At what point does a drama fan go from “newbie” to “seasoned” status? Is there a certain amount of time (i.e. one year after starting their first drama)? Do they have to have the experience behind them as far as quantity of dramas watched and actors known? Is it only after they have seen every classic crack drama, both good and bad? There has to be a time when we are allowed to leave the kids’ table.
The transition snuck up on me. Until recently, I had considered myself a complete newbie drama fan. I was less than a year into the fandom and still learning things such as cultural elements and all the tropes. I still use nicknames to keep characters straight in my head.
At the end of 2015, I began seeing stills and articles for the drama Moorim School and I thought “I can’t wait to see Lee Hyun Woo in another drama.” It then hit me that I could actually SAY that now! I realized that I had gone through the stage of being overwhelmed by this whole world of dramas and wondering how I was ever going to find time to watch everything (we will never find that time without a TARDIS). Actors were becoming familiar, and I felt confident in making recommendations to other fans. I could even pick out some Korean words without the help of subtitles, gush over specific kissing scenes, and laugh about Lee Min Ho’s sweaters in Heirs. I started to look forward to actors completing their military services, while being sad knowing that some were leaving soon and that I would not see the in a drama for some time.
Without my knowledge, I had become an experienced drama fangirl.
I realized that there is no ladder to this drama fandom. As long as you are joining in, then you are one of the group. Some have been here longer than others, some have not had a chance to watch anything other than Korean dramas, some cannot pick Lee Jong Suk out of a lineup, and some are not fans of Boys Over Flowers. That is all perfectly okay. Newbies, veterans, or somewhere in between, it does not matter, because we are all in this crazy world together.
What do you think? Did you have an “ah-ha” moment, or do you prefer to measure in time or dramas viewed?