Tag Archives: Winter Sonata

Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about your favorite & least favorite second leads?

So, full disclosure, this wasn’t submitted as an actual Dear kfangurl question. Rather, on my post on scene stealers, J3ffc left a comment which included this following paragraph:

“For CLOY, I would have pegged scenes stolen by second leads Seo Ji-hye and Kim Jung-hyun, but then it occurred to me that that might be a category unto itself – second leads that outshine the main leads. A discussion with the good and bad examples of second leads – ones we love and then ones that we hate – would be fun.”

..And I thought, why not?

So here I am, with a list of my favorite and least favorite second leads. I hope you guys enjoy. ❤️

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Dear kfangurl: What are some iconic kdramas over the years?

Today’s Dear kfangurl post is inspired by j3ffc‘s and Trent‘s comments on my recent VOGUE India collab post, where I talk about the male gaze vs. the female gaze in kdramas over the years.

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.

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the female gaze vs. the male gaze in dramas? [Interview with VOGUE India!]

Screenshot of the VOGUE India article!

This is a slightly different Dear kfangurl post, you guys.

Technically, someone did ask the questions – what makes it different than usual, is that that someone was representing VOGUE India, and it was for a collab of sorts, where I answered a bunch of questions over email, for a VOGUE India article!

Hasina Khatib (@thejoblessjourno on Instagram), who writes for VOGUE India, reached out to me a couple of weeks ago, and asked if I’d be interested to participate in an article that she was writing for VOGUE India. I said yes, and you can check out the article, where she quotes me selectively, here!

At the same time, 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 – because my gut tells me that this is just the sort of topic that you guys would enjoy digging into.

The only difference is that I’ve added screenshots and linked my reviews where relevant, to make this more reader-friendly. I hope you all enjoy! ❤️

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the whats, whys and wheres of noble idiocy?

Antonio writes:

Hi Fangirl,

Recently due to Noble Idiocy I abandoned the vision of a drama that I really enjoyed: Monthly Home Magazine.

Could you do a post with the list of dramas that contain this detestable gimmick?

I remember getting so mad on Clear With Passion With Me Now too and I would like to avoid investing hours of my life to be so disappointed. In the comments your readers could integrate the list and it would be a really useful service in my opinion.

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about your experiences re-watching dramas?

Shriya writes:

When I first watched Goblin four years ago, I loved it so much, and it was so mindboggling to me at the time.

I’m actually rewatching Goblin right now (first time since it came out), and I still enjoy it, it’s still one of my favorite dramas of all time, and the feels are still amazing (and the cinematography and aesthetic still stands out), but the second time felt slightly less spectacular than the first time I watched it.

It’s odd because this is one of the only TV shows that I can tell you the plot of, explain the character arcs, defend any criticisms (like the age chasm; I can write about that below for the sake of putting it out there), etc.

I remember it so well, and I remember it with such a specific lens, with such specific emotions and thoughts. It’s like a memory, a well-maintained one. As I’m rewatching it right now, there’s a slight foreign feel to the experience.

I know many people who often work on fanfictions that face this dilemma, as their minds wander and deviate from the original plot, whether it’s with character changes or alternate endings, etc., and then when they come back to the show, they’re often shocked, or even averted from it.

But the thing is, with Goblin, I never really explored further beyond the show, but I still feel this way.

In essence, I’m still enjoying the show after a long time, but it just isn’t the same, and many things could be to blame. I get that. I’m an adult now, I have more life experience, my worldview is different, my drama preferences have changed, etc.

But I would love to ask about your thoughts on this dilemma.

Have you rewatched any dramas, either ones that you stopped early or finished completely; ones you love or ones you can tolerate, etc.? Do you have a specific guide to rewatching anything? Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever fallen out of love with a drama after rewatching it?

I actually forgot to add a sentence about a “slice of life” lens that I needed to adapt for my Goblin rewatch, shifting from a previous lens of expecting plot-heavy drama; point being, have you ever needed to change your viewing lens/perspective during a rewatch, either for the fun or it or because that’s required for an optimal rewatch?

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Group Watch: What shall we watch next?

Our Chuno group watch is almost over – gosh, time flies, doesn’t it?!? – and it’s been SO much fun doing this community watch! 🤩

We’ve had a smattering of comments around, (a) feeling sorry that we’re almost at the end of our group watch, &/or (b) what dramas we might want want to try next.

Which is why I thought I’d make this post, so that we can brainstorm together on what we might want to watch next! 😃

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Dear kfangurl: Can you talk about the shows that you didn’t review?

Jonan writes:

Dear Fangurl

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.

Thank you again for the wonderful reviews.

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Dear kfangurl: What are some of the best drama OSTs?

Shamster writes:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on dramas with the best OSTs! Just dramas worth watching because of how well the OST works- thinking Healer and One Spring Night and Suspicious Partner!

* Shout-out to MC, who’d also mentioned that she’d love me to write about drama OSTs!

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Dear kfangurl: Why do I still fall for drama tropes?

This is me: kinda-sorta falling, but not quite. 😉

diti writes:

Hi kfangirl it’s me again, I found that your last post reply to my question was very helpful and very well explained so thank you very much and I’m here with another question (sorry).

Basically I was wondering why is it that so many dramas employ the same, sometimes very cringeworthy tropes (wrist grabs, accidental kisses, chaebol family drama etc) and viewers like me, who have seen them so many times before, still continue to lap them up?

That was a very long winded question sorry, and adding to that why is it that writers continue to add in these tropes.

I became interested in this when I began watching Crash Landing on You thanks to my undying Hyun Bin love ever since I watched secret garden. The show definitely has a lot of these tropes and yet I still continue to get sucked in. Am I the only one?

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Review: My Love Eun Dong

THE SHORT VERDICT:

An updated, refreshed, and much more polished take on the classic Retro Hallyu favorite themes of Fate and First Love.

Show is filled to the brim with classic tropes, but manages to be engaging for the most part, thanks largely to solid performances by its cast, as well as careful touches by PD-nim’s clearly loving hand.

There are draggy, frustrating stretches, but if you love classic retro dramas, there’s a good chance you’ll like this too.

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