Red Balloon (2017) poster

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  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 1,077 users)
  • Ranked: #1358
  • Popularity: #1438
  • Watchers: 2,846

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Recently Watched By

Completed
KainGuru
20 people found this review helpful
Jun 22, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
STORY: Each short episode packs a lot of story and some parts may seem out of sequence but the final episode ties it all together really nicely.

ACTING/CAST: Both the younger and older selves are cute guys. They did a fine job.

MUSIC: If I could have given an 11 or more, I would have. Outstanding music.

REWATCH VALUE: It's practically required to get the most out of the story.

OVERALL: A great BL story with cute cast and amazing soundtrack.
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Completed
Gwen
11 people found this review helpful
Jun 25, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5
STORY: 10/10; it's intense, there are feels, and there is a happy ending. The visuals for this drama, short as it is, were beautiful and the metaphor (as it is explained in the series) with the red balloons was a nice touch. Plus, a major rarity: an open, happy ending for EVERYONE!

ACTING/CAST: 10/10 The cast they got are talented. They played their rolls well, and were believable. There seemed to be an honest connection between both younger and older actors. Whether it is romantic off screen or not doesn't particularly matter to me; nothing kills a show faster than two actors who just cannot stand each other.

MUSIC: 10/10; another reviewer had it dead on: if I could give it an 11, or higher, I totally would. The opening song is gorgeous, the theme song is sweet, and it just helps everything flow together. I would almost go so far as to say that the quality is almost movie-like, for all that it is a short web series.

REWATCH VALUE: 9.5/10; This is the only one where it's a little shorted. I feel like the story is definitely open and waiting to be expanded, but I'm not sure how many times I'm going to be able to sit through that open ending without going nuts. I will definitely, TOTALLY, rewatch it again at some point, though. This seems like a good go-to series if I want something intense but short.

OVERALL: 10/10; loved this series. I hope more people enjoy it, too!

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Completed
Johnny
2 people found this review helpful
Jul 22, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.0
Simple, beautifully narrated story with actors that played their roles believably and so, so well. It doesn't romanticize BL and treats it realistically, and the red balloon metaphor wraps up the story with an artistic touch. The female roles are also realistic in not being extremely annoying and being people that you can emphasize with. Everything felt so natural and authentic!!

The music is PERFECT-- every time I listen to the soundtrack I swear I can see the scenes playing out in front of me. Would rewatch again!
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Completed
Odessa Jones
2 people found this review helpful
Apr 21, 2018
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Perfect.

This is the rare BL story that takes place in a realistic world--complete with homophobic classmates, teachers and parents--yet still manages to provide some hope and sweetness for our young lovers, Chen and Wan. The depictions of homophobia are upsetting, so brace yourself. The secondary story line, about a gay boy who tries to commit suicide after repeated bullying, is a reminder that it's dangerous simply to be gay in many situations. And it gives us context for understanding Chen's attempt to hide his sexuality--to virtually hide his entire personality. The actor who plays Chen is so low-key he's sometimes guilty of underacting. But this fits with Chen's restrained, introverted, cautious personality. This emotional restraint is the opposite of Wan's enthusiasm and eagerness.

It's great to see a BL story where the characters are the same age and have such complementary personalities. Too many romances are based around power imbalances or personalities that bring out the worst in each other. (HIStory: Obsessed and HIStory: Right or Wrong, I'm looking at you.)

The format (eight 12-minute episodes) could have been a weakness, but "Red Balloon" does better with its short run-time than other web dramas. The first episode is slightly confusing, because we meet the characters in the present before the main story shifts to events in 2003. A few scenes would benefit from more length or detail, especially when secondary characters are first introduced. But that's all I can come up with for critiques.

The best thing about "Red Balloon" is that the frame story, which shows Chen and Wan as adults, asks us to think beyond a simple romance of star-crossed lovers and consider the cost homophobia exacts from families. LGBTQ individuals are often portrayed as threats to the traditional family. But in "Red Balloon" the greatest threat to families is the homophobia that forces people into sexless heterosexual marriages. "Red Balloon" came out in the year that Taiwan passed legislation that will allow gay marriage to become a reality. In that context it makes a good argument that gay marriage laws make for stronger families. (Stay around after the credits of the final episode for one final scene about Chen's ex that reiterates this point.)

Icing on the cake: the soundtrack. It uses some indie songs with beautiful melodies. They contribute to the emotions even for people like me who don't understand the Chinese lyrics.

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Completed
SanctityHaven
2 people found this review helpful
Feb 12, 2018
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 9.5
This is what I like to see in a BL drama.  The acting was great, the story was beautiful.  Young love, but love nonetheless.  It tells a story of how love comes to be between two individuals of the same gender.  There is pain, and there is emotion, but overall there is a resolution.  Yes, this story has a happy ending, but you have to understand what the character had to go through for that happy ending.  Beautiful story, my only wish is that the episodes were longer and the story went farther as to what happens after the eight episode.
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Completed
jayceelmejica
1 people found this review helpful
3 days ago
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0
This Taiwanese BL was written perfectly and highlights the concept that, “true love waits”. Regardless of any situation, I think anyone can relate to this short series due to the its “teenage” and coming-out theme. Generally, the actors are very good in portraying their roles but I somehow find their younger selves to be more attractive and promising

Even though episodes are short, I still find it enough since it has substance (in comparison to other BLs). Music is great but sometimes it overpowers the scene but it can be tolerated.

Give this BL a try, you’ll not regret it.

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Completed
Julius Angelo Garcia
0 people found this review helpful
Aug 25, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.0
No matter how hard you fall, how bad it hurts, there will be someone to get you back up, and someone you'd recognize at hello.
You're weird, but I like it.
Some people, fall in love for words,
Some fall out of love for ties,
Yet I never thought
We will part for a song.
We are like balloons,
We can not fly to the highest,
Yet we do not live on the ground.
Love can not be faked.
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By far the second to the top of my list. It was a short series, so I just watched the movie because of short episodes but it took my attention. The storyline was indeed fantastic. Chinese people likes to make short series, unlike Thai who are very diligent in writing long series.

The actors were really great. Subtle is acting and portrayal but good. I just wished that the longer the story would have been the case it ended really fast. Overall, it is in second place, following 2 Moons.
-
Red Balloon (2017)

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Completed
Victuurri
0 people found this review helpful
Aug 18, 2017
8 of 8 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
It was a nice drama with a strong message. It had a solid pilot episode but there were times I get lost in the middle of the series because it was trying to tell two different stories. However, the quick turn of events prevented it from being draggy and made the parallelism tolerable. The tying up of the two plots was fine but it wasn't as on point as I hoped it would be. I somehow got the point of the balloon as a metaphor but I'm not sure why it has to be red. Could it be because of love? Passion? Violence? We can associate many symbolisms and emotions to the color but I wished it was incorporated better in the story.

My only takeaway from this drama is that we are all balloons. In a society influenced by hate and prejudice, the safest option is to float. We opt to settle somewhere in the middle. We can’t afford to stand on our own ground. We are held hostage. The concluding episode made a huge statement. It is less difficult to support and protect some strangers or random people who are bullied or condemned. But when it comes to our own family or loved ones, we find it hard to accept and fight for them because of who they are and who they love.

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