You know, the kind that keeps you riveted to your seat. Not because of enraptured wonderment at whatever’s unfolding on the screen, but because you are bored out of your mind and have given up fighting the droopy eyelids. You are out like a light.
As a card-carrying member of the
loony luminous “Kdrama Addicts” community, I can put up with a lot of crap. (Because I genuinely love my kdramas, I do.) Of course my threshold for crap used to be much higher, like several stories higher; over time I have become more jaded, more demanding, and, consequently, more crabby. But since last year, I have tried, half-heartedly at times and doggedly at others, to rekindle that tingly sense of anticipation each time I sit down to watch a drama. I hope fervently that I will enjoy it; I remind myself constantly to just chill and not nitpick. A plot that treats me with as much respect as it would a decomposing earthworm? No problem. Histrionics? Unleash it, yo. Actors who can’t act to save their lives? Well, everyone needs to start somewhere, right?
But nothing tests my reserves of patience like boredom.
Like a book where voice is noticeably absent, a boring drama is one that is void of life. Characters are moving on the screen and doing things, but whatever it is that they are doing (and saying) feels mechanical and perfunctory. You don’t sit up and go, “Ah, now that is something to think about!” You don’t giggle or squeal or feel your eyes welling. You just don’t feel a thing. It’s akin to sitting inside a plane that’s been parked on the tarmac for five hours, an eternity in parked-on-the-tarmac endurance. You’re supposed to be lifting off, but the dang thing won’t move! The story has been stuck in the same place for ages, yet there’s zilch urgency to propel the plot forward. Plot loops I can deal with if there’s an earnestness in the storytelling that transcends superficiality, or if there’s plausible character development along the way. After all, it’s commonplace for extensions to cause a drama to drag or detour. But if other aspects of the drama are done right, then that lag (or imperfect pacing) is just part of a production’s natural warts. I might mind and even grumble, but I’ll keep watching.
A boring drama, on the other hand, doesn’t register a blip on that gray matter between my ears. It’s dull and drab, listless and lethargic. I know, I’m repeating myself, but that’s because there isn’t much to say (or recap or review) about a sleep-inducing hypnotic masquerading as a drama. Thankfully, I’ve not come across many that fall into that category. Or maybe it’s because I bail at the first sign of boredom. Headdesking isn’t exactly fun, is it? Life’s too short for boring dramas.
How about you? What is the deadliest kdrama sin for you?
(By the way, I think it’s positively sinful to look so droolsome when asleep or nearly asleep, don’t you agree?)
(And if you suspect that this whole post is just an excuse to post Yoo Seung-ho pics, you’re positively right. In fact, now that my ploy has been laid bare, why stop at two? Yes, why?)
(All screencaps from Flames of Ambition, now showing on a TV or computer screen near you.)
Okay, take a number, everyone. And no shoving!