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The Boyfriend on Netflix is Japan’s first same-sex dating reality show

‘The Boyfriend’ premieres on July 9, featuring a group of gay and bi men living together for a month while seeking love

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
Staff Writer, Time Out Tokyo
The Boyfriend
Photo: Netflix 'The Boyfriend'
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After a string of successful shows about singles on a minivan, singles on blind dates and singles with arbitrary dating deadlines, Netflix Japan is back with another new reality production about – you guessed it – single people looking for love. Beyond capitalising on audiences’ seemingly considerable hunger for new reality shows, however, this upcoming title is set to break new ground for LGBTQ+ representation in Japan. Premiering exclusively on Netflix on July 9, ‘The Boyfriend’ centres on nine single gay and bi men, who move into a beach house together for a period of one month. 

A total of ten episodes will be released in four weekly instalments, following the cast members as they navigate their new relationships and take turns working shifts on a mint green coffee truck. Living together, working together... What could possibly go wrong? 

The set-up seems like a sure-fire recipe for more than a few messy love triangles, but executive producer Dai Ota, who also worked on Japanese reality series 'Terrace House', said that 'The Boyfriend' will have much more to offer than typical dating woes.

Talking about his team’s vision for the show, Ota says, ‘We started out wanting to highlight the young men’s friendships and personalities. Our focus wasn’t just on romance but also on [them] spending time together and experiencing personal growth.’

The Boyfriend’ debuts on Netflix on July 9. While you wait for the next instalment to drop, check out our favourite Japanese movies and series with English subtitles. 

This article was originally published on June 20 and updated on July 9.

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