Back when the Boys Love genre exploded in popularity, South Korea didn’t start producing too many Korean BL dramas at first. Unlike other countries in the nearby regions, Korean BL series have only caught interest and gained traction in recent years. You’ll notice a flurry of new dramas and series coming out around 2020 and 2021.
Since then, Korean BL dramas have quickly gained popularity among fans, thanks to their high production values and interesting storylines. Although the romances tend to be a little more culturally conservative, they are quite sweet and wholesome. The dramas also tend to be short in length, making them easy to finish in one go.
You’ll enjoy Korean BL dramas if you like:
- Good production values
- Emotionally charged storylines
- Sweet and wholesome romances
Check out the list of Korean BL dramas and series from South Korea made over the years! Read the reviews of each series for in-depth information about the plot, cast, episode guides, and scene analysis.
List of BL Dramas in South Korea
Korean BL Dramas in 2022
Blue of Winter is a Korean BL series about a high school love triangle. The main character is in the judo club, where he meets a new student with a secret crush on him. Soon afterwards, the protagonist receives an unexpected love confession from a friend. As these teenagers navigate their feelings, they struggle with confusion, insecurity, and heartbreak.
Made by an indie studio, Blue of Winter has many noticeable limitations in its low-budget production. The incoherent narrative struggles to introduce characters properly or develop the relationships organically. Overall, the series is confusing, frustrating, and unsatisfying to watch.
Blueming is a Korean BL series about two film school students with a rocky relationship. The protagonist has a terrible first impression of his popular classmate, who seems to belittle everything he does. He becomes wary of his new rival as tensions rise uncomfortably. During a heated confrontation, the two characters discover their perceptions of each other are very different. There might have been a misunderstanding from the start.
Hindered by clunky storytelling, Blueming feels awkward in several parts where the plot doesn’t always flow smoothly. The series wins back points by doing some moments exceptionally well, including the artistry, acting, and romantic passion. Despite showing occasional brilliance, this uneven BL drama has pacing issues and falls short of greatness.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter is a Korean BL series about two childhood friends throughout their time in high school and university. The main character is an orphan living with a single mother and her son. Although the two teenagers grew up together, they drifted apart over the years. Now, they have a chance to reconnect again, navigating their complicated feelings for each other.
The cute and affectionate moments in Cherry Blossoms After Winter might appeal to BL fans. However, I can’t stop cringing during every episode due to the juvenile writing and contrived pandering. This mushy BL drama crosses my inherent threshold for second-hand embarrassment.
Color Rush 2 is the sequel of the Korean BL series Color Rush. The second season continues the story of a colourblind protagonist, seeking the whereabouts of his missing loved ones. He is joined by a new companion, as they work together to uncover the conspiracy behind a mysterious organization.
The Color Rush sequel comes with many changes, including a charismatic love interest and his excellent rapport with the protagonist. Unfortunately, the overambitious storylines don’t always translate well, limited by noticeable budget constraints and rough writing. I still like this BL drama despite its flaws, and the innovative plot continues to fascinate me.
First Love Again is a Korean fantasy BL series about a reincarnated man searching for his long-lost love. The protagonist is a famous author who carries the memories from his two previous lives. He fell in love with the same woman both times, but their romance always met a tragic end. The main character is determined to reunite with her again in the present timeline. Yet, he is shocked to discover his former lover has reincarnated as a man.
The fascinating premise behind First Love Again hooks me from the start. I love the ambitious and innovative concept of this transhistorical romance. Regrettably, the BL romance is clunky and doesn’t develop at a comfortable pace. What could have been an epic love story falls flat and feels ingenuine.
Kissable Lips is a Korean BL drama about vampires. The main character is a dying vampire who suffers from deteriorating health. According to urban legend, his only way to stay alive is by drinking the rare blood of a human lover. Against the odds, he meets somebody with this blood type, forming a whirlwind romance that takes them on a turbulent journey.
Although the production values are solid, Kissable Lips suffers from a convoluted story and a shallowly depicted romance. The characters behave as if they experienced an epic relationship journey when we see nothing of the sort. As the plot deteriorates rapidly, the last few episodes are dull, nonsensical, and almost unwatchable.
Oh! Boarding House is a quirky Korean BL comedy series. The goofy protagonist is a landlord who lives with the other eccentric characters in a boarding house. When a handsome tenant moves into the residence, the landlord becomes smitten with the new arrival. The two men begin as awkward acquaintances, but they soon develop a solid connection.
I like the goofiness in Oh! Boarding House. This lighthearted comedy can be silly, upbeat, and endearing at times. However, the aimless plots and pointless scenes are the signs of an unpolished script. The romance is also lacklustre and I don’t feel engaged by this BL couple.
Semantic Error is a Korean BL series about two feuding university students. A serious programmer and a rebellious artist clash over a school project. Their animosity keeps escalating to new extremes, defined by petty pranks and feisty arguments. When their vendetta starts to dissolve, the characters discover their feelings for each other are a lot more complicated.
Many BL fans will adore Semantic Error, a sharp and stylish drama that knows how to tell an engaging story. The volatile relationship dynamic is full of adrenaline, propelled by sassy protagonists, snappy exchanges and sizzling chemistry. This exciting romance builds momentum from episode to episode, leading to a phenomenal climax that takes my breath away.
Korean BL Dramas in 2021
Behind Cut is a Korean BL series that focuses on an aspiring fashion designer. As the protagonist tries to break into the competitive industry, he searches for the perfect model to represent his clothes. Contrary to professional standards, he recruits an inexperienced newcomer. The two characters form a romantic connection as they pursue their careers together.
The problem with Behind Cut is its mediocrity across the board. The flat storytelling, dull character development, and rushed romantic content are unremarkable. While the overall product is still watchable, this milquetoast BL drama fails to excite me and feels average at best.
Light On Me is a Korean BL drama that takes place in an all-boys high school. The main character is a lonely outcast until he joins the school’s student council. Although he is welcomed by a new group of friends, there’s one particular student who clashes with him and makes his life more volatile. As they get to know each other better, the line between their feud and friendship becomes blurred.
Recommended for BL fans, Light On Me is an incredibly bubbly series packed with lots of vibrant charisma. This innocent high school romance is supported by its charming story, the captivating characters, and a perpetually cheerful energy. You’ll have fun throughout the sixteen half-hour episodes, which are capped off with a sweet and satisfying conclusion.
Historical BL dramas are very rare, and the unique setting in Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding is a major selling point for this innovative Korean series. The story begins on the day of an arranged marriage, except the runaway bride got cold feet on her wedding day. In an unconventional arrangement, the bride’s brother will impersonate her and pretend to be loved-up newlyweds in front of the groom’s family.
I wanted to like Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding so badly. The historic setting is exciting, the premise is completely unique, and the actors are all familiar faces that I recognize from other Korean BL dramas. Unfortunately, the romance is just too lacklustre, while the story failed to capitalize on its immense potential. This series is a promising start for the genre, but there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Peach of Time is a Korean BL drama with a mix of family melodrama and sweet romance. The main character is from Thailand and visits South Korea to meet up with his friend. However, what was supposed to be a fun casual vacation gets derailed by an unpleasant and unexpected discovery. The protagonist becomes entangled in a series of extraordinary events with a supernatural twist.
I like the ambition shown by Peach of Time, an adventurous series that tells a complex story beyond the confines of BL. Although it gets points for trying, the plot feels too contrived and the emotions don’t connect as well as they should. This drama shines in a few moments and falls flat at other times, resulting in just an okay viewing experience for me.
Tinted With You is a historical BL series from South Korea. The protagonist is a high school student who gets magically transported to the feudal period. Confused by his surroundings, he encounters a banished prince and his devoted bodyguard. The three characters live together, getting entangled in a love triangle.
While Tinted With You shows ambition and creativity with its premise, the story is told incoherently. It doesn’t have enough time to flesh out the plot, develop the characters, or expand on the romance. This historical drama underwhelms me with its awkward narrative, even if the BL content is sometimes compelling.
To My Star is a Korean BL drama about a famous celebrity who goes into hiding after he’s rocked by a public scandal. In his hideout, he gets acquainted with his new roommate, an ordinary man who leads a modest, unassuming life. As they spend time together, a romance blossoms between these two roommates from very different walks of life.
Carried by an energetic lead actor, To My Star puts a fun, vibrant spin to a classic and familiar love story. The plot plays out exactly as you’d expect, but it remains enjoyable nonetheless. Overall, this BL series feels solid and well-rounded in every aspect.
You Make Me Dance is a Korean BL drama about a student dancer. He forms an unlikely romance with his loan shark. Yes, you read that right. He falls in love with the guy who chases him over his debt payments. Even for the BL genre, this pairing seems like such an odd combination between two characters from different walks of life.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like You Make Me Dance very much. The plot was too farfetched, the characters were too shallow, and the romance was too random. It’s impossible to feel immersed in this absurd and poorly written story.
Korean BL Dramas in 2020
Mr. Heart is a Korean BL drama about a university athlete who competes in marathons. This upbeat love story begins when he’s introduced to a cute guy who motivates him to do better, and you can pretty much guess what happens next.
Actually, this series does take a sudden dramatic turn in its second half, but it remains fairly lighthearted for the most part. Mr. Heart doesn’t exactly break new ground, but it’s a pleasant BL series with enough delightful moments to satisfy your appetite.
Sweet Munchies is a Korean drama featuring a restaurant chef, who pretends to be gay in order to land a lucrative TV hosting gig. As the show becomes popular, he struggles to cope with his lie when romantic feelings grow towards his female producer. Meanwhile, he is unaware that his male friend has a crush on him, creating a love triangle made complicated by the public spotlight.
The best way to enjoy Sweet Munchies is to keep your expectations low, especially in terms of anticipating any meaningful LGBT representation. Although this series displays rare moments of brilliance, the quality is inconsistent as the plot gets more and more infuriating near the end.
Where Your Eyes Linger is a Korean BL drama about a wealthy student and his devoted live-in bodyguard. Their close friendship intensifies as the two of them navigate through coy, confusing, and complicated feelings for each other.
Despite its straightforward premise, Where Your Eyes Linger tells a compelling adolescent love story that is packed with heightened emotions. Originally released as an eight-episode BL drama, it was later compiled into a movie version with minor changes in the music soundtrack.
WISH YOU: Your Melody From My Heart is a Korean BL drama about an aspiring musician at the start of a promising career, and the obstacles that he faces along the way. Wish You was initially released as an eight-episode BL series, but was also released in a movie version, which came out later. Apparently, the movie has some extra scenes, but it’s pretty much the same content as the series, just combined into one big package.
Wish You is packaged very well with beautiful cinematography and lovely music, but the romance here is severely lacking in depth. You’ll get all style and no substance in this very basic love story.
Korean BL Dramas Pre-2020
Long Time No See is a Korean BL drama about an assassin whose life changes course after he falls in love. The drama was originally released as a short five-episode series, but there’s also a movie version available with the same content.
Although Long Time No See is slightly rough around the edges, it tells a super ambitious story backed by solid acting performances. There are some creative ideas and pleasant surprises found in this little gem of a series.