Youngjae 'Crush of Spring': B.A.P star lands lead role in historical BL K-drama
With the way the conservative South Korean society is now opening up and accepting the LGBT+ community, it probably won’t be shocking anymore if a celebrity comes out or lands a project related to an LGBT+ topic. And while that day might be close, we have more and more K-pop idols and popular actors taking up BL (boy love) dramas or LGBT+-friendly acting projects. The latest happens to be B.A.P’s Youngjae who has landed the lead role in 'Chun Jeong Ji Ran' aka ‘Crush of Spring’.
Due to the obsessive nature of K-pop fans and the general public still considering LGBT+ to be a taboo topic, agencies ask their artists to play it safe and not take up any controversial projects. However, that is changing with the BL drama genre getting normalized and more idol actors landing LGBT+ roles. We have the likes of A.C.E’s Jun, SF9’s Rowoon, SHINee’s Minho, VIXX’s Hyuk, Myname’s Insoo, ex-Infinite member Hoya and ex-The Boyz member Hyunjun acting in BLs or playing LGBT+ characters. And now B.A.P’s Youngjae has got his first lead role ever in a BL drama.
B.A.P’s Youngjae cast in historical BL drama
Productions are becoming more sensitive to the issues of LGBT+ and are now rarely using gay characters for comic relief or to be mocked in the storylines. Popularized in Thailand and Taiwan, the BL genre is in fact is the best representation of gay love stories at the moment as they simply focus on romantic relationships like any other romantic drama. ‘Crush of Spring’ similarly is a drama based on a historical BL webtoon. It follows the love triangle between three men when one dressed as a woman marries another to escape his status as a slave. The slave is played by actor Kim Song.
B.A.P’s Youngjae plays the scholarly Jin Geum-sung who only cares about his books. Due to his icy personality and righteousness, the villagers call him the ‘cold and handsome man’. His love for his books and martial arts is thrown into disarray as his family tells him that he has to marry into the Choi family and is paired up with the third daughter. The idol actor was previously in ‘Police University’ and another historical K-drama ‘Mr Queen’ which opened up the discussion of pansexuality and gender fluidity as the lead is a man stuck in a queen’s body.
Happy fans made tweets like, “From Mr Queen to Police University and now his first lead role and in a BL even! I stan.” Another shared, “I can’t explain how i am happy for him.” One fan joked, “Youngjae in a BL drama???!?! He's more than ready.”
From Mr. Queen to Police University and now his first lead role and in a BL even! I stan.— I'm So Random (@_randomlyrj) December 20, 2021
Youngjae in a BL drama???!?! He's more than ready. pic.twitter.com/kWQ02l3OsM— steph´꒳` (@_SIEEPiNGSUN) December 15, 2021
‘Chung Jeong Ji Ran’ aka ‘Crush of Spring’ is set to air in the first half of 2022 on the OTT platform Watcha.