Summerdaze – Singapore’s first BL series |


If you’re a fan of BL, or Boy’s Love (see here), then chances are you know that they’re only being (mass) produced by a small handful of countries, like Thailand and South Korea. If you’re like most BL fans, watching these often require subtitles, and understanding your favourite BL actors on social media is almost impossible without translators.

All this is set to change, because Singapore is set to release its very own BL series, and it’ll be in English. Since a huge chunk of the BL audience come from outside Asia – they come from as far away as LATAM, North America, and Europe – this is a welcome development.

Singapore production house Telescope Studios – the studio that brought you Summerdaze the short film which garnered over 3 million online views – announced in September that they will produce an 8-episode BL series (15 minutes each) featuring characters from their highly popular 4-minute short film.

What is Summerdaze?

The upcoming series, also called Summerdaze, centres around the entertainment industry. Here is the synopsis of the drama:

Popular idol and young heartthrob, Evan, is forced to star in a queer film to redeem himself after posting insensitive material on his social media. He meets Kai, an aspiring actor who has just gotten his first big break starring as Evan’s on-screen love interest. Sparks fly both on-screen and off, as we get a glimpse of what happens when the camera stops rolling…

Both Alfred Sng and David Eung return as the main leads Kai and Evan, with a lineup that includes familiar names like Patricia Mok (as Kai’s manager) and Irene Ang (as Evan’s manager), as well as Tasha Low (former member of Singapore-based K-pop group Skarf), Aiman Haikal, John Louis, and Paul Lee.

Crowdfunding for Summerdaze

Producing such content is not just difficult in Singapore – because of the nature of its content – it’s also very expensive to do without the monetary support other bigger studios have access to. To raise funds for the drama series, Telescope started a crowdfunding campaign (see here).

Their campaign funding is broken in to many tiers, starting from $5 for a Thank You, to $30 for early access, $100 for end-screen credit, to much larger roles. For $5,000 you get to be an Associate Producer, and for $10,000 you can even dictate some of the direction of the series as an Executive Producer. Both roles already have 2 backers each!

While the team are short of their funding goal of $400,000 (currently at 16%) which is due to end in early December, they have announced that with the amount raised, they are able to produce 2 episodes.

Popularity of BL beyond Asia

What began as fan fiction involving male-male characters evolved into a fully-fledged genre in Japan called BL (Boy’s Love) or yaoi by the 90s. Fast forward to the 2000s, the BL genre has sneaked into live action drama. However, it wasn’t until around 2015 that the BL genre seriously gained traction, especially in Thailand where the bulk of them are produced.

By 2020, there were BL dramas produced in Taiwan, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, and even China. Thailand still holds the lead for the highest number of BL titles produced, where the genre is considered mainstream. Emerging young male actors would start out their careers in BL and even brands – from ecommerce sites to skincare brands – are signing BL actors on as brand ambassadors and hosts, tapping into the genre’s huge fanbase.

While the pandemic significantly slowed down the production of BL dramas – many titles were delayed or cancelled – there’s a resurgence of titles coming up in the latter part of 2021, both in Thailand and South Korea. We’re also seeing BL movies in cinemas, with 2Gether and My Ride paving the way in Thailand.

Related: Check out some of 2021’s most popular BL titles

Part of the popularity of BL lies in its audience: a significant number of fans come from outside Thailand, and even beyond Asia. More than half of comments and interactions on BL dramas on social media (on Instagram and Twitter) aren’t in Thai or Korean, but primarily in English, indicating the huge popularity of BL worldwide.

Summerdaze will be the first English-language BL drama series created in Southeast Asia that can cater to this international market. You can follow the cast and crew of Summerdaze via their Youtube and Instagram pages.