Curious About Thai BL? Here’s Why You Should Tune In!
Plus five recos to binge-watch now
Asian shows are currently enjoying its moment in the spotlight—it’s one thing we can't deny. With cyberspace as our only form of escape in our present situation, we get much-needed escape from these works of fiction. Stressful times force us to seek for an acknowledgement, consciously or not, that the world won’t stop from spinning. And it doesn’t end to just wanting to consume a far-from-our-reality story—the accessibility to foreign entertainment encourages us to explore a much farther destination than what our local channels can offer.
There’s Korean drama, which gained a tremendous following since the extended community quarantine began. Japanese anime fans also have more time in their hands to binge-watch their favorites and recommend a few titles to their equally-bored friends. The K-drama hype extends to Chinese drama, which some viewers have started to delve into thanks to fellow fans’ tips. And then Thai BL, or Boys Love, entered the picture, a craze something worth putting our attention to.
You’ve probably seen it in your timelines, or heard someone talk about the much-hyped story of Tine and Sarawat in 2gether: The Series by TV production GMMTV, aired every Friday night on the network’s YouTube channel. While it crosses the theme most Asian TV dramas excel in, which is romance, this Thai series gets its appeal in a different way. The genre, literally, storifies boys' love.
The unconventional—and dare we say, refreshing—kind of kilig and thrill Thai BL series, even beyond the popular 2gether, make it such a hit. The genre, also called yaoi, originated in Japan in the ‘70s, created by women through manga comics that depict attraction between males for women consumption. But it was Thailand that cemented its name to global success—the release of numerous BL series in recent years ignited interest in this genre.
And what’s not to love about these shows? It’s hard to resist pining for two handsome guys falling for each other, especially when good-natured antics, light conflicts that spice up the story, and punchlines that cause our hearts to flutter come to play. Most of all, it paves the way for open discussion and acceptance that not all types of media have the power to influence.
1. 2gether: The Series.
The ongoing series follows college freshman Tine who seeks for school heartthrob Sarawat’s help to keep an insistent admirer out of his way through a fake relationship show. But playing pretend doesn’t last long, and soon, the two find themselves growing closer.
Head hazer Arthit meets first year student Kongpob, who begins a series of protests against the SOTUS system of the engineering department from the initial assembly. As the semester goes on, however, the battle gradually turns to a more affectionate route—ensuing a relationship that’s beyond their roles as each other’s junior and senior.
An intriguing story of a homophobic guy and his openly gay roommate sharing the same space for the length of their stay in school, join Type and Tharn as they navigate their feelings in a rollercoaster ride of student problems, cat fights, and blossoming love.
4. Love by Chance.
When rich college student Pete gets hit by boy-in-a-bike Ae, the two constantly bump into each other from then on. With lots of money and a secret sexuality, the former gets in trouble, only to be saved every time by the latter. The rush of watching the pair’s push-and-pull of emotions will leave you rooting for their relationship!
5. Theory of Love.
If you’re into best friends-turned-lovers kind of tale, this series will make you fall in love. Film major Third hides his feelings for one of his best friends, Khai, who’s both straight and a player. But a big secret awaits—a revelation that will turn their worlds around.