2022 has been an intense year in the world of boys love. With a number of releases that slowly start to feel like mass production. Fluff, melodrama, action, butterflies, NSFW… we got a great variety of Thai BL for sure. Oh boy, there’s so much to talk about but let’s be honest, you wouldn’t read this if it was a 100-page dissertation, right? 👀 So to scale down, we’ll only talk about four of the many shows that stood out to us this year. Without spoilers, or giving away entire plots. We’ll be just sharing a few of the reasons we fell in love with these shows.
Content Warning: The dramas below contain topics of emotional and physical abuse, suicide, trauma, and other mental health issues. We at The Honey POP encourage mindful viewing and recommend you to check for any further content warnings.
The BL We Didn’t Expect To Love This Much
The Miracle of Teddy Bear
Okay, there was definitely not enough hype around this one. And we are here to change that. The Miracle of Teddy Bear was certainly one of the biggest surprises for us this year. With its “teddy bear becoming human” baseline, we went in with more weird curiosity than any real expectation. But oh boy, were we wrong. And you are too if you are still sleeping on this show. With its 16 1.5-hour-long episodes, this won’t be your quick binge but will leave you with a very powerful and enchanting story that will stay with you for a long time. If not forever. Are we crying while writing this? Maybe. But that just proves our point.
The story is a lot more complex than your teddy bear coming to life. It delivers a pretty sentimental, yet entertaining story that unfolds layer by layer. The original novel is written by Prapt, the same author we praised to you when we recommended The Eclipse. And his beautiful narrative brings a kind of storytelling that uses magic to cover up the dark realism. Just like a fairy tale. (If Beauty and The Beast comes to mind, there might be a reason. 👀)
The fantasy elements, the humor, and the cute moments between Tofu (the teddy bear played by In Sarin) and Nut (his owner played by Job Thuchapon) ease all the heaviness of the real story as we learn about emotional trauma, and witness the protagonist’s journey of healing. The Miracle of Teddy Bear might not have the ending you wish for, but it’s as realistic as it can get — and that’s all we are going to say to keep the spoilers away.
The BL That Had Everything — More Lakorns, Please?
To Sir, With Love
Let’s add another lakorn (Thai television soap opera; think: telenovela) to the list because the industry (and us) need more of them. At least when they are delivered with quality like these two.👀 Besides the additional length, there’s also an additional depth you keep craving after a less satisfying show. That being said, if you’re looking for a BL where the two main leads are constantly together (and all over each other) and that’s the whole plot, this is not for you. As expected from a soap opera, To Sir, With Love focuses more on family drama. It has a contemporary historical setting where homosexuality is taboo. Yet the successor of a powerful family, Thian (played by Film Thanapat) discovers his own sexuality at a pretty young age. Resulting in secrets, suspense, and…murders.
The main couple portrays a risky yet innocent love. While we also witness several other kinds of love. Respectful and loyal love between brothers, an overpowering love between a protective mom and her son. And other complex feelings between a competitive family. All with intriguing screenwriting and production that makes the historical setting relatable to modern viewers, and gives actual character developments. And a glimpse of hope for change. And the OST? NuNew delivered it with pure perfection! Now, let us leave you one quiet from EP 15 before we move on to the next drama: “respect me as a human being.” 👏
The Drama We Wish We Could Watch All Over Again For The Very First Time
You know if it involves OffGun, we are there. But they are far from the only reason to watch Not Me. Yes, it technically started showing in 2021, but 11/14 episodes aired in 2022 so give us some slack. Social criticism and political topics are risky—in some countries more than others.😶 But GMMTV delivered an outstanding execution. From acting to cinematography and screenwriting, with Not Me they created a new standard for themselves and Thai BLs in general early this year. Which later seemed to be the motto for the entire 2022 if we are being honest. Everyone is trying to up their games as the BL fandom is growing and it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the almost overwhelming amount of shows popping up each week.
Given a pair of twins who were separated at a young age. One of them (Black) is a gang member who gets attacked and falls into a coma. This is when his identical twin brother (White) gets back into his life, disguising himself as Black to figure out what’s happening. (Huge shoutout to Gun Atthaphan for the portrayals of White and Black in such a natural and distinguishable way. It’s no surprise that he’s an outstanding actor, but he still keeps surprising us with more and more.👏)
Now…this mysterious attack is not the plot line, it’s just an excuse to then dive into the social fight of Black’s gang. We are talking about justice, differences between social classes, disability, power games, equality, and freedom. We are debating ethics and morals. Very realistic conflicts and everyday fights of society. Yes, all of these are delivered with some strong romances on the side that will pierce through your heart at some point, and leave you with major butterflies at others.
The Thai BL That Had The Biggest Impact On The Fandom
KinnPorsche The Series
You were almost upset that we were going to miss this one, huh? No worries, we know we can’t talk about 2022 BLs without mentioning KinnPorsche The Series. And we agree. Although we’ve seen a few (very little few) mature and action BLs before, that definitely wasn’t the standard. The impact this show had on the industry, and more so on the fans, is undeniable. So yes, it definitely was worth the wait over the years since it was first announced. The team’s dedication is also impossible to miss in the overall production. And if you’re one of the many (meaning many many many) people that this show lured into the world of BLs…please enjoy the ride. Because there’s no going back.
Whether you watched it or decided not to, if you clicked on this article, we definitely don’t have to go too deep into what KinnPorshe The Series is all about. The show has several triggering aspects from physical to emotional abuse, to social pressure, manipulation, and mental health issues. Certain things will require you to understand more than just what is being said out loud. And sure, not everything is gonna be easy to watch as the story dives into some heavy topics, but we get enough comedic relief for it to be a balanced viewing experience.. With high rewatch value, which we highly recommend if you want to catch some hidden details whether in the story or the production work.
All the actors did an outstanding job delivering such complex characters and layers of emotions. To a level where it’s hard to believe that for some of them it was their first-ever show. Not to mention the amazing cinematography by Joy Maneerat Srinakarin who also gave us the beautiful pictures of the must-watch I Told Sunset About You. We are still obsessed with how the show played with the lights and colors. And our high school film studies teacher would be proud of us if she heard the endless analogies we had about it when the series originally aired.
As we mentioned at the beginning, it would have been hard to include all the amazing shows that aired this year. So make sure to let us know which ones took you by storm (yes, this may or may not be a LITA reference🌪) in 2022 by tweeting us at @thehoneypop or joining the conversation on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love to hear your thoughts!