A little while ago I posted my reviews of the first two Thai shows I’ve ever watched. I’ve watched a few more queer shows since then (thanks, lockdown) and while I might write full reviews for a couple of them later on, here I will try to be a little more brief and give you a chance to find a show that might be for you.
More Than or Equal to 75 Celsius is a very short sapphic Korean drama that takes place in a tea shop. It’s quiet and understated but it has really nice visuals and if you like tea and like to see two women falling in love you definitely need to watch it.
This is actually something I’ve watched a couple of months ago but I’ve never reviewed it, the details are fuzzy but it left a really warm and gentle feeling in my memory and it’s a great way to spend maybe one hour of your time.
3 Will Be Free is my new favorite show ever, and I will have a full review of it once I rewatch it, but I can’t not start this list without talking about it. Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: canon MFM poyamory!!!! Yes, I promise you.
It’s a crime show in which the three protagonists, Neo, Shin and Miw, are running from Shin’s father, a mob boss, after accidentally killing one of his men. Their relationship develops over time and ends in a beautiful and healthy throuple. There is also a variety of side characters that you can’t help rooting for (even when this clashes with the fact that you’re also rooting for the main trio), and one of the main side characters is a badass trans woman (portrayed by a trans actress!) who frankly deserves the world.
There’s a lot of content warnings including violence, gun violence, death, murder, attempted sexual assault in the past and probably a few more that I’m forgetting and will try to list more thoroughly in my review, but I can guarantee you two important things: the trans character doesn’t die, and no explicitly queer characters die. You’re welcome.
Dark Blue Kiss is the sequel to Kiss Me Again, which technically I haven’t fully watched (I accidentally started watching a compilation of just the main couple’s scenes and I was too lazy to change it).
It follows two main romantic relationships: PeteKao got together in Kiss Me Again and are navigating their relationship and academic life, but jealousy is the main theme for them especially towards the end of the series, and I was seriously a little fed up with that. They still got a lot of cute moments together and they’re happy together for most of the season, and they stay together at the end, so that’s good, but I was never too invested in their relationship in the first place.
The other queer relationship it follows is the one between Sun and Mork and it’s a really cute enemies-to-colleagues-to-lovers and it makes it worth to watch the series just for them even if you’re not the biggest PeteKao fan.
While I do think some things were over the top (mainly the jealousy and how unlikely I find it that a 17 year old would work so hard to try and break up a couple) and I wouldn’t call this a favorite, it’s still an entertaining show and I think it dealt with some things that other shows I’ve watched didn’t really talk about, mainly coming out and acknowledging how despite how seemingly accepting Thai society seems to be there still is no equal rights (marriage etc) for queer people.
There was also a queer girl (a very minor character who’s only there in the second half of the show) and her friendship with one of the male queer characters spoke so much to me, especially when she talked about the early stages of their relationships. This was just one scene, but it meant a lot to me and it showed me that the creators understand how messy queer relationships and queer experiences can be.
HIStory3: Trapped is my second favorite show after 3wbf and I also plan to write a full review once I rewatch it (something I kinda wanted to do right after finishing it because it’s that good).
It takes place in Taipei and it follows Meng Shaofei, a cop who has been investigating a shooting that happened four years prior, and Tang Yi, who inherited the leadership of the Hsin Tien group, a criminal organization, but is currently trying to purify it to get out of the crime world. The two get tangled together, as one does, and the result is one of the most tender romances I’ve ever seen.
I love how it’s mostly character and relationship driven (there’s also a second queer romance that I almost like even more than the first one) but it also has genuinely intriguing plot points and a mystery that I badly wanted to see solved. The angst also mostly comes from the plot and not from the (queer) relationships, which I really, really appreciate.
I don’t want to repeat myself too often but really, I haven’t seen a more tender relationship than the one between Meng Shaofei and Tang Yi, which one wouldn’t expect given their respective roles, but it’s just so healing to see. I want to keep some thoughts for the full review I’m going to write but please trust me: watch this, it’s so worth it!
My Dear Friend is another short sapphic Korean drama that only takes half an hour or so of your time.
I recommend it last because I wrote this list in the order I watched these shows, but also because it’s a little different in tone compared to the other ones. I think some things were lost in translation, both literally and in the sense that you can’t fully translate a culture’s view on messy things like feelings and sexuality in a way that will satisfy your own view if you come from somewhere else, or at least that was what I felt while watching it.
But I think that while it’s very bittersweet it really captured some of the complexities of feelings and choices that can exist particularly in queer and more specifically sapphic relationships.