Here come the heartstopper(s): 6 BL shows to binge on

Here come the heartstopper(s): 6 BL shows to binge on
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BL (boy’s love) became a familiar genre to us Filipinos during the pandemic. Confined to our homes, we looked to the internet for things to get us through the uncertainties. BLs provided a mental health break.

Two years later, the pandemic is still with us. And thanks to recent political events, some of us may need a heavy dose of serial comfort for the next several weeks.

So here are several 2022 BLs to the rescue. They’re mostly light in the drama, with leads that are easy on the eyes. All episodes are available online, so now is a good time to start your BL binge.

Enchante (Thailand)

Aired Jan. 28 to April 01, 2022 / 10 episodes / watch in iWant TFC

After receiving a mysterious message from someone named Enchante, Theo tries to uncover his identity. However, four guys are claiming to be Enchante. Even from the trailer, it’s quite obvious who the real Enchante is, so the joy of watching this series is seeing the palpable chemistry between the handsome leads. It doesn’t hurt that the four Enchante wannabes are various levels of eye candy.

Semantic Error (Korea)

Aired Feb. 16 to March 10, 2022 / 8 episodes / watch in GagaOoLala

One of the buzziest BLs in the first quarter of 2022, “Semantic Error” has the trademarks of a well-made K-drama. Rigid nerd Sang Woo meets fun-loving creative Jae Young. Antagonists at the start, the two eventually fall for each other. The leads are the ones who really sell this series. Both Park Seo Ham and Park Jae Chan are K-pop idols who crossed over into acting, and their onscreen chemistry is off the charts.

Cherry Blossoms After Winter (Korea)

Aired Feb. 24 to April 14, 2022 / 8 episodes / watch in WeTV

Most Korean BLs are easily binge-able. Cherry Blossoms consists of eight episodes at less than 15 minutes each, yet it manages to cram a lot of details and complications into the narrative. After his parents’ death, Hae Bom moves into his adoptive family who also has a son his age. When he and half-brother Tae Seong end up in the same high school class, feelings start to develop. Can romance be allowed between the two?

Blueming (Korea)  

All episodes dropped Mar. 31, 2022 / 11 episodes / watch in iQiyi

Teased as fat and ugly as a child, Si Won transforms himself into a handsome and popular student. In college, Si Won meets Da Woon, who’s handsome, popular, and from a rich family. This series lulls you into thinking that it’s a lighthearted look at the appearance-oriented values of Korean society, but it also tackles insecurities, loneliness, nepotism, and so much more. Yet it manages to keep all balls up in the air. The romance unfolds realistically, with earnest performances by the leads. It’s a series that blooms with every episode.

My Ride (Thailand)

Aired Jan. 27 to Mar. 31, 2022 / 10 episodes / watch in GagaOoLala

An unexpected mutual attraction develops between Tawan, a medical resident, and Mork, a motorcycle driver. What’s interesting is that Mork’s uncle has a male partner. And when Mork struggles with his feelings, it’s his male co-workers who tell him, “Love is love.” The storytelling feels bumpy at times, but just hold on tight. There’s a cute secondary couple and a handsome barista along for the ride.

Heartstopper (U.K.)

All episodes dropped April 22, 2022 / 8 episodes / watch in Netflix

Gay coming out stories? A dime a dozen. Coming out as bisexual? This British series is that rare one. And it’s a charmer of a series! Thanks to earnest performances by Kit Connor and Joe Locke, the story of Nick and Charlie hooks you right from the start. Winsome leads, age-appropriate cast, and inclusive stories add to a very positive LGBTQ+ representation. While aimed at a young audience, this Netflix series manages to capture the hearts of older LGBTQ audiences as well.

Joel Macaventa is a senior copywriter and team leader for an online marketing company.

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