The Boyfriend Review 2024 Tv Show
Hollywood Netflix Tv Show Review

The Boyfriend Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

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The Boyfriend Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

Over the past year or so, British TV has undergone a sort of renaissance when it comes to same-sex dating on reality shows. The Ultimatum: Queer Love. I Kissed a Boy. I Kissed a Girl. The odd gay couple thrown into the mix on Married at First Sight. And now, it seems, Japan is following suit with The Boyfriend on Netflix, the country’s first same-sex reality show. It sees nine men gather in a luxury beach house outside Tokyo for a month in order to, hopefully, meet a new boyfriend. Or maybe just become friends! This is, as we’re very sweetly reminded from the off, “a story of love and friendship”.

It’s worth pointing out here that The Boyfriend feels relatively groundbreaking in comparison to its UK counterparts (which themselves felt weirdly delayed). Japan still hasn’t legalised same-sex unions – despite the fact 72% of the public support such a move. They have very few gay or queer celebrities (when J-pop idol Shinjiro Atae came out as gay last year, it marked a rare instance in which such an announcement didn’t mean a huge loss in public and monetary support). And, in Japan, it’s just not as common to publicly talk about sexuality and queerness more generally – but, as The Boyfriend indicates, the tide appears to be turning.

Back to the show: the first thing you’ll notice is that this is an incredibly stylish group of young men. They arrive in loose blue jeans and black fleece gilets. Minimal barcode tattoos and rectangular watches. Crisp white shirts and thin silver chains. The show itself is visually delectable, too: instructions appear on iPads in squiggly pastel shapes, patterned sofas are surrounded by candles, walls are painted in light pinks and greens, Smeg kettles are lined up in a row. Already, The Boyfriend resembles comfort TV at its finest. Reality shows are usually fluro-lit and agitating, with contestants fighting over unbranded sparkling drinks. This one is the opposite: it’s dreamlike, like ASMR.

The contestants are polite and almost tentative. They decide between themselves who might like to use the bath. They fillet fresh bonito together and share it outside. There’s no “who’s your type on paper?” upon meeting, or making out before they’ve even learned each other’s names. Instead, questions are coy and considered. “Why did you want to participate in the show?” asks one cast member. “I realised that I never faced romance head on,” replies 27-year-old Kazuto, being vulnerable. “I was hoping for a nice encounter.” “It’s very difficult to find a friend, let alone a best friend,” adds 34-year-old Taeheon, while everyone listens. “Whether I find romance or not, I want to foster a strong connection with all of you.”

You would think this restraint would affect the show’s pace, but it actually does something quite different. You watch, with bated breath, to see who might organically fall for another. Nothing feels forced. On the first night, they’re tasked with writing a letter to one other participant. “I’m worried – what if I don’t get a letter?” says 34-year-old Gensei from Taiwan, wrapping his arms around himself and laughing. “That would mean I’m very unattractive.” “I think I’ll get none,” whispers 23-year-old Shun. Between clips, a panel of jovial commenters (Megumi, Chiaki Horan, Thelma Aoyama, Durian Lollobrigida and Yoshimi Tokui) weigh in, as if giving voice to your thoughts. “Everyone is incredibly earnest,” they point out. “No one is mean-spirited.”

The pace is such that by the time you notice a hint of a crush blooming, you want to punch the air. Eyes meeting over cups of coffee. Hands brushing each other’s backs. The hint of uncertain interest. “Well, there’s one really good-looking guy,” says 23-year-old Dai on his birthday. “There’s a guy named Shun and he’s … ” he trails off. “Crazy hot?” suggests a friend. They all scream. You want to scream with them. Essentially, the way The Boyfriend plays out feels a bit more like real life. They’re wondering if they fancy each other, but there’s no pressure. The vibe is: let’s just see what happens.

As time goes on, obviously, feelings and emotions heat up. There are plenty of will-they-won’t-they moments from episode two. “I still can’t grasp his feelings,” says Dai to the camera. “Maybe I’m enjoying wondering whether he likes me or not.” Later, his object of affection starts to feel something back. “It just suddenly hit me … Maybe three days ago.”

If you’re looking for hot make-out sessions, actual sex and partner swapping, you’d be better revisiting season eight of MTV’s Are You the One? But if you’re looking for something that feels more real, less reality TV-minded and tantalisingly lovely, then The Boyfriend might just be the show for you.

The Boyfriend Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

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