Tag Archives: Autumn In My Heart

Dear kfangurl: What are some iconic kdramas over the years?

Today’s Dear kfangurl post is inspired by j3ffc‘s and Trent‘s comments on my recent VOGUE India collab post, where I talk about the male gaze vs. the female gaze in kdramas over the years.

In response, j3ffc basically wanted to know which classic dramas I think drama fans should check out (which would demonstrate the shift in gaze over the years), and Trent heartily seconded the idea and expanded on it:

“The question I’ve been thinking about is along the lines of how do you think kdramas have evolved over the last couple decades? Do you see discernible or important trends in that time? (Broadly considered: thematically, in treatment of tropes, genre or sub-genre expansion (or contraction), production values, stylistic changes, acting and\or casting type trends: it’s all fair game). You touched on a bit of this in this Vogue interview, but I’d be very interested in a broader look, and I just don’t have the range of experience to even attempt a synthesis. You do, though. 😁”

So today I thought I’d talk about kdramas which I would consider iconic, over the years, and how kdramas have been evolving, in broad strokes.

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the female gaze vs. the male gaze in dramas? [Interview with VOGUE India!]

Screenshot of the VOGUE India article!

This is a slightly different Dear kfangurl post, you guys.

Technically, someone did ask the questions – what makes it different than usual, is that that someone was representing VOGUE India, and it was for a collab of sorts, where I answered a bunch of questions over email, for a VOGUE India article!

Hasina Khatib (@thejoblessjourno on Instagram), who writes for VOGUE India, reached out to me a couple of weeks ago, and asked if I’d be interested to participate in an article that she was writing for VOGUE India. I said yes, and you can check out the article, where she quotes me selectively, here!

At the same time, there was a lot that I said, that didn’t make it into the final article, so with Hasina’s permission, I’m sharing the actual interview questions and answers here with you guys – because my gut tells me that this is just the sort of topic that you guys would enjoy digging into.

The only difference is that I’ve added screenshots and linked my reviews where relevant, to make this more reader-friendly. I hope you all enjoy! ❤️

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the shows that you didn’t review?

Jonan writes:

Dear Fangurl

I discovered your blog after watching Crash Landing on You and searching for reviews online. After that I immediately would read your reviews after watching a show and using your ratings for recommendations. I absolutely love your format and style of writing. I have some questions I am highly curious about.

What are the shows you have dropped which are not on the list of shows. This started after I watched Goblin and was searching for your take. It wasn’t on the list and learned reading one of your year end recaps that it was not for you. This got me curious to know which shows you have tried and dropped. No need to write any review or explanation, just a straight up list would be great.

What are shows you dropped but plan to continue. I read on one of your replies that you eventually plan to return to Dear My Friends (a show I loved) and Signal (I loved it as well.) What are famous shows that you have no intention of watching. I remember mentioning Kingdom. Are shows like Dr Romantic and Stranger included in this list?

They don’t have to be 100% complete and maybe they could also help as well by lessening the number of requests you get from new members wondering about some old shows.

Of course if this is too time consuming or not something you are interested in answering then no problem whatsoever.

Thank you again for the wonderful reviews.

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Review: My Love Eun Dong

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An updated, refreshed, and much more polished take on the classic Retro Hallyu favorite themes of Fate and First Love.

Show is filled to the brim with classic tropes, but manages to be engaging for the most part, thanks largely to solid performances by its cast, as well as careful touches by PD-nim’s clearly loving hand. There are draggy, frustrating stretches, but if you love classic retro dramas, there’s a good chance you’ll like this too.

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Pure Pretty: Song Seung Hun

While I started this blog mainly to write reviews, every so often, I get inspired to try something new. A fair amount of the time, it’s conversations on the blog itself that serve as the impetus. And that is totally the case today.

Not long ago, I posted my Master’s Sun review, and wrote this throwaway line about consuming the drama together with the fanfic:

“When the drama’s consumed together with the fanfic, though, they go together like strawberries and cream, or peanut butter and jelly, or Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jong Suk, or Song Seung Hun and abs, or.. (you get the idea). You could have one without the other, but having them together just takes everything to a whole new level. Amiright?”

And then today, I woke up to this comment from blog regular Asotss:

“You are soooooooo right ! Ah Song Seung Hun… Too bad his talent doesn’t measure up [to] his bodyliciousness. Could we still hope for a KLove Confession post, just for the photoshoots that only you can dig up ?”

That’s when inspiration struck. Besides Asotss, a couple of other readers and blogging friends have also commented appreciatively on my Googling skills. I guess Google and I get along particularly well; Google’s shown me more than a few particularly lovely photos of my k-loves, after all.

Still, because Song Seung Hun doesn’t quite fall into k-love territory for me, I’m creating a whole new series.

Introducing… Pure Pretty! Y’know. Where it’s all about The Pretty. 😉

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Review: Beautiful Days

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Old-school, classic kdrama of the romantic, melodramatic variety, circa 2001.

Although not quite as wildly popular as Winter Sonata or Autumn In My Heart, Beautiful Days is actually a pretty good watch when you’re in the mood for retro melo.

Yes, it’s angsty, but it’s not depressingly so.

Plus, our male lead is a very smoldery Lee Byung Hun oozing oodles of machismo. If you like your kdrama heroes of the manly man variety, you might want to check this out.

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What Makes Drama Crack Stay Fresh / Turn Stale?

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

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

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

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

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