The first Singaporean-made boys' love (BL) drama has dropped this week.
BL dramas, as its name suggests, depict romantic relationships between men. It is a genre that has grown popular in Thailand, Taiwan, and more recently, South Korea.
Titled "Getaway," the local series consists of five episodes, each about 10 minutes long.
Here's the synopsis:
"After his coming out to his conservative father goes horribly wrong, Sam jets off to Bangkok in search of his exiled gay uncle for guidance, who was similarly disowned for being gay many years ago.
During his search for his uncle, Sam meets Top, a hopeless Thai romantic who has been unlucky in love.
Together, they search for Sam’s uncle, but they end up finding something much more."
Did not want a conventional BL drama
"Getaway" is created by Sean Foo, the founder of media publication Dear Straight People.
Besides Foo as the main character, the local cast features Singaporean influencer Hirzi Zulkiflie and Steven David Lim from "Growing Up", while Thai actors include Paween “Snooker” Nalieng and Sirinutt Cholvibool.
Filming took place in Bangkok.
Foo told South China Morning Post (SCMP), "The script took about two months, the fundraising about a month and the filming took just a few days, which surprised many people."
From the outset, the creator was clear on the fact that he did not want a "conventional" BL drama, which has increasingly come under criticism for its perpetuation of gay stereotypes.
Foo explained on his platform:
"BL dramas typically contain homophobic undertones, and gay men are often portrayed as predators. Scenes of the gay protagonist taking advantage of his drunk or unconscious love interest have become commonplace within the genre."
According to Foo, BL dramas are also typically made by straight women for a heterosexual female audience, and do little to represent the "gay experience."
But Foo acknowledges the importance of the genre when it comes to LGBTQ+ media representation, and hopes that his series will "raise visibility, understanding and acceptance" of Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community.
The first episode of "Getaway" is now available on Dear Straight People's YouTube channel.
Top image via Dear Straight People