Let's talk about the "History" anthology!
Updated: Apr 14
"History" ( HIStory is intended to be pronounced as "his story") was my first taiwanese BL. It is indeed an anthology which was introduced in 2017.
"History 1" - 2017
Consists of three individual stories:
- My Hero
- Stay Away from Me
A very bad effort in every aspect. Mediocre acting and very lukewarm and incoherent stories. Among the three, I personally prefer "Obsessed" because it had a somewhat bolder approach but again it failed its purpose. Since I am not easily disheartened, I decided to try my luck with the next History.
"History 2" - 2018
- Right or Wrong
- Boundary Crossing
Certainly a much better effort.
Right or Wrong was a very pleasant surprise and made a difference. It's a love story which begins when a student decides to babysit the daughter of his divorced teacher who struggles as a single dad. Their relationship evolves in a very healthy and refreshing way due to the teacher's sincerity and determination.
Boundary Crossing was closer to the standard BL with a classic school romance but somewhere in the middle it ended up creating a mess with the secondary couple who made no sense at all. It is very unfortunate because the main couple managed to capture our attention and gave very positive vibes.
"History 3" - 2019
- Make Our Days Count
This time I was not sure what to make of this!
Both stories left me hovering with mixed feelings. I definitely liked the storyline of Trapped but .... that's it. It could be so so good and ended up as disappointing. The love story between a police officer and a mafia boss was certainly very promising and something out of the ordinary. Unfortunately there were many holes in the scenario and if the story had been tied better, it would have left a much better impression.
I found Make Our Days Count cringy from the start. I did't like the main couple at all! No chemistry and a strange relationship with nothing to attract the viewer.
However...the side couple, Thomas Chang and Wilson Liu, is another story!!!
Steamy chemistry and a great healthy relationship. I would certainly prefer them to lead a series on their own. I believe that the production also realized their appeal since they were included in History 4 as a very inspired cameo appearance!
"History 4" Close to You - 2020
A very anticipated fourth season which created a great controversy!
One story with two main couples:
Li Chen and Muren are good friends, colleagues and both straight. Muren agrees to help Li Chen gain the love of a fujoshi (BL fun) girl, by pretending to be a couple. However, Li Chen begins to have romantic feelings towards his friend and decides to confess. As expected, Muren cannot accept the new situation and their relationship takes a very difficult turn. Most of their interactions have a comic side which is very refreshing for the drama plot.
It is one of the rare occasions when we witness real life issues that same sex couples have to face and this is a plus although it may seem a little too crude. The cameo of the "History 3" side couple is very amusing especially when Li Chen asks for their advice on matters of sex.
Yong Jie and Simon are stepbrothers. Simon who is many years older, has left his home and lives with his two friends Li Chen and Muren because he tries to hide the fact that he is gay from his family. What he doesn't know is that Yong Jie, whom he cherishes as his younger brother, knows his orientation and is secretely in love with him. Yong Jie is clearly obsessed with Simon since he stalks him and he comes to the point to make him drunk and force him to have sex . He even makes a video of this night which he shows to their father. Of course there is a hidden reason behind his actions and this makes Simon sympathize with him. And here comes the controversy of this drama.
How can such a toxic relationship be justified? Can rape be considered so lightly and how can Simon forgive Yong Jie and accept his love? Another issue is that the mother is aware of her son's intentions but doesn't stop him...
As a yaoi manga reader, let me tell you that such situations are very common in manga plots. I don't think that the production tries to justify rape or toxic behaviors. It just goes along with the storyline and the characters. I will repeat once more that we should know what we watch and why we watch it! Therefore, if the viewer finds the content annoying he can just stop watching. All four "History" up to now have nothing to do with reality. Clearly nothing of the above is acceptable in real life. But this is fantasy! Yong Jie's character may be creapy from the very beginning but the other three are very sweet and unique personalities.
In total I was neither excited nor disappointed by this fourth part. I certainly found the actors better than the ones in the previous seasons. I will repeat myself once more saying that it could be much better since it had many potentials.
However, this is HIStory!!!