Over the past 6 months that we have been on lockdown due to COVID-19, we have seen lots of trends come and go. For food, there’s the ube pandesal and baked sushi. Also, we saw people getting into gardening and becoming plantitos and plantitas. As for pop culture, we witnessed the rise of a new genre that was a little niche before- the BL or Boys Love series. Actually, this isn’t new but to the majority of Filipinos, this is something to discover, including me. So, if you are also late to the party, here are some of the BL series recommendations that should get you started:
- 2gether the Series (Thailand, 2020)
First off, the 2gether the Series. To be honest with you, Bingers, this was the first BL series that I watched. My friends on Twitter were talking about it every Friday and so I got curious and gave it a try. 2gether the Series stars newcomers Win Metawin and Bright Vachirawit. This GMMTV series revolves around a college guy who “found an admirer” to escape a persistent admirer. The story then progressed into an adorable and extremely cute relationship between the leads.
This is best for starters to the genre because it is light with an intense amount of kilig.
- Dark Blue Kiss (Thailand, 2019)
From the teeny and youthful romance of 2gether The Series, we are now jumping to a more serious and more mature romance. Dark Blue Kiss stars Tay Tawan and New Thitipoom. Continuing on the relationship that PeteKao had on a previous series (Kiss Me Again), the story now not only tackles the same-sex relationship but also other facets of an individual such as family, friends, education, and career.
I watched this after 2gether due to my friends’ recommendations and I quickly fell in love with its mature take on the story. The conflicts were not forced and the leads were lovable. Yes, I am a Tay Tawan stan. What are you gonna do about it? lol
- SOTUS: The Series (Thailand, 2016)
Okay, before we proceed, I am going to be completely honest with you, Bingers: I am still trying to finish this series. This is a personal choice but I am finding this to be really slow despite seeing the potential and the reason BL fans have lauded this as one of the bests.
SOTUS stars Perawat Sangpotirat (Krist) and Prachaya Ruangroj (Singto). The story is set at a faculty of engineering at a university and focused on the hazing culture of organizations. This lasted on for so long until the two lead characters found an opportunity to explore their friendship and, eventually, romance.
The slow burn was appreciated by many fans, but personally, it’s just not it for me. Still, if you want to give it a try, go for it. There’s a reason BL fans love it.
- Gameboys (Philippines, 2020)
And now, let’s jump to our local shores. Amid the pandemic, The Ideafirst Company jumped on the BL train hype and pleased the Filipino audience with a locally-made BL series. Gameboys stars Elijah Canlas and Kokoy de Santos. The creative use of the limitations and crafting a believable story out of it made the series a hit for the audience, including me.
Despite most of the episodes set behind a pseudo-Zoom conference call, it still managed to deliver a narrative so compelling that made the finale a delight! And yes, behind the budding romance between the characters, Gameboys remained relevant when it used the pandemic as a plot device.
- Gaya sa Pelikula (Philippines, 2020)
Yes, I know. The series just aired its pilot over the weekend. So, you might be wondering why I already included it in the list. Well, the answer is simple: the pilot was very promising! The creative team behind it, alone, should convince you. I mean, it’s directed by JP Habac (I‘m Drunk, I Love You) and it was created and written by Juan Miguel Severo (Hintayan ng Langit– this made cry for an hour!! lol). It stars newcomers Ian Pangilinan and Paolo Pangilinan.
There isn’t much revealed yet about its plot but Severo has been very outspoken on Twitter that his project will reclaim the story of the LGBTQ community. And personally, as part of the community, I want that!
So, are you ready to get into the hype train? Beware though, it can get really addictive! Do you have other BL recommendations to add to my list? Let me know in the comments!