#TeamBLXpress Top Ten BL Dramas (2022 Edition)

It has been an interesting year, with a surprising surge of BL dramas, that were both contemplative and riveting.

As we get closer to the new year, our team at BL Xpress will be sharing their personalized catalogue of “Top Ten BL Dramas- 2022”. This list is compiled solely on the basis of our team member’s distinctive choices & opinions. Join us, as we talk about some of the best rated dramas in 2022- based on their script, directorial, cinematography & the variable acting talents!

Drama_Llama’s Choices

I develop a strong connection with dramas that touch my heart, whether it’s through laughter or tears. The more it hurts or makes me laugh, the harder I fall in love with it. I like to call these series ‘dramas with heart,’ dramas that concentrate most on storytelling. 2022 has been an interesting year. The world has tried to break free of the pandemic that brought it down by opening itself back up. And the entertainment industry has offered us stories that are as political, relevant, and endearing as they are entertaining.

My top ten 2022 BLs clearly indicate the types of dramas that touch me. Please note that these are all my personal preferences. Every viewer is beautifully different, and what moves you as a viewer is as beautiful as you are.

180 Degree the Series Passes Through Us -Thailand

Heartbreakingly beautiful, the Thai drama 180 Degree the series is a nuanced, symbolic series that offers a heart-rending look at grief, generational trauma, and first love. And it does it with theatrical, political, philosophical, and literary undertones. It’s narrative-driven, relying heavily on the characters, their dialogue, and emotions to carry the story forward in a moving, unforgettable way that leaves an impression. In a world where how we look at ourselves, our pasts, and the governments we live under is heavily nuanced, 180 Degree the series delivers a powerful drama that checks all the boxes for me. From the music to the cinematography, acting, direction, and symbolic storytelling, 180 Degree the series delivers an impactful story, making it my top pick for 2022.

Not Me – Thailand

I could say a lot about the political aspects of the Thai BL Not Me and the injustice it fights to overcome. From the powerful marriage equality scene to the heartbreaking rescue scene where the protesters save our main leads, there is a gut-wrenching power to how Not Me is filmed. But what places this drama on my list of 2022 favorites is the relationship between twins Black and White and their differences. Although their twin connection is exaggerated at times, I was enthralled by how well Not Me pulled off their relationship. As a twin myself, and as someone who fought to secure my own identity away from my twin sister, I was touched by how well Not Me presented the need to love the person you are born with but also be the hero of your own life away from that. Using the twins to portray the two different ways people protest, from a radical POV to a less violent one, is also well done.

More Than Words – Japan

Japan has a distinct way of speaking with a camera, intricately telling a story without always needing words to convey emotion. More Than Words is a prime example of this. It is a powerful drama, less about romance and more about the connections we build in our lives. It tells the story of best friends Mieko and Makio and how their ‘unspoken’ friendship later drives where their lives take them. Uncomfortable and frustrating at times, More Than Words is realistic, raw, and emotional. It doesn’t tell the romantic story viewers want to hear. It tells a story that reminds us that love is complicated, affected as much by the people and society around us as it is by our feelings.

To My Star 2 – South Korea

While the first season of the To My Star series caught my attention and seized my heart, the second season owned my soul. A romance between two people with very opposite personalities and very different traumas isn’t easy to maintain. Falling in love is easier than keeping love alive, especially when generational trauma and personal insecurities are involved. To My Star 2 is a perfect example of that love, especially between two people who don’t necessarily match. It takes a lot of nurturing, time, compromise, and attention. And I loved this drama all the more for it.

Blueming – South Korea

The short Korean BL Blueming makes my list because it felt personal to me. Shot in an indie style that I found easy to connect with, Blueming tells the story of two boys caught up in appearances, the reality of who they are hidden by the popular public personas they’ve cultivated. Cha Si Won’s distorted view of himself and the eating disorder he fights spoke to my history of battling anorexia and bulimia. It spoke to the part of me that dealt with a broken family and the control issues I developed from it. Like Cha Si Won, my body was the one thing I could control, becoming an obsession. So, while the romance between Cha Si Won and Hyeong Da Un is beautiful, the personal struggles they overcame resonated the most with me.

The Eclipse – Thailand

I’ll admit, I’m a little surprised that GMMTV is behind two of the dramas on my 2022 favorites list. While I’ve always found GMMTV’s filmmaking to be decently well done, I haven’t always connected with the storytelling. Like with Not Me, the Thai BL The Eclipse sold me with its fight against injustice. But unlike Not Me, it focuses primarily on the conflict between pride, responsibility, and humility and how each emotion affects our choices. Rather than focusing solely on romance, it makes romance part of the conflict, effectively portraying society’s pressure on sexuality and choice. And I found myself enthralled by how much I connected with this.

My Only 12% – Thailand

The Thai BL My Only 12% is my surprise drama of the year, sneaking into my heart and onto my favorites list. A classic friends-to-lovers story, it opens with a typical storyline, delving into the lives of neighboring best friends Cake and Seeiw, but then takes an unexpected turn, not by offering plot twists or angsty moments, but by concentrating on the conflicted emotions being utterly dependent on someone can cause. It takes two young men who have become emotionally dependent on each other, and it throws reality at them, from realizing one’s sexuality to separation. I found myself invested in each of their lives and how the romance that blooms is complicated by their connected histories, which is a much more realistic look at what it means to fall in love with someone you’ve quite literally shared a childhood with.

Old Fashion Cupcake – Japan

Short and endearing, the Japanese BL Old Fashion Cupcake is surprisingly deep, delving into ageism and the struggle against gender norms. A workplace romance, it tells the story of two co-workers with an age gap falling for each other while pretending to be women, not in dress but in their daily activities. It highlights what kind of role men are expected to play in Japan by having our two leads step back from the stiff rigidity of their lives and into a more casual and fun relationship. They visit places and eat foods more often linked to females than males and open up to each other in a way they believe women would open up. In the process, they find romance while also overcoming Nozue’s struggle with his age.

Once Again – South Korea

Entirely too short but beautifully filmed, the Korean BL Once Again takes viewers into a traumatic time loop that links the past and present of two men connected by death and tragedy. While it effectively alternates POVs, the true power of this series is in its raw leap into one man’s need to save the man who once saved him. It tackles survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress in a realistic soul-stirring way that stuck with me long after the show ended.

KinnPorsche – Thailand

While not as stylistically deep in its storytelling as some of the other dramas on this list for me, KinnPorsche makes my top ten 2022 favorites based less on the way it tells a story and more on how the actors present it. With exceptional acting from all involved, each cast member stepped effortlessly into their roles and delivered emotionally captivating performances. As a viewer, I don’t need intimacy to enjoy a series, but what makes KinnPorsche stand out is that intimacy is used to speak. There is as much story in the sex as in the dialogue. I am not a fan of sex thrown in for the sake of sex, because intimacy that doesn’t fit into a story throws off how it’s told. But when intimacy is expressly needed to tell a story, it’s magic when included. KinnPorsche stepped up to the plate, offering an adult drama that manages to make its intimacy as necessary as the dialogue. This deepened complicated relationships and proved that where we are often most emotionally vulnerable is between the sheets.

Note: 2022 dramas not on this list (in order to keep it at 10), but that I highly recommend are Love Mechanics, Semantic Error, Kei x Yaku, and Eternal Yesterday.

The next 2022 dramas I am highly anticipating are Between Us, Young Royals 2, and Moonlight Chicken.

Stayloki94’s Choices

A lot of attention has been paid to the Boys Love drama genre, which is currently popular all over the world, and it has even received several significant award nominations. Inclusion and diversity have undoubtedly contributed to the emergence of BL. Despite the fact that the year is almost over, there are still more Boys Love shows to look forward to in 2022. Let me share with you my top 10 BL series from this year, which genuinely caught both my attention and my heart, for the time being. Let’s begin in spot 10, then:

10. Senpai, This Can’t Be Love

This may be among the best Japanese BLs I’ve seen this year. The plot centers on Yanase (Naito Shuichiro), a 3D CG designer who met Kaneda Yuki (Seto Toshiki), a novice in the field, and decided to train him. Because of the plot—which is probably new to me—the environment, the characters’ work, and the engaging images of the leads, this series has a special place in my heart. I adore how they transform into a fantastic character as the story progresses. Despite Yanase’s success being expected, he still needs to overcome obstacles. On the other hand, Kaneda, who toiled anxiously to be rewarded for all of his efforts, finds calm under Yanase’s care. You’ll have butterflies in your stomach while watching this series during those adorable scenes where they both have affections for one another but are unable to express them. It really grabs your attention!

9. Semantic Error

The growth of Korean BL heralds a change for the acting business as well. What I adore most about the recently released Korean BL series is that they all have possibilities! the pairing, the roles assigned, the location, and even the plot! They are capable of producing such incredible creation. This is why I’d like to introduce you to Semantic Error.

It is a novel concept in the plot to include students majoring in computer science and design. Boys love series with this kind of concept is hard to find. This series, which is an adaptation of the same-named web novel, unquestionably conveys a wonderful sense of love and triumph. Like any other series out there, Chu Sang Woo, one of the leads, is a goal-driven individual who enjoys according to rules. He prefers to act in his own best interests. Where this story starts to get intriguing is when he is going to work on a project and has to collaborate with someone in order to pass. Jang Jae Young (Park Seo Ham), a student majoring in design, is paired up with a group that includes Chu Sang Woo (Park Jae Chan). Conflict arise when he (Sang Woo) eliminates the names of his fellow members, leaving only his name, because they had decided to delegate all of the job to him.

Looking back on Sang Woo and Jae Young’s journey, it is clear that they both performed admirably in their respective roles. Throughout the series; they were able to bring tears to my eye. Park Seo Ham and Park Jae Chan put a great amount of effort into this series. The characters of Sang Woo and Jae Young are the complete opposites, and Semantic Error illustrates the possibility of “opposite poles attract” through their cat-and-mouse-like relationship in the early episodes. However, because Jae Young is persistent by nature, Sang Woo eventually realizes that he has already fallen for Jae Young. This series also included more loving and heartwarming moments; therefore, I must advise that you must watch it.

8. 180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us

While my choices do change from time to time, I always make sure they are worthwhile. I was looking for something intriguing and different for this year, and there it was! I discovered this fantastic series. When I first saw its trailer, I was immediately pulled to it since one of the actors, Pond Ponlawit, is also my favorite from the “My Ambulance Series”. A mother, a son, and someone from the past are the main characters in the story. I appreciate how this series was able to tell the plot using a small cast. Sasiwimol (Mam Kathaleeya), a prominent filmmaker, and Wang (Pond Ponlawit), has a close mother-son relationship. They eventually meet Inthawut (Nike Nitidon), a former friend of Sasiwimol, as they embark on a vacation. This series’ ability to start off as a light drama and gradually transition into an intense drama that deals with a variety of life issues is what amazes me about it. It could be about love, sexuality, or simply the many points of view that lead to opposing beliefs. This series expertly illustrates how one’s choices and worldview may impact someone, particularly if that person is your one and only kid. Also, when this son falls in love with the person from her past, Sasiwimol’s experiences have had a significant impact on his son’s feelings.

I’m not going to lie to you; there were some moments in the episode where I actually sobbed. The entire series demonstrates how crucial it is for you to have open communication and were able to openly express your affection. We must also recognize the possibility that some of our choices can cause someone harm, in which case we must be able to make amends. I could go on, but I’ll let you make your own evaluation of the show. Go see it in Gagaoolala!

7. Star and Sky: Sky In Your Heart

The people and the roles they play make this series one of my favorites. I’m quite impressed, and I’m overjoyed that Mek Jirakit is finally playing this kind of role. He deserves acclaim for his acting versatility. I think the story of a doctor and a teacher is cute, especially since it is the sequel to “Star in My Mind” (JoongDunk). Mek and Mark exceeded my expectations; I had not anticipated that they would be such skilled actors. I believe the plot about a doctor who struggles with self-discovery after a difficult breakup is great; the setting of the series also makes me think of the Thai-hit BL series of 2021, entitled 1000 Stars. I came to the realization that, although this is just a story, it also occurs in real life. I have had friends who have gone through this phase after a breakup, but they were happy to find themselves and eventually meet partners. Doctor Kuafah (Mek) whose commitment to his career leads to the breakup with his previous lover. He struggles to strike a balance between job and personal life. He takes his previous mistakes into account while falling in love with our gorgeous Prince (Mark). In the village where he was placed, Prince works as a teacher. Kuafah and Prince face various victories and setbacks. Initially adversaries, they finally grow close to one another. This series opens up to variety well, especially in relationships, and I like that. Kuafah, who was unable to love a man, developed the ability to think things through and eventually embrace how he really feels.

Personally, I enjoy this one because it accurately portrays our society while having a cute plot and endearing characters. We should strive for diversity, which means acknowledging that love is unique in its own way. It’s a breath of fresh air here, apart from the typical “school and work” setup.

6. Old Fashion Cupcake

Boys’ Love includes a lot of the same themes as other shows this year, yet this one stands out from all the others I’ve watched. Let me formally welcome you to Nozue and Togawa’s story – Old Fashion Cupcake.

Nozue (Takeda Kouhei), a 39-year-old male, only spends time at home and at work. This was his existence before meeting Togawa (Kimura Tatsunari), a 29-year-old subordinate of his. It is absolutely amazing how this Japanese BL depicts the possibilities of love regardless of age. You can observe how love functions in enigmatic ways while you watching this series. It seems impossible that to think that Togawa could be attracted to Nozue. On the other hand, Nozue experiences feelings for his colleague but attempts to suppress them because, in his eyes, it is improper to do so. I had a similar experience in Minato’s Laundromat with this concept of age gap romance. Their lives’ stories entwine and they are put to the test as they face numerous obstacles before realizing what they want. This is on my list of favorites since it is a series about allowing oneself to be open to the possibility of love. You may have watched a number of shows with a similar subject, but Old Fashion Cupcake presents you with a menu packed full of conflicting feelings.

5. Vice Versa

We have reached the halfway point of our topmost choice, and this time, allow me to share with you this incredible series in which the fate of two universes may be decided. This is Vice Versa!

First off, Jimmy Jitaraphol, who has been my longtime crush, is featured in this series. He was paired with Sea Tawinan, another actor with a diverse range of acting skills. This series’ emphasis on love that transcends two realms is something I find appealing. Although this is fiction, the lessons I learned from this series are ones that you should definitely keep in mind. Talay (Sea) accidently drowns in the sea at the beginning of the story leaving him inconsolable in his own world. When he wakes up, he is in another world and inside the body of another person, Tess. The only way for him to return to his world is to find someone who will serve as his portkey; once he does, he realizes that Tess’s life is also connected with Tun, who was later replaced by Puen after experiencing an accident in his world. As a result, Tess and Tun’s bodies are now those of Talay and Puen. Every chapter of the story made me excited because I wanted to find out who each other’s portkey is! I experienced joy, sorrow, and love. The entire duration of the series is a roller coaster of emotions. I also came to understand that true love never fades, and that if someone is meant to be yours, they will eventually become yours. I won’t go into more detail because I want you guys to see how well made this series is and how it attracted a lot of attention while it was airing. Why not check out this one then? Try it out! Then let me know your thoughts on it!

4. To My Star 2: Our Untold Stories

We now have two people who are literally from distinct careers if Semantic Error provides us with two students with different majors. We have Han Ji Woo (Kim Kang Min), a chef, and Kang Seo Joon (Son Woo Hyun), an actor. The first portion of their narrative, which was broadcast last year, received a lot of attention. This is actually the second half of their journey. The tensions in this series is what led me to rank it among my top 4. If I may add, I enjoy heartbreaks and difficult conflicts in BL Series because it seems like I can tell how much effort the actors put into each scene. It was never simple for them both after Ji Woo made the decision to break up with Seo Joon. Seo Joon’s celebrity life was also impacted, yet all he ever cares about is getting Ji Woo back into his arms. They each experience the effects of their separation differently. At first, I believed Ji Woo had made the decision to leave Seo Joon because he had suddenly stopped feeling anything. Yet, hey! Every event has a purpose. Because I have an emotional connection to each of the characters, I have literally cried during emotionally charged sequences and confrontations to the point where I had to pause the video and gather myself. If the first episode of To My Star captured your attention in a distinctive way, you’d better get ready for this series’ intense confrontations and dramatic sequences.

3. Kissable Lips

Another positive aspect of a series, in my opinion, is how well they can convey a fictional plot with odd character changes. Well, not until I came across South Korean Kissable Lips.

In the plot, Min Hyun (Yoon Seo Bin) and vampire Jun Ho (Kim Ji Woong), who is on the verge of death and desperately needs to drink pure human blood, cross each other’s paths.

I initially thought I was seeing a BL version of Twilight when I saw the trailer! (I suppose it somehow gives me that vibe because one of the key leads is a vampire.) I have to admit that the instant I saw Jun Ho, I fell in love. He is one of the angelic vampires I have ever encountered, and this is among the nicest character variations I have ever seen. I’ve seen a lot of shows and films that have attempted to include vampire characters, but Kim Ji Woong seems to be particularly adept at portraying this persona. Along with the magnificent visuals, I particularly want to applaud the actors’ variety and their ability to represent complex emotions while yet successfully communicating them to the audience. On the other hand, Min Hyun skillfully presented his character as an innocent person with an extraordinary faith in life and love. Before falling in love, the two characters went through a phase of getting to know one another. When Jun Ho began to experience love while being cared for by Min Hyun, he made the decision to stop drawing blood from him because it might be the cause of his demise. Following this kind of incident, a number of events occurred in their relationship that tried their love for one another. The plot in Kissable Lips is one-of-a-kind and will crush your heart, especially at the end. How come I said that? Hmm. It is fitting that you watch this now.

2. KinnPorsche the Series

Believe me when I say that I am grinning as I write this! The finest story of the year with a MAFIA theme is in the 2nd spot. Everyone! KinnPorsche the Series!

This kind of theme surprised me since it demonstrates how the Boys’ love genre is expanding in terms of its diversity of notions, and I was genuinely excited to see the series’ stills. The general feeling is that it’s far too hot to manage. I can’t even begin to fathom how many intimate scenes were aired in this show and how well these people handled the roles they were given. The eldest son of the main family, Kinn (Mile), is in charge of maintaining their rule and their business. While looking for more bodyguards, he meets the endearing bartender Porsche (Apo), and the two have the funniest interactions in the early episodes. Numerous character arcs are introduced in the show, particularly for the characters of Pete (Build) and Vegas (Bible). Each character in this series plays a unique part in how the episodes develop. This series does a wonderful job of including the audience in making educated guesses about what actually occurs, and I found myself solving puzzles as I watched it. Each episode is at least an hour long, so you’ll never get tired of watching them. This length creates an exciting atmosphere, especially when the concluding segment makes you want to watch the next episode right away. The action stunts and production value of this series also astound me. This is undoubtedly one of the year’s must-watch series.

1. Love Mechanics

Welcome to YinWar’s Love Mechanics, one of my favourite BL series of the year thus far! I want to begin by praising Yin and War for their acting in this series. This one has been on my mind since last year. Who doesn’t, after all? Only Love Mechanics intrigues me the most out of all the installations of the En of Love. The second chapter of Vee and Mark’s story is called Love Mechanics. Since last year, I have fervently hoped for a full-length series with these incredible boys, and yes, it has now come true. Finally, it took place this year. War and Yin’s chemistry has significantly improved, and I find myself becoming captivated by their characters. Every episode of this show is worth watching because it introduces fresh individuals and their parents, too! This series focuses on the prevalent social debate over sexuality and familial acceptance. This serial gave the love story between Vee (Yin) and Mark (War) a deeper meaning. I cry the majority of the time while watching this one because they misunderstood one other at some point and because holding someone is harder than anyone thinks. The sequence where each of their families discuss how they view love adds flavor to the story. What I did not anticipate was that the two major characters actually improved their acting skills and became attracted to the characters as well. For someone who doesn’t sincerely love YinWar and has been able to witness their growth through the years in the business, this series may seem ordinary, but for me it represents a significant step forward. Along with a great plot, you’ll also receive a fantastic cast and teachings that are applicable to real life.

Whew! Although there is a lot here, I am really delighted to share it with everyone. I consider the top 10 BL series of 2022 to be the greatest of the current year. I don’t mean to imply that other BL series are terrible, but these are just my personal favorites, and I really appreciate how expertly and beautifully crafted they are. The plot, the actors chosen, the way it was made, and even the conflicts. How about you? What is your top 10 BL series of 2022?

Keep watching this space for the next update!

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