he does what he does (and it’s only accidentally malicious) and he plays on Pete & Kao’s honest faults as characters. Plus the bits where you get to see Pete and Kao as a LTR helping and supporting each other are ADORABLE. DBK is one of my favorites. Please try it? Please? Plus you won’t have my issue with the Sun Mork side plot, so you can actually watch it and tell me whether it’s any good.

            Okay, I’ll move it up the list! My list of still unwatched completed series is growing very, very short now…

  19. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    I’m tentatively excited about an upcoming Thai BL drama called My Ride, about an MD who falls in love with a MC taxi driver. What makes this intriguing is that it’s own-voice – the author (also involved with the adaptation) is a gay man (and a neuropathologist, so he knows the medical stuff). Also that it’s about grown men (not set in a school), and one of them is neither rich nor well-educated. Shooting has just started, preliminary air date at the end of the year.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        Oh, and I just found out about another upcoming (what appears to be) own-voice BL drama, this time Pinoy, called Gaya Sa Pelikula (Like In The Movies), starting this Friday on YouTube. Apparently the creator (a man, not sure whether he’s out gay or not) set out to prioritise LGBTQ+ actors in the casting, but pretty soon became aware of some of the issues with that, including why some production companies end up hiring straight actors for gay parts (namely, systematic homophobia, who is surprised).

        The Philippines seem to be really picking up speed when it comes to BL, and at least some of it appears to be more oriented toward (or at least aware of) the LGBTQ+ community, rather than only the straight fujoshis, than what we’ve seen so far. Let’s hope this is trend that holds!

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          I heard about this too, and I’m excited to see it. Not surprised, I think it’s even worse in Thailand. I’m super impressed with Fluke for being out. And no longer surprised by OffGun and their walk-in closet.

          I’m liking more and more of the stuff coming out of the Philippines, My Day is super cute. I now really look forward to the new one dropping each week.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            Fluke, as in Fluke Natouch? I did not know this. Kudos to him!

            “Walk-in closet” haha, I love it. XD

          2. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            I looked it up, and not just Fluke Natouch, but also Earth Katsamonnat! Wow!

          3. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            BTW, I posted a long reply above, but it ended up below the wrong comment… (I really wish there were an edit function, sigh)

  20. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    Okay, so I just found two more upcoming series: Boyband Love, a Pinoy BL that will premiere on YouTube next Saturday, and Manner of Death, a crime BL with MaxTul as the leads, possibly premiering in November (? who knows). The latter has me cautiously excited, as I’ve been longing for more BL with actual plots besides high school/college intrigue, and with actual grown-ups. (I’m dreaming of fantasy/urban fantasy, though. I mean, what if we could get something like The Untamed or Guardian, but without the gay taken out? I WOULD DIE HAPPY)

    There’s also a Pinoy drama called 90 Days starting on Sunday, but it’s about one of the characters being diagnosed with HIV — which is a real thing, yeah, and commendable that they’re bringing it up, but I’m not sure I can take it if it goes the sad route.

    I read somewhere that TommyJimmy are having an acting workshop for the SaifahZon Story very soon (the parts that should have been in Why R U but never got shot because of covid), and that A Tale of Thousand Stars has finally started shooting. Who knows how reliable the info is, though…

    I watched the first ep of Gaya Sa Pelikula/Like in the Movies and liked it, but so far it’s nothing out of the ordinary (good acting and production, though, and a sweet little tribute to TayNew in the credits).

    Quaranthings is pretty okay, too, but maybe a little bit rushed? Ep 5 of LBC2 was actually pretty good, they’re really letting Tin/Can get some real development (also there was very very little of Ae in the ep, and he wasn’t wallowing).

    I’m also enjoying I’m Tee, Me Too! (And I’m still entertained by all the polcas, babiis and perayas going bananas.)

    I haven’t started on Dark Blue Kiss yet, but I did start watching 3 Will be Free. OMG the death count. But I’ll keep watching for the poly on the horizon.


    (Just a little html test (please ignore):

    What happens if I use “blockquote” tags on this site?

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      > Boyband Love, a Pinoy BL that will premiere on YouTube next Saturday.
      Intriguing.

      > Manner of Death, a crime BL with MaxTul as the leads, possibly premiering in November (? who knows).
      Even more intriguing. I like their dynamic a lot, and they would make for a great gay detective pairing since they are both so tough.

      > The latter has me cautiously excited, as I’ve been longing for more BL with actual plots besides high school/college intrigue, and with actual grown-ups. I’m dreaming of fantasy/urban fantasy, though. I mean, what if we could get something like The Untamed or Guardian, but without the gay taken out? I WOULD DIE HAPPY

      Yes, I’d even take SCI without the gay removed. Sigh. Wouldn’t it have been great if Wave and Pang had just had a baby side romance in The Gifted? Dreams.

      I watched Blacklist and it was fine. I agree it was Gifted light meets Nancy Drew.

      > I read somewhere that TommyJimmy are having an acting workshop for the SaifahZon Story very soon (the parts that should have been in Why R U but never got shot because of covid), and that A Tale of Thousand Stars has finally started shooting. Who knows how reliable the info is, though…

      Well that’s cool. I don’t like SaifahZon very much, but I am looking forward to Thousand Stars because I think it’s one that will have actual plot. Even if it’s only Until We Meet Again light.

      > I watched the first ep of Gaya Sa Pelikula/Like in the Movies and liked it, but so far it’s nothing out of the ordinary (good acting and production, though, and a sweet little tribute to TayNew in the credits).

      I’ll check it out.

      > Ep 5 of LBC2 was actually pretty good, they’re really letting Tin/Can get some real development (also there was very very little of Ae in the ep, and he wasn’t wallowing).

      Agreed. I nearly gave up after ep 3, but I’m watching it now just for TinCan and pretending it just doesn’t exist in the same universe as OG, and I’m liking them better this time around.

      > I’m also enjoying I’m Tee, Me Too! (And I’m still entertained by all the polcas, babiis and perayas going bananas.)

      Yes, it’s cute. And Off makes for a truly beautiful woman. I always assumed Gun was the prettiest, but turns out, it’s Off.

      > I haven’t started on Dark Blue Kiss yet, but I did start watching 3 Will be Free. OMG the death count. But I’ll keep watching for the poly on the horizon.

      I have it on my watch list. I feel like I need to be in the mood for it. I’m not a fan of super violence, but I am intrigued by the poly aspect.

      I’m going to give My Heart a try. It’s Korean so it might not end happy, and I’m scared. But I keep seeing people talking about it so I thought I might venture into the K-drama breach. Incidentally, I’ve been watching Dailymotion using incognito mode with no cookies and it helps with their ads platform, which is super glitchy otherwise.

      And yeah for Friday, new ep of Oxygen drops tomorrow!

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        Yes, I’d even take SCI without the gay removed. Sigh. Wouldn’t it have been great if Wave and Pang had just had a baby side romance in The Gifted? Dreams.

        Ah, yes, I was thinking the exact same thing about The Gifted! How come they can make interesting and well-plotted things like that, and also lots of sweet BL, and even use the same actors, and still we can’t get a combination?

        Yes, it’s cute. And Off makes for a truly beautiful woman. I always assumed Gun was the prettiest, but turns out, it’s Off.

        Haha, yes, he was really pretty as a woman!

        I’m going to give My Heart a try. It’s Korean so it might not end happy, and I’m scared. But I keep seeing people talking about it so I thought I might venture into the K-drama breach. Incidentally, I’ve been watching Dailymotion using incognito mode with no cookies and it helps with their ads platform, which is super glitchy otherwise.

        Thanks for the tip. Yeah, from what I’ve gathered, Mr. Heart (not “My”, I made the same mistake at first and didn’t get any search results) seems to be going for a happy ending, but I’ll try to steel myself for it just in case. (Raws for eps 4-6 are up on DramaCool, but no engsub yet.)

        I’m really looking forward to Oxygen tomorrow! It’s really growing on me. Super cute.

  21. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    There’s yet ANOTHER Pinoy BL that started airing on YT today, called My Extraordinary (trailer). It’s on Filipino national television, though, so it might not be as daring as some of the others (Quaranthings, I’m looking at you!) but I liked the first episode.

    Another upcoming one from the Philippines is Lakan, which seems like it could be interesting.

    I watched the first episode of 90 Days, but it was really short — if you take away the intro and the credits, the actual episode was something like five minutes. And already in those five minutes it managed to be pretty angsty. Filipino series tend to have very short episodes, which is a bit frustrating, but this took the cake. (At least they also tend to have good english subs, unlike some of the Thai ones.)

    I very much enjoyed the latest Oxygen ep, but it turned from being sweet and dreamy to full on WTF at the end, didn’t it! Seems like we’re getting Terrible Girls™ again…

    So my current things are now:

    ~ My Gear and Your Gown (Mondays)
    ~ YYY 2 Special (starts on Tuesday)
    ~ Love By Chance 2 (Wednesdays, or when it’s available)
    ~ Mr. Heart (nominally Thursday, but usually engsubbed on DC by Saturday or Sunday)
    ~ Gaya Sa Pelikula (Fridays)
    ~ Quaranthings (Fridays)
    ~ I’m Tee, Me Too (Fridays)
    ~ Oxygen (Saturdays)
    ~ Ingredients (Saturdays, biweekly)
    ~ Boyband Love (Saturday 3rd Oct)
    ~ 90 Days (Sundays, if it doesn’t get too angsty)
    ~ The Gifted: Graduation (Sundays)
    ~ My Extraordinary (Sundays)

    I might try and get back to My Day again. I had to take a little break from 3 Will Be Free because while it’s good. it’s just a little too dark. I also dropped the Chinese Honey Sir, when there was an ep where the subs were too small and blurry to be intelligible (and the comments suggested that it had a sad ending). Chinese series tend to have pretty bad subs, which is probably why I only manage to watch an ep of S.C.I. every once in a while.

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      > I very much enjoyed the latest Oxygen ep, but it turned from being sweet and dreamy to full on WTF at the end, didn’t it! Seems like we’re getting Terrible Girls™ again…

      Ha, yes. I think of this as “throw a wench in the works.” I find it fascinating that they keep having Gui save/rescue/care for his Seme. I’m thinking Solo might be the softest Dom in the world. But I really like this twist on the classic uke/seme dynamic. And I like that Solo asks for care, in his way.

      ~ YYY 2 Special (starts on Tuesday)

      Am excited for this one.

      ~ Mr. Heart (nominally Thursday, but usually engsubbed on DC by Saturday or Sunday)

      I just watched this. The eps are real short and I’m just not sure I’m into k-drama. I finally watched that one about the bodyguard and the rich boy, and really was NOT into it.

      ~ The Gifted: Graduation (Sundays)

      I love that this is making all the BL lists when it isn’t but there does seem to be something about it that has the same appeal.

      >I might try and get back to My Day again.

      It got suddenly, like WHOAH, suddenly all in gay af romcom.

      > Chinese series tend to have pretty bad subs, which is probably why I only manage to watch an ep of S.C.I. every once in a while.

      Yeah it hurts because these a lot of technobabble in SCI so bad translation is even more confusing. I watched all of it, but I don’t think I got all of it.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        Ha, yes. I think of this as “throw a wench in the works.” I find it fascinating that they keep having Gui save/rescue/care for his Seme. I’m thinking Solo might be the softest Dom in the world. But I really like this twist on the classic uke/seme dynamic. And I like that Solo asks for care, in his way.

        See, I honestly can’t tell who is supposed to be seme and uke in this BL, while you obviously can! Solo may be taller, but he is just so soft and vulnerable, while Gui is older and more world-wise, and even though Solo is the “pursuer”, he’s doing it in a kind of lost puppy way? And Gui is all “we’re just friends”, but he still can’t say no to those puppy eyes, to the point of going into Fierce Protector Mode. I can’t wait for the next episode.

        ~ Mr. Heart

        I just watched this. The eps are real short and I’m just not sure I’m into k-drama. I finally watched that one about the bodyguard and the rich boy, and really was NOT into it.

        I haven’t seen that one. The only Korean ones I’ve watched are this one and Long Time No See, because all the others seemed like they had ambiguous and/or sad endings. I thought LTNS was fine, although the narrative structure was a bit challenging, and the story a bit predictable.

        ~ The Gifted: Graduation

        I love that this is making all the BL lists when it isn’t but there does seem to be something about it that has the same appeal.

        Haha, it may be as simple as some kind of conditioned response to there being cute boys in school uniform, lol (with several of them being BL actors), but yeah, people seem to be going wild about Nanon and Chimon, and they do tend to hang out with the BL crowd even though Nanon has never played a BL part, and doesn’t seem like he’s planning to do it any time soon. But maybe that’s just because they’re all in the GMM-TV stable.

        Anyway, I feel like this is a very interesting year to have discovered BL. I like the stuff coming out of the Philippines because it breaks the mold for BL while still making it romantic and HEA, and it will be interesting to see how the genre will be impacted by it.

        1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

          See, I honestly can’t tell who is supposed to be seme and uke in this BL, while you obviously can! Solo may be taller, but he is just so soft and vulnerable, while Gui is older and more world-wise, and even though Solo is the “pursuer”, he’s doing it in a kind of lost puppy way? And Gui is all “we’re just friends”, but he still can’t say no to those puppy eyes, to the point of going into Fierce Protector Mode. I can’t wait for the next episode.

          I think they are playing with us. It’s fun. And I can’t wait either!

          Haha, it may be as simple as some kind of conditioned response to there being cute boys in school uniform, lol (with several of them being BL actors), but yeah, people seem to be going wild about Nanon and Chimon, and they do tend to hang out with the BL crowd even though Nanon has never played a BL part, and doesn’t seem like he’s planning to do it any time soon. But maybe that’s just because they’re all in the GMM-TV stable.

          Okay I have a theory on this one. Nanon is Thai Hollywood royalty. I think they probably aren’t allowed to “use” him like that because daddy in big guns producer $$$$.

          Anyway, I feel like this is a very interesting year to have discovered BL.

          OMG yes. It’s kinda fun to be in on the ground level with a fandom. I mean going from Love Sick, that’s 2015 or so? It’s a baby genre. And with it dominating YouTube everyone stuck at home is discovering it this year. I haven’t been this grateful for Thailand since I discovered Tom Yum at age 9.

          1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            Okay I have a theory on this one. Nanon is Thai Hollywood royalty. I think they probably aren’t allowed to “use” him like that because daddy in big guns producer $$$$.

            Oh, you’re right, he is! So he’s in a class of his own and can pick and chose a bit more (and may possibly be under pressure from home to only take roles that will further his careeer or challenge him as an actor).

            Gods, that really makes you think about how much of a choice the other guys really have? And how much the BL “couples” really is about “Okay, we get along and feel comfortable, let’s stick together and play it up just enough so they don’t pair us with someone else”. I get a strong feeling that this is the case with Krist and Singto, whereas OffGun have, like you said earlier, turned it ito a mutual brand and look like they’re having lots of fun along the way. (Did you see their new music video, “Too Cute To Handle”?) And btw, I love how comfortable Gun seems with wearing clothes that range from standard masculine metrosexual to very colourfloppy and androgynous (and rocking the lipstick!)

            OMG yes. It’s kinda fun to be in on the ground level with a fandom. I mean going from Love Sick, that’s 2015 or so? It’s a baby genre. And with it dominating YouTube everyone stuck at home is discovering it this year.

            Yes, Love Sick was 2014 and 2015. I saw someone claiming to have been a BL drama fan since 2013, but I can’t figure out what they could have been watching that year. Since then there’s been a steady increase, but it’s really only the end of last year and this year that it has exploded. On my MDL list I have seven dramas from 2019 and already way past twenty from 2020…

            I haven’t been this grateful for Thailand since I discovered Tom Yum at age 9.

            I’m so jealous. When I was nine, the most exotic food we could get in Sweden was fake Chinese (almost but not entirely unlike real Chinese). Thai food didn’t get here until the late 90s, when Thailand became the fashionable holiday destination.

            What else? I started watching My Tee/’Cause You’re My Boy, and so far I like it a lot — only two eps in, so nothing has gone pear-shaped yet, and Frank and Drake are adorable with great chemistry (much better than in 2gether!) I hope it won’t get too sad and terrible. :\

            My Gear and Your Gown seems okay so far, although we’re in the long flashback still and I feel the angst, betrayal and enmity looming… I’m also worrying about upcoming Trouble in Mr. Heart, My Extraordinary and Quaranthings (the latter having a “morning after drunk sex” episode coming up). It’s very stressful to not know if there are going to be happy endings in these ongoing series!

            The YYY 2 Special ended up being released only on Line TV, and also, frustratingly, without subs. I managed to find a fansubbed version of the first ep today, and it was…kind of weird? It’s surreal enough that I’m not sure if everything was taking place in Nott’s imagination or not… If that ends up being the case, I will be DISAPPOINT.

            I liked the latest ep of LBC2. Tin/Can are really getting some relationship and character development, and Ae’s friends have managed to pull him out of his pit o’ despair, and the weirder subplots haven’t really started rolling yet.

            I’m looking forward to the comforting fluff of Ingredients on Saturday. I recently realised that Gameplay was in Love Sick — he was the elevator guy that Aim got caught with. I totally didn’t recognise him.

            My internet died temporarily yesterday, so I started rewatching He’s Coming To Me because I have it downloaded on my computer (good quality videos, so-so quality subs), and it’s the same there — I had completely forgotten that Chimon was in it!

          2. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            Gods, that really makes you think about how much of a choice the other guys really have? And how much the BL “couples” really is about “Okay, we get along and feel comfortable, let’s stick together and play it up just enough so they don’t pair us with someone else”.

            Yeah. It’s exploitive and worrying. I try not to think about it, especially with the really young actors early on like in Make It Right, Love Sick, and Love By Chance.

            I get a strong feeling that this is the case with Krist and Singto,

            I’d put Frank & Drake, Tay & New, Boun & Prem, Bright & Win and a few others into this category. The ones I can’t figure out are Mew & Gulf and Zee & Saint. But mostly I just try to respect their privacy and stay out of it. I’m more interested in the presentation and brand manipulation and how the actors work to balance an insane fandom against a hostile cultural environment versus their careers.

            whereas OffGun have, like you said earlier, turned it into a mutual brand and look like they’re having lots of fun along the way. (Did you see their new music video, “Too Cute To Handle”?) And btw, I love how comfortable Gun seems with wearing clothes that range from standard masculine metrosexual to very colourfloppy and androgynous (and rocking the lipstick!)

            Yeah, Gun’s a closehorse, which I respect.

            I’m so jealous. When I was nine, the most exotic food we could get in Sweden was fake Chinese (almost but not entirely unlike real Chinese). Thai food didn’t get here until the late 90s, when Thailand became the fashionable holiday destination.

            It’s why I end up living back in Cal all the time, the food scene is off the hook. I remember the fist time Thai food came to Cleveland, it was a revelation in what others have to cope with. I’m still not sure it’s reached the UK yet. (Not in any kind of honest form.) I can’t even with Chinese food, what’s done to it in Europe and on the East Coast of the USA is a tragedy.

            What else? I started watching My Tee/’Cause You’re My Boy, and so far I like it a lot — only two eps in, so nothing has gone pear-shaped yet, and Frank and Drake are adorable with great chemistry (much better than in 2gether!) I hope it won’t get too sad and terrible. :\

            Oh it will. Sorry. It goes well off the rails. However, I really liked that in My Tee we actually got a look at a poorer family.

            My Gear and Your Gown seems okay so far, although we’re in the long flashback still and I feel the angst, betrayal and enmity looming… I’m also worrying about upcoming Trouble in Mr. Heart, My Extraordinary and Quaranthings (the latter having a “morning after drunk sex” episode coming up). It’s very stressful to not know if there are going to be happy endings in these ongoing series!

            Preach.

            The YYY 2 Special ended up being released only on Line TV, and also, frustratingly, without subs. I managed to find a fansubbed version of the first ep today, and it was…kind of weird? It’s surreal enough that I’m not sure if everything was taking place in Nott’s imagination or not… If that ends up being the case, I will be DISAPPOINT.

            Oh dear. I probably wait this one out.

            I liked the latest ep of LBC2. Tin/Can are really getting some relationship and character development, and Ae’s friends have managed to pull him out of his pit o’ despair, and the weirder subplots haven’t really started rolling yet.

            Agreed. But I really don’t trust this writer, so I’m tense about the whole thing and wary getting attached to any couple.

            I’m looking forward to the comforting fluff of Ingredients on Saturday. I recently realised that Gameplay was in Love Sick — he was the elevator guy that Aim got caught with. I totally didn’t recognise him.

            No shit! Really? Well I just learned Yacht (Pong in LBC) is (maybe?) playing the femme fetal role in MGYG.

            My internet died temporarily yesterday, so I started rewatching He’s Coming To Me because I have it downloaded on my computer (good quality videos, so-so quality subs), and it’s the same there — I had completely forgotten that Chimon was in it!

            Sing too. I love those two. It’s SUCH a good cast.

          3. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            Yeah. It’s exploitive and worrying. I try not to think about it, especially with the really young actors early on like in Make It Right, Love Sick, and Love By Chance.

            I’d put Frank & Drake, Tay & New, Boun & Prem, Bright & Win and a few others into this category. The ones I can’t figure out are Mew & Gulf and Zee & Saint. But mostly I just try to respect their privacy and stay out of it. I’m more interested in the presentation and brand manipulation and how the actors work to balance an insane fandom against a hostile cultural environment versus their careers.

            This. Yeah, I’ve watched a few of those fanservice videos just to try and suss the situation, and MewGulf are so convincing, which is playing havoc with my natural scepticism (and my discomfort with RPS). I watched one thing with Zee and Saint, and what I got out of that was that they were very good friends. If the rumour mill is true, and Zee was one of Saint’s few supporters when that whole smear campaign went down, that makes sense. But MewGulf have everyone reeling. Most fujoshi-made shipping vids are full of very obviously far-fetched wishful “interpretations” of perfectly ordinary behaviour, but MG really take things one step further. Gulf seems to be leaning a lot on Mew and following his lead, so I just hope that’s going to be okay in the long run. (I worry.)

            I guess we’ll see what happens with those two when they no longer have an upcoming project together.

            I must admit that I kind of stan OffGun — not as a “couple”, but as performers, because they’re so adorably floppy and dorkily confident in everything they do. The vibe I get from them is that they’re just super comfortable affectionate besties who don’t give a damn. But it’s notable that neither of them seems inclined to do anything BL-themed with anyone else.
            Off and Gun at least do stuff separately as well as together, and seem to be at least partially in charge of their own “brand” (but who knows). And Gun is getting recognition for his talents and acting skills, I think. Well, I hope. Like Nanon, he’s been acting since he was a child.

            Their new music video “Too Cute To Handle” is the two of them dancing and singing *drumroll* a song about friends who are secretly in (unconfessed) love — ostensibly adressing the camera/audience/a third off-screen person, but that’s, of course, not how anyone reads it (or is supposed to). It’s basically The OffGun Fanservice Ship: The MV. It already has over a million views. I can’t help giggling at it.

            It’s why I end up living back in Cal all the time, the food scene is off the hook. I remember the fist time Thai food came to Cleveland, it was a revelation in what others have to cope with. I’m still not sure it’s reached the UK yet. (Not in any kind of honest form.) I can’t even with Chinese food, what’s done to it in Europe and on the East Coast of the USA is a tragedy.

            I’m lucky to live in a town with a rare, real Chinese restaurant that serves actual Chinese dishes. (It’s where all the Chinese people in town eat, so I assume it’s okay. Sometimes I eat lunch there and hear more people speaking Mandarin than Swedish.) It’s a small place, and they probably have a few dishes that are “adjusted” to a Swedish clientele too, but on the whole it seems pretty legit (and what I’ve eaten there so far was delicious).
            And there’s also a tiny hole-in-the-wall lunch place where someone’s barely-English-speaking Chinese mum is selling home-cooked takeaway Sichuan food. And a tiny basement where they sell pretty nice dumplings.
            I mean, I’ve never been to that part of the world myself, so I can’t really tell how authentic they are, but for a smallish Swedish town with less than 100 000 residents, that’s still kind of awesome. (There’s also a lot of Middle-Eastern refugees here, so we have Lebanese and Syrian and Persian food, too, as well as more-or-less genuine Indian, Thai and Vietnamese, and of course several sushi places.) (The reason is very much due to us being a University town.)

            In a neighbouring town (much bigger than ours) I’m told you can find bubble tea.

            I can only dream of the Californian food scene.

            I visited friends in Cambridge in… the late 00s, I think? And they took me to a pretty nice Thai restaurant. I had something with duck, because that was kind of hard to find in Sweden at the time (it’s easier now). It may be that in the UK, you have to go to areas where locals are either fairly educated about Foreign Stuff, or are predominantly from those foreign places. I once ended up in a Chinese restaurant in London in the 80s where the menus were entirely in untranslated Chinese. (I was perpetually skint at the time, so I couldn’t afford to eat anything remotely interesting, sadly.)

            Oh it will. Sorry. It goes well off the rails. However, I really liked that in My Tee we actually got a look at a poorer family.

            Dammit. I’m five eps in, maybe I should just stop there, while they’re still just being super cute. :\

            Sing too. I love those two. It’s SUCH a good cast.
            Sing Harit is one of those actors who seem to be in every single BL but somehow never play an actual BL part. (Though he was the ‘homme fatal’ in Puppy Honey, wasn’t he?)

            Off to watch MGYG. 🙂

          4. Gail Carriger Post author said:

            Gulf seems to be leaning a lot on Mew and following his lead, so I just hope that’s going to be okay in the long run.

            Yeah, this seems to happen most often when there is a large age gap in place that reenforces the seme/uke acting they had to do.

            I guess we’ll see what happens with those two when they no longer have an upcoming project together.

            Exactly.

            Off and Gun at least do stuff separately as well as together, and seem to be at least partially in charge of their own “brand” (but who knows). And Gun is getting recognition for his talents and acting skills, I think. Well, I hope. Like Nanon, he’s been acting since he was a child.

            Agreed, I think Off worries about him and probably has a hand in that.

            Their new music video “Too Cute To Handle” is the two of them dancing and singing *drumroll* a song about friends who are secretly in (unconfessed) love — ostensibly adressing the camera/audience/a third off-screen person, but that’s, of course, not how anyone reads it (or is supposed to). It’s basically The OffGun Fanservice Ship: The MV. It already has over a million views. I can’t help giggling at it.

            I just can’t with any of them singing. Apart from Nut (Oxygen) and Jeff (Ingredients) any I’ve tried really don’t have great voices and I don’t love the music either.

            Dammit. I’m five eps in, maybe I should just stop there, while they’re still just being super cute. :\

            I don’t know what to tell you. I watched the whole thing and have never gone back to it. Tonally it’s all over the place. Has the nose bleeding started? That’s the beginning of the end.

            Sing Harit is one of those actors who seem to be in every single BL but somehow never play an actual BL part. (Though he was the ‘homme fatal’ in Puppy Honey, wasn’t he?)

            OMG> HOMME FATAL! Can I steal this? Best thing ever. I just hooted for 5 minutes straight.

            Off to watch MGYG

            Just went Femme Fatal on us. Sigh. I’m loosing patience with it.

          5. Pelerine Dumpling said:

            I just can’t with any of them singing. Apart from Nut (Oxygen) and Jeff (Ingredients) any I’ve tried really don’t have great voices and I don’t love the music either.

            Haha, it’s true that most of them don’t have great singing voices and just do it because It’s A Thing You Do. But I do like Captain’s singing on the Love Sick OST. And Mew is a decent singer, as is Tommy. BUT NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO JEFF AND HIS CELESTIAL VOICE (and his music is better than the generic pop songs of the others that I am obviously far too old for)

            OMG> HOMME FATAL! Can I steal this? Best thing ever. I just hooted for 5 minutes straight.

            Well, it’s just French for the male equivalent of femme fatale, so I certainly didn’t come up with it myself!

            My Gear And Your Gown really piled on the tragedies in this ep, didn’t they? But I felt it was pretty well done, all the same.
            (Also: Fiat on TG:G — commenters go “LET’S PUNCH KORN”
            Fiat gets punched on MGYG — commenters go “NOOO NOT MY BABY”)

            I don’t know what to tell you. I watched the whole thing and have never gone back to it. Tonally it’s all over the place. Has the nose bleeding started? That’s the beginning of the end.

            Hm, not that I’ve noticed, no. Maybe I’ll continue watching until someone starts haemorrhageing.
            __________
            [HTML tag test: What happens when I use the “spoiler” tag? ]

  22. Pelerine Dumpling said:

    So since last time, I’ve watched:

    ~ Mr. Heart (complete series), which did end happily, and also made a point about love needing equality, which was very nice. The whole thing was perhaps a little bit rushed, and the plot a bit scant, possibly because of only eight 20-min episodes, but the acting was very good, and the production too.

    ~ Quaranthings, which has terrific acting, realistic relationship problems, and doesn’t shy away from actual LGBTQ+ issues, but I’m still not sure how I feel about the characters (who are both rather flawed). One out gay character, one (kinda) in the closet.

    ~ Boyband Love, first ep. which had an interesting premise, but had pretty lousy production and less than stellar acting across the board. Will probably give it one more ep before I drop it.

    ~ Gaya Sa Pelikula/Like In The Movies, 2nd ep, and I’m impressed, very good production and terrific actors. Will definitely continue watching.

    ~ Oxygen, still good, but I’m getting annoyed by the Terrible Girls™ — the only ones we see are either a psycho abuser/blackmailer or a crazy-silly fujoshi who outs people online without their knowledge or consent, and when confronted tries to mindfuck them into accepting her personal version of reality (but is somehow redeemed because she is Very Ill and also a stand-in parent). Why are women in BL always (with very few exceptions) so misogynously written? Especially considering that BL is a genre written by women, for women. THIS NEEDS TO BE ADRESSED. /end rant

    ~ Ingredients, which was still delightful, but far too short! Especially for a biweekly series! I WANT MORE

    Non-BL stuff: I’m Tee, Mee Too, which is still highly enjoyable; and a Chinese wuxia on Netflix called Handsome Siblings (male fraternal twins orphaned and separated at birth by bad people), which is also highly enjoyable (8 eps in out of 44), great production and much eyecandy, and stellar acting especially from one of the brothers.

    Am about to dive into 90 Days, My Extraordinary and The Gifted: Graduation this afternoon.

    Oh, and I saw a premiere date for TharnType 2 in a video teaser — 6th of November, only a month to go! (Damn, wasn’t it summer only a little while ago?)

    1. Gail Carriger Post author said:

      Mr Heart finished already? I might go watch the end then.
      Of the ones you’re watching I’m also into Gaya (although not as much as you), Oxygen (which I love) and Ingredients (which is adorable). I have My Day, My Gear, and LBC 2 in rotation, but I’m not wild about any of them. Tee is fine, and Gifted Graduation is good. I saw the TharnType 2 thing too, also the boys are back on the promo bandwagon so I figured it was coming soonish. Sadly been unable to find YYY2 with eng subs.

      1. Pelerine Dumpling said:

        Sadly been unable to find YYY2 with eng subs.

        The offical TVLine embed links have finally added subs now! (Embed links work for me even though the TVLine site isn’t otherwise available here.)
        It is very obviously a lockdown project, with only Yoon (Nott) and Talay (Pun) alone together in completely deserted hotels and water parks, and it’s more a series of rather surreal scenes/skits cobbled together with the theme of Nott and Pun working out what they are to each other, but no other discernable plot. The first scene is punning (haha) heavily on the sea, because that’s what Talay means in Thai…

        Let’s hope they are quicker with the engsub on the other two eps.

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