2011 has made me ponder my relationship with K-drama. Why do I spend so much time watching? Why do I expend so much energy writing about it?
I’m in a contemplative mood at the end of 2011. Not because it has been a great year in k-drama for me, but because it’s been the worst year since I started watching in 2008. This is probably due to my taste shifting and my becoming somewhat more demanding of my k-dramas, but perhaps it’s also the case that 2011 really hasn’t been a vintage year. It was not altogether hopeless; there were enough wins to keep me from abandoning k-drama altogether. But it seems beyond doubt that for me the flush of k-drama first love, when anything might be forgiven, is long over.
This year has been a wild ride in k-dramaland. From the excesses of Secret Garden fandom to little shows popping up on new cable channels, it’s been interesting to say the least.
I made a list and checked it twice, and I was struck by the number of shows that I had watched at least part of and then bleached from my brain. Admittedly a couple of them ended in January, so I was thinking of them as last year’s shows, but still, that there is a whole lot of drama.
The pre-broadcast buzz surrounding The Duo (or Mate, MBC, Feb-May 2011) focused on the delectable prospect of Chun Jung Myung (or “PIE” to our fangirl club, short for “cutie-pie”) all gorgeously angsty in period garb and dashing about with a sword. But it wasn’t long before the chatter moved away from PIE and escalated to “OMG this is great!”, “Brilliant, brilliant writing”, and “It makes me feel so happy”. How did a mere PIE-vehicle turn into Drama of the Year? Let us share our joy; me, serendipity, and my friends momosan, Nimiwehy and nycgrl (plus, a short endorsement by Mr X himself):
The invitation went out and quickly met with mixed response.
One pal claimed he had retired as a pundit, but I suspect the real reason is because his cat’s fur stood on end every time the drama was playing in the room. (Dogs just lick you silly but cats see things that the human eye can’t.) Another pal thought she could evade the invite by distracting me with a bunch of Micky Yoochun clips. (She succeeded because I forgot to send her the question.) A third pal developed a strange rash that necessitated a trip to the hospital. (Apparently too much squealing over one Kim Gab-soo can do weird things to your body.) The fourth dropout (thundie) professed being so busy she could barely breathe, but of course the truth was that the drama made her feel all kinds of dim. (Dumbstruck with wonder but still dim; she didn’t get the ending at all.)
So only four reviewers remained for our third epic review this year. Wild applause, please, for langdon813, momosan, ockoala and Serendipity! With their usual eloquence and erudition, they have bravely attempted to answer the following question:
Solve this mystery: How did a little-known cable drama nudge its way past this year’s stellar offerings to become the best of them all?
Thundie’s Prattle is thrilled to roll out our second epic review. (The inaugural one is here.)
This time we have invited six fans of a drama that’s officially known as Sungkyunkwan Scandal, but which most of us prefer to call Joseon Crack, or Micky-Yoochun-I-Love-You!, or Give-Hottie-Yoo-Ah-In-The-Girl-Dammit! (or, to a smaller extent, Gu-Yong-Ha-Take-Me!).
All six reviewers share a few things in common: They adored the drama (for the most part), they spent more hours on it than they care to admit, and they are fabulous writers. Their reviews are long (so make yourself comfy) and honest (exceedingly so, because love isn’t blind). In a nutshell, a wonderful read that everyone will enjoy.
blue1004, dramaok, Lei, miss_tofu, momosan and Softy, thank you so much for being part of this epic review. SKKS brought us close and for that I will always be grateful.
I must also thank the following: ^L4uRa^, who created the lovely wallpaper that you see above. Serendipity, who partnered me (most doggedly!) in bringing you the SKKS recaps (and we’re not done, so please don’t leave us; we have four episodes left!). All the patients of our SKKS AA Hospital, and everyone who has laughed and cried us with us on this unforgettable journey.
This epic 20,700-word review is dedicated to all of you.
Or, as Serendipity (who wrote the Comrades first-impressions review) prefers to call it,
An Epic Review of an Epic Drama.
“Epic review” because six fans of the drama (daheefanel, GangstaKitteh, langdon813, nycgrl, Serendipity and thundie) come together to rave about why this is the best drama of the year. And “epic drama” because… Well, I’ll let the panel of reviewers tell you why. Five questions, thirty answers.
[Other Comrades-related posts can be found here.]