Armed with a collection (and an archive) of Thai BL and gay romantic movies and TV series going all the way back to 2007, here is a recommended list of 20 of the best titles that Thai BL has to offer. While others may want to recommend other shows, this list is not exclusive, yet the range is unquestionably wide enough to cater to different tastes within the BL universe. Take a look, won’t you?
—Edited by TheFNGee
Presented in random order… the major criteria being:
1) Amazing story and equally noteworthy characters
2) Great acting and directing
3) Re-watchable quality
4) Superior technical aspects (editing, cinematography, costume design, props)
5) Haunting, memorable music, and soundtrack. Thai artists have been doing this for a long time, and
the experience and skills show
Love of Siam – รักแห่งสยาม (2007):
A Thai multi-layered romantic-drama film written and directed by Chookiat Sakveerakul. The film presents a story of love, friendship, and familial relationships. Released in 2007, it created a lot of controversies, yet both movie audiences and critics acclaimed it. It tells the story of Mew (Witwisit Hiranyawongkul) and Tong (Mario Maurer), who began as childhood friends. They grew apart due to a change of domicile but later re-discovered each other – their friendship develops – and soon Mew starts to have romantic feelings for Tong. How Tong reacts and controls his feelings serves as a major highlight of the film.
This movie is a masterpiece!
I Told Sunset About You – แปลรักฉันด้วยใจเธอ (2020):
It tells the tale of best friends Teh (Billkin Putthipong) and Oh-aew (PP Krit Amnuaydechkorn), who became rivals yet meet again as University students taking Chinese language classes. Aside from the slick production values, this TV series and its sequel (I Promised You The Moon – แปลรักฉันด้วยใจเธอ Part 2 ) promoted the BL team of Billkin and PP Krit. Both Thai actors figured prominently in a previous series – a hetero drama called My Ambulance, which did not justify the ending to their tragic relationship! And the BL gods avenged them via two glorious BL series. PP Krit morphs into this amazing character filled with teen angst and a lot of intense sexual energy. Billkin matches him scene by scene, and their chemistry is fierce as it is dramatic! There is almost a sense of Deja vu with the series and Love of Siam. I’m not sure you get my drift, but perhaps you may agree with me if you’ve seen both. Sunset gets the highest praise from me; while the sequel is not quite as breathtaking as the original but is still highly recommended.
He’s Coming To Me – เขามาเชงเม้งข้างๆหลุมผมครับ (2019):
A well-acted (perhaps the best actors on this list!) supernatural-romantic drama that explores a friendship tested by time, mystery, and circumstances. Just take a look at the storyline below:
On his birthday, Med, a kind heir to a rich family, dies mysteriously and becomes a ghost. For 20 years, he waits in the graveyard for someone to visit so that he is able to reincarnate. However, his plan for reincarnation changes completely when he spots Thun, a young boy who is able to see and talk with him during every Ching Ming Festival. A few years pass and Thun, now a university student, reveals that Med was killed and promises to identify the reason behind Med’s murder and takes Med to live with him.Storyline from MyDramaList
He’s Coming To Me showcases the BL team of Ohm Pawat and Singto Prachaya. Prachaya is acknowledged by many as one of Thailand’s best young actors, yet Ohm Pawat stole the show by grabbing the headlines with his raw performance that is hard to duplicate as it is hard to ignore. While many Thai BLs rest on steamy sex scenes, this GMMTV series rests solely on its power to hold our attention – and we are powerless to resist it!
Tharn Type – เกลียดนักมาเป็นที่รักกันซะดีๆ (2019-2020):
When you consider such plots as sexual abuse, an obsession that borders on the psychotic and hidden desires for a roommate (of the same sex!), then Tharn Type is the BL series for you. This is one of the most controversial BL series from Thailand, and the sensation it created is well justified. It is also well-acted with the highest production values, including direction! With that, I think we have already whet your BL appetite.
The first series (as most often) remains superior in terms of drama and acting, yet the next installment fulfills its promise to bring forth issues that the author previously tackled. Tee Bundit Sintanaparadee, the series director, offers both subtle and dramatic scenes in tackling sensitive issues – taking into account the uproar created by some Western audiences, who were new to the Asian-flavored BL “tropes***.
*** an unflattering description of a significant or recurrent theme; almost towards cliché.
Grey Rainbow – รุ้งสีเทา (2016):
Grey Rainbow tells the love of Nuer and Porsche. Nuer is the son of the owner of an elephant camp, while Porsche is a law student. In University, they were dormitory roommates and close friends, each fighting against the feelings that one had for the other.
As you may have noticed, Thai BL is almost always flavored by repressed feelings by one male for another male. Thai BL authors have been inspired and influenced by their Japanese counterparts, yet they infused Thai culture into their writings. That makes Thai BL unique and completely original most of the time. Grey Rainbow is one of the earlier mini-series, and some viewers find the ‘logic’ to the ending as lacking or inadequate. Yet this mini-series is absorbing as it is powerful. Thai Elephants are world-famous and how they take care of these gentle giants is a story in itself. Using such a backdrop adds to the appeal of the show.
The Blue Hour – อนธการ (2015):
A sensual and supernatural-themed love story about a bullied loner, Tam (featuring one of Thailand’s best and LWG’s favorite BL actors Gun Atthaphan Phunsawat), who finds security in Phum, a boy he meets at a haunted swimming pool. Phum (Oab Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang) tells Tam about Phum’s family’s land grabbed and stolen by corrupt politicians, and the newfound lovers imagine a perfect life together on the disputed land.
This film is directed by Thai indie filmmaker and screenwriter Nuchy Anucha Boonyawatana. This film has many moods – dark and foreboding, sensual and erotic, playful and violent. A previous ‘episodic fragment’ appears in ThirTEEN Terrors (2015) and can be compared just for its sheer pleasure and novelty.
How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) – พีชาย (2015):
Directed by Korean-American Josh Kim, this is one of the most beautiful, poignant, and devastating Thai films tackling a gay relationship. What makes “Checkers” bittersweet and heart-wrenching is how the relationship of the lovers deteriorates into almost nothing. It tackles the Thai military draft and how poor young Thais have no way to escape the draft. Rich families only have to pay certain officials and get a free ride, so to speak.
In our interview, Director Kim took time to learn the language and took pains to cast his actors. Toni Rakkaen, one of Thailand’s most accomplished actors, plays one of the main characters. As a film reviewer, I say Checkers always deserves 5 stars!
There you have it! Part 1 of our hitlist – comprising seven (7) titles! Do you agree with this list? Stay tuned for Parts 2-3 soon.
Join the discussion 5 Comments
Great list. Can’t wait for part two. Spot on for your comments. I’ve seen many, if not all, the referenced works. I curious to see which of Fluke Natouch’s works you inlcude.
Thank you. Definitely there will be. He’s an amazing actor with equally amazing work.
I haven’t seen or even heard of some of these- so intrigued by titles such as Winning at Checkers every time-
Of the ones I’ve seen- He’s Coming to Me not only has a power pair acting as leads- the supporting cast is almost uniformly excellent. The screenplay does a good job of creating a mystery and tension. TharnType 1 is stellar- I feel like the sequel was not in the same realm- there was a lot of repetition and the loss of the character/performance from first series of character Lhong was deeply missed.
Late reply but yes, Lhong was missed. He added that dangerous, foreboding vibes in the series. Quite a talented fellow. I hope he gets a new role soon. He deserves it.
Do watch Checkers, quite an underrated film, yet it was an Oscar entry from Thailand.
Saw Checkers and was impressed an American Filmmaker made this- for the first hour I was mesmerized- felt the last part felt rushed and overly dramatic- but I still was loving the slice of life feel of that first magic hour. I will try and track down the short stories this was taken from.