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  • Dernière connexion: Il y a 3 heures
  • Lieu: chronic traveller
  • Contribution Points: 0 LV0
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  • Date d'inscription: avril 6, 2021

AbsoluteBL

chronic traveller

AbsoluteBL

chronic traveller
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Niti Man Society and Lover
39 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juil. 10, 2021
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 0
Globalement 7.5
Histoire 5.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 4.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 7.0

AKA boys on crutches

AKA so many confused bisexuals

This one gave me My Engineer vibes from the start, only with a better main couple, but much weaker side dishes. This is OLD school Thai uni BL. It felt like it was meant to come out in 2018 but I was grateful to get it in 2021. It went up against GMMTV’s FUTS without the same level of production or quality control and STILL knocked it out of the water (or sky, as it were).

Neither offering was strong on story but Nitiman had more redeemable and sympathetic characters, a great tsundere uke redemption arc, and a fantastic pining seme who yearned without bullying, grooming, or gaslighting his uke.

It was very much a university drama in that there were lovable surrounding friendship groups for both main characters with their own relationships, issues, and nosiness. I really like it when uni BL feels socially collegiate.

All that said, absolutely nothing happened in this BL. And I thought Oxygen lacked drama. I enjoyed it but it felt a bit just like really good vanilla ice cream, I was left rather scrabbling for the missing peach cobbler. In other words… was there a point? Do I care to eat vanilla ice cream for it’s own sake when I consider it the condiment of the dessert world? I honestly don’t have an answer.

You’re gonna have to watch it for yourself and decide if it’s you flavor.

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Old Fashion Cupcake
27 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juil. 5, 2022
5 épisodes vus sur 5
Complété 0
Globalement 9.5
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

office romance, age gap, employee/boss, food is the love language, coming of age late in life

This show had me from the moment they broke the egg yolk with the chopsticks in the opening credits for episode one. It’s about a younger man with a long cherished crush on his boss (ten years older and going through a mid life crisis) who decides to save and seduce said man with pancakes. It’s wholesome, comforting, sexy, and a very necessary narrative about still having hope, interests, and openness to affection at any age. It’s coming of age/queerness packaged in a subtle critique of expectations around masculinity and love and loneliness... and it’s beautiful.

It utilizes hand-held and super close camerawork, long shots, dirty framing, and marvelous acting (stagecraft) from everyone. The directing style it subtle but very precise and tailored dirty framing (AKA lots of objects and other people’s bodies interrupting shots.) Notice the frame is only direct and uncluttered when they are eating or being extremely intimate with each other?

This show manages to make things that shouldn't be sexy so very sexy (like Togawa’s hamster cheeks - boy just wants to gorge himself, and not on food). It's truly art.

But there is so much more going on here.

Japan has a long tradition of using food, both the preparation and consumption, as an allegory for intimacy... ALL KINDS of intimacy (give Tampopo a shot, it’s a remarkable movie). And in this show the discovery of desserts, and the enjoyment of the experience of indulging, is explicitly both sexual seduction and emotional tethering. This is not just an exploration of youth for Nozue it is an exploration of desire and identity.

On the other hand, the want drips off of Togawa at all times, like true starvation. It’s epic levels of pining we are looking at and not just love but pure lust. It’s actually quite remarkable to see this done with Japan’s signature reserve, because the through line of the filming style and food allegory dictates they will simply have to show physical intimacy at soem point. But not of the explicit kind we get in the darker BLs from Japan (although they could easily go there), but of a truly sexualized romantic passionate kind that we don’t normally get from Japan in their softer BLs.

You see, there comes a point, when the food allegory has gone as far as it can, and Nozue recognizes that in episode 3, even as he doesn’t recognize Togawa’s desire. Because for him the desire has been made manifest though the medium of desserts... and now that sensation has been satisfied, he feels like that’s good enough.

But when Nozue shuts down the eating intimacy, Togawa was always destined to break open into into sexual need, just the way the egg yolk is broken open in the credits.
What is truly genius about this show is that when this finally happens at the end of episode 4, the camera switches to one long hand held shot. This kind of stage-craft reliant shooting is the ultimate form of filming intimacy - it is the camera’s form of trust:

The directer is trusting the cameraperson not to waiver,
the camera is trusting the actors to pull through for the entirety of the shot (no forgetting your lines on a long take, no missing your marks, no slipping out of character),
the actors are trusting the crew to capture it in that one moment when they give it their all.
This is the kind of theatrically-based close work is as near to sexual intimacy as actors and crew can get.

Thus the shooting style is, itself, a reflection of Togawa’s needs, of Nozue’s shock and realization and crumbling, of the levels of trust between them that are fracturing and reforming. It’s absolutely brilliant.

All that said I did find the final episode bit of a let down. Narratively it reverted back to pretty standard light Japanese live action yaoi, of the style I talk about here. I did expect a little bit more intimacy from this specific narrative even with Japan at the helm, at least showing the two of them cuddling in bed together or something very domestic if not kissing. I’m not surprised or upset that they returned to status quo, and this is still an amazing comforting unexpected gem of a show, but it’s not the 10/10 I thought it was going to be at the end of 4.

Still, solid and watchable and

DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED

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Meow Ears Up
16 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juin 1, 2022
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 4.0
Histoire 4.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Musique 4.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 1.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

Tropes: catboy (pet), cohabitation, indulgent bf, age gap

Adapted from the Korean manhwa (!) Hey, Your Ears Popped Out and interesting because Thailand doesn’t adapt from outside their own y-novel tradition very often. This is a pretty classic version of the catboy trope: a lonely orphan comic artist adopts a stray cat who suddenly turns into a human teaches him about love, chaos, and family.

Initially, I liked this BL and found it sweet and VERY cute with surprising depth around concepts of loneliness (I loved that Meow could smell unhappiness), but I guess it was trying to be too Japanese manga about it (in a manwha way), because while the set up was all sweetness and Thai style BL, they fudged the ending. For me, that’s a fatal flaw.

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See You After Quarantine?
16 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
oct. 8, 2021
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 0
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

Taiwanese answer to Gameboys was everything I didn’t know I wanted.

SYAQ? features a Japanese love interest, a tiny frantic disaster gay, slow burn pining, and ended with a domestic montage of pure joy. OMG SO CUTE.

It’s a marker of Taiwan’s adoration of the crash into me trope (have they ever done a BL without it?) that our boys spend less than 5 minutes of screen time together and still they stumbled into that one. Also, this is Taiwan, so there’s even a bit of high heat. The only thing wrong with this show was how short it was.

Stay all the way through the credits for the most adorable boyfriends ever.

An utterly charming series, all fluff, no drama, and pure warm fuzzies to watch.

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My Type
14 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
déc. 14, 2021
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 6.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 8.0

Old School BL cuteness

This is a charming indie series filmed on phones with companion quality issues but I forgave it because it was so very old school BL. Taiwan leaned all the way into the ultimate puppy/cat meets jock/nerd pairing. It’s adorable because the feel of it is so nostalgic. Like if "Mr X and I" got courage, cuteness, and no censorship. This has a kinda old fashioned aura, like early BL out of mainland China used to be, but with no damaging or problematic tropes at all. What a bit of unexpectedly charming fluff. Thank you, as always, Taiwan. RECOMMENDED but it is VERY short.

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Tinted With You
15 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
janv. 14, 2022
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musique 8.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 6.0

A Classy Little Historical BL

I honestly thought Park Jun Hee (Jun of A.C.E.) did a great job with this show. He’s a very fun likable screen presence which you need to hold down a fish out of water portal fantasy. I thought the subs on a Viki were a little difficult to follow (which might have had to do with the flashbacks and tenses of sentences). There is the usual suspension of disbelief required to cope with a time travel fantasy, mainly in the form of anachronisms around materials, props, set dressing, and communication abound. Also, I found the appeal of the prince character difficult to comprehend, we were told regularly how wonderful he was and that everyone adores him but we were never shown this on screen. But these are two minor quibbles in what ended up being a fun, pretty, and stylish BL. Am I more forgiving because I LOVE historical romances? Probubly.

It’s nice to see boys in pastel flowing robes actually kiss and get a happy ending for a change. And not just one but two whole kisses! In a historical Kdrama, let alone a KBL. I am all amazement. Plus one of them was the classic through the hat shot. Korea owns this visual, see Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding for the very first BL iteration of a gat kiss on screen.

(That hat is a 갓 AKA a gat, henceforth this shall be known as a gat kiss. I appoint myself its chronicler. )

HOW MUCH DO I WANT A COMEDIC ITERATION WHERE BOTH MEN ARE IN GATS TRYING TO KISS? The great clashing of the gats!

I am well aware that I am ridiculous. But also there are more historicals coming in 2022. That means... more gats!

Anygat, in conclusion, Tinted With You is a fun watch, you should watch it... through your gat, if so inclined.

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Semantic Error
14 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
mars 10, 2022
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 1
Globalement 10
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 10

opposites attract, enemies to lovers, battle of the geeks, sunshine/tsundere, teasing & pranks

Okay look, I said when I reviewed Light on Me, that Korea was giving us an honest to goodness high school set BL with some classic old school yaoi tropes almost as if they were doing a bit of a, “now that we’ve hit our stride, let’s perfect the vanilla sheet cake BL style.” It was great, of course, but very refined and elegant which some found off putting.

I feel like they did it again with Semantic Error. Only maybe even a little better? Okay maybe not better but DIFFERENT.

Everything that Korea always does right, they did right with this show.

* Spot on and pretty pretty casting of mature actors who can handle the content.
* High quality production values with beautiful filming and flawless sound quality.
* Great wardrobe, lighting, staging, editing, and everything else pre and post production being well chosen and executed.
* Great friendship group and support characters.
* Strategic use (but not overuse) of BL and romance tropes.

This was an absolutely pitch perfect university set BL, just very very Korean about it. It had all the hallmarks of old school traditional yaoi, linear filming and framing techniques combined with classic archetypes including a strong seme/uke dynamic. But it was so pleasingly pristine and tailored about its approach.

If Light On Me was a fluffy delicious vanilla sheet cake, Semantic Error is the perfectly baked moist and decadent red velvet cupcake.

A little richer, a little more depth, that creamy cheesy frosting. Maybe not the most innovative, maybe not as complex as we might like, but so well executed it was like classical french cooking... you can’t argue with perfection you can only gobble it down and then be sad you ate so fast.

Yes WATCHA, you have ALL the techniques. Yes, you have all the skills. And you know what, sometimes that’s all we really need in a BL.

We are so grateful.

What elevates Semantic Error is that Korea did things right with this one that they usually mess up.

They got the pacing spot on for the shorter length. It never felt rushed.
They managed a tight *complete* story with nothing confusing about intent, purpose, or character motivation.
And we got actual amazingly good chemistry and kisses.
They left us with a smile and a chuckle and a pair of the cutest boys ever to grace the screen.

This is probubly going to be my favorite BL of 2022. And yes, for all the reasons stated above but also THE CHARACTERS.

Jaeyoung + Sangwoo FOREVER
Emotional seme versus logical uke is a favorite of mine, plus it goes way back to some Gilgamesh shit of ego versus id. I also love “the only one who can bully him is me” trope. Also I adore it when an agro seme (bratty fucker) develops a big o’ crush, commences pining, and goes all over whipped for his boy. Jaeyoung pined like a master. Like Park Seo Ham took lessons from Sam Lin (We Best Love).
And it wasn’t just him, For those of us who waited patiently for Sangwoo to soften, boy did he ever. What a marshmallow moment! Poor baby went into deep crush and had NO IDEA what to do about it.
Moot pining, yes!

There were even moments that made me hoot with laughter (the lettuce incident).

This is it.

Semantic Error has put the sugar rose on top of Korea’s intent to dominate BL. After the flop ending of Kissable Lips and the lingering trauma of Peach of Time, we all thought we were back on shaky ground with KBL, but nope Korea’s taking the gold.

So yeah, maybe this is a little tame and calm of a review from me. But their ducks were all in a row on this one, and I kinda expected them to stick the landing. (Ooo, mixed metaphors. Now I’m imagining s duck doing gymnastics.) How do I really feel?

Shaken & stirred, thank you very much.

I love this show so hard. And it is going into hard rotation. Completely rewatchable from start to finish. We have been blessed. Thank you Korea.

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KinnPorsche
47 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
juil. 9, 2022
14 épisodes vus sur 14
Complété 0
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 4.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 6.0

bodyguard, mafia, cohabitation, BDSM, he’s a monster but he’s my monster

Adapted from a Y-novel and with real rough beginnings in terms of switching production houses, funding, and distribution which showed in a shaky point of view, weak script, and poorly distributed of couple weight and pacing. By about 3 episodes in I just got pissed off at this show, it was largely inconsistent in all ways which I think is all production issues. It should have been better. It should at least have been as good as everyone else seemed to think.

However at 50% car porn 50% actual porn I was game. (That said I got no chemistry from KimChay - I think it was a BIG mistake to switch out Gameplay, and had real issues with several of KinnPorsche’s sex scenes.) The fight sequences were excellent and Kinn’s eyebrows are like seriously aggressive caterpillars - I was half afraid they’re going to strike out on their own, take up the rainbow flag and join the march in Not Me. There’s also a lot of Fighter-inspired shirts (Why R U?) in this show. I suppose mafia DOES have a long tradition of chest forward narrative.

VegasPete were in one drama; KimChay were in another; KinnPorsche were in each of those randomly but then sometimes in their own extremely slapstick cheese-fest alt-reality + Tankhun. There were clearly 2 directors with 2 distinct and conflicting points of view, who apparently never had a single conversation with each other. Was this show good? Nope. Was it absorbing as fuck? Sure. Was it well acted, absolutely. Were the sex scenes great? Yes. We the fight scenes awesome? Actually yeah (special props to Jeff for the hand-to-hand stuff). Did I enjoy the kinky bits? Certainly. But all that said: the VegasPete universe of KP was the only universe I really enjoyed and would like to revisit, and I only got that 1/5 of the time. Mathematics is working against this one, for me personally. So I guess I, at least, am still waiting for the perfect mafia BL. I think it might be up to Japan at this juncture. As a result of fan fervor meets my own hearty indifference, I don’t really know how to judge this show but I have to go with my heart, and KP didn’t win it. No full review, enough people have weighed in on this one, you don’t need my thoughts too.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

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I Feel You Linger in the Air
16 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
nov. 5, 2023
12 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 3
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 2.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

I loved this show and hated the ending, but not for the reason you think.

This is pulled from a bit meta analysis post I put on tumblr, I'm usign this as my back up so I'll be covering lots of stuff. Historical context, language stuff, filming techniques, and finally a full review including all my issues with the ending. Here's th equick review first:

I truly loved this time travel romance. IFYLITA is an exquisite BL, from filming techniques to narrative framework (much like Until We Meet Again). Steeped in history and family drama it edges into lakorn (but no as much as To Sir With Love and with way less scenery chewing). This is an elegant and classy BL... from Thailand which normally doesn't even try for classy. The main couple (both as a pair and individuals) were excellent, particularly Bright (Yai) whose eye-work acting style is a personal favorite of mine. Pity about the ending. Oh it wasn’t that sad but it wasn’t good either. This show should easily have earned a 10 from me except that it fumbled the… erm… balls. Argh. Whatever. 9/10

Some Historical Context for I Feel You Linger In The Air - Thailand 1925-1932

I love history and so here's some info that any Thai watcher would likely know, but the rest of us might not... ready?

The Historical Stage:

Burma (now Myanmar) to the west is occupied by the British. The French hold Vietnam to the east. Everyone is bickering over what would become Cambodia & Laos. China occasionally gets involved from the North (also, lots of immigrants from China at this time accounting for a large percentage of the merchant/middle class) Eventually, Japan would invade during WWII. In part, The Kingdom of Siam was kept a "neutral" party because none of the surrounding colonial powers wanted to risk offending any of the other players in the area. Siam re-negotiated sovereignty in 1920 (from USA) and in 1925 (from France & Britain). But during the time of this show (late 1929) it was back to it's customary type-rope balancing act of extreme diplomacy with the allied western colonial powers that surrounded it.

Recognizing that Thailand was never colonized (although it was invaded), it's boarders were constantly nibbled at and it was "ambassador-occupied" off and on by westerners whose military backing and exploitive business concerns simply outmatched the monarchy, especially in the technology department (as well as by reputation on the global stage at the time).

In other words, the farang in this show (James & Robert) were always gonna be both the baddies and the power players of the narrative. (Farang is the Thai word for non-Thai's of European descent, the word means guava.)

The king of Siam at the time (Vajiravudh AKA Rama VI) was initially somewhat popular but also regarded as overly extravagant since Siam had been hit by a major postwar recession in 1919. It should also be noted that King Vajiravudh had no son because he was most likely gay (which at the time did not much concern the Siamese popular opinion, except that it undermined the stability of the monarchy leaving it without an heir).

He "died suddenly" in 1925 (age 44) with the monarchy weakened and succession handed off to his younger brother.

In 1932 a small circle of the rising bourgeoisie (all of whom had studied in Europe, mostly Paris), supported by some military, seized power from the monarchy in a practically nonviolent Siamese Revolution installing a constitutional monarchy. This is mentioned in IFYLITA in the last few episodes but did not (apparently) appear in the original novel.

Siam would then go through:

dictatorship, WWII, Japanese invasion, Allied occupation, democratic elections, military junta, the Indochina wars, communist insurgency, more democracy and popularization movements, multiple coups, more junta, more monarchy,

eventually leading us to the somewhat chaotic insanity of Thai politics we have today. (Which is, frankly, a mix of monarchy, junta, democracy, egocentric popularism, and bribery.)

The Filming of I Fell You Linger in the Air

The director if this show, Tee Bundit (Hidden Agenda, Step by Step, Lovely Writer, TharnType), has never particularly impressed or offended me as a director. I would have called him simply "workmanlike" in execution: not offensive, serviceable.

So much so that I spent some time hunting for info on IFYLITA's cinematographer (who remains uncredited on MDL) because this one, of all Tee pantheon, is ultra stylish. It, frankly, felt too good for him.

Specifically, there is a repeated visual motif in intimacy scenes of either Yai or Jom being filmed from behind a screen/drape/curtain making them seem more translucent, like a ghost or spirit. While the other half of the pair is filmed with sharp clarity. In the first half of the series this is more likely to be Yai (an unknown and mysterious element), as the show progresses, it's more likely to be Jom (the person outside of place and time, destined to vanish all together). This cleverly conveys story, tension, and foreshadow (future shadow?)

Occasionally we shift over so they both become obscured and then clear again.

This stylized version of dirty framing and filters is used to foreshadow and then constantly remind us about that Jom slipped (and is slipping) through time and the disconnect that causes to his sense of reality and purpose, and to his burgeoning relationship.

For example, the scene where Yai is drunk and asleep in his bed. The first time Jom is sitting in a chair drawing him. Yai is blurry behind the screen while Jom is solid and sharp.

This filming technique combined with dirty framing is being used to give the watchers the impression of looking at something we maybe shouldn't, like we are being creepy and intruding on their private time. After all, they can see EACH OTHER clearly, it's only us who have the visual impairment.

This gives us a sense of doom and discomfort and slight sensation that we shouldn't be there. We shouldn't be watching. But ALSO that we too are outside of time, filtered by the future.

In other words his sense of displacement is being used to trigger ours visually.

It's all quite clever.

It's both beautiful and atmospheric and discomforting and touch stressful. Meaning that it is ALSO a visual vehicle to drive narrative tension. As effective as scary music, perhaps more so in this show (since I personally found the musical motifs and refrains somewhat overused.)

Linguistic corner

The word for reflection and shadow is the same in Thai.

Note on the por/phor/phô honorific in Thai

I have not encountered it before in BL. I am indebted to @embraceyourfandom for the following information;

Phô is a paternal honorific, luang phô is used for respected monks. It basically means father. And is oft seen as male honorific for village elders. It's also used as a male prefix in the names of several occupations like:

พ่อครัว phô khrua (khrúa= kitchen -> chef) พ่อค้า phô khá (khá= trade -> merchant) พ่อมด phô mót (mót= person of occult knowledge -> wizard) พ่อบ้าน phô bân (bân =house -> butler) - most relevant

So, Yai's use is probubly foreshadowing that Jom will be a butler for his house, and is primitively referring to him with this title.

All that said, phô can also be used by a "man who is older/higher on hierarchy to refer to a younger/lower on hierarchy man with intimacy and/or affection."

I think all this has to do with Jom's demonstration of education. Yai figured out early on that one of the reasons Jom doesn't belong and cannot fit in with the servants is that he is more educated than a peasant (of this time period), which for Yai adds up to him being originally from a higher status and possibly wealthy family, especially since Jom speaks English and has travelled (he has a non-northern accent).

There is very little Thai middle class at the beginning of the 1920s since trade is being dominated/dictated by the West, or Chinese merchant operations, and Siam is a monarchy. So for a nationalize Thai citizen educated means military, landed gentry with trade operations (like Yai), royal/political/diplomatic connections, or... none of the above. This changes, especially in the south, throughout this decade (as it did in other parts of the world). So there is a rising bourgeoisie going on in the background but it's not that obvious in Chang Mai at this time.

What Jom's educated lack of status means to Yai is that Jom's family either got wiped out or politically disenfranchised possibly as part of the 1912 attempted coups (or even WWI)? This would be mystifying for Yai because Jom doesn't act like he comes from a military family at all. So his background and status is very confusing for Yai, but Yai does know one thing...

Jom is NOT lower class by the standards of Yai's temporal worldview and existence.

For a young man to be educated and yet entirely alone is very dangerous and suspicious. Also, let's be clear, Jom doesn't look or act like a laborer. He red flags "cultured" all over the place.

Yai is paternalistic and caring towards Jom out the gate because Yai has a big ol'crush but also because he recognizes "his own" is trying to survive while isolated and scared.

Yai wants to rescue Jom. Yai is an ineffectual 20 year old gay intellectual. But poor thing sure tries.

Let's Talk About How I Felt About I Feel You Linger in the Air

The historical aspect was great.

I adore historical romances and we almost never get them in BL. I was always gonna be biased towards this show. (As indeed I am towards Nobleman Ryu's Wedding, Tinted with You, and To Sir With Love.) Aside from some classic Thai BL production issues (less than normal, this is very high production value for Thailand) and my issues around the sound track and repetitive repriens (which frankly were more noticeable because I binged the last half) I have no complaints on that score (heh heh).

The surrounding support cast were all quite good and we even got us some lesbians!

The emotional and narrative tensions were excellent.

Any issues I had with pacing came from focus on characters that didn't interest me, but probubly did interest others. I wasn’t wild or particularly interested in the family drama or the side characters/couples, but they were necessary to make this a fully fleshed story with historical context and to give Yai much needed characterization. Also this use of a ensemble cast is very close to Thailand's lakorn heart, even thought this one had way less scenery chewing ludicrous soapy drama (thank heavens).

I was delighted that external threat, stressors, and conflict drove this plot. That's refreshing in BL.

I have no arguments with the chemistry and kisses and sex scenes were tasteful and lovely, occasionally even heart-wrenching, and it's nice to see Thailand especially use physical intimacy to drive plot, and not the other way around.

I love historicals partly because every tiny touch can have such lingering significance, they're very elegant in their chaste physicality. This show didn't need to move into higher heat, but I'm grateful it did because even that was very well done. Thai BLs can often feel clumsy around intimacy, but not this one.

The final sex scene before Jom and Yai separate forever utilizes the ubiquitous director's-favorite-romantic-moments-flashbacks (required of all Asian romance dramas) but with acceleration and tension driven by the noises of sex, which I've never seen/heard done before. In other words: climax of sex = climax of the romance story, I see what you did there, Tee. Clever. Very clever. Bit on the nose… erm… on the… well you know what I mean.

Like all Thai BLs this wasn’t perfect, but for me this is as close as Thai BL gets to high quality romance and that’s what I want the most from my drama watching experience (if not necessarily my Thai BL experience).

But... and you knew the but was coming didn't you?

I absolutely hated the ending.

It wasn't sad, don't worry, but it also wasn't good. SPOILERS HERE ON OUT

There is a long drawn out separations sequence and then Jom returns to the present, drowning from a car accident. Jom is "rescued" by an moustachioed iteration of Yai from the distant past (who we met once before) and then wakes in hospital. Some time later, Jom returns to the house in Chang Mai where Yai turns up and they reunite.
The end.

There is a stinger featuring Jom once more hurled back in time, only further, meeting the warrior mustache Yai once more.

Okay, that's all I knew and all I saw.

Confused? So was I.

If this had been a regular time travel romance: Yai would have been the EMT or doctor attending Jom when he woke up and their "this time period" romance would commence. With either shared memories, or not.

Had this been set up for audience comprehension in line with the original novel, we should have had flashbacks from both Present Yai (he's not the same one, as it turns out) and deep-past Moustache Yai interwoven throughout the series. Preferably with some focus on Present Yai's quest for reunion with Present Jom AND Present Yai's own experience with visions and memory of his past lives.

A full explanation of the ending is here. This explanation of the 3 different Yais makes me like our ending more. But I shouldn't need to read Cliff's notes from some random y-novel reading fan on Tumblr to understand what's going on in a series!

There is supposedly a special happening with Jom + Present Yai.

There was unquestionably a failure in adaptation in the finale of this show.

As a fan and watcher, what I actually felt was deeply confused and hurt.

I also felt that this was a disingenuous un-earned throw away happy ending, since I had no idea who this new Present Yai was and no investment in his character. I simply didn't believe he was the same Yai (Bright is too good an actor, he was clearly a different older personality).

So the fact remains that past Yai, our Yai, the 20 year old boy we grew to understand and love, is abandoned in the past to suffer alone for the rest of his life. And THAT is an unhappy ending for one half of my beloved pair. Yes Jom gets a new Yai in the present day, but it's not the same Yai. They have no developed relationship, and Jom is doomed to leave even this new Yai and slide into the past once more. That's barely even happy for now for Jom's character.

As a result of my deep sadness for 20-year-old Yai in particular, I'm not going to be able to rewatch this show. The whole thing was rendered not just confusing but the opposite of comforting by the final 15 minutes. I'm tempted to dock it two whole points - one for the ending and the other for the lack of rewatch potential.

But the first 11.5 eps were SO GOOD.

This is one of the only times where I am actually hoping for a second season, while simultaneously being wary of the screen writing and production team's capacity to give us a satisfying one.

Industry wise? I honestly don't think we can hope too hard for a full season 2. This was an expensive show with flawed/limited distribution and little sponsorship. I don't see how they'll get funding for a second season. Unless we see this show up on like Netflix or Viki, I urge you not to hope too hard and be disappointed.

In all honestly?

I started typing up this blog post thinking Thailand was finally, after 5 years, going to earn another 10/10 from me but I just can't in good conscious give it that. It's been days and I'm still upset about that last episode.

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Happy Ending Outside the Fence
11 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
déc. 17, 2022
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 1
Globalement 8.0
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 10
Degrés de Re-visionnage 4.0

Tropes: office romance, identity theft, cohabitation, messy gay

This is a complicated and engaging plot about professional ego, reputation, safety, and trust, but not much about romance. Or maybe it is but it’s a romance about an editor’s love for a writer’s work? Or for the writer himself? And is there a difference?

I think this would have worked better as a romance if the Writer had known the Editor in (at least) a friendly way in the past/at school as well - so there was more established dynamic to their instant affection and shacking up. Apart from my qualms around the romance thread, the plot is actually good. It’s very angsty and tense for something so simple, which suits this length of show.

As a BL it kinda isn’t (sorry to say) though, there’s no BL tropes dropped and no real romance beats. This is about dishonesty and pride and there is an elegance to the theme. Which is essentially the idea that possession is not love, and therefore, those who love the Writer have to prove their love by letting him go. Honestly, I’m not sure how to rate this show as a result. This is a blog about BL and this wasn’t that.

RECOMMENDED (but not if BL is what you’re after)

P.S. For a change I like the OST, Leo is one of my favorite main singers among the honey-voices of Kpop. Speaking of, Leo is stupid pretty here.

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Takumi-kun Series 1: And The Spring Breeze Whispers
13 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
avril 18, 2021
Complété 0
Globalement 5.0
Histoire 3.5
Acting/Cast 6.0
Musique 4.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 5.5

Foundational BL but it's not good

The Takumi-kun series showcases a LOT about origin Japanese yaoi and why it’s troubling, why it’s addictive, and what a core foundation it gave to the modern BL shows coming out of Thailand, Taiwan, and Korea particularly.

Beautiful fragile traumatized Takumi escapes the horrors of his youth by attending boarding school. There things aren’t great because his coping mechanism is touch-aversion, timidity, and fear. Alone and bullied, Takumi is barely surviving until handsome, rich, popular Gii becomes obsessed with him. Oh and they’re roommates.

The Takumi-kun franchise (like 2 Moons/2 Moons 2) shot this first movie and then recast for the remaining adaptations. The second cast is much better. They did not, however, re-film book 1 with the new actors, except as flashbacks. I highly recommend you watch the fan made first movie version (from those flashbacks) instead of this one, and then 3 of the 4 follow ups. So here’s a watching order:

Takumi-kun Series 1 DaiMao Version (Fan Made recut via flashbacks)
Takumi-kun Series 2: Rainbow Colored Glass
Takumi-kun Series 3: The Beauty of Detail
Takumi-kun Series 5: That Sunny Blue Sky

Series 4 is about side characters and doesn’t add to the main story, but it’s fine if you like those side characters.

This original Series 1 with the different cast is okay (I guess?) and a more honest adaptation of the original yaoi (which is NOT good), but not worth watching if you're looking to get into the series.

However, from a heritage BL film perspective this first movie (but also bits of the others) showcases how Japanese framing, filming angles, body positioning (staging), and cinematography for BL using the origin manga as a storyboard. This filming style would go on to influence Korean BL in particular (see Color Rush) and is still used in Japanese BL today (see Love Stage!!).

All that said, if you want a pitch perfect Japanese yaoi manga adaptation with none of Takumi's issues, Seven Days is your jam. Watch that instead.

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My Esports Genius Brother
10 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
févr. 14, 2022
13 épisodes vus sur 12
Complété 0
Globalement 7.0
Histoire 4.0
Acting/Cast 6.0
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.0

soulmates, enemies to lovers, cohabitation, obsession, magical realism

A strangely cute somewhat incomprehensible censored magical realism BL micro series about fated mates who balance each other out and must find the courage to stay together.

Firstly, look, it has nothing to do with esports or being a genius or bothers.

Suggested corrected title ?

My Esports Genius Brother Endearingly Gay Boyfriend

What to say about this weird af BL?

It’s actually really cute.

Yifeng is a Zhan-yan who feels nothing at all except when in the presence of a Deluded. Lu Lin is a Deluded, who feels everything too much, overreacts and is a violent drama queen, and societally disenfranchised as a result. However being around Yifeng calms him down.

Obviously the Deluded are queer coded, and so is Lu Lin. The character is set up to be the uke: he is more emotional, wears more feminized clothing, engages in (mostly) uke tropes, and is shorter than Yifeng. But he is also much more aggressive about the relationship, makes the first moves, and is more physically violent. So I believe this BL is actually intentionally subverting seme/uke, which is a first (in my experience) from China.

“How come your name comes first?” ~ oh they KNOW what they're doing

I would call this censored BL and not a bromance. Literally you can see the parts where they were told to delete the touching bits because “too gay.” So there are some very abrupt cuts and truncated scenes, but there is no doubt what-so-ever that these two are gay. There’s even a full on love confession, it’s just that anything remotely sexy can’t be depicted.

Honestly, I still enjoyed it and I think I’ll like it better on a rewatch.

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I Wanna Bite It
17 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
févr. 27, 2022
8 épisodes vus sur 8
Complété 0
Globalement 2.0
Histoire 1.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Musique 5.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 1.0
Cette critique peut contenir des spoilers

fated mates, paranormal, vampire, codified chase/stalker/ seme

AKA I Wanna Bite It, from Moving Picture Company (Wish You, Nobleman Ryu's Wedding, The Tasty Florida, Tinted With Love) so we all expected a classic modern Korean BL.

The leads were perfectly cast, the ideal seme vampire and the ideal uke prey. I like it when a vampire is actually deadly and facing up to the moral quandary of living a very long life. I found the uke actor particularly endearing in this limited role, he was quite soft and appealing without being weak or inactive. I enjoyed most of it but near the end I did start to feel the sparseness and the limited cast, like it was a one act play of a fairytale.

I suppose if you name your BL kissable lips you better end with a good kiss, even if you are Korea. But even a great kiss doesn’t mitigate killing the gay in a BL. Sorry. Not my thing. I’m aware of the history of BL, and I know dark is part of the tradition (even from Korea) but I HATE IT. These days a sad ending isn’t really Korea’s bailiwick (with the possible exception of Peach of Time), and they didn't set Kissable up properly. Right until the last episode I thought they might pull it out and save the couple in some supernatural way. Not that death came entirely out of nowhere, like H3:MODC, but still, it wasn't what I wanted in a vampire BL and I have been waiting for this trope so long for one. *this is my disappointed face*

I also I hate that the sad ending explains why the kiss was so good. It’s the vintage trope of: Sexualize those gays and one of them MUST DIE. How old school of you, Korea. Anyhoozle, if they kill one half of the couple it gets a 2/10 (or lower) from me. Sorry not sorry.

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Mate Match
10 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
déc. 5, 2021
5 épisodes vus sur 5
Complété 0
Globalement 6.0
Histoire 4.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Musique 2.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 4.5

Foundational Romance Tropes: cohabitation, love triangle

Line TV and Starhunter got together and gave us what looked to be a poly bromance but ended up as a love triangle with a very graceful exit from the second lead. It was a mess of confusing story and inconsistent character, but fine for a short run quarantine project Thai BL. It had a nice ending kiss that was an unexpected blessing in a BL of this type. It's always good when the actors are comfortable with each other. But the characters were, frankly, all a bit, ya know, stupid.

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS
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My Ride The Series
9 personnes ont trouvé cette critique utile
avril 2, 2022
10 épisodes vus sur 10
Complété 0
Globalement 9.0
Histoire 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musique 6.0
Degrés de Re-visionnage 9.0

sunshine/softie, friends-to-lovers, crush, bisexual identity, out gay, rich/poor

BL grew up with this one - a truly lovely and special little show featuring the extremely rare pairing of sunshine/sunshine AKA the cinnamon roll couple. Mature explorations of relationships using one of the softest, sweetest and most innocent friends to lovers vehicles.

Delayed from 2020 from LineTV My Ride has been fraught with production issues but worth the wait. Screenplay by Fluke Teerapat (AKA Wad in SOTUS & Golf in My Bromance) and featuring most green actors, it was a well-paced story with well-drawn characters that shone. Endearing. And I really liked the general earnestness.

Kindly overworked doctor Tawan meets broken-hearted dimpled motorcycle taxi driver Mork in an “other side of the tracks” romance. Also featured a sunshine/tsundere (young/older) doctors side couple, and even a pretty good het relationship side couple with Tawan’s bestie and a local barista.

With great friendship groups, family dynamics, and support cast this show reminded me a bit of Nitiman (in a GOOD way & non-university) only better because the courageous storyline never wavered. We got to watch Mork & Tawan meet and slowly fall in love with each other first as genuine friends, and only later as lovers. It’s quiet, and all the drama feels genuine not manufactured, coming from previous relationships. So we watch these two support each other and build a foundation together, even though they don’t yet realize it themselves.

With older gay rep, in the form of Mork’s uncles (the Gay Advice Dads trope - so vitally queer and so underused in BL), casual references to things like having to care for his alcoholic brother’s child, and coping with being the “other man”, these are grown ups with complicated lives and a adult problems. And yeah, both Mork and Tawan are a little beaten down by the world, but both of them are trying hard and willing to fall in love again, even as they don’t realize it’s happening.

This is a sweet slow burn romance, so all we get are a few tentative kisses at the end, but I still consider it an unexpected gem. With honest queer rep that adds to, but doesn’t impede the story and genuine conversation about the nature of class, wealth, and classism, not to mention communication, honesty, and respect for boundaries, you can’t go wrong with this show. It is, for my money, the best Thai BL pulp we’ve ever gotten.

In other news, I’m a sucker for a single dimple.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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