I started watching Asian Dramas ( mostly the kdramas initially ) sometime last year. It was one or two shows from Netflix initially but then I had a lot of free time in the last two months of 2019, and I finished watching about 15+ Asian dramas before the year ended.
Based on my watchlist on MyDramaList ( MDL) recommended me the series Until We Meet Again the series (UWMAseries) which had just started airing [the last episode will be released on Feb 29th]
The mention of the red thread of fate tying the two couples with each other was the only reason I decided to give the show a try. I dived into it without any expectation and it hooked me with the opening scene itself. The emotional rollercoaster that the scene threw me into, continues with every passing episode. The show is slow-paced (in a nice way), a very intimate look at the love life of the couples in the show. And I am a sucker for stories spanning across generations and how fate ties people to each other. It is a story of three gay couples and it was amusing for me to see a show where the straight coupling is almost absent and there are more people cheering for the gay couple. Another thing that was so new to me was witnessing a completely different culture through this show. I am kind of used to Korean shows by now but this being the first Thai show for me, it was interesting to learn new salutations,about the food, the places and interaction of the people through this series.
Till two episodes into the show, it had not fully dawned to me that this is a m/m love story and it is completely different from the romance stories I usually watch. This Thai drama made me wonder about the reception of such shows in the country and worldwide among the viewers of Asian dramas. That’s how I came across the term Boys’ Love / BL / Yaoi
Yaoi also known as boys’ love or BL is a genre of fictional media that features homoerotic relationships between male characters. It is typically created by women for women but it can also attract male readers and male creators can also produce it. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, games, and fan production. Boys love and its abbreviation BL are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and have, in recent years, become more commonly used in English as well.( from Wikipedia)
During a recent book-related conversation, it was pointed to me that most of my fav YA book recommendations were of the BL category. What started as an out-of-comfort-zone read for me, subconsciously became a favorite genre over time. But I avoided watching dramas/ movies of this genre as I was not sure if I would be comfortable with some of the sex scenes (I skip them in the books most times). UWMAseries though, with its beautiful story and brilliant acting by the young cast, and subtle hints towards a slow-building intimacy, broke that bias in my head. Case-in-point, the latest episode [ linked to youtube] which was a highly awaited one to finally see the lead couple to “do it”. We get to see only the initial kiss and then the next morning scene. But later in the show, we hear about it from a neighbor in a third POV. So you know what happened without the actual scene being shown. This and many such scenes together make this show a benchmark for me. In a way, it was a perfect show for me to explore the BL drama genre. It is a no-nonsense, happy feel show, though quite a tear-jerker in most episodes.
This series also highlights some amazing friendship bonds as much as it focuses on the couples. Whether it is Dean – Win / Dean – Sorn / Pharm – Team or Manaow – Del bonding, every scene is full of fun, affection and genuine care for each other. Families of both Dean & Pharm are understanding and loving towards them and the partners alike even when telling them that it will not be easy for them in society.
Though I have already watched each episode twice, I am eagerly awaiting the show to end so I can watch it once again from beginning to end and cry one more time. The only thing I want right now is to have a happy and satisfying end to the show *fingers crossed* and then maybe one more mini-series for Win – Team pairing. Looks like I have become a fan of some of the BL couples and shows.
While reading about UWMAseries on twitter, I came across Psycho Milk and his blog. Within a week, I had read half of the blog sts on the BL dramas – the history [ I started with this opinion post on the blog], the initial works current ones and his reviews of these dramas /movies. [Linked to notable BL drama list from his blog ]. This led me to watch a few (or a lot) more BL dramas, about which I will talk in the next post.