With the current onslaught of quality BLs on my watchlist, I’m in a good place.
When your timeline is consistently flooded with new shows, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything. Also, there is a fine line between good shows and sub-par content. As such, we at “The BL Xpress” continuously endeavour to bring you fresh updates and reviews about the on-air dramas, so you can choose the best available options. Without further ado, let’s take stock of the recent releases and let’s figure out if they are worth your time?
Check Out The Series
While I wasn’t exactly waiting with bated breaths for the premiere of this show, the trailer did seem promising and I was enamored with the intriguing chemistry between the main leads, Chahub Marut and Best Vittawin. If you have watched Episode 0, then you would understand my stance. Check Out The Series primarily hinges on the on-off romance between Daonuea (Best) and Nine (Chahub). The zero episode was focused on building their fledgling romance, where both Daonuea and Nine meet at a faraway resort and end up having a one-night stand. The current timeline pans the lens on their turbulent relationship as Nine goes missing for three months and Daonuea decides to move on with his boss, Tee (M Sarawut). There is a lot of speculation and even more confusion in this storyline. Best and Chahub do have a fiery hot chemistry, but is it enough to tide over this show? I don’t think so. The script is all over the place and inconsistent. While Daonuea seems flustered and uneasy, Nine looks majorly tired and incapable of rational thinking. His two-timing nature is a major pitfall and I’m not yet sold on this pairing. Frankly, at this point, Tee seems like a better choice for Daonuea than Nine. At least we know that he isn’t cheating on anyone! Apart from Boat’s (Boat Anakame) comic timing, there isn’t anything good happening in this show!
KinnPorsche The Series
One of the best adaptations in recent times, KinnPorsche is making waves across the globe. If you have read the original content, then this show will seem like a dream come true. Add in Mile Phakpum and Apo Nattawin’s effervescent chemistry and you have the perfect recipe for a sensual delicacy. The raw energy exalted by these two actors is such a treat that you can’t take your eyes off them. Director/ Screenwriter Pond Krisda’s fearless interpretation has turned this magnum opum into one of the most talked about and lucrative projects in the Thai BL industry. KinnPorsche is revolutionary, the out-of-box experience will leave you riveted or shocked with its gruesome details. While the romance between the main leads is truly epic, I’m majorly invested in the “VegasPete” love story. The show has managed to explore the BDSM aspect of their relationship by ingraining Vegas’s sadistic tendencies with Pete’s masochistic attitude.Bible Sumettikul and Build Jakapan have a huge fan base and we are definitely looking forward to watching their slow-burn romance.
As compared to my teammates who had been patiently waiting for the release of this extended version; I was neither hung up on the premise nor excited about the lead pairing. Granted, Yin Anan and War Wanarat have a massive fan following and they do look good together, but I was unsure if I wanted a rehash of ancient history. And this is where I was wrong, because the show manages to surprise you with its tight lined script. The pilot episodes focused on building the slow burn romance between main leads, Vee (Yin) and Mark (War). Because this version isn’t rushed and not subjected to time constraints, we are properly introduced to the main characters and their opposing personalities as well as mindsets. While both of them slowly slipping into a relationship is a foregone conclusion, Yin and War effortlessly step into their respective roles; projecting a raw hunger that betrays their hidden emotions. The storyline still hints at the difficult subject of “Infidelity”, but it isn’t tactless. The storytelling did exceed my expectations. Here’s hoping that they continue with the same consistent pacing in the later episodes as well!
My Secret Love The Series
What happens when two opposing personalities clash in an epic warfare? They get paired as a BL couple in a hilarious farce concocted by their incorrigible University Chancellor. While there is a slim possibility of this actually happening in real life, My Secret Love The Series is one of those shows that doesn’t make a lot of sense. But the multiple pairings are compelling enough to tide over the idiocracies and the satire is harmlessly comical. You can’t help but laugh at their ridiculous fights and yet rejoice at the natural camaraderie they share. Kimhan and Mek absolutely redefine the “Enemies to Lovers” trope with their rambunctious energy. They are both loud, outspoken and yet inexplicably drawn to each other. Earth Teerapat and Fluk Chatchawan have a refreshing chemistry and their onscreen bantering is entertaining. Also, equally interesting are the side couples- Lee (Daniel Chang) and Park (Bew Sitthikarn) make a beautiful couple and I’m literally sold on their chemistry. Tim (Boat Yongyut)- Mai (HP Kenji) and Bomb (Yut Kritsadayut)- Bear (Porchaow) are still in the initial phases of their relationship and I’m looking forward to future developments. All in all, My Secret Love The Series is a breezy weekend romance; do not over analyze and you will be good to go!
Star and Sky: Sky in Your Heart
My current favorite and it’s got nothing to do with the amorphous script; because there’s nothing new about it. What sets this drama apart from most blique GMMTV adaptations is the sparkling chemistry between main leads, Mek Jirakit and Mark Jiruntanin. It is stunningly beautiful and you can’t get enough of their interactions. The pacing is better than the prequel “Star in my Mind” and the lead actors embody the finer nuances of their characters. Maybe age difference is the deciding factor; because both Mek and Mark are arguably better than their counterparts, Joong Archen and Dunk Natachai (they totally failed at evoking similar vibes). Mek portrays Fah with an ease that is expected from a veteran actor; but the surprise package is undoubtedly Mark. His portrayal of Prince is certainly winning hearts, and Mark’s charming looks are definitely an added advantage. Mek & Mark make a formidable couple and it’s quite possible that they may soon join the ranks of “Bankable BL Couples” on the GMMTV roster!
Another adaptation that stole my heart. Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of adaptations based on medical transcripts and yet Triage is brilliant in its execution as well as different in its storytelling style. Adapted from Sammon Scene’s popular novel of the same name, the show follows Dr. Tin’s (Tae Darvid) journey as he unravels medical malpractices at his own facility while trying his level best to save the life of his future boyfriend, Tol (Tee Thanapon). As both Tin and Tol are caught in a recurring time loop, the story promises utter heartbreak and pain. When I started with this show, I wasn’t expecting much from the “TaeTee” pairing. They are popular and have a massive fan following; but I wasn’t exactly sold on their chemistry after watching them together in “2moons” and “Hotel Stars Series”. But both Tae and Tee managed to break through the old mold; Tae portrays Dr. Tin’s exasperation with an honesty that touches your heart. Tee embodies Tol’s arrogant attitude and his confused emotions with the same ease. Their romance is of course heartwrenching and it will definitely break you. But it’s addictive and you can’t help but cheer for them. Adding to the oomph factor is the diffident romance between Sing (Tonnam Piamchon) and Gap (Aob Tanadol). Tonnam surprises with his mature rendition of Dr. Sing, which is quite different from his earlier comic roles. His chemistry with Aob is worth exploring, and I love their quirky banter. You definitely need to add this drama to your watchlist!
In one word- Disappointing. Since Unforgotten Night was majorly marketed as a mafia romance; comparisons with KinnPorsche were inevitable. Mile Phakpum’s portrayal of mafia Boss Kinn is so indomitable that Yoon Phusanu’s Kamol fails in juxtapose. Also, the show was supposed to capitalize on the BDSM lifestyle, but frankly the lead couple’s act just made a dent in the storyline. Both Yoon and co-actor Ton Saran seem majorly uncomfortable. I’m not sure if they weren’t properly coached about the alternate lifestyle or were just plain uninvolved in the act. Ton had a fiery camaraderie with his Y Destiny co-star Jaab Phumisit, so I was expecting something better. But his chemistry with Yoon is lukewarm and doesn’t elicit much enthusiasm. I’m not sold on this pairing. Something seems amiss. I’m hoping that the upcoming episodes do a better job with the storytelling; or else this show would be an utter failure!
Love in Spring
Adapted from the webtoon of the same title by Noh Myung Hee (노명희), Love of Spring is currently the highest rated drama on Watcha. And yet the show is unavailable on the international platform, which is absolutely frustrating. Because Love of Spring is definitely a worthwhile watch. The story follows the journey of Jin Geum Seong (Yoo Young Jae), a young nobleman who unwittingly gets married to Choi Hye Seong/Salbyul (Kim Song). The synopsis on MyDramaList is quite muddled, so let me simplify it. Salbyul is actually a slave working for the Min household. Since the Young Master Min Seo Yoon (Woo Tae Ha) is infatuated with his slave, Seo Yoon’s Father decides to kill Salbyul. Nobleman Choi saves his life and gives him a new identity, that of his third daughter, Choi Hye Seong. Later, Salbyul is married to Jin Geum Seong to hide his true identity. The story primarily focuses on the blossoming romance between Geum Seong (who is unaware that his wife is actually a man) and Salbyul. Yoo Joung Jae grabs your attention with his heartfelt portrayal of Geum Seong. Kim Song’s rendition of Hye Seong is near perfect; so much so that you would likely forget he is roleplaying as a woman. Both of them have abundant chemistry and the romance is truly riveting. Here’s hoping that GagaOOLala picks up this show sooner than later.
To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories
The current bane of my existence; that’s what I’m calling this show. After waiting for ages for the premiere of this highly anticipated sequel, loyal fans are annoyed with the angsty, painful battle ensuing between the most popular couple in the Korean BL industry- Kang Seo Joon (Son Woo Hyun) and Han Ji Woo (Kim Kang Min). The fact that Twitter is literally on fire each weekend is a testament of their popularity. We return to the “To My Star” universe as Seo Joon wallows in self pity after his unexpected break up with Ji Woo. Their sweet romance has soured and Ji Woo’s inability to express his grievances is weakening their relationship. There is abundant miscommunication and even more misunderstandings. Even though Ji Woo tests his patience, Seo Joon holds onto the sliver of hope that they could get back together. While we still don’t know the specific reason for their breakup, it’s obvious that Ji Woo is hiding something substantial and his efforts to hurt Seo Joon are rather halfhearted attempts. There is growing disbelief amongst the avid fans of Ji Woo’s atrocious behavior and redemption seems impossible. The following episodes will probably explain the reality behind his cruel demeanor and offer a feasible explanation that may soothe the masses. At least we are hoping for the same!
Old Fashion Cupcake
Adapted from the manga “Old Fashioned-Cupcake” (オールドファッションカップケーキ) by Sagan Sagan (佐岸左岸), this show is a mature romance between office colleagues, Nozue (Takeda Kouhei) and Togawa (Kimura Tatsunari). My only complaint with this mini-series- WHY IS IT SO SHORT? I’m aghast that this drama will end in five episodes. Old Fashion Cupcake attempts to break through the monotony that most dedicated office workers face on a daily basis. As Nozue steps out of his comfort zone and decides to try something new with his subordinate, Togawa; he is unexpectedly assaulted by new feelings. While Nozue explores a new lifestyle, Togawa uses this opportunity to get closer to his secret crush (Nozue). Their budding romance is somber and realistic with a tinge of sweetness. Takeda Kouhei embraces Nozue’s shy attitude and awkwardness. Kimura Tatsunari plays Nozue’s besotted lover with ease and both of them have an amazing chemistry. I really hope that this show gets renewed, because I can’t get enough of their camaraderie!
Senpai, Danjite Koidewa!
Following into the footsteps of its predecessor “Unlucky-kun Has No Choice but to Kiss!”, new release “Senpai, Danjite Koidewa!” is essentially a workplace romance between popular 3D CG designer Yanase (Naito Shuichiro) and his young intern Kaneda Yuki (Seto Toshiki). The pilot episode begins with major upheaval as Kaneda is super unfriendly towards Yanase. The first half of the first episode plays on the misnomer that Kaneda doesn’t appreciate Yanase’s friendly approach and would rather be left alone. The drama then pans onto the actual reality towards the end- where we learn about Kaneda’s real problem. Kaneda hero worships Yanase and as such turns into a tight-lipped puppy whenever he is around him. Their interactions are amusing and I’m in love with the chemistry between the main leads. Let’s hope the pacing remains consistent until the end, because the script is truly praiseworthy.
Red, White & Blue Movie
Recently, popular gay romance author Casey McQuiston took to Twitter to announce the adaptation of her best-selling novel “Red, White & Blue Movie”. Following into her footsteps, Amazon Prime revealed the main leads as Taylor Zakhar Perez (The Kissing Booth 2 & 3) and Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella). Taylor & Nicholas will be playing the lead roles of Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry. The most important addition was unveiled last week; Uma Thurman joins the cast as Ellen Claremont, the newly elected United States President. For those who haven’t read the book, Red, White & Blue Movie is a fictional romance between Alex (Perez) [whose mother Ellen (Thurman) has recently won the presidency] and his English rival, Prince Henry (Galitzine). The two high-profile star kids have been involved in a feud for ages, which eventually ends in an international scandal. Both are forced to do damage control. As their enmity slowly bleeds into romance, Alex must keep their relationship a secret, lest it would damage his Mother’s attempts at a re-election. Alongside Taylor, Nicholas and Um; Red, White & Royal Blue also stars Rachel Hilson, Clifton Collins Jr., Stephen Fry, Sarah Shahi, Ellie Bamber, Aneesh Sheth, Polo Morin, Ahmed Elhaj, and Akshay Khanna.
Amazon Studios recently dropped the trailer for their upcoming gay romance “My Policeman”. The movie is loosely based on the concept of “Lavender Marriage”. Based on the novel by Bethan Roberts, the film stars Harry Styles as Tom, a gay policeman in the 1950’s Brighton who marries a schoolteacher, Marion, while simultaneously being in a relationship with a museum curator, Patrick. Their secrets are threatening and can ruin the lives of everyone involved.
My Policeman will be getting both a theatrical and digital release. The movie premieres for a limited release in theaters on October 21, 2022, followed which it will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video from November 4, 2022. Emma Corrin stars as Marion Taylor, Tom’s wife; while David Dawson will be playing the role of Patrick Hazlewood, the museum curator who is in love with Tom.
Starring Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane in the leading roles, Bros is an upcoming American romantic comedy. With a LGBTQ cast, the film is about a jaded podcast host Bobby Lieber (Billy) who is tasked with writing a romance film that appeals to the straight audiences. Along the way, he ends up falling in love with Aaron (Luke), a handsome lawyer who is as commitment phobic as Billy. The cast also includes Harvey Fierstein, Bowen Yang, Symone, Miss Lawrence, Guy Branum, Guillermo Diaz, Amanda Bearse, and Ts Madison. The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller and is co-written by Eichner.
Even Sun Series
Starring the “Until We Meet Again” heartthrob couple, Boun Noppanut (Athit) and Prem Warut (Sun) in the lead roles, IQIYI’s upcoming release Even Sun Series is a rustic romance with a comic flair. This is their third project after UWMA and 7 Project; as such it is highly anticipated by avid BounPrem fans.
The show features an ensemble cast including Tae Weerapat (Dear Doctor Series), Kokliang Parinya (Tharntype The Series), Pak Papungkorn, Tiger Tanawat and Top Nathas. The show is set to premiere on 29th June, 2022.
Sun is a debt collector unable to successfully collects debt. Thai is a new debt collector, his rival. Instead of collecting debt, Thai gets Mangkorn in exchange for interest.
Sun’s father entreats him to collect a debt from Athit. Without it, he will go bankrupt. On the way to Athit island, Sun meets Talay and Nai, friends and henchmen of Athit. Sun plans to get close to Athit through the two. Athit is unimpressed and attempts to send Sun back to Bangkok, but Sun stubbornly refuses.
Oh! My Sunshine Night
Ohm Thitiwat and Fluke Natouch’s upcoming drama “Oh! My Sunshine Night” is all set to premiere on the AISPLAY platform on 4th July, 2022. The official trailer was recently unveiled on News Infinity Entertainment’s YouTube Channel. Now the question that piques our attention is:
☆ Will this show be available with English Subtitles on AISPLAY YouTube Channel?
☆ Or will the international audiences have to wait for its availability until the show starts streaming on GagaOOLala/Viki/IQIYI?
Minato Shouji Coin Laundry
Adapted from the manga “Minato Shouji Coin Laundry” (みなと商事コインランドリー) by Tsubaki Yuzu (椿ゆず), this miniseries is set to premiere on GagaOOLala on 29th June, 2022. Starring Kusakawa Takuya (Minato Akira) and Nishigaki Sho (Katsuki Shintaro), Minatos Laundromat is an age gap romance between the laundromat owner, Minato and high school student, Katsuki.
Keep watching this space as we bring you further updates from the Asian BL World!
(Picture Credit- Original Sources
Synopsis Credit- MyDramaList)