Surprise, everyone!! 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! 🥰
Today’s inaugural post is brought to you by Uyen, whom you might remember from her year-end awards post. I find Uyen’s enthusiasm for dramas really quite infectious, and I’m so glad that she’s taken the time to share some of her drama thoughts with us today!
Uyen also writes about dramas on her own blog, which you might like to visit here!
In case you missed it, we’re doing something special and different to end off the drama year this year! Guests posts, by patrons on Patreon!
You can read more details, and check out Shahz’s inaugural post, here, and JJ‘s post here!
After today’s post, there will be three more guest posts by mystery guest writers, whose identities will be revealed when their various posts go live. And then we’ll cap everything off with a poll, where you’ll be able to pick YOUR favorites for the year, from among the gems identified in these posts. How exciting! 🤩
..But, wait! Didn’t I already say, last time, that there would be three more..? Heh. Very sharp spotting there! Basically, one more mystery guest writer has volunteered to share their picks for 2021, woot! 🥳
Today’s post is brought to you by Trent, who manages to watch way more drama than I do! While I don’t think that Trent’s taste in dramas is identical to mine, we’ve had similar reactions to so many shows (most recently, Dali and the Cocky Prince 😉), that I tend to take a little extra notice when he recommends a show, coz the chances are pretty good, that I might like it too.
Trent’s got soo many nominees in all the various categories today, that I thought this image, of a sea of awards, fit this post quite perfectly.. I imagine that if Trent could, he’d give out many more awards than he’s given out today, heh. 😁 Thanks lots, Trent, for sharing your drama year with us!!
You might also like to check out Trent’s blog, where he writes more drama thoughts!
Essentially, Show is a diamond in the rough; emphasis on diamond, and emphasis on rough, heh.
Show is rough around the edges, with one of those rough edges being a pretty scattered sort of approach to storytelling, but the warmth and community feels that it delivers are so good, and so strong, that you end up being more than willing to look past Show’s shortcomings.
The young cast really shines in this, and the adult characters are mostly there as sources of guidance and support, and that’s one of the things that I enjoy most about this show.
Our young crew is earnest and competent, and all-around believable, not only as their individual characters, but as the team that they form.
The stand-out for me, though, is Tang Joon Sang, whose character kinda functions as our protagonist. He really brings a lot of dimension to the role.
Wholesome and quite excellent, in spite of its flaws.
I was watching kdrama clips and have been wondering. They all look so pretty, even one with jobs in which there is exposure to excessive sunlight and dust look so…. clean. Its all good adding to kdrama fantasy but are there any dramas whose leads look more like normal us…with common jobs and maybe cheaper clothes?
Maybe all I am talking about is more realistic dramas out there. I liked Another Oh Hae Young in that aspect and felt I was more into the story and scenes rather than their appearances.
First of all, I am an avid fan of your blog and am so grateful for your detailed, thoughtful reviews of various Korean dramas. You probably don’t remember me, but I loved The Third Charm and posted once on your blog using the handle “erstwing” about how much your review of the show resonated with me.
I have a question about genre that I was wondering if you might address/discuss on your blog one day. What do you make of the label “slice-of-life?” What are some “slice-of-life” Korean dramas and what makes them so?
Based on the shows you have reviewed, I feel like you enjoyed this category of dramas, and thought you might have some wisdom to share. If you do enjoy “slice-of-life” dramas, what are some reasons?
The label is used a lot in Kdrama discourse, but unlike other more established genres like the melodrama and the rom com, “slice-of-life” seems to be much hazier as a concept.
I even did some research into American analogues and/or antecedents, but haven’t been able to find anything meaningful.
Full disclosure: I am a college professor and my current research project investigates the slice-of-life genre in Korean dramas. I’m teaching in the US but I am actually from Singapore, so your blog is literally close to home for me. 🙂
Thanks again for all your insights and for the time you’ve generously given to cultivating this Kdrama fan community. 🙂
Dear kfangurl, I have a question for you – can you recommend dramas that are really good and don’t involve romance? I have just finished Healer and really liked the love story there.
When picking a new series I searched for drama that does not have romance on purpose because I did not want to “replace” the OTP from Healer with a new OTP right away, but I still wanted to watch something engaging.
Two examples that come to mind are My Mister (thanks for recommending it! I loved it so much!) and Hot Stove League (which is the one I’m watching at the moment).
I’m sure there are more. And thank you so much for this awesome blog! I very much enjoy reading your reviews before and after watching a drama (except for Someday or One Day. I stopped reading the moment you said that’s best and returned after finishing it 🙂 )
Hi Bye, Mama! is the kind of show that makes you face difficult emotions and feel all the difficult feelings – and then make you grateful for having felt it all. Show has a bittersweet premise, and treats it with sensitivity and poignance, with a side of levity.
For the most part, Show manages this delicate balance well, and makes me laugh and cry, often within the same episode.
The performances from our cast are strong, and I am particularly impressed with Kim Tae Hee and Lee Kyu Hyung; this is literally the best I’ve seen from both of them. And Kim Mi Kyung, is, as always, a treasure to have onscreen.
On the downside, I felt we spent too much time on stuff to do with the ghost community, and that ended up feeling like filler. I also feel like Show suffers from some pacing issues, causing the last third of our narrative to feel somewhat stalled.
Overall, though, in spite of what I feel are its downsides, Show still manages to feel like a solid, worthwhile watch, with a lot of good ol’ heartachey feels.
Confession: this Dear kfangurl post wasn’t actually triggered by a Dear kfangurl question. It just made sense to group it with the other Dear kfangurl posts, coz that’s where the other lists on the blog live, heh.
BUT! This post was triggered by a conversation with my friend Jan on Twitter.
Basically, yesterday, Jan had remarked that she was looking for a Kim Ji Suk fix, and I’d suggested 20th Century Boy and Girl, in which he is the sweet, perfect boyfriend.
Less than 24 hours later, Jan’s super happy with the drama suggestion, and her tweets are filled with happy spazz, and she’s also said that this was the rom-com she’d been looking for.
..Which got me thinking. With all the darker &/or heavier shows that Dramaland’s been serving up of late (like World of the Married, Graceful Friends, Flower of Evil and It’s Okay To Not Be Okay), as solid as these shows are, maybe some – or many? – of you guys might be looking for something lighter to make these dark pandemic days a little brighter.