A Case of the Stephanies

Posted by Stephanie on July 21, 2015

General

regular programingWith all the preparation for my upcoming trek to LA and Kcon, I’ve found my drama watching time lagging to an all time low. It’s a sad state for a kdrama fan. All these people talking about watching this show and that show all–do you know this part or–wasn’t it great when he did that? NO GUYS, NO IT’S NOT. I haven’t seen any of that shit so stop taunting me with it.

Anywhoo, last week I thought it might be easier to pick something up that I had ‘accidentally’ dropped. You know the show, that show you watch and something real life related happens and you always mean to go back but you never quite manage it. This can also be the show that you kinda like but other dramas might be just that more interesting it never makes it to a priority spot on the TBWList.

For me in particular ones that have so been lurking my list for a while are Producers which, while I didn’t really like it, I’d watched half of it and Orange Marmalade which, though I’d been crazy looking forward to the drama before it premiered and I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode, I never managed to make it back there.

Last week, realizing I had a podcast recording coming right around the corner, I knew I had to get my butt in that chair and get some dramas watched. One of the things I love about doing the podcast with Cherry Cordial is that it does hold me accountable for my drama watching intake.  Kind of like the Weight Watchers of kdrama.

producers

 So there was the question, watch something new or finish a linger-er. Figuring that while I didn’t love it, since I was already halfway through it, Producers was the most logical choice. Settling in, I hit that first episode and almost instantly I couldn’t pay attention. And then I looked down at the time stamp. Dude. No wonder it was only 12 episodes–each episode is about an hour and a half. So what was a shorter drama in episodes is actually an extended drama (about 18 episodes!). Once I realized that my patience for the thing lessened even more and sitting there watching Gong Hyo Jin being all whiny again–I just couldn’t do it. I could not make myself sit there.

The question is though, why? Was it the drama itself? I was never totally sold on it–and there was one week of episodes that I actually hated. But I sat through all of The Lovers and actually, that was much, much worse. Maybe the difference between the two is the fact that since I kept up on the lovers I never had to catch up. Catching up is a little more daunting than keeping up. So then we go back to the question if (technically) Producers is the better drama, why did I not keep up with it instead watching the crap one?

orange marmalade

Or why did I never keep up with Orange Marmalade at all? I think that one I meant to let a few episodes pass so I could do a mini marathon but the I saw pics of the seemly randomness of a blast to the past, and was a little turned off. But now they are back to the present–shouldn’t I pick it back up again? Shouldn’t I trust the writer to know where they are going? To be entertaining and therefor worth my time?

Part of why we watch dramas is because we want to be absorbed into the world. To forget about our issues for a little while and just be entertained? What makes one drama do that more so than another? Is it us and not them? Or is it the writer who is not writing a story that is compelling enough for us to continue on? To make us stay up all night long? To grab us and not allow those real life issues to get in the way?

when it's at night

In all honesty, it really is probably just us. There are dramas that I’ve dropped for some reason or another that, when I picked them back up, went to either my favorite list (like Coffee Prince) or a drama that I rewatch all the time (like When It’s At Night). But I had to find myself back to those dramas–do you think if you force yourself to do so will it allow the time for it to sink in and make you like it, or by forcing yourself to watch it are you dooming the drama to failure?

It’s something to think about–you know for that time when I’m still not watching dramas.

So how about you–is there a drama you picked up after dropping that you loved? Or one you wished you never picked back up at all?

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4 Comments

  • Reply LizC July 21, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I am *finally* getting to the point where I am OK with dropping dramas. I used to feel like once I’d invested 2 hrs, I might as well finish it, and that was even more true if I was 6 episodes or 8 episodes in. But now if I spend most of an episode reading a long article open in another window, I know it’s time to drop. Recently dropped Hyun Bin’s latest (at episode 14), I Remember You (at 6) and after this weekend, I might drop The Time We Were Not in Love because I have no interest in watching them spin their wheels for 8 more episodes.

  • Reply Brenda July 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve forced myself to finish quite a few over the years, and I’ve rarely been thrilled with the drama by the end. I now feel comfortable dropping after four episodes if I don’t like it, because experience tells if I don’t like it by then, I probably won’t like it at all.

  • Reply Ainos July 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I think for more veteran Kdrama watchers it’s a lot easier to completely drop a drama or two if its not engaging enough. However as a newbie its a lot harder because of the novelty of it. I remember when I first started to watch Kdramas I would finish everything even if it wasn’t particularly good because i just couldn’t bare to miss anything. But then as time went by I started to put some on hold and then completely drop some. Mydramalist. Com then reminds me of those and sometimes i have gone back to finish them. The dropped just stay dropped.

  • Reply humbledaisy1 July 22, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    As I’ve found more and more actors whose work I like (and then track through different dramas), I’m more comfortable dropping dramas that just don’t thrill me. I am not comfortable actual listing them as dropped on MDL. Yes, I’m a big liar on paper/the internet. I like to tell myself that some day, at least two of the major Korean networks will explode, taking with them all their drama content, and I’ll need to get back to the never finished ones.

    On a more realistic note – I hated Fated to Love You (mostly because I found Jang Hyuk as attractive as a piece of leathery jerky) but then – he and the plot began to grow on me. I pcked it up again and finished it in a marathon session. Now, I can’t get that honking silly laugh out of my mind.

    Same with Bride of the Century. Lee Hong Ki may not be a Shakespearean actor but man, sit out a few episodes and then start rewatching. He’s got some comedic chops as well as a melancholy side that really made the rest of the drama fly.

    So, my advice to you is to lIe to yourself and say that you’ll finish things someday. But then feel free to dump all that and fly onto the drama that catches your fancy.

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