Today’s post is a throwback sort of deal – surprise? 😁
Basically, not too long ago, JJ emailed me and suggested that I do throwback posts sometimes, to point you guys to older content that exists on the blog, but which you might not have discovered, because there’s just so much of it, now that the blog’s been around for a while.
AND THEN.. while I was auditing the site, checking for various things (like broken links, for one), I came across this post.
Not to toot my own horn, but I read this post, and thought, HEY, this is a pretty great topic, and a pretty good post – which many newer readers might not have come across.
And so, today, I bring you back to 2014 (gosh, has it been 8 years?!?), when I first published this post, where I talk about food as part of Korean culture.
In case you missed it, we have yet another guest post series to enjoy, this month!
Unlike our previous guest post series, this one was kind of an accident, almost. I have Ele to thank for this one, because it was her innocent question about something, that made me casually talk about the off-the-top-of-my-head, hypothetical possibility of a guest post series on love, in the month of February, in honor of Valentine’s Day.
So many folks on Patreon responded enthusiastically to this idea, that I felt that it would be remiss of me, not to actually make it happen, come February.
And so, here we are. This month, we will enjoy a total of nine guest posts from patrons on Patreon, on the topic of love stories. The brief is pretty flexible, in that, each writer is free to go deep, or go wide, on anything around the topic of love stories in Dramaland. I feel like we have a lot to look forward to, this month! 🥰
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: MC, Sean, Shahz, 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? ❤️
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.
When I first watched Goblin four years ago, I loved it so much, and it was so mindboggling to me at the time.
I’m actually rewatching Goblin right now (first time since it came out), and I still enjoy it, it’s still one of my favorite dramas of all time, and the feels are still amazing (and the cinematography and aesthetic still stands out), but the second time felt slightly less spectacular than the first time I watched it.
It’s odd because this is one of the only TV shows that I can tell you the plot of, explain the character arcs, defend any criticisms (like the age chasm; I can write about that below for the sake of putting it out there), etc.
I remember it so well, and I remember it with such a specific lens, with such specific emotions and thoughts. It’s like a memory, a well-maintained one. As I’m rewatching it right now, there’s a slight foreign feel to the experience.
I know many people who often work on fanfictions that face this dilemma, as their minds wander and deviate from the original plot, whether it’s with character changes or alternate endings, etc., and then when they come back to the show, they’re often shocked, or even averted from it.
But the thing is, with Goblin, I never really explored further beyond the show, but I still feel this way.
In essence, I’m still enjoying the show after a long time, but it just isn’t the same, and many things could be to blame. I get that. I’m an adult now, I have more life experience, my worldview is different, my drama preferences have changed, etc.
But I would love to ask about your thoughts on this dilemma.
Have you rewatched any dramas, either ones that you stopped early or finished completely; ones you love or ones you can tolerate, etc.? Do you have a specific guide to rewatching anything? Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever fallen out of love with a drama after rewatching it?
I actually forgot to add a sentence about a “slice of life” lens that I needed to adapt for my Goblin rewatch, shifting from a previous lens of expecting plot-heavy drama; point being, have you ever needed to change your viewing lens/perspective during a rewatch, either for the fun or it or because that’s required for an optimal rewatch?
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.
..Which I paraphrase to mean, OTPs that didn’t work for me / are not my favorite / are kinda blah. Coz worst is a strong word, heh.
Shout-out to Beez, for being the first to ask for this list!
Note: I fully expect that some of the OTPs that didn’t work for me, might be your actual favorite OTPs, and that’s perfectly fine, since this is all subjective anyway. But if you’d prefer to look away now, I won’t be offended, I promise. 😉
Not too long ago, lots of people on my Twitter feed were going gaga over Meteor Garden 2018, and so I dipped my toes in too, out of curiosity (yes, despite stating firmly that I had had my fill of the story via the J- and K-versions).
I really liked the first episode, but found myself losing interest in the next few episodes, so much so that I ended up dropping out early, after just 4 episodes.
BUT! Plot twist!
I found similar tsundere-male-lead-campus-romance crack in My ID is Gangnam Beauty instead.
This kinda-sorta gave me the addictive feels I once had over Boys Over Flowers many, many moons ago (ironically, I can’t bear to watch BOF now), but I liked this one better, and slurped up the first 10+ episodes back-to-back. Woah, indeed.
Yes, there are caveats, but they aren’t dissimilar to the ones you’d need to make for Meteor Garden 2018 too, so – fair play? 😉