The year 2023 is picking right off from where it left off in 2022 as we have already had our fill of amazing BL Dramas released in the space of 2 months. And with an already long list of dramas scheduled to be released this year, the year already promises to be an eventful and interesting one for Korean BL fans.
Like 2022, in 2023, we have seen an impressive growth when it comes to BL dramas. From its production, shooting locations, OSTs, central plot or storyline, the actors, and most especially, the acting and dialogue.
Now, realistically, there have been that one or two that just fall short below par, however, the majority of the BL dramas are proving to be of great quality and standard, and gaining much popularity and great positive response not just because of the desire for more content from the genre but for quality these dramas possess.
With 2023 already off to a great start in terms of BL releases, we can see some of our ideas have reached the ears and eyes of the BL production gods as we can aptly see a great number of changes and growth in these dramas in comparison to others from previous years. You can read some of the notes we pointed out in the article below.
As we mentioned earlier, the year 2023 promises to be an interesting one for Korean BL fans and so far, we have already been treated to amazing BL dramas, with dramas like “The New Employee” and “The Director Who Buys Me Dinner“, leading the pack and we can rightly say that many producers finally have the right recipe for what makes for an interesting and popular drama that doesn’t just rely on the popularity or hunger for the genre alone. You can check out the list of BL dramas scheduled to be released this year below.
So far, the month of March seems to be the busiest as there is a flock of interesting dramas set to be released this month, one of which already aired its first two episodes and others, which will be airing in the upcoming days.
Still on the fence as to whether you should be watching them? In this article, we will be sharing some of the reasons why these dramas should be on your watch list this month.
1. The plot
The plot of the drama is always the most interesting quality that potential viewers look forward to, and from the synopsis released for these dramas, we can predict that in terms of a good storyline, many viewers would be satisfied with these dramas.
Starting with “A Shoulder To Cry On”, the drama tells the story of two high students Lee DaYeol (JaeHan) and Jo TaeHyun (YeChan). Lee DaYeol is seen as an outcast, who isn’t popular in school, but he doesn’t really mind as he only cares about Archery, a sport he earned a scholarship for in the school. However, he would see his beloved passion and scholarship in jeopardy when a popular student Jo TaeHyun claimed that Lee DaYeol tried to make out with him after they were caught fooling around in the nurse’s room.
Their ill-fated encounter doesn’t stop there as Jo TaeHyun’s interest in making life hard for Lee DaYeol is piqued and he decides to follow him around everywhere. However, even though Lee DaYeol tries to shake off his nuisance, he slowly begins to realize his feelings for the free-spirited character who is the polar opposite of him, and causing him to try to understand the thin line between love and hate.
For “Unintentional Love Story”, we are treated with a more mature storyline as the webtoon-based drama tells the story of a young and hardworking office worker, Ji WonYoung (B1A4’s GongChan) who finds himself fired from a company he loves after his superior was entangled in a corruption scandal. Seeking to gain the favor of the Chairman and get his job back, he tries to find the Chairman’s favorite artist, Yoon TaeJoon (Cha SeoWon). However, his plans come to a halt as he finds that the said artist is now a Potter in a remote town and has no desire of going back to the city.
Undeterred from his cause, he hangs around the town seeking to report everything he can about the artist to the chairman. However, as he finds out more information about the quiet man, he soon realizes a complicated feeling, as he goes from being curious about him to being interested in him. A story of love, self-discovery, and acceptance, this already seems like a wholesome and enjoyable storyline.
Its second lead couple’s story has also piqued the interest of viewers. This would perhaps be the first BL drama with a 2nd lead couple. While there is not much about their story yet, from what we have gathered, it seems Kim DongHee (DoWoo) is a cafe owner and is the best friend of the main lead Yoon JeHoon. He is seen as a kind-hearted and warm person. While Go HoTae (Won TaeMin) is an unemployed man, who after getting into trouble in the past, came back to the town to help his mother with her shop. People tend to misjudge him thanks to his tough appearance but he is also a kind-hearted individual who seeks to get his act together and live a good life.
“Our Dating Sim” tells the story of two friends from high school who are reunited when they meet again to create a dating game. LeeWan (Lee JongShik) and Shin KiTae (Lee SeungGyu) were best friends while in high school, however, their relationship turns sour when LeeWan suddenly confesses his feelings for Shin KiTae and kisses him.
After many years, the two friends reunite when LeeWan, now a genius illustrator, applies for and gets a job at Shin KiTae’s company. With their history looming its head, will LeeWan get over his unrequited love for Shin KiTae or will their reunion spark to flames a romantic story between these old friends?
2. The production company
Often the unsung heroes of many interesting and popular works, the production company or agency behind the development and release of many BL are just as important as it is in non-BL dramas. An upcoming bl with a well-known production company, which has a reputation for delivering amazing works, will also add to the interest and anticipation of the drama as fans know to expect only the best for them. Over the years, OTT production teams have become even more popular thanks to the successes of their dramas. And continuing in their amazing strides to create and release impactful works, some of them have become well-known amongst BL fans today.
One of the said teams is Heavenly. Known for having an incredible roaster of dramas like “Love Class”, “Where Your Eyes Linger”, “The Director Who Buys Me Dinner“, “Blueming” and a host of others, they keep churning out great projects which in turn solidifies our position and expectation that the drama “Our Dating Sim” will follow suits with the level of quality that many of the other dramas the team produces have.
Another well-known production team that is in charge of the drama “Unintentional Love Story” is TVING. Perhaps one of the biggest names in Korea, the team is at the helm of dramas and variety shows like “Island”, “Yumi’s Cells”, “Jinny’s Kitchen‘, etc. A drama from a relatively big production company like this, will no doubt mean, a full-fledged storyline with incredible scenes, great locations, beautiful cinematography, and all-around a better production value.
3. New actors to keep a keen eye on
One of the things we believe the BL genre offers to its actors is an instant popularity. With the sheer desire for more of the themed dramas to be released regularly, every drama in this genre is received with open arms, and its actors, even more so. The BL genre in some way has become a stepping stone for popularity, as many of its actors have kicked started their careers and others, reflaming global interest in them or their groups again. For more details on this, you can check out the article below.
The string of actors starring in these three dramas will no doubt join this list and earn more popularity as well. And before their dramas air, here are some of the things you should know about them.
1. “A Shoulder To Cry On”
This drama serves as the acting debut of both idols and since its announcement last year, there has been a fiery anticipation for its release as fans have been eagerly waiting to see the colors they show as actors and the kind of chemistry they display as well.
Both members of the same group, they made their debut with OMEGA X in 2021 with their first EP “Vamos“. Their formation might have made them unique but what further solidifies their positioning is their sound and style of music. Powerful, vibrant, and yet very engaging, they showed that they were a group brimming full with potential and seeking the opportunity to show off their talents.
Despite the saddening setback the group faced due to the maltreatment by their now former company, the love for the members by global fans is ever-increasing as everyone is patiently waiting for them to grace the stage once again as a group. While we all wait for that day, perhaps having just two members starring as main leads in a drama would serve as the positive start the group and their fans need.
You can follow the idols on their personal Instagram @jaehan_k and @shin__yechan. You can also follow the OMEGA X Instagram account here for regular updates from the group. P.S. they post some of the cutest content.
2. “Unintentional Love Story”
The drama sees a more experienced cast playing its lead roles. Starting with actor Cha SeoWon, the popular actor made his acting debut in 2013 with the drama “The Heirs“. He is signed to the famous agency Namoo Actors and over the years, he has starred in dramas like “Liver or Die“, “The Rich Son“, and “Second Husband“. This would be his first BL and web drama. His Instagram is filled with a variety of quality contents, from ads to photoshoots, movie posters, and his ambassadorial works. You can follow him on Instagram here.
B1A4’s GongChan is a name many K-Pop fans would recognize as the lovable maknae who has been swaying hearts with his expressive charms since he made his debut in 2011. He made his acting debut in 2015 and has starred in dramas like “Mokkoji Kitchen”, “Dear My Name”, and the movie “Lonely Enough To Love“. Many fans already know him as the cute and warm idol who enjoys capturing nature. You can feel his vibe by following him on Instagram here.
The 2nd lead couple are also rising actors who are steadily showing off their acting charms. Won TaeMin is no stranger to Korean BL fans as he’s starred in the popular drama “You Make Me Dance”. Asides from this, he’s also been a regular in non-BL dramas as well, playing either support or guest roles in many popular dramas. Some of which include “Rookie Cops”, “Adamas”, “Why Her?” and “Mental Coach Jegal”. He seems like a fun-loving spirit as he shares some of the most adorable pictures as well as behind-the-scenes updates from his dramas. You can follow him on Instagram here. He is signed to Dahong Entertainment.
Like actor Won TaeMin, DoWoo is also earned both support and guest roles in many dramas like “Dear.M”, “Cafe Minamdang”, “Moorim School“, and “Our Gap Soon“. He is signed to the famous agency, Vast Entertainment. Jugding by the contents he shares on Instagram, he is very free-spirited and playful. He enjoys bike riding, visits to the park, painting, and going on puppy dates. You can follow him on Instagram here.
3. “Our Dating Sim”
This drama would not be the first time these two rookie actors have acted together as they have both played supporting roles in the web drama “User Not Found” released in 2021.
Lee JongHyuk is a rookie actor who made his debut with the web drama “No Bother Me” released in 2021. He is signed to Walk House Company and asides from his debut drama and “User Not Found“, he has also starred in “Heart Way“. He has a growing following on Instagram and he seems to enjoy sharing contents that showcases his handsome good looks, fun past times, and hobbies. You can follow him on Instagram here.
Lee SeungGyu is also a rookie actor who made his debut with the drama “User Not Found” in 2021. He has starred in the movie “Dream Maker” released in 2022. Judging by his Instagram he is a pet lover, an avid gym goer, and he also shares the cutest boyfriend material pictures as well. You can follow him on Instagram here.
Which of these dramas do you already have on your watchlist? Let us know in the comments section.