Greetings! Hope you’re doing okay in these uncertain times. Recently, I was asked by a friend why people are watching a lot of kdrama these days and I found myself groping for a good answer. I couldn’t really gush with goggly eyes as I would before a fellow kdrama enthusiast. There’s the matter of availability and good looking actors, but that didn’t really feel to be at the heart of it. I also felt angry at myself for feeling apologetic about my drama choices (the person’s what you’d call a “serious” type and I didn’t want to be an object of his condescension). Does this mean I subconsciously subscribe to the notion of kdramas somehow not being up to the mark? I have been agonising about this for a while now. I want to be able to watch what I like without feeling guilty or hesitant to acknowledge my love for it to the world. And I could think of nobody better than you to provide a thoughtful answer to my predicament. The next time I come across this question, I’d like to bank on your eloquence and insights, please!
A warm little show that brings a good, solid amount of feels, with the right lens adjustments.
From the title itself, you can guess that our story’s main focus is the theme of self-discovery and self-love. On this front, Show does a lovely little job, with many of our key characters charting growth journeys, and mending relationships, not just with the people around them, but with themselves as well.
A little cheesy, but ultimately very warm and cozy.
Show’s draw is more about its characters and their relationships, as well as our OTP’s (One True Pairing) slow-burn romance. The court politics really is just set-dressing. The downside is that the court politics is also the thing that drives our story forward, so Show can’t ever leave it behind for too long.
The upside, however, is that our key characters really do tend to grow on you in a solid way, and Show teases out the growth of characters and the progression of their relationships, in a manner that feels natural and believable, for the most part. Jung Il Woo shows depth even in his character’s quiet melancholy, and Kwon Yu Ri is absolutely regal as our Princess who gets accidentally bossamed by our male lead.
Show has its fair share of flaws, but I thought the gentle, heartfelt romance between our OTP made it worthwhile.
My observations have been (and this may be a generalisation based on the 80 or so K-dramas I have watched) that most male second leads are presented in a way that engenders sympathy. So, by the time the series have ended we are actually rooting for them to find love!! I know that there are exceptions but they are a rare breed in drama land.
In contrast, most female second leads are presented in a more negative light – possibly a throwover to the ‘vamps’ of earlier times! I know going into the reasons for such portrayals needs a lot of study of human society and the status of women and have probably been the subject of a lot of research! But my question is simple – Are there any dramas that present the second female leads in a positive light?
Hope you are well and staying safe! Your blogs continue to be my first port of call before I pick a new drama to watch so thank you!
Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Doesn’t our Mi Ho look adorable with her new hairdo, and aren’t those just the most wonderful dimples, ever?? 😍
Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:
1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question. We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.
2. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
I’ll start by saying, I LOVE your blog! I tend to agree with your unpopular opinions, and I take OST recommendations from your posts all the time, even when I haven’t seen the drama itself. Thanks for putting in the effort to create such an informative, fun space – it pays off.
With the 57th Baeksang Awards coming up, I was curious about your thoughts on award shows. Do you follow them and take them seriously? Do you think the credit is given where it’s due?
I have a Dear kfangurl question to ask! My question is whether you’ve ever had a problem watching the same actor in a different role, because you have such a strong impression of him/her in the first show you saw the actor in? Asking because I just started watching K dramas last year, and i started with highly rated ones like Crash Landing on You and Healer, where the OTPs are so smashing that I was reluctant to see the actors in other shows as it would feel to me almost like they were cheating on their original OTP! Lol.
So far I haven’t “repeated” any actors besides Lee Jun Ki – I first saw him in Arang and the Magistrate and a few months later in Flower of Evil. But to me that felt ok as his performance made the two characters feel completely different. It probably helped that his Flower of Evil character was supposed to have antisocial personality disorder so has flattened emotions.
But now almost a year after watching Healer, I’m watching Park Min Young in Her Private Life and I keep getting flashbacks to her Healer performance, especially when the two characters overlap on certain traits like optimism, pluckiness and sunny smiles. It’s probably a personal quirk but I do wonder if anyone faces this issue too! For now there are so many dramas out there that I can avoid repeats of actors but soon it won’t be an option! Ha ha.
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?
First of all, my sincere apologies to any of you who might have been saving your votes for the final day of voting; the poll closed earlier than I intended (at the beginning of 23 February, rather than at the end of 23 February), oops! 🤭 This is my first time using this poll plug-in, so I didn’t realize that that’s how the settings work. When I realized my mistake and tried to extend the poll, I found that I couldn’t. My bad, guys. I promise it won’t happen again! 😅
Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll; Dr. Romantic came out on top, with 136 votes, woot! In second place, While You Were Sleeping came in with 126 votes.
At the same time, while all the voting was going on, my fangirl heart was seriously swayed by all the effusive love for Jang Hyuk that was being poured out on the final Chuno Open Thread – and I couldn’t help but want to rewatch Money Flower, even though it was clearly not going to win the poll.
So.. we will be having not one, but TWO group watches on the site! Surprise..? 😉
Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Can you believe we’re at the end of this epic journey?!? My goodness, what a journey it has been! Thank you so much for being here, you guys. You have all contributed so much, to making this a delightfully rich and expanded experience for everyone. ❤️
Before we begin, just a few administrative details:
1. If you’d like, you can find my review of Chuno here, which I wrote in 2013, after my second watch.
2. The poll for our next Group Watch is here; please do head on over to cast your vote!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️