A series made against considerable odds, Gameboys continues to push more boundaries as it is named of one of the best reviewed international series made available to the rest of the world.
It has been a while since Gavreel and Cairo last logged on to play their game or by the stretch of the story, graced our screens. Captivating us with their charming pas de deux online and often frustrating entanglements of their relationship in Gameboys, the beloved BL (boys love) series that bravely broke ground at the early onslaught of the pandemic, there was certainly a lot to latch on, which is why to no surprise, the effect of the show still lingers to this day. Since giving viewers an essential reprieve amid the gloom and doom of the uncertainty then, the time since the credits rolled has left a gaping void for that unadulterated and unapologetically, but surprisingly nuanced narrative.
With its indelible imprint on everyone from the romantically clingy, averse, and starved, the next best thing is to revisit the story of Gavreel (Kokoy De Santos) and Cairo (Elijah Canlas) in Gameboys (written by Ash Malanum, directed by Ivan Andrew Payawal), much like the rematch that sparked everything in the first place. And whether one watches it again or stumbles upon it on YouTube or Netflix, the experience is just as magical, bringing you everything from the thrill of a first love to the throes of trust and timing, and in the queer context at that. It comes to no surprise that it has been a commercial hit, compelling an encouraging follow through of Filipino queer stories, but also a critical one.
Following its nominations at the World International Film Festival and International Kids Emmy Awards, as well as of a Best Web Series nod at the Indie Shorts Awards, the rest of the internet is showing all the love for Gameboys as one of ten highest rated foreign series on Netflix as rated by the users of entertainment compendium, IMDb.
The Best Of Gameboys
With an overwhelming amount of amusement available on the popular streaming platform, it can prove difficult to cut through the noise. So, when one emerges on the trending list it is nothing short of impressive, more so when the world wide web declares it as one of the best.
The distinctly Filipino show filmed remotely in isolation joins the likes of foreign standouts such as Grenseland (Norway), Borgen (Denmark), Tabula Rasa (Belgium), Okkupert (Norway), Dark (Germany), O Mecanismo (Portugal), Alhambeura Goongjeonui Chooeok (Korea), Babylon Berlin (Germany), and Squid Game (Korea), proving that, as Collider says, “great shows lie beyond the Anglosphere.” With its average user rating of 8.7/10 on IMDb, there’s more than enough reason to not only check out Gameboys, but as Netflix encourages to keep on watching.
“Brilliant,” “phenomenal,” and “iconic,” as the cross-section of users who have taken the time to leave detailed and heartfelt reviews of Gameboys express on IMDb, it isn’t hard to see why there is a lot of love for the Filipino show. In fact, most of the episodes of the acclaimed first season tip the scale of mathematically remarkable range of nine over the perfect ten. Meanwhile, poring through the rest of the comments give more credence to the beauty of the series, especially with its delicate and dedicated essaying of a LGBTQIA+ love story. For many, this pushed the boundaries for representation amid the conservative tradition in the Philippines, making a strong case to bring the queer experience beyond just the margins of humor and token diversity. Here, the romance and coming-of-age between two young men was the exhale the community needed, and at a most crucial time no less.
With the success of Gameboys, including a movie released and a second season announced, there is a lot of love to go by. From the episodes aired to the rest of the story yet to be told, this is definitely not the last will be seeing of Caimazing and Angel2000. But until then, we can always press play and relive the realities of that one great love in the nth repeat of Gameboys—and there’s no shame in admitting that either.