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!
Hi, kfangurl, thanks for your amazing and detailed drama reviews.
I’m currently watching Mr. Sunshine, and although I’m not loving the OTP, I have enjoyed learning about the time period in Korean history when the show is set. I’ve learned so much about Korean, Japanese, and U.S. relations at the time, and it’s fascinating!
Similarly, when I watched Crash Landing on You, I loved seeing the different perspective of North Korea so much that I started getting really emotional thinking about the separation between North and South Korea.
I was wondering, what dramas have you seen or recommend where you felt like you were getting a new or better understanding of history or culture?
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.
I like reading your witty and thoughtful musings on dramas and their fans. I would like to read your take on one of the most popular drama tropes, the anti-hero (or heroine).
I admit that I am fascinated with conflicted characters because I think that inside each of them is hidden the possibility for redemption. And redemption and character growth are the bread and butter of good storytelling.
So if and when you are able, please share your insights about what makes a good anti-hero and why do the drama fans like them.
This post is thanks to MeriJ, who suggested the topic “K-Roms Your BF/Husband Might Be Willing To Watch With You.”
I’ve also come across many drama fans who do sincerely wish that their significant others would share in their passion and watch dramas with them.
And since many of us are spending a lot more time at home these days because of the pandemic, and also because we recently had a great time helping Amethystwaves shortlist dramas to watch with her mom, I thought it’d be a good time to attempt to answer the question:
What are some dramas that the man in my life might be willing to watch with me?
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?
At its heart, My Country is a polished, beautifully-shot tale of star-crossed brotherhood, and the search for acceptance, meaning, and self.
Granted, Show has its flaws. Sometimes the logic stretches require more suspension of disbelief than I would like; sometimes the emotional tension feels like it’s stretched out for too long and gets tiring; sometimes Show feels like it’s cycling in place, just a little bit.
On the upside, though, Show is filled with strong performances from its cast, knows how to take us on our characters’ emotional journeys, and is scored with a consistently evocative soundtrack that is by turn gloriously epic and plaintively poignant.
If you’re able to roll with Show’s shortcomings, it’s not hard to get sucked into this one.
In a drama landscape where characters have been traditionally subscribed to a patriarchal way of thinking, and where women – especially women in sageuks – have often been relegated to being pushed around by men who believe they know better, Rookie Historian stands out for daring not only to present a different perspective, but for presenting it as the better way.
Make no mistake, Rookie Historian is not a perfect drama by any means.
I’ll talk more about why that was the case for me, shortly, but really, for its bold stand alone, I feel like Show deserves some acknowledgement and praise.
If there’s one conclusion I’m drawing this year, it’s that dramaland is literally exploding with new dramas on a regular basis, and it’s just not humanly possible to watch every drama that’s out there.
My drama instinct has always been to try to balance the urge to follow drama buzz (the niggling question of, “Omo! Am I missing out on something?”), and the desire to follow my heart (the “I don’t care that nobody cares about this show, I just feel like checking it out”).
These days, with more drama offerings floating around the dramaverse than ever before, I think it’s even more important that I remember to stay true to my drama instincts.
From here on out, no more hanging on pointlessly to a show that just isn’t quite working for me. It’s just not efficient spendage of drama hours – or time in general.
Next year, I will be more efficient with my use of drama time – and time in general. Ahem. *pinky swears* *resolves*