Angsty BLs and morally ambiguous couples
With EarthMix as one of the reigning on-screen couples of the BL (boy love) industry, fans were waiting with bated breath for their next project and the mini-series Moonlight Chicken did not disappoint. On top of that, we got some fan favourites from GMMTV’s roster like Khaotung, First, Gemini and Fourth playing side leads and totally stealing the spotlight.
Moonlight Chicken follows Jim, a diner owner who barely makes ends meet but is loved by all including his waitstaff. One night, he meets the drunken customer Wen and with sparks flying, they end up having a one-night stand. While Jim hopes to end it there and then, Wen is not ready to let him go as he shows up as the new help at the diner.
To make things complicated, he has a toxic relationship with Alan whom he lives with. Meanwhile, Jim’s nephew Li Ming gets in trouble with the powerful Officer Supoch and has to work in his house to pay off his debt. There, he comes across the mischievous Heart who is lonely as he is not allowed to go out after he went deaf.
So, if you’re not ready to move on from Moonlight Chicken, we have found BLs and romantic dramas for you. Of course, this list is for those who have at least started Moonlight Chicken as we will have to get into spoiler territory to find similar dramas.
Well without further wait, here are 10 romantic TV shows with a similar premise to watch if you liked Moonlight Chicken.
I Told Sunset About You
Similarities – Young love, angst, BL
A heartwarming but angsty love story between two young boys, if you wanted a combination of the will-they-won’t-they of Jim and Wen and the pure love of Li Ming and Heart, then I Told Sunset About You is for you. It follows the best friends to enemies to lovers trope as childhood besties Teh and Oh-aew turn rivals as they both vie for the same university.
However, as Teh offers to help his former friend with their Chinese entrance exam, a new type of relationship blooms between them.
A Tale of Thousand Stars
Similarities – Lead actors, different worlds, BL
While the BL casts Earth, Mix and Khaotung in similar roles, it takes us from the city of Pattaya and drops us smack in the middle of a forest. The rich and pampered Tian gets into an accident and wakes up to find out that his heart donor, Torfun was a volunteer teacher in a small village.
As he gets a hold of her diary, he decides to help her fulfil her last wish by following in her footsteps and volunteering in the same village. But resistance is met by the students and the forest ranger Phupha who was close to Torfun.
Similarities – Angst, moral and ethics, BL
If till 2020, we got fun, light BLs following high school students, the last few years have been giving us adults in complex relationships as they rebel against the constricting norms of society. Not Me was one of these genre-defining BLs as it focuses on a group of boys who rebel against the injustice meted out by the powerful and corrupt.
However, after one of the rebels, Black is put in a coma, his twin brother White decides to pretend to be him and find the culprit who may just be one of his friends. But no matter how hard he tries, one of the boys, Sean cannot help but suspect the new Black.
Similarities – Side actors, angst, BL
Want to see more of Moonlight Chicken’s Gaipa and Alan? Yeah, well not only are they the leads in The Eclipse, but they are also paired against each other in a bittersweet love story set in a strict and homophobic high school. Akk is the perfect prefect, cold and is set out to straighten every troublemaker, even if it means using the wrong means.
However, the new student, Ayan seems to get under his skin as he breaks every rule to get to the bottom of his uncle’s death who was a teacher at the school.
My School President
Similarities – Side actors, BL, one-sided love
If you wished for more of Li Ming and Heart, just turn to My School President where Gemini plays Tinn, the relentless head boy and Fourth is Gun, the cheery leader of the music club. The two often lock heads as the school tries to shut down the music club as all its members do are eat and play.
However, Tinn gives them one last chance i.e., to win a music competition to stay afloat. While Gun is out cursing him and trying to get his club in order, it turns out that Tinn actually has a crush on him and is doing everything behind-the-scenes to help him out.
One Spring Night
Similarities – Extramarital issues, angst
If Wen’s possessive ex messing it up for him and Jim had you trying to tear your hair out but wanting more of such heartbreaking romances, then tune into One Spring Night. An accidental meeting between the young and single father Yoo Ji-ho and Lee Jeong-in, a committed woman leads to love at first sight.
This has Jeong-in reassessing what it means to love as she must make a choice between dating someone who has a child or continuing in a loveless relationship with her current boyfriend who could care less about her.
Secret Love Affair
Similarities – Extramarital issues, age gap, angst
While Moonlight Chicken veers away from the ethical dilemma of extramarital affairs by making Alan Wen’s ex, the K-drama Secret Love Affair faces it head-on. On top of that, it also goes deeper into the conflict that arises from age differences as a married Oh Hye-won falls for Lee Sun-jae, a genius pianist who happens to be half her age. An emotional melodrama, they must keep their affair a secret or face social ostracization.
Bangkok Love Stories 2: Plead
Similarities – Chinatown shop owner, partner with a disability
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Bangkok Love Stories dramas, then Plead is the perfect introduction to this anthology series. Not only does it have the similar Chinatown aesthetics of Moonlight Chicken, but we also get a more emotional side to what Li Ming and Heart’s relationship could have been if Heart’s deafness had played a romantic obstacle.
Tee, a fortune teller struggles to make ends meet especially after he goes blind. He ends up falling for the charismatic El who happens to come from a rich family. With a twist on pre-determined fate, their romance seems ill-fated as El’s family rejects him.
My Secret Romance
Similarities – One-night stand, different worlds, co-workers
Jin-wook, a playboy gives up his womanizing ways when he has a one-night stand with the bubbly and cheerful Yoo-mi and falls in love with her. However, she disappears the next day only to reappear 3 years later as a nutritionist in his company. While he is strict with her and keeps her at a distance, he still has feelings for her.
After a misunderstanding where he mistakes Yoo-mi’s young half-brother as their son, he decides to step up as a dad and rekindle their romance while a confused Yoo-mi wonders at his sudden change in attitude.
Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories
Similarities – Restaurant owner, solving problems
The way Jim is pretty much the dad to the waitstaff and goes about solving problems and helping them out definitely added an endearing touch to the otherwise melodrama. Well, Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories shows us how an older Jim’s life would have been if he did not have such a complicated romance.
The Japanese anthology series focuses on Master, a chef who not only welcomes customers even after midnight but also listens to their troubles and helps them find solutions.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Moonlight Chicken.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!