BL Drama “Word of Honor” is Surprisingly Daring
Since popular Chinese historical drama The Untamed <陳情令> opened the door to boys’ love (BL) content, more productions of same-sex couple romances are hoping to achieve the same or even greater success. The latest BL-novel-turned-drama Word of Honor <山河令>, starring actors Zhang Zhehan (張哲瀚) and Gong Jun (龚俊), is surprisingly daring and flirtatious.
Making a sudden premiere on February 22 without advance promotions and filmed with a modest budget, Word of Honor was not expected to perform well, but viewers are finding it highly enjoyable.
Adapted from the novel Faraway Wanderers <天涯客> written by Priest, Word of Honor tells a story following Zhou Zishu (Zhang Zhehan), the leader of the Tianchuang Sect who had quit serving Prince Jin after feeling sinned and exhausted. Although he wanted a peaceful life alone, his plans got turned over when he crossed paths with Wen Kexing (Gong Jun), the master of the Ghost Pavilion who is determined to seek revenge for his murdered parents. Despite their different temperaments as Zishu is cool and reserved while Kexing is flirty, they make a great pair with their unexpected chemistry.
With ambiguous yet romantic vibes between Zhang Zehan and Gong Jun’s characters, fans felt electrified by their sparks and praised their acting. Aside from their lingering gazes and touches, the scene that caught the most attention was when Kexing sucked the poison out of Zishu with his mouth. It had left everyone feeling hot, as it was totally unexpected since it was not included in the novel.
With its homoerotic undertones, viewers are surprised the drama passed censorship to air on Chinese streaming platform Youku.
This article was updated on March 2, 2021.
This article is written by Minna for JayneStars.com.
After “The Untamed’s” Success, More BL Novels to Be Adapted to Screen
there’s nothing flirtatious going on in the clip….
@m0m0 Well there’s a fair bit of touchy feely going on in comparison to what you usually see between two men in dramas. I think it is slightly notched up in comparison to the Untamed.
I love seeing bromances like in Joy of Life, A Step into the Past, Duke of Mt. Deer, K-drama The Boy Next Door, animation Prince of Egypt, heck Armed Reaction 5 (relationship between Moses and Benz Hui), etc. I don’t like dramas where the bromance is overtly s3xual…is this drama more on the lower end of s3xual or not?
i get what you mean. i think this BL love stories aren’t anything new. i believe it was first introduced in anime decades ago. i remember a girl who used to watch them. i never saw one so i can’t say but i think it’s quite weird to see two boys playing homosexual and strict girls are drooling to see them together. it’s not the homo part that is weird, it’s the twist of how this type of show is made for girl. i like seeing pretty boys, but in bromance fashion not romance….
@m0m0 yaaas girl you totally got what I meant. These BL or even girls’ love dramas intended for the female audience confuses the heck out of me lol. Not that I’m against them, but I’m just confused why our demographic is interested in seeing something they can’t really fantasize about?
@m0m0 then you won’t like History3 Trapped then. The two prettiest boys of them all were the lead characters in Trapped.
@coralie I doubt it will be anywhere near sexual due to the censorships lol. Although I think if you are meaning the deep brotherhood type relationships these bl dramas do not fit into that category as they are derived from storylines where they were involved in romantic relationships in the novels so they try to retain those undertones.
@megamiaow yes you’re totally right. I am thinking of brotherhood familial bonds and not romantic ones.
I actually did catch the first 3 episodes…so far it’s not too cringe, but the pursuer of the relationship (forget his name) is giving off more than just interested vibes, although still acceptable. Idk if I’m ever gonna get used to BL.
Modern Taiwanese BL dramas seem to have the most bed scenes, based on the trailers I’ve seen. The Chinese BL dramas are based on popular novels which do have explicit scenes, but the storyline and scenes are adapted to pass censorship while still retaining enough of the original novel’s content to appease fans.
Haven’t watched Thai BL dramas to comment, though they seem quite popular.
They would not risk getting the drama removed from screen by extremely strict censorship board…”Daring” will surprised me.
you overestimate government competence. remember FBB’s drama with the massive cleavages that got past censors, then when it finally aired, they were like “you can’t do that”
@terrycrews19 They actually stopped airing the drama for a long period while the production company edited the cleavages. I have three versions of the drama.
Hongkong- Colour veils Photoshop over the Cleavages
Taiwan- Original version
That is what annoys me, they can just take off a drama whilst airing if they feel the drama is too open minded.
@hohliu I remember that furore. I personally agree with the mainland version because historically the women wouldn’t have shown any cleavage. It was juat done for fan service rather than accuracy.
I think Mainland studios should stop making BL and focus on the period pieces that have become a staple in Chinese culture. The Taiwanese are fantastic for making BL projects without being smutty
As for the Thais, they will push the envelope for fame and fortune. Mew and Gulf are the leaders of smutty, cheap lovemaking scenes. It is cheap and nauseating. What is funny is History Trapped 3 produced a current and past real life couples and they provided the right amount of intimacy and skinship for the drama, and promotion of the drama. Meanwhile, Gulf and Mew have their real women waiting at home, and behave like horn dogs in a sickening manner I might add, just for fame and fortune, and to remain number 1 in the BL genre. Well Taiwan is number one for making BL dramas, and the History Series is untouchable, especially Trapped.
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