And so we’ve reached the end of the series! Looking at the list, I disliked a LOT of shows in 2020 and I don’t know if was the type of shows I was watching, the types of shows that were being produced, or me. You know, 2020 was a weird year and I very well may have been in NO MOOD. I will say though, not only did I like some shows, some of them became instant favorites. Making me laugh, cry, and sometimes, really good shows? Made me flap my arms in excitement. What more can you ask for?
2gether / Still 2gether
Tine is a very handsome student and cheerleader in college, while Sarawat is one of the campus’ most popular guys and is also in the soccer and music club. When Tine is chased by Green, who he does not reciprocate feelings for — he ends up begging Sarawat to fake date with him in order to chase Green away.
Somehow, just like the tale as old as time goes — pretend somehow starts to turn into reality. However, before a “happily ever after” there is the process of falling in love, and the slow realization that somehow they aren’t pretending anymore. Somehow, they do not want to.
If you follow this site there is no surprise how much I love this show. Technically its two series together, the first one and then a special extra 5 episodes, but really you can’t have one without the other. This show and this couple just made me so happy.
While still a virgin at 30, Adachi Kiyoshi gains a magical power – the ability to read other people’s minds by touching them. At first, he’s overwhelmed by his new ability, and it’s not proving to be helpful to him.
But that all changes when he accidentally touches Kurosawa Yuichi, whom he learns has romantic feelings for him.
This show is another delight! A fun premise and another one of those storylines where one of them loves the other, right from the very beginning and that love never falters through the entirety of the show. I can’t wait for the upcoming follow-up movie.
What if you meet someone who changes your life forever? This is a story about two boys who first met online as strangers who didn’t seem to like each other very much but were again brought together by circumstances that would change their lives forever.
When Mico organizes an online quiz night with his group of friends, he is surprised when the school’s popular basketball player, Xavier, joins in and insults them. Little does Mico know that this won’t be the last time he’ll be seeing Xavier.
This was a surprise bit of fun. One of the COVID romances where the whole thing is told through video chats and social media. It was charming. Yes, that’s the word. I still have to watch the follow-up movie they made, maybe I’ll do that over the holiday season. From what I understand they didn’t mess it up too much.
The stories of people going through their days that are seemingly ordinary but actually special, at the hospital, a place known as the microcosm of life, where someone is being born and someone’s life meets their ending. The five doctors are long-time friends of 20 years who started their undergrad in 1999 in the same medical school and now are colleagues in the same hospital and have a band together.
With episodes as long as the ones that Hospital Playlist had, I’d like to say I didn’t binge it, but I watched this show in a week. It got me through a big project I was working on! This show about five doctor friends, working at the hospital, all living their own lives where nothing TERRIBLE happens is just a warm and cozy drama to watch.
Like in the Movies
A prequel to the unproduced teleplays on Wattpad, GAYA SA PELIKULA tells us about Karl, a 19-year-old recluse architecture student in the middle of an identity crisis. He is forced by his parents to move into his uncle’s condo unit to learn to live alone, a family tradition, prior to the start of the second semester of college.
Pressured to have enough money to earn his keep, Karl takes on odd jobs online. But when one of his major clients suddenly goes MIA, he is left short on funds and without a means to pay for his utilities. An opportunity presents itself when his neighbor, the mysterious Vlad, whom he despises for being inconsiderate, gets himself in a sticky situation — hiding from his own family, and proposes that they become housemates for the rest of the semestral break in exchange for rent.
Even though this is a BL, this is my favorite show of 2020. I cried, but in a good way. And then I cried in a sad hopeful way. Even if you’re not a fan of BL, I recommend this show to anyone who will listen.
Manner of Death
Dr. Bunnakit is a medical examiner based at a provincial hospital. One day, after carrying out an autopsy on the body of a woman who had seemingly hanged herself, Dr. Bunnakit rules out suicide, as his findings point to homicide. His conclusion suddenly makes him the target of someone very powerful.
When an anonymous man breaks into his house and threatens him to change his report to suicide, Dr. Bunnakit doesn’t take this threat seriously. But all that changes when one of his friends, a prosecutor, suddenly disappears. Dr. Bunnakit quietly conducts his own investigation in order to get at the truth. All clues lead to one suspect, a man named Tan, who denies any involvement. Tan convinces Dr. Bunnakit to team up together in order to find the real murderer.
Alas, this will be the only time the pairing of Max/Tul will show up on my list, but I really do like them as a couple. This murder/death mystery from last year was pretty intense for a BL and they did a great job. Not to mention their chemistry is smoking. I hope they will do another drama, but I’m not holding my breath.
Mystic Pop Up Bar
“Mystic Pop-Up Bar” is based on a popular webtoon of the same name and tells the story of a mysterious pojangmacha (outdoor drinking establishment) run by a prickly woman and an innocent part-timer who visit customers in their dreams to help resolve their problems.
Mystic Pop Up Bar was just a visually beautiful drama. Usually, I dislike the screechiness of the main actress but here, with a character filled with not pent-up rage, it works. I loved her clothes throughout the entire show.
The Ghost Bride
Set in 1890 in Colonial Malacca, a young woman was forced to marry a dead man as a ghost bride in exchange to have her family’s financial debt forgiven. Her attempt to escape the obligation was complicated by her discovery of a conspiracy that was much bigger and more mysterious than she ever thought she would be in.
The Ghost Bride was a fun find of the pandemic! I couldn’t stop watching and then when I was done, I picked up the audio book. Such an interesting story and so beautifully shot. I’m happy they made the ghost husband a lot hotter than he was in the book. He was hot and terrible…a swoony combination. (Even if he was a bad guy.)
Following the events in season one, waves of the undead threaten to reach the capital. In an attempt to save the people during the plague and regain his right to the throne, Crown Prince Lee Chang pursues Jo Hak Joo to overthrow him, while the Queen is in a race against time to produce an heir to the throne.
While the ending bothers me still, the workup to the ending, plus the look in the queen’s eyes right at that last moment stays with me to this day. It was an ambitious project and they (mostly) accomplished it. They did end with a bit of a cliffhanger and I wonder if we’ll ever actually get a season three. (Not taking into account 2021’s movie special Ashin of the North.)
Ben X Jim
Benjamin is given an ultimatum to become financially self reliant or move to America to live with his family. He learns that his old neighbor and childhood friend, Jimson, is moving back home to spend Enhanced Quarantine with his family. BenXJim follows the story of two people who turn from strangers, to friends, to lovers and back to strangers with memories.
Ben deserved way more than Jim. I said it while watching. I say it now. And I’ll continue to say it in the future. Justice for Ben!
Monochromatic people (known as ‘Mono’s) live in a world where they are not able to see colours and therefore view their surroundings through varying shades of grey, black and white. However, every Mono has a fated person (known as ‘Probe’s) who is able to trigger their grey-scale world into colour, inducing what is termed as a ‘Colour Rush’.
Yeon Woo is a Mono. He’s aware that other colours do exist but has never experienced them for himself, nor was he interested in doing so. However, Yeon Woo’s life is forever changed when he meets Yoo Han, his Probe, and experiences his first ‘Colour Rush’. Terrified that he would be obsessed with Yoo Han because of Yoo Han’s ability to make him see colours, Yeon Woo tries to avoid Yoo Han but why does Yoo Han insist on drawing close to him?
I really, really hate to have a Korean BL on the list but Color Rush a fantasy or alternate reality series really earned its spot here. It had an interesting premise behind the story, but really needed more time than the standard Korean BLs are given (about 2 hours). I hear they are going to have a sequel but where they tried to wrap up the first one neatly, it would have almost been better if they’d ended on a cliffhanger if they were interested in continuing the story. AND I HATE CLIFFHANGERS.
En of Love: TOSSARA
Gun Tossakan is a very bright and tall medical faculty freshman who has been in love with the popular third-year Engineering major and head hazer, Bar Sarawat, ever since he was in high school.
Although at that time Gun was unable to confess his feelings because of the promise he made to his mum to not date until he passed high school, once he enters university fate has very different plans for him.
The world is small, and a university is smaller. Being popular students at the same university leads Gun and Bar to collide with each other again and again until Gun succeeds in wooing Bar. Or maybe Bar too has a confession to make?
As I said in my recent least favorite BL post, this is like the backstory to a serial killer. You know Gun is just going to start storing people in his freezer and all the people he knows will all have to pretend they didn’t see it coming. He was supposed to come off as popular and alluring. I found him creepy and controlling.
This is the story is surrounding Hart and Pukphong. Everyone who has come to the athletic camp has gone through some sort of scary experience. Just what exactly is the secret of the school and who is behind this?
A ghost at a sleep away running camp, a running camp that is really just a school and the kids sleep in different classrooms? Who wrote this thing?? And can we get them to not do something like that again? I think it would be best for all involved. I think I managed to get through this one because I’d had my second shot and was having a pretty bad reaction to it. I was watching but was I REALLY watching? I hope not, because it was terrible.
Win Jaime’s Heart
A young vlogger goes to the extent of finding a guy for his broken-hearted friend to boost his channel only to find himself entangled in a web of romance he never dreamed of.
Here’s another TERRIBLE show. What was the point of it? I think the writers thought there must be one. Or I’d LIKE to think so. But was there? I don’t think so. I just don’t understand the character of Win. This show needed more backstory. Or forward story.
School Nurse Files
An Eun Young is a new nurse teacher at school. She has a special ability to see jelly like monsters that are made from residue of human desire and she can also eradicate these jellies. She uses a toy knife and a BB gun to take out the jellies. She senses that a mysterious event takes place at her school.
Hong In Pyo is a Chinese language teacher at the same school. Hong In Pyo has a special energy. In order to protect the students, An Eun Young and Hong In Pyo work together to eradicate these jellies.
I wanted to like this. I was excited for this to start, all the promos made the show look so cool. But I HATED it. I couldn’t watch it. Parts of it I didn’t understand what was going on and that made me even more irritated. I did like the character of In Pyo, I’d watch more of him…otherwise though? Pass.
The missing story of SaifahZon. Before they went to the beach with Tutor and Fighter, Zon was confused about his feelings for Saifah. Then he told Zol to delete her novel about him and Saifah.
They shot this special in order to give SaifahZon the time they were shorted during Why R U. Here’s the thing though. Their story was FINE the way it ended. This hot garbage? I’m so glad it wasn’t attached to Why R U as it would have ruined the show for me. As it is I have to try and pretend it doesn’t exist when thinking about the SaifahZon couple.
Where Your Eyes Linger
Meet Han Tae Joo, the 18-year-old student, and successor to the TB Group. Blessed with a wealthy family, good looks, and popularity, he has few worries. Kang Gook, his thoughtful childhood friend, is physically strong and is trained in different martial arts disciplines. Tae Joo is Kang Gook’s only friend. Tae Joo trusts Kang Gook and feels at ease around him. Tension erupts between them when a new female student, Hye Mi, shows interest in Kang Gook. As the two go on a date, Han Tae Joo becomes irritated, and soon after, long-suppressed emotions start surfacing. Could there be more to their platonic friendship?
I wanted to like this. It was the first Korean BL series. But I really hated Tae Joo and once I hate something? Well there’s no walking back from that. Luckily for all of us, Korean BLs got better and better.
A romance/fantasy featuring the cursed god Woven, who is newly-arrived on Earth, where he must design and create outfits that are comforting to humans, in order that he may regain entry into heaven. Together with his savvy assistants Joey and Han Sarang, they successfully heal the emotional wounds of their clientele.
What. Was. This. Show. It had an interesting concept but the follow-through was terrible! It was essentially “stand around and look at us look pretty as we make super ugly clothes all the while pretending they were the most beautiful things you’d ever seen.” And he gave up immortality for her? What? WHY????
A Tale of Thousand Stars
After a volunteer teacher dies in a tragic accident, her heart is transplanted into Tian. He learns about his donor’s life through a series of diary entries that reveal her secrets and interests. Included is her promise to count a thousand stars with Chief Forest Officer Phupha.
Tian decides to follow in her footsteps and fulfill her promise. Now a new volunteer teacher himself, Tian attempts to befriend Phupha, who initially gives him the cold shoulder.
As the two slowly grow closer, Tian notices his new heart beats quickly whenever he’s near the officer. Much like the heart’s previous owner, Tian cannot help but fall for Phupha. Treading on dangerous ground, can he still go through with the thousand-star promise?
We waited forever for this show to come out! Once you suspend the disbelief of a recent heart transplant running away to the forest, the show is really sweet. Though Tian starts out as stubborn and spoiled, he quickly turns around and is trying to do better, make himself more in order to make himself worthy of the second chance he received.
About a group of survivors who have to fight for their lives against mutants that are created when humans breathe mysterious dark smoke from a sinkhole.
Lee Hwa Sun is a police detective in the Seoul regional investigation unit. Lee Hwa Sun’s life is turned upside down when she receives a phone call from her husband’s murderer, telling her to come to “Mujishi.” However, the people in Mujishi have been transformed into monsters after breathing in a mysterious dark smoke. Lee Hwa Sun must not only fight to survive but also battle her fear in order to capture her husband’s murderer.
Yoo Tae Han is a native of Mujishi and a wreck car driver. He has a carefree personality and likes to joke around, but he has a strong sense of justice. He quit being a police officer due to a scandal caused by a misunderstanding, but he is proud of his days in the force. When he meets Lee Hwa Sun in the chaos of Mujishi, he devotes his life to saving others from danger.
I can’t believe they managed to get the scope of this show accomplished within the confines of television (or television that wasn’t broadcast on Netflix). Zombies and monsters, and shamans, it was an intricate and interesting world that they built.
Fish Upon the Sky
Pi has a crush on one of the hottest students in the Allied Health Sciences Department but since he is not confident enough about his looks, he is helpless. At least until Duean and his friends help him get a makeover to boost his confidence. When Pi finally has the guts to approach his crush, he meets his love rival, Mork.
Pi tries to surpass Mork in everything to get the attention of Nan but he is not lucky enough to beat him. However, everything changes as Pi starts to feel a different set of feelings towards Mork, making things more complicated.
This show makes me so happy and when you hear that it was written by the same person who wrote 2Gether, it really makes sense.
Hospital Playlist 2
Everyday is extraordinary for five doctors and their patients inside a hospital, where birth, death and everything in between coexist.
After watching all the episodes of Hospital Playlist 1, I didn’t think I’d settle right in and watch Hospital Playlist 2, but I was challenged to do so, and I never resist a challenge. It was just as warm and cozy as the first season. The whole thing wraps up nicely. If they have another season, cool, if they don’t, that’s almost even better.
The Best Story
Best, a guy who sucks no matter what he does – contrary to his own name -, fell for Dew, the hottest guy of the class and the most popular guy in school. His love agenda got his friends involved, Bright and Ray, who had to help him.
Best could only watch Dew from afar, never had a chance to confess. But one day, as if God was on his side, he got to know Dew‘s best friends, Dave and Tar, and got into the music club with no clue.
This so much isn’t a love story, its a story about realizing who you are, and the possibilities that are out there. I cried, but in a good way and in my brain, I already found them in college, getting together for real.
We Best Love
It is not a simple thing to like someone, because… many times, we dare not say anything! “If first place is the only way to make you see me, then I will never lose to you before you fall in love with me.”
Zhou Shu Yi stared at the class report and saw Gao Shi De’s name above him again. He didn’t understand. He had always ranked second ever since Gao Shi De came into his life. For this reason, he was excited to go to college and parted ways. He hoped to never see Gao Shi De again. In college, he joined the swimming club and was revered by everyone. He was happily enjoying college life until Gao Shi De suddenly appeared at the swimming competition during their senior year. This made him wonder why Gao Shi De always followed him wherever he went. But little did he know that Gao Shi De had eyes for him and would never let him go.
This is one of those shows where, when you get to the end, you want to not only immediately rewatch, but you also want to get all your friends to watch it too. I’ve done both. I remember sending a message to my BL loving friend and coworker at 11:30 at night. Watch it, SH! Watch it! And he did, and he loved it too.
Move to heaven
Geu Roo is a young autistic man. He works for his father’s business “Move To Heaven.” Their job is to arrange items left by deceased people. One day, Geu Roo’s own father dies. Geu Roo is left alone, but his uncle Sang Koo suddenly appears in front of him. Sang Koo is a cold man. He was a martial artist who fought in underground matches. He went to prison because of what happened at his fight. Sang Koo now becomes Geu Roo’s guardian. They run “Move To Heaven” together.
This show made me cry. Almost every episode I cried. And yet I couldn’t stop watching. Such a unique premise. And I’m always a fan of Lee Je Hoon… I’ll take him any way I can get him. And here you get him as a shirtless underground fighter.
A deadly new strain of a virus is spreading throughout the city. An apartment building that is home to people from different classes remains in quarantine. Its residents must survive in their new habitat fearing both the virus and the potential conflicts between disparate social groups.
Yoon Sae Bom has good judgment allowing for quick decision-making. She is self-righteous and unable to tolerate injustice. Not having grown up in a healthy environment, she’s determined to live comfortably in a complicated world.
Detective Jung Yi Hyun, primarily in charge of violent crimes, now struggles to keep the apartment residents safe. A former baseball player, a knee injury forced his early retirement.
Han Tae Seok was once a military information agent who became a pharmaceutical company executive. He is well-placed to deal with infectious diseases.
I LOVED THIS SHOW. Like, I watched this show and didn’t even realize I had put down my phone loved it. I swooned, I jump scared, I screeched, I cried, I fell in love with Park Hyun Sik. If I had to say what my favorite show of the year is? This one, hands down.
The love story between a strict protector and a rebellious boss. Sky is a young master and the son of a mafia boss. Sun is the bodyguard who was sent by Sky’s father to protect him. But in the end, they fall in love with each other. How will they face Sky’s father?
There is not a lot of good acting going on here. The actor who plays Sky, watching him try to emote was a little painful. Sun was much better, I’d watch him again in a drama. The show had a super irritating ending that killed any bit of like I had for the show. I will say the house they lived in was BEAUTIFUL and if that’s an AirB&B in Thailand, let me know where and we will totally rent it when we go visit. So pretty and I loved the couches.
Papa & Daddy
Damian who runs a restaurant in Taipei and has always had a dream of “getting a family and raising children”. After two years of stable relationship with his boyfriend Jie Li, the two embarked on a surrogacy journey together and successfully gave birth to his son Kai Kai. Until the son entered the kindergarten and began to face the curiosity and differences of his peers and the gossip of the parents, the two fathers had to think about how to explain to the young Kaikai what “mother” was.
This was RUINED by the ending. Spoiler… Ooh all this time you already had a kid you essentially abandoned and didn’t bother to tell your partner about? Ugh. I’m possibly super irritated because up until this point I loved the show. I thought it could have been on the best list, but in a second, the writer killed it for me.
Stuck On You
We all have our fantasies. We’d all like to believe that dreams do come true. At least once in our lives, we’ve dreamed of having the perfect love story. But life isn’t a fairy tale.
One hopeless romantic. One emotionally unavailable. What could go wrong?
After what was originally supposed to be just a hook up, JM aka @alt.media and Reb aka @trueloveskiss are made to look beyond their desires and genuinely get to know each other better when they’re forced to lockdown with each other. Will 14 days lead to forever?
Another hit from the least favorite BL list. I really disliked Reb, he was irritating and badly written. I did not find them to be a realistic couple at all and I’m glad they kept it open-ended. I’m hoping that through this JM found he could open up again, and then moves on and finds new love (not Reb).
I really liked Ghost Bride. I watched it in Mandarin, then again with English subs, and I bought the book.
SO GOOD. I’ve been tempted with a rewatch lately.