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[2018 Year in Review] Do’s and don’ts of drama watching


I’m Not a Robot

By JustMe and bammsie

Whenever something in my life goes wrong, I have a tendency to spill the beans (pun intended) to my closest friends. 2018 brought me Dramabeans, and with it, quite a few Beanie friends. Being the in-denial K-drama addict that I am, whenever a K-drama disappoints me, I find myself turning to my Beanie friends for advice. From our conversations throughout the year, a common theme of wisdom has emerged. Going into 2019, here’s hoping the words of wisdom imparted in this piece will bring you much enlightenment on the mystifying hobby that is drama watching.

#1 Do you

I am highly susceptible to peer pressure, and have a tendency to watch something if everyone is raving about it. I convince myself that I like it — even if my brain keeps thinking otherwise. At the end of the day, it’s your free time and you don’t owe anyone anything. Ratings are nothing but numbers, and you can respect your friends’ opinions without necessarily having them influence your own. No one can tell you how to feel. Your opinion is the only one that matters. So go love what you want to, hate what you want to, and snark at what you want to!


My Secret Terrius

#2 Embrace the imperfect

Not every drama is an award-worthy, unforgettable piece of art. Don’t let anyone intimidate you into not liking something — yourself included. I love beautiful things and I don’t intend to ever stop loving them, but cheesy and messy dramas deserve love too. Are there are scattered moments that you love in an overall weak storyline? Do you take comfort in simple, paint-by-numbers stories? Maybe you’re only watching because gosh darn it, those puppy-smiles are beautiful. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Dramabeans is a safe place to gush out our superficial loves. Keep in mind, someone out there watched — and finished — Rich Man and/or Evergreen.


Thirty But Seventeen

#3 Don’t take it personally

Sometimes dramas aren’t what you expect. Notably, the second half of this year’s dramas were quite underwhelming for me and almost put me in a slump. Sometimes you get all hyped up and excited for a drama, and halfway through (or sooner) the episode doesn’t live up to your expectations. I had a hard time accepting that I didn’t like something and used to feel hurt by noble idiocy, chosen plotlines, or character decisions. Disappointment with a drama even felt like a betrayal after I’d invested all my precious time. Hey, it’s not personal. It’s all fiction, and the writers can’t actually hear our pleas.


Fox Bride Star

#4 Drop it

Picking up a show is an 8-week commitment to support a character, follow their journey, and emotionally invest yourself into understanding them. So letting go of a drama after having taken a chance on it can seem even harder. Remember that there are no strings attached. If something doesn’t please you, don’t force yourself to like it. Drama watching should not be a chore. It’s okay to drop a show after starting it. Oppa won’t hate you. You come first before anything, and your time is precious.


What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim

#5 Try new things

Prior to 2018, I had only ever watched rom-coms. Anything else for me seemed like a waste of time and I told myself I should stay in my lane. This year, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try things like melodramas and thrillers. Lo and behold, I found that these dramas, which I had no expectations for, were the ones that I enjoyed the most! Now, I sample every single thing that even moderately interests me, and always try to keep an open mind.


Life on Mars

#6 Don’t lose self-confidence

Willingly or not, dramas have had an influence on my opinion of beauty and style. I’ve always had confidence issues, but sometimes they seem to get more heightened when I lose myself in a drama. You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss, a show is a just a show, and these people have been touched up and are hired to look ungodly beautiful. In some instances, unhealthy weights and styles of living are idealized. You are beautiful and fantastic without having to look or act like those people on the screen.


Thirty But Seventeen

#7 Slumps are normal

No one enjoys a drama slump. But it happens to the best of us! You’re in a drama slump for a reason: nothing is pleasing you right now and that’s completely okay. Broaden your horizons and try new things. And if still nothing pleases you, it might be time to start a new hobby. Don’t let a slump get you down. New dramas are always right around the corner and there just may be one you’ll love.


Come Here and Hug Me

#8 Don’t pressure yourself

We all know the pressure of having too much on our hands. Don’t have time to pick up a drama or watch an episode? That’s normal. Dramas aren’t there to pressure us. They are a pastime meant to make us happy. The drama isn’t running away; it’s okay to watch it later. All you need to do is avoid spoilers.

That last and most important rule is to remember to have fun. Dramas are there to pass the time, brighten your mood, to heal you. For some people, dramas help create connections with others. Drama watching has always been a form of therapy for me to express myself and learn more about myself. Turns out it can teach us life lessons, too.


Woohoo Waikiki

 
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Thank you for writing such wise words of wisdom @justme and @bammsie! I really need something like this to read once I am in a slump this coming 2019!

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I have to reread them (or retell them) to myself every time I'm in a drama-induced-crisis.

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Keep in mind, someone out there watched β€” and finished β€” Rich Man and/or Evergreen.

I, Kimbap, raise my βœ‹ with full self-confidence to admit that, yes, I am that "someone out there"!
*refuses to embrace the imperfect in severe cases such as these 😑*

Allow me to gush over your writing, two of my favorite Beanie friends, @justme and @bammsie! These are great rules to traverse the world of dramas but also to live by in real life. Thank you for this wonderful healing post!

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I'm raising my hand too because I'm that person who watched Rich Man. I just couldn't seem to stay away from it.

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I have been wanting to try Rich Man, and I know it will be a mess, but I still love this and maybe I WILL go be one of those people :D

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I do appreciate the beauty of moths flying into the flame, aka circle of life.
See you on the other end, @anothernicole.

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What a beautiful metaphor

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I watched all of Evergreen.
*sigh*
I also watched About Time.

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I dare ask--- which was worse?

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I chopped the tree drama from my list after one episode, but managed to snark my way through About Time, so I'm not a good judge. They were both bad.

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I bowed out after the a couple musical numbers in that ToD drama and enjoyed @egads and other Beanies' snark throughout their PPL journey.

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About Time was worse. Evergreen was boring and pointless but it wasn't offensive. About Time OTP was just awful, the actors looked bored and the ToD should have succeeded.

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Lee sang yoon dimples though?? Lol

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*whispers "fighting" to self*

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About time was terrible. I also watched that entire drama, except the last episode I finally gave up.

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Oh, yes, About time was really terrible. After waiting days for a new episode, one day I preferred returning to study for an exam, rather than continuing watching it...

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oh my but you are a glutton for punishment aren't you? I never started Evergreen, and only got part way through About Time. My hat is off to you!

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It's okay. I have learned my lesson and - like @justme and @bammsie recommend - I am Learning To Drop. I expect it to do wonders for my mental health and general disposition.

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And my bean count, which at the end of this year will be 36 beans. No wonder I'm in such a bad mood all the time.

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I saw that you mentioned me and thought you had written, β€œBams is a big, fat, hairy liar.”

Thanks for.. not doing that. πŸ˜‚

And I had a serious case of Masochistic Completionism earlier this year, and boy, it sucked. Torture, honestly. Yay for dropping!

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I would never fat shame your lies, @bammsie.

I also had a case of Masochistic Completionism this year. My pathological need to complete is fine when I'm watching two dramas, but when I'm watching 12 it's a bad bad thing. I shall dub 2019 the Year of Dropping.

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@leetennant Not even hairy-shame?

Drop It Like It’s Hot.

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@bammsie I feel like "hairy shaming" is not A Thing.

Also, I am glad I didn't drop Risky Romance. I think it was the best show of 2018 and that people are being very unfair to it just because it was terrible.

#2 means that you agree with me on this, which is good.

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I too have Learned to Drop - but somehow when I added up all the dramas I finished this year it was 46! (And that includes those that I felt I just had to finish....)
I can't seem to go a one day without watching one drama.
Apparently, this is what an addiction is all about.

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Holy crap, my 36 beans nearly killed me and made me even more snarky and negative than before. How did you do 46?

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Believe me, it was kind of embarrassing to admit that I actually FINISHED that many dramas, but then I watch one, two and sometimes three dramas a day.
Then I try to describe them to my colleagues at work - they just laugh at me.

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@leetennant - simply - I have no life.

I go to work from 7 am to 3:30 then come home and work around my house and yard - and reward myself with dramas.
I have no life - period. ;-)

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I feel like you're somehow achieving more with your lack of life than I am.

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I'm not achieving more - just escaping from my life more regularly.
when I look at the headlines and see what: our baby-in-chief is doing/horrible things are happening around the world - I turn to dramas.

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@stpauligurl
Oh God, I get that. There's nothing like a cold dash of the horror of reality to send me running for dramas. I used to spend a lot of time tweeting and blogging about climate change and climate science and now it just makes me miserable. If we only have 10 years or so, I'd rather spend them travelling and sucking up great stories.

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I totally get you there @leetennant. So much in the news is just so scary - ultimately I just cannot deal with it and turn back to my dramas.
Just today I started Top Star Baek Jin - what a fun escape.
But I still have closets to clean - later- after more of those abs...
;-)

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I can totally relate @stpauligurl and @leetennant. It is not surprising that I started watching dramas around the time Trump became a real option as the presidential candidate during the campaign season. Now I almost watch nothing but Asian dramas......I have to force myself to at least read the headlines in the paper.....

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@leetennant and @kimbaprolls - I started watching dramas when my mom's dementia was getting worse and it was a stress relief for me. Plus it was fun to tell her about what I was watching.
The weekend after she passed I binge-watched Healer as a way to NOT feel much.
This past Thanksgiving I spent the weekend binge-watching Miseang- again to keep reality at bay.
But mostly with tRump at the wheel the world is so scary that I find I'd rather watch shows about women pretending to be a robot, or a man who is so germaphobic that he covers himself to go into a BBQ place. But ultimately I relieve stress watching an emperor completely implode on all the people around him.
Somehow it is all cathartic in a weird sort of way.

(Just as long as I get those broody shower scenes every now and then right?)

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@kimbapnoona I may or may not had you in mind when I added that sentence. Rich Man --- the only drama where a lead makes out with a second lead more than the first lead.

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Rich Man, Poor Woman -where OGP (One Garbage Pairing) is born

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They are "OGP" because apparently having garbage on once's face induces ip smacking.

Here, I actually made a garbage GIF to celebrate the moment leading up to the garbage juice kiss (credit @wishfultoki):
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/kimbapnoona/activity/526356/

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Omg! At first I was like, what is Rich Man and then read kimbap noona's response and was like, Oh. THAT drama.
Dropped that show like a hot cake and blocked it from my memory.
So, definitely this was the year I learned to just drop something if i didn't like it or waned to continue watching it. 😬 Sorry!

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I wish I can describe that show as "hot cake." Cakes at least provide sugary calories and this show leaves me feel malnourished.

However I CAN say something non-negative about the show. It did NOT make me angry. From the beginning there was never a promise that it was going to be good or led me thinking it was something that it wasn't *coughs Pretty Noona* So all the annoyance was self-inflicted and I blamed no one but myself. 😭😭😭

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There, there. Relieve your stress and built up anger by smashing objects. The emperor taught us well.

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Hahaha wouldn't that be awesome but where are my court maids to clean up after me, @justme?

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Still after watching 2 eps, like @justme said, it would have been awesome to smash objects. If only I had useless things to throw around and destroy. πŸ˜‚

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Woah woah woah, that happens in the Korean version too??

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Thank you for making 2018 Dramabeans such a hilarious and warm place to stay, Kimbap! 😁

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*feeds Bammsie πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™to give thanks for all the wonderful pics of baked goodies and moments of beauty on her FW*

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😁 Yuuuuum! Thank you!

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I really enjoyed this! These rules are great :D

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Thanks for reading and enjoying :)

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This sounds exactly like my 8 stages of 2018 drama watching. Glad I'm not the only one going through this. I spent most of my free time watching kpop videos. @justme and @bammsie thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for reading, Caro! I’ve been in a semi-slump for several months and have been filling in with a lot of books about the history of grammar (and Kpop vids). Which is.. kinda weird, but hey. The point of the piece was do you unabashedly, right? πŸ˜‚

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Great article! :)
And something I really needed to hear after this season. I felt like you wrote this just for me.

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Well, it was written by just me! (And me.) 😁 Glad it helped, here’s to a bright 2019, in dramaland and otherwise!

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I like this collaboration writing a lot, @justme and @bammsie. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

My important resolution after reading these wise words:
1. I'm not going to feel guilty for loving the heck out of Alhambra, flaws and all
2. I'll let go of my grudge against Fox Bride Star for giving me maddening ending *trying to remind myself that they're only fictional characters*
3. I'll stop feeling guilty for marathoning variety show Problematic Man instead of picking up the much loved Just Dance (It's on top of my to-watch list, I swear!)

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1- I'm enjoying Last Empress. Way too much. Don't be embarrassed of MoA.
2- FBS -- What ending? (I only acknowledge my own)
3- Take your time. Forcing yourself to watch something won't make you enjoy it!

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Last Empress is just too much fun!
FBS - can't believe I finished it - maybe only for the security guard love lines.
But I'm getting better at stopping the show when it just isn't doing anything for me.

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Problematic men is awesome. I try to solve the problems too but these guys/girls are very fast in problem solving~ or is it thanks to the editing hehe

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Anyways, have you watched the latest ep of problematic men? Sujin from MotA is one of the guests πŸ˜†

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I'm sloo~wly and stubbornly marathoning the earlier raw eps. I'm still on eps 106 now, and I can't wait to watch the latest eps with eng sub.

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Oh hey. I love Problematic Men!! I had a period of time when I stopped watching it. Now I have 6 episodes to catch up on.

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*starts crying a little bit*

Thanks for publishing, Dramabeans! And thank you for letting me tag along on this piece, @justme! <3 😭

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*cries along* here's to more collars between you and me <3 <3

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πŸ₯‚ Cheers!! 😁

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*nods head, makes note, lets go of guilt/shame over enjoying problematic not-very-good dramas/books/movies*

@justme and @bammsie you are wise and wonderful Beanies, and this is a wise and wonderful piece that is very well timed. My New Years Resolution is to like what I like, and to wave my middle and low brow tastes proudly.

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You go, Egads! I’m cheering you on with pom-poms made out of pasta.

On a side note.... β€œbrow” reminded me of β€œbrownies”... so.. *cough* it made me hungry. I’m going to the kitchen.

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*returns @bammsie's empty pan that was stolen the last time brownies were mentioned*

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*trades you for some tonkatsu and kalbi, which is the menu for tonight*

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yay Egads!! DO like what you like, because I LOVE what you write! ;)

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Aww! Why do I feel such a sense of pride while reading this? I had nothing to do with it! But seeing a wonderful collaboration with insightful wisdom by two of my favorite Beanies makes me smile! Also, I love what I love and that’s all there is to that. I even rewatched 3 episodes of β€œLove Rain” lastnight during a deluge. So sue me! Congrats @bammsie and @justme!!!

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*sues you* πŸ˜‚

Actually... *slides you some black sesame ice cream* Thanks for reading, Ally!! Jus did the heavy lifting on this piece, isn’t she great?

Keep loving what you love, we love you all the better for it! πŸ₯‚

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*nom nom nom, licks ice cream off lips* komawo!!! And I will drop anything at the drop of a hat. Because I hate what I hate as well. Thanks again!

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Youre the pillar to my wall bams. Wait is that a saying? *so cheesy i got high cholesterol*

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You’re the flower to my butterfly, Jus. :”)

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May you sit upon that flower, bams. LOL.

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*squishes @justme*

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Hihihihi I have a list of 5-10 rom coms or so that I rewatch for swoonworthy moments. No shame. *runs away*

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Thanks for this piece! All this is so important for a drama watcher. At the end of the day you watch what you like! And no amount of other people's opinions should matter in what you do or not like.

You are allowed to like the second lead better than the first (I'm feeling that in a couple right now!)
You are allowed to drop a drama if you really loose interest.

After all watching dramas is a form of entertainment for us and (how much ever I would like to be watching dramas all day) life goes on!

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Perfect summary of what we were trying to say! I tend to get intimidated sometimes and need to go back to basics to remember that.

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That was beautiful...❀

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I love this. Thank you.
I especially relate to # 1 and 2. We are all allowed to like what we like with no shame. Also, to like something in fiction that we do not like in real life.

This was really great.

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Oouhhh we never explicitly wrote your second point but i COMPLETELY agree! (Example, tsundere male leads lol)

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Second that and add jealousy. Jealousy has never ever been drama level adorable irl.

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I always hate dropping a drama - especially after watching half way or more. It tends to stay in the back of my mind. What if it gets better? There's only a couple more episodes to go. I really liked this actress/actor in other things. Etc, etc... But you're totally right. If it's not drawing you in, you don't have to tough it out. It's supposed to be fun entertainment! πŸ˜‚ And a great part of the kdrama world - there's so much more out there to dive into!

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I tend to drop a drama at ep14... so i need to heed my own advice haha

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This was me and Hwayugi this year. Skipped 15 and 16 and should have stopped at 10.

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I don't like dropping a drama too. When I do it, I watch the last episode for the fun :p

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Great piece and nuggets of wisdom to navigate the world of drama watching! I could really use some of them.

I am both good and bad at dropping dramas. I used to call myself Serial Dropper. I can drop a drama easily after two minutes, two hours or two episodes. There are even some which I dropped with one or two more episodes to go like *ahem* "You Who Came From Another Star". Then there are times when I am really bad at dropping a drama. Now, Memories of The Alhambra is shaping up to become that drama which I should drop but still ranting about it. Instead of sinking in Hyun Bin's dimples, I am drowning in PSH's tears. I am gonna bear your #3 and #4 in mind this coming week.

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You and me both for MoA, see you in the comments next week cuz we both know our complaints of this drama wont be fixed lol

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Join meeee...

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I would like to add the we shouldn't underestimate the power of ranting in good company ;) For me it's one of greatest pleasure of drama watching, that I can complain and nitpick with like minded beanies. It make me let off steam and keep enjoying watching dramas.

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Preach πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

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Hahaha. Good job πŸ‘πŸ»!!!! Really fun read. And oh so true!

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Hihihi thank you!

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Good writing~

The rules are great but based on my experience, no.1 and no.4 are the hardest among all of them. It took me years and countless bad dramas until I finally told myself that it is ok to drop it. Letting a drama goes unfinished feel like I lost something that I can control~ lmao #dramatic #typeA

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It feels even worse to drop it when everyone else is loving it or a recap is going on. But you come first. Fighting!

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Thank you @justme and @bammsie for the K-drama Viewers' Bill of Rights.
Re #4. Dropped entered my vocabulary for the first time in 2018 after 55 completed dramas. It is so liberating. For 2018 my record is 24 beans and 6 dropped.

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Darn your title is better than ours!

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This was fantastic @bammsie and @justme!

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Thanks, Ra On Ah! πŸ’–

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@justme and @bammsie What a great article! I love it! I live by all of this. I tend to love the stuff not many people like and am meh on most of the popular dramas. The moral of the story: just do you and that’s all that matters!

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Yay dear adi! Im always here to fangirl on a cheesy romcom ;)

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I love this post @JustMe & @bammsie - for me particularly, #6 Don't lose self confidence is very important because I've been feeling particularly and about my weight for the past two years that I've been watching dramas. 😌 Thanks for the reminder and wish you both a very happy drama-2019! <3

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Bad* not and.

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You are beautiful and fantastic without having to look or act like those people on the screen. 😘

*plays a drum solo upon my soft stomach*

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And you are likely to be doubly so! *hugs the Little Gent*

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*hugs the best and wise 🌳*

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*nods* i believe bams and I had that exact conversation on the phone

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It's unavoidable, I think. Watching all these other world-ly beautiful people, one makes comparisons.

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I can relate to quite a bit of this post. Thank you for taking the time to write it!

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Thank you for reading!!

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It really is a good writeup and good advices ! I watch dramas to escape reality, to brighten my mood, but this year I find that k-dramas actually inspire me when I have a difficult time at work. Those Candy characters can be an inspiration !

"Keep in mind, someone out there watched β€” and finished β€” Rich Man and/or Evergreen." Haha..... In my case I watched and finished Risky Romance.

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Risky Romance was the best show EVER and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

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Wondering which one of you had the best/worst subtitles.

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There's a version of Risky Romance with good subtitles? That's almost disappointing.

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πŸ˜‚ And I finished Evergreen!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜

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@justme and @bammsie, this was an awesome collab! I loved it! I am taking notes and putting it in my journal for future reference. I wish you both a fabulous 2019!πŸ˜€

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And the same to you double, Jelly! Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

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I really loved reading this.. thank you for all the tips. Just knowing that someone feels the same way is so reassuring. Thank you for writing this!

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Know that someone out there supports you in you doing you.

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Love this πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• So proud of you, bams and justme! Beautifully written and insightful! These 8 simple rules are easy to follow πŸ‘Œ

Well-done πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»

And here’s to a great 2019 drama-watching experience for all our dear beanies!

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πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

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*Jumps in to give dear Kams the biggest hug*

Thanks for reading, and hope you’re doing well and will continue to in the new year!

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Thank you for the hugs (*and jump right in to hug my favourite dongsaeng*)

How can I not read your article bams? I’m just happy I didn’t miss it. Love the collaboration between you and justme - I can imagine how much fun the two of you had coming up with the rules. Real life has been hectic but hopefully everything will be more settled after Chinese New Year (oh well, one can always hope 🀞🏼🀞🏼)

Have a great new year bams! 😘😘

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It was such a blast! Jus is an absolute gem to work with.

Fingers crossed and prayers for a less-hectic schedule! It’s always good to have some free time. *last hug Γ  la Hiro Hamada*

Thank you! πŸ’–πŸ˜˜

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Ah @justme and @bammsie I have learnt your number one advise #Do you the very hard way this year. I felt like a complete alien when I realised I did not get why people were liking some dramas that I, well loathed (Marriage not Dating- please don’t kill me!) But I realised it is OKAY even if the world does not agree with you. It’s okay to be my own kind of alien πŸ˜ƒ

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Dont worry-- i have these odd quirks too that make me not like a drama that is, on paper, faultess. Im my own alien!

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This was incredible πŸ’–πŸ˜» @justme @bammsie This tag-teaming review is something I can relate to a 100% especially the Do You part. It seems like dramas that everyone loved I couldn't get into and vice versa.

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And there's that satisfaction you get when they start loving the drama you love. But we should be satisfied with our satisfaction (message to myself as well)

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πŸ˜‚ Satisfied with our satisfaction sounds like a quote in a life-improvement book.

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Mmmmhmm!

Confession : I’m dying laughing on my bed right now because I have β€˜Stick To The Status Quo’ stuck in my head.

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Thanks @justme and @bammsie! Yes, it’s ok for me to watch only romcoms, it’s ok to love Fated to Love you even if I’m the only one. And I’m not alone, there’s @ally who also loved Love Rain with me.

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I have a soft spot for Love Rain too.

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You are not the only one @tizzy! I am almost an exclusive rom-com gal (almost because my first drama Nirvana In Fire will always be special in my heart ). I love the chemistry between Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara in Fated to Love You and have rewatched the drama a couple times!

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I did a mini rewatch of Love Rain this week! Never apologize! And yes, rom-coms and rom-melos are my go to’s in kdramas as well!

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Thank you @justme and @bammsie for your words of wisdom. Perhaps someone should start a "hate watchers anonymous" group for those of us who sometimes feel compelled to finish a disappointing drama.

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Well written rules we all should be reminded of every so often.

Also.

Do: steal the top screenshot of Jia for my rabbit profile picture.

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yaaas, really relate to #6 and #7! i'm in such a drama slump this year >.< I really feel #6, especially with kpop as well xD

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What a beautiful article, thank you!

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Truer words have not been spoken!!

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@justme and @bammsie

Wow! Loved your piece. Great advice and guidelines for all of us k-d fans to keep in mind. Thank youπŸ˜€πŸ˜„

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You’re absolutely welcome, so glad you enjoyed!!

(By the way, I’ve been meaning to say - I love your avatar! It’s so cute!)

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Thank you😊 It's Hobi from BTS! He's too too cuute😍

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πŸ˜‚ Oh yes, I know! I love him! That’s from a Go Go performance, right?

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Totally right!πŸ˜€πŸ˜Š

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@yayabean Wait, I was wrong! It's 21st Century Girls, no?

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@bammsie Well, now I have to double check 😁

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