Roommate is a Thai BL series about two university students who must share a room. The main character is used to living alone, but his mom and her best friend arranged for their sons to cohabitate together. These unexpected roommates must adjust their lifestyles and cope with each other's drastically different personalities.
Against a low-budget production, Roommate has a surprisingly solid start and portrays an authentic connection between the leads. The characters share a fun, vibrant dynamic as their BL relationship progresses comfortably in the early episodes. Unfortunately, the series loses its momentum and takes a dreadful turn towards the end. The mishandled narrative in the second half is very disappointing.
Roommate BL Summary
Around 2 hours
Happy and upbeat
Around 15 to 25 minutes
James is a university student who lives by himself in a small room. One day, his mom calls and wants him to take care of Sky, her best friend's son. Sky is a university freshman who goes to the same school and studies the same subject as James. Both their moms believe they would be a great fit living together as roommates.
Neither James nor Sky are enthusiastic about sharing a room together. James is a tough, independent guy with a bossy personality, so he likes barking orders at his roommate. Meanwhile, Sky is young, meek, and inexperienced, so he often requires assistance from his older companion. Their dynamic is slightly unfriendly at first. However, the two roommates get used to each other's quirks and different personalities over time.
Unbeknownst to James, Sky is gay. However, he doesn't tell his roommate about his sexual orientation. Sky is out to his best friend Maprang, often confiding in her about his relationship with James. Maprang and James' best friend Smile are both yaoi fangirls. They try bringing these two guys romantically together.
Roommate BL Cast
Game Chusak Thu-Naa (ชูศักดิ์ ตุนา)
James is a university student who lives by himself. However, his mom asks him to take care of her best friend's son, who started university this year. James has a bossy personality and tough demeanour, so he might speak harshly to Sky. Beneath his hard exterior, James has a soft heart and takes great care of his roommate.
Golf Witchayapong Krungsrimuang (กอล์ฟ วิชญพงศ์ กรุงศรีเมือง)
Sky is a university freshman who moves in to live with James. Their mothers are best friends and want their sons to cohabitate. Sky is meek and reserved, so he sometimes clashes with James and his domineering personality. However, Sky appreciates his roommate's assistance with school and everyday tasks.
Mook Thanika Inchan (มุก จานิกา อินทร์จันทร์)
Aomponds Naruemol Torlum (นฤมล ทอลุ่ม)
Bell Kotchaphan Puagpipat (กชพรรณ เผือกพิพัฒน์)
- Sky's actor (Golf) appears in the 2022 Thai BL drama The Love of Winter. His character grows a mullet in that series!
Roommate BL Review
Drama Review Score: 6.4
Roommate has a promising start with a simple set-up. The early episodes focus on the characters living together and getting to know each other. Their personalities are showcased through various quirky scenarios, highlighting a fun dynamic between the leads. The BL relationship develops at a comfortable pace, going from strangers to friends to the tease of something more. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Roommate initially, exceeding my expectations.
After Roommate solidifies a positive first impression, the quality declines sharply at the end of Episode 3. Something happened behind the scenes, forcing the production team to butcher the narrative and rush through the remaining story. The creators must've run out of budget and couldn't continue filming what they originally planned. As a result, we press the fast-forward button on the relationship, cramming the best BL scenes into a quick montage. The rushed romance destroys all the previous momentum, which the final two episodes (and the follow-up sequel) couldn't recover.
It's a shame because Roommate established a solid foundation for the romance up until now. The main characters feel authentic, like two ordinary guys who speak naturally and behave normally. James and Sky remind me of real people rather than fictional characters, almost like they're portraying themselves instead of acting. Plus, they share an easygoing rapport with playful banter, amusing interactions, and sexual tension brewing between the pair. They are a compatible couple, compensating for the uneven writing with their comfortable chemistry.
Unfortunately, Roommate scrapped their original plans for the pairing and took out essential chunks of relationship development. You'll feel puzzled when the leads suddenly become chummy and affectionate after a thirty-second montage. All the juiciest materials in their BL journey are condensed into that random segment. It doesn't help the last two episodes are written dreadfully and involve a non-consensual drunken encounter. The finale backtracks massively, but it's still a questionable and unnecessary moment that leaves a bad taste.
Roommate is rough around the edges in various areas. The series is created on a shoestring budget, evident through its unpolished appearance and unartistic production values. Many scenes are filmed in a small plain room, which doesn't look like the most enticing setting for a romance. The writing can also be a little awkward, and some exchanges (usually anything to do with the supporting cast) make me cringe. The three female comic relief characters give lively and larger-than-life performances, but I'd dial down their frantic energy by a notch.
It's tough to recommend Roommate due to the many production flaws and an unfulfilling conclusion. However, I don't think it's a disastrous attempt at BL. There are some bright spots, such as the charming characters, their genuine rapport, and plenty of delightful interactions in the beginning. If the creators had more resources, maybe Roommate could've unleashed its full potential and amazed us with a surprisingly good love story. Sadly, I must judge this series in its actual state, which lacks a cohesive romance and delivers a subpar narrative.
Roommate has a basic setup about two roommates living together. It isn't the most creative idea, but the story works and the characters are likable.
The romance begins well and a fun connection forms between the leads. However, the relationship development is rushed with missing gaps.
The actors give natural performances and make their characters feel authentic. Both leads also share an easygoing rapport that's comfortable to watch.
The quality goes downhill in Roommate's final two episodes. While there's a happy ending, it doesn't feel that fulfilling.
Roommate is a noticeably low-budget production, reflected in its unpolished appearance. The series mainly takes place in a small confined room, which isn't exciting.
Roommate's first three episodes offer solid BL content until the rest of the series falls off a cliff. Ultimately, this love story is disappointing despite some bright spots.
Roommate BL Episodes
Roommate has a total of 5 episodes. Each episode is around 15 to 20 minutes long. The last episode is around 21 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 2 hours. Roommate started airing on July 29, 2020 and ended on August 19, 2020. It has a follow-up sequel called Soulmate.
Soulmate 2020 series sequel Drama review
Roommate has a sequel called Soulmate, a short second season released a few months later. I appreciate this clever title, which feels more creative than just calling it Roommate 2. The second season of Roommate continues James and Sky's love story after they became boyfriends. The series begins with the couple planning a weekend staycation, but an unexpected guest disrupts their romantic getaway.
If you like James and Sky as a couple, it won't hurt to check out the sequel to see more of their interactions. They flirt a bit and share some affectionate displays. The sequel has a few minor touches of continuity from the first season, like the matching clothes and bracelets. Soulmate also has stepped up their production game and looks a lot more polished. Unfortunately, this series still struggles with its storytelling, like the first season.
By the way, there's a romantic montage in the sequel too! For some reason, this franchise loves condensing all their BL relationship moments into quick montage segments. 😆