You know how sometimes, certain moments seem to coming looking for you, instead of the other way around?
Kinda like how my getting to attending Gong Yoo’s fanmeeting in Tokyo happened, in 2013? (If you missed that, I wrote about the entire experience here!)
WELL. It honestly feels like this next group watch, which I’m announcing here in this post, is something that came looking for me, instead of the other way around.
It feels like FATE, you guys. Which, y’know, is PERFECT, because Winter Sonata is ALL about Fate – well, Fated Love – too, heh.
WHAT ARE WE DOING, EXACTLY?
Essentially, we are going to be doing a group watch of Winter Sonata, mirroring its original airing schedule in 2002, to mark the show’s 21-year anniversary! How cool is that??
AND, instead of episode notes from me, you’ll be treated to episode notes from Trent, in a “modern fan takes on Classic Hallyu” sort of vein.
Doesn’t that sound like fun?? 😃
And the best part is, it all came together, without my even having to really plan for it, or think about it. Let me explain.
IT WAS MEANT TO BEEE~
Very similar to how my Gong Yoo Tokyo adventure came together in 2013, without my having to actually plan for it or really think about it, a lot of things had to fall into place, to make this commemorative group watch possible.
Here’s them, in the order in which they appeared on my horizon:
1. Winter Sonata finally became available on Viki, after disappearing off Kocowa, for a good while. FINALLY, the show was legally available to stream again! 🥳
2. Trent decided to dive in, and started writing up his reactions on Patreon, in our monthly Deep Dive zone, and I was so entertained, that it made me feel like rewatching the show (for the record, I’ve seen it at least 3 times, in my drama journey).
3. It suddenly occurred to me, a few days before Christmas, that it might be fun idea, to have a Winter Sonata group watch, starting in January, with Trent’s fantastic notes as the anchor, and I decided to ask Trent what he thought of the idea.
4. Trent agreed! YAY! 🥳
5. I decided that an announcement in the first week of January, with the first episode notes going live in the second week of January seemed good.
6. I then looked up Winter Sonata, and that’s when I learned that its original air date had been on 14 January 2002! With our group watch discussions on Saturdays, this placed our group watch to start on EXACTLY 14 January 2023!
Listen. IS THAT NOT WHAT THEY CALL DESTINY, IN DRAMALAND??? 🤩
(Also, I know I usually check with you guys on what you would like to watch as a community, but in this case, we really shouldn’t try to fight destiny, should we?? )
WHY I THINK THIS IS A GREAT IDEA
In a nutshell, here’s why I think this group watch is a great idea:
1. Trent’s notes are entertaining, engaging and quite hilarious, and should be seen by the world at large. Plus, he’s even putting in the time to polish up his reaction notes a little bit, for the group watch. Thanks, Trent!
2. Winter Sonata is the granddaddy drama that really kicked off Hallyu around the world in the early 2000s, so it would be a rare chance for newer drama fans to have a community experience of watching it.
3. It’s also a great chance for drama fans who’ve seen it, to do a rewatch, because, what better time than Show’s 21st birthday, to celebrate Show’s coming-of-age, yes? 😁
4. Trent’s insights and observations as a modern drama fan, watching this show 20 years later, add a fresh new twist. Like I mentioned earlier, this is basically “modern fan takes on Classic Hallyu.” It’s great, and importantly, it’s fun. 😁
5. This would help keep the group watch spirit going, while I take a break from writing group watch notes, so that I can focus on the year-end guest posts, which are continuing until end-January or thereabouts.
LOGISTICS & OTHER DETAILS
Schedule: Saturdays, starting 14 January 2023. Posts will go live at 8:00am, my time (GMT+8).
Commitment: 20 episodes. 2 eps a week = 10 weeks.
In other words: We will discuss E1-2 on Saturday, 14 January 2023.
Availability: Available on Viki with Viki Pass.
Getting around geo-restrictions
If you’re geo-restricted, a VPN service would help you get around that. Not only does it provide online safety, it also gives you access to lots of great geo-restricted content.
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Why you should watch:
This is the granddaddy drama that started it all.
It’s not the oldest kdrama out there, but it’s the iconic one that swept the world off its feet, and had folks glued to their screens, lapping it all up, and then clamoring for more.
Even non-kdrama fans were talking about this show, and knew the names of our leads. That’s Sayin’ Something!
Most importantly, though, it paved the way for the dramas that we enjoy now, to have a space to exist.
Doesn’t it almost feel like required viewing, for the serious drama fan? 😁
I do think there are a couple of important things to keep in mind, when watching this one:
1. Show is 21 years old, and uses a lot of narrative devices that we’ve come to recognize as tropes. Bearing in mind that Show very likely did it first – or was among the first dramas to use them – helps.
2. Show is a melodrama, so expect Show to lay on the angst, especially in its second half. Knowing that it’s coming, helps. AND, Trent’s notes, which are hilariously entertaining, absolutely help as well. 🤭
Coming here to the Open Threads to talk (rant?) about it with other fans, will help too, I promise. 😁
The OST is iconic, and just listening to it now, brings back all the feels.
I count this drama as having one of the best OSTs of its era. ❤️
Because Show is so vintage, I couldn’t find a trailer. But, I think the opening sequence works quite nicely, as a stand-in.
Winter Sonata Open Threads:
..That’s about it, really! I really hope that you guys are down to watch / rewatch this iconic classic, and enjoy Trent’s notes, along with me!
Please go forth and enjoy your first couple of episodes – and remember to tune in for the Open Thread posts, going live next Saturday! ❤️
Also, please spread the word, because the more the merrier!
Lastly, don’t worry if you can’t make it to join the discussion on Saturday itself; these aren’t live watch parties. Often the discussions go on all week, and sometimes beyond!
See you all on the Open Threads! ❤️😘