articleK-Drama

The true “pillars” of Boy Love K-drama may be male Kpop idols 

Instead of seeking for experienced actors, producers of Boy Love K-dramas have their eyes set on male Kpop idols.

Alongside tradition romances between K-drama male and female leads, the genre of Boy Love, which features a male gay couple, is gaining popularity in Korea. As a result, the number of Boy Love K-dramas and adaptations are seeing huge rises in numbers.

However, in a nation as conservation as Korea, experienced actors tend to avoid these kinds of roles, leading to directors setting their eyes on male Kpop idols when it comes to Boy Love dramas.

In fact, according to an industry insider, many Kpop idols are showered in offers to star in Boy Love series. Scripts for these projects often come from adaptations of webtoon, and they are mostly aired on web platforms instead of traditional broadcasting channels. 

Initially, this genre was not highly-regarded in Korea, so many management agencies turned these offers down. However, everything has changed after one particular Boy Love drama gained international publicity.

The K-drama in question is “Semantic Error”, which is adapted from a webtoon of the same name. Well-produced with convincing acting and a proper written script, “Semantic Error” began to draw attention from fans from all around the world, and even started to be featured by mainstream media. As a result, its main cast, consisting of actor Park Seo Ham and Kpop idol Park Jae Chan, who is from the boy group DKZ, became stars. 

After the drama, Park Seo Ham decided to enlist in the army. Meanwhile, Park Jae Chan often receives invitations to join entertainment shows. At the same time, he also received high treatment on par with B-class stars.

The success of Semantic Error caught the attention of many management companies. Therefore, stereotypes about the boylove genre are also gradually broken.

Before that, boylove films were rarely produced in Korea. Life is Beautiful is the first TV series to feature a gay couple. However, the drama once caused a debate about whether it should be broadcast or not.

After more than a decade, the public has had a positive view of boylove dramas. In 2021, SBS was criticized for removing Freddie Mercury’s same-sex kissing scene in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Many Korean viewers also became fans of this genre. Therefore, some producers have directed towards making boylove dramas and TV shows about the LGBT community.

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