So, we are back with the results of our final survey, wherein we tried to touch the pulse point of the Thai BL fandom.
The voter’s response was unprecedented and we have a list of choices that might serve as a ready reckoner for beginners of the BL industry. While some responses left us surprised, the voting was stealthy when it comes to the hugely popular dramas. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the fan favorites!
10) I Promised You the Moon
Yes, I was absolutely shocked when this classic saga received the least amount of votes in our survey. I Promised You the Moon touched on some sensitive subjects, one of which was “Cheating”. I’m guessing the fandom was rather prejudiced by main lead Teh’s (Billkin Putthipong) self-destructive behavior. The second season was focused on his personal development, as he comes to terms with his inner demons while trying to adapt to the drastic changes in love interest Oh Aew’s (PP Krit) personality. College life is quite different from teenage years and this show has well documented the morbid realities that most teenagers experience; when they are faced with real life. While Oh Aew was able to hold onto dreams and ambitions because of a strong support system; Teh was lost in the sea of loneliness while traversing through his mind barriers. Indeed, a life altering romance with unimaginable memories!
9) Fish Upon The Sky
The fact that this drama got more votes than IPYTM is hugely perplexing. Based on a popular book adaptation, the show focuses on main lead Pi’s (Phuwin Tangsakyuen) life struggles. Loosely based on the “Ugly Duckling” fable, Pi’s life goes through a drastic change when he falls for one of the hottest students on their campus, Mueng Nan. While trying to gain Mueng’s attention, he has a face off with his apparent love rival Mork (Pond Naravit). This show is a complicated and bizarre mess; the satire is oddly worded and the show courted quite a few controversies. While both Pond and Phuwin have a formidable chemistry; the lack of intimacy between their characters was jarring. Their low-key dynamics will leave you emotionally exhausted. The second lead couple, Duean (Neo Trai) and Meen (Louis Thanawin) unexpectedly had a more mature romance with a decent storyline. The script could have been better, if it wasn’t loaded with overused BL clichés and abysmal level of storytelling.
8) Lovely Writer The Series
I was actually quite surprised with the low ranking for this show. It seems like the Thai BL fandom have a distinct taste, but despite that “Lovely Writer” is surely one of the best scripted dramas of 2021. I wasn’t expecting much from the fresh pairing of Up Poompat (Gene) with popular BL actor Kao Noppakao (Nubsib). But just like in real life, these two have turned the tide in their favor with their simmering chemistry that consistently switches from sweet to hot. As a rookie actor, Up doesn’t falter in dialogue delivery and his acting skills are commendable. Kao on the other hand portrays Nubsib’s complex emotions convincingly. The show touched on some major issues in the BL industry (both novels and dramas), starting from the over controlling executives to toxic fans. The drama took a subtle dig on the various aspects of the entertainment world which affects the BL writers and actors in an adverse way. Highly recommended!
7) Manner of Death
Based on popular author Sammon’s novel, Manner of Death focuses on the problems faced by medical examiner Dr. Bunnakit (Tul Pakorn) when he starts to discreetly investigate the “Cause of Death” of his close friend Jane and comes across potential suspect/love interest Tan (Max Nattapol). Obviously, the show’s success was hugely attributed to the flamboyant casting and the lead pair’s explosive chemistry. MaxTul are probably of the most popular BL couples in Thailand. So, although the storyline did falter in some places with its odd pacing, they managed to salvage the show with their exceptional acting talents. Bun and Tan have an odd dynamics which adds a rustic feel to the mystique surrounding the murder attempts. Watch it, if you are bored with the overused regular BL college tropes. This show isn’t exactly exceptional, but MaxTul’s chemistry will keep you hooked!
6) A Tale of Thousand Stars
I’m continuously surprised with our voter’s choices. A Tale of Thousand Stars is definitely exceptional because of its unique storyline and excellent casting. I’m not a huge fan of GMMTV BL dramas, but ATOTS will forever remain my favorite. Earth Pirapat and Mix Sahaphap have an undeniable chemistry which leaves you spellbound. While Mix’s intense portrayal of Tian’s emotions is devastating; Earth’s polished act is impressive. Their journey depicts the differences in their social stature in the backdrop of the LGBTQ-associated stigmas. The cinematography is excellent and the attention to detail showcases their brilliant directing style. The drama grabs your attention from the start and despite the lack of explicit scenes, Phupha and Tian’s love for each other is viable. Although they do face struggles and misunderstandings tear them apart, A Tale of Thousand Stars is a mesmerizing tale of “Happily Ever After”
5) I Told Sunset About You
Filmed on the scenic beaches of Phuket, I Told Sunset About You is a forbidden tale of unhinged romance between two teenagers who are discovering their true selves. Nadao Bangkok is well known for producing well documented and full-fledged sagas. The miniseries focuses on main lead Teh’s journey of self discovery, as he comes to terms with his new-found sexuality as well as feelings for frenemy Oh Aew. The subtle contrast of vibrant colors lends a diverse diaspora to their emotions, as both Teh and Oh Aew face their personal demons. While Oh Aew is more daring in expressing his feelings ; Teh’s cowardly attitude might grate on your nerves. Despite that, they are like “Yin and Yang”. Teh and Oh Aew are pieces of the same puzzle that fit together and are meant to be with each other. Billkin Putthipong portrays Teh’s flaws with a brutal honesty. PP Krit’s soulful expressions and flawless portrayal is praiseworthy. ITSAU has definitely raised the bar for future BL classics!
4) TharnType The Series
I’m neither a fan of this drama, nor a part of the MewGulf fandom. Which piques my curiosity, as to why this show is rated so high on our rankings. The show courted a lot of controversies because of its unusual storyline and depiction of unhealthy relationships. The drama focuses on main leads Type (Gulf Kanawut) and Tharn’s (Mew Suppasit) romantic entanglements, as their dynamics change from enemies to lovers. While Mew and Gulf have a scorching hot chemistry, the storyline leaves you exasperated. Tharn and Type’s relationship is riddled with a lot of unspoken trust issues. Tharn molesting Type repeatedly triggers Type’s homophobic tendencies and Type’s childhood trauma are some of the issues that needed proper reckoning. While the horrible acts by the antagonist Lhong (Kaownah Kittipat) will leave you aghast; our main lead couple’s relationship is undefined. Despite that, this show can a worthwhile watch if you can digest the horrible character development along with the abysmal storyline.
Adapted from the novel by BitterSweet, SOTUS is deservedly an old classic. The storyline focuses on the rather regressive SOTUS (acronym for Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, and Spirit) system employed in the Engineering Faculty. Arthit (Krist Perawat) one of the third year seniors, often abuses his power over the juniors. Things change when one of the freshmen, Kongpob (Singto Prachaya) stands up against the abusing system. As Kongpob continuously opposes Arthit, their relationship switches from animosity to affection. The beauty of this script lies in the fact that the characters are well written and their relationships are depicted realistically. Krist and Singto are undeniably one of the most popular BL couples in the Thai fandom and their close friendship translates to great chemistry onscreen. Though it does seem lackluster in the initial episodes, their acting eventually gets better as Arthit and Kongpob’s relationship is tested. Definitely a must-watch saga!
2) Until We Meet Again
A choice that I wholeheartedly agree with! A reincarnation saga with unhindered romance; the show became hugely successful because of its unique casting and formidable storyline. Spanning across two different eras, the drama showcases the invariable differences in the societal mindset. While regret become a common theme that surpasses the two generations, the underlying differences between the reincarnated characters becomes the prime focus of this story. While In (Earth Katsamonnat) was more flirtatious and open-minded, Pharm is shy and introverted. Dean (Ohm Thitiwat) is more gutsy than Korn (Kao Noppakao) who was shackled with fear because of his mafia connections. The story might seem slow, but it is well paced. The parallels between the past and present are well documented and I’m in love with the impressive chemistry between both couples. If you are looking for a drama within the fantasy genre with a BL twist, then Until We Meet Again should be high on your watch list!
1) 2gether The Series
Garnering the most amount of votes, “2gether The Series” is certainly a winner. The drama’s success is because of the fresh pairing between main leads Bright Vachirawit (Sarawat) with Win Metawin (Tine). Although this show follows the age-old college romance trope, Sarawat’s rather daring advances and Tine’s confused reactions make for an interesting watch. My only issue with this romance is that it seemed to frizzle after they became official. Sarawat and Tine seemed more in tune when they were fake dating. Their relationship goes through several upheavals before they finally accept their feelings for each other. Another intriguing aspect is the unforgettable romance between Man (Mike Chinnarat) and Type (Toptap Jirakit). Despite their irreconcilable differences, Man and Type’s relationship was scripted in a much better way than the main lead couple.
Keep watching this space for further updates and more exciting exclusives from the Asian Subcontinent!