Thanks to Thailand’s “2gether the Series,” we discovered that the “boys love” genre can be a hit among Filipino viewers. Boys Love or BL, if you’ve been living under a rock, is a drama that centers on the romantic story of two male leads. Countries like China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan (mostly anime called “Yaoi”) and especially Thailand have been producing this genre for several years now and it’s attracting viewers not just from their own country and neighboring Asian countries but on other continents as well (as far as Brazil, Nigeria, and even the US). The genre has not been tried in the Philippines because of the perception that Filipinos are “conservative.” Well except for GMA’s “My Husband’s Lover” in 2013 which I consider as a soap opera rather than a BL series. After that, we haven’t had a drama series with 2 male actors as the lead characters.
Then came “Gameboys,” the very first locally made BL series in a long time which was launched on YouTube last Friday, May 22, the first Friday with no new episode of “2gether the Series” to look forward to (The Sarawat-Tine love story concluded two weeks ago, hitting first spot on Twitter’s worldwide trends yet again). Produced by The IdeaFirst Company, “Gameboys” gave us a premise about the budding relationship between online gamers Cairo and Gavreel. Instead of spoiling the pilot episode, you can watch it below:
Gameboys Episode 1: Pass or Play?
“Gameboys” is directed by Ivan Andrew Payawal and written by Ash M. Malanum. It stars Kokoy de Santos and Elijah Canlas. The digital series was shot (and being shot) during these pandemic times that’s why we can’t expect an outdoor setting for a while. Although we are still longing for more BL elements like a romantic theme song, quirky supporting characters, interesting side stories, webtoon feel, campus setting, villain or third party that will post a threat to the developing relationship of the 2 male leads, etc., we can say that it’s off to a very good start. And I’m sure we can see these elements to appear one by one in the coming episodes.
As of this posting, episode 1 of “Gameboys” already garnered 239,058 views on YouTube and it’s gradually getting recognized in other countries. This is evident in the fact that it’s being translated to various languages by BL fans aside from English like Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese (10 languages so far).
With the upcoming episodes to be released on YouTube, we are optimistic that it will capture the same Filipino viewers of “2gether the Series” which helped the popular Thai show trends week after week in the country. After all, it’s about time that we patronize our own BL series because it will highlight Filipino values and promote Filipino culture. Something to be proud of.
On that note, we learned from a Facebook group that there are more than 10 upcoming Pinoy BL series or movies to come. Here are the titles to whet your appetite:
MYDAY THE SERIES
GAYA SA PELIKULA
WHERE WE ARE
BOYS NEXT DOOR
MY EXTRA ORDINARY
A KISS TO REMEMBER
THE BOY FORETOLD MOVIE
FOREVER WITH YOU THE SERIES
WHERE WE ARE
So let’s support “Gameboys” and other upcoming Pinoy BL series and movies. BL is like K-pop, it’s getting global and we can’t be left behind.