Odds and Ends: Inheriting the drama gene
by | May 3, 2014 | 146 Comments

javabeans: So my parents are newly Roku’d and Hulu’d, which means they have finally discovered the joys of watching dramas at will, after decades of only watching whatever was on the TV every night (which, in LA, is pretty plentiful as the shows stick to the Korean broadcast schedule for dramas, only about a month behind).

girlfriday: Up until now they never watched anything that wasn’t just on at the time? That’s nuts.

javabeans: Well, my mom says she was afraid to get with the streaming program because she has an addictive personality and would get sucked in. Gee I wonder what that’s like.

girlfriday: But that’s like… WHY we watch dramas. To embrace the addiction.

javabeans: I know your parents are way more savvy than mine, so maybe this is no big deal, but for my parents it’s a huge step forward into the 21st century! Plus, now they get a choice of everything — for years the LA market was shut out of MBC dramas, so they weren’t able to watch those. Then in recent years it was SBS that was the holdout, so they’ve missed a lot of great shows.

girlfriday: Even though my parents have all those channels too, they were always the ones going to the video store every week (yunno, back in ye olden days of VHS) to pick the shows they wanted to watch. So now of course they have accounts with all the streaming sites available, in Korean and otherwise.

javabeans: I set up the Hulu queue with all the shows they’ve said they want, and some recommendations based on what I know they like. (So for my mother that’s Secret Garden and Queen Seon-deok and A Gentleman’s Dignity and You From Another Star.) They’re all there in the queue… and what does my mom beeline for first? Winter Sonata, for the thirtieth time.

girlfriday: LOL. She likes what she likes?

javabeans: What she likes is Yonsama.

girlfriday: One day your daughter will laugh at your love of Lee Min-ho. It’ll happen.

javabeans: NEVER! He will age like Jang Dong-gun — that is to say, gracefully and gorgeously — and nobody can mock Jang Dong-gun! Not for his looks, for sure. But surprisingly it’s been my dad who’s super into the Roku, apparently, and every night is glued to the TV for a couple more episodes of Dong Yi. I recommended Empress Ki to him since they both like Ha Ji-won and historicals, but my dad waved his hand and was all, “Nah, that one’s all wrong. They just make up history!”

girlfriday: Yeah that’s a no-no with dads. Why is it so predictable that dads watch sageuks (the dry boring ones are best, according to them)?

javabeans: They don’t even MAKE sageuks that are boring enough to please my dad anymore. They’re all too “flashy” and “exciting” and “entertaining” nowadays. Psh!

girlfriday: Ha. That’s like telling me it’s too good to watch. But then, I have equally confusing arguments with my mom too, because she likes Love Rain and Mary Stayed Out All Night. Hm, maybe my mom just likes Jang Geun-seok.

javabeans: My mom, circa You’re My Destiny: “This is the wooooorst drama I have ever seen, in my entire life! It’s terrible! Nothing makes sense! I can’t believe it’s a drama!” Me: “Are you going to stop watching?” Mom: “Well I want to know what happens.”

girlfriday: Both our moms liked Heirs. I was a snob to her all throughout dinner when she told me that.

javabeans: I couldn’t argue with my mother because she acknowledged every single complaint I had about the show, and then replied with, “I know, but it’s so cute!” And “I know, but I don’t care!” And “I know, but I like it!”

girlfriday: I had this really surreal experience a few weeks ago when my mother told me all about how she liked this band, and it was called CN Blue, and how they were so clean-cut and cute, and they were all in dramas and stuff. I died laughing.

javabeans: That must have felt like how I felt when my mom told me there’s this really cute pop star named Justin Timberlake who dances real good. With my dad, it’s like the conversation in the most recent episode of Witch’s Romance where he’s all about the old-school pop and trot songs and I’m the punk going, “Oh, didn’t Big Bang remake that?”

girlfriday: Ha, I loved that sequence.

javabeans: But taste is taste, I guess. My parents regularly ask me for recommendations since I know about stuff before they do, and they’ll nod and say, “Oh, that sounds fun, I’ll be sure to watch it.” And then I check back with them and they’re watching, like, Hundred Year Inheritance instead.

girlfriday: Right after Winter Sonata for the thirty-first time.

javabeans: Well, that Yonsama sure isn’t going to sit around appreciating himself. Okay actually, maybe he would. But there’s nothing quite like an ajumma’s adoration.

girlfriday: We should bottle it, like how celebrities make their own perfumes and stuff. Ajumma’s Adoration: The Official Pick-Me-Up to the Stars. We’ll be gazillionaires!


146 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. marie

    dear javabeans: maybe your dad would love to watch “Jeong Do-jeon” . I live near the local korean town and literally every ajussi & halapoji I knew are gushing about how great and historical accurate that drama is.

    • 1.1 kooriyuki

      Jung Do Jeon is definitely the drama for all ahjusshis!! I’m no ahjusshi but I lurve it. =)

      • 1.1.1 John

        kooriyuki ~

        I just finished watching Ep 1, I’m sold on it. Wish the subs were further along.

      • 1.1.2 daktari34

        I too wish I could find subs past episode 1 🙁

    • 1.2 John

      Lee Il-hwa is in Jeong Do jeon. (off to find it)

    • 1.3 AnOpinion

      I like to watch historically accurate biopics (with a bit of twist and dramatization in it of course) but I’m the exact opposite of an ahjussi…

    • 1.4 Kiara

      I’m way behind but I like “Jeong Do-jeon”.Jo Jae Hyun is an awesome actor (yay for the best actor nomination). I guess MBC delaying “Unprecedented” was a good idea.

      I’m with the ajussi when it comes to conventional sageuks. Gotta be base on real history but doesn’t have to be all accurate, its impossible.
      I wonder if they will like “Cruel Palace: War of the Flower”. The beginning was epic and historically accurate.

  2. aida

    I totally get what you’re talking about…we don’t get any korean channels here…but there is one channel that dubs one drama after the other…but its like whatever they can get works so now its My Princess….she is totally against watching anything other than what’s right tthere on the tv….

    • 2.1 aida

      Ps thats my mom i’m talking about sorry :p

    • 2.2 ohshc2007

      Lol, I think know the channel you are talking about, it’s MBC4.
      My mum also watches dubbed ones on TV but they have to be historical. She hates modern day dramas. There’s one these days airing on MBC Action.

      • 2.2.1 Fab

        It’s King Geunchogo! My sister-in-law has those channels in the satellite, but unfortunately she doesn’t watch Asian drama. I remember when I saw KWS(he plays the king) pop on the screen I squealed and she looked at me like I am mental…LOL. If I get her to watch Korean dramas I might visit a lot more often…
        My kdrama addiction started with the dubbed ones but sadly they only air on nilesat and such and I don’t have it.

  3. soshiseo

    omg that is exactly how my mom is with CN Blue, found them from dramas and then starts fangirling about them to me xD Jang Geun Suk & Yonsama too….it seems moms have their “specific” tastes 😛

    • 3.1 aida

      Haha lucky! My mom won’t stop nagging me for listening to kpop and won’t even pay attention to dramas about music…plus she won’t stop with tthe comments about Jang Geun Suk’s long hair making him look like a girl, Ha! :/

      • 3.1.1 hoaa

        You know what, everytime I listen to Chinderella Step Sister OST (Yesung – It Has To Be You), my mom sing along. My mom love that drama, about how good the setting on village and mountain and hanok.

        And after that, she can remember a few artist who play in another drama. She even remember Moon Geun-young as an evil sister in that drama. After watching You are My Destiny, she always called Yoona SNSD as Saebyuk and Park Jae-jung as Hose. Hahahahahaha.

        And now my mom and my older sister addicted to daily drama Melody of Love. Well, like any other daily drama, the progres is supeeerr sloooowww but we always watching it at least three times a week!

        It always so much fun to have another drama addict in your family!! 🙂

        • Tara

          Haha, your mom sounds like my parents…they still call Yoona “Saebyuk” (You Are My Destiny), Ji Chang-wook “Dong-hae” (Smile, Dong-hae), Kim So-eun “Obok” and Ji Yi-han “Daehan” (A Good Day for the Wind to Blow)…and the list goes on! And yes, these are all from KBS dailies.

    • 3.2 kungfupigeon

      My mum loves CNBlue too.
      So much in fact that I’m making my way through their discography for her, buying 1 album at a time for her 60th birthday next year.

      Not that I’m complaining, I like them too, but I think she’s listened to First Step more than I have

      • 3.2.1 kungfupigeon

        Oh, and my mum loved Boys Over Flowers so much that she cried during the pool scene at the end.

        So go figure, mums and their viewing tastes

        • asianromance

          My mom loves Boys Over Flowers, too! She still thinks all of Geum Jandi’s antics are LOL hilarious even after watching the series about 7 or 8 times. The song the series overplays, “Almost Paradise”, is like nails on chalkboard for me now.

          Then again, my mom’s taste in kdramas runs very much towards rom-coms featuring more candy-type heroines and short-tempered heroes and she likes her humor more physical and low-brow. The only exceptions are the Yonsama dramas: Winter Sonata and The Legend.

      • 3.2.2 SphynxMama

        My 70 year old mom is the one that introduced me to kdramas a few years ago (and started my obsession). Now she is very much into Korean music too, and adores CNBlue (she’s definitely listened to First Step more than me too), plus she fangirls over YongHwa!

      • 3.2.3 RockPaperScissors

        Just because some of us have a few decades on us, doesn’t mean we are dead…I’ll never stop looking at pretty boys (of all ages)!

        • Judith

          YES! I’m about 70, and I tell the young (25-35) people I work with that when you stop window shopping, you might as well be dead – I’m not into designer bags, I’m into pretty young men. 😉

          • SphynxMama

            Agreed! Failed to mention, I’m in my mid-40’s and mom and I actually have fun sharing our fangirl moments together. I just happen to be fangirling over So Ji Sub and T.O.P … just loved that CNBlue is a favorite with so many moms 🙂

          • Kiara

            “I’ll never stop looking at pretty boys (of all ages)!”

            Haha I love you ladies.

      • 3.2.4 Mrs.Jang Guem Suk

        Omg least your mothers are normal my mother was in love with Dream High idek why she was more dedicated than me on that show show ….smh

    • 3.3 Laya

      I am so fangirling over these CNBlue mom fans 😀

      • 3.3.1 Aigoooo

        The media always talk about “uncle fans” but I think there are more “auntie fans” out there. hehe My mom refuses to watch any drama that doesn’t have a pretty boy lead.

        • Laya

          Ikr. 😀 My mom’s a Lee Min-ho fan, too, thanks to K-dramas being dubbed and aired locally. But she liked him best in Personal Taste, not BoF. 😀 Heirs hasn’t aired locally yet, thank goodness.

      • 3.3.2 PeaceWon

        OMO i was sent in a time machine to last year! My mom ended up being my drama buddy. She came to visit, and stayed for three years. Because of Korean dramas. I think….
        Her favorite was to the beautiful you. that WAS because she liked Jang Geun-seok. she watched everything of his she could see. Her other favorite was “the greatest love”.
        She passed away last year. I was without a drama buddy. Then my oldest son happened to come over while I was watching Running man, so we watched EVERY single episode of that and then, are you ready? he got hooked on ” The Masters Son” so that led to ” the greatest love (again???) and now we are going to SUngkyunkwan scandal OR secret garden, i am not sure which yet.
        Anyhow, thanks for giving a smile and a fond memory from your wonderful article. AND the CN Blue part? it happens like that all ovr the world, only I was telling that to MY daughter. She was like OH MY GOSH my mother is fangirling? NO WAY and thought I was hilarious! Ah….it just keeps on keeping on!

  4. D's handphone

    We have Running Man on our local tv, my 81 y.o. dad loves it and will nvr miss an episode. My older sisters (all 3 of them) prefer all the tearjerker family dramas which I avoided like a plague. My partners in crime are my 2 boys, they have almost the same taste as I am. When it comes to new drama recommendation, our conversation usually goes like this, “it has Jeremy as the hero, he has black hair now and rich. It also has a ghost but she’s not that scary”. sometimes they bite and will ask me to download more eps but sometime they don’t and go back to their old favourites, currently it’s YFAS

    • 4.1 alexis

      I think Running Man is the most brilliant Hallyu wave product of all. It’s this brilliant combo of super funny comedians, zany and ridiculous missions, awesome and epic final battles, and celebrity guests. You can’t help but be happy whenever you watch this show, and there’s nothing remotely like it in the US.

  5. kanz

    Dear JB and GF, your moms love flower boys. JGS, LMH, CN BLUE, etc. Try watch Flower Boys series then.

    For fathers who love sageuk, how about Tree With Deep Roots, my aunt really like it and I literally had to search for subs in my own language because my aunt only speaks few English. When I can’t find the sub for the last epi I had to translate it manually. So bothersome.

  6. namedx

    My mother absolutely digged You’re Beautiful, which was her first EVER Korean drama. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s most definitely Jang Geun Suk.

    But then her second Korean drama was Dream High – there it was all about Jin man!!

    She’s now onto her third drama Shining Inheritance, after switching off from Sungkyunkwan Scandal – which she just couldn’t get into. So now I’m thinking it must be Lee Seung Ki over Yoo Chun. Lol I just can’t seem to make out her taste!! Mid you, a fusion sageuk was probably a little too ambitious for a noob like my mother.

    Well, at least she’s willing to appreciate my taste in all things Korean!! Always great to have someone in your family enter your world of Kdrama addiction. She no longer closes her eyes and ears to the once foreign sounds of Korean, but instead asks: “when’s the next episode”. Brilliant.

  7. namedx

    My mother absolutely digged You’re Beautiful, which was her first EVER Korean drama. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s most definitely Jang Geun Suk.

    But then her second Korean drama was Dream High – there it was all about Jin man!!

    She’s now onto her third drama Shining Inheritance, after switching off from Sungkyunkwan Scandal – which she just couldn’t get into. So now I’m thinking it must be Lee Seung Ki over Yoo Chun. Lol I just can’t seem to make out her taste!! Mind you, a fusion sageuk was probably a little too ambitious for a noob like my mother.

    Well, at least she’s willing to appreciate my taste in all things Korean!! Always great to have someone in your family enter your world of Kdrama addiction. She no longer closes her eyes and ears to the once foreign sounds of Korean, but instead asks: “when’s the next episode”. Brilliant.

    • 7.1 namedx

      Whoops! Sorry for the double post! My bad.

  8. Tom Brady

    I died laughing because I can relate. My mom loved Yonsama and I beeline for Lee Min Ho. Plus the dad = boring sageuks. Hahaha, it’s so me!

    Yeah, I don’t think our future daughters would laugh because LMH sure is gonna age well – it’s that bone structure.

  9. Lc

    Well my mum asked whether I meant it when I previously said that I’ll let her have my Samsung tablet for the next 2 weeks when I’m on an overseas assignment. The Moon That Embraces The Sun is showing on our local tv now but she’s thinking of downloading it to watch at her own leisure.

    But even more surprising was my 67 year old Dad’s taste. That Queen Seondeok and Jumong were his addictions when they were airing can be expected, but he has also developed a taste for makjangy stuff – Pink Lipstick, Temptation of the Wife and now Yellow Boots currently showing on rerun…..

    • 9.1 cheekbones

      Ok, LOL about your father 😀

    • 9.2 August

      Yellow Boots (aka Ice Adonis) was my very first daily and it was addictive.

    • 9.3 DayDreamer

      LOL! It’s weird but some dads do like makjangy stuff. Even my dad digs it. There’s some Indian show he watches with all this crazy melodrama makjang fest. I want to punch the characters in it…but he’s all, “OMG.” lol

  10. 10 pohonphee

    But I love Winter Sonata too and I’ve watched it almost maybe tenth times (I lost count ^^, or not bother to count anymore). And I’m still on my twenties 😛

    • 10.1 DayDreamer

      Two hours ago, I decided to watch Winter Sonata because Mamabeans liked it so much. It’s…okay, I guess. Just doesn’t pull me…I feel so sleepy watching it. Still, I can see why it would be appealing.

      • 10.1.1 pohonphee

        I love the works of Yoon Suk-ho PD (he made all the seasonal series and Love Rain)! They always have a great cinematography, though their stories are questionable (I can’t get over Korean’s obsession oN first love). I guess the major factor for me, they always get me to pick up my brush and paint. Anyway don’t you kinda wish for sometimes to another that the BIGGEST world problem is whether the one whom you love is loving you back or not or else the world will be crumbled? 🙂

  11. 11 DayDreamer

    Ha! If only my parents had the drama genes….I wouldn’t have to hide my addiction for them. My mom is not into tv…she considers it a brain-rotting thing and if she watches, it’s occasionally for the news, a movie once in a blue moon, some reality dance shows, and mostly religious programs. Dad, on the other hand, is very much a tv addict but only for news, gaming shows, reality shows, and recently, religious programming. None of that stuff interests me. I like stories.

  12. 12 Safa

    My husband. Watch. Same with me and we end fighting he says boring. I say WHAT.?
    So I watch. Alone
    And he re watch salve. Hunter -.-for 100000times

  13. 13 sur

    OMG so funny my mom liked heirs as well, but she is internet updated she downloads and streams videos.

  14. 14 djes

    My mom has weak hearts she cannot watch Kdramas, especially the makjang ones. She hates bad people, and once she sat through a Taiwanese drama by Qiong Yao (which is super sad, about birth secret), and she cried all the time, then since then she quit watching dramas. She said real life is depressing enough so why bother watching sad dramas.

    My father actually loves dramas, and he once finished watching DVDs of First Love ( when I was home for college’s break. He used to help me to rent tapes when I loved wuxia (Mandarin’s saeguk?) dramas and watched them with me.

    We only have 1 TV in my parents’ home, so my dad watches anything my mom watched.. Recently I got him a tablet, and now according to my mom, “Your dad is happy now, he’s busy with the tablet so he won’t nag me about what I watch on TV!” Good to hear, Mom.. 😀

    On the other hand, my aunts, mom’s sisters, are all KDramas’ addict. They shared DVDs, recommend shows they liked, and both finally got cable TV (here only cable TVs which showing Kdramas, like KBSW or Arirang, and some other channels).
    My older aunt often calls me for recommendations, and both of them are typical ajuhmas who love makjangs. More birth secrets, more mistresses, more affairs!!

    My older aunt once obsessed with Cha In Pyo! And she’s the only one who understands my obsession with Kdramas too, and she’s the one who encouraged me to go to concerts (mom would say that’s just waste of money )

  15. 15 mem916

    My mom found them dubbed in Spanish and they are her favorite dramas. She is 87 and has Parkinson’s and it’s great to hear laugh.

    Her first You’re Beautiful, she likes the comedies same episode is aired twice a day and she watches both and no talking during her show.

  16. 16 Caitlyn

    I have the same conversation with everyone I talk to about Heirs because I enjoyed it even though it’s terrible. I acknowledge how bad it is, but for some reason, I watched it til the end and it still makes me smile when I think about it. I just forget about the bad stuff and remember the good.

    • 16.1 ivygirl

      This only seems to happen to me only when I watch k-dramas. I will find one with terrible lines and bad acting and insult it every step of the way, but somehow, I never stop watching because I just have to know how it ends.

    • 16.2 whilethemusiclasts

      LOL. Same. Hated the story but loved loved loved a handful of characters that made watching worthwhile – too bad none of them were the leads.

  17. 17 pastmidnite

    Yeah…dad’s and sageuks. Count my dad in! He’s currently watching Jang geum… for the thirty-first time *headinpalm*, after finishing Dong Yi. I offered him several “old” dramas such as MNIKSS, Pasta, Shining Inheritance, and when I checked, it’s Jewel in the Palace all over again. My mom has no interest whatsoever in kdramas *sigh*. But my 2 year old daughter loves Tae-ik in Full House 2 hahahaha she even had Take One’s Touch (the ost) memorized! And Hwang Tae kyung hahahaha she can do a perfect impression of his pout, oh my…

    • 17.1 Kiara

      “Comrades” was such a great drama. I think your dad will like it. Made my poor dad cry and I hardly see him cry.

      • 17.1.1 pastmidnite

        Just googled it and seems like an interesting drama. I had no idea koreans make war dramas. I’ll definitely suggest it to my dad. Thanks, Kiara!

  18. 18 bashful

    What a fun to read post! Thanks JB and GF! 🙂
    Me too I inherited my drama genes from my parents.
    My mom was the one who got me started in K-dramas. It all started with Dae Jang Geum some years ago. She’s also the one who gives me recommendations like “Giant”, “Sungkyunkwan Scandal”, “Gods Gift – 14 days”, “Empress Ki”, etc. So this week, we both are watching the final episode of “Empress Ki”. I thank my mom for introducing me to the fun world of K-dramas. Love you Mom! 🙂

  19. 19 noernov

    Your parents are kyeopta 😊

  20. 20 PollyRose

    Oh parents 🙂

    I got my Mom hooked first and she’s been slowly whittling away at my Step-Dad by checking them out from the library before she was able to stream at home. She finally got him hooked by, of all things, Boys Over Flowers. This is an ex-Navy man who is passionate about Nascar, Monster Trucks, old cars, and occasional cranky rants about the state of the country. Needless to say, this is not what I thought his gateway drama would be, if any. My mom is pretty sure he’s harboring a crush on Gu Hye-sun.

    My mom has lost track of how many times he’s watched this drama and even though he could totally stream it now, he still asks my mom to reserve it for him at the library again and again. He’s streaming some of the others now and I believe he and my mom are streaming Angel Eyes together, but Boys Over Flowers is somehow more sacred and must be watched on the physical copy 🙂

  21. 21 divyrus

    I dunno why this post makes me feel so ….young !??

    Am the only one in middle of everyone in my life, who sees or has anything to do with
    k-land ! So this post is like looking into a different world !! 😄
    Great post ! 👍

    • 21.1 Judith

      Can’t address middle life, but at 70 I follow K-pop (I can hold my own with anyone on all the bands, including some indies) and K-drama. I also read a lot of (translated) Korean poetry, especially sijo, which probably makes me a little less mainstream. And I make my own kimchi. And no, I’m not Korean,have no Korean friends, and have no idea why I seem to be living in this culture. Karma?

      • 21.1.1 divyrus

        Guess we just stumble into something and just settle there for life !

      • 21.1.2 denwanai

        I hear ya, Judith! at 63 I love G-dragon, TVXQ and all the wild music vids. Every evening after work I watch at least two episodes of kdrama. Current obsession is SLA.

  22. 22 PL

    Is “history” even accurate? We’ll probably never know whether Dong Yi was really a lowly laundry girl or what her real full name was. That’s a point papabeans may like to consider. That said, I like sageuks as long as they are not associated with the Joseon dynasty – I share Song-yi’s dislike of the era!

    • 22.1 mono

      Yeah agree with you, just how much of history is true? Even my dad, the historical drama purist (none of that fancy stuff!) acknowledges that dramas are pretty much stories spun from few historical facts, and who knows if the facts are 100% real.

    • 22.2 Gidget



    • 22.3 DayDreamer

      I too dislike sageuks…except the fusion ones that barely have much to do with real history (ie, Iljimae, Arang and the Magistrate……huh, I guess the only sageuks I’ve watched were the ones starring Lee Jun Ki in it. I guess you all know what I was really watching for 😉 )

      • 22.3.1 dfwkimchi

        LOL! I too am not much of seuguk fan but while on recent vacation, watched all 20 episodes of ILJIMAE – the phantom thief with LJK. first and only seuguk i have watched and enjoyed temendously.

        Thanks jb n gf for a funny post. I share my kdrama addiction with a sister on the other side of the planet texting what we are currently watching, etc.

  23. 23 Mommai

    Oh my goodness, I love love LOVE this post and thread! I’m the first generation drama watcher here, and I love watching for the cultural daily stuff that happens in them that differs from my Midwestern US upbringing. I love hearing everyone’s stories about your families!

  24. 24 cingdoc

    Hehe, I’m the one who watches kdrama & tell my girls how I like LMH & CN Blue….yup, I’m the ahjumma who’s the addict & founding members of ICOMYM (& Proud of it!) My girls just roll their eyes as I immerse myself into kdramaland ^.^

    • 24.1 Slm

      In my house it started with my niece liking anime and anything Korean related. Then my daughter got into anime. I like some of her anime, but feeling left out I got into kdrama and then kpop. My daughter will be in her computer watching anime and I’ll be in mine watching kdrama. I try to get her into it, but aside from Rooftop Prince she had never shown much interest. The other day when I heard a couple of my students listening to Mr.Mr. From Girls Generation I told them I knew who they were and they couldn’t believe it. They started playing songs and I knew all of them, including Exo. One of them said that she wish her mom was more like me because her mom just didn’t get it. That is one thing that I can say about my relationship with my 13 yr old; we may not like the same stuff but we understand each other. We are both eagerly waiting for next summer, when we will travel to Korea and Japan. I got Rosetta Stone in Korean and she got it in Japanese. We’ll guide each other through our dream trips!

      • 24.1.1 justanotherleo

        My students, too, were surprised that they have a teacher who likes anime and kpop. One way to build rapport with the kids, I guess 🙂

        My mum is not exactly a fan of kpop or dramas, but she does enjoy watching mvs and dramas with us when she has the time or inclination. In fact, I plan to take her to a kpop concert one day. 🙂

        • Sue

          I can’t get my mom to watch anything kdrama related. Boo hoo.

          But I agree about the students. Some of my 12th graders were talking about anime and I quickly picked up that they were talking about Soul Eater. So I made a comment and next thing you know we were talking about different animes. Personally, I prefer stuff like Ouran High School Host Club and Fruits Basket, but I also like the darker ones like Black Butler. My daughter and I are eagerly awaiting the live action adaption of Black Butler. We already watched Black Butler The Musical online and really liked it.

          I also have another girl in 8th grade that loves kdramas and likes to talk to me about them because nobody else in her grade will listen. I was actually thinking that since each grade has a couple of anime or kdrama fans maybe we can start a club. To justify it we would probably have to study the culture of the countries and analyze them. Maybe we can work on learning the languages together. The school year is ending in a couple of weeks where I live so I’ll think of a proposal for next year.

          Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that it will happen because some parents may not like it. A couple of years ago my daughter took half-day summer classes at a local art museum and she got in trouble for drawing anime during free time. I talked to the teacher and she indicated that the mother of one of the girls had indicated that her daughter was not allowed to draw or talk about anime. Needless to say, that girl gravitated towards my daughter and they became best friends. So they prohibited my daughter from drawing anime because of the girl’s mother. I decided not to make a big deal about it with the teacher. But when I had the chance I talked with the mother. We came up with a compromise. She basically told me they could not talk about Soul Eater or any other anime with demons or death themes (which severely narrowed down the field). But both girls realized they liked Hetalia and stuck to that. The mother thought it was a good choice (because she has never watched the show. If she saw some of the stuff in there she would turn white.). I watch anime with my daughter so we always talk about what is appropriate and what is not, because I know that if I don’t she’ll figure out a way to watch it anyway. I would rather that she watch it with me and we can talk about it. But this mom’s approach was just to say no. Of course the girl still figured out ways if watching it.

          Sorry for rambling on. I must go know and write final exams. Have a good day everyone!

  25. 25 Xxvxx

    My mom LOVES sageuks so she’s watching this rerun of Moon Embracing the Sun on cable. And my uncle is into weekenders – HE ONLY watches those that has 50+ episodes. It’s so weird.

  26. 26 LollyPip

    So I canceled my satellite a year ago because I pretty much only watch dramas anymore. I finally got a Roku a couple of days ago. It’s AMAZING. It’s going to totally change my viewing habits, in a good way!

    BTW my mom loved Heirs too. But she also loves Lee Dong Wook so her taste isn’t entirely hopeless.

    • 26.1 windsun33

      I got my first ROKU about 2 years ago, and recently upgraded to the ROKU-3. I dropped my satellite also, about 2 years ago – shortly after I got my ROKU.

      There are just SO many freaking channels on the ROKU now – my top 10 are:

      1. Netflix (has tons of k-dramas, $9 a month.)
      2. Drama Fever
      3. YouTube (the KBC channels carry all the subbed drama specials – 100’s of them)
      4. Amazon (I have Amazon Prime, which includes a lot of free streaming stuff)
      5. Hulu (though I don’t use this as much as I used to – even with a sub, some programs still have ads)
      6. Crunchy Roll – Mostly J-dramas & anime (sub needed for HD but I don’t have)
      7. Vudu – for those occasional PPV movies where I want full HD and full surround sound
      8. Spotify – Probably the best music channel ever (I dropped Pandora a while back). Only music channel I know of that has nearly all k-j-t pop. Easiest to set playlists on computer then stream.
      9. All Recipes – millions of recipes. You Tube also has a lot
      10. Fox Now – has pretty much all the broadcast shows, delayed by a week(?).

      Those are the main ones – but there are probably 50 more that I watch occasionally, such as Full Moon for the really weird stuff.

      Biggest problem lately with ROKU is that there are too many channels – and a lot of the newer ones are religious (including some pretty weird stuff), local news & weather only, and just plain junk.

      To get full HD on ROKU you pretty much need high speed cable.

      • 26.1.1 mauvery

        Thanks for the recommendation. Please feel free to share more and is it better to get a Roku or a blu-ray with Apps?

        • windsun33

          Roku has FAR more apps than any Blu-ray or smart TV, or Apple TV and that new Google thingy.

          Not sure how many channels for sure, at least 400, and many of those have sub-channels, so probably 2,000-3,000 channels – though probably only 150 or so are of any real significance.

          • moofu baby

            I LOVE my Roku!! The only reason I got it was to stream Kdramas and I can’t imagine going back to the dark days 😉 I think I’ll end up canceling my cable too because streaming is WAY more convenient. Yeah, technology! Just please don’t break down as I will have a mental breakdown without my dramas!!

      • 26.1.2 LollyPip

        Wow thanks, I have some of those but the others look interesting. Especially Crunchyroll, I love anime! When I have time between dramas 🙂

      • 26.1.3 koko

        My 86 y.o. mom LOVES Jang Geun Suk. She can’t remember his name, but always talks about “the-one-I-like-with-the- long-hair-and-cute-smile.

        She was so low tech until she saw You’re Beautiful and Love Rain. She still has a land line analog phone with no voice message capability, but has learned to use a Roku for all day viewing and goes to bed watching kdramas on her Samsung Galaxy.

        Thanks for sharing your family habits, so we can all feel more connected… I love this site for the realness.

    • 26.2 Sue

      My cable box broke a month ago and I didn’t miss it. I replaced it after three weeks. I may look into Roku. This might work better for me.

      • 26.2.1 windsun33

        I don’t miss my cable/satellite at all. There are a few channels you cannot get, such as HBO Go, but I see that the Amazon Prime channel will be getting a lot of the HBO stuff in a few days.

        To be honest, the ONLY thing I really miss is Game of Thrones – and for the $100+ a month that it was costing me, I will wait for the DVD.

        You can see the Roku channel lineup here!browse/movies-and-tv/by-popular

  27. 27 whilethemusiclasts

    My mom has also watched some kdramas – Winter Sonata and You’re Beautiful, for sure – and she really likes Jang Geun-suk. If I’m not mistaken, she’s also watched Mary Stayed Out All Night. Weird… I never pegged JGS as someone with a huge ahjumma following.

    • 27.1 MmeDubois

      He like Park Yoochun have a strong Ahjumma/Noona following. They actually have sub fanclubs dedicated to their ahjumma and noona fans, and in the case of Yoochun – Blessing Yuchun (fans over 40) also use it as a charitable organization, donating 100s of thousands over the years, to various causes.

    • 27.2 trisha

      Well JGS has adjummas and grandmas following him. His OFC’s president in SK is an adjumma anyway.

  28. 28 MO

    My mom did watch Full House back in 2005, when it was dubbed and I was always annoyed because I couldn’t watch my fav shows. Yet now I’m here, watching like crazy.

    But both of my cousins love Heirs OTL. I was scrolling through the recap of the last episode in DB (I dropped it in ep 7)and when one of them saw it, she literally screamed and I was like “멍~” And she called the other one and they spazzed over it and I was so blank. It’s kinda usless to argue with it, and when a friend of them finally said it, I was thanking Heavens for it.

  29. 29 Jc

    I don’t know why but I love watching sageuks and Dong Yi is actually my favourite hahaha

  30. 30 Laya

    Heh. As a CNBlue fan, let me just say I love your mom, gf. 😀

    I’ve tried to get my mom and my sister to watch Korean dramas with me, but they don’t want to because they complain they can’t understand the dialogue and think it’s a chore to watch the screen all the time for subtitles. The one drama they managed to get through, though, was Dong Yi. Twice. Because the royal court and the Cinderella story fascinated them. The one thing my sister was able to take away from it was “chuncheon mama”– she kept telling her son to call her that. 😀

    Mom’s always nagging me about one particular drama, though. She wants me to find her a copy of Only You, “that drama with all the cooking!” XD

  31. 31 Director Wu

    Korean daughters sound very attentive to parents…..they know mom’s favorite boy-toy actor, but no mention of dad’s favorite actress. The men prefer to keep it hidden, i guess. Mystery is a key part of machismo…

  32. 32 watchumlots


    “Ajumma’s Adoration: The Official Pick-Me-Up to the Stars. We’ll be gazillionaires!”

    You are definitely on to something, I’m going to steal your idea and be a gazillionaire!!!

    Some time ago someone posted “If I had a nickel for every time a KDrama had “Are you crazy?” I would be crazy-rich. This is kinda like that, too good to pass on.

  33. 33 vb

    there was an airing of iljimae (the lee jun ki one) and my brother watched the first episode – only drama he actually bothered to watch from the start to the end and it’s also one of my fave dramas ^^ but then he and my mum had to go watch dr jin and spoil it all for me -.- that was such a bad show btw …

    wish i knew more friends that were more discerning about dramas and not hooked onto pretty boys – although i think i just got onto the yang myun / jung il woo train and can’t seem to get off ~

    • 33.1 windsun33

      That “hooked on pretty boys” is the main reason I avoid nearly all other k-drama fan sites but this one. I can only take so much of 45 consecutive posts of “OMG best drama EVER”. Impossible on most to have any real discussion, especially if the rabid fans of [insert idol name here] get involved.

  34. 34 soprection

    Aw, this post was very cute and funny. Your parents sound adorable.

    I just had to google Roku because I’d never heard of it before. It sounds useful but seems like it’s only available in the US. 🙁

    My mother won’t watch dramas. She always complains that there’s too much yelling in them when I’m watching one sans headphones but she went with me to see Architecture 101 when it was showing at the cinema here a few months ago. She liked it a lot too – I think she was surprised by how much, ha, but it did not begin a trend for her. To be fair though, nowadays she only watches reality tv (like Food Network and the Amazing Race) because she says scripted shows bore her so it’s not just dramas she has no interest in.

  35. 35 Simon

    Wow. It’s really interesting to hear how everybody’s family gets involved in drama-wonderland. My dad wouldn’t be caught dead watching an Asian drama or anime, fantasy, sci-fi, … he used to like the A-Team … anyways…

    My mom, though, takes after me. Fantasy, sci-fi, anime, bollywood, E Asian dramas, everything. She keeps telling me to get her this or that OST for her, because she loves listening to KPop. She named our cats for her favorite anime characters.
    It’s funny how we’re disagreeing over which actors we like. I’m totally into ajusshis and ajummas, while she loves them flower boys and girls. The younger the better, apparently. Lee Min-Ho, Jang Geun Suk, and the like.
    Oh, and she loves how everybody dresses nicely in E Asian dramas (and in E Asia, actually). She’s a dress maker, so she’s getting a major kick out of that. ^^;

    What’s also interesting is that (back in the days) I could never get my mom to watch something subtitled. Now she’s so stuck on dramas, she doesn’t care. Recently, when we went on a little holiday together, she’d be watching drama all evening while I was trying to get some work done.

    Question: Are your familes/moms Asian, though? (Not JB’s and GF’s, everybody else’s.) Everybody I tell is really surprised at my European mom liking Asian stuff. Same for a friend of mine (mom’s a major drama addicts – she even watches them raw!). So I was wondering if that’s really sooooo unusual…

    • 35.1 windsun33

      Though it took me a few days to get used to subtitles, I have gotten to the point now where I turn them on for just about everything – I have gotten so used to them. And it also means that you can turn the sound way down and not bother people.

    • 35.2 DayDreamer

      I’m Indian but not really much of a Bollywood fan and am ashamed that my country produces the dumbest MIL-DIL dramas ever (even though when I was much younger, I used to like some Kekta serials). Kdramas are all that I love nowadays. Which is too bad because my circle of friends are only into Bollywood so I’m that loner in the group who hasn’t much to say in discussions. As for subtitles, I too am so used to them that I even look for them in videos with languages that I can understand.

    • 35.3 lovewatching

      I am a 50+ black woman living in the American south. I love all types of k-dramas. I started by passing through the room while my daughters were watching BOF it caught my eye from there we watched rooftop prince. About two years ago I branched out on my own because my daughter wasn’t moving fast enough. She had school (God forbid that should come first). I am at the point of making suggestions to her. She is in collage now so she has a little more time now. My husband will sit and watch with me from time time. He really enjoyed You Who Came From the Stars.
      I am a fan of CNBlue, Big Bang, 2NE1, MissA right now I am truly crushing on Seungri. I listen to Lets Talk About Love several times a day.
      I named my Roku after one of my favorite K-drama characters.

      • 35.3.1 koko

        “I am truly crushing on Seungri. I listen to Lets Talk About Love several times a day.”

        I just love the glee I hear in your words! I’ll have to look for him and his song and listen to it.

        • lovewatching

          He is a member of Big Bang and he is in the weekend drama Angel Eyes

      • 35.3.2 Lizzy4e

        Hi Lovewatching!
        I am a 50+ white woman in Texas. Glad to see there are other women “of a certain age” loving Kdramas like a I do.

        I have been watching kdramas since the summer of 2012 when I discovered Pasta on netflix, Kong Hyo-jin has been my favorite actress since then. …never did finish Pasta tho…

        I have only converted my daughter, she and I will watch together, but I have turned a bunch of people on to our local Korean sauna, King Spa.

        Who would have thought this post would flush out the demographic information of this group? We seem to be a pretty diverse bunch of drama lovers.

        and CNBlue rocks….just saying.

    • 35.4 PeaceWon

      My mom is pure old texan! She loved Kdramas. Although we have lived in about 9 other countries, none were asian.

      We started out with Jewel in the Palace, as I remembered seeing it on PBS years ago, and we were having a hard time finding something to watch. We watched every single saeguk drama out there before we finally made the leap to the modern dramas. Warrior Baek Dong Soo was the one that got me into the music. That OST was crazy.

      For my mom, she was mostly oblivious UNTIL “who are you” ( not the 2013, but the old one) had lie to me, and she wanted it for hr ringtone. Then we had to find all the guys on Heartstrings.. now we all love CNBLUE. and B1A4 is the next target, or Double JC.

      It has been a great lot of fun. PLUS she was 74 and downloading, streaming and even rating dramas! where as before she would not even check her email hardly. So I think it helped her a lot in many ways.

  36. 36 Chanchan

    I am fangirling over moms fangirling over cnblue , and i’m a fangirl !

  37. 37 Kiara

    My mom is also a “Winter Sonata” fanatic lol. The only other drama that she would watch over and over is Dae Jang Geum. I’m always on my mom’s good side because I buy her dvds to feed her K drama addiction. On top of that she has access to 4 Korean channels. Yep I’m her favorite girl.

  38. 38 TinaFee

    hi there! just wanted to say, it’s fun to read your posts here! 🙂

  39. 39 Ticklemypickle

    My mom is a latino in her 50s with a firm obsession with Kim Soo Hyun. I usually recomend dramas for her to watch based on the ratings on this site, as well as on my own opnion and we watch them together. So Dream High started, and she was team Jin Gook (who I hated because Im shallow) and I witnessed my mother’s slow conversion to the Sam Dong boat. It was beautiful. Shes seen most of his work at this point.
    She also adores Lee Seung Gi. Calls him the King. I dont think King 2 Hearts was a healthy exprience for her.

    • 39.1 DJMuenchen

      My cuban mother went through a similar scenario when I brought her into the Kdrama fold with Secret Garden. I knew her interest in Binny reached critical mass when she told me about a dream in which she “got coffee” with Hyun Bin. and if thats what they call it, then sign me up for the starbucks reward cards! Didn’t mean I was any less traumatized from that confession though.

      • 39.1.1 ticklemypickle

        My mom is cuban too! Maybe its a Cuban thing?
        I was thinking of showing her Secret Garden, but maybe its not such a good idea after all.

  40. 40 petmink

    I got my mom to watch k dramas. She has watched my princess 5 times. Then she watched another Mr. Hand towel Melo. She must really like him. I keep giving her better suggestions but she keeps going back to my princess.

  41. 41 xcmk

    Hahahahahha! I recently got my mom into kdramas too although it was mainly due to the massive popularity of You From Another Star in china. So far she went from watching everything ji sung was in and moving onto so ji sub now XD

  42. 42 risa

    Great post and fun discussion. I like that “Odds and Ends” posts can be about anything, not necessarily related to how the past week has been.

    No matter how much I try to explain that “K-dramas” is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of different genres, my loved ones think that they’re all trashy soap operas and are surprised that I’m so into them.

    I admit that I also used to be rather judgy about other people’s taste in dramas~ like I’d wonder what was wrong with someone if they said they just loved Nail Shop Paris. But I’ve witnessed myself thoroughly enjoying a lot of craptastic stuff, and now I get that we all have different hooks that can cause us to say, “I know, but it’s so cute!”, “I know, but I don’t care!”, and “I know, but I like it!”. Knowing that doesn’t stop me from occasionally shaking my head when someone else’s perception of a drama is so different from my own, but I’ve come to appreciate our subjective differences. (And let’s face it, enjoying k-dramas is way more about subjectivity than it is about objectivity, though it’s jjang when both are satisfied.)

    • 42.1 DayDreamer

      Well said!

      There’s no accounting for taste. I believe it’s all about watching a drama at the right time (some dramas I’m not ready for and years from now, I’ll watch and be like, “Why did I not watch this earlier?? It’s sooo good!”); personal favorite tropes (I’m a sucker for contract relationships); and acquiring new tastes (I’ll dislike something and then at some point go back to view it for whatever reason and find it very appealing).

  43. 43 Arhazivory

    Mom’s first drama was You’re Beautiful so now JGS is one of her faves. Our tastes are pretty much on par although she doesn’t like too much violence so Heartless City was a no-no. But then she loves sageuks and it was both of us along with Dad (kinda on and off) that marathons Jumong over a three week period.

    Normally I download everything and put it on her laptop but with her new smart phone, her dependency on me is faltering thanks to Viki. Now she’s also watching dramas from other countries. Lol.

  44. 44 windsun33

    Just a quick note from the movie scene: “‘Han Gong-Ju’ Breaks Record for South Korean Indie Films..”

    Just waiting for this one to show up subbed. I think a couple of the PPV channels on Roku are picking it up, but don’t see it yet on Vudu or M-Go.

  45. 45 trisha

    Your parents are cute JB and GF

    And yay for Jang Geun Seok (and his hair).

  46. 46 gembul10

    For me’ it was actually my Mom wo got me into Korean Dramaland Addiction.
    She suggested me to watch Goong with Yeun Eun Hye and Lee Ji hoon. We watch together and I was laughing cause the drama was so funny, and she introduce me to Full house with Rain and Song Hye Gyo, who later on become the world stars.
    Both drama were enjoyable to watch and good as a stress reliever. And the journey continue till 8 years later, and we understand each other taste.

    What is interesting is that, we have succeeded to gather more families to enjoy Korean Drama. So, on week-end when my brother’s family visit us, the whole gang, my mother, me, my daughter, my brother, his wife and daughter and son will enjoy drama such as My Husband Got Family, The Best Lee Soon Shin, and we will laugh or commenting each episode.
    Thanks to K-drama!

  47. 47 VanillaSalt

    Maann, i wish my mom liked kdramas too. She just liked Spanish telenovelas

    • 47.1 Joss

      My mom watches telenovelas too but she started watching kdramas first than I did so I’m glad we can share our love together 😀
      You need to get your mom into it ^^

      • 47.1.1 VanillaSalt

        Ikr! her excuse is that she can’t see the subtitles from where she sits bc she needs reading glasses. haha!

    • 47.2 whilethemusiclasts

      Back in the 90’s, when I was much much younger, I loved watching telenovelas. I watched whatever they decided to dub and air locally. My mom hated that my sisters and I watched those shows because of all the adult themes and all the screaming and the slapping. She doesn’t mind my kdrama fixation now. But then again, I’m no elementary school kid anymore.

  48. 48 coffeenlucia

    I totally relate. My mom introduced me to kdramas starting with the classics like Winter Sonata, Stairway to Heaven, all that good cheesy stuff.

  49. 49 k lava

    Its 5:30 in the morning and haven’t been to bed yet.I’m slowly converting my kid sis to k dramas and I feel the effect ,she’s still up with me me muahahaha hihi it’s so refreshing to have someone I can tell about kdrama and kpop I was all bottled up inside hooked her with Lee min ho, king min hyuks cuteness in heartstrings ,running man and YFAS .googled yonsoma ,wow how handsome was he when he was young I guess the min ho of dem days ,my sis was the first to notice he and Kim hyun joong look alike,this is a big deal because she has hard time recognising faces and our conversations mostly go “its really him,lo
    closer its that guy from… ” kinda frustrating.I’ll be sure to watch winter sonata

    • 49.1 coffeenlucia

      omigosh what 5:30 am and not been to bed yet?? not even i beat that… the latest i can crash is 4am… o.O”

  50. 50 hanhan

    ah your story remind me to my grandparents. i even started my kdrama addiction thanks to my grandma lol because she love dong yi and pink lipstick soo much (but i didn’t like both dramas, even really hate the latter lol). my grandpa like sageuks, from the very loooonnnggg sageuks like dong yi and jumong, to some fusion sageuks like the princess man. i doubt he knows about make-up the history thingy, but he always praise joseon kingdom while watching because joseon kingdom system is better than our country in once upon a time era

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