After my last interview with VOGUE India about the male gaze vs. female gaze in kdramas (more details here!), Hasina Khatib (@thejoblessjourno on Instagram), who writes for VOGUE India, reached out to me again.
This time, she asked if I’d be willing to talk about celebrity dating culture, for an article that she was writing, which features Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin‘s wedding.
I said yes, and you can check out the article, where she quotes me selectively, here!
At the same time, similar to the last interview, 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.
The only difference is that I’ve added images to make this more reader-friendly. I hope you all enjoy! ❤️
So.. I’m making the decision to pull the plug on Thirty-Nine, you guys.
I’ve watched all the available episodes (6 at the time of this posting), and I’ve concluded that while I don’t hate it, I really don’t love it either. And more likely than anything, Show and I are just not that great of a match.
However, it’s not an objectively terrible show, so there’s a chance that you might like it?
In this dropped post, I’ll do my best to lay it all out, so that you can figure out whether this one’s for you or not.
Show really is everything that many of us have come to love in kdrama.
It’s gorgeous to look at, our actors are pretty darn capable all-around, our characters are mostly endearing, there’s amped-up, epic romance to be had between an OTP that shares solid, sparky chemistry, and, well, Hyun Bin is appealing in this, to a rather staggering degree. Flail.
As a bonus, Show possesses a cheeky sense of humor around drama tropes, even as it revels in them. In addition, the glimpse into North Korean life feels fresh and novel as well, and is a major highlight.
On the downside, there’s a bit of drag in the mid-to-late episodes, which is compounded by rather heavy-handed narrative angst, and Show’s long episodes. That can feel a bit or a lot hard-going, depending on your appetite for angst.
Overall, though, Show does a great job bringing the feels, and is well worth the watch.
Show starts out pretty adorable, with an excellently delivered cloud of cute around the birth of a noona romance. Show then switches gears in the middle stretch, into melo and angst territory.
In principle, it all feels warranted, with things like societal norms, family expectations, and even workplace harassment taking the spotlight. The problem, for me anyway, is, most of these things aren’t resolved in a manner that feels satisfying, by the time the final credits roll.
The writing does not feel assured, unfortunately, and is, I think, one of the main reasons this show suffered. Also, the background music becomes terribly grating, from overuse.
To be fair, Show does have its fans. So just because it didn’t work so great for me, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you?