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Showing posts from October, 2023

My Dear (Chinese/English/Hungarian) (Documentary)

My Dear is a self-reflective documentary about the will of a young Chinese director Yao to express his own sexual identity in Europe. Shifting between observational footage, paper puppetry, and poetic symbolism, he explores expressions of sexual identity in this essay about queerness, immigration, and performance. (A question I have is, since Yao was living in Budapest, why is the country of origin shown as Portugal?) Yao, a Chinese national, is nearing the end of his two year European college education.  Yet the 26-year-old is reluctant to return to China because he is already being pressured by his parents to come back home, get married and have kids. This closeted gay man has been in a relationship with Asim, a gay Iranian living in China for almost 6 years now, but no one in China knows this. He thought that coming to Europe would liberate him but now that he is finishing studies and finding a job is becoming increasingly hard, choices for him are minimal. He realizes that maybe on

Bump Up Business (Korean Series)

Bump Up Business dives into the nitty gritty reality of queer baiting, obsessiveness, and exhaustion inside the industry while exposing what being gay inside the industry can mean. How the scandal, exposure, and stigma of being gay can threaten a career. I personally do not understand or relate was idea of concepts attached to pop groups, but its ok. The idea of this show was interesting and if executed could have done really well, but I cant help but wonder at the amateurishness in the way it was shown. At 8 episodes of 16 minutes each, it's a quick easy watch, but how I wish in this case more emotional background story was established for the characters rather than rushing into everything thats being shown. Eden and Jihoon are selected by a performance company as their two idols. The CEO comes up with the idea of  "Business Gay Performance", to describe this relationship dynamic. The company will promote them as a very much in love gay couple. Eden is new to the industr

Good Enough - A Modern Musical

Oh man! Where do I even begin. More than just how bad and basic the film was, I hate to say but I was actually embarrassed to watch this film. The script was so basic, the dialogues were terrible and don't even get me started on the acting. Character, plot, visuals and script have all been hastily assembled by a filmmaker that clearly hasn’t a clue how to tell a story. Jamal is promising college basketball player almost on the verge of signing up a professional contract at nationals level. Trevor, is a reporter on the college's TV channel who frequently interviews Jamal following a game. One night the pair meet via online gay dating app having not seen each other's face. They are surprised to see each there but have a good time and they start secretly meeting every night. Initially Jamal is in denial of his sexuality but eventually embraces it. Even though his mother pressures him for marriage and grandkids, she is eventually supportive of him at the end. We have Trevor'

Be My Favorite (Thai Series)

I had no idea that this show was a lot about time travel as well besides being a BL story. The plot of the series portrays the life of a man in a mid-life crisis who failed to live up to his potential despite his hard work. He travels back in time with this notion of what his life should have been and tries to make changes by being more open and outgoing, saving lives, and putting himself out there. In doing so, he realizes that life is not always as we think it should have been. With 12 episodes each of about 45 minutes, this is a signifiant investment of time. Although, on a brighter side, the no doesn't spend time on unnecessary side plots. It stays very focused on therein protagonist and what he is going through, which is a welcome change from useless sidebars that a lot of Thai shows have. University student Kawi is a shy boy, no friends, little money and low self esteem. He develops a secret crush on a girl in his class Pear, who is the only one who shows him some compassion

Oh! My Assistant (Korean Series)

The story of this 8 part Korean series is extremely basic, which even with short duration (the episodes are just 15 minutes each) still feel stretched. A simple misunderstanding that can be cleared by a simple chat, keeps gettin stretched just because our two protagonists have created this image in their head and they would rather believe that than talking. The story had potential of a nice romantic outing but by the end of it it just feels quite bland. Seon Ho is a professional artist who draws a steamy 19+ webtoon. He is recently struggling with inspiration and still has deadlines to meet so his Production director Lee suggest hiring an assistant. After a couple of interviews, he hires Mu Yeong. The duo start working in the home studio environment. We later find out that Mu Yeong has been a secret admirer of the artist because of his talent for a while now since his youth and is almost also in love with him, but he is not sure of the artist reciprocates his feeling. He thinks that Se

Marriage Of Inconvenience (Web Series)

In the brand new Dekkoo-Original Comedy Series Marriage of Inconvenience, two total strangers entering a witness protection program must pretend to be a happily married couple in order to hide their identities from the dangerous people who want them dead! On paper this sounds like it could be a fun match, but oh boy! This was so badly acted and directed in the name of comedy. Thankfully with only 6 episodes of 20-22 minutes each, it finished quickly, but there is imminent danger of a possible sequel, because it just ends abruptly. Owen, is a messy, street smart dropout who was dealing drugs and having an affair with a gay married man. His anger issues faced in to this life of crime and is now in a witness protection program. We also meet Franklin, an even tempered English professor, who prides himself on his attention to detail in every area of his carefully structured life. But when one of his students turns into a stalker and would not even take a restraining order seriously, he also

Stay By My Side (Taiwanese Series)

This 10 episode Taiwanese series was surprisingly good and novel and entertaining at the same time. At the onset it feels another one of those enemies turned lovers story, which it is, but the story's supernatural twist adds unique scenarios and nuanced relationship dynamics to keep the romance compelling. This visually dazzling series delivers many BL-friendly moments, which will delight fans of the genre. Sure, it's not without its flaws but I was willing to ignore them because of the extremely cute lead. Also like many shows from Taiwan the episodes are about 22-23 minutes long and the whole show is a very easy binge watch, if thats your thing. Bu Xia is a university student who lives alone in his dorm room which is rumored to be haunted. He and his sister were raised by their grandfather who was a spiritual medium and he has some history of ghosts trying to reach out to him. Like most youngsters, he is messy, love himself and is great at basketball. Enter Jiang Chi, a new t

Sasaki and Miyano: Graduation (Japanese)

BL animes are starting to get the recognition that they deserve. I am also one of those people who initially didn't think much of these and was rather just dismissive. Having seen a few by now, I can say, they do give. You the same butterflies as any BL series of teenage love gives you. I quite enjoyed the simple teenage love story of Sasaki and Miyano when I saw it, so naturally when I saw the film version come out, I was quite curious to see how the makers will take the story forward. This excellent sequel contains the same genuine charm and compassionate spirit as the original. In the series we saw how Sasaki and Miyano eventually became a couple while they are both in high school and also told their friends about their relationship. Sasaki is a year older than Miyano. Currently a high school senior, Sasaki is about to graduate. He is busy preparing for university entrance exams. Miyano does his best to provide moral support. Their usual high school life is changing; they’re get

Cassandro (English/Spanish)

I suspected this while watching the film, but it was not until the film ended that I was sure the film was based on the true story of Saúl Armendáriz, who became known as the “Liberace of Lucha Libre”, this is a giddily entertaining and celebratory drama that hints at the emotional bruises under the sparkly lurex leotard and false lashes. For the uninitiated This is Mexican wrestling 'Lucia libre' and 'Exóticos' are male wrestlers dressed in drag portraying gay caricatures. But n this case Saul was gay. In the hierarchy of the luchaverse, they were treated like something between a gimmick and a target. And they never, ever won, battings were about to change. We meet Saúl Armendáriz, as aspiring luchador who lives in El Paso, Texas, he’s been wrestling on the semi-pro circuit for a while. Saúl’s sexuality is an open secret among his peers, who mock him on and offstage and despite him playing the macho wrestler he still gets abuses hurled at because he is gay. He lives wi

Friend Or Lover (Taiwanese Mini-Series)

This low budget, just an hour series is about two friends who slowly discover their feelings for each other, and how their relationship changes from friends to lovers. Spanned across 6-7 episodes, each of about under 10 minutes, this does feel like either a hushed project or something that had to be changed midway because of covid. The show may feel low budget but thankfully the actors do a decent job and do their best to pp up the show. Xiaotian used to be a gang member but when one day they bully a young boy Xingkong, he stood up against them and has been away from the gang since. He became a better person with his new friend Xingkong and two other friends. While hiding after being chased by the gang, he realizes that he actually loves Xingkong. This feeling s new for him a din fact the feeling is seen reciprocated by the young boy but neither is willing to accept and confront. Going through some denial and confirmation, he finally begs that the gang leave Xingkong. He does get beate

All You Need: Seasons 1 & 2 (German Series)

How did I not know about this beautiful gay German series and why is the snot being talked about all over? We, the audience gets to see lives of four beautiful, young group of gay friends trying to navigate life, searching for love and security in the age of Grindr. The show has 2 seasons so far with 6 episodes each. So watching this 12 episode gem is an easy breezy thing, especially when they are only like 25 minute each. The show combines great, diverse casting and light-hearted, yet serious, storylines and takes us on a journey that will leave you wanting to know more about these guys. I have to say at the onset that I loved this show (despite the fact that the version I saw had really bad subtitles) and again, why is this not being talked about? Vince, a gay black medical student and Levo are best friends and roommates, living their best queer lives, making the most of Berlin’s legendary nightlife. Neither man has ever had a long-term relationship and they are both happy that way.

Crazy Handsome Rich (Thai Series)

There are bad series and then there are terrible ones. As you can imagine, this hodge hodge of a series falls into the latter category. With a title like this, I have to admit that I was actually quite looking forward to watching this one, but this show is almost impossible to enjoy, how much ever you try your best to not overthink anything. The plot is just nonsensical, the jokes are outrightly bad, the romance is forced and hardly exists; essentially almost everything about this is a disaster. But you know, I always look at the bright side. This show was only 6 episodes (although it did scare us at the end saying there maybe a sequel coming up), but still each episode was about 40-45 minutes. Luv works as a vegetable vendor who is an orphan and lives with an uncle who looks after him. The uncle's son is Inn, who is good friends with Luv and also romantically likes him, although Luv is unknown to that. Enter Butler Soon, who is a butler for a wealthy family an this younger brother

Broke Straight Boys (Documentary-Series)

Broke Straight Boys is a reality-based docu-series that explores the world of "Gay for Pay", a term used to describe when straight men do gay porn for money. The show explores the dynamic relationships between the owner of BluMedia, Mark Erickson, his business staff and the young men who choose to do gay porn to supplement their income by performing for an adult website. Now call this a reality show or a documentary series, bit with 8 episodes of about 25 minute each, to see the studio’s inner workings while munching down on popcorn and slurping soda. The series introduces us to their online platform models, in particular Kaden, Paul, Jimmy, Sergio, its CEO Mark Erickson, house mom Sabrina and COO Shannon. These models comes for an extended weekend to live together run a mansion where relationships, work ethics, house rules and what's expected of their jobs is gonna be scrutinized. The eight-part show dissects the logic behind why these young male models have chosen a pro

Candy Color Paradox (Japanese Series)

Investigative journalism is a unique storyline, which as far as I remember, has not been explored in BL genre. So naturally when I read the synopsis, I was intrigued. Luckily enough, they didn't say that just for the sake of it, but they also show 2-3 scenarios where the journalist ego about investigating. This Japanese show, with its occasional over the top reactions and a modest 8 episodes of around 24 minutes each is a fun, vibrant drama, that can easily be seen in one go. It does have its shortcomings and we will talk about those later. Onoe is a young journalist who works for a weekly tabloid publication Dash. HIs colleague Kabu specializes in writing about famous stars and scandals and Onoe sees Kaburagi as a rival at work and calls him an "annoying punk" as Onoe's articles always get overshadowed by him. Kaburagi is handsome an popular with ladies and he also flirts back. One day due to employee shortage the two of them are tasked together to make a team and On

Mignon (Korean Anime Series)

Now this one was a pleasant surprise. I am probably one of the few who haven't seen many anime and I still have few reservations about them, but this gritty and sexy BL anime was really good. One of the main reasons besides a crisp story and screenplays that it wasn't unnecessarily stretched. In 12 episodes of about 5 minutes each, it says what it really wants to say with intrigue, anticipation, and brooding emotions. It also teases palpable sexual tension, leading to a racy sexual encounter in the finale. Mignon is young, tall and very handsome cage fighter who is completely controlled by his coach. All he has heard in life is that he is good for nothing. A compassionate doctor who attend to the physical injuries is the only person who has ever shown any kindness to the young boxer and no wonder Mignon has started to have feelings for the doctor. But one night Mignon sees the doctor drinking blood and conforming that he is indeed a vampire. This shocking revelation has Mignon

My Blessing (Thai)

Cute and lighthearted, My Blessing adds a fun supernatural twist to a short love story.  With just about an hour of duration, the production of this made for TV film is quite basic. Although it does feel like you have just watched one episode of one of those Thai series with long-ish episodes. Thankfully this is a film that just ends after one. Despite the charming actors, the plot of the film is patchy, full of plot holes where things haven't been explained properly and similar like that. I do remember reading when the film started that this was made as a university project, so at least from that perspective, I am willing to be a little lenient. Naina, a university student desperately wants to find a girlfriend and be in a relationship. But no girl even looks at him. His best friend Ton tries his best to cheer him up. They both then visit a mystical tree to offer their prayers, since there is a legend in the campus that those who make an offering, their wishes will come true. When

Minato's Laundromat: Season 2 (Japanese Series)

Season one of this cute love story was one of the shows that I really really enjoyed. So naturally I was anxiously looking forward to two of my favorite characters in the BL genre. Season two doesn't disappoint and it continue the romance between Minato and Shin. This time the series also focuses significantly on the other couple as well (more on that later), but the primary focus is still on Minato's self-conscious and inability to acknowledge how much he also loves Shin. The twist towards the end is debatable, but still at 12 episodes of about 23 minutes each, I still very much enjoyed the season, despite it not really having too much to actually say. Season 1 ended with Shin and Minato finally being a couple. Shin has now started medical school and they have been together for three months. Shin is still the boisterous young boy who constantly flirts with Minato to get him out of his shell, but from Minato's POV the age difference still bothers him. As Minato is about to

Clay Farmers

I cant believe this film came back in late 80s. It I snot an obvious gay film, because I guess those days it wasn't easy to make something in your face, but everything about our two leads seem to suggest the two are just friends whose attraction for one another is still in the early stages. Yet these handsome boys joyfully touch, hug, and rough-play with one another in a manner that is far more explicitly sexual, and immensely more sensuous. The simple film is just under an hour and an easy watch. Climax gives us an impression of the difficulties of a male romance in a homophobic rural community. The story is simple. Set in countryside we see Mike who works in a small farm and has his close friend Dan working for him. Mike is obviously attracted to Dan and it seems Dan returns the favor. But Dan is to satisfied being and living at the far, . He is a drifter and wants to travel but Mike seems content. We meet Gary, a young teenage boy who lives in the neighborhood with his abusive s

Dear Doctor, I'm Coming for Soul (Thai Series)

This Thai BL series not only takes viewers into a high-paced world of life and death, it has one person face death, fall for death, and then sacrifice everything for it. Yes, it's a script idea based in the fantasy land, but it is extremely slow, takes forever to build romance, has many multiple storylines and overall after a while starts to feel repetitive. With 12 episodes of about 45 minutes average duration, if it focused just on the main couple and maybe one more couple, the show could have been crisp. But I guess I am looking it from a binge watch perspective, whereas these shows get aired on a weekly episode format.  Dr. Prakan is a known surgeon working hard to save lives. But of late, he keeps seeing this mysterious man, who has introduced himself as a 'soul reaper', a guy from the 'other' world who is here to take people's soul away. So these 2 people work for two completely opposite reasons. One must collect the souls of the dead, the other must save

Beks Days of Our Lives (Filipino)

Filipino over the top gay films are sometimes a lot of fun to watch. Yes, they check mark all the stereotype of an effeminate gays and use all tropes to make you laugh or roll your eyes. I have seen some of these films, and if you watch them with an open mind, they are actually good fun to watch. With that in mind, I started watching this film, but sadly this one was a disappointment. Quite a few scenes were actually funny and some dialogues were also good, but I feel the plot (more like screenplay) let me down and overall I just didn't connect. Reggie, Richard and Melvin are flamboyantly gay guys who had been best of friends since they were elementary school kids. They all have their share of problems, and we see a nice funny intro to all three. Soon Reggie is diagnosed with leukemia and he seems to be depressed. To keep everyone's spirits up, Melvin suggested that the three of them take a short break from their jobs and drive around the various scenic spots in Camarines Sur.

The Sixth Commandment (UK) (Mini Series)

BBC One’s latest series The Sixth Commandment is a heartbreaking story of exploitation and deceit, based on a real-life story that hit the headlines in 2017 and has now been adapted into a four-part drama each episode about an hour long. Two elderly folks, Peter and Anne lived just three doors down from each other, who eventually ended up sharing not just a lover but a very tragic end for themselves. I was personally not aware of this, but, by now, I do know that true story dramas that BBC usually makes are worth spending your time on. Normally I wouldn't qualify this is a gay drama to be published here, but there are significant inputs and central character here that made me do a small write up here. Peter is an older man who is about to retire from the school he teaches. He is a closet homosexual although his brother's family supposedly knows about it. He is a devout christian and has never had sex with another man or even loved anyone.  When he is hired as a consulting profe

Juice (UK) (Mini Series)

The official BBC3 synopsis reads: “Juice is a surreal comedy that follows Jamma on his quest for attention as he navigates chaotic family dynamics and literally stumbles through love." Created by Mawaan Rizwan, a name that I have not been familiar with, is apparently a famous YouTuber and a standup comedian in Britain. Apparently inspired by one of his stage acts, this 6 parts mini series done in a sitcom style, was actually fun to watch. The show delves into the mind of a cartoonish millennial named Jamma, played with (intentionally) excruciating hamminess by Rizwan. It’s a show about what it means to be a grownup when you’re incapable of doing anything for yourself. It's hard to explain what Juice is about. Gamma works in a marketing agency, where he uses his clown personality, a childlike humor, a person who doesn't want to grow up to his advantage. To th opposite his boyfriend is Guy, a therapist, more mature than him and who wants something more stable. Gamma has move

Duffer (UK)

I am not sure honestly how I feel about this film. Duffer, an intense and bizarre study of obsession that is oddly beautiful and disturbing, tells the story of a teenage boy torn between the womanly charms of a kindly prostitute, and the sadistic attentions of an older man. The film came back in 1972 and films like these are usually hit or miss and probably mostly meant for festival screenings.  Duffer is an aimless young man who enjoys the company of two lovers, but likes to be on his own sometimes, spending time down by the riverside under the bridge, reading, watching the world go by, that sort of thing.  HIs male lover is an older man, who physically abuses him because that is how he gets pleasure but according to Duffer, he also loves him very much. It's times like these he get to his female lover, where he visits her at her place, have casual sex and they chat. Duffer excuses the actions by his abusive lover by claiming that while he feels victimised, he can console himself w