We are here with the second edition of our new weekend feature, “The Sunday Bite”.
To make your Sunday morning more enterprising, we have our next set of popular author’s talking about their “My All-Time Favorite BL Dramas”. They have made some surprising and intriguing choices, which will definitely delight your senses. Without further ado, let’s share the juicy details!
Boys’ Love dramas come and go, but some stick with us. Those create feelings that become memories we remember later in life at random moments. These are my favorites, that I often reminisce.
What The Duck
“What The Duck” is one of my all-time favorites. It focuses on the inappropriate romance between Pop and Oat. Two men from different walks of life meet as airplane suppliers. Down on his luck due to his own stupidity, Oat makes a bet to get into Pop’s pants to resolve a gambling debt. Pop has a lovely girlfriend and has never encountered a gay experience, so with the odds against him Oat tries. Soon, he finds Pop more interesting and the two become close friends. The debt collectors become friends with the future couple. Overtime Pop begins to develop feelings for Oat. Oat, having fallen first, is unsure what to do with his growing affection for Pop. But when Pop’s dream of becoming a flight attendant becomes a real possibility; Oat fears that he would have a lonely existence without Pop. As far as I’m concerned, there was not a second season.
Cause You’re My Boy
“My Tee” or “Cause You’re My Boy” is the story of Mork and Tee. Two boys meet when one needs a hair cut and the other offers to do it but messes it up instead. Tee the boy who has a deep cut in his hair breaks up with his girlfriend soon afterwards. To win her back, he stupidly convinces Mork to pretend to be his boyfriend across social media. This leads to cute and emotional hijinks as the series progresses and you learn more about these two lovable idiots. Despite the censorship, the show tells a cute story of teenage love and boys falling in love with other boys for the first time.
Kiss Me Again
“Kiss Me Again” is an ensemble cast story that was more focused on Pete and Kao and their “Enemies to Lovers” plot than any other plot lines. I enjoyed the miscommunications and misunderstandings between the two students. With the help of their mutual friend Sandee, the two were often forced to be in the same space to work together while depending on another. From there, they become friends with an underlying attraction for each other. It is this magnetic pull that gets them through hard moments in life and allows them to be happy.
Tharntype The Series
Fresh off “Love By Chance”, came the spin-off series “Tharntype” with the typical enemies to lovers trope depicting the free spirit Tharn with the head strong but super serious Type. As the two try their best to annoy one another, an undeniable attraction develops between them. Tharn as such escalates his tactics in responding to Type’s homophobic antics. One thing leads to another and the pair have a codependent arrangement of being sex buddies. But jealousy and real feelings make things far more complicated.
A Tale of Thousand Stars
That’s it, that’s the list.
Ok no, but 1000 Stars is hands down one of the best BL series I’ve watched to date. There’s something so compelling about the story of a young man given a second chance at life: it’s a story of self-improvement. I enjoyed watching Tian and Phupha change and grow – both as individuals and in their relationship – over the course of the series, and I loved the ecological message at the heart the show as well. With the hand of seasoned showrunner Aof Noppharnach’s at the helm, the absolutely perfect chemistry of the leads and excellent performances by the other cast members – I feel as though this would be a great series even outside of the BL genre.
Also: every time a character says ‘I’m gay’ in a BL drama, an angel gets its wings.
Word of Honor/Shan He Ling
Another 2021 drama, but a show that slowly grew on me until I was a sobbing mess at the end of the 36 episodes. It’s hard not to be very invested in this story of a former ‘civil servant’ trying to retire in peace, the lowkey sociopath bent on revenge who falls in love with him, and their adoptive son.
Sure, it suffers from the kind of issues a drama would face if working on a horrifically low budget and sponsored primarily by a brand of nuts, but what Word of Honor lacks in the CGI department it more than makes up for in terms of a masterful plot, two fantastic leads with considerable acting chops, and honestly, an alarmingly blasé attitude towards keeping things at a bromance level. Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu are technically senior and junior disciples, but that doesn’t stop them from using the word soulmate at every given opportunity, and reaching a point where neither can live without the other.
The Sleuth of the Ming Dynasty
This period mystery drama is well acted and well directed, with some great action set pieces courtesy of producer Jackie Chan. Darren Chen is lovable and irritating as the titular sleuth, magistrate Tang Fan, and Fu Mengbo is the guard captain who has the privilege of being his landlord/personal chef. The plot starts slowly as Tang Fan and Sui Zhou investigate various cases and ultimately begin to uncover the strings of a bigger conspiracy involving every level of the government. The series is one part cooking show, one part detective series, and one part palace political shenanigans, and I love it. I also think might have a thing for the found family trope, because it’s definitely one of the best things about Sleuth.
Kinou Nani Tabeta/What did You Eat Yesterday?
I had to choose between this show and Ossan’s Love to include in this list, because both of them are close to my heart. I chose this one because I think more people need to know it exists.
Another show where food is the language of love, based on Yoshinaga Fumi’s manga of the same name. Shiro is a closeted gay lawyer who loves a good bargain almost as much as he loves cooking. He lives with his boyfriend, the free-spirited hairdresser Kenji who is loud about his sexuality and his hot lawyer partner. One of the highlights of the show is watching Shiro cook in every episode – explaining recipes in detail so we can replicate them if we want, much like in the manga. I love What did You Eat Yesterday for the way it portrays the struggles of an LGBTQ+ person in Japanese society while not getting too heavy handed with angst or morals. I also love that the couple is older – both in their forties – and mature enough to deal with their problems like adults. Its relaxing, and fun, and will definitely make you hungry.
We Best Love: No. 1 for You
We Best Love reminds me of old school BL – packed with tropes that we’ve seen before but always love: enemies to lovers, hidden feelings, unrequited love that is later requited. All wrapped up in a package that never swerves into toxicity or melodrama. It’s a warm, bittersweet and often hilarious story with a strong emotional core, as the persistent Shi De tries to win the attention of the love of his life Shu Yi by consistently besting him in every school activity and becoming his sworn enemy; needless to say, hijinks and tentative friendships ensue, we get to see Shu Yi fall in love, it’s great, and to round it all off we have some excellent chemistry between the leads and an A+ OST.
We will be back next week with the third part of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more exclusives from the Asian BL World!