2022 was a phenomenal year in terms of production and even though the Thai shores were flooded with BL content, the memorable ones were few and far between. In today’s feature, our authors will be talking about the shows that made them laugh or cry, in short, the ones that left a deep impression on their psyche!
Secret Crush on You (Feb 2022)
Not going to lie, but I did not know what to feel about the series when I started watching it—stalker-related content was not my cup of tea anyway. However, it brought many interesting conversations around queerness, dysphoria, relationships, and the like to the table. By the end, I’d warmed up to the wholesome friendships, the banter, and the weirdness of it all. Of course, Billy and Seng were adorable as Nuea and Toh. Still, I was a sucker for the side couples (not surprising)—Jao (played by Surprise) and Sky (Heng) were cute, and while Daisy’s relationship (Nutt) with Touch (Opp) may have had less time in the spotlight than I’d hoped for, it explored questions around gender. And a straight couple via Som (Looknam) and Tor (Dew). Plus, it gave us a sneak peek of FreenBeck, just enough to leave us wanting more!
Never Let Me Go (Dec 2022)
This one’s quite exciting—also ongoing—and PondPhuwin (who play Neungdiao and Palm) are adorable, so what more could I ask for? I’m pretty thrilled to see Chimon and Perth together as Ben and Chopper, respectively. The supportive mothers are some of the best parts of the series. I’m always up for how queerphobia rampant in society is portrayed through characters such as Ben’s dad and how serious an issue outing people actually is. I hope it ends as well as we expect it to, just the way the rest of the series has been.
My School President (Nov 2022)
I’d never thought I’d say this about high-school BLs, but this was the wholesome and refreshing series I never knew I needed. Such a stressbuster, this one. It was adorkable, it was fun—but most of all, it was musical. Gemini and Fourth (Tinn and Gun) are such good singers, and so are some of the others, such as Ford (who plays Por) and Satang (Sound), as well as Lookwa, who plays Gun’s mother, Gim. The plot was well-paced, the characters and their relationships were fleshed out, and I think I may end up being obsessed with it for a long time.
I want to mention The Eclipse and Enchanté, for they’d been intriguing—that is, until the last two episodes of each of the series ruined them. A shame, really, because they had so much potential, and the former would have achieved top-tier brilliance if not for a lot of plot points that didn’t make sense or were downright terrible decisions in my eyes.
Not Me was a revelation, to put it simply.
From the beginning, when it was first announced, I had been thrilled, although to be fair, who wouldn’t be excited for an Off-Gun series? The two are considered BL legends not without reason, as they have proved their strong chemistry with each other in multiple series.
Not Me, though, was already going to be different from their previous works, as I could tell from the pilot trailer. It wasn’t the strangers/enemies/rivals/friends-to-lovers plot with background subplots about social issues, that I had anticipated. Instead, White is thrust into the dangerous life of his twin Black, as he partakes in underground vigilante tactics to take down a corrupt businessman, and at the same time, raise awareness about social evils plaguing Thai society.
The show not only balances the flourishing love between White and Sean with their quest to make the world a better place, it does so with self-assurance and impeccable direction. Gun Atthaphan shines in his dual role as White and Black, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say a big part of the show’s success was due to his acting.
And this goes without saying, but the scene of them at the Parade under the flag will go down as one of the most iconic in BL history.
Shifting gears to a very different genre, Remember Me was one of the most idyllic series to come out last year, and as I will keep saying, one of the most slept on. Instead of focusing solely on the love story between Gun (First Chalongrat) and Golf (Ja Phachara), with the rest of the cast acting in supporting roles, as I would have expected, the runtime is divided approximately equally between the main cast, depicting not only their romance subplots but their journeys from childhood to adulthood, with the joys and pains that growing brings.
The show discusses the complications of growing apart from your family and your friends, and feeling from yourself too. The progressions in technology seem to be juxtaposed against a very contradictory devolution of the characters’ relationships with each other. Nobody is to blame, and at the same time, nobody is blameless.
Stellar acting by the cast foregrounds a melodious OST that I can still feel myself mumble as I write this. There was a danger of the slow pace leading to a dull and monotonous output, but the series balances the sombre moments with swoon worthy ones that keep it from becoming a full-fledged melodrama.
It is a show I found myself relating to at many points. While the contexts were very different from my own background, it was the universal experience of alienation in this fast-paced society that I think anybody who was born in the 1990’s and early 2000’s could find themselves identify with.
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!