We are certifiably venting our anger, on the most dreaded antagonists in the BL world.
Each of them more despicable than the the others; these villains aren’t any different from those in straight romances. While we love to hate them, they add the much needed twist or spice to our favorite genre. In today’s edition, our authors are sharing their thoughts about the villains who made the mark!
Sometimes, the worst villain of a series is the plotline itself.
There are quite a few series I wouldn’t want to see ever again because of how poorly the villains are written. Nonsensical tropes like the ‘evil jealous woman’ aside (not going to mention those because there are way too many), there are many tropes attributed to villains that I just cannot stand. I’m also especially triggered by non-con so there’ll be a lot of those on the list.
Min Woo from Sweet Curse (2021)
I’ll start with the one that I have a love-hate relationship with. Let me get this straight. Minwoo is downright weird and scary at the same time. He curses his friend Hajoon for being popular especially among their acquaintances at the gay bar they frequent. After everything that he pulls, he pretends to care for Hajoon’s health. A horrible friend, really. However, he’s funny, and not only because his plans go awry (you can probably see a new review coming from miles away). He’s also very good-looking (the unfairness of it all).
Kim Hyungki from To My Star (2021)
Honestly speaking, this villain was well-written, so much so that I actually do resent him. He betrays Jiwoo, his friend and business partner, for money, blackmails Seojoon (Jiwoo’s love interest in the series), and ruins all the perfectly good relationships he has with people around him. Messing with other people’s privacy isn’t the way to go, but here we are. Another good-looking one gone down the drain.
Tee from Call it What You Want 1 & 2 (2021)
With all the sexual harassment cases in the BL industry being brought up by various media, this hits closer to home more than anything else. Based on a true incident, Call It What You Want was meant to highlight the skewed power relations between entertainment companies which produce BL series and everyone else involved. I’m not sure how much I actually like the series because many things about it irked me, but Tee’s character took the spotlight when it came to being one of the biggest douchebags out there. You feel horrified watching him put people like Kaprao (who uses his real name in the series) and Bas through some serious trauma.
Fu Yong Jie from HIStory 4: Close to You (2021)
To many people, this man wasn’t really a villain. A lot of people liked the side couple, some even took to Twitter and MDL to support Fu Jong Yie’s character. I’m not a big fan of the whole love-between-stepbrothers trope, but that was not what triggered me. I think that’s the sign of a true villain. He not only managed to gaslight and manipulate Xing Si and the entire family, but he also convinced the viewers that what he did was for Xing Si’s sake. Neither am I kink-shaming nor am I shunning what fans like. I’m merely stating my own opinion—one that is informed by my own experience of being gaslighted (it isn’t limited to romantic relationships alone) and being surrounded by people who’ve been gaslighted themselves. To convince a gay man that he influenced his stepbrother’s sexuality and that he was at fault when in reality he was sexually assaulted by Fu Yong Jie, now that’s something only the worst kind of scum is capable of.
Or the section that’s longer than the rest of the article, as I’d like to call it.
There aren’t many names this time; only a few who managed to frustrate and trigger me in their own different ways:
Park from 2Moons2 the series (an example of how some mistakes in the plot sour the main ship and ruin the entire series); Pete from Together with Me: The Next Chapter (I’d like to know why this man was even there—I’m not a fan of plotlines revolving around cheating partners); and Keng from The Effect (now in the ‘special mentions’ section because a colleague had mentioned it earlier in their Sunday feature). Now the last one was the whole package—with a stretched-out rape scene that was unnecessary and triggering in the first place, depictions of suicide attempts with no warning, gaslighting, and the rape survivor blaming himself—all for nothing. The series had so much potential to talk about homophobia without the rape plot in the first place. I don’t think I could look at Oat for a long time, and it was only recently that I finally let go of everything that I’d felt while watching this miniseries.
There are strictly two kinds of BL villains: ones you like watching either because they’re unrepentantly evil or sympathetic and the ones you want to climb into the screen and strangle personally. (Not pictured: every single homophobic parent in BL drama, they are all uniformly terrible)
Here are the villains in my list of the latter:
Non (AJ Chayapol) in Dark Blue Kiss
Non, you are a literal high schooler trying to get with a college student who is already in a relationship and trying to do it through manipulation and blackmail. Maybe if you spent more time studying you wouldn’t need Kao to tutor you and you could date someone more age appropriate and also actually interested in you.
Plern Paeng (Aim Satida) and the League of Evil Girlfriends* in Together with Me and also Bam (Janhae Ployshompoo) in Fish Upon the Sky
These series decided to villainise women in such an awful way it nearly made me forget everything good about them. Plern Paeng was scheming and unrepentant for her actions and literally *created a conspiracy with other jilted women (the aforementioned League of Evil Girlfriends) to get ‘revenge’. Bam just randomly decided to ruin her best friend’s relationship for entirely selfish reasons. They’re both just horrible human beings but we all know that the real villain in this case is misogyny.
Lhong (Kaownah Kittipat) in TharnType the Series
I’m sure this absolute psychopath is on more than one of these lists, and he deserves it. The fact that the narrative forgave him makes things even worse. You’re on my hitlist, Lhong, please go to jail.
Zhao Jing (Wang Ruo Lin) in Word of Honor
Sorry, yifu, you’re kind of awful. Zhao Jing is a villain I could not sympathise with, even when he reached his lowest point. He was arrogant and scheming, used everyone around him to achieve his ends, and absolutely deserved everything that came to him.
We will be back next week with the third edition of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more updates from the Asian BL World!
(Pictures Credit- Original Sources)