Blueming is a Korean BL drama that dropped on March 31, 2022. Just like the luck of any BL Korean drama fans would have it, this show also is a short web series with a run time of 12-15 minutes per episode. The final episode was longer with a runtime of approximately 19 minutes but the show is a quick watch with 11 short episodes that run up to 2.5 hours in total.
What does the Blueming mean?
The pronunciation of the word Blueming is similar to that of the English word ‘blooming’ which means something that is just opening up for the world to see. Similar to this definition, the main leads of the show are young boys who are still battling their inner turmoils and opening up to the world and to what their futures hold for them. The other reference in the word Blueming also goes to the color blue which is usually stereotyped with boys, which adds more meaning to the original context of the show, ‘Blueming Colored By You’ which translates to how the two male leads bloom in the color blue all thanks to each other.
The short BL drama starts with a 20 something Cha Siwon (played by Kang Eunbin) who is a charming young man that has just started his degree in Film Studies at Bareum University after graduating from high school with excellent grades. He is very much the all-rounder at school, the one student your parents compare you to be like, that one good-looking boy all the girls have the hots for. And rightfully so, because Siwon is someone who really puts a lot of effort into looking the way he does.
A short flashback shows us how Siwon has had a hard time growing up. With his father cheating on his mother and eventually leaving a young 10-year-old Siwon, his 9-year-old sister, Siyeong, and his mother, Sunhwa to fend for themselves. Young Siwon is really overweight and is terribly bullied by his cousins and peers due to his looks. These bullies, cryptic comments about his weight from his mother as well as the trauma of his father abandoning him, drive Siwon to lose weight and take care of his appearance which eventually makes him popular leading him to believe that his looks are all he has got which is until Dawoon enters his life.
Dawoon is Siwon’s classmate who is much more charming than Siwon himself, has better grades than Siwon, and stands out more than Siwon. This leads Siwon to suddenly suffer from an inferiority complex wherein Siwon being troubled by Dawoon’s presence, starts trying to prove he is better among the two. We can see that Dawoon is clearly falling for Siwon, all thanks to his antics, and just as fate would have it, the two end up being paired with one another for college projects which means they have to hang out with each other a lot. With time, the two start becoming friends, and the originally oblivious Siwon finally understands Dawoon’s feelings for him.
While Siwon is forthcoming to Dawoon about his struggles, Dawoon is still closed-off and secretive which bothers Siwon a lot, and starts to fester their otherwise smooth sailing relationship. As the drama comes to its end, a secret that Dawoon had kept from Siwon ends up breaking his trust. Now, the only way for Dawoon to win Siwon back is by sharing his past and opening up to Siwon. Will Dawoon finally open up? Watch Blueming to find out.
Screenplay & Cinematography
Just like it goes for many web series, the show Blueming is a little rough around the edges when it comes to its screenplay but that is not a bad thing at all. I personally felt like the show had much more left to be told as all of its characters had personal arcs that were not completely resolved due to the focus being on Siwon and Dawoon’s respective arcs, many stories were left incomplete. Where the screenplay lacked, the Cinematography compensated for Blueming. With students pursuing film studies, we know that the makers of this show know their camera work and it showed especially well in the flashback scenes with Siwon as a young boy as well as in Siwon’s movie project about his passion for cycling.
What is it about Korean celebrities looking like they are 17 years old when they are far beyond 30? I guess we will never know. It always bewilders me to find out the real age of Korean actors and compare it with their on-screen characters. In Blueming we have a 21-year-old Hyeong Dawoon who is played by 31 year old Jo Hyukjun who is rather pleasing to the eye and his visuals make it seem like he was actor Kim Woo-bin and Seventeen’s DK’s love child. Siwon on the other hand is played by a 23-year-old Kang Eunbin who has done a good job considering this show is his acting debut. Being a small BL project, Blueming does not have big names paired with its cast but all actors stand out when it comes to playing the roles that they did.
OST, Dialogues, Direction
The show, due to it’s limited runtime has four OSTs paired with it. Songs like ‘Time Slip’ ‘Angel’ and ‘L.O.V.E’ are endearing as they radiate soft cheerful tunes that can be played in the background as one engages in work. The song ‘Hollow’ on the other hand is very sensual as it takes fans back to the first kiss Siwon and Dawoon shared which is also one that stands out compared to other Korean BLs. Blueming is directed by Hwang Daseul who is known for directing Where Your Eyes Linger which is one of the most well-known Korean BLs. When compared to that, Blueming is a more colorful and much more refreshing show which I think shows her growth as a director. The dialogues in the show are quite basic but the eye-catching male leads paired with the strong story make up for all things missed.
Given that the BL genre is pretty new for an orthodox country like South Korea, Blueming is a refreshing new show that makes up for all the time lost in exploring the LGBTQIA+ genre in TV shows and all credit for this goes to Hwang Daseul. With a sensual adult kiss in the show as well as a steamy makeout session before the main leads sleep together for the first time, it is obvious that BLs are getting better and Blueming is only the start. I think that many fans will agree with me when I say that Episode 11 did not feel like the end and viewers yearned for more for more from the show. Despite Siwon telling us that he and Dawoon lived happily ever after, in the end, we still want to know what happened with all the side characters.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.