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 thought my journey with Can You Hear My Heart? (2011) was over some months back. I even tweeted “best ending ever” as soon as I was done with the final episode.
But this morning as I was brushing my teeth (must be a magic toothpaste I’m using since I tend to get most of my harebrained bloggy inspiration this way), a little bird outside the window told me that I still had unfinished CYHMH business. Did I not sense (especially in the last two days) that some TP readers want to (need to!) talk some more about this gem that’s a shoo-in for best drama of the year? Because there’s still so much that needs to be said!
I must have a thing for punishment. In the last few days, egged on by a harebrained idea that refuses to die, I’ve been pulling out one drama after another (old and also recent ones) and revisiting selected scenes that make me bawl my eyes out. As I tweeted yesterday, I will go blind at this rate.
Whether a drama is brilliant or a piece of crap, it affects me. I may feel elated or insulted; rarely do I feel nothing. The feelings may dissipate after a while, or they may hang around for a long time. For all the hours I spend on my kdramas—watching, thinking, and writing about them—I hope my brain is getting a beneficial workout. The day when I watch uncaring about quality is the day when it’s time to move on and look for a new obsession hobby.
A strange thing happened to me in May. And it’s got nothing to do with the six new dramas that began airing that month. (It has, however, affected how I watch those dramas.)
I’ve become a face watcher. Specifically male faces. Specifically actors’ faces. I lean close and stare. I study every inch; I check even the earlobes. And then I lean back and announce my verdict to the lizards in my room. (Well, to the remaining two whose reptilian hearts overflow with pity for me.) Triumphantly, because I have a point to prove, I say aloud:
With June drawing to a close, it’s time for us to look back at the dramas that aired in the first half of this year.
What were your favorites? Which ones made you paw the walls? Whose acting caused you to weep, whether out of delight or despair? Which couple did you watch ad nauseam, till your eyes glazed over permanently?