I’m a longtime lurker and have never posted, but I love your “Dear kfangurl” column and think I finally have a question you haven’t already covered.
My question is: what makes a kdrama “cracky?”
Not just good or fun to watch or a classic, but really, truly so addictive that you either binge watch it in just a day or two if it’s an older drama or feel like you’re suffering from withdrawal if you have to wait for new episodes to air?
Hi, KFG. I just finished Dinner Mate, a B movie that was easy to watch with some good heart-string pulls, but was about 3-4 episodes too long.
Most of all it was a vehicle for a mature Song Seung Hun who is as beautiful (at least) and charming as ever. I say this even though it’s the first SSH drama I’ve seen! But I checked and, sure enough, he was your first entry in Pure Pretty, so I almost feel like I knew him when. 😆 Nice photos. 😅 Thank you for your delightful “reference” material, which stands the test of time.
The movie and my, ahem, research prompted me to take a stab at a question I’ve been percolating for a while, but haven’t been able to get to the heart of. The simple question is, has your fangirling changed over the years? Some details follow.
I notice that both of your KLoves and Pure Pretty features were first posted about 7 years ago, and there have not been many new entries for a while (although there continue to be new comments, so, still relevant!)
Are any original entries gaining or waning in your affection? Would you add any new KLove and Pure Pretty interests to the list, and have your criteria for the same changed over time? What role does fangirling play in your enjoyment of kdrama today? And not to complicate a good ogle, but does consent culture impact how you think about fangirling at all? It’s a lot. 😬
So, seriously, KFG. I know you’re super busy these days with all the right priorities for the blog, so please answer at your pleasure and your leisure. I’m rather satisfied with just being able to articulate my curiosity and interest. Thanks!
What are some of the archetypes you see in Kdrama characters? Could you recommend other dramas with those types of characters?
Romance is A Bonus Book’s Kang Dan-i is strong, sensitive, but oblivious to Eun-ho’s love for her. Eun-ho is petty, cocky, but really protective and compassionate toward his loved ones.
Strong Girl Bong Soon’s rich heir Ahn Min-hyuk is the hardcore, serious, charming type, but completely caught off-guard and smitten with Do Bong-soon, which makes him fall to pieces. Bong-soon is the epitome of aegyo, but hesitant to embrace her full potential (another type).
What other dramas use these archetypes in similar ways or mix and match them in surprising or refreshing ways?
Hey KFG. Hope you are well. An idea for “ask KFG” post was one around what your guilty pleasures are? And opening that same question up to the KFG community. In particular those that you couldn’t explain to a non K drama lover.
So for me three immediately come to mind. The first being “Secret Garden”. Body shifting, toxic couple. Female lead sometimes one note, an annoying mother but even though I watched this ten years after it was shown I still fell for all the iconic lines.
The second ” “You are Beautiful”. Cross dressing nun joins a pop band pretending to be her male twin. The chemistry between the OTP never sizzles but it is oh so sweet and actually what develops is a nurturing relationship despite the communication problems. And Jang Keun-suk is so mesmerising beautiful that you can’t take your eyes off him.
The third is” Don’t dare to dream”. Questionable OTP and questionable decisions and at one point the female lead dates both the ML and the second lead at the same but the sparkling chemistry between the leads makes this a great binge watch.
And an honourable mention for Masters Sun. FL sees ghosts and ML acts as a barrier to those ghosts but uses this power to manipulate the FL into furthering his interests but again the sizzling chemistry between the leads makes the show so bingeable”
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.
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 🙂 )
thank you very much for your answer to my previous question, the one about strong and nuanced women 😀 I already started watching “The Story of Minglan’ and I am loving it so much! (Btw it’s also one of my first C-dramas, so thank you for the new experience!)
This time too, I have a similar question about couples. I love romance and I’ll never have enough of it, but many times it seems to me that the characters end up together just because it’s a “plot requirement” and because we expect them to get together.
So there may be no chemistry at all, or plot holes about their coming together, things can feel clichéd and may lack of depth.
I read your review of “Crash landing on you” and since you appreciated the OTP, I went to watch the show and yes! The OTP was marvellous! They were very believable and engaging. Thus I ask for your advice once again xD
Can you recommend me some dramas with believable couples and good chemistry?
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?
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.
A noona romance that isn’t actually all about the romance, and yet, it works, and so well too.
While I don’t think that this would sit as well with a younger audience, I do feel like this would resonate well with a slightly older audience, particularly if said audience is female.
Show takes the premise of a divorcee’s struggle to re-enter the workforce, and makes it come alive with poignance and heart, while managing to slip a charming noona romance in there, to sweeten the whole experience.
A capable cast and a lovely OST round out this drama’s strengths, and I also wanted to say, Lee Na Young is extra incandescent to my eyes, as our female protagonist.
Not a show that would work for everyone, but if it works for you, it works so well. <3