The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Is The K-bloom Off The Rose? [My evolution as a drama viewer]

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Yes, I know that’s not a rose. I’m going to pretend it’s a rose.. apple. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some time ago, a remark by long-time friend of the blog Beez got me thinking.

Basically, we were talking about how I’d dropped The K2, despite Show serving up a whole lotta shirtless via a gloriously nekkid fight scene. Beez then said, and I quote, “Wow. Kfangurl, I think the K-Bloom is off the rose for you.”

Essentially, Beez felt that even though the OTP in The K2 had been uninspiring, that Ji Chang Wook‘s chemistry with second female lead Song Yoon Ah had been so sparky and sizzling, that if that hadn’t been enough to hold my attention, then, well, I must not be as taken with kdramas – or perhaps dramas in general – anymore.

This got me thinking about my evolution as a drama viewer, and what’s captured me each step of the way, and I thought you guys might perhaps find this interesting or relatable, and so here we are.

Are you ready for (my version of) the truth?

THE FOUR STAGES OF DRAMA VIEWER EVOLUTION

Basically, I feel like there are four distinct stages of viewer evolution.

Of course, this is purely based on my own experience, combined with anecdotal evidence from observing other drama viewers, so it’s not very scientific at all. But.. you might find some of the stages familiar, in which case, you’d be totally adding to the credibility of my theory..! ๐Ÿ˜€

How long a viewer stays in each stage varies between individuals, with some flitting through stages very quickly, and others spending much longer periods of time in each stage.

That being said, this doesn’t apply to all drama viewers. I certainly know of individuals who’ve skipped a stage or two, because of their personal contexts and preferences, and that’s completely fine too. These 4 stages are just what I observe many drama fans – myself included! – tend to go through. (Should I call this.. Fangurl Theory..? ๐Ÿ˜†)

STAGE 1: Everything’s so shiny!

Goong: Such feeelss. ๐Ÿ˜

In Stage 1, everything is new, shiny and interesting, and so, like the drama ducklings that we are, we quickly and happily glom onto everything that crosses our line of vision.

The food, fashion, culture, and language is fascinating and we very quickly develop an appetite for more. Depending on what the first drama was that stole our hearts, we often want more of the same as well.ย So, if our first drama was a romcom, we’d want more of that. If our first drama was a sageuk, we’d often want more of that. We quickly associate drama tropes with feels, and we chomp it all up, often in multiple large servings of back-to-back(-to-back) episodes.

We also tend to develop big affection for the first actors who steal our hearts in our first dramas, and actively seek out other dramas in which they’ve acted, so that we can inhale more of their personal brand of awesome. This, as we quickly learn, often reaps mixed results.

Whether our love for our Stage 1 dramas fades or endures over time really depends. Some dramas age well, and others.. not so well.

Dramas I loved in Stage 1 and still love: Goong, Save Your Last Dance For Me.

Dramas I loved in Stage 1 that I now find meh: Playful Kiss, Witch Yoo Hee, Secret Garden.

STAGE 2: I would watch (AND rewatch!) anything for Oppa!

One Fine Day: Such a terrible drama. But Gong Yoo looked good?

Remember when I said that once we develop a big affection for an actor or actors, we tend to actively seek out their dramas, and often with mixed results? Yeah, Stage 2 is when we not only seek those dramas out, but watch – and even rewatch – terrible dramas, all because our favorite actors are in it.

At this stage, this is not hardship. It’s dedication. Loyalty. I could, quite literally, watch anything for Oppa.

I’ve watched some turkeys for the sake of an actor that I liked, and I’ve even rewatched some turkeys – while knowing full well that they were turkeys – all for the sake for Oppa.

Let me confess right here, that I watched the terrible One Fine Day twice, all for the love of Gong Yoo. I made it through Heirs out of love for Kim Woo Bin. And back in the day, when I thought Park Shi Hoo was cool (I know, such a faint and bemusing memory now), I watched Prosecutor Princess twice, despite not actually liking the show much at all.

There was a time when my fangirl dedication was stronngg. And I call that Stage 2. ๐Ÿ˜‰

STAGE 3: When Oppa isn’t enough anymore

The K2: Even the glorious nekkid shower fight scene wasn’t enough for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Granted, not everyone arrives at this stage, but I did, hence my discovery of the existence of Stage 3.

Stage 3 is when you realize that Oppa just isn’t enough anymore. You just can’t bring yourself to watch a bad show just to support Oppa.

My personal turning point into Stage 3 happened with Uncontrollably Fond. I thought that I could watch anything for Woob. After all, I’d survived Heirs and lived to tell the tale, right? But, while watching Uncontrollably Fond, I realized that I was hating every. single. episode. It felt like SUCH a drag to watch the show, even though there was plenty of Woob in each episode. I found that my Woob loyalty was taking a hit with each new episode that I watched, and in the end, I found myself dropping out because Show had drained me of so much Woob loyalty, that I just couldn’t muster up the resolve to watch even another 5 minutes of the show. And, afterwards, I realized that my Woob loyalty was so thoroughly drained, that since then, I’ve taken years to rebuild just a small section of it. ๐Ÿ˜›

Looking back, I feel like if I’d just read my symptoms early and not forced the issue, I could’ve preserved at least most of my Woob loyalty.

Since this terrible experience, I’ve been quicker (and smarter) about dropping out of shows that are not working for me, and this helps me to preserve my affection for Show’s lead actors. This is largely why I dropped The K2 (for Ji Chang Wook), and also why I dropped High End Crush (for Jung Il Woo) as well. See? I drop the shows out of love..! ๐Ÿ˜‚

STAGE 4: When dramas aren’t enough anymore?

No..! Say it ain’t so! ๐Ÿ˜

Stage 4 is the perplexing stage where we’re not sure whether the dramas themselves are enough anymore. Granted, not everyone arrives at this stage, but it exists, and I thought it would only be fair to include it.

Some drama fans have a lifelong love affair with dramas, while for others, it’s a love affair that lasts but a season. Said season can be short, or can last years.

Basically, at some point, we start asking ourselves if, in Beez’s words, the K-bloom off the rose?

Personally, after having watched dramas in a focused fashion for 14 years now, I have to admit that I ask myself this question, from time to time. For the last few years, I’ve experienced a bit of a drama rut each year, lasting about a month at a time. During that time, I have little to no interest in dramas, and I find myself doing anything – watching YouTube videos, browsing Twitter – rather than watching dramas.

Happily, I’ve emerged out of each drama rut with a renewed and refreshed interest in dramas, and have come back kicking, raring and ready to enjoy the best that Dramaland has to offer. But there are also drama fans who don’t make the same comeback, and some then leave Dramaland forever (sniffle), keeping only the fond memories.

I think the important thing to keep in mind, is to do what makes you happy.

Maybe dramas aren’t making you happy right now, and that’s ok. Some fans take long breaks and find themselves back in Dramaland after a couple of years. That’s ok too. Some fans find new passions in other areas and might never find themselves back in Dramaland. That’s also ok.

Ultimately, we all came to dramas because dramas made our lives happier and more interesting. And if we keep that as our focus – to always do what’s best for us personally – we can’t and won’t go too wrong, regardless of where we land, with our dramas. ๐Ÿ™‚

Always take care of you. โค

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

338 thoughts on “Is The K-bloom Off The Rose? [My evolution as a drama viewer]

  1. j3ffc and Beez were talking about how few shows end with a great finale.

    We’ve seen a few recently that did. But amusingly, when I look at my list of watched shows, I can’t remember which ones they were! Secret Love Affair, for sure. And, of course, everyone’s perennial fave, Something in the Rain/Pretty Noona Who… (Best final three Eps ever!)

    Since these are the details I tend to notice, I realize I need to start keeping a list of how shows handle certain things:

    1. How quickly before it engages us at the start (balancing that with necessary background set-up, including how unhappy or unlikable the leads are prior to the OTP or complex character history that has no emotional context for us at first)

    2 a. How they maintain/resolve tension to keep us engaged. Is it a single source of dramatic tension that evolves slowly and resolves at the end, or a series of new problems/opportunities that get resolved prior to the next one being introduced?

    a. For romance shows, the writers’ choices on how quickly it becomes mutual (Ep 4 vs. 15 out of 16!) or before one confesses but the other’s not ready — and if that happens early, what they do with that relationship for the rest of the show.

    3. The rhythm of the pacing — how it rises and falls over the 16 or so Eps. For example, the big fail with Something in the Rain (yes I was joking above!) was that it felt like they hadn’t mapped the pacing in advance and then felt a need to introduce extreme new tension too close to the end to resolve convincingly.

    4. The last 2 episodes and the final one in particular. It’s great to end well, but K-dramas don’t seem to have that down, do they?

    Chocolate is an example I often mention where the penultimate Ep resolved the major OTP arc extraordinarily well but then couldn’t figure out what to do with the final Ep. (So they introduced some never-really-explained obstacle to the OTP and then just as allowed it to be resolved.) This was a show where the one person was in love from the get-go, recognizing the guy as her first true love from childhood, but he failed to catch up, much less recognize her from their “significant shared childhood experience” until an amazing romantic epiphany at the end of the 2nd-to-last episode. It was the most well-done romantic epiphany we’ve seen yet, with all manner of detail held in reserve all season long to then bring into play at the end. But then the writers didn’t know what to do with that last hour! Go figure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Orson Welles famously said “โ€œIf you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.โ€ I like your analysis vis a vis timing and pacing, as the evergreen problem with romantic comedy in all of its forms is how to keep the couple apart until, well, you shouldn’t, and the proper introduction of tension is a key to doing it successfully. For me, it comes down to a gut feeling as to whether the happiness has been earned as opposed to ordained (either by “fate” or, more prosaically, by the writer). A think the K-drama world has made it harder on itself by so rarely allowing real surprise in who ends up with whom.

      As per Welles above, some of my favorite endings are in the slice-of-life shows where the format allows you to simply stop your story. This is not always shared among commenters, though, who point out loose ends โ€“ which surely exist. Years ago, I saw Kurt Vonnegut give a talk on exactly this point (he hated “Cinderella” because it was manipulative but loved “Hamlet” where events were uncertain โ€“ “just like real life”). Which is another not-subtle plug for โ€œBe Melodramatic.โ€

      I think you are spot on that the pacing often makes it hard for the writers to wrap things up at the end and all are left twiddling our thumbs for the last hour. I can think of an interesting case outside of K-drama where this was handled in an interesting way. Along with a lot of folks around here, I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the fourth season of that show, the ostensible plot was wrapped up in the penultimate episode, leaving a show to go. They used this for one of the oddest shows ever for that show, totally devoted to dreams, deeper show mythology, and in retrospect laying out the groundwork for the rest of the series. It was more of a tone poem than a plotted show. Lots of people hated it and some of us loved it, but it was Not Boring.

      Thanks again for your insights.

      Liked by 2 people

      • While I am a sucker for a happy ending, especially with rom-coms (they are just an escape from real life after all), there are quite a few shows that don’t have happy endings that I do feel had great endings whether tragic or open-ended. I won’t name them here because there’s nothing worse, in my opinion, then spoiling the ending of a book or show.

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      • Ambiguity is definitely underrated in the modern era. Ditto for delayed gratification.

        My sons and I watched all six seasons of Lost, one of the ultimate “mystery box” shows. For me, not knowing the answers to that show’s puzzles was far much more exhilarating that having them eventually answered.

        While the ambiguity was still in play, everything seemed possible. It was gloriously wide open to the magic of my imagination. As mysteries were solved, the magic passed Often satisfyingly, but passed nonetheless.

        That was another show, btw, that became (in)famous in the long run mostly for how disappointingly it ended.

        Most of which doesn’t apply to K-Drama romance, other that to say: I’m totally ok with an open-ended finish. And I’ll take that lack of resolution any day over a lame finish that attempts to close all the loops but does so badly.

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    • hahaha! Merij1 that sounds like WORK! I’m sure you’ve described what Kfangurl does. I watch to chill and be lazy! lol. But you can keep track of all that and then when those dramas come up, I can pick your brain if Kfangurl didn’t cover the ones we might watch in the future. ๐Ÿ˜†

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      • Exactly! My wife is always noting (complaining?) that my brain never stops processing. “Always with the thinking.”

        So notes help keep all that stuff in my head from getting too messy.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Just for clarity, I think the concern over less than optimal endings apply mainly to good shows, the viewer has been on a nice journey and is looking for a smooth landing; if you don’t care for the show, I suspect the ending will not make a difference.

      I think the problem lies with the defined length of the show, usually 16 episodes. A movie doesn’t have this problem, it has to focus on the main plot and start, develop and carry it to a conclusion in about 2 hours. With 16 episodes and with writing often done and re-done on the fly, sub-plots are introduced to “stretch” the show but often with all the different storylines, there’s an abruptness usually to the final episode as the main storyline is completed (sometimes even that is abrupt) but sub-plots are left hanging. On the other hand, without secondary plotlines, the show can come to a finality before or early in the final episode, now resulting in meaningless meandering and flashbacks, often presented as philosophical observations.

      Having said all this, the sub-optimal endings do not necessarily detract too much from the quality of the show if it has been well done to that point. But when the show ends smoothly like CLOY, it’s a gift.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re right that secondary plotlines are sometime there to stretch/fill out the show and also for the purpose of allowing the main leads get some much needed rest from the hectic shooting schedule that can begin at 5am and end at 2 or 3am and right back at it at 5am.

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      • > Just for clarity, I think the concern over less than optimal endings apply mainly to good shows

        @ Geo: When Beez teased me for analyzing shows instead of just enjoying them, I almost added that I’m far more likely to think about why shows that I enjoy end up failing for some reason. Because those failures takes me out of the blissful joy of immersion.

        When the show is perfect, my wife and I just let it wash over us.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I definitely related to a lot here. I’m somewhere between stage 3 and 4. My longest kdrama rut was after watching Nirvana in Fire because that seriously put a damper on basically everything. I think I was away for like a year and now I’m back. I’m still quite choosy with what I watch and I definitely drop stuff once I realize I’m not having it. I rewatched Father is Strange and absolutely loved it so I’m going through my old stuff and rewatching them. Especially the ones I can barely remember haha.

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  3. I was always watching a drama but now I am kind of tired of kdramas, no one catched my attention anymore so I moved to Cdramas and is working out and i’m loving. I think the answer for the stage 3 is to change the country that you watch the dramasfrom, It from time to time and after that come back to the orininal ones that you loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post so much. It totally describes my transition. Boys Over Flowers was my first K drama and I just loved it so much. Since it was my first exposure, the concept of chaebol and the focus on food, seeing men cry, all the over the top emotions felt so shiny. Now I feel embarrassed knowing how much I loved it at one point.
    I will say for me there is another stage between stage 3 and stage 4 and that is when you expand your drama horizons. I remember I watched Heirs in my stage 3 and could not finish it, and just wanted to watch something less toxic. I remember that one of your highly rated drama is Chinese drama is named A Love So Beautiful. I ended up by mistake watching A little thing called first love (also C drama) which I found very cute and endearing. And then when I realized my mistake, I watched A love so beautiful which I also loved. The point is when Korean dramas were not clicking, I decided to look into other Asian market including China and Taiwan and found some really cute gems in them. It also has the same first stage feel of shiny-ness when you notice new cultural things but are less likely to be carried away in watching shows that do not click.

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    • Hi there SZ10!! ๐Ÿ˜€ So glad that you enjoyed this post! โค And I feel you, I've enjoyed dramas in the past that I now feel embarrassed by too! You're not alone! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†

      Your hack for getting out of Stage 4 is an excellent one, and I've used it too, to get out of drama ruts. It's great that there're so many other drama pastures to choose from! ๐Ÿ˜€ I personally have only been dabbling in C, TW and J dramas when I need a bit of a change, and even then, there's already so much to explore! ๐Ÿ™‚

      PS: YAY that you enjoyed A Love So Beautiful! I found that a very endearing little show indeed! โค

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  5. Hi Fangurl!

    Love your analysis of the stages of KDrama addiction. I would say I am at Stage 3. I am now more careful of my time and drop more dramas. I am viewing more CDramas lately after I research the actors, review the story and check the number of episodes first to see if it appeals to me.

    I also started searching for older KDramas. If anyone has any really good older dramas (90s – to 2009) please let me know and thanks.

    Great post! I would love to see an article on your favorite supporting actors|actresses. There are so many that pop up in our drama world all the time, and while they are not the leads, their work is great none-the-less.

    Liked by 3 people

    • For older K Dramas, I recommend:
      Sandglass (1995)
      Beautiful Days (2001)
      My Name Is Kim Sam Soon/My Lovely Sam Soon (2004)
      Que Sera Sera (2007)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi phl! โค Always great to see ya! ๐Ÿ˜€ Glad you think the stages make sense! I think Stage 3 is where most long-term drama fans stabilize.. I find myself mostly in Stage 3, with small detours into Stage 4, and then back again. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I do think taking detours into other country's dramas, and delving into older dramas, can freshen up the drama experience. I do that a lot too! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thinking of older kdramas, I think that you'd enjoy All About Eve. It's enjoyable and not tropey, and I thought Jang Dong Gun was very appealing in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hotelier is very good too. Ah, and since you enjoy OSTs, I do think you might enjoy checking out Winter Sonata. The music in that is very well done, and applied very effectively to help facilitate the storytelling. And I personally have a soft spot for Save Your Last Dance For Me, coz of Ji Sung. It's retro melo all the way through, with double amnesia to boot. And Ji Sung is young and earnest and quite swoony in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks for your suggestion on a post on supporting actors! I will put some thought into it, I promise! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Fangurl – I have heard a lot about All About Eve. In fact it is queued up on my Viki watch list – I guess it might be time to take a peek. It is probably your only A rated drama I have yet to see as I have followed your list pretty religiously (just still stuck on episode 3 of Bridal Mask LOL). I did see Winter Sonata and cried buckets.

        I am definitely going to find Save the Last Dance for Me! Look at Ji Sung – he was, and still is, absolutely adorable! Interesting to note that he met his wife while filming this. I plan to start this asap. Just in time as I have paused Winter Begonia as it is getting too sad and it is hard to watch because I know what is coming. Sigh…such a gorgeous drama but as a general rule I shy away from war films as they are too sad.

        Thank you!

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    • I might be off by the year here or there but these are the older dramas that come to mind:
      My Name is Kim Samsoon (often referred to as “the rom-com that started it all”)
      Autumn in My Heart (classic, melo)
      A Love to Kill (melo)
      Arang and the Magistrate
      Couple or Trouble (rom-com, almost a direct remake of the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell movie but they change it up a bit toward the later episodes)
      Damo: The Legendary Police Woman (saeguk, Ha Ji-Won gets to show off her stunt skills)
      Delightful Girl Choon (Chun) Hyang (this is a modern take on an infamous Korean folktale)
      Full House (rom-com, also one of the first dramas to break through internationally)
      Iris (actin packed spies and secret agents, boasts actor Lee Byung heon who has starred in quite a few American movies)
      Sorry, I Love You (classic melo)
      Sandglass (I haven’t finished it but it’s THE Classic touted for 56% of household watching when it aired. I think it’s harder for me because I’m not familiar with the historic event it’s based around)
      Sunkyunkwan Scandal (fusion saeguk)

      I tried not to list any dramas that have been discussed a lot already in this particular thread.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Beez! Yay – thank you so much for this great list! You are so kind for taking the time to put together this for me and I really appreciate it.

        Sandglass sounds great and I plan to definitely watch this. Out of the drama listed above I have not seen numbers 3, 6,7,8, or 9 which I have added to my list. Also, I really loved Couple or Trouble! Since you are a Rain fan I am guessing that you have already seen The Unit – a show he hosted? If not check it out although you were probably on top of it and watched it when it aired LOL.

        I found a youtube channel – Korean Classic Film – with classic Korean movies and some of them are subbed so I jump over there every once in a while. Pretty standard fare but every once in a while I find a familiar face. These old movies are treasures of Korean cinema.

        Stay safe Beez and thanks again!

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        • You’re most welcome, phl1rxd
          The Unit – you know it! In fact if I weren’t a lazy fan, I’d figure out how to petition to have him as a judge in some of these American dance competition shows. So You Think You Can Dance was one he would’ve been great on. I used to hit the mute button when it was time for 3 of the 4 judges to speak. ๐Ÿ˜–

          At the time that I watched Couple or Trouble, I felt as long as they were using the basic script from Overboard, they missed a prime opportunity to make the heroine more likeable (let’s face it – she was a brat). But right where the American film had her take up for the kids with their teacher, the story diverges at that point. Looking back, I think it may be that Confucius respect that if she did that, wouldn’t endear her to Korean audiences. But then again, if I recall correctly, SPOILER she divorced her husband for Oh Ji ho and that was an uncommon storyline to go with so why they choose not to go with the teacher scene is a mystery to me.๐Ÿคท

          I’ll be checking out the Youtube channel. Thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

    • We need a new show! For those familiar with our taste, what do you recommend? I’ll list all the ones we’ve seen thus far, as well as several that various of you recommended to me recently.

      A few shows we were encouraged to consider, in no particular order:

      Dinner Mate
      Personal Taste
      School 2013
      My Love From Another Star
      Sungkungkwan Scandal
      Shopping King Louie
      When The Camilla Blooms
      Masterโ€™s Sun
      One Percent Of Something
      Itโ€™s Okay, Thatโ€™s Love
      Fight My Way

      The Last Princess (film)

      —————————————————————————————————
      Shows we’ve already seen, in the order we watched them and our grades:

      Romance Is a Bonus Book – A+
      A Thousand Goodnights (very sweet Tawainese show) – A
      One Spring Night – A+
      Something in the Rain/Pretty Noona Who… (A+ for first 1/2, C- for last 1/3)
      Crash Landing on You – A+
      Another Miss Oh – A-
      Chocolate – A
      Healer – A+
      Coffee Prince – A+
      My Holo Love – B-
      Familiar Wife – B+
      Radiant – AKA Dazzling – hard for us to rate since it’s so heavy
      Kill Me Heal Me – A
      Her Private Life – A
      The K2 (hard to rate – mashup of great and awful, so maybe a B- on average)
      Secret Love Affair – A+
      I Hear Your Voice – A

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you should try next: My Love From Another Star ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 3 people

        • Agreed! Love from Another Star is an absolute essential, and from your list and grades, I think you’ll love it. Haven’t seen all that many from your list, but my second vote would be for Camelllia.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Another strong vote for My Love…I just finished viewing it, concurrently with Healer, and I would rate both extremely highly. I’m into Secret Garden, a Hyun Bin vehicle from 10 years ago, and that’s also going very well.

            Liked by 1 person

        • I second that! A true classic.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Sean or anyone else! What the actual? We’ve now watched 12 one-hour episodes of My Love From Another Star.

          Twelve hours of an unlikable and un-charismatic young man being rude to a woman who loves him. Yes I realize he loves her too inside, but his actual behavior toward her is utterly vile and thoughtless. This goes well beyond “Mr. Darcy” coldness.

          On top of that, he’s possible the dumbest lead we’ve seen yet, passively failing to take any action whatsoever to address the threat of the killer brother, revealing his super-powers to him without cause, trusting a serial killer psychopath by giving up the evidence that would convict him in court in return for his word (!!) not to murder the female lead for what she knows later on, much less the dozens of other people he will obviously continue to kill in the years ahead.

          For the last ten episodes I’ve been assuring my wife that it will get better soon, but I fear this may be the show that breaks K-drama for us for a while.

          So I’m curious. Does it get any better prior to episode 21? We’ just finished the episode where he reveals he’s an alien in the empty museum late at night and tries to terrify her into thinking he may become violent and harm her.

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          • Oh dear merij – time for an intervention! It’s always interesting the reaction we have. Yes, the story does change up from here on in. Our alien visitor begins to realise he has a lot to learn in order to be “human.” My wife watched this show with great interest and was very taken with how it ended. In fact, she was concerned that things might not turn out for the better in the closing stages.She seemed happy with my explanation re the imagery and symbolism.

            That being said, I’m sorry if Star does not turn out to be a pleasant experience for both of you. I would hate to think it puts such a dampener on things for you. There are plenty of other kdramas right now well worth getting into that have good, affable, male leads that will get you back on track ๐Ÿ˜Š

            Liked by 3 people

            • OK, I just read recaps for the remaining episodes and can see that this is one of those cases where “the darkest hour is just before dawn.” In terms of what we were fed up with, the next episode is mixed, but it’s all good after that, not counting additional displays of that lame “hero stupidity in the face of evil” trope.

              So we’ll finish it and I’m sure we’ll love it and that we’ll cry our hearts out at the end.

              But I still say the unpleasant phase of our young alien’s behavior was much too drawn out to be enjoyable. Prolonging that aspect of the show does not justify the stretch from 16 to 21 episodes.

              As a K-drama newbie, I’d never heard of Jun Ji-hyun. But now that I’ve looked her up, I realize how huge a star she is; that her fame derived almost entirely from feature films — starting with My Sassy Girl — plus countless glamour shoots for commercials; and that this was the first TV show she’d appeared in 14 years as well as the only one she’d appeared in since becoming a star 11-12 years prior.

              So I can see why they wanted to squeeze every last drop from that commercial opportunity. But it’s still flawed show-writing, imho!

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          • Hi MeriJ, gosh, I’m sorry to hear that My Love From Another Star is not going well for you and your wife! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I just revisited my review, and I definitely liked Min Joon a lot, by the time I hit E12. I wonder if you might find it useful, to take a peek at the review? In particular, I think it might be helpful for you take a look at the section on Do Min Joon, including the spoiler section – at least until the E11 remarks (the one that comes after are E14 remarks). It might help to give some perspective to Min Joon’s way of expressing his care. ๐Ÿ˜…

            Liked by 3 people

            • Hi KFG: I didn’t realize you had reviewed My Love From Another Star until I saw this comment so I went back and found your review under another name. I have to read your review more closely but I feel pretty much the same as you about the show though probably not as strong. I actually thought the chemistry between the leads was amazing and they were both very good but Jun Ji-Hyun was amazing.

              A suggestion: perhaps list the alternative names for any show where they would fit alphabetically in your list and refer back to the name where your review is placed.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hi Geo, thanks so much for your suggestion; I’ve just updated my review lists with the various alternative titles I could think of, so it should be much more user-friendly now! ๐Ÿ˜€ I might’ve missed out some, so if you spot another instance of a show not being listed by its alternative title, do let me know, and I’ll fix it. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can browse the newly spruced-up Full List here! ๐Ÿ˜€

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                • Hi KFG: Thanks for updating the list of shows to show alternative names. It’s helpful to latecomers to Kdramas who don’t know as much and who rely on your blog in sifting through the huge number of shows. Much appreciated.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • Poor Merij1 and family! This sounds like it is not a good fit for you two. I did check for number of episodes as this drama was remade into Thai, Filipino, and Indonesian versions as well as the K version (which has 21 episodes). So I am assuming that you are watching the K version which is supposed to be considered the best of the lot.

            Some dramas, no matter how much everyone else loves them, are simply not for a good fit for others. I watched 3 different versions of the Untamed as well as tried the book and dropped every single one. Go figure – but just not for me.

            I tried hard to remember this as it has been a few years since I watched it a second time. I still enjoyed it although not as much as the first time. I just jumped onto Viki at episode 12 and FF around and it brought back a few memories. He does become more human (he is an alien and struggles with human emotions and just making that statement makes me laugh) as the drama unfolds and it has a beautiful ending because I do remember that.

            I would say it is time to drop back and punt and start a new drama. I have had dramas make me so mad I thought about stopping drama watching altogether. Please do not drop your drama watching. You would be missed too much around here!

            Liked by 4 people

          • @merij1: Your reaction to My Love…is interesting but confirms that human beings are indeed different. But if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t and maybe time to move on. On your questions:

            1. As others have said, the hero does become more in tune with his emotions as the show goes on. He is hesitant to be involved with JJH since he has to leave in 3 months and it takes him some time to come to the realization that anytime is precious and should be valued.
            2. He can’t use his powers to kill anyone so that limits what he can do about the villain, he can only defend. Plus he has seen the futility in the past of interfering in human affairs.
            3. I don’t think he gives up the evidence though I too found the show is confusing on that point, it appears his powers are significantly reduced when the car hits him so he is unable to avoid the car and the driver takes the USB drive from his hand.

            I wouldn’t drop Kdramas too quickly, I started and dropped quite a few shows on Netflix when they couldn’t meet the standards of the first couple of shows I viewed but I’ve persisted and being rewarded, recognizing that no matter what the source, I know the ratio of good to mediocre or bad shows is never what one would like.

            Liked by 3 people

          • Thank you all for the responses. I’m running to a dentist appmt (!!!) so a longer response will have to wait.

            But for now I will say only that I feel very supported. I will read KFG’s review and will probably also look for a DramaBeans recap of the coming episodes to decide if we need to skip a few.

            Thing is, we’ve already watched the equivalent of six full length feature films of this guy NOT growing or learning from his mistakes. At all. While the female lead has grown on us a lot. We love her. It’s a bit much.

            And yes, all jerks have a back-story about how they got that way. But if they don’t change, I’m sorry, they’re still jerks and life is still short.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I feel obligated to respond since I also urged watching of MLFAS. I wasn’t that big a fan of DMJ either, but I absolutely loved Jun Ji-hyun in her role, which is probably a career high for her. I had first watched Legend of the Blue Sea, which receives mixed reviews but I thought she was great in it (it was the second drama I watched) and that’s what brought me to Star. Even went back to see her in her breakout role in the movie My Sassy Girl, which is generally beloved but I didn’t like her character as much as many do. I am in the minority again in thinking that the ending of Star is Exactly O.K.

              Finally, major props to you on getting through 12 episodes of a drama in like, what, a week?! I’m lucky to get through 12 hours of dramas in a month….

              I am now doing the finances analysis necessary to get the Disney World Domination Channel because I absolutely have to watch Hamilton….happy watching whatever you end up on.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Hey Jeff. We’ve been watching two episodes almost every night. So 12 Eps in a week is exactly on par for us!

                We took a break to watch the final season of Vida on the Starz network, but mostly we’ve been doing K-drama for the last year.

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          • @merij1 – I honestly can’t remember much about My Love from Another Star BUT… I told you to watch Descendants of the Sun if you wanted to – for sure – keep your wife invested. \_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏย  (Sorry, but I live for “I told you so”) lol

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            • Ha, Beez. As if I didn’t already know that about you! To be honest, I thought DotS was a Sageuk, which my other half is not into. But a modern historical drama is fine, so I’ll take a look.

              Also to be clear, we don’t prefer either the male or female lead to be light and fluffy. I actually enjoy difficult people, both in dramaland and IRL. I just don’t care for jerks, especially men who treat women shabbily and continue to do so long after the grace period for them to evolve has passed.

              What this feels like is a cynical ploy by the writers to stretch out the episode count.

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              • DOTS is totally fictional. No historic content but I found it makes me feel the way old Hollywood movies used to only better because back then a movie was only epically romantic (From Here to Eternity); epically tragic (Daisy Clover, Suddenly Last Summer, The Sun Also Rises); totally rom-com (anything with Sandra Dee or Doris Day) or all action-adventure (Indiana Jones serials). But for me, DOTS has all of that. I know it’s weird to combine all those genres and at first, I couldn’t reconcile myself to it. I still like my rom-coms to be light and fluffy without a case of cancer thrown in for good measure. But DOTS… even the cheesy corny stuff pays off later which I think is the criticism it got from Kfangurl that it felt like events got strung together just for the purpose of that payoff later. But I’m rewatching the Korean version now and I would not cut any of the scenes except maybe episode 1 which makes our hero seem quite arrogant but once you watch to about episode 4 you’re already going there’s no way for him not to be a tad bit arrogant. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                Liked by 1 person

              • Did you see this post and the links within it?
                http://beezplacehome.wordpress.com/

                Liked by 1 person

                • No, what I see is a skeleton template for a new blog, with no info other than an initial introductory post from July 13, 2019. Great quote by Oscar Wilde, however!

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                  • @merik1 – sorry to send you on a wild goose chase. And thank you for being the first to comment on “my blog”๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‚
                    Unfortunately I don’t know what to do with it. ๐Ÿ˜† I hit “reply” but it wasn’t exactly clear how to do so as the text box was filled with your comment instead of blank for me to respond. I thought about deleting the text in the box to respond to you but then thought “what if he doesn’t have a WordPress account? Where the heck would the message go and would he ever see it?” So in the end, I’m responding here with thanks that at least something finally happened on that account which at some point, after YEARS of frequenting blogs likes this one, WordPress would not let me comment until I signed up for an account. Go figure.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • OMGoodness! I just got notice that you’re following me! *touched* ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜‚

                    Liked by 1 person

                • I do have WordPress but have no received no notifications from your so-called blog. Haha.

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              • Oops. Ignore that link that goes to my WordPress page, which I don’t even know how to get there on my own, only when a mistake like that one takes me there.

                I tested these links this time. I’m only pouring them here because I feel like you must have missed them because I do describe the OTP’s personalities and occupations. And one of my posts has a link to the poster for the series

                https://thefangirlverdict.com/2020/06/02/is-the-k-bloom-off-the-rose-my-evolution-as-a-drama-viewer/#comment-81557

                https://thefangirlverdict.com/2020/06/02/is-the-k-bloom-off-the-rose-my-evolution-as-a-drama-viewer/#comment-81555

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      • My personal “slice of life” favorite – Five Children
        I won’t repeat all the other shows I’ve been tooting cause I’m sure everyone’s tired of me constantly saying “you must watch these…” ๐Ÿ˜†
        But Five Children (although it’s long at 54 episodes) – the main characters (the OTP) are middle-aged and it’s never a dull moment.

        Part of what draws me to this show is never in my Kdrama life have I seen a character like the female lead. In most Kdramas, if someone older is talking and unfairly degrading and reproaching a character, they usually just fold and take it. But this female lead manages to be respectful but still does not take any guff!

        SPOILER SCENE – in the 2nd episode, her ex-husband refuses to make his child support payment so while they’re talking, she teaches over and grabs his car keys to hold his car hostage until he pays up! END SPOILER ๐Ÿ˜†

        Synopsis – Of course that scene sets off ex-hubby’s new wife and mother-in-law to create complications for our hard working heroine who has three kids and little hope for romance or remarriage. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 3 people

      • My Love from Another Star is very good! As a sageuk fan, I am biased in favor of Sungkyunkwan Scandal. It is one of those rare lighthearted sageuks that just sparkles. Warning: Second Lead Syndrome very likely to occur!
        I finished School 2013 recently and liked it. Another excellent high school drama is At Eighteen.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I haven’t run them by my gal yet, but Love From Another Star is likely our next.

          Then, maybe Secret Garden (despite misgiving others have expressed about how well the gender behavior has aged.)

          I’ve tried to sell School 2013 and Sungkungkwan Scandal without luck thus far. She’s mostly interested in romance, not bromance. But I haven’t given up, if you have anything to say about that!

          These three came up on another thread as when I mentioned my interest in shows that look behind the scenes at how K-drama is made.

          + Fantastic — SeanF recommended this one, in part because the female lead writes K-drama

          + Be Melodramatic — KFG likes this one a lot and besides good relationships, it too casts light on how these shows are written and produced

          + King of Dramas – KFG mentioned this as well, noting that it’s more over-the-top and presents a darker/satirical but still informative view on how the K-drama sausage is made.*

          * That’s a reference to the joke in various professions, include dirty politics, that “we don’t talk about how we make the sausage.”

          Liked by 2 people

          • Another friend (not active here) suggested these:

            + City Hunter
            + My Lovely Kim Sam Soon
            + My Mister
            + The Best Hit

            Plus ones with her fave oppa Lee Joon Ki:

            + Two Weeks
            + The Scholar Who Walks the Night
            + Fly, Daddy, Fly (film)

            And lastly, Method (film) featuring a queer romance between an older and younger man where the lines start to bleed between their roles in a stage play vs. IRL.

            Liked by 1 person

            • A lot of us here have also put the stamp of approval on My Lovely Samsoon but we referred to it by its other name – My Name is Kim Samsoon. It’s the one that I said often has this phrase after its title: “The one that started it all”. It’s also said that it was inspired by Bridget Jones’ Diary.

              By the way, it’s an early starring role for Hyin Bin, the actor is Crash Landing on You.

              Liked by 1 person

          • A very strong second for Be Melodramatic: refreshing, even innovative. When it’s funny, it’s really funny but the serious moments are earned and heartfelt. And the drama-within-a-drama motif is inspired.

            Liked by 1 person

          • SKK Scandal has romance and bromance in it. At Eighteen is a high school drama centered on a lovely romance.
            Secret Love Affair is a very sophisticated romance set in the world of classical music.
            Kim Soo Hyun (My Love from Another Star) has a new drama, It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, that looks like a very promising romance about healing.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Oops, I forgot you have already seen Secret Love Affair!
              Fated to Love You is an excellent romance between an eccentric guy and a shy girl. One of my favorite kdrama kisses is in it. Plus, Jang Hyuk and Jang NaRa are brilliant!
              Another excellent healing romance is 30 but 17 (Still 17). Shin Hye Sun and Yang Se Jong are adorable.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Fated to Love You! โค But I do think you can get the most enjoyment out of it if you watch Jang Hyuk’s past works up to Chuno first because of all the meta and references to it.
                The chasing of the ring is a nod to Bright Girl’s Success. Chuno’s theme song. Darn it, I can’t remember the rest but I clocked quite a few at the time that I watched it.

                Liked by 2 people

                • Could you narrow that down a bit? And bear in mind that I will never be a “completist” on Jang Hyuk and that my gal is only interested in romance or romance+ shows?

                  Here are the ones I have to choose from, not counting Chuno/Slave Hunters at Amazon Prime:

                  https://www.viki.com/celebrities/15603pr-jang-hyuk#modal-works

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                  • I don’t see a lot of his older work there (therefore there’s no way these titles could’ve been referenced in Fated to Live You). But I’m sure you all are tired of hearing me say “you must must MUST watch Tree with Deep Roots and Chuno!(The Slavehunters)” which are both on that list.

                    Shine or Go Crazy is not referenced in Fated to Love You because it was made after, but it’s good and it’s a romance SPOILER but the ending might sour your wife as it is constrained by history so there is no happily ever after for the OTP. Shine or Go Crazy had the misfortune of audiences loving it and that’s all the more reason why most people hated the ending, including me.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • Thank You is a good romance too.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • It is, definitely but Merij1 had asked me to narrow it down by which shows are referenced in some way in Fated to Love You. Do you recall, Snow Flower, which other ones there are beside Bright Girl’s Success and Chuno?

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              • Let me correct that about Fated to Love You. It is very enjoyable even if you don’t get the references. I just found it so much more enjoyable when I rewatched it years later, knowing the references.

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                • Beez, I think Tazza was another JH show referenced in Fated to Love You. I have not seen it, but some viewers made online comments about it.

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                  • Tazza and Daemong are the only two of his works I haven’t seen. Oh wait. I think there’s an early movie about toilets or something that I have no desire to see. lol

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          • I searched AsianWiki for Fantastic when Sean first mentioned it but I couldn’t find it. Does it have any other names?

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  6. Lee Da Hee!!! I got super distracted while reading this post because Lee Da Hee still connotates Search WWW for me and that show really spoke to my heart.

    I’m in stage 4 now – just finished Stranger/Forest of Secrets (2017) and I’m bereft! Is there another show that can match this one? I’m just waiting patiently for season 2 to release teasers… But I may backslide to stage 2 and watch The K2 just because of that shower scene. With a judicious application of the FF button.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The good news latefair is that there is another season of Stranger which should be released in August this year. I am looking forward to it as I really enjoyed Season 1.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay for Sranger Season 2!

        Liked by 2 people

        • @kfangurl – should we warn them about season 2’s or let them go in blind?

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          • Welll… Maybe this time the sequel will be good..? ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…

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            • Is there a sarcastic “like” button? ๐Ÿ˜†

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              • OK Beez – LOL – spill the beans! I just saw this and I am intrigued…

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                • I didn’t take that to mean Beez has seen this show’s S2, but rather that they usually bite.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Oh. I’m sorry. Nothing so interesting as “intriguing”. It’s just that in the rate instance that a Kdrama is granted a second season, they usually completely blow it. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to get the same cast, same production crew, etc., somehow they manage to still make a ๐Ÿ’ฉ

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I can think of two shows whose second seasons were worthy of – or better than – the first. One is “Age of Youth” (or “Hello, My Twenties”) and Let’s Eat. I’d watch both of those again in a minute1

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • That’s amazing. I didn’t watch either series but I’ve been burned way too often with horrible second seasons. The most recent one that I’ve watched and that I can think of is Mystery Queen. The first season was absolutely delightful but the second season didn’t seem to have ever met the first season despite the returning cast.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That being said, one of the things I really like about K-dramas is that so few go beyond one season, thus lessening the possibility of “jumping the shark”. And what I admire above all else is the ability to really stick the ending, which I think is sadly missing from so much of our modern culture.

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                    • Interesting, j3ffc because I’ve actually found that most kdrama endings are very unsatisfying and my motto has become “just learn to enjoy the journey” (which translates to “enjoy the first 14-15 episodes because I’m sure to be let down by the last one”.

                      Although, it recently occurred to me that those long running American shows usually sucked in the last season and if they didn’t, the last episode surely would.

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                    • Ah, I did not make my meaning clear. I agree that many/most dramas donโ€™t necessarily end all that well. What I meant rather is that itโ€™s special (in any fiction) when there is a great ending. Now Iโ€™m hard-pressed to think of one….

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I started to add to this thread with my own list of shows that had great final episodes. That ended up being a fail due to my lousy memory, but it led to a longer comment that I moved up top!

                      Liked by 2 people

                  • You have a valid point…

                    The main cast is the same, and they’ve got the same writer back in, but Google tells me that the director and producing company are different this time round. Fingers crossed!!

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  7. Iโ€™m solidly in number 3 now. I totally went through all those stages as you described. I have dropped shows I was sure I would love at the outset. Loved the actors, the set, the storylineโ€”but, when the meh sets in, and I canโ€™t make myself pick it over something shinier, itโ€™s history, at least for a while. Often permanently. One such show is Hotel del Luna. The set is crazy cool and IUโ€™s wardrobe alone could almost make me watch, but try as I might Iโ€™ve only gotten through to episode 7. I should be loving it, but I just donโ€™t.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. @merij1,@beexrtp,@snowflower,@Carulheim,@Rokuro,@larius247 + any others I’ve missed:

    Thanks for all the advice and recommendations, they are so useful in suggesting different ways to access Kdramas and in winnowing through the large number of shows. So, now I’m looking for Healer on viki, and Chuno, Tree with Deep Roots, Six Flying Dragons, My Country and Chicago Typewriter. As an aside, I just encountered My Love From The Star on YouTube and while the video isn’t top quality, all the episodes are available so now YouTube is another option. I’m enjoying MLFTS (why are Kdrama names so long?) through the first 3 episodes, I suspect it’s exaggerated but an interesting look into the Korean entertainment industry. Jun Ji-hyun is gorgeous and a little OTP while Kim Soo-hyun is the diametric opposite in being cool and understated, makes for interesting times, I think.

    It’s interesting that Kdramas inspires such fan loyalty. One of my buddies was telling me of a female twenty-something relative of his wife who had a major trip planned for SK in early March at the height of the pandemic and it took a major effort by all to persuade her to postpone the trip which she did, apparently on the last day. as she’s an obsessive Kdrama fan and had planned out her whole itinerary based on her favourite Kdramas! She isn’t Korean (actually Chinese) but is fluent in Korean, apparently learned Korean from the shows and actually hangs out regularly in Koreatown in Toronto, visiting the stores and cafes etc. Now, I think this is a little extreme but maybe not for major Kdrama fans?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chuno is available on Amazon Prime Video under the title The Slave Hunters. Maybe viki has it in some regions too.

      I also dream of visiting SK and seeing some of the locations where my favorite dramas were filmed, but I would not do it amid a pandemic though. I did look up Unju Temple on the internet (fellow Chunoholics will know!)

      Liked by 2 people

      • I do see it at Amazon under “The Slave Hunters.” Free if you have Prime but crazy expensive otherwise.

        I also see it on Viki — interestingly, also under the name “Slave Hunters” — but with access restricted for the US market. So maybe Amazon paid for an exclusive.

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        • I keep sending requests to Viki to make it available in the US. I am also looking for a DVD with good English subtitles. Dramafever (RIP) had the best subtitles for this drama. The translator really tried to show the class differences through the characters’ language. I am even willing to watch it in Korean without subtitles..The OST is also outstanding.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The main illegit site in the U.S. (DC) seems to have the version with the best subtitles (WITH Team) but the video quality is not very good now that we’re used to seeing things in HD.
            Although I haven’t seen their signature on the screen, I believe it is the WITH’s subs because of the way the “cursing” is handled. You see “wench” instead of “bitch” which makes more sense in the context it is used. For example when the little prostitute refers to herself it’s more likely that she said “wench”. And when Daegil talks to her when he’s not angry, “wench” makes more sense then as well. There are other scenes that in some versions the translation makes no sense but those same scenes here make total sense. For example, one scene where the tavern ahjomoni says you the General something about worrying about him has her breast throbbing. This line is missing from about 3 other versions but on the DC version she says it. I knew the other versions were incorrect because immediately after she’s done speaking, Monkey Boy says “they’re so small it looked liked you put two boiled eggs in there”. In the other version it seemed as if he brought up her breasts out of the blue with no context. This version also uses the colorful “belly grinding” instead of “they had intercourse” or “they were having an affair”. I totally hate when saeguk translators use modern terms or slang.

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            • Ahh, I know those Chuno subs!! Yes, I do believe it was via WITH, and it was done by a Mr. X, who’s stopped subbing since. He did an amazing job of the Chuno subs, but I think some viewers found the language he chose quite inaccessible and hard to understand. I thought I heard that DramaFever used WITH subs without permission, if memory serves. ๐Ÿ˜

              Liked by 1 person

              • Many years ago I came across one of their members. It was either through your Chuno review that directed to someone else’s review (or did I totally mix you up with someone else’s review?); or it was through Stuck on Hyuk that directed me to the other review – anyway, faulty memory aside, I asked the former WITH member why they stopped subbing kdramas and he/she said that because fans were demanding subs so quickly that they didn’t have time to do the thorough job they usually do and so they retired and left it in the hands of the subbers at Viki.

                I love the way Viki’s volunteer subbers give extra notes, however you can tell very little backtracking to proofread happens. I think working in teams is great, but you can definitely tell they’re not checking with each other. For instance, from one episode to another – ambiguous titles change. In one episode a military person is called Captain and in the next he’s General. (Sometimes within the same episode (see Faith). The same is true with office personnel – Chairman, CEO, President can all be the same person. And sometimes the spelling choice for the name romanization is different. But what I really don’t like is when a line is translated and it’s obvious whoever did it isn’t watching the entire series because if they were, they’d know by the context that what they’ve translated doesn’t fit. My conclusion when that happens is they brought in a sub for the subbers that day. ๐Ÿ˜†

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                • The lack of continuity in the translation fits with our Viki experience as well.

                  On the other hand, if the subtitles Netflix offered were my only insight into South Korea, I’d conclude that people there only use about 20 phrases to cover every single experience in their life!

                  Liked by 1 person

            • WITH subs for Chuno introduced me to colorful words such as “slattern” and “prattle”. I also remember one yangban character whose language was so absurdly florid that nobody around him could understand what he was talking about. Good subs make all the difference!

              Liked by 2 people

              • > one yangban character whose language was so absurdly florid that nobody around him could understand

                Sounds like Brad Pitt’s hilariously incomprehensible gypsy (Pikey) accent in Snatch. As another character describes it, “He’s not Irish; he’s not English. He’s just Pikey”

                Or this version, with subtitles:

                Liked by 1 person

              • Yes. I love those subs because it keeps the ancient feel, especially since we’re already a bit removed by not only the language gap but the nuances of Korean speech levels and regional dialects.

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        • Nope. No exclusive by Amazon because Chuno had been on both platforms for years. I just checked and Viki in my region doesn’t have it listed at all any more either.

          I purchased Chuno on Amazon a couple of years ago but I’m still looking for the version with subtitles by the now disbanded team that called themselves WITH (Written in the Heavens). They always provided the best subs that really enhanced any drama they worked on. And yes, if I find it, I’ll purchase it again, especially if it’s in dvd form. It’s THAT good.

          Liked by 2 people

    • From the way it sounds, your friend’s wife’s relative probably never voluntarily cancel her trip. It’s likely the airlines had stopped booking international flights during that time. ๐Ÿ˜† [Totally guessing]

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      • You’re probably right. I think in Canada the borders were closed to all but residents of Canada in mid-March but there may have been restrictions already in place on travel to parts of China and South Korea from February (but not a total ban) and I think her trip was planned for the first week in March. I’m sure she’ll be going once air travel is restored.

        I did get the impression there was heavy family pressure not to go, especially from her parents, but that may well have been in February as the trip date grew closer.

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    • Geo,

      I just noticed that the excellent My Mister is also on Netflix. Kfangurl graded it A+ and that’s saying a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • > My Mister is also on Netflix

        That’s good to know. We just started I Hear Your Voice, with Lee Jong-suk and Lee Bo-young. Only two episodes in, but we really like it so far.

        In other news, my “Someday My Coffee Prince Will Come” tee-shirt arrived. Thanks, kfangurl for setting up that opportunity!

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      • Thanks, I’m going to add that to my list which is growing too fast. I’m busier these days so less time for Kdramas though I’m watching Healer and My Love From The Star concurrently.

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        • I envy you! I’m remembering my early days of watching really good shows.

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          • Thanks to you and other members of this community, I now have 33 older Kdramas to look out for. Now I know I won’t love them all (after all tastes do differ) but I suspect I’ll appreciate the majority given they’re recommended by the very knowledgeable members of this community. I’m well into Healer (Viki) and My Love From the Star (YouTube) currently and really like both, the contrast between the two shows adds a lot to my enjoyment as the differences keep both refreshed as opposed to say, watching two action shows at the same time.

            Liked by 2 people

          • @beezrtp – I know exactly what you mean, as a newcomer to Kdramas, there’s a stock of older, really good shows I haven’t seen yet and this blog has helped me identify these as well as different options to access them. I feel like a kid in a candy store picking out the best shows of the past 20 years or so, being able to ignore the mediocre shows through that time. Now, finding the older dramas presents a bit of a challenge but this blog has been very helpful on this. I’ve just finished Healer and My Love From The Star and I’m blown away by both shows. I would rate Healer higher but they’re different type shows so not really fair to compare them.

            KFG, I think, steered me to Secret Garden, A Hyun Bin vehicle and I’ve started on that now, not on Netflix, and that’s going well. It’s interesting to see 2010 Hyun Bin and how he compares with the Hyun Bin from CLOY and Memories of the Alhambra. As a bonus, Son Ye Jin even had a cameo in Secret Garden’s final episode.

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            • So glad to hear that you’ve been having fun exploring the older dramas, Geo!! ๐Ÿ˜€ AND! I LOVE Healer, so I’m thrilled that you love it too! I mean, I also loved My Love From The Stars, but I think right now, I’d probably love Healer a little more as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

              Liked by 1 person

            • Did she really?! I’ll have to go back and look for that. Secret Garden’s in my Top 10. Healer is in my Top 5. It’s No. 1 if I categorise and eliminate the saeguks.

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            • @Geo, I should’ve asked does Son Ye jin appear in beginning, middle or end of last episode of Secret Garden. Or better yet, can you tell me what role did she play? (Not her character’s name because I wouldn’t remember that, but what role was it?)

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              • @beezrtp – I think it’s towards the end when she plays herself exploring a new show with one of the characters. I must confess, I’m such a SYJ fan, I cheated and googled her appearance in Secret Garden. I’m speeding towards the end of what is another very good show, well done and acted. I actually get a kick from shows that feature celebrities as characters, making references to actual happenings in the entertainment world, so tongue in cheek.

                Don’t think I can thank KFG enough for this blog and I think she actually put me on to Secret Garden.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Because Secret Gatden was in my early Kdrama days, I probably didn’t know who Son Ye jin was back then.

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                  • I’ve finished Secret Garden now and it’s pretty good. Hyun Bin is a little exaggerated in his chauvinism but his attitude and his mother’s attitude reflected what still persists to this day, albeit to a lesser degree, about marriages of children of wealthy, powerful families. Hyun Bin and Ha Ji Won are very good and their pairing works extremely well. Ha Ji-Won surprised me in her role as a stuntwoman, her look, her walk, her physicality were very authentic and she was also convincing as Hyun Bin’s love interest.

                    The show was well worth watching and while I would rate the show highly, it’s not in the top tier for me even with the Son Ye Jin cameo.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I had the joy of watching Secret Garden just for the fun of it. There was no political statement at the time other than Hyun Bin’s character being a jerk and the fact that women far too often fall for jerks. lol In fact, I think my biggest problem was two-fold when he told her he wanted her to be his play toy and then disappear like the Little Mermaid into a sea of bubbles *mouth agape* and then to top it off, I’d never completed reading the real story of The Little Mermaid so didn’t know… *google* As a kid I made it halfway through so I knew it was sad (which is probably why I never finished it amd I’d heard she didn’t get the prince. So I knew Disney gave it that Disney flair but even knowing the original didn’t have a happy ending, I has no idea she vanished into sea foam. (I went back and read it after the scene in Secret Garden. See? Who said tv will rot your brain? ๐Ÿ˜†)
                      But that was the biggest issue for me at the time and that awful mother-in-law.

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                    • I think Hyun Bin as Kim Joo-Won said to Ha Ji-Won as Gil Ra-Im, once it became apparent they were attracted to each other (if I remember correctly): there are two kinds of women, those you marry and those you play around with (I’m paraphrasing) but you don’t fit either of those categories, you’re in between, you should exist for a while then disappear like the little mermaid. He told her to think about his offer but of course, she ultimately says in the cocktail party scene where she gets a make-over courtesy from Joo-Won’s cousin, in response to his question as to whether she’ll disappear like Cinderella at midnight, that it’s up to him, that she’ll be there for him…but not as a little mermaid.

                      The scene at the end where Joo-won and Ra-Im are at the front door of his mother’s house with their three kids was very cute. The door is closed, one of the kids complain she’s going to complain to Granny, then the door opens, Joo-Won’s mother appears, takes her grandkids into the house, leaving Joo-Won and Ra-Im outside, they’re still not allowed in after five years! I actually know a family like this where the parents disapproved strongly about their daughter’s choice in husband but after a cooling off period and the birth of their first grandchild, the daughter was allowed to visit as were all the four grandchildren but her husband never. This has not changed and the grandkids have partners and kids of their own! Strange world, sometimes stranger than fiction.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah, we had one cousin-in-law who used to sit in his car and wait for his wife and kids every week when we’d all visit my aunt (the other kids grandmother). We never knew if the grandparents were the ones who didn’t like him, or if he didn’t like them.

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  9. Geo,ย Rokuro74,ย tara๐ŸŒ™ (@Tree_Limbs_), and Beez wereย talking about whether it’s worth paying for a service like Viki, particularly for a newcomer who hasn’t exhausted other possibilities first.

    It certainly makes good financial sense to exhaust the best of what’s on Netflix first. But considering the value, we are very happy to pay for access to the Viki/Kocowa* catalog. ย It’s around $60/year for the first tier to avoid commercials and maybe $120 for the premium tier — which we switched to so we could watch Coffee Prince.

    (*Kocowa is a LA-based joint venture of the three major broadcast channels in Korea to make shows available in the US. I don’t know if there’s a comparable outlet in other regions of the world.)

    As to paying a monthly fee to watch K-Drama, if I were paying just for the right to see shows as they aired, I would pass. The quality is too uneven and even shows that seem great at first sometimes go off the rails aboutย 3/4s of the way through.ย ย 

    But there’s sooo much great stuff to catch up on that’s already aired.

    Which gets back to the theme of KFG’s post: ย with so much awesomeness to choose from, why would a newcomer bother with the duds? ย The stage 2 answer is: “because oppa.” ย (Or “noona,” in my case.) ย And that’s fine. ย But if you’re watching a dud just for glimpses of your crush, learn to use that fast-forward button. It’s there for a reason.ย  There’s simply no need to burn-out on weak art.

    Save “watching full shows” for the ones others you trust have stuck with to the end and found worthy. ย Because life is short.ย  And that, girls and boys, is why I come here for advice!

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    • A comment Beez made way further below reminds me that if you do use Viki, be sure to turn off the option to view “Timed Comments.” For whatever reason, Viki gives users the right to insert a comment timed to appear at any given moment in the show.

      At first I thought these were live comments that had been inadvertently captured when the show was pirated via someone’s computer or TV set. Nope. They’re the accumulation of every single person who’s watched the show on Viki and chose to insert a comment. As you might guess, they are seriously annoying. Turn that nonsense off. Here’s how:

      https://support.viki.com/hc/en-us/articles/360009576933-How-do-I-turn-Timed-Comments-On-Off-

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m probably not yet at the point of subscribing to view Kdramas as I’ve just started and I do watch a wide variety of other shows so I’m skimming through Netflix for now and I’m finding the quality is very uneven as you’ve noted. But just when I’m starting to question my choices, along comes Memories of the Alhambra which kind of restores the equilibrium and I realize there’s a lot of dreck in Western entertainment as well so it’s unfair to expect all Kdramas to match Mr Sunshine or Crash Landing.

      While I’m a big fan of Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin, I agree with a previous post which suggested it’s better to fangurl the writer/director and like you, I use the fast forward button on those shows that drag me in because of the action, the lead or whatever even though I know they belong in the trash can. I also try to drop shows early since if I watch 2-3 episodes, I might find myself watching to completion even though I know it’s not worth it. Human nature, huh? Now I know there’s a risk I may miss some good shows with this strategy but I’m hoping KFG’s reviews and other posters like yourself mitigate that risk.

      The insights and analysis by Kfangirl and many of the posts like yours are exceptional which, I think, enhances the whole Kdrama experience.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes! K-drama, but also a new tribe! Community!

        Liked by 1 person

      • @Geo – I hope you watch the two shows that I recommended – Tree with Deep Roots and then Six Flying Dragons- before you watch My Country (which is on Netflix). My Country is very good and stars one of my favorite actors but if you watch these two dramas first then you’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on in My Country. There are some significant historical moments that My Country skips over because, after all Kdramas are made for Koreans, so they already know the historic details. It would be like watching a tv show about the Civil War and that covers how the war came about. You wouldn’t need to see every fact and detail that led up to it that you’ve already learned in school, but would rather see the take on what Abe Lincoln, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee were going through personally. Whereas the other two dramas that I recommended do cover some political details but it’s presented in a really, really interesting way.

        NOT SPOILERS BECAUSE THIS IS HISTORY THAT CAN BE GOOGLED AND FOUND IN WIKIPEDIA
        Tree with Deep Roots deals with the creation of the Korean written language. Imagine if you had no written way to express yourself other than in another written language that you do not speak but you must learn the characters for that language to write what you want to say, again, even though you do not speak said language at all. Because it was so difficult learning the thousands of Chinese characters, and farmers and slaves worked all day with no time left for learning to write. This is how the elite (10% of the population) kept the status quo as only someone who could master Chinese characters could even apply for a government job (i.e., only the nobles could get these posts).
        So Tree With Deep Roots aka Deep Rooted Tree is about the fierce opposition (willing to kill or be killed) the nobles had toward the King for creating an easy Korean written language and their efforts to quash it before any commoners/slaves could learn it.

        Six Flying Dragons is a prequel to Tree, about The War of the Princes – a historical event of a coup that over threw the kingdom and the events following that where brothers compete (sometimes to death) to sit on the newly won throne. The main character in SFD is also the focus of My Country but SFD covers his younger years for the must part. It’s best to get to know the characters in Tree first before watching their younger selves in the prequel.

        Whew! A lot of info but I’d hate to have you scratching your head over My Country. I believe that the order that I’m telling you to watch these in will enhance your enjoyment of each of the shows.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Beez – Thanks for posting all the above info. After all these years I have never seen Tree with Deep Roots or Six Flying Dragons even though my two favorite actors are in them. I also paused My Country and this may be a good thing after reading your post. Thanks Beez and if I do take the plunge I will follow the order once I get in the mood for a sageuk.

          Liked by 1 person

    • @merij1 – I pay less than that to subscribe to both Viki and Kocowa. Kocowa comes out to about $108 a year. And it’s easy to catch a half price Viki Plus plan subscription for about $35-39. (I forget the exact price.)

      Now you may ask why subscribe to both:
      First Kocowa will not have the cable shows that come from jtcb or OCN which tend to be darker and more adult, which usually Viki has.
      Second, Viki won’t have certain premium shows of Kocowa like the saeguk masterpiece Nokdu (not to be confused with the more light-hearted rom-com saeguk Nokdu Flower).
      Third, while Viki has some variety shows, it’s hit or miss of they’ll be subtitled at all and if they are, often times they’re weeks behind. Kocowa is usually subbed by the next day (same day by our time).
      Fourth – because the Viki subtitlors are volunteers and oftentimes college students, there are times when you’re waiting on the edge of your seat for subtitles and because it’s finals time, they just aren’t coming and before Kocowa entered the market, you just had to be patient. That’s even for the biggest, most anticipated shows.
      Don’t get me wrong, I prefer Viki subs over all others any day of the week but this is just the fact of the matter.
      Fifth – Kocowa has lots of other content like kpop news shows and kpop performances and documentaries on wildlife, history, archeology, and “making of” films. From what I can tell, I think OnDemandKorea is owned by Kocowa as well and they have so much more content, including documentaries, shows for kids similar to Sesame Street, religious programs and news but most of ODK’s content isn’t subbed in English. Some select dramas are subbed in English but most aren’t.
      I hope I’ve helped anyone who was wondering the different pros and cons of the services.

      So I subscribe to a lessor Viki plan that doesn’t include the Kocowa shows and I watch Viki for the cable shows and the older shows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Geo
        What I would like to tell you before you subscribe to Viki.
        I have a problem of living in Germany which means I can’t watch at least 50% of the shows on Viki. So you should figure out what you want to watch and check first if it is available in your country.

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        • Thanks for the heads up on potential blackout issues. I’m quite familiar with this as I live in Canada and there are some confusing and incomprehensible regulations re broadcasting content. Even Netflix Canada does not carry the same programming as Netflix US.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. Our Rakuten VikiPass Plus plan includes Kocowa shows, including The Tale of Nokdu, but maybe there are current shows it leaves out and maybe not the K-pop and news.

        Great rundown. Thanks!

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        • Yes. That’s why I said NOT to be confused with Tale of Nokdu. Similar titles.

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          • You said Nokdu Flower, actually, but I wondered since Tale Of didn’t look dark. I can’t find a K-Drama via Asian Wiki named just Nokdu. I only see The Tale of Nokdu or Nokdu Flower.

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            • Nokdu Flower is a must see for any serious kdrama lover. No cuteness, only gripping history.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I got a kick of the promo on this K-Drama that Netflix wants me to watch. Check out the “why-didn’t-anyone-think-of-this-before! plot:

                Revolutionary Love

                “He was born rich. She survives on part-time jobs. Together, they try to navigate the world without selling out.”

                Liked by 1 person

            • Oh, I’m sorry if I “misspoke”. It’s the one that Viki doesn’t have. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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            • Also, my use of all caps is not meant to dish attitude, but rather is for emphasis since there’s no way to underscore or add italics. Well, there is, but I hate going to look it up because I immediately forget after flowing the instructions.

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              • No worries. That’s exactly how I took it.

                Nokdu Flower is the one you admire. And it’s not on Netflix or Viki.

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                • Right. Nokdu Flower which translate to mungbean flower (which I have never seen a mungbean ๐Ÿ˜†) but I think I got confused because the male lead in Tale of Nokdu is a typical Korean flower boy if ever I’ve seen one. ๐Ÿ˜†

                  So back to my point in all this, Nokdu Flower is exclusive to Kocowa/OnDemandKorea. And there are shows like that, hence the reason I subscribe to both Kocowa and Viki. Viki doesn’t have everything Kocowa has to offer (even with the Premium plan) and vice versa. And I don’t need the Viki premium plan because I’ll watch the stuff that comes with that directly on Kocowa.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • The Tale of Nokdu is a very good drama too! It starts as a lighthearted historical , then it takes a serious turn. The romance was very good.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I liked Tale of Nokdu well enough, especially the funny. I didn’t care very much for its more serious parts. I tend to like my rom-coms as rom-coms and melo as melo. It’s rare that I like it when genres mix.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • > I tend to like my rom-coms as rom-coms and melo as melo

                      Ditto, with a few well-know exceptions. I don’t mind the mix if it’s done well, but too often it feels like the writers or PDs are really good at only one of the two genres. So shoe-horning in the other feels like quality contamination.

                      Liked by 1 person

                • If you are interested in Nokdu Flower and live in the USA, it is available with English subs at legal streaming site OnDemandChina. To turn on English subs, Click on the CC button at the bottom of the episode and select English. You can watch all episodes for free with ads.
                  Link to Show Page: https://www.ondemandchina.com/zh-Hans/program/nokdu-flower

                  Liked by 3 people

                  • Darn it! I’m searching for a Chibese drama Ji Chang wook did caked Mr. Right. Can’t find it anywhere.

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                    • Hello Beez, from what I can gather it’s about to air soonish, perhaps even around 31 December 2020 (or maybe even never!). It was held up by the Chinese/Korean drama ban. Viki may licence it in due course.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • Oh wow! Thank you, Table122000! I watched it last summer on ondemandkorea before it got moved to the premium tier. I’ve been planning to rewatch it since.

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  10. @kfangurl – I’m immediately embarrassed that a thoughtless off-the-cuff comment that I made might’ve made you think this deep. (You know I think I’m funny (even if nobody else does).)
    But then again, I’m sure you already had these thoughts and my throw-away comment just inspired you to write them out for us. For that, I’m glad.

    I’m in between stages 3 and 4. I’ll still “watch anything for Oppa!” but now that I’m all troped out, (and when Oppas on a break), I tend to look for more quality shows, or at least shows that seem like they’ll be different or unique in some way.

    I’m just glad that your drama slumps haven’t pulled you away from Kdramas for any long length of time or where would those of us be who need someone to shift through this journey with us? We’d have nowhere to go. At least nowhere that feels quite the same as this blog – where the reviews always make you think (whether we agree with the final verdict or not) and the atmosphere is always welcoming.

    I must admit, after watching some dramas, sometimes I actually NEED to see your breakdown of it in order to process my own thoughts on it. I still may or may not agree with your final score but your review helps me organize my thoughts better. I hope that sounded like “thank you for being here”, only better. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  11. How fabulous is this! The Fangurl Theory that explains both the linear and non-linear progression of how we evolve with our drama viewing and enjoyment is a real gem. It even has those little feedback loops built in regarding how we may even revisit certain dramas during particular stages for various reasons.

    The interesting thing for me is this: there are a number movies that I’m happy to re-watch, but this is not the case with dramas. Once I watch a series, generally, that is it. I am exactly the same with books.

    The great thing for me about watching kdramas (and other dramas) is they stop me from overworking.

    As for having a lull in my drama watching experience, yes that happens. When it does, I will track down other dramas from around the globe and catch up on the many books that I have long ignored.

    And, as I have said to others before, I do believe that the dramas we watch help make the world a better place (and by extension, the kfangurl blog too) ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This article really sums up a lot of what I feel as well. The initial stage where you really don’t know the tropes and get attached to a lot of the characters and moments are the best period.
    Once you start seeing the same patterns in every show, it kinda gets boring.
    I really dropped out from dramas when I noticed that backstories and locations were basically set dressings for the same tired tropes.
    Unless I really find something unique, I don’t watch any show for more than 2-3 episodes nowadays.

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  13. Hi Kfangurl. Having watched K-drama for almost a year now, I’m still a bit of a newcomer I guess. I tend to veer between stages 2 and 3. My first oppa was Lee Jong-Suk and I basically gobbled up everything he starred in, so much so that I’m suffering from a little LJS fatigue now. But I do still tend to seek out shows with the same actor if I loved him in something. I recently stumbled upon The greatest love on Netflix and loved it so much I immediately had to find another show with Cha Seung Won and found City Hall on Viki, which I also loved. But sadly those shows are both really old and Cha Seung Won is already 50 now which made me really sad ๐Ÿ™‚ Probably no new sexy Cha Seung Won shows coming up.

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    • @carulhein – I loved Cha Seung Won so much in The Greatest Love. After I watched it, I spent a lot of time trying to see if the posters of his character that were plastered all over his agency (and maybe his house? It’s been a long while since I saw the drama) were from an actual movie or drama. He looked so sexy and tough in the all black outfit that I checked as best I could. Unfortunately, it seems like he plays a bad guy in most of his other roles. Don’t get me wrong, if I find a role where he’s dressed as that poster, bad guy or not, I would totally watch it! ๐Ÿ˜†
      In fact if anyone knows if those posters are from an actual movie or drama, please let me know.

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      • Hi beezrtp, tried to find the poster you were talking about, but not to be ๐Ÿ˜. I’m still a little stuck in romance mode, so haven’t tried any of his newer stuff, but once I’ve emerged, will defenitely seek it out. Was little nostalgic after my post yesterday and while I’ve never rewatched anything, I’ve decided to watch Greatest love again. Happily on episode 3 now. Its hilarious and writing is so good…

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      • You’re talking about the posters in the show, aren’t you? ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜

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        • Yes. The character’s posters that appeared in the character’s agency. I was hoping they used posters from an actual movie that the actor had been in but since I can’t find those posters anywhere on the internet, they were probably a photoshoot done for The Greatest Love.

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  14. You are so right!!! Iโ€™ve personally gone through all four stages… mind you Iโ€™ve only been in the drama world approximately 1.5 years now. But for me I started with stage 2 first then stage 1 then 3 and 4. Like you mentioned, I donโ€™t end up liking all of the dramas of my current oppa obsession. I also love Gong Yoo but I donโ€™t like all of his dramas either. Iโ€™d like to think that although my fav Oppas or Unnies are in a certain drama, that I also crave for a good screenplay/ story line and Iโ€™m huge on chemistry! Iโ€™ve dropped some dramas but not too many just because itโ€™s just my little ocd that I have to finish what I started. But I do find myself skipping episodes or FF! In less than two years I watched approximately 200+ dramas and movies put together but only have at the most ten favorites and a handful I would rewatch just because I miss the certain *feels or magic I felt watching those dramas and canโ€™t find one that satisfies at the moment. I have to say that I havenโ€™t really felt LOVE LOVE for any 2020 dramas yet. Not one that has wowed me yet like SLA or Goblin or Strong Girl did which is a bit of a bummer. I find myself watching for the sake of entertainment and not truly immersed in any storylines right now. Perhaps Iโ€™m just not watching the right ones! My stage 4, rut phase, has lasted a week at the most and find myself filling it with K- Variety shows, reading your reviews and YouTube. Great fillers but then I start to miss the drama and itch to get back on! Anyway, I enjoyed reading this… thanks for sharing your drama cycle!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, it seems like you described me! I went through all these stages (though I had multiple oppas whose entire wretched filmography I was watched). Then I completely went off them and couldn’t bring myself to watch anything k drama related for nearly two years. I recently came back to them and the love is strong once again! I think this time around I’m going to just go with the flow rather than force myself to finish things just because of hype.

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  16. Oh this is a great post! I think I went from stage 1 to 3 direct. I totally lapped up the 3 camera kisses, wrist grabs, declarations of love at the start. Now… I cringe a little when I sense them coming. Haha! And while I swooned over DOTS and SWDBS I donโ€™t think I can watch those again (ok I can watch Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik together cos theyโ€™re adorable but not the rest of that show!!) I was in stage 2 (finding shows coz of Oppa) but I could never finish those shows – tried to watch Blood and Kill It for Ahn Jae Hyun and Jang Ki Yong respectively but dropped those so fast. And see my love for Jung Kyung Ho could not get me through Heartless City! But it did kind of get me to watch Life on Mars and This Week My Wife Will Have An Affair though.. those were good shows! Maybe I briefly stepped into stage 2 but exited it quick. Now Iโ€™m in stage 3 and as always – good writing remains a high, high priority for me, even above the actors. But Iโ€™m always partial to a handsome oppa ๐Ÿ˜ lol. Thanks for thinking this through – seems like a lot of us resonate with it!

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  17. This is so accurate! K2 was the first drama I watched(purely for the muscles ๐Ÿ˜› I had no idea where the plot was by the end) and I definitely got stuck in a JCW and then Lee Jong Suk hole lol. But now I’m way more into slice of life stuff like Hospital Playlist that I def would’ve found boring in the beginning. Shin PD’s dramas r pretty much the only ones keeping me going lol.

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  18. I also tend to stick with my first genre, rom-coms. I’ve followed actors and actresses that I loved right over a cliff (Ha Ji-won). It took about 6 months of lousy scripts for me to realise that I need to fangirl writers before actors. Thank God for Asian Wiki! I realised that the only thing I’ll ever like Son Ye-jin in is ‘Personal Taste’ when I couldn’t finish a film that also starred So Ji-Sub. I stan So Ji-Sub so hard his raps are in my playlists. ‘A Company Man’ led me to dramas. I was so utterly over Jung Hae-In’s romantic lead schtick that when he was introduced to me at London East Asia Film Festival and I was asked to pose in the press photo I replied ‘Nah. I’m good’ (did.not.go.over.well).

    I’m over shows that try to sell me couples from other shows (Lee Dong-Wook and Yoo In-Na) and pairing fab kissers (Lee Min-ho and Kim Go-Eun). This is a clear warning that the script writer feels that 90% of the job has been done so they don’t even need to try.
    These days, the story and script have to be solid. ‘Sky Castle’ is one example. They almost got me with the popularity of ‘Itaewon Class’ but I dropped it when the writing began to tank. I don’t bandwagon so I haven’t watched ‘Descendents of the Sun’, have only watched 2 EPs of Goblin.

    I’ll get to ‘The World of the Married’ later. I’m watching J-dramas right now. Treat yourself and watch ‘Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo’ for romance and ‘This Guy is the Biggest Mistake in my Life’ for weird Japanese TV aesthetics. J-dramas are like a palate cleanser when you can’t find a good K-drama. I’ve also been bingeing C-dramas, specifically web dramas such as ‘Girlfriend’.

    Follow the pretty people, but cut your losses if the scripts are weak so that you don’t risk losing interest in actors. Woob’s next film has a brilliant script, so get back on the Woob train.

    Liked by 1 person

    • > It took about 6 months of lousy scripts for me to realise that I need to fangirl writers before actors

      Such a great comment!

      > I realised that the only thing Iโ€™ll ever like Son Ye-jin in is โ€˜Personal Tasteโ€™

      I’m surprised by this one, however. Did you try Crash Landing On You, or would you never do so due to your rule? It was quite swoony. I’ve only seen her in in that and one other show, but she was pretty darn good in both of them. (Despite a disastrous writing decision that killed all OTP joy in the other one.)

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      • I was never impressed with Son Ye jin until I saw her in Pirates doing amazing stunts. Maybe it was a stunt woman but it didn’t seem like it. It gave me newfound respect for her. I need to finish that movie. I keep falling asleep on it. Which does not mean it’s not good ’cause I can fall asleep on anything, even if I’m really interested.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man I tried watching Koi wa tsuzuku but hated the acting so much. I’ll plead stage 3 because I went in for Satou Takeru and just… couldn’t make it through the first episode. I seem to be having the opposite experience from you, because good Jdramas seem to be even harder to find than good Kdrama!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I feel like I went through a whole other route. I’m wondering if you ever had a Stage 0 – watching HK dramas on TV as a child and scrambling to catch the latest episodes.

    Rather than the lure of shiny production value, it was the promise of seeing my 13-year-old self’s romantic fantasies come to life on the screen that first drew me into K-dramas. Although after sifting through a series of K- and TW-dramas I eventually went back to watching anime (still my no 1 obsession).

    It would be a few years later when Legend of Zhen Huan drew me into the lavishly-revamped world of C-dramas where I would remain till today. Currently at Stage 4, unfortunately. I doubt I’d be leaving forever since reading your blog posts has always been a joy (and I’m a TV show fanatic) but it sucks being in a slump ๐Ÿ˜–

    Liked by 2 people

  20. On a humorous note, I found the perfect solution to avoid Stage 4! When I am at the Oppa Stage (Stage 2), sooner or later I am going to encounter a dud and transition to Stage 3. What’s a fangirl to do? Find a new Oppa! Of course, the Oppa does not necessarily have to be an actor/actress. A writer, director, or a particular genre or a storyline can successfully function as an Oppa too!
    My favorite actor is Jang Hyuk. I have not watched everything he has ever been in, although I was very amused to find clips from his performance in School 1 from 1999!
    I am currently smitten by Lee Jong Suk and Kim Jung Hyun. Jo Jung Suk is another actor whose dramas I want to watch.
    For lack of current historical dramas, I shifted my attention to high school/youth and slice of life dramas, and was happy to find gems in that field too!
    If I get to Stage 4, there will always be books to keep me going until a fresh crop of dramas brings back the magic of Stage 1.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. hi all,
    being a kdrama fan is a job that requires concentration and dedication ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I think I’m jumping between phases 1-3 with the addition that my taste as a viewer has been shaped (for the better) by KFG reviews!

    The sexiest k-actors are the ones who jump out of the screen and seem to be talking there a short distance away from you, sometimes I have the feeling to observe their “real” emotions by spying on them from the keyhole.
    luckily and not by chance my k-loves coincide with those of KFG and so, after some attempts to see everything that has been filmed by an actor, now, I choose only his dramas that have a rating on thefangirlverdict greater or equal to B+ and, girls, it works!

    It’s really depressing to see an oppa (in my case more donseng! ๐Ÿ™‚ trying to play the best script lines that would never, ever feel pronounced in real life or get away with embarrassing situations. I suffer to see it too.
    besides that there are those kdrama written so well and so well done in which the actors are in a state of grace even if my k-loves are not among the protagonists.
    and rest assured… KGF always marks them…
    with love

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Been watching for less than a year but went from Stage 1 to Stage 4 real quick (finding it difficult getting through Dear My Friends Ep 1, a gem usually up my alley). I think Real Life, lack of dramas with purposeful storytelling and social commentary that click with me, and..that…Hospital Playlist ending brought me here.

    Hopefully the upcoming dramas this year simulcast on Netflix can re-ignite my interest. Thankfully, Netflix documentaries like History 101, Rotten and my favorite Dirty Money are filling the drama void.

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  23. Based on your theory, I’m in stage 3 so I’m in danger of falling off the wagon! Haha! I’ve already dropped quite a few shows that I started watching simply because I liked the male lead. Whereas before, I would’ve stuck it out until the end just to see some eye candy. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • Sadly at some point the visuals are not enough anymore. Even tho women have apperently a lot more stamina to finish bad shows if there is a handsome guy in it ^^

      Like

      • Sad but true. I’m more likely to watch a show if I like the male lead. Similarly, I also tend to skip shows, even though people say it’s good, if I find the characters unattractive. I’m shallow like that. Hehe. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have to say I am similar. But I don’t skip recommended shows because I don’t like how they look I skip them because I don’t like actors/actresses in general. So I feel like we all have this shallow side to us ๐Ÿ™‚

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  24. Since I watch Dramas since almost 25 years and still love them I think I will fit into the lifelong category. I just added another country every few years. Though my focus is on C-Drama I still watch K-Drama, Dorama, TW-Drama and even other country Drama as long it fits my interests.

    My evolving never was on the actors or actresses but for the story. Of course I have some favourites I’m willing to at peek into for but not to stay for when it is ridicoulous or unappealing. Since K-Drama became so popular and money driven they left behind so much the cute little fluff and unusual things. Gladly Webdramas made it to YT and I really like most of them since they still have the “magic”. Maybe I’m not mature enough for today’s K-Drama what is a little sad since I love merchandise. C-Drama sucks when it comes to that (except the Drama earns a big fanbase). I love buying DC versions, stuffed stoys, artbooks, soundtracks and more. Gimmie!

    And hehe…I never liked the Dramas you don’t like anymore in Stage 1. I just never found them appealing and scrated my head in wonder why they were so popular even though I have a soft heart for JSM (Playful Kiss) since then. She was so cute and adorable in this mess.

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  25. I’m a latecomer to Kdramas, started in April in isolation and I’m worried that I may already be at Stage 3. I worry that I’ve started on the best shows (for me that is) and it’s going downhill now. Started on Mr Sunshine followed by Crash Landing, then a couple more pure rom-com-drama types, okay and good in their own way, before finding the excellent Memories Of The Alhambra. But I dropped K2 (well, fast forwarded over the last few episodes, liked the action did not like the OTP), put Hyena on pause after episode 5 (can’t quite make up my mind but I’m not missing it which tells me something) and started and dropped a few others I can’t remember.

    In a way, I almost think the sheer volume of shows is a problem as there are only so many ways you can present the basic romance themes and the successful combination with action and/or suspense is difficult to accomplish. However, I will persevere as I’m impressed by the overall quality of the productions, the cinematography at times, the generally good acting (of most leads) and the creativity and originality every now and then, eg Memories of the Alhambra. I like that for most shows the storyline is started, developed and completed (mostly) in 16 episodes or so rather than drag on interminably like western TV series and the fast forward function helps me through shows that I am curious about how they end but in which I’ve lost fan interest for whatever reason.

    I don’t have access to some of the older shows which are highly rated as I use Netflix so I’m limited by their selection. For instance, Healer seems to be highly rated by all but Netflex doesn’t carry it, maybe too old.

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    • Well, there are some other (mostly paid) streaming sites like Netflix that carry older shows; you’ll see mention of them at times in the comments on this blog. Aside from that you have sites known as BitTorrent trackers. Depending on how you personally feel about those it’s certainly possible to get almost all the shows you’d like to see, subtitles and all, I assure you from personal experience.
      Google might be your friend…

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    • I watch a lot of my dramas on Viki (I don’t have Netflix). Depending on what country you live in that might be a good option for you. Most of the shows are free to watch as long as you don’t mind ads. I have a paid subscription but it’s only 4.99 a month. And they have a really good selection.

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      • Thanks, Rokuro and Tara. I’ll explore other options as you’ve recommended. I haven’t really exhausted Netflix’s selection yet as I just finished Memories of the Alhambra which I really enjoyed and I’m now viewing other shows I’ve neglected while being caught up in Kdramas. Maybe a small break will help to refresh my appreciation of Kdramas.

        Like

    • The greatest love is an old one on Netflix that I really loved. Just a warning, the male lead is pretty over the top, but I loved him for it.

      Like

      • Carulheim: I’ll look out for it, thanks for the recommendation.
        Beertzp: I agree with you on Netflix not showing the older dramas which I’ve missed as I only started watching Kdramas this year so it’s a bit frustrating to hear discussions about older shows I can’t access, not that I don’t have a lot of other stuff to view, lol.

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        • Sometimes the older shows inform what you’re watching on the new. When I first started watching in 2013, I would always hear certain shows referred to in conversation and others knew just by the name-dropped reference of the shows title what a person was referring to without any further explanation. I was so obsessed with learning and trying to understand the culture of Kdrama (that’s not always Korean culture) that I felt I needed to seek out those older shows. I’ve never regretted doing so and feel as if it did make me understand Kdramas better and the veteran Kdrama community better too!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Did you finish Mr. Sunshine? I know it’s slow but it’s worth it.
      You can watch Healer for free at Viki.com (which also has an app) but the plethora of ads can be very annoying. You can also watch it for free at OnDemandKorea.com. ODK also has an app but it’s in beta stage right now and for some shows the subtitles run off the screen so you can’t read the end of the sentence. But their web site works fine.

      A few recommendations
      Tree with Deep Roots and its prequel Six Flying Dragons (in that order)
      Chuno
      Chicago Typewriter is both a rom-com and a serious tale of freedom fighters, fighting against oppression during the 1930’s against Japanese occupation of Korea. The acting during the historic past is phenomenal.

      Like

      • Beertzp: Thanks for the recommendations. I see Chicago Typewriter when I scan Netflix’s selection but the name didn’t draw me in so now I’ll take a look at it. Shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, lol.

        Mr Sunshine was my very first Kdrama, I binge watched it as I was so impressed even though it was slow in parts as you noted. The cinematography and production was amazing, clearly had a substantial budget. The leads were okay to good but I really liked it for the insight into Korean history and culture, the storyline and action. I viewed Crash Landing next and that was almost as impressive as Mr Sunshine, I’m a big fan of Son Ye Jin and Hyun Bin because of Crash Landing as their chemistry was incredible, especially as I had no idea who they were or whether they were major actors in Korea.

        I think seeing these two shows first has affected my judgement of other shows as I expected them to reach their level but I now realize that;s not easy to do.

        Like

        • Geo,

          If you liked Mr. Sunshine, you will probably appreciate Tree with Deep Roots, Six Flying Dragons, and Chuno. The first 2 are closely connected, with same characters appearing in both dramas.
          Chuno is a masterpiece as well.
          The features you liked in Mr. Sunshine (engaging story, memorable characters, important history lesson, excellent writing, acting, directing, and cinematography) are also fully displayed in the dramas beez recommended. I totally agree with her recommendations.

          Every time Chuno is mentioned, I have to recommend it. Jang Hyuk’s performance is a tour de force.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Stick with Chicago Typewriter. The entire show is a mixed bag of ghosts, time travel (by way of flashes to the past), rom-com, history and freedom fighters. What?I know. ๐Ÿ˜† It may seem like it’s all over the place at first but give it a chance. I promise you, before its over you’ll see acting performances that almost make you want to sign up for acting classes!

          Like

  26. @Snow Flower
    I think the thread is maxed out, so I’ll respond here. Pinocchio and I Hear Your Voice are both excellent choices, albeit both slightly dark. I could make cases for why you should watch one or the other if you’d like me to (if I’m going to expend my energy on something, I’d love it to be on LJS, lol) but they’re both super solid, enjoyable dramas from my several watches of them. By the way, have you seen Romance Is A Bonus Book? I’ve found that to be my favorite, even after 7+ watches. (I might be biased though, as it is my favorite drama AND the one that kickstarted my love of both K-Dramas and LJS.) If not, I’d totally recommend that as well, and it might even be a better one to start on if you’re not in a crime/too action-y mood! Anyways, all of these dramas are superb options and I think it’ll mostly depend on what vibe you’re feeling! Hope this helps :’D)

    โค

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, amethystwaves!

      I have not seen Romance is a Bonus Book. I just finished School 2013. If you are in the mood for a realistic high school drama with a memorable bromance, look no further! LJS and Kim Woo Bin totally steal the show.

      Now I have 3 more dramas added to my list!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No problem! It’s the least I can do, as this blog’s honorary Lee Jong Suk Missionary lolol
        On the topic of School 2013, despite my love for both Lee Jong-Suk and Woo Bin, I have regretfully (and surprisingly) not watched it. It is on my list though!! It have an inkling that it might have taken me so long to put it on my list as high school dramas hit unfortunately close to home for me, a high-schooler. But because I am bored out of my mind here I have decided that will not let my disillusionment with the school system stop me from enjoying some high quality bromance, as well as baby LJS and Woobie. I’VE WAITED TOO LONG!!
        (ALSO WOO for 3 new dramas!!!!! tell me how you like them when you’ve finished them!! I hope you enjoy!)

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        • @amethystwaves22, it would be interesting to compare our impressions of School 2013. I am curious what an actual high-schooler thinks about high school dramas. I watched another very good high school drama recently (At Eighteen) and liked it a lot.

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          • There was an American indie film a year or so ago about high school that we enjoyed but which our 25-year old could not. A very realistic portrayal of the wretched awkwardness of that time of life.

            When we asked why they didn’t like it, they answered: “too soon.”

            Liked by 1 person

      • My wife and I second the endorsement of Love Is A Bonus Book. It was our gateway as well and is the only show we’ve seen twice (thus far.) Very night we watched it, we went to bed happy and more in love with each other. Can’t beat that!

        Liked by 2 people

        • I just about cried reading this, lol. I feel like RIABB just gives off a really warm, comfortable vibe that brings everybody together, which I love.

          Liked by 2 people

          • So true.

            But did you notice my two glaring typos — including getting the name of the show wrong — and the fact that even though I saw them too, I didn’t bother to correct them? That degree of restraint took me years to achieve. Yet here I am.

            Liked by 2 people

            • (Well, I took the show one with a grain of salt because I have seen it being called Love is A Bonus Book in some outlets.) But I did notice those. That’s really inspiring! I’ll keep trying til I can reach that level of restraint because I know it’ll have a really postitive impact on me, heh :’)

              Liked by 1 person

  27. I love this, and it’s so accurate!! I went through the stages pretty quickly, and then took about 6 months off of dramas. During quarantine I’ve found myself back in dramaland, but I’m not sure what stage I’m at. I’ve lost the blind devotion to oppa’s terrible shows, but I’m not quite at stage 4 yet. Usually when I get a bit fatigued with kdramas I switch to Thai dramas. The culture and tone of Thai dramas are so different than kdramas that it helps to cleanse my palate, so to speak. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m getting a lit better at dropping dramas that aren’t interesting though. I stubbornly stuck with a bunch of terrible shows early on because I thought that they must pick up at some point. Now I know that terrible kdramas usually won’t pick up, and even good kdramas can turn terrible. Haha.

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  28. First, I really enjoy your reviews because they are always sincere while respecting different viewing lens. Thank you. I think you have captured these stages really well. I chuckled at how your Stage 3 examples included K2 and High End Crush because I felt the same for both shows. I lasted longer in Melting Softly than K2 (because of the violence) but Ji Chang Wook could not pull me through either of them. Regarding Stage 4, I am thinking about your aforementioned appreciation of perspective and perhaps our life journey takes us through the drama “cycles/stages” as well. On tough days, we may very well appreciate something extremely formulaic and riddled with tropes and maybe other times we need something that provokes thought. Depending on what the dramaworld is serving up at those times (because as you have pointed out elsewhere, they come in batches) it will influence our interest. Which is why perhaps I would call them a cycle versus a stage (or rut ๐Ÿ™‚ ) , because they change back and forth. But as you mention, there is always Youtube!

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  29. I began Stage 1 with ‘Faith’ as my gateway drug but went pretty quickly through Stage 2, thanks to the shock that was ‘Boys Over Flowers.” I did watch “Heirs” despite my misgivings about Lee Min Ho’s acting choices, not to mention his wardrobe. (That parrot sweater and the blue sweater that looked like it was about to swallow his head! All of his wallpaper shirts! Those are the first things I remember about that drama, just like Lee Jong Suk’s coat towards the end of ‘Romance is a Bonus Book.’) I’ve come very close to Stage 4 but never quite hit it. I think that that’s because (embarrassing confession here) I tend to do other things while watching. I’m exercising, sketching, knitting, or (several times) folding hundreds of paper cranes for a nonprofit at the same time. I get restless and actually concentrate less when I only sit and watch. Doing something with my hands while watching dramas make them more enjoyable and enable me to get through the tedious parts.

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    • “Faith” was my gateway drama too. I have a soft spot in my heart for Lee Min Ho because of it, but man, his other dramas are unwatchable. I never made in out of the episodes in the US with Heirs. Man, was that awful.

      I do think “Boys Over Flowers” ranks as so bad that it’s good. I’ve gotten family hooked on K-dramas and in the beginning they ask for recommendations. I wait until I know they are solidly in Stage 1 before recommending “Boys Over Flowers” and then I wait for their texts…. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      • I watched the entire ‘Boys Over Flowers’ back in the day when I thought I should finish dramas I’d started. What a traumatic experience that was.

        I could not get through the first episode of ‘Legend of the Blue Sea,’ and I have not even bothered trying ‘The King.’ Lee Min Ho’s ‘City Hunter’ was fine but his wardrobe once again made me die a little inside. Didn’t he wear super-tight pinkish jeans with matching jacket in one scene?

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        • The only thing I remember from “City Hunter” is the plunging neckline of Lee Min Ho’s t-shirts. So bad.

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          • To all of you who’ve mentioned City Hunter – I’m curious if you watched Healer before (at all?) watching City Hunter?
            I’m asking because at the time that City Hunter aired, it was different enough to capture a lot of attention and most reviewers gave it high points.
            But if I had seen Healer first, then I know I wouldn’t have appreciated City Hunter as much as I did.

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            • I did watch ‘City Hunter’ before watching ‘Healer.’ I agree with you. Had I seen ‘Healer’ before ‘City Hunter’ I probably would not have liked the latter as much. ‘Healer’ was a tighter, more refined version of ‘City Hunter,’ with better music and, of course, better wardrobe (although I’ve never understood how anyone who walks around with a black hat pulled down over his/her face, black facemask and black jacket with collar turned up can possibly think s/he doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb). It’s always easier going second and I think ‘Healer’ was able to build on ‘City Hunter’ so I give ‘City Hunter’ points for that.

              What I disliked about both dramas were the overwrought (I thought) birth secret storylines, which seemed to rely on amazing coincidences, as well as a healthy suspension of disblief on the part of the viewers. My favorite part about ‘Healer’ was the knitting ahjumma in her secret lair.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Although, wearing masks is not uncommon in Asia (I’ve often thought “I wonder how the K-celebs will get treated when they step off in an American airport with their sunglasses, mask and caps” although that won’t be an issue now in our covid19 world). But if I’m to believe Kdramas (and the ladies at Dramabeans mentioned it in a podcast all-out Healer) the outfit that we think of as Healer’s outfit is not uncommon.

                I personally thought the birth secrets in Healer worked very well as the foundation of the story and why each member of the OTP was traumatised and formed such a strong bond once they meet. The birth “secrets” weren’t overly soap opera melo of cheating spouses or stolen/switched-at-birth babies. So it worked for me. In City Hunter, from what I remember that was some cold, cold mess and I could never forgive “dad”.

                Liked by 2 people

  30. Haha. Iโ€™m so totally at a stage 2.7 Right now. However I spent a almost a straight year in Stage 2. with my forever oppa (I shudder at how cringeworthy I sound using that term), LJG. Yep, I definitely watched everything that he was in (and every interview with English subs). I watched those turkeys for him. And let me tell you โ€”he was in some truly lame dramas. I havenโ€™t grown tired of him per say (can anyone truly grow old of that smile?) โ€”I just want to see him in something better.
    Iโ€™m not quite Stage 3. I just think his talents have been squandered. That being said heโ€™s still my favorite oppa and Iโ€™ll support him in whatever he stars in โ€”I just wonโ€™t work to convince myself that itโ€™s the best thing. Ever.
    Iโ€™ve have definitely moved into a stage where Iโ€™m looking more for a captivating and well constructed plot in the drama and less for whoโ€™s in it. I have come to terms with the knowledge that if the story causes me to fall in love with another oppa then the story and acting must have been truly compelling enoughโ€”I mean thatโ€™s how we all got our first oppa. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I relate! I’ve been watching K-dramas since 2012. I have been in stage 4 denial for the last year, dropped most dramas I start. Takes me 3 days to get through one episode.

    Pause. Surf the net. Play 5 minutes. Pause. Surf the net.

    Generally hated the characters, tones and endings of everything I watched.

    During quarantine when I’ve finally had all the time in the world to watch K-dramas, I’ve barely watched any. In boredom (and desperation), I tried my first C-drama. Watched “Pillow Book” on Viki . Didn’t know what was happening like 50% of the time. (Did that chick just turn into a FOX?!) But I was thoroughly entertained by how pretty, campy, and funny it was. Since, I’ve watched “Story of Minglan” and loved that too, so now I guess I am on phase 1 of C-dramas. Ha!

    P.S. “Playful Kiss” was one of my first dramas. Looking back I’m kind of surprised it didn’t immediately hurl me from Stage 1 to Stage 4.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dont know what stages I am in right now..All I know is Im done with kdrama as of the moment and I am enjoying Cdrama more than anything!. Since you started watching cdrama I will recommend to you to watch The Untamed. Of all the dramas that Iโ€™ve watched, this one I considered my drama of a lifetime.

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      • Never seen it, but I love this person’s tweet:

        Dr Kate Wiles @katemond

        The three stages of watching The Untamed:

        1. This is … nonsense? This is very bad.
        2. Oh, this is quite watchable nonsense.
        3. I HAVE NEVER CARED ABOUT ANYTHING MORE IN MY LIFE

        Liked by 3 people

        • Haha, that sounds rather accurate gong by whole lotta comments I’ve read. Having already watched the animated series S1 and read parts of the novel, I knew what I was getting into, so even the nonsense made ‘sense’ to me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • My experience with the Untamed:
          1. This is โ€ฆ nonsense? This is very bad.
          2. Oh, this is quite watchable nonsense.
          3. Mhhhh looks like we are back to 1.

          And I also felt like the drama could have been shot without the women.

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        • HAHA. That’s hilarious!! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† And it does give me a little more determination to get through the initial bits. I clicked on E1 on a whim, but I didn’t get very far at all. ๐Ÿ˜›

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      • I did something similar. Needed a break and watched J-drama “A Sharply Graceful Girl” as a palate cleanser. Short and understated (and following the rec by kfangirl as well as others) it did the trick for me.

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    • Ah, a change of source country can definitely help to freshen up the drama watching experience, I’ve done that too! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d say you’re definitely onto something! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since you’re entertained by Pillow Book, perhaps you’d like Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms? That came first, and I loved it when I watched it. I thought Mark Chao was very swoony in that! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

      HAHA. Yes, I feel you on stuff like Playful Kiss! Some of those early dramas, like BOF, are pretty unwatchable to me now, even though I inhaled it happily when it aired. Hindsight can be so surprising, eh? ๐Ÿ˜…

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      • Yes, halfway through Pillow Book, I realized it was the second in a series. This is what I get for not reading the description before watching. Saw pretty white Legolas hair on cover photo and hit play. I’m so shallow. LOL

        Will definitely watch Ten Miles and Untamed next! Thank you for letting me know they are good!

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  32. Great post. I, too, used to watch everything coming down the pike, sometimes 10 dramas at a time. Eventually, I became more selective and won’t watch sci-fi, dual worlds, horror, zombie, gratuitous gore, and try, try! to avoid serial killers. Still have a wide variety that I watch…even when pickings seems slim and we ended up watching an English language show, it was “Kim’s Convenience”! What can you do, I’ve grown very comfortable with kdrama watching the past 8 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kim Convenience! Yusss! Itโ€™s seriously one of the most underrated dramas on Netflix right now.

      Like

    • Wow, 10 dramas at a time!! You’ve certainly got impressive drama juggling powers, Islander! ๐Ÿ˜€ I chuckled at your efforts trying to avoid serial killers – they are everywhere these days, aren’t they? ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† Hard to avoid, in my experience! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also! I’ve seen some of Kim’s Convenience, and that show’s grown on me nicely. I’m glad you’re enjoying it too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Kim’s Convenience – ugh! I watched the entire first season even though it was offputting to hear words mispronounced. For instance, just because the word for mother is romanized “eomma”, the actors pronounce it umma. With a strong “uh” sound. So I decided that the problem is most likely me. I mean, how do I know what the language might’ve morphed into once it had been in Canada for a while (or maybe the language migrated from a different part of Korea)? But then I saw that every single one of those actors are Chinese-Canadian except the father and although he’s Korean-Canadian, he’s born and raised in Canada and doesn’t speak Korean at all. It just seemed like someone connected with the show would correct the actors.

      And yes, I’m that person who can let a bad wig distract me from what’s going on in a show that is probably a decent show but I’d never know because I’m focused on why they couldn’t get a better wig.

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  33. Take it from me, (with a grain of salt, as I am a huge LJS fan) I Hear Your Voice is super good, if you’re willing to deal with some scary bits and blood/murder etc. It showcases very melty, very cute Lee Jong Suk (hell, I felt like a Noona to him and I’m about 15 years younger than him!) and it’s a really heartfelt, fun, sparky drama to watch!! 10/10 would recommend, with the addendum that if you’re a scaredy-cat like me, don’t watch in the dark. (This addendum probably only applies to me. For some context, I used to run from the room everytime Swiper came on in Dora. So I’ll think you’ll be fine.) Happy watching!!

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    • AHHHHH please ignore this. I apparently do not know how to use WordPress. THIS IS SO EMBARASSING OH MY GOD.

      Liked by 2 people

      • @kfangurl
        Would you mind deleting the above comment? Thank you and I’m so sorry <//3

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      • Explanation for anyone puzzled by this: Amethyst intended that as a reply to a comment of mine at the very bottom of the page.

        lol. If this qualifies for “THIS-IS-SO-EMBARASSING-OH-MY-GOD” mortification, you must lead a very stressful life indeed! Either that or you are usually nearly perfect in your execution of detail. I make mistakes like that every single day.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I guess you could say I lead a pretty stressful life, but I think it’s so mortifying just because everything I do makes me embarassed of myself, lol. (Extreme social anxiety has entered the building!!) I will admit it was a bit of an overreaction though ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • I was totally kidding you that first time, but in all seriousness, worrying too much about what others think of you is a life-skill well worth the investment. The good news is that you’ve got so many years left in which to make solid progress!

            Most of us start out with some of that and get better with it as we age. Which is most noticeable when you attend high school reunions over the decades and witness the socially-phobic wallflowers transform into highly confident/capable people.

            But I have to say, on average, it seems to be worse for young women. And that’s no accident. You need to throw off those chains.

            Liked by 2 people

            • I sure am trying to work on throwing off those chains! I used to be much worse, and it’s getting better as I’ve been in therapy! I get what you mean about it being worse for young women, and I pretty much agree. Thank you so much for the advice though!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I have no professional background in counselling, but I suspect cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) would work well for something like this. Unfortunately, some therapists are happy to have you look inward for years in order to “better understand yourself,” while making no real progress in how it affects you. Whereas CBT jumps straight to behavior change.

                For example, with CBT, rather than re-structure your life to avoid triggers, you take them on intentionally — in manageable doses at first — in order to learn to live with them comfortably. This worked astoundingly well for someone close to me who had gotten to where he could barely function due to OCD.

                This next part may not be a CBT thing, but if I were you I’d make some minor public mistakes intentionally just to experiment with managing how you feel afterwards. It’s a good test because you’d know it wasn’t actually a fail or an indication of you being a failure. You’d have done it on purpose, out of a strong sense of agency. Think of it as an inoculation!

                Blah blah…

                Although, back to the topic of this blog, how woman do or don’t cast off their chains is indeed one of the themes I observe closely in K-Dramas.

                Liked by 2 people

                • That actually sounds exactly like what i’ve been working on in therapy! My therapist called it flooding/exposure therapy but we’ve been putting me in situations that at first mimicked my panic symptoms so I could learn how to overcome them. As soon as we get out of quarantine, we’re going to try to do it in small crowds (that’s a major source of anxiety for me, so I’m scared but I think it’ll work because the other stuff has worked to help me learn ways to overcome my fears and anxiety!) I do think your idea about the minor mistakes is a good one, I just have to be in public to do it.. which might be a problem for a bit. I’ll definitely work on it once I get out and about again! (Also yes, I do enjoy observing how women in K-Dramas act when faced with hardships, and how they work/don’t work to overcome them!)

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • Posting in venues like this actually is “being in public.” Less intense in some ways, but worse in others, since the record never goes away.

                    The test I’d set is whether you can learn to tolerate posting a mistake . . . and then not apologizing for it.

                    Liked by 2 people

              • The world would be a better place if we all had some therapy – especially in these trying times.

                Liked by 2 people

      • Count me in as embarrassed too. I still don’t know how WordPress works. ๐Ÿ˜†
        P.S. You’re so cute.

        Liked by 2 people

        • She’s also an absurdly good writer. For any age but even more so for a person, still in HS.

          Liked by 1 person

          • @beezrtp I may or may not be blushing๐Ÿ˜…. I will admit that I do have my moments of cuteness ๐Ÿ˜‰. As for WordPress, You would think someone would know how to navigate something after 3 years of use, but I guess I am an exception to that. I’m going to have to live with it though, because unless WordPress gives us an edit button, I have a feeling this is going to happen many more times. *sigh*

            Like

            • @merij1 Thank you so much! That actually made me feel really good, lol. I’ve been writing my entire life and am in a special program at my HS for the humanities, so I’m really glad it shows! My use of proper punctuation on this site might be an anomaly for me on the internet, though. I want to be taken seriously here, so I write like I would in a professional setting (albeit with many lols and emojis) but if you see me on any other platform… it’s not pretty. *I* can barely tell what I’m saying. Hopefully my writing doesn’t keep on its downwards spiral as I’m still stuck in quarantine. Any longer and I might start writing my angsty 5th grade poems again! ๐Ÿ˜‰

              Liked by 1 person

  34. Wonderful posts, you hit all the right nails. I’m definitely in Stage 4. A few nights ago I went through Viki’s library because I have a paid account that’s collecting cobwebs. When I looked at all the new selections I could barely raise an eyebrow of interest. I still wound up adding a few to my “TO WATCH” collection. I think stresses in life, as well as pursuing other interests tempered my drama watching for a while. I’m slowly getting back into it, I just don’t believe I’ll ever go back to the complete binge-watching of Stage 1 or all for the love of Oppa Stage 2.

    At some point I think we all outgrow that stage. Fans are also discerning, they know when Oppa does something that needs to be flushed. I have favorite actors American and Korean but I haven’t watched everything in their resume. A lot of times because it’s not to my taste, and nothing much to do with them.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks for enjoying the post, my dear! โค Aw, I feel you, sometimes it's just hard to feel interested, when there's so much else going on around you in your life. And, I totally agree, Stage 1 & 2 are often fairly transient, and most of us move onto Stage 3, where it's the story, plot and all-around quality of the drama that keeps us watching, rather than Oppa's awesome, or the general novelty of dramas as a whole. You're right, most of us just kinda outgrow those stages, I think. And Stage 3 is a solid stage to stay in; I think I've been in Stage 3 for years now. But similar to you, I've dabbled in Stage 4 sometimes, and then gone back to Stage 3 – where it's not a requirement to have watched everything your favorite actor's ever done! ๐Ÿ˜† I definitely fail hard on that front; I haven't seen so many of Gong Yoo's and Jang Hyuk's projects, even though I say that I like them both a lot! ๐Ÿ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, I’ve been in Stage 3 for a long time now too. There’s just a few of Jang Hyuk’s I haven’t seen. Gong Yoo, I really like him but I’m never quite interested in his dramas and it drives me crazy. Hey maybe that would make a good “Dear K-Fangirl” topic? โ€“ Dear K-Fangirl, How do you deal with it when you love Oppa but have little interest in his some of drama choices?

        Like

    • ๐Ÿค— Hey Lady G. I just feel like I haven’t “seen” you in a while. *grinning and waving wildly*

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi beez!!! (Waves wildly back) Yeah, I’ve been laying low in the drama world, I just lost enthusiasm for a long time. I’m trying to get it back. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also been off Twitter for 2 years, though I still oversee the Stuck On Hyuk Twitter with DramaFan. Thank you for your message and thinking of me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I miss the Stuck on Hyuk web site. If I understood how to use Twitter, I’d come and see what you guys are talking about. lol

          Liked by 1 person

          • Honestly, unless you stick with your own little niche crowd, like the Kdrama fans for example, Twitter can be a real cesspool. I really should write a follow up review of Tell Me What you saw. Can you believe I haven’t even finished it. I’m so close to the end. That’s what I meant by lack of enthusiasm. And it’s a great drama, but I was so spent with watching anything much, let alone kdrama. When even my favorites can’t draw me in, that’s where I worry. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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  35. I don’t know exactly what stage I’m in, although I know I WILL drop dramas if they don’t excite me/I don’t like the first few episodes EVEN if I’m head over heels for the lead. I could barely make it through the first episode of the Bride of the Water God without cringing immensely at the god-awful wig. I’m sure it was absolutely delightful in the later scenes (or not, who knows!) but I struggled through ALL of Hwarang just because I loved all the male leads, and I don’t want to subject myself to that again. I don’t think any amount of loyalty will let me watch through a bad show again. (OK MAYBE EXCEPT A LEE JONG SUK DRAMA. I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR THAT MAN. IT’S A PROBLEM) Anyways, I found your way of categorizing the many phases drama fans go through to be really interesting! Thank you for sharing your insight, and here’s to hoping someday you might regain some of your Woob loyalty! (his fall from grace in your eyes almost made me tear up, thank you very much)
    โค

    Liked by 2 people

    • Reading this after, and I just realized how many times I said again. ((REMEMBER TO PROOFREAD!!!)) Sorry for subjecting you to my tired, quarantine-induced repeating of words. I guess all this time out of my school (i’m in a specialized writing program, go figure) and the amount of media i’ve consumed has lowered my vocabulary. I’ll go now, and I’m going to cross my fingers that next time I send you something, I don’t sound nearly as dumb.
      โค

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m both ADD and a constant RE-writer — which inevitably introduces typos after I change one part of a sentence but fail to adjust the rest. I also write quickly and overly long and then want to take away lines or words to make it more concise.

        So this WordPress platform drives me nuts by failing to provide even a brief window in which we can edit our comments. If it mattered more, I’d draft elsewhere and then post here, but who has time for that?

        I was amused by your mention of Lee Jong Suk, btw, since I had just typed his name a few minutes prior! (Very last comment at the bottom of this page.)

        Liked by 2 people

        • @WordPress Please add a edit button!!
          But yes, I totally get what you were saying about re-writing. I have this horrible habit of sending emails with tons of grammar errors in them because I edit them to make them sound better but don’t read my changes in the context of the rest of my email. I’ve also considered drafting responses somewhere like google docs instead, but i’m a busy girl with a lot on her plate and I can’t be bothered to do that extra ctrl+c ctrl+v to put the comment in WordPress. If anything happens, it’s definitely my fault. I’m glad my extreme love of LJS is amusing, lol. I have to admit I’m a bit… over the top when it comes to my K-Drama and K-Pop loves, but they’re just so HOT!??! How can I not scream over them?!?! Anyways, I hope you’ll read my fairly biased review of IHYV and maybe consider adding it to your watch list? No pressure (wink wink)
          โค

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh I don’t need any further convincing on โ€œI Hear Your Voice.โ€ That will be our next show for sure. When we’re done I’ll read your review. Is it a comment here on KFG’s review, or on a blog of your own?

            We’ve only seen LJS in Romance Is A Bonus Book but we loved him in that.

            Liked by 1 person

            • It was a comment that was supposed to go under your comment about Lee Jong Suk at the bottom of the page, but because I have worms for brains, I accidentally posted it as a standalone comment. (It’s not much of a review, just a little fangirl spaz and me being dumb.) RIABB was actually the show that kickstarted my LJS love, and it remains my favorite drama ever. (I never thought the story of a single mom returning from a career break would hit me so hard, but… here we are!)

              Liked by 1 person

              • I am looking for a LJS drama recommendation. I just finished School 2013. I have seen W and Hymn of Death. Any ideas? Pinocchio or I Can Hear Your Voice?

                Like

                • How was School 2013?

                  Like

                  • I liked it. It definitely has one of the best kdrama bromances. LJS is excellent in it. There are many discussions about class policies that can get a little annoying. Just ignore them and enjoy the teen angst!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • If you are looking for a tragic but beautiful romance set during the Japanese occupation of Korea, Hymn of Death is very good (and short!) drama. LJS and Shin Hye Sun are very good. Show is available on Netflix.

                      Liked by 1 person

              • We finished I Hear Your Voice! Lot of good feelings.

                A bit frustrating with the inane alt-reality notions of the law and a few suddenly stupid protagonists, but well worth it for the OTP and for LJS, whom we’d only seen in Romance Is A Bonus Book.

                And we’d never encountered actress Lee Bo-young , so that was nice. I liked that they portrayed her as ridiculously vain, yet still lovable.

                Liked by 1 person

          • I’m always responding on my phone which means I’m swyping. And even though I proof, I swear my auto correct is changing things once I hit “send”. Although I can’t prove it. ๐Ÿ˜‰
            But thank goodness Kdrama fans seem to be really tolerant and understanding (and not too picky about it).

            Liked by 2 people

      • You didn’t sound dumb at all, Amethyst!! No apologies needed at all! โค

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I love that you’re quick to skip things that don’t excite you, even though you say that you’re *fairly* new to dramas. And I’d have to agree on Bride of the Water God. I tried. But I couldn’t make it through E1. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Kudos to you for finishing Hwarang – I didn’t make it to the end of that one, even though I tried hard to like it. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Tee hee. I enjoy your love for Lee Jong Suk, and I have only 2 words for you: School 2013! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s time for you to check it out, since he’s great in it, and you love him so much. And yes, here’s hoping that one day my Woob loyalty will be regained in full.. for now, at least I’ve gotten some of it back? ๐Ÿ˜…

      ALSO! How’s it going with Mom and Healer??? ๐Ÿคฉ

      Liked by 1 person

      • @Kfangurl – Wow. Only 1 episode of Bride of the Watergod. That was the best episode out of the entire show. At least, I was fooled by it. Your dramas instincts are honed to a T.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry for getting to this so late! I liked and then forgot to respond… i’m already losing my memory and i’m not even past high school yet! I am pretty proud of myself for that trait, it saves me a lot of time, and lets me focus on dramas that I actually like instead of stubbornly waiting out one that I hate. Understandable! No amount of fangirl love could get me to watch the rest of BOTWG. I daresay even if LJS was in it, I might just hold out one more episode and leave. I think I was able to hold out for Hwarang just because I have a crush literally all of the actor boys in that show, plus, I’m also a huge BTS and SHINee fan and that just made it even harder to stay away from the drama. I thought some parts were passable, and I enjoyed a lot of their acting, but THOSE WIGS. oh my GOD THOSE WIGS. (As I’m reading more and more of my comments, I think I’ve noticed a pattern that if a drama has wigs, and those wigs are bad, i’m more likely to hate that drama? Didn’t fancy myself a hair connoiseur, but you find out something new everyday… ๐Ÿ˜›) School 2013 is most definitely on my to-watch list! Should be getting to it soon, if my current dramas are bingable enough to get through in a night or two. Can’t wait to see the bromance! (On the Woob thing, at least it’s progress!! I do think it’ll happen someday. He’s very lovable ๐Ÿ˜…)

        Mom and Healer are going very well! It’s been a slower process than i thought, because we’ve had to shift our watching habits a bit as she works and I have schoolwork, but we’re on episode 6! She’s gotten more accustomed to Korean humor and drama style, and she seems to love it!! She’s also kind of in love with Ji Chang Wook, which is awesome (and a bit awkward, cuz I am too.) Hopefully this’ll be a gateway drama for her, and I can flood her with tons of others because I have no self control. Fingers crossed! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

    • @amethystwaves22 – Ha! I struggled through Hawrang at the very first episode because of the horrible quality of the hanboks and the wigs. lol It does my heart good to see someone else have the same type of distraction fixation. ๐Ÿ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Your Kfangurling senses are right on! So I am not the only duckling to imprint on a genre, though my love for romcoms kind of transcends the category of language^^ But I’ve a confession to make. Lately I find myself fast-forwarding even through the apparently better shows. I keep on watching only out of a sense of obligation to reach the finish line. If I may be allowed to be heretical, a lot many series have begun to strike me as jejune. Which is ironic, since I boarded this ship to get away from tiresome realism. Have I started to cross over into the dreaded final stage?

    P.s. The K2 was going to be my next watch. Ji Wook’s adorableness wasn’t enough for me to stick to Suspicious Partner, so I thought something more fast-paced might make the show watchable. Guess not!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha. See, KFG, I am not alone after all!

      Lali, sometime in the next week I’m going to post timestamps for several top scenes in The K-2 I’d recommend any fan of Ji Wook or Song Yoon Ah (the female villain) watch, even if they choose not to watch anything else. There really is some extraordinary stuff in that show, packaged with some cringeworthy awfulness.

      Like

      • Cringeworthy Awfulness: The ramen dance.

        My God. I have never had such strong second hand embarrassment in my life.

        Liked by 4 people

        • I will have to take your word on that. I had the good fortune of reading what KFG and others thought before I started watching. And therefore knew not to allow that scene to pollute my brain in the first place! Ditto for at least two other montage-like scenes that failed to portray that alleged OTP convincingly.

          I watched solely to imagine the OTP that never happened. (“Healer” + Noona Villain)

          I actually spoiled myself on the the entire plot before watching — via recaps on the last two episodes at DramaBeans — so I could skip anything that didn’t feature the two actors I cared about w/o worrying about missing key plot points. Because I wasn’t there for the plot — just selective aspects of the writing and acting.

          All that said, some of the selective scenes I chose were truly magnificent. And as it turned out, the aspect of the plot that addressed life-choices the villains had made ended up being deep.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Ah… too late! I stared at that ludicrous ramen dance for some seconds, before hitting the forward button like a maniac. Henceforth I have been skipping all scenes that focus on the awful pair. I had been watching the 11th episode, and I had to stop for a bit to contemplate the glorious evil noona. That scene where she demolishes that lecher of a husband after he slaps her… it was just magnificent! She is unquestionably the best part of the show for me, Ji Wook’s wonderful action sequences notwithstanding. I mean, here’s a female lead not only fleshed out like an actual person, but one who has chosen not just to survive but also prevail in a morally bereft world dominated by men, no matter what the cost. She’s got blood on her hands, but she has no delusions about taking the wrong route for right reasons. In a previous episode when she and K2 have a heated talk in “cloud 9”, her words about wolves reminded me of Edmund’s soliloquy in King Lear. Not one to take ethical grandstanding, she. Conniving, ruthless and an absolute joy to behold, that woman.

        Given her single-minded ambition, her partiality towards K2 is all the more fascinating, all the more true. Not love, exactly, but something akin, a desire to be understood, perhaps to be needed, too, though sadly that’s too much to ask for here. When he escorts her out under an umbrella in that funeral ceremony sequence, that unsolicited help, now that was romantic, not the paternalistic affair between the official pair. Oh, why did they have to include such a contrived romance plot? He could have been a mentor figure, but no, there has to be the obligatory relationship between the hero and the naif with equally tragic pasts. I’d have liked Miss Angel much better if she were slightly unhinged, full of bitter fury and resentment, instead of playing the innocent maiden wholly dependent on her knight in shining armour. In other words, I wanted her to be like her arch-nemesis. Yup, I’m totally besotted with the evil noona!

        P.S. Is it just me, or K2 shows bipolar symptoms in the ramen scene? TBH, he looks like an idiot in most of the “fluff” moments. I know love’s supposed to do that to you, but it felt like a premature onset of idiocy! Also, what’s with the lofty article preceding that code name? I had initially thought that it referred to a group, not an individual. It would have been great if they had refrained from showcasing, sometimes in slo-mo, the superhero-ish powers of the unparalleled protag, thwarting heaps of enemies all by his lonesome. Like, seriously? There’s absolutely no one in his league, despite JSS being a super fancy company?

        P.P.S Where do I get a badass male lead partnered with an equally badass female lead? Like a Hawk-Eye/Black Widow thing (that sadly didn’t happen)?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can empathize with what you felt about K2, the OTP was terrible and I kept waiting for the relationship between K2 and the villainess to develop, their interactions were so much more interesting and they clearly respected one another. The action scenes were good but only the fast forward button and the vain hope of seeing the K2-villainess relationship develop kept me going to the finish line.

          I’ve discovered Healer screening on Rauten Viki through recommendations on this blog and Ji Chang Wook is very good in that show compared to K2. It maybe also that through the first 3 episodes Healer is more interesting than K2. Because of the recommendations on this blog, I’m watching simultaneously Healer and My Love From a Star and enjoying both (though not on Netflix) and here I was worrying I was running out of good shows to view, guess that’s a Netflix issue.

          Liked by 1 person

          • @Geo -I never felt that K2 respected the politician’s wife. He despised her for her willingness to kill innocents just because they were in her way. Although, maybe you meant he respected her in the sense of knowing she was not to be taken lightly?

            Like

            • @beezrtp: Yes, I think K2, despite his awareness of her ruthlessness, recognized her toughness and ability to survive in the serpent’s den of her family. I also thought I detected a level of attraction between them both, certainly in how Yoo-Jin takes K2 so quickly into her confidence and in K2’s protection of Yoo-Jin against her family. That relationship was the only interesting one, for me, in the show.

              I’m glad this blog guided me to Healer which I’ve just about finished viewing and it’s so much better than K2, the recommendations were spot on. I’m very impressed with JCW’s acting, the action scenes and the OTP in this show.

              Like

              • Another earlier drama for Ji Chang wook is Empress Ki (although it’s quite lengthy) he gets to play as wide range of emotions and character traits as he ages from a prince into an emperor.

                I also liked him in Warrior Baek Song doo. A typical good vs evil show where the two young warriors are shown parallel to two veteran actors who also personify good vs. evil warriors. The older actors really make this show worth it. It’s like watching an old western where two great characters square off for a showdown, but of course, because it’s swords and martial arts it’s not over in a split second duel, but has an epic fight scene.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks for the referrals, another two dramas to put on the list. I was neutral to JCW after The K2 but after viewing Healer, I’m a fan. I still haven’t gotten to Chicago Typewriter as I’ve just finished Healer and My Love From The Star and I have so many shows on my list thanks to you and the other posters on this blog. Healer and My Love… are really good shows but I guess I’m preaching to the converted.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • I was a major ‘shipper for these two — K2 and evil boss lady Yoo-Jin — but I disagree that the attraction was ever mutual. Respect for competence, yes, but not attraction.

                And, sadly, even by the very end K2 never realized that she was in love with him. Which is the essence of “unrequited.”

                Liked by 1 person

                • Was she truly in love with K2 though? Attracted, very much so. Infatuated with his machismo, integrity (which her husband long threw away), and ability to see her needs and act on them, definitely. But I still believe she was in love with her skanky husband which motivated every move she made.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚ By the way, JCWโ€™s new show has started: โ€œBackstreet Rookie.โ€

                    Liked by 2 people

                    • @Sean: I love this description of JCW in Backstreet Rookie. I guess they’ve settled on what he does best:

                      “A 29-year-old convenience store manager with a tall and hunky appearance that makes every woman turn around. He is a little bit clumsy and weird despite his cold appearance. He is kind and sympathizes with others and gets too immersed in someone else’s situation.”

                      I’m also intrigued to read that K-Drama fans demanded the show be cancelled after a single episode because the characters kissed in the very first episode (while the female lead was still portrayed as being in HS) plus a humorous scene that acknowledged the existence of sex workers.

                      No no no. Guys, you’re not allowed to kiss till episode six at the very earliest. Ep 14 if you’re old-school.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I remember reading at the time K2 was being aired that JCW said it was the last action series he was ever going to make as he was starting to find the action sequences were too hard on his body.

                      I have been in two minds as to whether to watch Backstreet or not. The description you have quoted here is a bit different to what I have seen elsewhere, but it seems to fit the overall vibe better. So, I may have to take a sneak peak now ๐Ÿค”

                      Itโ€™s interesting re the reaction so far by some kdrama fans to Backstreet. I see they have even used the word offensive.

                      What I have liked about some of the kdramas of late is the relationships becoming a reality early on and then how the OTP grow as a couple instead of this marathon of goopy tropiness. Take a look at Fantastic sometime as it is about a writer of dramas and how, in amongst it all, she applies the drama writers formula.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I must admit, I found that kiss strange considering Korean culture. I’m not saying that how Kdrama depicts real life relationships is accurate to real life, but throwing yourself (and at such a young age) at a complete stranger’s lips is pretty farfetched, especially in S.K. where’d public displays of affection even with your boyfriend or spouse is frowned upon. The way that I deal with dramas based on manhwa is to remember they’re probably written by 13-year old S.K. girls so put all reality in relationships aside.

                      I read the article you’re talking about and they may be afraid of this (the actual web manhwa): web toon that JCW will be starring in
                      https://toptoon.com/comic/ep_list/conveni
                      WARNING! It’s not for prudes. I was a bit taken aback … and that’s with me just reading the “15 and under” version, not clicking on the “adult version” that button’s at the top of the page. I thought if anything could make me practice learning Korean, this would keep my interest ๐Ÿ˜† but alas…

                      I’m sorry to whomever sent me the link because I don’t remember your name, but I think it was someone from Kfangurl’s site – thanks again.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yes, I’m watching it although I had to resort to illegitimate means. ๐Ÿ˜•
                      I cannot understand why it’s SBS and yet Kocowa doesn’t have it. It’s making me reconsider my system that I thought had it all figured out.๐Ÿ˜‘

                      Liked by 2 people

                    • @Sean

                      > What I have liked about some of the kdramas of late is the relationships becoming a reality early on and then how the OTP grow as a couple instead of this marathon of goopy tropiness.

                      I love what you describe here. What shows come to mind?

                      I see we ran out of “replies” on part of this thread, so this one might appear out of order.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • @Sean: I looked up Fantastic and love the premise, other than the presumably sad ending. How sad is it? As far as that goes, I’m not worried about spoilers.

                      (If you can’t find a comment on this thread with an open reply slot, just respond somewhere else and I’ll still see it.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • @Sean: never-mind on the ending. I glanced at the final episode recap at DramaBeans. We will watch this one for sure. Maybe next, maybe after My Love From Another Star.

                      Besides what you mentioned about it, I’m interested in shows that cast light on how K-Drama is written, produced and acted. So thanks!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hey MeriJ, I recently loved Be Melodramatic, and it does also cast light on how kdramas are written and produced. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus the focus on relationships is still strong. For something more dramatic (& sometimes hyperbolic), King of Drama also is very illuminating – though not always in a positive way. ๐Ÿ˜…

                      Liked by 4 people

                  • @Beez: My take was that Yoo-Jin continued to love her husband all those years, despite his serial infidelity and getting nothing back from him emotionally, but that by the timeline of the show she had finally moved on.

                    Towards the end she confronts him with this, saying until recently even a minor touch from him still left her shaken and craving more — which she knew he used casually as a weapon against her — but that now she felt nothing for him but contempt. (She might have been deluding herself on that a little, but still…)

                    Of course all that turned around dramatically in the bitter-sweet finale, which I won’t spoil here.

                    Regardless, one can love more than a single person.

                    Whatever the exact nature of her love for K2, that she did love him was not in doubt. She even started to confess it to him, but he was so clueless he interrupted and the moment passed. Her staff not only knew and were alarmed by it, but the writers used that as the explanation for the head of her security company turning against her.

                    My take is that he played the role of a catalyst in their lives — an agent that triggers profound change in others without itself being changed. (Heh, unless you count learning to vicariously adore ramen.)

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                    • @beexrtp @merij1 – I didn’t mean to imply there might be a romantic relationship between K2 and Yoo-Jin but that there was definitely an attraction, certainly from Yoo-Jin’s side, and some sexual tension. I think the writers were toying with developing this relationship but decided it was too toxic and controversial, they even redeem Soo-Jin a little by showing she didn’t kill Anna’s mom. merij1, you’re right, K2 was pretty clueless about Soo-Jin’s feelings but maybe that was deliberate on his part, not wanting it to go further since he felt a little as well and knew that such a development would be too complicated and potentially catastrophic for all concerned. I love how us viewers can construct our own scenarios.

                      But I really wanted that “relationship” to develop as it kept me interested in the show. I was totally turned off by Anna, the damsel in distress was too distressing and the key component of the storyline seemed totally illogical to me. I thought about writing something about K2 but just didn’t feel strongly enough either way to do so.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Here’s what’s interesting about the show – ALL (I should probably say “enough”) of the fans watching got the same impressions regarding K2 and The Woman (I’m bad with remembering names). It was talked about so much by Korean Netziens that the Director made a statement that that is not his intent and there is no romance going on, nor will there be, between K2 and The Woman. Yet we all SAW IT! ๐Ÿ˜†

                      For me, personally, I did not see K2 as being emotionally involved in it (other than to use it for his benefit) but I think it was the actress playing it (so very well) that way. And in such a nuanced way. Kudos!

                      Liked by 2 people

                • Hello merij, I see you have resolved the ending re Fantastic! Overall, it is a show with the actors on top of their game, and the ending is a beautiful and uplifting one – Writer Nim was very clever here.

                  I found Be Melodramatic was not for me, but as kfangurl says, King of Drama is well worth a look.

                  Certainly one show that springs to mind re early โ€œget togethersโ€ that goes from strength to strength is Touch Your Heart. When you watch it, you will see what I mean. There is Love Alert, not a popular show perhaps, but I liked it. Itโ€™s a mutual boyfriend/girlfriend helping each other out arrangement – but they genuinely like each other. Jugglers is another one – they are in this through thick and thin. Then we have 12 nights. Life gets in the way of two people who are truly transfixed with each other. Perhaps Itโ€™s Okay to Not Be Okay may shape up to be one as well.

                  Liked by 2 people

          • Hulu has a few Kdtamas as well. Btw, Hulu has Parasite.

            Like

        • I can’t like this comment enough. I went for the Ji Chang-wook Healer revival, but stayed for Song Yoon-ah’s incredible performance as the villainess Yoo-jin. If only that OTP had happened!

          I advise you skip large swaths of Ep 12, btw. There’s a whole series of scenes detailing Yoo-jin’s evil brother conning Anna as her new-found “uncle.” They don’t add much to the story, to be honest, unless you care about either of those characters more than I did.

          A number of us have sharply diverging views on The K2. Beside the cringe-worthy OTP, another problem is that it presents itself as one thing and ends up being another. Or at least that’s how I experienced it once I knew to skip the nonsense.

          By the end, the meat of the show is actually about the villains and their life decisions. I won’t say more, since you’re still watching, but when you’re done, read my comments at KFG’s review. (She dropped it and gave it a D grade!)
          https://thefangirlverdict.com/2017/02/06/dropped-the-k2/

          Like

          • My last comment was a reply to Lali. Almost obvious, but just in case!

            Like

          • Actually you could do me a huge favor, Lali. I’ve been threatening to post timestamps for the scenes worth watching if all you care about is the evil noona and/or her unrequited love for K2/Healer-guy.

            As you watch these last episodes, could you keep track of the scenes you liked the most? Like the wolves soliloquy in Cloud 9 that you already mentioned?

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        • @Lali – I can’t tell you that in Kdrama but, if you’re not repelled by guts, atrocities and extreme sex and violence, I recommend Spartacus. I think the first season started in 2010. I’m giving you the year because there are lots of iterations of the ancient hero. The first 2 seasons, the Roman women feature more as cunning manipulators. But the last two seasons, once the slaves are on the run, the slave women are trained for battle. They’re almost superheros. It was on Netflix last time I checked.

          Like

    • Ooh, I actually finished Suspicious Partner and found it pretty solid overall – and I dropped The K2. ๐Ÿ˜› So, if your drama taste is similar to mine, and you couldn’t make it through Suspicious Partner, it’s quite likely you wouldn’t enjoy The K2 either. But.. if you don’t mind getting a bit creative, MeriJ’s experience says that some skillful skipping of scenes could gain you a fun enough time with The K2! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • I actually enjoyed Hello, Monster, which I found out was scripted by the same person. It’s not without its lighter moments, but the romance element is much unobtrusive. Dunno, them hyper-in-love heroines, when said love erupts with little to nonexistent development, might have become a pet peeve!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Suspicious Partner actually became better toward the end when it culminated in a big court case that was handled pretty well.

      Like

  37. Before I start watching a drama, I am always asking myself: Is this a story I want to see? When I first started watching dramas, I relied on recommendations of my friend who introduced me. I think her taste leaned more towards family melodramas and cute romances. My own taste is for historical dramas with meaningful character journeys, so I started watching those very soon.

    Once I had watched more dramas, I started recognizing actors and actresses and began looking up other works by my favorites. But even at the Oppa stage (or rather Dongsaeng, because I am a shallow ahjumma, haha!), I still would read description of the storyline first before deciding to watch a drama. I can recall very few times when I watched a drama just because of an actor or actress I liked. Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim was one of those (Yoo Yeon Seok!!!), but I ended up liking it anyway.

    Now I am at the stage when I am looking for older dramas that I missed for various reasons. Maybe at the time I was not interested in a particular type of story or setting, but now I want a change of scenery. I have been trying dramas in various genres and finding unexpected favorites. I never thought that melos could be so addictive or that I’d fall head over heels for a high school drama, but it happened!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Snow Flower! Sounds like you’ve always been a pretty savvy drama picker, since you started by asking yourself, “Is this a story I want to see?” ๐Ÿ˜€ And that’s a great way to expand your drama horizons, trying out genres that you’d previously missed because your focus was elsewhere. I’m so glad, coz there are some excellent melos and high school dramas out there, I think, and it would be a pity to miss them. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay for dramas getting second chances! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

    • SnowFlower – then have I mistaken you for a “will watch anything with Jang Hyuk” fan? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Ha! I am not there yet. I have never watched The Merchant or Greasy Melo because I followed your advice. However, I did find myself very amused by School 1 (from 1999) clips I found on youtube. I also watched Into the Sunlight (also from 1999) and was not annoyed!
        I have not seen Tazza, Robber, or Shine or Go Crazy. I liked Thank You and Bad Papa. I am curious about Great Ambition, but can’t find it.

        Like

        • I hadn’t heard of School1 nor Sunlight. Although I admit to going down the list of his shows and watching everything there except, like you, I haven’t found Great Ambition even on the illegit. I also haven’t seen Tazza yet.

          I will say one thing for Greasy Melo ๐Ÿ™„ if you’re a true Jang Hyuk fan then you know he likes the comparison often made between him and Al Pacino. He channels Al Pacino in his Godfather role and that is cute and sexy. He also has one good fight scene. So this is one show that I would definitely recommend using the ffwd button on if you just want to see him doing his thing. But you really do have to ignore everything, and I mean EVERYthing around him. Even one of my favorite actresses, the gorgeous Lee Mi sook can’t save this turkey.

          @Merji1 Speaking of lovely, mature actresses, google Lee Mi sook.

          Like

          • Beez, I just noticed your comment about attractive older actress Lee Mi-sook. What would you recommend that she was in, either film or TV?

            Like

            • Lee Min sook in Money Flower! Although it’s dark and serious. It also stars Jang Hyuk, by the way.

              I also thought of what you and your wife should watch next – Descendants of the Sun. Don’t be afraid even though Kfangurl didn’t care for it much. DOTS (Descendants…) reminds me of old Hollywood romance movies back in the 50’s and 60’s (which may be why some people didn’t like it but I loved every minute of it (although episode 1 doesn’t really get the pace rolling for what’s to come). The OTP is gorgeous. Their conflict: He’s Special Forces which often requires him to take life and she’s a surgeon dedicated to saving life so she resists entering a relationship with him on that basis. Eventually she’s sent by her hospital on a relief mission to a war torn country and he is already stationed there and they meet again. The show has romance up the yin/yang. When the couple’s on screen together it’s a rom-com vibe, but it also has adventure and definite dark spots, (it is set in a war zone after all). The OTP are both smart and competent. I think y’all will love it! (Don’t forget, I’m the one who insisted you watch Healer ๐Ÿ˜‰)

              Liked by 2 people

            • @merij1 By the way, if you do decide to watch DOTS, be sure you watch the Korean version because several countries have done remakes of their own version. I’m watching the VietNam version right now just out of curiosity to see how another country interprets it.

              DOTS was such a huge hit that S. Korea created a theme park of it and couples from all over the world got married dressed as the OTP and some celebrated and older retook their marriage vows dressed as the OTP.
              Here’s the beautiful poster for the show https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvE2-hpAQD16l0zXO8XhzKf38gSA

              Here’s a couple recreating moments from the show
              https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvE2-hpAQD16myPnPpqXyeJfWS-F

              And for at least a year after the show there were parodies of it everywhere. It was a huge international hit.

              I’d advise not researching too much as there are things in real life about the actors that will distract from your viewing that are best known later, after you’ve watched.

              Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve added Into to the Sunlight and School1 onto my short list to check out.

          Like

          • I watched Into the Sunlight on viki some months ago. Not sure it is still there. School is on youtube, but without subtitles. Even my undying admiration for JH cannot make me watch 16 episodes without knowing what is going on. But the bloopers were funny and his haircut did not annoy me!
            What is Midas like? Another JH drama I have not watched.

            Like

  38. This feels entirely correct. Except that, as you know, I’ve recently taken a fourth path on your #2-3 for shows that fail as a whole but have elements I seek — generally, certain actors I especially admire or have a crush on or want to be like, Walter Mitty-style.

    I reject the strait-jacket that one needs to either watch the entire show or drop it when the “fails” become too boring or annoying. With so many hours of recorded dramaland out there to choose from, I choose to take in the parts that move me and skip the rest, even within a show. (By exception, of course. Normally, we watch the entire show.)

    Another Dear Fangurl post you might consider is how K-Drama itself has evolved over the years. Surely everything started fresh, then tropes crept in, for all the obvious reasons. (The corporate ‘suits, mostly, who only trust a product that’s already sold well in the past.)

    But surely there must be push-back from creative types in the industry who continue to move beyond the prior tropes or who at least struggle to re-invent a prior trope. Which is to say, I’d think writers and PDs go through similar stages in their love of making these shows, including the periods when the joy fades but then is re-found. Even if there aren’t interviews where they talk about it, that evolution should be evident in their craft.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Tee hee! I do love that you’re forging your own path, MeriJ! You’re a trailblazer!! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s probably a very wise course of action too; it gives you the chance to enjoy the actors you like, without bogging you down with a show’s downsides. And, it seems to working swimmingly for you, woot! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thanks for the suggestion of another Dear kfangurl topic! ๐Ÿ™‚ This one sounds like it would require some thoughtful research, so let me save it, and see whether I can rustle up something meaningful. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • True, that post would be a deeper dive, requiring a longer period of research and reflection. Something to noodle on over the months or years.

        Reflecting on your own experience is much easier, since on that topic you are the only authority!

        Liked by 1 person

    • @merij1 While I’m glad you found a way to enjoy Kdramas that works for you, I rarely employ the ffwd method because I’m afraid I’ll miss something pivotal in the show. (My OCD-ness.) And I do recall, in the past, having people weigh in on a show with very strong opinions but it was obvious they fast forwarded through certain parts that explained the very thing they were up in arms about! Of course, it’s not a problem if they ask questions (I do all the time because my failed memory is probably equivalent to fast forwarding). lol But they would literally be angry and having a meltdown. (Not that I’m insinuating in any way that you would ever be like that.) You see this often in the running comments on Viki. For anyone not familiar, Viki has an option where you can turn on comments that run across the top of the screen and where you can comment (and see others’ comments) at certain points in the episode. I’ve concluded that the people who use the Viki comments are not my type of Kdrama fans. I don’t know why it’s people who want to be vulgar and rude (even though I’m known for trying to slide my elbow nudges in here on the blog). In the past, I’ve only utilized the comments on one of my favorite dramas that I’ve watched so many times that I thought reading the comments while watching would alleviate the familiarity and bring some freshness to it. I was so wrong, unless I wanted to read “Get the D. She know she wants that D”. I didn’t. But now I do find it kind of funny that I expected to see the type of comments I find here and in the other blogs I frequent and instead “got the D”. ๐Ÿ˜†

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the reminder on how annoying Viki can be until you tweak it. I added a link to my recent top level post with instructions for how to turn off Timed Comments.

        As for fast-forwarding, I’ve only done on the one show so far, but for exactly the reason you mention I first spoiled myself via recaps on the ending at DramaBeans. Obviously I wouldn’t recommend that for a show where I wouldn’t want to be spoiled, but if I’m just watching for glimpses of noona — or a hyung I admire, such as Ji Chang-wook in Healer-mode — I honestly don’t care how a B or C grade script plays out. Getting caught up in that is a trap.

        For me, it’s the equivalent of checking into a hotel alone on a business trip — back in the day, that is — turning on the TV and getting sucked into watching a stupid movie to the bitter end — a movie I would NEVER EVER EVER consider renting or choosing to watch otherwise.

        With The K2, the best parts work for me outside the details of the plot. I watch for the acting, the writing and for noona/hyung. For context, I need to know the overarching theme, but does it really matter that I follow the granular detail? I save that for shows worth that much of my effort.

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  39. Yes, that’s pretty much how it goes, though I went through stages 2 and 3 dang fast. ๐Ÿ˜„ And even during stage 2 Oppa wasn’t the main draw anyway. That said, I did sit through few turkeys meself before I saw the light. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve been lingering in stage 4 for quite some time now and I’ve been strugling more than usual in the past year or so. Haven’t quite come to the point of quitting alltogether yet, there always seems to be That One Drama that draws me right back in the fold again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I sure am glad that you’re still around, Timescout!! ๐Ÿ˜€ And I sure hope that there will always be that One Drama that will draw you back into enjoying Dramaland. โค Also, I'm sure we've ALL sat through some turkeys!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ It took many turkeys before I learned to drop a drama, actually! ๐Ÿ˜

      Like

  40. 100% accurate – nothing to add
    I made the same experience more than once.
    But instead of oppas it is noonas for me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, hi5, Larius!! Our drama tastes may differ, but our drama journeys are similar!! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • Then you must share! Who are your top noonas?

      My wife and I are older, so we both tend to prefer older actresses — whether in noona OTPs with a younger man or matched with a same-aged guy. We totally enjoy watching sparkly youngsters too, but just for the vicarious fun or romance. It’s actresses like these that I continue to hold in my mind long after the show is over:

      + Lee Na Young (Romance is a Bonus Book)
      + Han Jin-min (One Spring Night, Familiar Wife, Dazzling)
      + Son Ye-jin (Crash Landing On You and the infamous Something In The Rain)
      + Song Yoon Ah (villain in the infamously KFG-dropped show: The K-2)
      + Kim Hee-ae (Secret Love Affair, as of this week!)

      Liked by 4 people

      • Two noonas I like are Gong Hyo Jin and Lee Bo Young. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        • So for Gong Hyo Jin, I should watch When the Camelia Blooms?

          Superficially, at least, Lee Bo Young looks like she’d be totally my type. (To paraphrase an early scene from CLOY!) What shows would you recommend for her?

          Liked by 1 person

          • I see that “I Hear Your Voice” also features Lee Jong-suk — whom we’re both fond of — and was highly reviewed by KFG.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Take it from me, (with a grain of salt, as I am a huge LJS fan) I Hear Your Voice is super good, if youโ€™re willing to deal with some scary bits and blood/murder etc. It showcases very melty, very cute Lee Jong Suk (hell, I felt like a Noona to him and Iโ€™m about 15 years younger than him!) and itโ€™s a really heartfelt, fun, sparky drama to watch!! 10/10 would recommend, with the addendum that if youโ€™re a scaredy-cat like me, donโ€™t watch in the dark. (This addendum probably only applies to me. For some context, I used to run from the room everytime Swiper came on in Dora. So Iโ€™ll think youโ€™ll be fine.) Happy watching!!

              (I already posted this as a standalone comment because apparently my idiocy knows no bounds. Please disregard that!) (Apparently after all my years of using WordPress I am still inept at it. Dang.)

              Liked by 1 person

      • Well because I am only 22 most actresses are noonas too me ^^

        But my List:
        – Park min young
        – Park jin joo
        – Pyo hye jin
        – Chae soo bin
        – Jeon so min
        – Song Ha Yeon
        – Lee Cho Hee (my fave these days)
        – Chun woo hee

        The weirdest one for my age is Lee Il hwa

        I have to say I never heard or saw any of those actresses on your list except Kim Hee-ae.

        Like

      • Well because I am only 22 most actresses are noonas too me ^^

        But my List:
        โ€“ Park min young
        โ€“ Park jin joo
        โ€“ Pyo hye jin
        โ€“ Chae soo bin
        โ€“ Jeon so min
        โ€“ Song Ha Yeon
        โ€“ Lee Cho Hee (my fave these days)
        โ€“ Chun woo hee

        The weirdest one for my age is Lee Il hwa

        I have to say I never heard or saw any of those actresses on your list except Kim Hee-ae.

        Liked by 2 people

        • > I have to say I never heard or saw any of those actresses on your list except Kim Hee-ae

          Oh my. You have some treats ahead of you. In particular, these three, which stream on Netflix:

          Romance Is A Bonus Book — lots of fun, very positive role models, two lovely actresses (Lee Na Young is the older and is a classical beauty) and a solid secondary OTP in addition to the primary

          One Spring Night — wonderful yet realistically difficult OTP and a noona (Han Ji-min) who conveys great subtlety just with her facial expressions

          Crash Landing on You — successfully mashes-up so many drama styles, including a truly swoony romance featuring the actress Son Ye-jin

          ————————————————————————–

          I loved Park min young in Healer and Her Private Life, but you’ll be amused to hear that she’s on the young side for me to actually go full-bore crush.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Don’t have nextflix but I heard and read about all the shows. Don’t think they will be my style but if they become available on viki sometime I might try them.
            I am at stage 4 at the moment and I only watch the new episodes of “once again” every week and I am currently not very interested in other shows. None of the newer ones (which i haven’t watched already) are my speed.

            I have to say the list of actresses I never want to see again is endless compared to the ones I like ^^

            “I loved Park min young in Healer and Her Private Life, but youโ€™ll be amused to hear that sheโ€™s on the young side for me to actually go full-bore crush.” – Thats just woooooow

            Liked by 1 person

      • Another older fan joining late in this little male segment. I liked SYG enough to watch all of Something in the Rain despite being warned-warned-WARNED how it would go and was then happily surprised to see her better in, and to a large degree, redeemed by CLOY. Later watched Camellia with Gong Hyo Jin, which was a recent favorite. Maybe I was unburdened by seeing her in other roles, but I thought the complaint made by some that she seemed weak at times didn’t ring true – she seemed like an evolving, imperfect, person trying to get through life, in other words, like a real person. I’d recommend it, also for Kang Ha-Neul, who was fantastic in a very different role from the other drama I saw him in (Misaeng) and for the setting and community, which felt like a breath of fresh air to me.

        Two more Phase II noona-noms:

        Liked Seo Ji-hye in her very serious role in CLOY enough to seek out “Dinner Mate”, where she is the lead and playing a totally different character type, very entertainingly. Also liked Seo Hyun-jin in “Let’s Eat 2” (hilarious and touching) enough to seek out other dramas she’s in.

        Liked by 1 person

        • We enjoyed Seo Hyun-jin in Another Miss Oh, so I will look up “Let’s Eat 2.”

          Ditto for Seo Ji-hye in Dinner Mate. She did a great job in CLOY.

          Thanks for the recommendations!

          Like

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