Tag Archives: Goblin

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: Are there dramas with sympathetic second female leads?

Sharbani writes:

Hi KFangurl

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!

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Review: Scripting Your Destiny

THE SHORT VERDICT:

This little show feels different from most other web dramas, because it manages to feel interesting and original, and quite meaty, despite its short running time. On top of that, it manages to feel breezy and fun, making for a fun ride where I consistently wanted to go back for more. As a bonus, we even get lots of cheeky little nods to Goblin, which is clearly an inspiration for writer-nim (Kim Eun Sook – who penned Goblin – is this show’s Executive Producer, just for a bit of context).

Altogether, Show feels like it’s at least several notches above the average web drama. The bright, rich Spring palette, polished shiny finish, and pleasant OST complete this very pleasant little package.

The overall effect of all this, is that I felt like I was watching a full-fledged drama – just with all the filler sliced out.

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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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Dear kfangurl: What makes a kdrama addictively re-watchable?

Healer: so cracky, for so many reasons.

shorterthanparkboyoung writes:

Dear kfangurl, what makes a kdrama addicting enough that I want to rewatch at least 10 times?
I’m kinda in the middle of a tough transition period at the moment and I found myself going back to rewatching all my favourite dramas – Healer, My Love From Another Star, Because This Is My First Life, Fight For My Way and Suspicious Partner, but with the FF button when it came to the “evil chaebol” or “bad guy” bits. But when I decided to try a drama that I hadn’t watched but was on my list, I kept dropping them half way. What is it in the above dramas, which I believe you loved as well after reading your reviews (which were amazing btw), or any general drama that makes me come back to these again and again?

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Review: Search: WWW

THE SHORT VERDICT:

A dark horse of a show that took a tiny bit of getting used to, but eventually surprised me by sneaking under my skin to grab my heart in a big way.

Search: WWW truly is a rarity in Dramaland. First of all, it’s women-centric and puts the spotlight on the relationships among our main female characters, which in itself is a big plus. But even more surprising than that, is that while each of our 3 main ladies has her own loveline with a perfectly matched love interest, those romance arcs never take centerstage in our narrative, even at their most melty. Instead, the romances are positioned as just one aspect of our women’s very full lives. Seriously, how refreshing and cool is that?

Thoughtfully written, solidly directed, and brimming with consummate performances by the cast, this is one drama that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

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Review: Touch Your Heart [Reach Of Sincerity]

THE SHORT VERDICT:

Light, frothy, and easy on the drama palate, Touch Your Heart is a fun little watch that ought to add a nice amount of cute to your viewing schedule.

Yoo In Na is the star of this show, with her personal charm making our protagonist earnest, adorable and very likable, pretty much regardless of the situation. Lee Dong Wook’s straitlaced lawyer is a great foil for Yoo In Na’s sparkly enthusiasm, and together, they lit up my screen as they bickered, talked and stumbled their way to True Love. Our drama world is filled with secondary characters who are mostly fun, and even the less fun ones grow on you by the end. A breezy, groovy OST that’s nicely employed to amp up the feels, is what ties this little ragtag package together.

Sometimes the plot goes off on a case-related tangent, but Show always brings it back to what’s important – the heartfelt, and the cute.

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Year In Review: 2017

You guys might remember that this time last year, I pinky-swore-resolved to make better use of my drama hours – and better use of time in general – in 2017. Now that 2017 has flown by in what feels like a flash, and it’s time to check in all over again, I’m happy to report that I think I did.. pretty ok, all things considered. 🙂

Some of you know that I went through a drama-cum-blogging slump somewhere in the middle of 2017, and ended up not only neglecting the blog in a big way (I’m really sorry you guys! I did read every single comment, even though I didn’t respond to any, during my slump), but not watching a whole lot of drama either, for about 2-3 months (gasp! The horror!).

When I was watching dramas, though, I paid a lot less attention to what dramas were trending at the moment, and a lot more attention to my mood, and how much I was enjoying the dramas on my screen – or not. This meant that I ended up dropping more dramas this year than I have in previous years – if I just wasn’t feeling a show, I’d be much quicker to drop it –  and, it also meant that I missed out on some good dramas because I just wasn’t in the right mood. On the upside, though, I found that I ended up feeling happier in general, with my 2017 drama-watching experience. That’s not a bad trade-off, right?

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Flash Review: Love For A Thousand More

Tis the season in dramaland, it seems, for the spotlight to be on immortals and their human love interests. I mean, just look at Goblin and his bride, his roomie Reaper and his Sunny, and the Mermaid and her human con-man. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that much, that the trend has reached web dramas as well.

What does surprise me, though, is how this little web drama – with its limited budget and screen-time, and its greener cast – manages to be more engaging and thought-provoking than its bigger, buzzier, full-length drama cousins. That’s some serious skillz, and I’m duly impressed.

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