What Makes Drama Crack Stay Fresh / Turn Stale?

DC1So today Stephanie posted on her blog Crazy for Kdrama a post titled Second-hand Crack. In it, she describes her experience re-watching Smile Dong Hae, and finding that it just wasn’t as cracktastic the second time around.

That really resonated with me, coz as some of you may know, I’ve been marathoning Beautiful Days for review, and that review’s been taking a while to actually get written.

The reason is pretty much the same as Stephanie’s experience with Smile Dong Hae. I’d loved Beautiful Days on my first watch, and had devoured it pretty quickly. Fast forward several years, and now that I’m watching it for the second time, I still find it pretty engaging, but it’s just not as cracktastic as I had first found it.

Which begs the question: What exactly makes drama crack stay fresh / turn stale?


Playful Kiss OST – One More Time (김현중)


Plot-heavy Shows

There are certain types of shows that seem to fall into the obvious one-watch-only category. These shows rely heavily on plot developments and cliff-hangers to drive viewership, and people keep coming back, episode after episode, just to find out what happens next.

And sure, these shows are addictive and completely absorbing on the first watch, easily reaching the ranks of Drama Crack.

Once the heady first watch is over, however, these shows tend to lose much of their appeal on the re-watch, simply because we already know what’s going to happen, and there is no longer any element of surprise.

Mysteries, thrillers and melos all fall into this category, though I would argue that there are some exceptions (more on that later).

DC4 Temptation of Wife

Temptation of Wife – makjang to the max

One prime example of a one-watch-only melo is Temptation of Wife (aka Cruel Temptation).

I watched this with my mother when it aired on local TV, and I got sucked into the pure makjang that the writers served up. I held my breath, gasped in shock, and shook my fist in anger with each new melodramatic plot point.

I mean, I knew in my head that this wasn’t very good writing, but I was hooked anyway.

But will I ever attempt to watch this again? Nope. Never.

Once is definitely more than enough, for me to sit through such extreme, eye-rolling makjang. I’m pretty sure that if I ever attempted to watch this again, that the makjang would have lost its draw.

On a slight tangent, a melo could also fall off the re-watch list due to excessive tears. It might be tearfully addictive on the first watch, but you may not want to go back to it coz it requires too much crying.

Other shows that fall into this category include: Pink Lipstick, Stairway to Heaven.

Long Shows

DC5 Likable Or Not

Likable Or Not – likable, but way too lengthy

Then there are the shows which are genuinely heartwarming and enjoyable – maybe a little addictive, even – on the first watch, but which won’t stand up to a re-watch due to their length.

Fairly early in my kdrama-loving life, Likable Or Not (aka I Hate You, But It’s Fine) aired on local TV, and I got sucked into the warm family atmosphere which combined with OTP cuteness from Kim Ji Suk and Han Ji Hye to make for pretty addictive viewing.

I liked this show so much that I even went online to watch missed episodes with Chinese subs. Streaming at super slow speeds too, I might add. That’s how much I loved the show.

As much as I loved it, though, I can’t see myself watching all 172 episodes all over again. I have so many other things that I can do – and dramas that I can watch! – in 86 hours, that this show will never get bumped up high enough on the priorities list to warrant a re-watch.

Other shows that fall into this category include: Famous Princesses, Unstoppable High Kick, Be Strong Geum Soon.

Exceptions: Mystery / Thriller


Vampire Prosecutor – hindsight is 20/20

There are some plot-heavy shows I wouldn’t mind re-watching, for a variety of reasons.

One reason is so that I can understand the plot developments better, now that I know where it’s heading.

All the little clues that the writers dropped earlier, which I might have missed on the first watch, now take on a whole new meaning on the second watch. Suddenly, a lot more things make sense, which is always cool.

Other possible reasons include more timeless things that the show might offer, like beautiful cinematography, great music, &/or likable characters that I don’t want to say good-bye to.

Vampire Prosecutor is one such show.

Sure, it’s a crime procedural, so I know the outcome of every crime, but on the re-watch, I’ll be able to understand all the little clues that the writers drop throughout the episodes, with regard to the overarching mystery and the Big Bad. Every conversation will have added meaning, and I’m curious to see how it all adds up.

Plus, I love the team’s dynamics and relationships, and I’d love to watch their interactions and banter again. The slick cinematography is a bonus too.

Other shows that fall into this category include: Joseon X-Files, Tree With Deep Roots, City Hunter.

Exceptions: Melo

DC5a Winter Sonata

Winter Sonata – a winter wonderland

Despite my earlier pronouncement on Temptation of Wife, there are some melos that do stand up to multiple re-watches.

Winter Sonata is one such classic.

I’ve personally watched this show at least 4 times. Or was that 5?

Certainly, I already knew the story after the first watch, but what kept me coming back was the beautiful scenery, the lovely music and a charismatic Bae Yong Jun.

Last year, 5 years after I’d first watched Winter Sonata, I went back to it on a whim, just coz I was in the mood to watch the cute, early high school years. That’s all I was planning to watch, really. But I ended up re-watching the entire thing.

Not bad at all, for a melo.

Other shows that fall into this category include: Autumn In My Heart.

Exceptions: Long Shows

DC6 Jewel in the Palace

Dae Jang Geum – a cultural feast

At 54 episodes, Dae Jang Geum (aka Jewel in the Palace) is definitely a long show.

Yet, my mother managed to watch this 4 times without tiring of it.

When I asked her why, she said that she enjoyed watching it for the insights into Korean culture, the cooking, the attention to detail, and the music.

She contrasted Dae Jang Geum with Jumong, which she absolutely will not re-watch.

She concedes that the story in Jumong was fairly interesting on the first watch, but contends that there’s nothing more to draw her back. I haven’t watched Jumong myself, but according to my mother, the production values are low, the sets look cheap, the color palette is dull, there aren’t any cultural nuggets to take away, and she doesn’t find any of the actors all that interesting.

So there you go – cultural feast for the win 😉

DC6a Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful – lovely for multiple watches

Another long show that I personally have every intention of revisiting is Life Is Beautiful.

At 63 episodes, it’s even longer than Dae Jang Geum, and unlike Dae Jang Geum, it doesn’t boast a rich sageuk wardrobe nor intricate lessons in traditional food and culture.

What it does have, though, is a lovely harmonious tone, likable characters with enjoyable interactions, and a gorgeous, gorgeous Jeju backdrop. This all comes together to create a lovely world that I want to enter again and again.

To quote Ariel from The Little Mermaid:

Up where they walk, up where they run
Up where they stay all day in the sun
Wanderin’ free – wish I could be
Part of that world

Yep, some dramas create such a lovely world that I find it a great place to unwind after a day in the regular world.

Other shows that fall into this category include: Ojakgyo Brothers.

Type of Show: The Conclusion

DC7 City Hunter

City Hunter – worth a rewatch

While the type of show plays a big part in determining whether it can endure the test of a re-watch, it’s what the show has to offer – beyond the story – that keeps me coming back.

It could be history, culture, cinematography, characters, relationships, great acting or even a hot male lead.

If a plot-heavy or long show has a sizable amount to offer beyond the story in terms of these items, the Drama Crack title is likely to have greater longevity.

Which brings me to the rest of my theory regarding the durability of Drama Crack.



I always say that context is everything.

Context can make one person hate a show, another person love it, and yet another person indifferent towards it. But what makes up that context? That’s what I’m going to try to break down here.

A Sense of Perspective

Sometimes, a sense of perspective is all that’s needed to turn a show from cracktastic to craptastic & vice versa.


Boys Over Flowers – from cracktastic to craptastic

Cracktastic to Craptastic: Boys Over Flowers

This is one show that just did not hold up for me.

I watched this soon after it first aired in Korea, and along with all my friends and practically the rest of the k-universe, I relished it. I really did.

I was mesmerized by Kim Hyun Joong as Yoon Ji Hoo, and I thought his character was sooo romantic and sweet. I also thought the music was catchy. I was swept along by the BOF mania that captured the k-universe by storm.

A lady that I knew – an ahjumma in almost every way, complete with 4 kids – watched BOF 6 whole times.

Fast forward 3 years to 2012.

I attempted a re-watch of BOF on a whim and found that I hated it. Seriously.

Everything had lost its appeal. Kim Hyun Joong’s Yoon Ji Hoo no longer did anything for me. I didn’t find him attractive in the slightest, and the light brown long locks that I’d used to find charming on him now looked downright ugly. I hadn’t enjoyed Gu Hye Sun too much on my first watch either, but on my second watch, I was outright irritated by her.

The music now sounded uninteresting at best, and jarring at worst. “Almost Para-daiiiise” became more and more painful to hear as the show wore on.

And the story. I could only shake my head at the story. It was ridiculous, made no sense whatsoever, and was a big hot mess.

I finished the whole re-watch, just to see if I continued to hate it. I did.

I hated it so much that I vowed never to put myself through such torture, ever again, and deleted the show from my collection.

DC9 You're Beautiful

You’re Beautiful – from craptastic to cracktastic

Craptastic to Cracktastic: You’re Beautiful

Thankfully, the craptastic-cracktastic equation flows both ways, and there have been shows that I’ve hated on first watch, then loved on subsequent watches.

I know, you’re wondering why I would even give a show a second chance, if I’d hated it on first watch. On occasion, I do, and usually it’s because the show is well-loved by everyone else but me and I want to figure out what the fuss is about.

In the case of You’re Beautiful, that was exactly the reason.

I’d hated it on first watch. I’d felt that Park Shin Hye’s Go Mi Nam was too dopey & cutesy & her exaggerated character grated on me the most. I also didn’t quite like Jang Geun Suk’s prickly male lead. At the time, I also didn’t know who the Hong sisters were, and all the campiness and meta jokes were lost on me.

I was befuddled over why everyone else liked this show when I’d found so much to dislike in it.

Fast forward 3 years, many more kdrama miles under my belt, & a greater appreciation for the style of the Hong sisters, and I FINALLY GEDDIT!!

When I decided to give the show another watch to see if I could understand the huge amount of love it enjoyed – BAM! – I fell in love.

I was amazed.

This time, I loved Jang Geun Suk’s delivery. He was completely committed to the character, and was at times hands-down brilliant in his delivery. SO. GOOD. I must have been blind before.

I also somehow found Park Shin Hye much more likable this time. I suppose I just got used to the idea that as an apprentice nun, she was just THAT innocent & naive.

Also, with a new-found appreciation for the style of the Hong sisters, I was able to find so many more things to like in this drama.

I also found Lee Hong Ki adorable and unreservedly committed to his character. I thought Jung Yong Hwa was stiff at times, but had some better moments.

Suddenly, I found it fresh & fun & completely engaging & absorbing. It felt like I was watching it for the very first time! I even stayed up till 3am watching this show. I kid you not.

Since that first re-watch, I’ve given it one more re-watch, and the Drama Crack stayed fresh. I loved it just as much on my 3rd watch as I had on my 2nd.

Now You’re Beautiful is on my list of All-Time Faves – what a turnaround, eh?

It’s amazing what a second chance and some perspective can do 😉


Besides perspective, there are a bunch of other factors that feed into my context of a show, and therefore influence the shelf-life of the show’s cracktastic-ness.

Great Acting

DC10 The Return Of Iljimae

The Return Of Iljimae – Jung Il Woo’s brilliance deserves a re-watch

I appreciate great acting when I see it, and I find it a pleasure to watch an actor or actress deliver a layered, nuanced, sensitive performance.

It’s like watching art in motion, and I could watch hours of it, just to experience their awesomeness all over again.

I have a mental list of brilliant k-actors and k-actresses, and the corresponding dramas where they demonstrate their magic.

I love Jung Il Woo’s performance in The Return Of Iljimae, and I will watch this again just to see his subtle, restrained, yet completely faceted portrayal of Iljimae.

Other brilliant performances I’d re-watch multiple times include: Jo Jung Suk in The King 2 Hearts, Kim Soo Hyun in The Moon That Embraces The Sun, Hyun Bin in Secret Garden, Jung Woo Sung in Padam Padam, Lee Byung Hun in Beautiful Days.

Great Chemistry

DC11 Pasta

Pasta – such an adorable OTP! ♥

I love it when an OTP has great chemistry, and I can overlook a lot if this factor is firmly in place.

Quite a lot of people didn’t enjoy Pasta because of the small story, but I unreservedly love – LOVE! – this show. I’ve watched this several times, and have recommended it to others, and I plan to watch this again – and then perhaps again.

A lot of my love has to do with the easy, charming chemistry between Lee Sun Gyun and Gong Hyo Jin. They are adorable together, and their interactions come across as totally natural and completely believable.

Other OTPs with great chemistry that I would re-watch indefinitely include: Lee Jun Ki and Shin Min Ah in Arang and the Magistrate, Seo In Guk and Jung Eun Ji in Answer Me, 1997, Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na in Queen In-hyun’s Man.

Lots Of Cute & Funny

DC12 My GF is a Gumiho

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho – so full of cute and funny that it never gets old ^^

I enjoy a rom-com done right, where there’s lots of cute and a generous serving of funny. That’s the kind of stuff I don’t mind watching over and over. And over.

My Girlfriend is a Gumiho is pretty perfect at this. It’s got lots of cute bickering between Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah, and there are literal laugh-out-loud moments peppering the show.

Despite the plethora of rom-coms that have descended on us over the years, there really aren’t that many that get it just right. When that magical combination appears, I lap it all up, then save it for a second serve.

Other rom-coms that get it just right include: Coffee Prince, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Delightful Girl Choon Hyang, You’re Beautiful.

A World To Escape To

DC13 Playful Kiss

Earlier, I talked about the show creating a world that we’d like to escape to. There, I was referring more to longer, family-centered shows where it is the harmonious, familial tone that we escape to.

Here, I’m referring to shorter shows with heightened realities that take us out of an everyday sort of world to an alternate universe, almost.

Playful Kiss is one such show that I enjoy escaping into. Sure, the acting and writing is pretty flawed, but it’s got such a nice ambience.

It’s got a light, youthful vibe and the manhwa-esque world is painted with a technicolor type of intensity that makes everything larger than life. The breezy, happy music permeates the show, and just makes everything feel so cheerful and carefree.

Everything is simple in this world, and simply resolved. The atmosphere is light, cute and fluffy, and I could linger in this world for hours at a time.

On my re-watch, I stayed up till 2:30am watching it, just coz I liked the feel of the show.

And yes, I would watch this again ^^

Other shows that have worlds that I like to escape to include: Goong, Dream High, You’re Beautiful.

Fangirl Love

DC14 Gong Yoo

Gong Yoo = ♥

This picture says it all, doesn’t it? 😉 Yes, I would re-watch anything – even crap – if it means I get to see Gong Yoo on my screen.

Fangirl love goes a long, long way in determining the cracktastic-ness of a show.

If a show stars someone I love, I just want to see my someone be awesome. Which is why I am definitely re-watching Big, even though the world at large thinks it’s a terrible show. Coz it lets me see Gong Yoo being awesome on my screen. ♥

I’ve also re-watched One Fine Day – a terrible drama, all in all – just to swoon at Gong Yoo.

Thankfully, Gong Yoo’s other works have more going for them, so only Big and One Fine Day qualify to sit in this category.

Still, I’ve been known to re-watch other shows that I didn’t even like, purely out of fangirl love.

Before Gong Yoo, I used to be a total Park Shi Hoo fangirl. I didn’t really enjoy Prosecutor Princess as a show – I hated the OST and I didn’t like Kim So Yeon’s character in the show – but I watched the whole thing twice. All for Park Shi Hoo.

Fangirl love is formidable, I tell ya. It makes even the crappiest show surge up the re-watch list.

The Show Speaks To Me / Means Something To Me

DC15 Goong

Goong – my one special drama

Goong OST – 당신은…나는 바보입니다

Another powerful factor, is when the show speaks to me or means something special to me.

For example, if the heroine gets romanced in just the way I wish in my heart of hearts to be romanced, or the story echoes my real life, or I really identify with the character, or the character grows in the way that I wish to grow.

Or perhaps it was my first kdrama ever. Or it got me through a tough time in my life.

Goong fits the bill on so many of these counts.

Goong was my first kdrama ever, and watching it – and re-watching it – got me through a really tough period in my life.

I was nursing a broken heart and battling a personal crisis of major proportions when my sister brought home the box set, and as we sat down to watch it, it managed this weird paradox of transporting me into a different, fantasy world so that I could escape the pain in my real life, and yet at the same time, in that fantasy world, I came face to face with situations and character traits that resonated with my real life problems.

Joo Ji Hoon as Lee Shin was as cold, aloof and distant as my ex, and yet, as he grew and evolved through the course of the drama, my heart ached with hope (or more like fantasy, really) that perhaps the ex could evolve in a similar fashion. I cried at those scenes, in part for the characters, but in equal part, for myself.

Watching it was cathartic on so many levels, and I love this drama unreservedly as a result. I’ve watched this at least 6 times, and I plan to keep re-watching it forever.

No other drama will ever touch this drama’s echelon of drama cracktastic-ness in my books.


I have a theory that the more a show meets these factors that I’ve detailed, the higher up it is likely to sit on an all-time favorites list.

DC16 Dream High

Take Dream High, for instance.

It has an adorable cast, catchy music, a great underdog story, an enduring theme of not giving up on your dreams, and it transports me into an alternate kpop-centered high school universe.

I zoomed through the entire show in 4 days straight, and have re-watched it since. And I loved it just as much on the re-watch.

It is on my all-time favorites list, and I plan to re-watch it again at some point.

DC17 Coffee Prince

Coffee Prince – hits it out of the ballpark on so many levels ^^

As for a show that has the best of many worlds, Coffee Prince comes to mind.

It’s got a world I want to escape to, is cute and funny, features likable characters who spark off one another in entertaining & heartwarming ways, and an OTP in Yoon Eun Hye and Gong Yoo who have fantastic chemistry.

Not only that, it features my one big k-love (Gong Yoo! ♥) and both he and Yoon Eun Hye deliver natural, believable performances.

Does it speak to me on any level? Aw yeah, definitely. Every time Gong Yoo’s Choi Han Gyul goes all smitten-faced over Yoon Eun Hye’s Go Eun Chan, my heart melts, and I dream of one day having someone look that way just thinking of me.



DC18 Last Dance

Save Your Last Dance For Me – a show I used to love

From experience, I’ve found that I am the most unpredictable change factor.

What used to appeal to me in the past may cease to be attractive as I grow and mature as an individual and as a viewer.

Save Your Last Dance For Me was a show that I used to love to bits.

I’d encountered it early in my kdrama-loving life, and was completely taken with the story, with the romance, with Ji Sung and Eugene, and with the music.

I watched it repeatedly, and swooned repeatedly at Ji Sung’s suave, charismatic character, and listened to the OST on repeat as well.

Somewhere along the way, though, I must have matured as a viewer, coz on a fairly recent re-watch, I enjoyed the show up to the mid-point, and then found myself fast-forwarding the episodes more than I was watching them. I found the plot machinations boring and tiresome, where before, I’d been glued to my screen.

What had changed? Well, I had, basically.

With more exposure to different actors and dramas, my taste had evolved without my even noticing, and one day, a much loved drama unexpectedly ceased to appeal.

My word on that is, savor.

Savor every watch of a show coz you never know when you’ll reach that point, of outgrowing or wearing out a show.


DC19 My Girl

My Girl – an almost-victim of my mood

Regardless of everything that I’ve said, mood is a definite factor.

If you’re in the right mood for it, a drama can totally hit the spot. If you’re not in the right mood for it, though, it feels off. And it leaves a weird taste in your mouth too.

Sometimes, I start to watch a perfectly decent drama but fail to feel engaged. I now find it best to shelve it for another time and another mood, rather than power through and end up being disappointed with an otherwise good show.

The first time I watched My Girl, I must not have been in the right mood for it, because I found it inane and lame. Some years later, on a whim, I re-watched it and ended up really enjoying it.

Nothing had really changed besides my mood.

So, never mind the multitude of theories about what makes a crack drama remain cracktastic; sometimes you just need to be in the right mood, is all 🙂


I think the wisest bottom line is this: don’t rush through a drama just coz you want to guzzle it up.

If it’s great, go slow to savor it, coz you might never go back.

Otherwise, time is a great thing. If enough time has passed, a show can feel fresh – and all kinds of cracktastic and fantastic – all over again.

That’s what I think, anyway.

What about you? What makes your drama crack stay cracktastic, delicious and juicy? 🙂

DC20 Gong Yoo

89 thoughts on “What Makes Drama Crack Stay Fresh / Turn Stale?

  1. Pingback: Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about your experiences re-watching dramas? | The Fangirl Verdict

  2. Meong

    We all agree that boys over flowers is craptastic as we watched more and more amazing dramas. I don’t like almost paradise ost since the beginning but other ost in this drama is good. Especially ost from Howl – Love You. I still love that song until now. A good song will always be good even the drama is crap.
    You’re beautiful goes from my absolutely favorite drama to “Well it’s ok i guess” drama.
    I’m still in love with this drama though because of beautiful A.N.JELL in white just standing in the garden looking angelic af in episode one or two idk.
    Jeremy and Hwang Tae Kyung is soooo adorable. And don’t forget the adorable golden retriever in this drama.

    Nowadays, i consider “Rich guy poor girl” trope all crap because it looks like boys over flowers and the heirs.
    Exception for Shopping King Louie because Louie is such an adorable guy.
    Actually I’ve drop Shopping King Louie after watching one episode before but coming back again years later because i see a video of Louie’s random English on YouTube.

    1. kfangurl

      I’m learning that our personal drama journeys definitely play a big part in determining how we feel about a drama, from one point in time to another. I have also become more jaded with certain drama cliches and tropes, and the cold jerk + warm girl combination has started feeling very tired to my eyes. But, since we’re ever evolving and changing in our life experiences and drama tastes, I conclude that what I like today may not satisfy me several years from now. I guess that’s all part of life, eh? 😉

      1. Meong

        Yeah. Human always change. Nowadays I’m unamused with the cliche kdramas. It’s the same for mainstream kpop too. This make choosing next drama to watch kinda hard.

        1. kfangurl

          I find that sometimes it’s good to take a break, when we start to feel a bit bored and jaded with the things that used to make us happy. It’s partly why I’ve started to explore Chinese dramas as well, so that I have something different to break up my kdrama experience, and when I come back to it, kdramas feel fresher again. I hope that helps 🙂

  3. Marie Ana

    Hi kfangurl,

    I love your blogs and share your love for anything GONG YOO. Any show with Gong Yoo would be crack static to me and Coffee Prince will always be my go-to show.

    As to what keeps a drama crack fresh, I’d say it’s the on-screen chemistry of the OTP (of which Han Kyul and Eun Chan remain my all-time fave). It’s what made me rewatch a show (or part of a show), it’s what I remember long after the show has run its course.

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there Marie Ana! Thanks for enjoying the blog! 🙂 Yes, the onscreen chemistry definitely is one key reason I would consider rewatching a show. Definitely a crack factor! 🙂

  4. Ann

    Never watched BOF. I’ve tried oh so many times because it’s very popular but I just can’t seem to swallow any of it and I always end up bailing😅 on the other hand, I love you’re beautiful from the start and just accepted park shin hye’s acting and concentrated more on the story and JKS😄. And coffee prince is just lovable. Gong yoo is amazing in this. You can really feel his frustration and confusion. And I totally agree with the look you’re talking about here and I want some for meself as well haha😜😍

    1. kfangurl

      Honestly, I don’t think you’re missing anything by not watching BOF, Ann!! 😆 I tried going back to it, and hated it so much that I wondered why I ever liked it in the first place! And oh my, Gong Yoo in Coffee Prince is melt-to-the-floor wonderfullll. ❤❤❤ I lived for his smitten faces, so much. 😍😍😍 I rewatched it last year, and melted to the floor all over again, and then some.

      1. Ann

        Giggle.I can totally feel your gong yoo love and I can relate..ji Chang wook has the same effect on me hee😍😍😍

  5. Annoneemers

    Loved reading yr article. Very enjoyable. I just wanna comment that for long kdrama, do give Ugly Alert a try. It’s really engaging and nice to watch. I stumble upon yr blog btw becoz I just embarked on watching Nirvana in Fire and was looking for a review on the same. After reading yr insights on this cdrama, I was sold! Am at ep5 only and loving it. Thanks so much for that!

    1. kfangurl

      Hi there Annoneemers! Glad you found me, and I’m so pleased you’re enjoying Nirvana in Fire! It is SO. AMAZING. and I will absolutely watch it again. Also, yes, I have watched Ugly Alert, and rather enjoyed it overall. I liked the earlier stretch more than the final stretch, as I found the latter episodes rather draggy, but it was definitely not bad, for a long show. 🙂

  6. Byeol Shin-Ang

    First of all, LOVE your blog! Also, I know I’m a bit late in contributing to this topic, but – hey!

    So many factors! I’d say excellent acting for me is the biggest factor on whether a show will be cracktastic or not – followed very closely by great chemistry. I have a romantic streak a mile wide and most kdrama rom-coms I’ve watched have the same basic premise – what will make it or break it is the acting and/or chemistry.

    I agree with you about Hyun Bin in ‘Secret Garden’ – he was all kinds of good in that and, so far, with ‘Master’s Sun’, it’s one of my favourite kdramas. It was also the beginning of my love affair with Hyun Bin-oppa.

    By the way, I have an unhealthy love for ‘Master’s Sun’ right now because, apart from the great acting from So Ji Soeb and Gong Hye Jin, there was the seriously crack-a-lackin’ chemistry between them. I finished watching it the first time 3 weeks ago – I’m on the third watch. Yap, I know – sick…hah hah! Also, SJS could take over HB in my kdrama heart – I find that man to be all kinds of beautiful!😄

    I also agree on second chances. I started watching the Taiwanese version of ‘Hana Yori Dango’ and HATED it – I didn’t even get past the first episode – because I thought the acting was awful. Flash forward 2 yrs and I decided to watch it again (I must’ve been bored or I was more open to the crazy world of drama from the Far East). The acting was still atrocious but, for some reason, I fell in love with this version and got so emotionally invested in Dao Min Shi I closed my eyes when his love interest and best friend kissed! Still hate the Korean version, though. Don’t think I will give that a 2nd chance – it made me mad…

    That being said, I think I should try a ‘To the beautiful you’ rewatch – I never quite finished it. I hated all the characters save for cute little Jeremy. I should also revisit ‘Coffee Prince’ one day. Here, I think the mood factor crept in and I didn’t enjoy it as much I thought I would – seeing that it got such rave reviews. While I enjoyed Gong Yoo and Yoon Eun Hye’s interactions (great acting all round), there was just something what was missing that made it just meh and not cracktastic. It made me wonder what the all the love for the show was. It did open my eyes to Gong Yoo, though – that guy is all kinds of sexy…love your k-love confessions, by the way!

    I think how a story concludes also factors big in whether it will be cracktastic or not. Maybe that was one of the things that frustrated me with ‘Coffee Prince’ – hated, hated, hated the conclusion.

    Sorry for the long post! Love your love of drama – Will be visiting your blog more in the future! Hwighting!

    1. kfangurl

      Oh yes, I am so with you about the good acting and chemistry, Byeol! I can forgive a LOT for the sake of good acting and chemistry!! And it’s true, so many of the rom-coms have a similar structure that it can become painfully predictable in the hands of less skilled scriptwriters. But great acting can overcome so many flaws. A great actor can bring more to the table than just what’s on the script. Heck, a great actor can conjure up chemistry where there isn’t any, either. (Like Kim Soo Hyun in MoonSun, who looked smokin’ hawt romancin’ his leading lady even though Han Ga In was so woefully limited in her acting.)

      Wow, you DO have big love for Master’s Sun & So Ji Sub! I do agree he can be extremely lovely. I particularly like this shot of him, where he’s smoky, broody, & quite beautiful:

      Gorgeous. ^^

      YAY that you believe in 2nd chances! I’m not into TW drama, so I can’t comment on the TW-version, but I will say that I think your decision NOT to rewatch BOF is a wise one. I was horrified at how bad it was, when I attempted to rewatch it! 😛

      As for Jeremy.. Do you mean You’re Beautiful rather than To The Beautiful You? If you do mean You’re Beautiful, then I do highly recommend the rewatch! I hated it on first watch, then loved it on my 2nd and 3rd watches. I just needed to get into that campy space and understand the style of the Hong sisters more, to be able to appreciate it ^^

      And omo, you should TOTALLY give Coffee Prince a second chance!! I’m planning to rewatch it and review it this year, coz when I dipped my toes into E1 after going for the GY fanmeet last October, I was blown away all over again, at how well-written it is! As for the ending, I think it grew on me. I didn’t love the ending the first time, but loved the rest of the show enough to rewatch it several more times, and with each watch, I had a better appreciation of the ending, which is the same experience I had with Goong’s ending.

      Also! Don’t apologize.. Long comments are pretty common – and APPRECIATED! – around here. ^^

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  9. dramadrenaline

    LOVE this! I haven’t actually seen a lot of these, but I will write them down now. There have been a lot of dramas that decided to watch then didn’t like the first episode and stopped. (Despite some of the ones you will see in my advent calendar, I am actually pretty picky, lol.) Then, everyone was talking about them and I watched them again and fell in love. So I am with you on the potential of re-tries. I have to tell you, my favorite part of this post was your section on endings, in which appeared simply the picture of “City Hunter”. I died laughing. The less said about that the better, I guess. Awesome post!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw yay! Someone else who agrees with the potential of second chances for dramas where the first date didn’t go so well! I hafta say, even though I still do stand by that principle, I have so much less time for rewatches now that I’m blogging. It’s one of those paradoxes that no one tells you about and you only discover it AFTER you’ve started blogging: You love drama so much that you want to write about it. But once you start writing about it, you end up watching so much less drama, coz blogging eats up all those drama hours! >.< I'm still trying to recalibrate as I type this!

      Ha. I didn't love the ending of City Hunter, but oh well. On the plus side, the rest of the show was engaging and LMH managed to deliver some seriously good moments as an actor. Too bad he's negated some of that goodwill in my mind with his turn in Heirs #HeWhoWearsTheCrownShallNotBeNamed XD

  10. Lady G.

    Wow you said so much in this post and hit every nail on every head. Love it! I’m definitely going through a moody shift right now. Sifting through the muck and gems. I’m a little tired of the old stuff right now so I am focused on the latest dramas and their weekly episodes. The only thing I ever rewatched was Rooftop Prince, because my sister picked it as her first K-drama. lol. She enjoyed it despite some laggy parts. I found myself paying more rapt attention and realizing things I missed and forgotten! So much that my sister kept saying, I thought you saw this already? Why are you shocked that such and such happened? LOL. Right now there are so many dramas to watch that I don’t feel the desire to do re-watches. I have a terrible time watching tear-jerkers over again, Single dad in love and Thank You did me in.

    Have you ever come across a drama that you refused to watch just because but once you did, you loved it? That happened recently with Queen of Housewives. Once I hunkered down to watch I found I couldn’t stop, I mostly laughed all the way though. Oh Ji Ho was in top comic form as was Yoon Sang Hyun and Choi Chul Ho. I surprised myself because usually when I despise the female lead I eventually stop watching. I despised nearly every female lead in this drama! But the three guys kept it going for me.

    And I have to agree with your mother. Jumong moseys along, the pallette is very dull. I found the first 20 episodes so fascinating, when he trains with his father, the father’s story, the secret prison, but right now it’s boring. Though they are about to go into a big war and are rounding up the peoples. Sometimes I think characters in Sageuks are restricted because of the demands of the cultural mores of the era. Every one must show some restraint because it all takes place in the palace. So you basically see people shuffling around in their gowns, in and out of interiors plotting and posturing. Not able to be loose or fun or anything. I got fed up with the female lead, not because her character is bad, I like her character, but because she’s bland as dry toast and has 2 expressions on her face, blank and a smirk. :/

    Anyway, I’m going to get through it! LOL

    A cracktastic drama is one that makes me laugh, has good chemistry between the leads and the leading lady doesn’t tick me off. I like fish out of water stories. I like to watch dramas that mix genres. And even though it’s formula for nearly every drama, I get annoyed when two male leads are fighting tooth and nail over some blah female lead and you wonder what all the fuss is about? I’m honestly feeling that way about Marry him if you dare. I felt that way about Mary stayed out all night too. Didn’t finish that one and just cut to the end. (I know, I know, it’s based off a Manga!) I’m not into Manga based stories too much, unless they are serious ones. I couldn’t stomach BOF past episode 5 or 6. Maybe because I got into this drama watching business a little ‘late’ in the game in my early thirties. My fangirling-squee days are a little more behind me, even though you know I can when given the right prompt! LOL.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post, Lady G!! And how apt, considering your recent drama slump?

      Mood definitely is key factor in drama-watching.. If you’re not in the right mood, even the best drama just won’t hit the spot for you.. My friend Mawiie remarked on my Chuno review that Chuno just didn’t do it for her – and we both know the awesomeness that is Chuno! So if you’re not the mood for a certain type of drama, it’s always better to shelve it for another day and another mood, methinks ^^

      I totally get your experience with Rooftop Prince!! There are lotsa dramas where I discover more on the rewatch, regardless of the genre. I haven’t rewatched Rooftop Prince myself, but I can imagine many details leaping to my attention with the benefit of hindsight. That’s one of the draws of the rewatch, for me.. Having otherwise throwaway lines/moments suddenly take on meaning. Love that!

      Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a drama I refused to watch and then loved.. Maybe the closest thing would be Gaksital, which I had zero interest in because I don’t generally like shows set in that time period &/or about the Japanese Occupation/war etc. But it had so much positive buzz as it was airing that I figured I should check it out just to see, and then BAM! I was blown away by its brilliance and then I just HAD to write it a review that at least SORT OF did it justice, and that’s how epic reviews were born on this blog, Lol!

      Sounds like the straight-up sageuk isn’t quite your thing, coz most of them tend to be long, protracted affairs of more than 60 eps with lots of scenes of men in beards sitting around and plotting, HA. BUT! The more fusion sageuks, as well as those that are done in mini-series format, might be right up your alley!

      Love fusion? I love Queen In-hyun’s Man, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and Arang and the Magistrate.. Mini-series sageuks worth your time: I loved The Princess’ Man and Tree With Deep Roots.. And I’ve heard good things about Mandate of Heaven.

      Mary Stayed Out All Night was a big hot mess.. I genuinely enjoyed the first handful of episodes, which is why I watched it to the bitter end. The completist streak in me was strong at the time, heh. But it was a very meh drama overall, and I can’t honestly recommend it. BOF was a big hot mess too, though I wouldn’t say all manga-based shows suck. The Japanese do those better, and when I’m in the right mood for it, it tickles me pink. ^^

      1. Lady G.

        I actually like the fusions better. I saw most of your suggestions too! I need to get back to Princess’ man. Only on the 3rd episode. I know you once said it was intense too, and I can already see that. I’m watching the Manga Based Pretty Boy right now and the first 2 eps. so far are really good and funny.

        1. kfangurl

          Oh! Have you seen My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, Lady G? It’s awesome fun, and does have a bit of a fusion feel to it, coz it’s a fantasy drama. Yet it’s got oodles of heart, and Shin Min Ah is so very lovely in it.

          Good to know Pretty Boy is off to a promising start.. Jang Geun Suk’s recent projects haven’t been too great, so it’d be nice if this turned out to be good!

          1. Lady G.

            That one I haven’t seen, but I actually just added it to my list because I recognized your girl from the Chuno sequel drama. lol. It looks like fun. 😀 I think with Pretty Boy JGS is knowingly ‘winking’ at us with all his posing and posturing, it’s very tongue in cheek. He’s gotten lots of flak for that recently, that he sells out trying to give fanservice instead of honest performances. If that makes sense. So this is actually a perfect vehicle for him. He’s very good. And his voice melts me… :p

            1. kfangurl

              Oh, MGIAG is SO much fun!! It’s written by the Hong sisters too, so there’s a nice amount of campy comedy, but it’s a show that’s ultimately full of heart. And Shin Min Ah’s approachable goddess-like quality is used to wonderful effect. I LUFF THIS SHOW.

              Aw, Pretty Boy does sound promising. I hope it’s good, for JGS’s sake. He actually does have a nice amount of talent. He’s great in You’re Beautiful – it’s campy fun with heart as well, and JGS kills it as the haughty, vain bandleader! For a change of pace (JGS with a crew-cut!) and more awesome Kim Myung Min, there’s also Beethoven Virus. ^^

              1. Lady G.

                I do have Beethoven Virus on my list. And MGIAG has been on there but it just didn’t capture me as much. I’ll get to that one eventually.

  11. kaiaraia

    Girl, you inspire me! To be able to put all those thoughts in writing and sharing them with us, just awesome. I always thought your Number 1 reason for a rewatch is fangirl love, but why was it discussed towards the end? Wait… oh, that Yoo opening up the page…that’s him again…and another….and another….and large photos at that! Truly action speaks louder than words…it’s fangirl love after all. Me too!

    Our involvement in kdrama world is indeed a journey in its own, isn’t it? Mine began with the very first Koreanovela (that’s how we call it here in the Philippines) dubbed in Filipino was aired locally… that was Autumn in My Heart. It was a breath of fresh air from the epic, too complex Mexican dramas that occupied a lot of airtime then. Since then, I’ve been hooked.

    I love sageuk and I definitely agree with your mom that there’s so much to learn from Dae Jang Geum culturally. And that smile from Ji Jin Hee is a bonus. And I do like Jumong as well but its too lengthy for a rewatch. This was the only kdrama my then-boyfriend now-hubby watched with me. So that’s why it has a special place in my heart, hehehe.
    I wish GY would do a sageuk. I can’t help but wonder what’s his take as Jumong or that wicked prince Dae So. Interesting. Jumong made me realize that Koreans are great with make-up too. Jumong’s look as a teener up to his deathbed were quite convincing.

    I agree that BOF is not worth a rewatch–not unless you’re fangirling. I did not want to watch it because I’m afraid I might be disappointed and I was. I’ve seen Meteor Garden and Hana Yori Dango and the actors are way better there, at least the leads.

    Thanks for this awesome post!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks kaiaraia!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! ^^ And, I actually put the fangirl love bit towards the end on purpose, coz, well.. I didn’t want to appear TOO fluffy and fangirly! But of course, the GY pix sorta gave me away, didn’t they? XD

      How cool, that your hubs watched Jumong with you! There’re actually a number of kdramas that I think men would be able to appreciate.. If you like sageuk, I can think of a few shorter ones that you could possibly suggest to your hubs? I think Tree With Deep Roots and Chuno fit the bill. Non-sageuks that might appeal to a male audience include Gaksital, Nine and Vampire Prosecutor. Who knows, maybe one of these days, your hubs will watch kdrama with you again? ;D

      GY in a sageuk.. Now that’s something we haven’t seen! Acting-wise, I’m sure he would be up for the challenge, coz sageuks really do stretch you as an actor. I hafta admit I can’t quite picture GY with sageuk hair and facial hair tho.. 😛

        1. kfangurl

          That is true.. *thinks* Would he still get to show us some shirtless sometimes, as well as some swoony kissing? Coz that would be pretty awesome, no matter the time period! ;D I know, I know.. My inner fangirl is showing 😛

  12. dewaanifordrama

    kfangurl, you are AMAZING!!! How do find time to write?!!! I don’t always comment ( I will try and be better) but girl, you are FABULOUS!!! Keep up the good work!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks for the kind words! *blush* You make me wanna write more! ^^ It’s so encouraging to know that readers are enjoying the posts!

      As for finding time to write, I do take quite a while to complete a post – which explains the relative infrequency of my posts compared to many other blogs.. My record was going 2 weeks without a new post! It used to stress me a little, to see other blogs update their content so frequently, but I’ve since settled into my own rhythm. I might work on a post over several days before I’m done with it, but at least by the time I’m done, I’m happy with it. So I guess the (very roundabout!) answer to your question is, I just take as much time as I feel I need 😉

      AND! Yay that you’re planning to show yourself a little more! I honestly don’t mind if you decide not to, but the prospect of trading thoughts & giggles with a k-friend makes me happy ^^

      1. dewaanifordrama

        Yeah…I tend to take a few days as well. Lately though RL has been keeping me pretty busy, so I haven’t allowed myself to blog about K-drama as much :/ Hopefully soon again though!!!

        Also, I think that’s sort of funny about DF…when they don’t even stream in your country…

        1. kfangurl

          That’s definitely true.. RL has its priorities! But kdrama – & your readers – will always be waiting 😉

          Yes, isn’t it funny? I guess they were looking to get more traffic from referrers, but offering me a membership I can’t even use strikes me as not quite having done their homework. They aren’t available is so many regions, so it does seem a touch presumptuous to assume that the premium membership would be attractive to everyone..

          1. dewaanifordrama

            Yeah…let’s just say that their business and common sense seems to be a little lacking. I think it would be great if they were available internationally…though perhaps we just need some legit competition…too bad I don’t have a business degree 😉

            1. kfangurl

              Aw yeah! Some legit competition for DF – available internationally of course! – would be fab!

              Maybe it’s time to consider getting a business degree? 😉 Or you could influence someone who already has a business degree.. That’d probably be faster XD

              1. dewaanifordrama

                I’m sure there’s someone out there…here in the bloggersphere. The bigger problem though are all the silly rules, regulations, and red tape that makes international television and film distribution nigh impossible. Mr. Z wrote an excellent post about it, about “Beavergate”.

                1. kfangurl

                  Ah yes, I did read his Beavergate post – excellent stuff. He’s so well-informed & so.. cerebral. I couldn’t write like that for the life of me 😛 Now that you mention it, I’d actually found the post following a link that you posted on Amanda’s post on the same topic on Outside Seoul! Thank YOU! ^^

                  Hopefully someday in the not too distant future, international television & film distribution will become more feasible.. We should get all drama fans to cross our fingers & toes! XD

  13. Ahsoka

    Awesome post! Awesome blog in general too btw. I felt the exact same way about BOF & Ji Hoo – you literally typed my actual thoughts lol 😉 Re-watched it a little while ago and now I’m left wondering why I even ever liked it. I can totally relate to the ‘mood’ section of the post. It took me several tries to get through The Return of Iljimae despite my fairly extreme Jung Il Woo love. I kept watching a couple episodes here and there and then jumping ship to the fluffier dramas such as Flower Boy Ramyun Shop and Personal Taste. Honestly, after school, work, and everything else in a day I was typically in the mood for an easy to follow and happy world to escape to for a little while. When I finally had a couple weeks of being responsibility free I started The Return of Iljimae again from the beginning and watched it through to the end – I loved it. Now, The Return of Iljimae is one of my favourite ‘re-watches’. Also – and I might be the only one but I hope not – there’s been a few dramas that I haven’t really loved or understood until I read the dramabeans recaps and then re-watched them.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, THANKS, Ahsoka! Welcome to the blog!! 😀

      I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who had such a different reaction to BOF – AND Ji Hoo! – on the re-watch!! 😉 Truly, mood and context play such a huge part in how we respond to dramas ^^ Yay that you found time to love The Return of Iljimae! That’s so underrated, imo. I’m glad you gave it a second chance!

      And you’re not alone – I’ve had the dramabeans turnaround experience too! I love that the recaps on DB give us the context that we would otherwise be clueless about, so that we can give appreciation where it’s due. That was my experience with Answer Me, 1997. Without the recaps on DB, ALL the meta would have been lost on me! >.<

  14. mawiie

    Great post! I’ve been revisiting older dramas lately for my “Drama Dates” series and I can attest that some old time favorite does not pass the “rewatch test”!

    Goong, for instance, was my first love, but I was a bit saddened when I watched it recently and found out that it dragged so much. It’s like my precious memories has been tainted! I’ve been planing a post of BOF as well, but omg I really can’t watch that drama without cringing anymore (and I was one of those crazy fans who stayed till the wee hours to watch it asap).

    There are some really well loved drama that I seriously didn’t get (I must be the only loony on this planet who wasn’t in love with Coffee Prince AND My name is Kim Sam Soon *hides from the rotten tomatoes*), so I might try to rewatch them one day to see how it goes 😛

    1. kfangurl

      Aw I feel ya! It’s sad when a previously loved drama doesn’t stand up to a re-watch. I agree Goong can be draggy – especially when it comes to the palace politics – but I still love it. Now my rewatches of Goong include me fast forwarding all the draggy bits, so that I can still enjoy the other parts of the show that I love. But BOF.. Just, no. My rewatch of BOF was really painful, even when I employed the FF button >.<

      I do find that some dramas get better on the rewatch, and I really hope you give Coffee Prince another go sometime – I love this one, and it's not just coz it stars Gong Yoo either. I loved this even before I fell for Gong Yoo ^^ When the mood hits you, give it a go 🙂 I didn't love MNIKSS when I watched it, but I may give it another go sometime to see if I can get it now, like how I finally got You're Beautiful ^^

  15. myblondeseoul

    I’m still powering through some of the classics for the first watch, so my only re-watch so far has been Cinderella Unnie. And you nailed it–it was my first K-drama, so there’s a special spot for it : ) Awesome post!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! And welcome to the blog! 😀

      Yes, I think we all have a soft spot for our very first kdramas.. After all, it’s the drama that hooked us enough to make us want to check out other dramas! ^^ What are you watching right now?

        1. kfangurl

          Oh, I’ve heard pretty good things about Queen Seon Duk! It IS long, though, and I sometimes need a break from long shows too, so I kinda know how you feel! 🙂 Flower Boy Next Door looks like a fun watch – it’s high on my to-watch list, once I clear something off my drama plate!

  16. Pingback: Revisiting When It’s At Night | My Korean Corner

    1. kfangurl

      That’s happened for me too! There are some dramas where I pick up a lot more on the details and nuances on the second & subsequent watches, that I completely missed on the first watch. I love when that happens, coz I end up loving the drama even more ^^

      It’s great so see you online again, snow_white! I looked for your blog awhile ago, only to find that you’d deleted it. If you don’t mind my asking, why do you keep deleting your blog? After all the work that you put in, it seems like such a pity to keep deleting and starting over?

      1. snow_white

        haha…..actually i was really busy for the past two weeks as there was a wedding in my family 🙂
        and also, I wanted to make certain changes to my blog and I thought that instead of modifying the older one, let me make a new one. As for writing, I can always write the posts again 😀
        deleting a blog is always an instant decision for me…..lol
        But now, I have decided that I’m gonna stick to this one…..
        As I read more and more, the feeling comes that I should write certain things in a certain manner, and so I start all over again!!

        1. kfangurl

          Wow, you’ve certainly got a strong practical streak, to be able to delete your blog so quickly, despite all the work that you’d put into it! I’ve only been blogging for about 10 weeks now, & I already find the thought of deleting this blog too painful to consider 😛 I guess I’m kinda sentimental that way.

          It’s great, though, that you’re happy with this latest blog, and plan to stay with it! 😀

  17. Patrik_k

    I’m impressed you all have the time to re-watch dramas, because it have never re-watched a korean drama, i feel i need that time to see new dramas. 🙂

    I agree on that the type of dramas that probably is the easiest to re-watch are cute and fun rom-coms, because the plot is not that important in that kind of dramas. You often already know how the drama will end when you see it the first time anyway. And also dramas with some favorite actor/actress that you like a lot.

    You should have one more point in your list, dramas that you don’t want to re-watching because you are afraid the second time will not be as good as the first one and it will destroy the good image you have of the drama. “My Girl” is one drama i probably will re-watch at some point of time, but also are a bit afraid of doing it, just because i’m afraid of it will destroy the positive image i have of it.

    Nostalgia is a reason to re-watch dramas/movies, i have re-watch some korean movies that started my interest in korean movies and dramas a couple of years ago, just because it’s a bit nostalgic and fun to watch them again.

    1. kfangurl

      Yeah, there definitely is a trade-off when re-watching shows.. I always feel like there are so many dramas that I want to check out and haven’t, and yet there are some dramas that I love so much that I really want to enjoy them again. Decisions, decisions.. Where to spend the time? You’ve probably watched more dramas than some of us, since you generally don’t re-watch any 😉

      Great point about dramas that you don’t want to re-watch, for fear of not loving them as much on the second watch! It’s true that there are some dramas that I’ve enjoyed less on the second watch.. But that doesn’t stop me from trying, all the same, heh.

      And yes, definitely nostalgia plays a big part too.. It’s why I sometimes like to re-watch shows that I encountered early in my kdrama-loving life, coz it brings back so many related memories ^^

      What are you watching right now, Patrik_k? 🙂

      1. Patrik_k

        I think i have seen a lot less drama than most of you others, because i started to watch kdramas about 2-3 years ago and many of you others have probably have watched them for more years than i have done. 🙂

        Right know I’m watching the Japanese drama “Love Shuffle”, a really fun and good drama. I like too mix Korean and Japanese dramas to get some variation, something like three k-dramas for each j-drama or something like that 🙂

        1. kfangurl

          I haven’t heard of Love Shuffle, actually, but it sounds like a fun one to check out sometime. ^^

          Funny enough, I do watch a J-drama on occasion, and I’m currently watching one of your faves, Proposal Daisakusen! It’s very cute, and I’ve seen Operation Proposal, so I can say with authority that the 2 are very different dramas indeed. The original has a funnier tone to it, while Operation Proposal was comparatively speaking more serious. I’m glad I decided to check out the original, it’s a fun watch! 🙂

        2. alodia

          I find Love Shuffle really interesting but I got bored at the middle (when they were about to start another round of shuffle)… maybe I’ll continue watching it someday…

    2. alodia

      Usually when I rewatch I am liking the drama more. Probably because I get to understand it more and appreciate the nuances and clues that were dropped earlier. But I know what you mean when you feel afraid to rewatch because it may not be as good as it was the first time you’ve watched it. Especially for “special” dramas. Luckily with my “special” drama, Kim Sam Soon, it’s not the case. The reason why I love it all the more is because no matter how many times I rewatch it the feelings are still the same as if it was the first time. Maybe you’ll feel the same when you rewatch My Girl.
      What I can’t take are local remakes our country is fond of doing. THAT surely ruins a drama in my book.
      And yeah, rewatching dramas brings back lots of memories. 🙂

      1. Patrik_k

        Yes, i don’t like remakes if i have seen the original show. One of my favorite J-dramas is “Proposal Daisakusen”, when i heard about the Korean remake i got a bit curious about it, but i don’t want to watch it. Same thing with “Hanazakari no Kimitachi e “/ “To the Beautiful You”. But if i have not seen the original version i would probably don’t mind watching the korean remakes.

  18. BetsyHp

    I adore how in-depth this post is! It is interesting what dramas hit our sweet-spot and how it ranges. Sometimes it happens with dramas I’m sure are just plain wonderful and everyone should watch (Queen Inhyun’s Man, Shut Up Flower Boy Band). And sometimes it happens with dramas that… well, I love it but know it might not work for others. It has flaws and I know it, but I don’t care. 🙂 (SKKS falls into that category — mainly because I know the ending doesn’t work for a lot of people and I can see what they’re talking about — but I still loves it!)

    I hadn’t thought about retrying a drama that I didn’t like the first time around, though. Probably because there are just so many dramas so it seems like a waste. But… Your bit about “You’re Beautiful” has me rethinking that theory.

    Anyway, great post! 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!! 😀

      Also, I love SKKS too!! I know the ending was disappointing to a lot of people, but like you, I love it anyway! <3

      Yes, You're Beautiful swung 180 degrees for me; I went from serious dislike to really, really loving it. All because of some context. When it aired on local TV, my mum sniffed in disdain at the trailers, but I persuaded her to watch it with me, while I kept feeding her with contextual information along the way. She ended up loving it 😉

      Sometimes, it's also just a mood thing. I didn't love Playful Kiss when I watched it live, & finished it out of a morbid fascination. But when I revisited the show some years later on a whim, I loved the atmosphere so much that it warranted its own category in this post.

      I've concluded that sometimes, it's worth giving a show a second chance. When I first encounter it, it's possible that it's not that the show isn't any good, but more like I as a viewer just didn't "get it." And then at other times, I think it's just a mood thing. Which is why when I'm not feeling a show much, I'd rather shelve it for later – coz I may not love it now, but I might love it later ^^ That's not for all shows, of course. Some just really do suck 😉

      1. BetsyHp

        Mood really can shift how you feel about a drama. (It’s actually kind of nice having several different dramas going, right now, because it means I can watch according to how I’m feeling.)

        It’s smart to do that shelving thing. I did that for “9 End 2 Outs” because it was annoying me in a way I knew was all about me rather than the show. And it’d come so highly recommended I didn’t want to hate it. So I put it aside for another day. 🙂 But yes, sometimes it’s not me, it really is the show. 😉

        1. kfangurl

          Indeed. I’m so glad I’ve learned to listen to my moods too! I used to be a one-drama-at-a-time kind of gal, but now that I have 5 going on at once, there’s always something that fits my mood ^^

          Funny, I didn’t love 9 End 2 Outs either when I watched it, and it’d felt rather deflating coz it had come really highly recommended. But, at the time, I hadn’t learned to shelve yet, so I still haven’t had a good experience with it. Maybe one day the mood to re-watch it will hit me?

          Truly, so many dramas, so little time..! 😛

        2. Patrik_k

          “9 End 2 Outs” most be one of the most unrated dramas. First when i read the synopsis and saw the drama posters, i thought… “eh… a baseball drama?? sounds boring.”. I happy i read a bit more about it and watched it, because it was a really fun and good drama. Maybe because the story suites the +30 people like me. 🙂

          1. alodia

            I was on my mid 20s when I first watched 9 Ends 2 Outs (well, I love dramas for older audiences anyway since day 1 🙂 ) and I’ve also liked it. Not on my top 10. I find some bits annoying. But something I can enjoy rewatching because I love the chemistry of the leads. 🙂

  19. Timescout

    Great post! Especially as I’ve recently been thinking about why certain type of dramas I used to gobble up don’t appeal to me anymore. My taste has certainly changed. I’m also no longer the noob who watched just about anything because the whole drama world was new and oh, so shiny.

    Within all the dramas I’ve seen over the years, there are only a few I’ve actually re-watched even once and just a hanful I’ve re-watched more than once. IDK, but mostly it’s just because once I’ve finished a drama, it’s done for good. I enjoyed the tour while it lasted but have no urge to revisit those places again. Besides there is always new fare to sample and these days generally not much time for re-watches…. unless it’s something I’m introducing to my sister, LOL!

    The ones I’ve revisted are usually feel-good dramas, those that somehow brighten up my day. Say ‘Stranger than Paradise’, which I’ve watched several times and always enjoyed just as much. I think it’s because StP is somehow a bit different as at the core of the story is friendship rather than love, though that plays a part too. It also manages to package it’s k-drama tropes in a way that makes them palatable. The other type is crime procedurals/mysteries/revenge stories etc and for the reasons you stated. Resurrection falls in this category, it’s another one I’ve seen more than once.

    Then there is the one drama I really, really liked but will quite possibly never watch again – Slingshot/Story of a Man. I loved Shin, the main character, in a way I’ve never loved a character before or since and therein lies the crux. He was played by Park Yong Ha and just thinking about him makes my chest tighten up in sorrow. PYH IS Shin for me and… I just can’t….

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks, Timescout! It’s interesting how there are a number of us feeling similarly about our evolving drama tastes lately!

      I haven’t watched Stranger Than Paradise, but it definitely sounds interesting and worth checking out. I’ve been planning to check out Resurrection too – I’m told that this is where Uhm Tae Woong made his mark as Uhmforce so I’m very interested!

      Ah yes, Slingshot. It’s such a tragedy, what happened to Park Yong Ha. I can completely understand your reluctance to watch it again, despite your love for it. Sad, sad thing indeed..

      1. Timescout

        I guess everyone comes up to the saturation point at one time or other and I’m sure there are several of us who quite possibly have around the same amount of dramas under our belt, so to speak. 🙂

        Yes, do watch both StP and Resurrection. They’ll give you several kind of angles on The UhmForce, LOL! I just read what I wrote on StP back in the day and doing that put a big grin on my face. I may have to find time to rewatch it again, sigh. Resurrection… yup, the one that made people sit up and take notice on UTW, he’s that riveting. And you’ll see several familiar faces from Mawang playing totally different characters.

        1. kfangurl

          Woot! I’ll be sure to check out your blog for your thoughts on Stranger Than Paradise when I’m ready to watch it! For now, Resurrection is higher up my to-watch list – possibly after I’m done with VP2 (which I’m finding pretty good, btw!) UhmForce!!! 😀

          1. Timescout

            Resurrection may fit the bill better after VP2 , being revengy and all. ;P I wrote a lengthy piece on it too, LOL! It’s somewhat spoilery for a few things (especially the synopsis at the beginning) unless you are already familiar with the premise so best read afterwards I guess. 🙂 Gosh, that was way back in 2008… my, how time files.

  20. Korazy Lady

    Once again, another insightful post. How long does it take you to write these? I admire your dedication.

    Coffee Prince and Que Sera, Sera are the only two I’ve rewatched for me. Winter Sonata, Full House, My Girlfriend is Gumiho, and Goong I’ve rewatched while trying to convert others. There are a lot on my “won’t touch again” list but an equal amount on my “I’d love to rewatch” list.

    BTW, I agree with Winter Sonata. It was my second drama, and blew me away. I don’t care if it’s cheesy and super melo with every trop in the book, I could still watch it again. If I could just find the time…..

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks, lafer! 🙂 Writing this actually took me a good part of a day, with breaks to do other stuff. I’ve found that creating a post that I’m happy with takes a LOT of time, so I’ve decided to forgo quantity for the “quality” that I want. Not as many posts for readers, but at least I’m happy with what I put up. No time to go back and upgrade older, shorter reviews, but oh well. At least I’m applying a standard I’m happy with going forward 😉

      Yes, I’ve got a lot of dramas on my “I’d love to rewatch” list too – but I don’t end up getting around to all of them. There’re always so many trade-offs that it takes a pretty special drama to actually make it from the “I’d love to rewatch” list to the “I’ve actually rewatched” list! 😉

  21. Nelly

    Wow, this is spot on! Well, you know me… The only shows i can watch over and over no matter what (or where!) is Playful Kiss. It is my forever Cracktastic drama 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Nelly! <3 Indeed – there's just something about Playful Kiss that makes it an enduring, comfort-food, great-to-unwind-to drama! On my first watch, I didn't enjoy it much, to be honest – I found Seung Jo too prickly & Ha Ni too much of a doormat – so I'm glad to have discovered that it's really much more enjoyable than I'd originally thought! ^^

  22. Michele

    Can I say again how much I enjoy your blog?! As you know, I am a newbie to the K-dramaverse so everything I have been watching has had some quality about it that has made it cracktastic! Right now Rain is making me enjoy an otherwise heavy and depressing drama because I like the feel of the show and the intensity he is bringing. I know I will revisit Secret Garden as I will probably do with all of Hyun Bin’s dramas because I find him incredibly engaging, even all scruffed up in Snow Queen. My first drama was Coffee Prince and I continue to return to that one because it is just plain enjoyable, with good music and good performances. I am totally on board for a rewatch of Big even though the ending was disappointing. As we have both agreed Gong Yoo excelled in this drama, honing that craft and delivering a stellar, nuanced and honest performance.

    I know I am still in early fan mode where everything is appealing to me and I am sure that as I become more experienced with this genre, I will be able to be more discerning. Right now, I am just enjoying the ride and appreciate the time and effort you bring to your blog so infants like me have some guidance!

    PS…I am still discombobulated by your rain-laced email! Tsk tsk! 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks Michele!! It’s always lovely to know readers are enjoying the blog!! <3

      Enjoy this early honeymoon phase of loving kdrama! Don't rush it – everything's new and novel only once. It's true that as you watch more and more dramas, that your taste will evolve.. In the meantime, enjoy the wonderful rush of getting sucked into all the stuff that makes kdrama awesome! ^^

      As for the rain goodies.. I'm happy to discombobulate *cough* 😉

  23. alodia

    Coincidentally I am currently rewatching an old Kim Sun Ah drama, When It’s At Night, and I was surprised with myself that I am liking it more than I did before.

    I rarely rewatch because I don’t even have time for dramas on my to-watch list! But I do rewatch some dramas.
    1.) Yes. Context. Context. Context. My context is Kim Sam Soon. Number of rewatch: 100+++
    2.) Kim Sun Ah fangirling. Of course it’s an “obligation” to rewatch her dramas!
    3.) OTP: KSA & CSW on City Hall! Can’t get over them so I’ve rewatched City Hall a lot too. I haven’t rewatched it in years. I’m curious if my feelings will be the same.
    4.) Romcoms. Yeah most of my rewatch are of romcoms. What’s Up Fox? Bad Couple. 9 Ends 2 Outs.
    5.) Thrillers/Suspense: H.I.T.
    And as much as I love long morning dramas and as much as I’m engaged on makjangs, I would never ever rewatch them (unless they fall on my category #2)

    I agree with all you’ve written 100%. Great post!!!!!!! Just like my dramas, I can read this post over and over without getting tired of it too! 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, THANK YOU, alodia!! That is one of the sweetest, most encouraging comments, EVER! <3

      Yes, I love it when a show gets better on a re-watch – it makes the show feel all the more substantial and meaty, doesn't it? ^^ And, City Hall! I love City Hall! I haven't re-watched it yet, but I plan to, sometime. KSA and CSW are fantastic, I have to agree! 🙂

  24. Crazy For Kdrama

    Great post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who was thinking about this. It’s funny, sometimes the rewatch makes you apprciate a show more and you’re pleasently surprised. Others? Not so much. But, it shouldn’t color how much fun we had the first time around. And sometimes you’re right, it’s not the show, it’s us. The show didn’t change at all, but we have and we can’t quite experience the show in the same way.

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks Steph! 😀 I love that we were both chewing on the same thing at the same time! <3

      Yes, I love when the re-watch makes me appreciate more about the show – like all the little thoughtful details that I missed on the first watch. I also find that endings that I disliked on first watch often become more palatable on subsequent watches. That was what happened for me with Goong and Winter Sonata. I was underwhelmed on first watch, but the endings made more and more sense, the more I re-watched these 2 shows. And then I realized that the writers must have put a lot of thought into crafting those endings.

      I love your point about how we shouldn't discount our initial enjoyment of a show just because it doesn't hold up to a re-watch. It really gives me food for thought as I prepare to review Beautiful Days – THANKS! <3

  25. kakashi (@mydunn123)

    There is only two dramas I have revisited so far: You’re Beautiful and The Princess’ Man. I have watched both of them twice and plan to watch TPM a third time. Other shows that have a certain pull (i.e. seem to lure me back to them) are: Warrior Baek Dong Soo and Chuno. Yup, I’m a sageuk lover 🙂 Apart from them, I will probably never watch any other old drama again, simply because there are so many (potentially exciting) new dramas on the horizon and I have a want-to-watch-list that is one page long … I have no time! Also, the more dramas I watch, the more harder it becomes to truly please me. What seem novel and exciting when you first stumble into the wonderful world of KDrama has a tendency to become stale the more you see it (i.e. the standard tropes and characters about 80% of KDrama uses). These days, I get most excited by unconventional writing (tvN dramas) or by a different look-and-feel (OCN dramas).

    1. kfangurl

      Ah yes, Chuno!! I plan to revisit Chuno too! I haven’t watched Warrior Baek Dong Soo – sounds it’s worth checking out, if it made your very selective re-watch list! 😉

      I have to agree that as I continue to clock more kdrama miles, my taste is becoming more discerning as well. I do still have a soft spot for romance – the big reason I got sucked into kdrama in the first place – but I do find myself being more and more intrigued by the tvN and OCN offerings too. They are getting so good! ^^


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