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[Staff Spotlight] Get to know chocolatte

What is the first drama that you watched (or the first drama that made an impression)?

Propose. I grew up with my parents watching all sorts of K-dramas in the background, but this one completely changed my expectations for what dramas were and could be. I loved everything about it—the friends-to-lovers story, the catchy OST, and the beautiful leads Kim Hee-sun and Ryu Shi-won—and it remains as one of my all-time favorites.

Tell us about a job or two that you’ve had in the past.

I used to write speeches for a federal government official. Now I lead communications for a nonprofit.

Have you ever lived a moment that you thought belonged in a drama?

I once dated a guy with the same last name as me (we’re both Korean). We weren’t even that serious, but our parents found out and they flipped out over the issue. No Answer Me 1988 ending for us—that was pretty much the beginning of the end!

What’s your favorite drama that you recapped?

I haven’t recapped all that many yet (if only real life didn’t get in the way so often), but I’ve been lucky to be on a JTBC streak since I started with DB. Though I’ve really liked all the dramas I’ve recapped so far, my favorite has to be This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair.

What drama genres do you especially like?

I live for rom-coms. I’m also partial to slice-of-life dramas.

What drama genres do you especially dislike?

I’ve never been a fan of mystery/thriller/sci-fi shows. I’ll watch them if they’re exceptional, but it takes a lot for me to start one.

Is there a drama character you’ve ever strongly identified with, and why?

Sung Shi-won in Answer Me 1997. I found her character to be endlessly relatable, whether it was her obsession with H.O.T (my all-time favorite, especially Tony oppa), her relationships with her family and friends, and all the uncertainties and angst that she faced as a teenager. There were so many points in the show where I was like, “This girl is me!” Ugh, now I’m all nostalgic, and I feel like I need to go rewatch the show for the umpteenth time.

What drama character would you want to be?

Jeon Do-yeon’s character in The Good Wife. I love that she’s a working mom (shout out to all the working moms out there!) and that she’s kickass at her job. She’s strong and confident and compassionate—plus she gets Yoon Kye-sang and an amazing wardrobe. What’s not to love?

What was your major in school?

Art history.

What’s a random skill you have?

I wouldn’t necessarily call it a skill, but I love me some noraebang.

Favorite non-Korean movie and/or TV show?

There’s so much good TV out there, but I hardly watch any non-Korean dramas these days. One of my older favorites is Parks and Rec. As for more recent shows, I’m loving Master of None.

Which Hallyu celebrity would you actually want to meet and spend an hour with?

Yoo Ah-in. I’d love to talk to him about art and politics.

Which of the 7 deadly sins would be your undoing? (Pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, or sloth.)

Sloth. I can probably live in my pajamas, doing nothing but watch Korean dramas for weeks at a time.

 
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Hi chocolatte!
I could live in my pajamas for a whole month, just sitting in front of my laptop eating chips and binge watching every Korean drama I could. Yay to not having to put on my warpaint and proper clothes and head out!

I wonder why the whole "same last name taboo" thing is so prominent in Asia? My parents have the same last name and I know it was pretty much frowned upon in the past, not so much now.

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Maybe there's the fear of them being related?

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It's a big thing even when surnames are not the same. I was told to avoid a certain surname if ever I was thinking of getting married because that is the surname of a half-brother (my father's). Therefore the children with that surname could be my cousins.

It's tough though for those with 'common' surnames. The likelihood of meeting someone with the same surname is high. I'd imagine that families could just trace back ancestry a few generations, to ensure no blood relationship, and that should be enough, rather than banning marriage altogether. 😉

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I know in Korea, there are "clans" (like the Andong-Kim's) that cannot intermarry for everyone is distantly related - but there are many Kim/Park/Lee's with different clans so as long as the clan is different, its possible to marry . I know for sure that my own last name is really rare in Korea, so I cannot marry anyone with the same last name bc our last name only has ONE clan and we are all related. :/

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Oo that's interesting, I didn't know of the clans thing. If it's not too much, can I ask what is your last name? I'm just curious!

@growingbeautiful and @nanabot I've alway been curious, because it seems like on the Westerner side, I see very, VERY few people with the same surnames. When I was in Canada, I don't think a single person in all my classes had a repeated surname. In Asia, I can probably find at least 5 people in my class with the same surname. I wonder how that happened - surely it's not like Westerners are all not related to each other? And maybe that's why it's not a problem on their part, whereas in Asia there's this fear that people with the same surname are closely related in some way.

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@lezeh In regards to Westerners last names ,if talking about North America, you have to remember it is a melting pot of people from all parts of the world. Therefore, multiple and multiple different last names. And as people moved across and settled in different parts of North American, there was (and still are) also marriages between different cultures and ethnic groups. Also many people, when first coming to NA may have found others had a difficulty in pronouncing their names or they wanted to "fit in" and changed them.
Example is I have a very English last name, but I am mainly German and Italian with just a bit of English. 😉

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True, that may happen in North America, but I assure you that in Europe every country has its "Kims, Lees and Parks". In Spain for example my first surname is so common that there was always 1 or 2 people apart from me with the same name.

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LOL in the US I went to school with several people with my last name and so far as we knew we weren't related. Though I and another girl pretended we were cousins from the moment we met and kept that ruse up until until the end of the year. Everybody believed us because 1) same last name 2) both white latinas 3) both light colored eyes. 4) because we didn't disclose it till the end jajaja. It was a good laugh

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@lezah, I have a Korean friend whose last name is In and he said he didn't date any girls named In, for example.

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OMG!! Good to know there's another "In" in this world!!😂
But yes, our last name is so rare and our families are so closely related that dating another In would be like dating a cousin😂😂😂

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In addition to @holli's point, European naming traditions were different than those in Asia. Asian last names tend to be related to the family/clan, whereas in much of Europe a man would be named for his profession - i.e. Potter or Smith in England. So there was never the notion that all Smiths must be related to each other, whereas I guess if you come from a certain Kim clan in Korea, you probably have an ancestor in common somewhere up the line.

And in America, not only did many people change their names when they immigrated to avoid discrimination/easily fit in, slaves had their names taken from them along with their freedom, and many of their descendants have no way of finding out their original family names. A lot of them resorted to making up new last names in order to reclaim their heritage and reject the slaveowner names.

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Nice to meet you Chocolatte!

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Hi chocolatte!

I take the lack of question on the origin of your name to mean that it must be obviously because you love chocolate latte and/or chocolate and latte separately as well? 😋

You've got me interested in Propose now. I will need to find a time slot in my schedule, or a move to a place where days are at least 36 hours long. 😂

Thanks for recapping and I look forward to reading more of you!

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The thought of there being a place with 36-hour days got me all excited at first, thinking of all the extra things I'd be able to do each day including watching more dramas-- but then I realized I'd have to wait 50% longer to watch the next eps. of the dramas I'm live-watching, and suddenly the idea didn't seem so appealing. (JK, I'd totally go for it if I had the option.)

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LOL!

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Nice to meet you! God all the DB reviewers are so talented! Are all of you nerds guys? :D Not complaining at all hehe! You do need those sugar intakes to keep the brain running.
Off topic, the good wife ruined Yoon Kye-sang for me! Now every time I think of him, I remember what a weak, spineless, shallow person he has been lol.

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Yoon Kye Sang or Yoo Ji Tae? I thought that was Yoo Ji Tae who was spineless shallow and weak

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It was Yoo Ji Tae's character! Spineless, shallow, weak, but so so so handsome. LOL. He wasn't ruined for me at ALL

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So nice to meet you!

I am glad we are getting to know all the recappers, they seem more 'humane' now lol for the lack of a more fitting word.
And I totally see myself in Shi Won as well ,in fact I got my posters ripped as well coz of which I cried and whined for two days straight!

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Hi Chocolatte. Thanks for sharing with us. I'd love to meet up with Yoo Ah-in too for a good chat. I'm sure that hour would just fly by.

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Waves hi as a fellow working Mom, who loves Yoo Ah In and who also could live in her PJs all day. Just give me my laptop and dramas and I'm good to go. Who needs to go outside? Fresh air and sunshine is way over rated 😋

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Nice to know you chocolate :-)
But I've got a question, is dating a guy with same surname a serious issue in Korea? I didn't have any idea about that & I must've missed it in answer me 1988 because I only thought the parents didn't support the neighbour's kids dating among them.
And lastly, where's the mutant drama?! :-/ Its the best part in jb spotlight....

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Lol at your random skill! I am not a singer myself but give me a mic and a room to sing in and I'll sing at the top of my lungs. We have lots of karaoke rooms too in our country and mostly everyone loves to sing.

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Can I guess which country are you from? :D

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I love your handle, but everytime I see it I hear this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14gKM1FRAgM

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LOL I had no idea this even existed. Hilarious.

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Haha-- that's a new one for me too.

I'm pretty sure it's actually supposed to be "Chocolate" (not "Chocolatte")-- in Spanish, "chocolate" sounds like "chocolatte".

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Thank you for the recaps and for sharing some details about yourself.

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I loved your recaps for This Week! The comments thread there is also one of the best I've lurked on. Nice to meet you chocolatte!

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Man, I remember making a mix tape with the Propose theme song back in the day because I loved it so much.

I identified with so many of your answers! (LOVED Master of None, season 2) Except for the noraebang part. No one wants to hear me sing. Including me. Thanks for sharing!

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I think I still have the CD of that OST somewhere in my closet...the memories.

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Lately, more than recaps or news, I am looking forward to these staff spotlight posts :)

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Hello, how are you? Nice to meet you.

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Ah finally a rom-com and slice-of-life addict like myself! I totally identify with you @chocolatte ! :D

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Now I lead communications for a nonprofit. *fingerhearts you for your awesomeness*

Rockin' the noraebang is a skill I wish I had. I smiled when I realized that your gateway drama, Propose, is a friends-to-lovers story from 1997-- just like Sung Shi-won's story. (Btw, does anyone know where to find an eng. subbed version of Propose?)

I agree that Yoo Ah-in would be a great choice for a conversation partner, but I'm surprised y'all are choosing to spend your hour just conversing with your chosen Hallyu star (JB just said "spend an hour with"-- she didn't specify how you'd be spending that hour). 😉 If I were to spend an hour with You Ah-in, I'd want it to include a few hiccups, a piano duet, and a kiss "for the country", among other things...

Thanks for sharing a little about yourself and for all you contribute to DB!

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Hi chocolatte! Nice to know more about you! <3

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Is that sloth or gluttony?

Nice to meet you!

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Sweet! Pleasure to read you, chocolatte. Writing speeches, not my favourite of task in my younger days. Noraebang, alas, i can't do it but i enjoy being with a group having fun all around.

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Chocolatte, I followed very closely your recaps of This Week My Wife and enjoyed thoroughly your excellent analysis and all the discussions that followed. Because of that my eyes "perk" up whenever I see your name on any article.

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What a great show that was...thanks for reading! :)

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