Certain romance tropes are as old as time. Contract marriages, rich CEO guy meets poor, down-to-earth girl, enemies to lovers—you get the gist. Yet it’s what the entertainment industry continues to feed us with, as if to fuel a forever love that will never be fully satiated. Just when we think we’ve had enough, there comes yet another series which employs all the tried-and-tested rules of a good romance plot, and we get pulled in all the same. It only stands to reason then, that a good number of some of the most lauded romance dramas have earned themselves endless adaptations in various languages.
Out of the lot, the one that springs to mind first is undoubtedly the legacy-leaving saga of Boys Over Flowers. Whilst the original story was based on the Japanese manga with the same name, it was the Taiwanese adaptation, Meteor Garden that truly shot it to fame. Henceforth, there were Japanese remakes, a highly-lauded K-drama adaptation, and most recently? The booming F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers, which saw its entire cast gain international virality—and bring Thai entertainment to the global stage. Now, Thai dramas have been enjoying its moment in the spotlight, and its reception is undeniable with more and more Thai actors increasingly associated with luxury houses and spotted in the crowds at fashion week.
The cast of F4 Thailand is proof enough; its biggest stars being Bright Vachirawit, Win Metawin and Tontawan Tantivejakul. Their stardom is near unrivalled in the region; and all three have secured ambassadorships with brands such as Burberry, Prada and Dior. Whilst F4 Thailand was a remake of unspeakable success, there’s no denying the insatiable rise in popular romance dramas reigning from Thailand—many of which are also ‘BL’ dramas, short for boys’ love. Vachirawit and Metawin starred in one as its leading couple, titled 2gether. Whilst famous actor PP Krit Amnuaydechkorn has received high praise for his performance as Oh-aew in I Told Sunset About You.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re curious about the Thai drama scene and want to get yourself acquainted, here’s some easy drama picks—with all the beloved tropes any romance girlie can ask for—to try streaming now. Or binge-watching, if that’s more your speed.
1 / 5
2gether: The Series (2020)
Alas, the pretend relationship never gets old. Tine, who is looking to discourage a male admirer from wooing him, asks mysterious musician Sarawat to play his fake boyfriend. With Win Metawin and Bright Vachirawit as our leading couple, it’s simply a romance plot waiting to happen.
Watch 2gether: The Series on Viki.
2 / 5
Think modern day Romeo and Juliet. Also known as Game Prattana, Milin and Anawin are the daughter and son of two families—who have long been rivals in the business realm. Helmed by Alek Teeradetch and Nychaa Nuttanicha, the drama sees some gripping performances by the leading couple, who eventually fall in love amidst their ongoing feud.
Watch Rivalry at Dramacool.
3 / 5
I Told Sunset About You (2020)
A trope that tugs at the heart? Friends to rivals to lovers. Childhood best friends Teh and Oh-aew, played by popular actors Billkin and PP Krit, meet again in their final year at a Chinese-language tutorial school, after falling out with each other previously. A story filled with teenage angst and unspoken words, this beautiful tale is one that reflects the highly-charged mood of a boy’s formative years. The first season was so well-received, it landed itself a second season titled I Promised You the Moon, which sees them take their relationship to their university years.
Watch I Told Sunset About You on Netflix.
4 / 5
F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers (2021)
If there’s a romance plot that’s been adapted to death, it would probably be that of Boys Over Flowers. Thailand’s iteration presented a version where the bullying was grittier, as was the seething tension between its leads, Gorya and Thyme, when they first meet. And when you’ve got a good-looking cast to play the iconic F4—think Bright Vachirawit, Win Metawin, Dew Jirawit, Nani Kirunkit—what more could you ask for?
Watch F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers on Viu.
5 / 5
Some serious misconceptions, leading to some serious miscommunication. If that’s not what we need in a drama, we don’t know what is. Praomook (Nalinthip Sakulongumpai) agrees to an arranged marriage with Chalunthorn (Nawasch Phupantachsee)—her first love when she was younger—even though she’s aware he doesn’t have a good opinion of her, due to her job at a nightclub. And so the forced marriage plot begins.
Watch Praomook on WeTV.