Full disclosure that I checked this one out purely for the love of Lee Do Hyun, you guys.
After he up and stole my heart in 18 Again, I just can’t seem to help myself, when it comes to wanting to see more of him on my screen. 😅 You guys know I typically don’t do horror or monsters, but I legit watched Sweet Home because he was in it.
..Which means I kinda had to at least give this show a try, since he’s this story’s male lead, right?
Unfortunately, this is one time where my love for Lee Do Hyun is just not going to see me through a show. I’m officially calling it quits on this one, after 7 episodes.
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.
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!
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 🙂 )
Betrayal, revenge and dysfunction are the key words that this show seems to be live by; all the characters in this drama world are painted in suspicious shades of gray, as they seek to outwit and outdo one another, for their own purposes.
This is definitely not the show for you, if you’re looking for sweet romance. But, if you find yourself in the mood for hyperbolic animosity, or, if you’re willing to take a walk on the dark side to see the fantastic performances of the actors – especially Kim Hee Ae, who is magnificent in this – then this show is a wild rollercoaster of a ride that should keep you on the edge of your seat.
I’ve been an active reader of yours since I got into K-Dramas, and I just have to say how helpful your reviews are to figure out whether a drama is worth my time or not. Your humor is very similar to mine, and I just love reading your in-depth explanations about what makes the dramas I love so squee-inducing. WITH THAT BEING SAID, we have a pressing problem at hand. I am a teenager, and because I am stuck at home with my parents and two brothers, we have been watching a lot of TV. My mom has expressed interest in watching a K-drama with me, and while I love her to death, I am not super inclined to have her watch me scream over a hot Korean man.
So, my question to you is: How can I enjoy a K-drama with my mom without it being weird? Also, what do you think are some good dramas to watch with the family?
I would love to watch one with her, and she’s not bad about watching kissing scenes and the like with us, but how can i do it without making it awkward? Anyways, sorry for unloading my familial insecurity onto you. Thank you for always being a reliable source for laughs, insight and good drama recommendations.
I love you blog! Your reviews are very interesting!
I started watching kdramas last year, and haven’t stopped since xD
I was wondering, can you recommend me any kdramas with good, compelling, interesting female characters? Because I find this aspect kind of lacking D:
It’s that time of the year again, my friends. 2020 is upon us, and 2019 is just about done and dusted. Time to take stock of the year, celebrate the highs, brush off the lows, and get ready to usher in the new year.
Can you believe that this is my 8th year-in-review post?? Imma be honest with you guys; every time I sit down to do one of these, I get visited by a touch of blogger existential crisis. Essentially, I ask myself, “Where am I going with this? How long will I do this? Is there still.. a point to doing this?”
..And I gotta tell ya, I still don’t know the answer to those questions. What I can say, though, is, I’m still enjoying my dramas reasonably well, and I’m still game to write about ’em, and I’m grateful that you guys are still here on this journey with me. Thanks for sticking it out with me, y’all. ❤️
And now, let me attempt to break down my 2019 drama year for ya.
An excellent ensemble cast made up of skilled industry sunbaes; faceted, detailed deliveries that feel convincing and engaging; a tightly written narrative that delivers some surprising twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat; thoughtful directing and execution; an expertly applied OST that can be hauntingly ethereal one minute and then pulsing with tension the next; SKY Castle has it all, and it all comes together in one polished, dysfunctional package.
This drama is a very solid, compelling social satire that manages to make its characters come alive, even as it makes its social commentary. On the downside, Show suffers from an ending that feels like a tacked-on epilogue written by a different team altogether. Happily, that’s easily fixed by thinking of the last episode as just that, because Show manages to tell a story in its first 19 episodes that feels reasonably complete even before it presents its finale.
I know I said last year that Dramaland was exploding with more dramas than ever before, but Dramaland basically outdid itself in 2018 – and then some.
You know when you have only 2 ice-cream flavors, and only room in your stomach for 1 scoop, it’s really easy to choose, but you still wish you had more flavors to choose from? Well, it’s all fine and good when it increases to 5 flavors, or 10 flavors, right? But when it gets to like, a thousand flavors, your eyes glaze over, you get hit by decision paralysis, and it just feels impossible to choose, anymore? Same thing.
I used to try and keep up with Dramaland, especially after I started blogging. I’d try to stay on top on what dramas were airing, and which ones were good, and I’d try to watch all the reportedly good ones, because I’m a curious cat and FOMO is real, yo. Well. I think 2018 is the year that I realized it is humanly impossible to keep up with everything that Dramaland is putting out, and there is just not enough time in one person’s world, to watch all the reportedly good ones, and take time for the ones that you wanna watch, whether anyone else is interested or not.
So 2018 is the year that I stopped trying. Uh.. Kinda.