BL series have really risen in popularity in the last year. And it has opened the door for more such productions even in countries that previously may not have been as open to telling these stories in mainstream entertainment. South Korea is one of those countries. And I was particularly interested in the web series Wish You because its two lead actors are from K-pop groups I actually like and follow. One of which is actually one my Ultimate Biases.
Wish You is a pretty simple and straightforward story. Sang Yi (IMFACT’s Lee Sang) is a timid, but talented young man working in the A&R department of an entertainment company. He becomes a big fan of aspiring singer In Soo (MYNAME’s Kang Insoo) who he is able to successfully recommend to the company to be scouted.
But as the two begin working together to prepare for In Soo’s debut, they grow closer and begin to feel much more than just a professional working relationship.
Though the story develops in a sweet way, it suffers a little from its format. Similar to other web series (like the breakthrough Where Your Eyes Linger from earlier this year), it is a challenge to truly foster a good connection with the characters and their journey in such a short amount of time.
The series comprises of eight 10-minute episodes. But the good news is that a feature length film version of the story (including 20 additional minutes not included in the series) will be released this month.
And that’s how many of these short web series feel like: feature length films cut up into short chunks. The aforementioned Where Your Eyes Linger was much better consumed as a film rather than in episodic chunks. It seems like it will be the same for Wish You.
The film’s 20 minutes of extra scenes may actually help fill in some of what the series might be lacking in this format. Having to squeeze things into bite-sized episodes, the story and its characters lose out on opportunities to be fleshed out and developed more. That’s what makes the online webisodes so frustrating sometimes.
Still, despite feeling rushed, Wish You delivers on a cute blossoming love story. The series may feel like a quick summary of a grander narrative. So we’ll have to wait and see.
Insoo and Lee Sang have unexpectedly great chemistry and fit their characters well. Their performances come across as natural. And both are engaging leading men. Kang Insoo is one of my absolute favorite singers in K-pop. And I always enjoy IMFACT’s music. So seeing both Insoo and Lee Sang here is a great treat.
Again, it’s great to see so many BL dramas being produced in Korea. Though most, if not all, are reserved for online streaming only, the casting of known actors and idols may be a sign that companies are more open to the idea that these stories are worthy of going mainstream. Instead of just being relegated to streaming sites and apps. Opening the door for future productions tackling similar themes is a step in the right direction.
With its charming story and charismatic leading men, Wish You is just one more step forward in the genre and in the greater societal discussion as well. Will definitely be looking forward to the film cut in a few weeks.