Boys Love shows get serious

FOR those who can’t get enough of the Boys Love (BL) genre currently sweeping across the Philippines, here are two more shows worth watching — with one tackling “more serious issues” such as queerbaiting and another showing the lead character being confused by his sexuality.

“Boys Love” and its abbreviation “BL” are used to describe a wide variety of works in all media that focus on male/male relationships. The genre was first introduced in Japan by way of manga and anime.

(Watch the Trailer here:

Created by Camp Avenue Studios, #Influencers The Series takes a dive into influencer culture and other issues including mental health as it follows the story of two influencers “in two different worlds with different stories to tell,” according to a press release. The series aim to showcase the life behind the Insta-glam images of these influencers. The cast is led by Ram Agoncillo and Migo Valle, who play the two influencers who meet and eventually fall in love.

“[In the series], we’re going to tackle different social issues such as cancel culture, cyberbullying, bottom-shaming, name it all. You guys are going to see it but in the context of BL,” Renz-Bhil Tugelida, the series’ director, said in the vernacular during a press conference on Nov. 7 held via Zoom.

He admitted that with such a tall order, it was hard to fit all of those issues into one coherent story but under the pen of Stephanie-Rose Quiros, the series’ writer, it all fit perfectly in eight episodes.

Mr. Tugelida and Ms. Quiros previously worked together in Chasing Sunsets, a girls’ love series which streamed online in June and tackled issues including mental health, HIV, and LGBTQIA+ acceptance.

#Influencers the Series will stream on the Camp Avenue Studios YouTube page on Nov. 21 though those who want to see the Director’s Cut, which is ad-free and includes behind-the-scenes exclusives, the studio is offering an advance screening opportunity on Nov. 18 with tickets being sold via Tickets for the advance screening are P69 for one episode and P499 for the full eight episodes.

(Watch the Trailer here:

Coming from iWantTFC is Oh, Mando, a different kind of BL series focused on a boy who is coming to terms with his own sexuality. The show, which started streaming on Nov. 5 on the iWant streaming platform and directed by Eduardo Roy, Jr., is described as a coming out and coming-of-age tale about the titular character played by Kokoy De Santos, a hopelessly romantic college student who has long suppressed his attraction to boys.

Despite confusions about his sexuality, Mando is charmed by Krisha (played by Barbie Imperial) and they enter into a relationship while he continues to hide his secret from his girlfriend. The relationship becomes more complicated when he becomes attracted to Barry (played by Alex Diaz), an out and proud gay basketball player.

Standard and premium subscribers can stream new episodes of Oh, Mando every Thursday, 9 p.m., on the iWantTFC app (iOs and Android) or on Episodes can also be viewed on the iWantTFC YouTube page a week after it first aired on the streaming platform. — ZBC

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