It’s healing, beautiful, and inspiring to see people realize their dreams.
And South Korea gives us that in their recent BL Ocean Likes Me starring actor Han Gi Chan and openly gay music artist Holland.
In all honesty, I first started following this drama because of Holland. Seeing an openly gay musician portray a gay musician in a drama was important to me, as it is to many in the community looking for representation in film and in life.
And he doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the message the drama is attempting to convey.
Ocean Likes Me is a healing drama. There isn’t anything particularly complicated about it. There isn’t much angst. It’s about two men brought together by two different dreams, dreams that are thwarted by life. Dreams they rediscover when they find each other.
Therein is the entire story. Simple as that.
I admit that I found the production awkward and the story slow at times. Even so, I am glad that I watched it. Not only because a gay artist took on the role of a gay character, but because I genuinely needed a healing drama. From the food to the music to the soothing ocean waves, watching Ocean Likes Me felt like sitting on the seashore with nothing to do except soak in the peace.
This drama was a chance to breathe amidst a bevy of heavier, more emotional airing shows.
I’m a massive fan of super emotional and dark cinema—the more angst, the better the fit for me. So, I didn’t go into Ocean Likes Me expecting much, which may be why I liked it more than I initially would have.
We followed Han Bada (Han Gi Chan) for eight episodes as he built a new life for himself and his cooking by the sea. There he meets Tommy (Holland), a failed musician who finds inspiration in Bada’s determination to succeed.
Together, they make dreams happen.
And it was beautiful.
And yet …
Could this drama have been better? Yes. Could the dialogue have been better written? Yes. Could the production have been more substantial? Yes. Could the acting have been stronger? Yes. Could the story have been more powerful? Yes.
The time jump at the end and the rushed resolution are especially frustrating. There seems to be a pattern of time jumping to the end of Korean BL dramas when the story runs out of things to say, and as a writer, this often feels like a ploy to cover that up. The abrupt jump and easy forgiveness take away from the story trying to be told. And it’s unfair to the audience. It pulls viewers out of the moment, rushes them into another moment, and then says, “I know you invested eight episodes into us, but that’s it. We’re done now.”
But, despite that, Ocean Likes Me mostly managed to do what it came to do. It showed viewers that dreams are attainable when one has the determination to try. And it did it by casting a gay musician in a lead role that would speak to people.
And I don’t want to overlook that.
If you are looking for a healing drama with representation, check out Ocean Likes Me on Viki. And be on the lookout for a surprise appearance by the Korean rock group 2Z.
Rating- 3 out of 5