For me, the following BL shows tickled my fancy and rocked my boat, and in one case even rock another world. They presented hot guys engaging in sometimes healthy, sometimes not, sex without shame and prejudices. There was unapologetic love on display that helped to promote marriage equality. Most of these serials took place away from the shelter of a university campus. Some had
pink milk while others had pink boxer shorts.
My Top 10 BL series of 2022 after the jump!
#1 Choco Milk Shake
This was such a sweet idea about long-dead family pets that are reincarnated as humans to save their former master during his darkest days. Yet, this is still a BL, so the idea of a romantic entanglement just screams bestiality, but in this reality, is so adorable. The actors gave such laugh-a-minute performances that were still so insightful.
I accepted that Choco and Milk were a dog and a cat because they made me believe it. It was fresh in concept, had me in tears one minute and smiling the next, touching my soul.
You can also read Daz’s opinion piece on this South Korean BL series.
This series was a grown-up BL with influences of Scarface and The Godfather that sizzled with man-on-man sex scenes, was awash with stomach-churning bloodshed, and had ample amounts of gun violence.
Yes, lines of morality did blur but this was no kiddie series. The show didn’t pretend to be hearts and flowers. After all, this was the world of the Mafioso. This series had so many twists and turns and a poor Hedgehog that had seen too much.
KinnPorsche is one of our top picks for the Mafia Crime-Themed BL hitlist.
#3 Vice Versa
The show was so stunningly realized that I felt as if you could literally eat the screen with a spoon the coloring was just so delicious. The sci-fi factor of the show was different and new with some complexity in searching for a portkey, the jeopardy of trying to get back home, and those endless bath times with a hot doctor.
4# 180 Degree Longitude Passes Through Us
This series was moody and atmospheric like a Film Noir production. The intimacy of each scene was captured so hauntingly while the depth of emotions electrified their interactions. This series relinquished the laughs, reduced the cast to just three people, and told the story of heartbreak that is just as important as the fun and laughs.
PsychoWeird expounds on this Punnasak Sukee directorial debut on Thai television with this article.
#5 Cutie Pie
I found the premise of this series so intriguing. Two boys are bequeathed to each other by their families, and no one questions the arrangement. Well, not those inside their inner circle. The marriage was jeopardized because Lian and Kuea were putting on an act. They weren’t being their authentic selves with each other. The music was great, NuNew’s voice knocked the socks off me, and who couldn’t help dribbling at Zee dancing in satin pink boxer shorts?
You can watch this series on the official Mandee Channel on YouTube.
#6 Love in The Air
The series didn’t sanitize this world into sugar and spice and all things nice. The
sex is unapologetic, the chemistry so intense and not every young man’s journey to discover themselves is the same. Sometimes there is joyful self-discovery while others face traumatic experiences. This show needs to be commended for presenting such a powerful narrative on same-sex domestic violence.
You can also read the author’s opinion piece on this BL series entitled Love in the Air’s Dark Reality.
#7 Not Me
Well, this was certainly a change of pace for a BL set within the high-octane, adrenaline-filled world of a motorcycle gang trying to bring down a corrupt business empire praying on the weak and vulnerable of society. There were so many twists and turns that I am sure I got whiplash while watching the series. The stakes were high, the drama was so engrossing, and a set of twins was thrown in for good measure.
Not Me is also part of our Mafia Crime-Themed hitlist!
#8 Plus & Minus
While there might be nothing new to The Friends to Lover’s scenario, what excited me about this series was their blatant attempt to break down those old societal constructs that for a man to be happy, he must take a wife. The show handles the exploration of the topic very well by presenting two different same-sex couples as they navigate the early stages of their relationship with one of the characters having a child. You don’t need to be in a heteronormative relationship to have a family.
You can watch this series at Viki.
#9 To Sir with Love
The story unfolds in this epic period drama that is all about protecting the supposedly shameful secret that the heir to the family dynasty is as gay as Christmas. My heart hurt to watch this young man being treated so abhorrently, that his desires were so unacceptable to result in murder to hide his secret. I enjoyed the grandness of this series, and the relationship between the half-brothers was so beautifully portrayed.
To Sir With Love is part of Daz’s The Rise of the Grint and Grunt BL list.
#10 Bad Buddy
This Romeo and Juliet-themed series is set in the BL world with warring families that needed a good slap, secret dating that was so fun to watch, and who could forget their version of the balcony scenes. The chemistry between Ohm and Nanon was sensational. They made this series. I am not sure it would have resonated as much with another BL Team.
Explore more about the Bad Buddy series in this article.
The top 10 BL series of 2022 shows exemplify what gets my juices flowing, keeps me invested in a series, and makes me feel something. I want to be stimulated by boundary-pushing concepts, nourished by fresh ideas in telling a story, and moved by the topical issues on display that the LGBTIQA+ community face.
I want man-on-man action that isn’t apologetic or shameful and same-sex love stories that break down the barriers that lead to open hearts and educated minds. That is what these 10 serials have in common.
That is why they deserve recognition for their contributions to the BL world in 2022.
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Daz James is an undiscovered writer living in Australia who is an advocate for LGBTIQA+ representation in media. He has come to love BL serials in recent years having been bewitched by the genre through Innocence – Bangkok Love Stories and Together With Me series. He provides commentary on all things not just BL serials on Twitter and Instagram.