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.
I didn’t do a year-end review for 2010 as it seemed like more hard work than I could cope with. Then, silly me, I felt a bit left out of all the fun at the year-end review parties, e.g., Thundie on dramabeans and ockoala in her playground. But, why should I have to wait for another year-end for an opportunity to wax lyrical or whine piteously?
I present, Serendipity’s Snapshot – The State of the K-drama-Nation: Serendipity’s opinionated opinions on currently airing or recently aired shows she is watching (or has given up watching): Athena, Dream High, Flames of Ambition, King Geunchogo, My Princess, President and Secret Garden.
I have watched five episodes of Athena. I could have easily managed more, if my pesky work schedule hadn’t cut into my k-drama watching time. And I haven’t slit my wrists yet. How can this be, when I’m not a big fan of shoot-em-up so-called spy thrillers and couldn’t get past even one episode of Iris? I have discovered the key to enjoying Athena in all its glory, and the key is in grasping a paradigm-shifting truth about the show.
This show, you see, is not set on Planet Earth at all. But rather, on Planet Athena. Planet Athena may look a lot like Planet Earth, but do not be deceived. Beneath the surface, Planet Athena is light-years away from Planet Earth.
As a service to humankind, I’m issuing this Idiot’s Guide to Planet Athena. With this Guide, you too can navigate Planet Athena untroubled by puzzlement or headdesking.