Just as dramas came to me out of the blue, so did my current obsession with BL series that has been building for the last few years now. And by a few, I’ve realized it’s been at least… 5 or 6 years now. It’s gotten to the point when I want to settle in for some can’t put down tv, it’s going to be a BL. I’m happy to say I got in on the ground floor of this wave of content, happy to see it have exploded across the world. These shows now are really big and the actors are almost instantly hugely popular.
Previously, I did a post on my top five BLs and then later a redo, but this was YEARS ago, I’ve watched so much content since then. SO. Much. Content. Not to mention in the last couple of years, BL has come into its own and is getting better and better. There are times when I’m explaining a series to someone and I’ll say, This show is so good! And not just BL good but like good series good. (We forgive a lot in the name of getting more content.) I thought it was the perfect time to go back and revisit my lists, reevaluate and come up with a better, bigger list.
Now, unlike previous years, I’m capping this list at BL series as movies and series are such different animals, it seems wrong to have them on the same list.
Also, it’s in alphabetical order because while I can narrow it down to these, I can’t do any better than that. : D
This might feel like a cheat to have two seasons of the same series together, but really, one of them is not complete without the other. If you end with 2Gether you’re left with a meh taste in your mouth, but matched with Still2Gether, you realize they just ended the first series in a terrible location. I’m so glad they decided to do a season two, because, while series 2 plotwise is not as strong as series 1, the actual relationship between Sarawat and Tine has the closure we needed.
I can’t believe I still have not yet rewatched this show. It made me SO HAPPY the first time around, you’d think I’d give it another go. Soon my friends, soon.
This is one of the few shows which has never left my list and I’m happy to say, it holds up after all these years. Though, it was recently brought to my attention, all this time? APPARENTLY, THERE ARE TWO more episodes that I’ve never seen. The show ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I always just tried to convince myself that I should pretend it doesn’t exist. It didn’t need to be there. Almost like they were prepping for a season two that never happened? NOPE. There are two episodes that are filmed and are realllly hard to get your hands on (we think censorship). My friend and BL hookup Scott is on the lookout for them. He has mad digging skills and an intense desire to complete things so I assume it’s not going to be long before I can watch them.
Anyway, it’s fun to see these two actors continue on and having bigger acting careers since the show aired.
Yay Cherry Magic! This is the only Japanese show on my list and the whole thing made me swoon. The story of a guy who, after turning 30 a virgin can suddenly hear people’s thoughts, including the most handsome, popular coworker in his office, who surprisingly has a crush on him! The whole thing is so sweet and I look forward to the upcoming movie telling where they are after a year.
I’m sure I’m going to publish this post and instantly kick myself for not adding this one or that one. I think I have a pretty comprehensive list going, but these are just the series I remembered to add to Mydramalist. I can tell that a lot of these are my favorites as, immediately after writing the section, I had a HUGE urge to rewatch. That has to say something, right??
This is just a super sweet endearing show from the Philipines which I think highlights you never can really know a person on the outside until you spend time with them. Both characters went into this school assignment with preconceived notions of each other and came out changed. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this is proof that the odd weird can get the hot popular guy. I have yet to watch the movie that continues the story and I hope that nothing bad happens to them in it but it will be interesting to see them take this online relationship offline and in person.
HIStory2: Right Or Wrong
This may not be one of the BEST shows out there. There are huge gaps in the storytelling and I can’t decide if the teacher is creepy or not, but turns out…I don’t actually care. This came from a time where we expected BLs to not have great stories, film quality, or acting… but we were just happy to have had them. I love how once the professor decides to be part of this relationship, this couple, he’s ALL in. The part where the ex-wife comes back, wanting back into the professor and daughter’s life, I expected it to take a huge angsty turn, but, while it did in some ways, it wasn’t in the way that I expected. Not certain how many times I’ve watched this show but if I had to guess…its a lot.
HIStory 3: Trapped
I really love the HIStory series. Starting season two they caught their stride and started putting out some great stories. Trapped was their first long-form drama telling the story between a mob boss and the police officer determined to bring him down for a crime that connects them. While the first couple of episodes the police officer SUPER irritated me, once he toned down a bit and the mob boss started to be a little bit more vulnerable I was all in for their relationship. Both of them were just so alone and sad they learned and grew into each other. Sure it ends on a bittersweet note, but I fully expect that these two are in it for the long haul. Added bonus for an endearing second couple.
Life Is Beautiful
Another lingerer from all of my original lists is the Korean weekend drama, Life is Beautiful. While not a BL in the strictest sense, the relationship between the son and his boyfriend was the driving force behind this drama. It broke a lot of barriers. Sure to watch this you have to slog through like 60 episodes of family drama, but it’s so worth it. (It’s not like the other storylines are bad, the relationship between the mother and father is everything you want a parent’s relationship to be, but trust me, we’re there for Taesub and his boyfriend.
Like In the Movies
There is a reason why this was my favorite show of last year. We’re not talking this was my favorite BL of last year, no, this was my favorite series of 2020. This show just spoke to me and broke my little heart. By the end I’m not crying because of these characters, I’m crying because for them. When Alix and I started the Filipino series about two strangers forced to live together, I didn’t know what to expect, I certainly didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. The acting, the story, the video quality, the music were just all tops. If you haven’t watched this show, go now and give it a try.
This is CERTAINLY not a quality show. It was one of the very first series I’d ever watched and is just filled with cheesy goodness. The story of two college students living next to each other, and one becoming obsessed with the other because he thinks it would be cool to have a gay friend and Mai Ding just wearing Ahn Zian down has just stuck with me. (It’s not as creepy as it sounds.) This is a perfect example of what BL fans had to deal with back in the day before the series started to become more popular and accepted worldwide. Not great acting, not great stories, terrible slapped together sets…and yet it sits there on the top for me. Nostalgia I guess.
Love By Chance
This show was suggested to me by Alix as she had somehow found it and binged it while away for the holiday. I then had to find it and binged it myself. This was the first BL we bonded overbuilding to our old BL and Bubble sessions. Sitting on a couch watching BL with my friend as we ate fun food and drank bubble tea? It’s probably what got me through the pandemic. This college-aged show of the naive rich boy and the poor boy who tasks himself as being his protector made me happy. It is also our first introduction to Saint, one of my favorite BL actors. While it’s a little harder to rewatch knowing what happened in the background and after the show was over (ending in Saint not being invited back for the sequel #TeamSaint all the way) Love By Chance is still one of my favorite shows.
This was really the show that launched a thousand BLs. All the BL nowadays should thank their lucky stars this show happened as I don’t think we’d be here if it weren’t for this. The high school romance of Noh and Phun has a lot of the typical BL tropes but we don’t care…or at least can fast forward through them. I don’t even care that they didn’t have a single kiss throughout the second season, this show made me realize I could swoon through a handhold and a look.
The Best Story
Ultimately a heartbreaking story, this show of missed possibilities just struck me as real. Not every story ends happily, especially in high school but the way that both characters grew and learned from the experience just…gah it got to me. In my head I see them meeting up in college and being able to give their story a real chance outside of outside forces. The Best Story is only like three episodes long but is completely worth the watch.
We Best Love: No. 1 For You/ Fighting Mr Second.
Another two series cheat here but again, I don’t really care, I think it’s one overarching story. I’m not certain why the enemies to lovers story hit me so hard, but it did and I’ve rewatched it a few times now. Probably the acting? It’s a Taiwanese drama and has some great acting, and has a solid quality behind it. As they finished we binged each season and came out the other end epicly satisfied, telling others others ‘dude, you have to watch this show.”
Why R U?
This one had a rough start. The over the top sound effects drove me CRAZY. Starting out the story with the secondary “The world is a BL” couple was not a great choice. There isn’t anything mystical about this story, and by the end of the series, that couple isn’t even the main storyline (yes, I know they got truncated due to the pandemic, but I actually thought their storyline ended in a really good place.) This story is really about Fighter and Tutor, and their hate-to-love relationship. I love the idea that Fighter was always gay but never admitted it to himself, let alone admit he had feelings for Tutor. As they work out their feelings and become better, stronger people, I enjoyed following along. Though I thought the last episode or so was a bit of a miss-step and irritated me (Tutor was NEVER one to not talk about issues and to shove the story in that direction was wrong.) Overall, this was a great story.