Korea Hops Aboard the BL Train

Posted by Stephanie on April 21, 2020


CHOO-CHOO! In a fairly surprising turn of events, it was announced that Korea is going to have its first BL (boys love) series and a gasp from BL fans all around the world could be heard.

The show, a drama short will be called Where Your Eyes Linger and will star Han Gi Chan a contestant in Produce 101. It’s going to revolve around a chaebol and his bodyguard. So. Many. Tropes. Here. It’s like a fanfic fangirl’s dream come true.

Why is this such a surprise? All you need to do is look at the LGBT drama list and you’ll be able to figure it out. While Thailand, Taiwan, Japan (and depending on how you’re able to wiggle the line between bromance and romance, even China) have realized just how popular this genre is, Korea is slow to join the party. Sure they’ve had LGBT movies, a smattering of dramas that have gay or trans characters, having these characters or gasp relationships be in the forefront of a drama? Well, it’s pretty rare. Plus BL isn’t just a drama with a gay couple at the lead, no, BL really has a different vibe, has it’s own tropes. These being, usually college-based plots (sometimes high school), someone is generally an engineering student, (I’m not sure why this is a thing, it just is) and the romance is the main focus of the show. Really nothing you’d see on Korean television.

Though, looking into the information on the production, it’s not like this show is going to be on Korean television either.

I honestly think it’s going to be quite sometime before something like that happens. Where Your Eyes Linger is going to be a web drama, with 8 ten minute episodes. Sigh. I want to be disappointed but this is really such a big step, I don’t have it in my heart to be. Especially once they realize what a big money grab this is. BL is HUGELY popular, and not just in my living room. Nope, you should see the huge amounts of fans these shows instantly have, huge amounts of fans these actors, these pairings instantly have. And the money isn’t over with one drama, no, you do this right, take a page out of the Thai format? You can ride this wave for months, sometimes years with endorsements, international fan meets, and more drama offers. There is money to be made in BL and it was only a matter of time before Korea realized this and capitalized on it. (To which us fans are like, doooo it, capitalize on it, put out the content, and we’ll wave money at you.)

However, since I’m in here and talking about it? Let me just tell you, if this drama is just a big game of gaybaiting? Like that webdrama Next Door Neighbor? There might just be some rioting amongst the fans of the genre. Don’t even think about it, Korea!

Looking back at the drama itself, I laugh at the idea that Korea’s very first BL is going to be a chaebol drama. Doesn’t that just seem fitting? Now if only the other half of the relationship was planned to be the male version the candy character, it would make this trope perfect.

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