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[2018 Year in Review] Finding myself on Dramabeans


Woohoo Waikiki

By HotCocoa

Usually, I don’t participate in year-end reviews. The end of one year didn’t really feel like an end or a beginning to me, it just meant the holidays. Then 2018 happened, and boy was this a year that will always stand out in my memories.

I started this year feeling lost and worried. I was unsure if I was on the right path: was I in the right career, the right city? Even dramas failed to lull me into forgetting my problems, as I slipped in and out of my biggest slump since I started watching dramas eight years ago.

Yet somehow, despite my slump and likely because of my anxiety, this year found me more active on Dramabeans than ever before. As I commented and posted, I was given the nickname “Coco” by other Beanies, as it was easier than continually typing out my three-syllable handle as we chatted for hours about favorite actors, books, recipes, and gardening.


Grand Prince

It might not seem like a big thing, but in the physical world I have never gone by a nickname. I have rejected any attempts to tamper with my real name through sneers and death glares, yet somehow this new moniker seemed to fit the cyber part of my life.

As Coco, I rediscovered my love of writing thanks to Dramabeans’ theme of the month and I developed an obsession with gif stories. The shared humanity of this online community has taught me so much about life as we Beanies share our experiences and cheer each other on. On days when I felt lost in myself, I could come to Dramabeans and know there were other Beanies who have felt similarly. My fellow Beanies would cheer me up with gifs of Yoon Shi-yoon, or discuss the ethical dilemma of hot serial killers in dramaland.

Personally, I believe that each person is multifaceted and complex. We all have different faces that we show at different times and in different situations. Here on Dramabeans, I discovered (perhaps rediscovered) Coco, the part of myself that loves writing and making up makjang plots. As Coco I can be unashamed of my oppa treasure chest, which is FULL after the glories of Hwayugi early this year. (Say what you will about the plot, any drama with Lee Seung-gi, Lee Hong-ki, Sung Hyuk, and Cha Seung-won together will always get my attention.) Here on Dramabeans I won’t feel out of place for talking too much about Six Flying Dragons or Father is Strange, my first ever 50+ episode dramas! A win for 2018!


Hwayugi

Once I took up Beanie recommendations, I was taken temporarily out of my slump by dramas like Woohoo Waikiki, My Husband Oh Jak-doo, and Thirty But Seventeen. These comedies hit a chord with me as they showed people striving to follow their passions while trying to find themselves and be responsible adults. These dramas showed me that being an adult does not mean you automatically have it all together. Being an admirable adult means embracing the journeys and hardships that come along with each of our dreams.

As I look back on 2018, I know that I could not have made it through the real world without dramas and Beanies, who helped me to embrace the journey I’m on. I’ve undergone my own personal becoming, and I’ve embraced a part of myself, which will now always be called “Coco.”


Father is Strange

 
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"Oppa treasure chest" thank you for that image for the ages! 👏🏼

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Each oppa is a precious jewel that I put into my ever expanding treasure chest to keep safe and take out to admire when I want them.

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What a lovely homage to the friends you've made here.

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^_^ Thank you ~

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Truly, Dramabeans would not be the same without you! I especially enjoyed “working” with you on our island healing center this past year! (Btw, have you found any employment opportunities in the tropics yet?) The Beanie Island Party will be one of my fondest memories from this year and this form. And I don’t even think you watched A Poem a Day, did you? Congrats on another heartfelt submission!

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You are my favorite doctor to work with Ally!

No, the out of country employment options that tempt me require another year or so of experience. Not that I'm keeping track. Nope. Not me.

Ahhhh the Beanie Island Party was so great! Hehe, I didn't watch APAD, I just came to party since I was stuck in my slump :P

I actually feel like my submissions always have a "dongsaeng" tone to them when I read them here? Heartfelt younger sibling character giving a speech on the people and things meaningful to her hehe ~

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When you can, you really need to watch APAD.

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Or not. Just don't ship anyone until everything is settled and it will turn out fine.

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Haha I'll see ~ I'm not good with shows where there is tension in the love lines... My heart likes a clear cut OTP. I do love Island Parties though so I will try to join the next show that warrants one!

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Oh, and I dropped Hwayugi with 2 eps to go...even with all that eye candy, I couldn’t do it. 😆

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The CGI "dragon" in episode 15 is laughably bad. It gave me secondhand embarrassment it was so cringeably bad. I'm sure they expected their budget to be higher, but after the horrible production accident, probably sponsors weren't quite as forthcoming as predicted, and so the CGI budget was dismal, resulting in an anemic wispy and very unscary beast.

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It still haunts my dreams.

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Ooooh that's a good point @egads about the budget. The final battle was sooo anticlimactic, but by that point I was only there for Lee Seung Gi's face... ;)

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The party at the Isle of Neutrality will be a big happy memory for me, thanks to that I fell into the kpop hole & never made my way back out. XD

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Hehehe I guess I forgot to add that I became a more fervent kpop stan this year too? Not because of the island party but because my slump had me watching more mv's since my noncommittal self could deal with three minutes of run time better than anything else.

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Such a sweet piece.

I think dramabeans is a place for many of us to rediscover the sides of ourselves that were forgotten or hidden. Who knew korean shows could bring so many different people together ?

Also I so desperately wanted to love hwayugi. Im still angry at it.

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Hehe, we come from so many different paths and lives, connected by the red thread of fate/dramas!

Sigh, I've decided to recall Hwayugi for what I love (oppas as magical creatures), and forget what I didn't (aka plot)

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It had everything it needed to make me love it and somehow still managed to mess it up.

And now I am never getting a better story with this awesome cast and all of these amazing characters.

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*grows wistful thinking of what could have been...*

http://media.giphy.com/media/3o6ggfmCVTZWmHCqfS/giphy.gif

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This is an amazing year-end piece Coco! I feel the same way about dramabeans - this site and this community. It's become my internet home. :)

Wish you a great 2019! ^^

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Ah thank you unni! You are part of what makes this community amazing! You also gave me some good advice and insight throughout this year that I will always be grateful for ~

Here's to 2019!
http://66.media.tumblr.com/c6f9c5ecd401cfe374670fdd330090ca/tumblr_ns2mj3cneE1qbxx00o1_400.gif

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I love having you around as well Coco! 💕💕 Here's to a wonderful 2019!

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🥰🥰🥰

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What a beautiful writeup~ as a silent reader on dramabeans for a long time, it was only this year that i became an active commenter and fan-wall poster too.

This is my go to place for kdrama news, recaps and most importanly fan views and opinion sharing. I find drama viewing more entertaining with commentaries from other viewers. Thank you beanies for making my drama watching experience more fun 😘

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I've only started commenting a few days ago even though I've made this acc last year or so. I feel that beanies are the only ones who can understand my passion for dramas and how we can comment on the plots or production. I probably annoyed all of my friends when I don't comment how pretty the actors/actresses are. Or how picky I am with watching certain dramas. Lol.

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Yes, I love that Beanies go in depth ~ it's not just about the looks of actors (though nearly all of us do appreciate that aspect, of course ;) ), but the plots and cinematography and use of language and argh. It's great to have a community where at least someone will understand what you are ranting about hehe ~

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The Beanie community is an island of fun, fellowship, and unabashed fandom, and you play a huge part in making so. I'm glad to have had the chance to chat and snark through both good and bad dramas, and doubly glad that someone else shares my love like for Hwayugi despite its flaws.

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Hehe @egads ~ If I was stuck on a deserted Island, I would bring Beanies and chocolate (abs) ;)

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Nice post and tribute to the folks and DB @hotcocoagirl. Congrats on reaching a state of 'becoming' and being at peace with the different parts of yourself. There lies the way of sanity. 😎

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Sanity? What is sanity? Is that something you eat?

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2mo6d32Mj1rn3ie0.gif

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Aww that's a sweet one you wrote. Nice to meet you! ❤️ also I can't help but think of Oppa's actual chest instead o you know, treasure chest when you wrote that (oops)

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^_^ Nice to meet you too ~ it's okay, the treasure chest is for oppa's treasured chest

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this makes me smile early in the morning xD

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Aww, this was lovely @hotcocoagirl! Dramabeans is the first place where I have an online presence and I still feel like I have ways to go to make my voice sound like myself. In real life, I'm chatty and loud and opinionated (in the best ways, lol😂), but I get shy online and find it hard to post my thoughts (which I keep working on, like right now😊). Jelly is similar to my own name, but no one actually calls me that in my real fam, opting for other nicknames, so I too feel really attached to this nickname I have on the internet. I hope you have a great 2019, Coco!

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Same! Dramabeans is the first corner of the internet for me to post in, and I struggle with my voice, as my real life self is an extroverted introvert :P

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Upvote post 👍👍 I initially enjoyed DB for the recaps and insights they gave me (i never imagined a drama could be analysed with such a depth of knowledge) but the past year made me love DB much more thanks to Beanies community.

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Same! I came for the recaps, and stayed for the witty Beanies ^_^

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I love this DB not only for the recaps and in-depth and witty commentaries but also because the beanies are very upbeat, encouraging and non- judgemental. Love you guys, you complete my drama watching experience!

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I meant I love this DB community....

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Oh how I love these Beanies ~ 🥰🥰🥰🥰

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I'm so glad DB is such a treasured place for you 💖💖 @hotcocoagirl and yay you watched the incredible Six Flying Dragons and Father Is Strange! Masterpieces in their own right.

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They are such great shows! I've already rewatched certain scenes haha ~

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Congrats on getting published Coco!

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^_^ Thanks!

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Cute!😊

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Thank you @hotcocoagirl for bringing the snark when needed and for all the delightfully makjang plots. Gif stories were one of the highlights of this year on Dramabeans and as a lazy user of technology, I appreciated everyone's hard work.

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Hehe thank you! I appreciate your snark as well ;)

Sadly my technical skills failed, for some reason I stopped being able to insert images into text, so my gif stories had to end...

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mbfvk0N3W31rxlk5o.gif

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Such a warm write up Coco!!
I love your take on ethical dilemmas :)

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It really is a philosophical question for the ages!

http://pa1.narvii.com/6084/0ae28fdc8c103b203a2ef91d26cdaa7f3809dfd1_hq.gif

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This is such a lovely piece Coco ^^
It reminded me of all the fun things I could participate in DB this year, starting from posting poems, to making gif stories, to discovering the kpop hole/maze to your stories where every beanie became a badass lady XD It was an awesome time :-D

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DB has so many community events! I never posted poems, but I enjoyed reading them and working on the Island, and ahh the Errand Boy story is definitely a highlight!

*I might have continued writing it offline*
*it turned into a murder mystery about corruption and ends justifying the means*
*not to mention a continual search for tea*

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*agreed*
It shall remain an unsolved mystery 🕵🏻‍♀️

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*sips tea*

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Great essay @hotcocoa. I completely agree with you. When I talk to people about the dramas I'm watching and then find myself saying things like "we all think..." and realize that I'm talking about Beanies.
This has become my 'home-away-from-home' - where I can spazz with and learn with/from everyone here.

Thank you!!!

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Hehe, I refer to Beanies as "friends" in real life conversation, and hastily change the subject whenever anyone asks for their names :P

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Thanks so much for writing this Coco. Your year was much like mine - it's been a hard one personally and I couldn't have made it through without the sense of fun and community I found on db.

The Island Beanie party in particular was just so much fun and I can't wait for the next show that's able to bring us all together like that.

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Ahhh I long for a reason for us all to journey to the Island again! Here's praying to the drama gods that such a show comes soon!

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We love you, Coco! Your makjang stories are always the highlight of my day. especially when you get TOD'd and fall into a coma and have a cat! so heartwarming.

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http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-n9XhJOAs16o/UPRzQZtV_LI/AAAAAAAAFcE/OHuNEUFyllc/s1600/2013-01-14+20_53_20.gif

Sigh. Putting up with you almost makes this community not worth it...

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YESSSS COCO!! I hope you continue discovering yourself and continue writing theme of the month pieces!

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Thank you for this beautiful post!

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Oh I'm a bit late to this but anyway.

In real life, I also avoided the nickname for many years. Or one that stuck with more than just one person anyway.
I've had the online moniker of Sicarius and all its abbreviations and mutations for four and a half years now, and it's as much a part of me as my real name is at this point. That might sound silly, but it's true. It has even become a real life nickname from people who met me under it, and the symbolises many things, both metaphorically, literally and in jest, but I wouldn't have met some of my closest friends, online friends, without it.
So yay for Coco! And for all the makjang kidnapping plots we planned together this year... *ahem*

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Sicarius, we really are kindred spirits. Thank you for understanding the importance of names and nicknames, and all that can entail for a person. Coco is relatively new, I think 2 years ago at most, but has already become a special part of myself.

Here’s to a clean slate! Jk kidnapping is so 2018. Let’s do arson. Oooh, or blackmail, it’s super trendy.

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You're most welcome! Names are very important, no matter what form they come in. Just preferably not... racehorse names. *coughs*

I think I was a pyromaniac in another life, so I'm inclined towards arson myself. The arson of blackmailers mayhaps...

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... what do you have against racehorse names? Have you, um, had a run in with a race horse? (Horses are period versions of ToDs).

I mean, I’m always ready to set things on fire.

http://i.pinimg.com/originals/4e/af/3d/4eaf3d185135d20d00a1da5a897b4aa5.gif

http://kdramakisses.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/hwayugi-lee-seung-gi-3.jpg?w=452&h=253

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Oh I should find the whole conversation... here, scroll through the replies to this conversation

SON OH GONNGGGG Gosh I miss that monkey. And his pyromancy. (funny you should reply to this today cos I just spent all of yesterday working on one of my pyro based mage characters in on of my 1000 stories lol)

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@sicarius I’m seriously considering doing a Hwayugi rewatch this weekend (as in fast forwarding to all his silly/swoony scenes, the good cameos, and Lee Hong Ki)

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Ahhhh good idea. I'd join but 1) I have too much to watch and 2)I don't know if I actually could rewatch Hwayugi... but ffwding seems like the way to go... I'm so pissed the MAIN CHARACTER IN THAT SHOW aka One Mischievous Monkey King, had so little screen time *fumes*

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1) still in drama slump so watching nothing
2) we will see if I actually have a heart for rewatching... mainly just want to see uri OMMK again...

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1) ahhh that sucks D:
2) I don't blame you. I miss him too.

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This was such a nice write-up Coco ☺ It's been such a fun year with the Beanie community and you added so much to that with your gif stories and posts and just being you!

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Thank you Cori!! You have been such a fun part of this too! Beanies are definitely my highlight of 2018!

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Thanks for sharing your experience with us in this post and for that last screencap in particular. 😊 Am SO happy that this particular scene of Lee Yoo-ri and Ryu Soo-young getting out of character and cracking each other (and us viewers) up with their antics in "Father is strange" caught someone else's attention. 👊

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Ahhh Father is Strange was so wonderful! Which was your favorite part/character?

(Lee Yuri has so many great gifs from this show, it took me forever to find the perfect one hehe)

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I have such fond memories of Father is strange, the stories, the tropes, the characters, the ensemble. I wouldn't be able to pick any favorites, really. At times infuriating (I'm looking at you beta male Junghwan and his mom), at times heart-wrenching, but overall heart-warming, this drama has left a lingering feeling in my soul.
FIS had first caught my attention after the casting of Lee Joon, whose career I have followed since his "idol" debut in MBLAQ. With the added bonus of the lovely and talented Jung So Min, plus the brilliant recaps on Dramabeans, I was hooked. And Lee Yoo-Ri was such a riot onscreen and apparently in real life that FIS has reached my 10 faves dramas. ;-)

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Truer words could not be said than these "Each person is multi-faceted and complex". We should all remember that both in looking at others and also at ourselves.

I know what you mean about being able to make up plots for many of the stories, although in some cases I think the writers have dropped huge hints during Father is Strange about the future of the wonderful kid Na Min-ha: As we were watching episode 35 I was even able to tell my wife what they were foreshadowing. Although it still bugs me that they did not allocate sufficient time for the story arc I call Maknae and the Chairman.

I too enjoyed the same comedies that you mentioned. They were a real blessing for me in what was a fairly tough year.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us both now and in the past - and I hope that this new year will bring you happiness and prosperity.

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