Stories from the community: Beth’s story!

If you didn’t already know, we’ve got a special series to kick off the new year! Guests posts, by patrons on Patreon, sharing their personal drama stories, mostly around the topic of “How did you get into dramas?” and “What does your first drama mean to you?” – with flexibility to go off on personal tangents, of course. 😁 Feel free to share your stories too, in the comments!

This guest series is MC‘s brainchild (thanks MC! ❤️). You can check out the earlier posts in this series as follows: MCSeanShahz, JJ & Martina. After today’s post, there will be four more guest posts by mystery guest writers, whose identities will be revealed when their various posts go live. Woot! 🥳

If you’ve been keeping track, that’s right, I did already say “four more” the last time around, and that’s because we’ve had one more mystery guest writer step forward! YAY for more stories! 🤩

Today’s post is brought to you by Beth, whom we’re officially meeting for the first time (hellooo Beth! 🤩). Beth’s been quietly staying on the sidelines for some time now, but was inspired to finally introduce herself via this guest post, when she saw my announcement on Patreon, about MC’s idea. YAY! Thanks for taking this big step, Beth, we are SO THRILLED to meet you! Do continue to hang out and chat with us, pretty please? ❤️

I hope you guys enjoy!

~ KFG ❤️

Hi! Hailing from the midwestern United States. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be writing this post. My challenge is going to be getting what’s written in my head onto the blank page.

Here we go!

Blame for my K-drama addiction has morphed into heartfelt gratitude to my third-born daughter, Jo, who introduced foreign movies into our family’s life when she was 16 years old, a lifetime ago. For a season, the Hindi classic, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, starring Shah Rukh Khan, became a family favorite, attracting even the attention of her 11-year-old brother.

Fast forward a decade and Jo became enamored with the K-drama City Hunter and its leading man, Lee Min Ho. I was innocently pulled into the K-drama vortex when she hijacked the family TV night after night to watch the drama.

Next on our radar was Scent of a Woman which Jo watched twice, back to back. When I stumbled upon Boys Over Flowers, I was a goner. One year, another one of my daughters gifted me with a pink sweatshirt, whose design was a shout-out to that classic gateway drama.

It read:

“It’s a K-drama thing…you wouldn’t understand.”

How true! Makjang notwithstanding, for its nostalgic value alone, I’ve watched Boys Over Flowers at least seven times over the years. Surpassing my K-drama mentor, I long ago left my daughter in the dust when it comes to committed K-drama watching.

To her chagrin, she admits to being a K-drama backslider. She recently lamented to me, “I just didn’t know how to handle the emotional impact the dramas had on me. I had to step back.”

I can’t relate. To this day, well over a decade in, I do not regret a minute of the time I have invested in my drama viewing.

While occasionally our opinions diverge, most of the time, Jo and I are on the same page when it comes to dramas that have left a lasting impression on us for one reason or another.

We still laugh over the Coca Cola scene in Lie to Me and retain a special fondness for MSOAN (Marry Me, Mary.) I remain a devoted Jang Geun Suk fan. I’ve watched You’re Beautiful multiple times and love the OST. I was so disappointed when the drama he was scheduled to be in was dropped last year. Sigh.

On a brighter note, I am proud to admit that I have brought one of my four sisters, and my oldest grandson, into the K-drama fandom. Some of my most special drama watching moments have been with them.

When he was a young teenager, I returned to the Midwest to live with my daughter and four grandsons, the oldest of whom is Cameron.

He’d come into my room, ostensibly to sleep, and  we’d plug our headphones into my computer to watch Shopping King Louis. I even bought us matching stuffed dogs to represent the dogs in the drama, tying a ribbon collar around their necks on which I had written the names Bokshil and Goboshi, respectively.

When we’d hear my daughter coming down the stairs to check on him, we’d shove the computer under the covers and pretend we were asleep, trying to muffle our laughter. That usually worked unless we were watching Bridal Mask, during which we had a hard time dialing down our reactions.

We may or may not have elicited a few warnings bellowed from the floor above, to be quiet and go to sleep. We were unfazed. Thankfully neither one of us was disciplined for our unruly behavior.

In 2013, I retired from raising seven children and moved to wine country in Sonoma, CA.

Having nothing but time on my hands, I could watch k-dramas and drink wine to my heart’s content. Life doesn’t get too much better than that.

Becoming aware of another drama viewing option, it was here that I first tortured myself by dipping my toes into watching currently-airing dramas in addition to the completed ones I was used to.

My Love Eun Dong

The jury is still out on that preference divide. A couple of dramas stand out from that period in my life because I watched them cross-country with my sister who was living in the Midwest.

With both My Love Eun Dong and Kill Me, Heal Me, we’d awake in the wee hours of the morning to watch the airing of the newest episode. For all our excitement,  we even watched some of them unsubbed, following the live time recaps on Soompi. We had a blast!

While most of our family members roll their eyes at our K-drama love, they embrace our peculiarity with love, save for my ex-husband who sometimes chafed against my unwaning enthusiasm for all things K-drama.

True to dramaland, happy endings come in different forms. Having moved on, I’m smiling a lot more these days. I have a great cheering section and a loving fan club, and am living my best life – traveling, writing, and freely indulging my K-drama love.

My K-drama compatriot, Jo, lives in Uganda. Last year she came back to the States to deliver her second child – and to watch K-dramas with me! Her timing impeccable, we enjoyed the newly released Crash Landing on You in between toddler-tending and newborn feedings.

Crash Landing on You

Now back in Uganda, she is slowly but surely, and very happily, getting back into the k-drama groove. The other day, she mentioned how she naturally inserts Korean words into her daily vocabulary like yelling “hajima” (don’t do that!) when her 8 month old is about to tumble backwards off the end of the bed.

A gifted storyteller,  I suggested she might want to write a guest post herself on the significant moments and influences k-dramas have had on her life. On that she can wax eloquent!

Which reminds me, years ago, I wrote a piece on why I love k-dramas, along with a list of the shows I have watched. I also started to journal life lessons and gems of wisdom I have gleaned from them, a practice I have continued. Fodder for a future posting theme? Maybe someday…

And that is a few snippets of my story.

I don’t always know why a particular drama embeds itself in my heart, so I’ll end by merely listing a few of the dramas that remain near and dear to my heart, just because.

Secret Love Affair

Secret Love Affair is at the top of my multiple-watch list. So much love. My Ahjusshi caught me by surprise, resonating deeply and beautifully. Dear My Friends is heart-wrenching and heart-warming, both at the same time.

I recently watched Nirvana in Fire, having avoided it as “not my thing”  despite all the buzz around it when it aired.  Wow! Its acclaim is well deserved. I watched Someday or One Day after reading KFG’s review. I love time travel dramas and the excellence of this drama thrilled me to no end.

I have read such good stuff from so many of you on KFG’s site and on Patreon. You amaze me with your commentary and insights. I wish I could keep up with you! At the very least, I will continue to lurk and maybe pipe in occasionally as inclination and energy permit.

Wishing a stellar new year of K-drama watching for all.

~Beth

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Su San
Su San
3 months ago

Thanks for sharing!

I wandered from foreign films to Bollywood–SRK fan–then wandered into the world of K-dramas.

Wish I was a polyglot so I didn’t have to rely on subtitles!

j3ffc
j3ffc
3 months ago

Welcome, Beth, and thanks for sharing your journey with all of us. I’m most impressed by your incredible track record in recruiting other people to the ways of K-drama (a feat that I have yet to accomplish, despite many embarrassing attempts). Like the others, I look forward to your thoughts on what makes this genre special.

beez
3 months ago

I love that the two stuffed dogs don’t look 100% identical. It’s as of they have their own personalities. 😆

Ele Nash
3 months ago

Hello, Beth! I’m fascinated by the number of times you’ve watched Boys Over Flowers! I watched it for the first time a couple of months ago and while Lee Min-ho (in spite of myself) had me drooling, I found so many times the storyline bordering offensive and the lack of consequence to, for example, the heroine being drugged and carted off to hotel rooms, too galling. To put it mildly, the show is for me with my 2022 eyes, rather problematic 😆 But, oh, My Mister, Someday or One Day and Nirvana in Fire 😍 Such brilliant shows!

kate
kate
3 months ago

Hi Beth, what a fabulous post! 🙂

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was the very first Bollywood film I watched as well, with an Indian friend of mine.

Such fun to immerse oneself in another TV/ movie culture, right?
Also Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol are swoonworthy <3

I love that your daughter got you hooked on kdrama and that you have someone to watch with. I had to work on a friend in Malaysia for weeks/ months LOL but finally, she watched Beyond Evil with me last year, and we moved on to Stranger and Flower of Evil and hopefully, many more to come.

You picked a good retirement plan there, wine and kdrama, I can see myself doing that some day as well 😉

MC
MC
4 months ago

so nice to get to know you! I love how Kdramas bonded you with your family and how you’re living your best life now. I look forward a full and rich life like you!

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
4 months ago

It is always a pleasure to read the stories of other drama fans! My first drama was Faith and I have had a soft spot for Lee Min Ho ever since. City Hunter is probably my favorite LMH drama.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
4 months ago

@Beth – a very cool post. You are really lucky to have someone that close to you to share the KLove. I am overjoyed for you Beth! I have to laugh at you and your grandson watching SKL – I did the same with my granddaughter and I betcha that car scene after the big lunch got a response? Please let me know Beth. I would get a big kick out of this is they had the same response 🤣😂😆 She and I got hysterical and laughed until we cried. We still laugh about it.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
4 months ago

A very big welcome to you, Beth. Thank you for sharing your awesome experience re Kdramas. I think Shah Rukh Khan is fabulous (yes folks, I watch Indian dramas and films too).

I like the idea of a future post by you of life lessons and gems you have gleaned from various dramas, it would create quite the discussion, I think.

That’s a lovely story about Shopping King Louis. I am glad you had so much fun with your grandson with it. Unfortunately, of all the shows you have listed, it’s the only one I didn’t take to.

It would be great to see more comments from you in future – there can never be enough fandom here and on Patreon 😊

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
4 months ago

Awww. We’ve been watching some dramas as a family too and it’s nice to hear that it’s not just us having some intergenerational watch-fests.

I must add that I love Scent of a Woman (initially because of Lee Dong Wook, but yes the story too).

And I’ve never been remotely curious with Boys Over Flowers (probably because I couldn’t help comparing it with other versions before) but I’ve watched majority of Lee Min Ho’s works and loved him in Faith / The Great Doctor the most. The show’s effects seemed laughable at first but eventually, all the basic camerawork and editing mishaps will no longer matter because of the characters and the classic story.

Bridal Mask was really really good too. It had some repetitive plot points and could have been more compact (i.e. a few episodes shorter) but the whole story and action sequence is so excellent that those are just minor
grumbles. And I can just imagine how cracky it is to watch with company, all those cliff-hangers!

Cheers to you and Jo! I have two good friends from Uganda and I’ve always wanted to join them visit home one day.

Natalia
Natalia
4 months ago

Beth! So lovely to make your acquaintance! Also: so good to read such a positive post, from an evidently lovely person. I almost feel like I actually met you in person, also Jo (please tell her I’m looking forward to her post, she has to write one too!) and of course Cameron, who seems such a nice young gentleman. I will be looking forward to here from all of you again!

Leslie
Leslie
4 months ago

Hi Beth! The longevity of your k-fandom! (And your daughter’s.) I am impressed and envious. It’s so lovely that you’re able to share the passion with some of your family – that they really get the appeal. It’s always gratifying when I recommend a show to a non-kdrama watcher and they a) watch it and b) get the same “wow! that’s different than my usual tv fair” experience that I do. It’s still a bit of a hard sell with most people, though. In the meantime, we don’t need to miss out on anything fun, emotional, beautiful and interesting, right?

uyen
4 months ago

Hi Beth, it was so nice to read more about you!! I totally loved City Hunter and completely forgot about it but your post reminded me – I don’t always love Lee Min Ho lol, but I did like him in that one. I haven’t seen Bridal Mask and do want to watch it, but am sort of steeling myself for it because I couldn’t even get through Mr. Sunshine. I also love your stuffed dogs!

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
4 months ago
Reply to  uyen

Yes please watch Bridal Mask! It’s not as expensive-looking as Mr. Sunshine but the action sequences are awesome and (even if there are some annoying plot points) the story as a whole lingers with you long after it’s over.

beez
3 months ago
Reply to  uyen

Gakistal moves asking at a brisk clip like you’d expect from your typical older Kdrama; whereas Mr. Sunshine is more of an epic. It has a big story you tell and it takes its time doing so.

JJ
JJ
4 months ago

Welcome to the Community, Beth! Thank you for your post and introducing yourself 🙂

Ohhhh, I wonder if Shahz has seen or heard of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham!!!

Yes for Boys Over Flowers!!! 7?! So impressive 🙂 Well done!

I so wish I can find City Hunters to watch! Oh does that mean you are a Lee Min Ho fan???! Phlease, say Yes!!!!

Such specials stories about your grandson and sister and I love how your daughter started all of you on this Journey!!! ❤️

Oh I really hope you share your piece on why you love Kdramas as I loved this post so much. Cant wait to read more from you 🙂

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ

I’ve tried all means that I know of to find City Hunter in legal sites but couldn’t so I had to watch it elsewhere… Only to realize I’ve seen snippets of it on TV many years ago. I know others wouldn’t agree with me but his romance with Park Min Young’s character just didn’t work for me. I don’t regret watching it but I wouldn’t rewatch it again. What’s most memorable for me in City Hunter is his story/relationship with his dad.

Natalia
Natalia
4 months ago
Reply to  JJ

There’s no way Shahz hasn’t watched K3G! Shahz?

Trent
4 months ago

Wow, Beth! Thank you for the introduction, and such a beautiful kdrama journey… You’re one of the true veterans, make us newbies feel like the neophytes we are! I love how you have been able to make it a thing to share with family members, especially your grandson, what a great bonding time that must have been (I am a veteran of hiding illicit entertainment material under the covers after hours, too, although for me when I was a kid, it was a book, read by the hallway light filtering into my bedroom. Probably why my eyesight went bad so early).

Look forward to hearing more of your insights and experiences whenever you feel inspired to share them!