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[Changing Tastes] When your feelings have feelings


Healer

By anonymous

I’m not one of those drama watchers who has a big, dramatic “When First I Discovered Dramas” moment. I’d watched City Hunter on the recommendation of a friend; and while I enjoyed the heart-pounding action and fell hard for Lee Jun-hyuk’s righteous prosecutor, I didn’t get sucked in. I merely chalked it up to a good viewing experience and returned to my regularly scheduled life.

Over the course of the next few years, I tried a few more K-dramas, but only when I was in a certain mood, and only in my preferred genres of action or romance. Eventually, City Hunter led to Master’s Sun, which led to I Hear Your Voice, which led to Healer, which led to Gaksital, which led to a complete emotional breakdown.

That show wrecked me. I was a shattered husk, void of tears and incapable of forming coherent sentences—or so I thought until an unsuspecting friend called to wish me a Merry Christmas, and I talked for a solid thirty minutes about betrayal and basement torture scenes and best friends crying on bicycles, leaving her deeply concerned about my mental and emotional well-being.

Which made two of us.


Gaksital

The sheer emotional intensity of the show, particularly the shipwrecked friendship at its core, moved me in a way nothing in the K-drama world had before, and I planned to chase that feeling. Thus I fell down the rabbit hole of sageuk revenge dramas, reveling in the twisty political machinations and reading portents in the tap of each evil plotty finger. I never found anything to rival Gaksital for sheer emotional absorption, but The Princess’s Man ran a close second.

Then my father was diagnosed with cancer, and everything in my world shifted—including my drama-watching habits.

The first thing that changed was the rate at which I watched dramas. Immediately after dad started treatments, I started plowing through shows at an alarming rate. No longer was drama-watching an occasional anomaly. It was now the norm. While my schedule didn’t allow for back-to-back episode marathons, all day I looked forward to that one hour at night when I knew I’d be able to shut off my brain and rest my fevered brow on the soft pillow of K-dramas.

And boy, did I have feelings. My feelings had feelings. Somehow, though, the dramas helped.


Beautiful Gong Shim

It’s easy to see in retrospect that I was using dramas to regulate my emotions; and while I’m not convinced this was fully healthy, in my situation, it worked. Although I would never recommend dramas as replacements for real live support systems (family, friends, spiritual resources, and so forth), I would humbly endorse dramas as daily disposition supplements.

Which leads naturally to the second aspect of drama-watching that changed after my dad’s diagnosis. While originally I’d been drawn to bold, sweeping sagas of love, tragedy, revenge, and betrayal, now I found that I could no longer handle such life-and-death struggles, especially ones replete with tragic backstories involving trails of dead family members. It was all too heavy.

So I soothed my weary soul with dramas lighter than air (Queen In-hyun’s Man), quirky and sound-effect-tastic (Marriage Not Dating), mindlessly plot-circly (Faith), enjoyably brainless (Beautiful Gong Shim), and easy like a Sunday morning (Second to Last Love).


Lookout

I’m happy to report that with my dad currently doing well (and on a blessed reprieve from all treatments!), my drama-watching has now evened out. While I haven’t tapered back quantity (I’ve pretty much resigned myself to watching at least one K-drama episode a night until I die), my feelings have recovered sufficiently that I’m now able to enjoy shows with a little more backbone. And just in time, too! We have a great crop of dramas right now, replete with conflicted characters, sharp stories, and rollicking action guaranteed to give your feelings a workout.

One such drama is Lookout, which you should check out for no other reason than the fact that it has one of the strongest openings I’ve ever seen. (No, seriously. Watch the first three minutes of Episode 1 and tell me that isn’t compelling.) It also has an amazingly well-matched ensemble cast including Lee Shi-young, who’s totally slaying.

While I’m not thrilled with the circumstances that caused me to diversify my drama-watching, I’m thankful for where I ended up. After all, if I hadn’t branched out, I wouldn’t currently be enjoying family weekender Father Is Strange—and quietly, earnestly hoping for Lee Joon’s character to stop suffering and start being ridiculous again.


Father Is Strange

 
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Congratulations on your dad's recovery. As a cancer survivor, I relate. Thank you for sharing such a poignant personal take on the drama-watching experience.

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I was going to write exactly what you wrote.

Congratulation and thanks. That was beautiful.

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Thank you to you and everyone else for your kind words. Given the wide demographics of this group, I knew there would be many who could relate.

-Anonymous

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Ah this is so beautifully written! Also, this post is making me want to seriously give Gaksital a second try!
I second the dramas as daily disposition supplements bit! Takes my mind off a lot of negativity that life could possibly offer!

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A very wise way to diferentiate your Drama viewing!!! ;) . Since I need some "Candy" Dramas, could you recommend me some?.

Thanks in advance!!!.

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"Tough Life" Dramas, I mean ;) .

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Oh please do watch Gaksital! It's one of my my most memorable dramas, second only to Coffee Prince ❤️️ It was such a well-acted show that I have yet to watch one that equals the intensity of it. Like the writer of this post, I too was an incoherent mess after and weeks later when I'd recall scenes I would still get teary-eyed and my heart would ache. Kang To and Shun Ji are one of the best characters ever for me and I'm still awaiting a drama of Joo Won and esp Park Ki Woong's to do their skills/talents justice the same way Gaksital did

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Yes, this is also making me want to give Gaksital a try.
A friend of mine has been trying to convince me to watch it, and quite honestly, I've also been trying to convince myself for some time. But I hadn't been in the mood to commit to the inevitable heartbreak that I knew was waiting, especially with the broken friendship at the core of the show... which eerily reminded me of one of my own wrecked friendship (albeit less dramatic probably).

However, recently I've been craving a show full of betrayal and emotional intensity. Something truly gut-wrenching, so it seems the time to pick up Gaksital has come.

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Gakistal is really good! The pain is totally worth it, and it's coming from someone who had enough angst and try to stick to less melo and tragic endings now.
Princess man was good too, sweeping.

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I know this beanie's dad ended up okay (yay!) but I still cried with this post. While I don't have an ill family member or so, I've been on a bout of depression since who-knows-when. After not watching kdramas for three years (been watching since I was 10, stopped when I was 20), I found myself reaching out for my favorites (My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and Queen In-hyun's Man) last March just to feel happy. I wanted to get back to the happiness I felt all those years ago and I realized I was my happiest back when I was watching kdramas. And now I've been gobbling up kdramas left and right. I know it isn't healthy but sometimes you really just need those daily disposition supplements, as this beanie said. Now, I'm in between jobs and I'm planning on watching as much kdramas as I can before my new job starts this September. I do think I'm not that depressed anymore (?) or at least I'm handling it better. Still, so many thanks to kdramas for being something that made me feel an ounce of happy and for helping me escape that dreariness and gloominess.

Haha sorry for being such a downer meh

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I believe anything is healthy if it is a source of your happiness! Hang in there! Things have a way of turning out for the better! *Hwaiting!*

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Thank you so much for your kind words, @obsessedmuch!

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Please don't apologise @whoopeeyoo I think there are times when we all need something escapist, comforting or familiar to help us through difficult times and Kdramas definitely do that for me. When I am ready for something more difficult or challenging than can offer that too.

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Thank you so much for the validation for everyone's need for escapism, @vannerie. I know we should fight the stigma of talking about mental health but even though I know that, I still always feel sorry when I talk about it. Thank you again for reminding me not to feel sorry about something I shouldn't be sorry about.

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I too started watching K-dramas last year during a bout of depression. I had just returned from a Masters but couldn't think of anything I wanted to do. I was working part-time, earning peanuts and feeling incredibly worthless. My family was unhappy with my employment situation, and my friends all doing well in their jobs -
It felt like I had no one to turn to. Korean dramas were at first, my comfort and solace - though perhaps after a few months, they became part of the problem.

I'm over that phase now and my norm is one episode a day, but on bad days, I find myself watching 2-3 hours a day.

So don't call yourself a downer. Anonymous' post and your comment are very relatable. And this is why I disagree with people who consider entertainment a waste of time, or working in entertainment, no good. It is good, and can help people in wonderful ways. A double edged sword?

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That's the beauty of narrative. It's not just entertainment. The best stories don't just amuse or distract us: they help us make sense of our own experiences.

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That is a really deep comment. It makes me understand why so exceptional Dramas kind of "tastes" like good literature.

Please register to upvote you.

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And especially if you and your experiences are represented? In any form of media/entertainment? It's life-changing and validating.

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Wow ~ I'm amazed to see how many of us do go to KDrama as a form of escape or relief.

Everything in life is good in moderation, including KDrama. but I cant help but marathon stuff when I'm feeling down, coz I just want to feel better and watching drama is better than crying myself to sleep, or thinking that my life worth nothing.

KDrama makes our life better ^-^

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I do agree with you, @yukie. Sometimes I watch an episode or two or let's be real, marathon episodes, just so I won't cry and feel down. They're just always there and they can make me happy anytime. Gah, good thing kdramas are here and doing the work!

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I'm actually taking my Master's right now and I think being directionless with my thesis and my future contributed to this bout.

Thank you for sharing your story, @greenfields. Gives me hope and faith that everything's gonna be better.

And I do agree with you that entertainment is something that saves people.

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Good luck with the Masters and thesis! :) (Fighting!)

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I was in the same rough spot in 2013 with my Master's Thesis. I inscribed Investigation Methodology and it worked like a charm!!!. It showed me how to reduce objectives to something I could handle and also how to handle my experiments: remember to have several "whites(???)" (<--- the experiments where you intentionally withdraw some clue variables, example: if your reaction goes at 480ºC then you intentionally run them at 25ºC with ALL the other variables kept intact). How many experiments do I have to make to get a decent statistics, etc.

Please look for a good book if you can't inscribe a subject. I used the Fernández & Sampieri one, but I am mostly sure you can find an excellent one in your Mother Language ;) .

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Please remember that life is like the sky: it doesn't matter if you are going through a cloudy season or even storms, the blue infinite is always behind!!! ;) .

Please be well.

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I liked this comment so much, i copied to hang it in my wall... Yes! That is also the hope of whoever that believes in the existence of a creator, knowing that life beyond all our problems make sense, and that we will discover how. Just wait.

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@fgb4877 waaaaaaaaaaa! That is so nice to read. And profound and deep. Thank you so so much. Reading all of these comments of fellow beanies wishing me to be well and to feel better did a lot. Thank you.

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@whoopeeyoo I can relate to this. Sometimes, watching K-dramas is all that keeps me sane. It helps to take my mind off my anxiety for a time and helped a lot with depression. It's nice to be able to unload from all your personal feelings sometime and just indulge in a fictional character's pain or happiness. In the worst moments of my anxiety, I found myself living voraciously through my favorite k-drama characters, which while not healthy, worked for me at the time. Its comfort food and its warmth.

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@silvermists You said it so well. EXACTLY. It's like, I forget my own anxieties when I watch kdramas and I end up living vicariously through them. So if they're happy, I get happy. If they're stressed, I do get stressed but it's easier to be into the problems of fictional characters that you know will end up happy instead of your own, right? Thank you so much for the sympathy and empathy you showed me. It's really helping me a lot to read all of these comments beanies have. Hope you're also doing well!

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"I've been on a bout of depression since who-knows-when"
Me too! ??
I'm actually waiting for my doctor's appt this year and hopefully will get a diagnosis. Bipolar? Depression? Mild Austin? Hormonal disorder? We'll see. Sigh because truly I'd like relief.
I've been using television as an emotional regulator and "daily disposition supplement" (perfect term) since I was a child. My sister died when I was young and my parents were overcome with grief for years. Their grief made taking care of five other children...um tricky? They love us of course and we were fed, clothed and sent to school but lots of things (emotions, abnormal behaviors) were overlooked or underplayed.
It wasn't in till mm 10 years ago that my love of Korean dramas was born. Yes I have been a here and there DB shadows reader for that long in till this year. Yay for registering. <3
Anyways I still watch a lot of American & international shows but when I'm feeling down, distress, numb, angry, etc Korean dramas are my go to and honestly they do help. Granted I will admit I can be irresponsible sometimes ::cough binge :: but I also try to give what I get. I see friendship and hope on the screen and I will reach out to my friend for a visit. Lead calls their mom heeeyy lemme call me mom. Anyone eating..have I eaten yet?

Side Note: Has anyone see Heart to Heart? I love that show even though many characters were grossly irresponsible with the female lead. I connected with her behavior at that exact time I saw it. Laying emotionally wrecked in a destroyed apt after the people who said cared for you left? Check. I don't exactly know why but it made me feel better. Her little progress & praises for it made my little progress feel real and hopeful. Anyways it helped get me past that particular mountain and I'm grateful.

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@toramona Thank you for sharing your story. I like what you said about how what happens on the screen reminds you to do the same. Calling a friend, calling your mom, eating. Sometimes what we call entertainment not only entertain us but help us live better and live properly.

I'm also glad to hear you're getting diagnosed! Getting a diagnosis is such a feat in itself too. And I'm also grateful that you've passed that mountain of a hurdle with the help of kdramas. Hwaiting! We can do this!

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This is such a heartwarming post. Congratulations on your dad's recovery! I understand it wasn't easy because I also have a family member who's a cancer survivor. And thank you for sharing your experience with your personal life and kdramas with other beanies! ?

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Pretty sure I knew of DB before Gaksital, but Gaksital is the one that kept me up at night while I viewed DB in the darkness of my room, staring at my phone. I just had to know that other people were feeling what I was feeling. Having such an experience is rare and it wasn't until Healer when it happened again. Healer actually revived my belief that I could still be moved by a drama and that's why it has such a special place in my heart. And while I still love dramas that appeal to the left side of my brain, there's something highly addictive about that drama that engulfs every part of you.

I am glad that your dad is doing better and hope he continues to become healthier.

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Thanks for sharing your story.

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This is a really poignant and touching piece of writing. Congratulations on your father's recovery. After my diagnosis of Peutz–Jeghers syndrome, I ended up watching light dramas for escapism and comfort but I also watched deep dramas about life and death to 'prepare' myself for what I thought would come, which I would also find rather life affirming as well. Like you, I tend to have very emotional moments after Korean dramas, crying a lot, I always wonder whether it is unhealthy to do so..But I always end up laughing about it later.

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Because of my diagnosis I want my dramas to be heartwarming and to have some depth and to touch my heart in some way, it kind of made me look at dramas in a different way. I want something more meaningful really.

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Ditto on Gaksital. It destroyed me in a way I could never imagine and I fell - kerthunk - madly in love with Korea, its people, its history, its culture. After more than 250 dramas over the past five years and a overwhelming love for k-pop that made me buy a ticket to the Billboard Music Awards to see BTS win, my love for all things Korean just keeps growing and growing...so much so that I am writing this in the Seattle airport, waiting for my second trip to Seoul. The first thing I always do when I get to Seoul is go to the Great King Sejong's magnificent statue on the plaza because why? Because of course Tree With Deep Roots destroyed me as much as Gaksital did. I am so happy to be alive in the age of internet!

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Gah, so jealous! The King's statue (and the museum beneath it) was definitely one of the highlights when I visited a couple years ago too. Have an awesome time and keep us updated so we can enjoy vicariously through you! x

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Hoping for your dad's continued recovery. I can only imagine what you are going through. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming article. I understand that kdramas can definitely lift one's mood. I also watch/rewatch the light and fluffy shows when I am feeling down. And it is a good escapist and that assurance that everything will turn out well.

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Dear guest beanie, congratulations on your dad's recovery. I wish him (& you & your loved ones) a long & healthy life.

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Thank you, Anonymous, for your beautifully written and poignant post. I've been in the same situation as you, however, without the kdramas. I hope your dad will continue to be in remission.

I certainly find that dramas help relieve the tension and give us a few hours respite from thinking over much. It's true that they can become addictive (together with reading up and commenting about them and downloading their osts, etc. ?), so it's good that it worked out for you.

Like you, I believe I also go into dramas by feeling or because of what I want to do with my mind. But since I have changeable feelings, not tied to specific occurrences, my watching is all over the place. Currently, when I want something light I may head for The Best Hit. When I want to work the brain cells it will be something like Forest of Secrets. And when I feel like I need more great relationships, I watch Suspicious Partner or Fight My Way and revel in the bromance and romance and group interactions. Anyway, watchable dramas are all good!!

All the best and take care of yourself! ?

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I really loved reading about your journey...thanks for sharing!

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I'm so glad your Dad is doing well!

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Thanks for this amazing post. So thankful for your dad's recovery. I consider k dramas to be my drug of choice in coping with life's gloomy days which have sadly been too many in the past few years due to an unstable job situation. If only there was such a thing as a professional drama watcher, all my problems would have been solved...lol. Sigh.

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The lovely ladies behind Dramabeans seems to have made a career out of watching dramas, I believe. ^^ It definitely exists!

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Seem to*

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This was a really nice post to read and I'm glad to hear your dad is doing so much better. I love the comparison of k-dramas to daily disposition supplements because I use them the same way. Kdramas have always allowed my mind to just /breathe/ after long, exhausting days and emotional upheavals.

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Thank you for your post Anonymous, it's a lovely write-up. Glad your dad is doing well.

I can relate to watching an episode a day, I do the same. I supplement them with variety shows when I'm not watching a drama. I cannot go to sleep without watching one as I feel that I need that time of respite to switch-off from the realities of life. As someone who has an analytical personality where I tend to think through everything even while just lying down, I need that time where I don't get to think about life to relax ?

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I felt the same way about Gakshital. Also, I'm so glad that your father is doing well :)

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I just have to comment. You mentioned all my favorite dramas within your first paragraph. Gaksital is my all time favorite kdrama. It ran me through so many emotions. Thankfully me and my sister watched it together so we could be emotional over it together. Healer is my 2nd favorite, Princess' Man is my 3rd and I Can Hear Your Voice is 4th.

Also, I am happy to hear your father is doing well and recovering!

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From all of those i have only watch I hear your voice, so my order would be inverted and i would only have this number one in my list, LOL!!! ?.
But thanks to these recommendations i may watch them.
Thanks, thanks...

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Thank you for the lovely post! Gaksital destroyed me too. I couldn't care less about the romance, it was the shipwrecked bromance that broke me in the end. Like you, "I never found anything to rival Gaksital for sheer emotional absorption". Kingdom of the Wind and Jumong come second and third, but I could never find the equivalent of Shunji in another drama. Maybe that's why I keep watching sageuks, in the hope of finding another powerful tragic relationship like it.

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Shunji is, hands down, the most memorable and gut-wrenching character I've met in the dramaverse. I'd say I'd love more like him, but a girl only has so many hearts to break.

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One of the best posts I've read, thank you for sharing.

I have also found my self binge watching rom-coms when I'm super stressed and thrillers when life is little more balanced. Dramas are great way to escape for a couple of hours or an entire weekend.

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Such a heartwarming post. So glad to hear your dad is recovering well.
Isnt it amazing how kdramas have become a source of happiness and joy for most of us here. Sometimes there is no better medecine to shut your brain and watch an accidental kiss/ shower scene?

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I can totally relate... Sadly, my mom lost the battle six years ago... But kdramas helped me to go through the most difficult times, when there was no hope left... and then through the first years after my mom left us...

My choice of a drama I watch often depends on my emotional status as well... and sometimes a mindless fluff can do wonders for a human psyche ;--)

The kdramas are the best antidepresants ever :--))

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I'm very sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences for you and your family as well.

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Ah, I do the same! The type of drama I watch is related to my mood. When I'm stressed out or feel down I need fluff, when things are going fine or life is uneventful I like dramas with a little bit more 'drama' to them - higher stakes, emotional rollercoasters and more complexity.

Escapist tendencies probably aren't that healthy, but nobody can be judged for wanting to watch something light every now and then to feel better if only for a little while.

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Thank you. And yeah, somehow k-dramas can be cathartic in the best way, and when done right, make that much-needed twist of the pressure valve of feely feelings.

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Thank you for sharing that story! *cries in the corner* I have a very soft heart when it comes to family members falling ill but I'm so glad that your dad is doing great now! I can fully relate in a manner that drama-watching can become a support system, I mean, I often work outside of the country away from family and I must say watching dramas is a big help to ease homesick and all. That's where that feelings you mentioned kicks in!

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Congratulations on your dad's positive progress. I am usually a silent reader. Today however I felt compel to write. Truth be told, I started down the rabbit hole of k-drama watching while going through something really tough. I needed something to distract me from the constant heartache and bouts of crying. My first drama was You Are Beautiful. I ended up binge watching it, followed by Boys over Flowers than Coffee Prince. The distraction technique works. I managed to numb myself at the time and that started the process of healing somehow. I became an avid drama watcher and had never regretted it. So that's my story.

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My feelings have feelings about this post: it really hits home. When a family member was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, I took refuge in the Thai version of Full House. This year, an equally challenging crisis has arisen in my family, and I find myself avoiding many dramas (or sometimes, just particular episodes) that I would normally watch, and instead, seeking comfort, laughter, cathartic cries, and mirroring in low-stress dramas like Father Is Strange.

Maybe someday dramas will be recommended therapeutically based on their likely effects on one's mood. Need a boost of serotonin in addition to calming down your amygdala? Try these dramas... I'm sure many of us navigate Dramaland with an intuitive understanding of our neurotransmitter needs. (Just looking at that last screenshot of Lee Joon in love gives me a dopamine rush.)

Thanks, anonymous, for this very personal and well-crafted post. So glad to hear that your father is doing better.

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All the best to your Dad!
My first experience of Kdrama came long way back "Lovers in Paris". I found it funny and light hearted and then i forgot all about Kdrama for a long while. Until one pitfall night I was lonely (bf just went abroad for work) and I needed to chill and have a perk me up diversion and I found the hilarious "Boys over flowers" I said pitfall because marathon the whole series!!! I was telling myself just once more episode and I ended up watching till 4 am in the morning!!! Then "You're Beautiful", "Heartstrings" the list goes on, just finished "Fight for my way" haha and thats how I became hooked. Although I do not do marathon anymore. I take my sweet time watching and enjoying my kdrama addiction. I am now learning the alphabet and trying to read Hangul, learning a word each day coz its getting difficult to wait for the subtitles! LOL!

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Thank you for sharing -- I'm so glad to hear your dad is doing better!

I emphatise and absolutely use kdramas as an emotional outlet too. Although it works well too if kdramas make me happy when an epiaode is particularly squee-worthy!

I live in a high-stress workplace so I can't stand to watch backstabby betrayal dramas (Whisper, Imma looking atchoo), so light and frothy is my current crop.

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Thanks to everyone's kind comments, I've emerged from a four-year shadow existence and have registered on Dramabeans.

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Welcome to the light! Yes, Dramabeans is like a bright, sunny, warm, happy place where wonderful people gather! I just happened to read your submission as I was intrigued by the title, and it was so well written and expressed! And I too am happy your Dad is doing better, and that you too are doing well and have decided to come out of the shadows. Thank you for sharing your experiences and feelings. Ah, feelings!
Before watching Gaksital, the one show that gave me a similar feeling was Capital Scandal. I am not sure if you have seen it, but to this day, it is one of my favorite Kdramas, where everything was just perfect, the music, the story, the characters, the subject matter...if you have not seen it, please give it a try. Glad you are also watching Lookout! It really is another great show with amazing performances!
There are definitely shows that just tug at your heart...and indeed, it is all about feelings! Sometimes we need to laugh, sometimes we need to cry, or we want to fall in love, or just enjoy the warmth of a family or friendship. And Kdramas do deliver no matter what genre! Ah, where would we be without Dramabeans?! Ok, enough DB PPL! Again, welcome!

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Thank you! Thank you!
I was going to post how much I wanted you to register! There was something immediately transfixing and emotionally gripping as I began reading your post. I read through and finished your post while trying really freakin' hard not to cry at work and I was filled with immense gratitude for your eloquently written piece of your journey and an ardent wish for you to come out of the shadows.
I'm thrilled for your dad's continued recovery and for your continued journey.
I've never so quickly added all the recommends to my to watch list.

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Thank you for those kind words. It's gratifying to see how clearly these feelings resonate with everyone else.

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When my mother was sick few years ago, I did cut down on my drama as I had to take care of her. And when she died, even after some times, I can't watch dramas about hospital, sick or dying family members. I was surprised just how many dramas about it. Even now, I still avoid dying/sick theme drama.

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Great to hear that your dad is doing well now. And this is such a heartwarming and beautiful post that I cant help but post.

Drama is also my coping mechanism, when life is tough (break ups, work stress, family stress) marathoning fluff drama is my best get-away-drug. Shut off my brain and just think about the characters and what a wonderful life and love that they love and enjoy ~

Not exactly a good thing to do, but it gives me a kind of Pause in life.

KDrama for ever!!

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Beautifully said. I'm so glad you said your Dad is in a reprieve....my feelings were anxious. I, too, find that my drama watching/enjoyment varies strongly based on what is going on in my life. I feel things a little too much at times and so I've avoided Gakitsal since you, any many others, say it has wrecked you so much and well (obviously a well done show to elicit such deep emotions). I could so relate to your description of that one hour allowing you to shut your mind off and escape away. It's like you reached in and described the last 3 or 4 years for me :) Praying all continues to go well for you and your Dad.

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Guest Beanie, your writing skills are not to be "anonymus" whatsoever!
Beautiful your contribution. And whoever you and your dad are, i hope he is doing everyday better.
When someone has a cancer, the body needs lots of oxigen, vitamin C, water and all natural ways possibles of detoxing. A bad with seasalt every day... coffee enemas and so on.
In regard to our versatile and vaste amount of Kdramas, i am with you in going from one to another, although my favorite group is limited than yours.
Anyway, like the Germans would say: "Viel Spaß!"

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Such a moving piece and so beautifully written, it really spoke to me. My niece introduced me to kdrama few months ago, now the only thing I watch are kdrama romcoms. Binge watching dramas have been perfect in seeing me through hard times on my own recovery from cancer. My love for them amuses my family no end. I haven't been able to articulate to them why, but your changing tastes experience has expressed it perfectly. And Gaksital is definitely on my avoid list..well at least for the present.

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I FEEL YOU about those saguek.

I was D E A D after Gaksital. I can't find anything that comes close to the emotional drainage I felt after that drama. A good story and actors (some) can do wonders. I think Mirror of the Witch was the only one that came close. UGH WHAT A SHOW.

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I'd glad you're dad is doing well! I started kdramas in college and would watch episodes the day they're released. It was a nice break from schoolwork and I liked watching dramas that featured characters who looked a little bit more like me and whose attitudes and values felt more relatable. I was also into romance novels too and kdramas were like live action romance novels. I commented a fair bit on dramabeans during that time. After I graduated college, I would binge a series here and there, but mostly stopped watching things live. Also stopped commenting. I actually got into American tv shows.

I found this year unsettling and depressing (moving out from my parents house, family member who never blamed me for my bad behavior died, close co-workers and friends leaving for other parts of the country, the election, the political climate of my country, reading more depressing news), so I'm on a kdrama and commenting binge now. This time around, I'm not so much seeking familiarity, but an escape and being able to see honorable characters win out against malicious ones.

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BIG thanks to everyone that's sharing!
Community is a beautiful thing <3

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*claps* great post!
I also know from this that I am SO gonna enjoy Gaksital, when I get down to it on my list! :)

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I completely understand you. When my father had cancer, I was in the middle of a book series. I had the same feelings about it as you described. It´s the first time I´ve heard of a person who gets that. Thanks for writing about it, because I´ve had only negative reactions about it and since my father didn´t make it, it made me feel bad.

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand completely the power storytelling can have to help us during time of grief and crisis. Sometimes immersing ourselves in something outside our situation is the only rest we have from our own feelings. And sometimes fictional suffering allows us to cry and gain catharsis.

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