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[Hey, that’s me] Oh no! They killed Cloggie!


On the Way to the Airport

By Cloggie

Whenever I see a character on the screen that reminds me of myself, I’m immediately filled with dread. Not that there’s something terrible about me, but because of what’s likely to happen to this character in the upcoming episodes of the drama. Yes, you guessed it: Death.

Now, I totally understand it from a narrative point of view. After all, what kind of story could you tell about a happy, content, artistic middle-aged woman who lives by herself? There is no challenge in that, no drama, no need for character growth because I’ve already done all of that. In fact, you could argue that maybe dramas should treat middle-aged women the way society largely sees us: as people who are largely invisible.


Dal Ja’s Spring

What none of these stories tell you is that there’s a flipside to invisibility and that’s this: nobody watches you anymore and therefore you’re granted the ultimate freedom from societal norms. You can act however you want!

Beanies, this is something to look forward to! Freed from cultural restraints, a lot of women of a certain age tap in to a rich seam of creativity or spirituality. For example, a good friend of mine has just published her first poetry collection at the age of sixty.

So why do dramas see the need to kill us off?

I fully appreciate that someone has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep the local serial killer employed but, in most cases, the older creative woman’s death seems to serve a different purpose. It’s to give a jolt to the other characters in the story. It could be to remind a female lead that unless she dates some guy, she could end up like the single woman next door who choked to death on a chicken bone. (I would like to point out that a quick chicken-bone death would be preferable over having to spend decades with some of the male characters that dramas like to serve up. Yes, there’s a reason why I live by myself.)


My Husband Oh Jak-doo

Alternatively, the single aunt can die to leave a niece a mountain in her will (local gayageum manufacturer optional) or the female knot-maker can die so that another character is distraught, leading to skinship between the OTP in the form of a comforting hug and now EVERYBODY KNOWS. You can see how that’s really worth a creative genius’s death. Alternatively, there’s always suicide after being possessed by an evil spirit, just so that the Important Evidence is hidden.

But this killing-spree isn’t necessary at all. There are better ways of getting women out of the way if that’s needed for the plot. And that brings me to one of my favourite dramas of last year: Twelve Nights. This is one of the more realistic dramas featuring people who have chosen to lead a creative life. It deals with the question of whether to pursue your creativity or make money; whether to sell-out or remain true to your creative vision and whether you should use your connections or do it all by yourself.

A scene with the writer who had turned out to be less commercially successful than she had hoped nearly moved me to tears when another character ended up begging for her work to be published. Yes, this drama hit close to home.


Twelve Nights

And then of course there was an older, single, creative woman, happily running a photography studio. Death seemed inevitable. And indeed, she collapsed and was rushed to hospital for the pure plot purpose of having our central couple not meet. I was very annoyed until (*minor spoiler*) it became clear that she wasn’t going to die, but that she’d collapsed as a side effect of the vaccinations she’d needed for her trip to the Serengeti. I loved it, drama, I really did. Especially as she actually came back from the Serengeti alive as well! And, as a side note, I also approved of her dress code.

Many viewers watched Twelve Nights as a romance and hated it. I watched it as a depiction of (often female) creativity, I saw myself in a number of different characters in that drama, and I loved it.

So K-dramaland, stop killing us! There are better solutions! We can go on the adventure of a lifetime to far-flung places instead.

In fact, that sounds pretty good – wait a second while I book some travel…


Dear My Friends

 
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Thank you so much for publishing my piece!

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I really liked this😊

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Thank you!

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I enjoyed it. thanks, @cloggie

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Congratulations on getting published!

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Congrats!
And I liked 12 nights 🙂

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The ratings on Viki are terrible.

In my region, if you sort kdramas by ratings, it's on the second to last page...

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I was promised a romance... If I'd been promised an art film in 12 episodes, I would've loved it. I didn't rate it on Viki though.

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I agree, they should never have promoted it as they did.

12-ep art film is the perfect description for it..

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Viki ratings were never reliable - shows are rated high before they've barely even started, so you barely ever see anything lower than 8/10. And not everything is that great, that's for sure! 😂

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Thank you @cloggie! This is the reason I try not to become attached to the awesome silver haired women on my screen. Far too often their lives are ended to provide drama or move a couple closer together. The curling grandma in Matrimonial Chaos and the photographer from Twelve Nights did keep me on the edge of my seat (due to the fear that they might die) and were two of my favorite secondary characters.

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@cloggie , congrats
Wooohooo it got published 💚💜💛♥️💚💜💛♥️

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Awwww I loved this! I'm so happy it got published! Two thumbs up!

That halmoni in the Twelve Nights pic, I don't know the actress's name, but doesn't she always have a very special aura in every role she plays?? Even when it is a very short and straightforward role she exudes an ethereal energy that always captivates me.

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I love Ye Soo-Jung! She's such a great actress.
You're right, she often plays these kind of roles but I also loved her when she was Badass Evil in WWW

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Badass evil?? Whaa! Now I have to see that!!

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I still feel the aura in the gif! Now I have to watch the show.

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I was petrified every time she was on screen.

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Her character is also got killed in "On the Way to the Airport..." As many other viewers, I was so scared her character will be killed in "Twelve Nights..." And by the way, she's also the grandma in "Top Star Yoo-baek" where she fainted as well... I was scared too that she didn't make it through the end of the show. I personally love her tone while she's speaking.... :)

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Yay, @cloggie, it got published! I loved it when it was on the fanwall and rereading it the second time made me love your piece even more!

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👍
Love this post !

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Thank you!

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Now it's an officially great DB piece. I keep saying I need to go back to Twelve Nights because I think I stopped watching when she collapsed.

Also, never trust Viki ratings. Honestly, I can't think of any ratings I trust beyond some trusted Beanies who I know have the same tastes as I do, or I know we have the absolute opposite taste.

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Viki ratings are not really compatible with my taste, I've decided.

But even with trusted Beanies, I don't always agree on dramas. Sometimes there's something in a particular drama that touches a chord in you that others don't relate too.

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And there's nothing wrong with that - I hasten to add. It's part of the fun of drama watching, and why I like checking out random dramas that don't get rated that highly.

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Oh, same. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a drama that on paper would seem to be something I would not like, just hits some chord. Whether it be timing, mood, kismet, or just a curiosity about some particularity of a drama, I will get sucked in. The opposite is also true.

And then other times, Beanies drag you back to a drama that you dropped claiming that no, it's great, really. And then it completely implodes in the end undoing anything good that it might have been trying to say in the beginning. Or worse, it never meant to say it. #stillbitter #atleasttherewassecuritycouple

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Mianhae. Sincerely.

That I suffered as much as you did, doesn't make it any better, I know.

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@cloggie, I have forgiven the Beanies, but I have not forgiven those that created that travesty.

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It is always fun when someone is listing what they dont like in a show or book and you have the realization it is all that you do like and have just found your next show/book.

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Congrats! I liked it very much!

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Love this. If I ever find myself without a partner, I would try the life of a singleton, not because I hated being married, but the freedom of what @cloggie speaks is the stuff of dreams for me. Thanks, cool and artistic Cloggie, you are my hero!

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Thoroughly enjoyed reading your article, congrats on getting it published. Need more dramas with Ye Soo Jung!

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@cloggie this may very well be my favorite thing on the internet right now 😍🤩 i wanted to cut and paste my favorite parts here but that ended up being basically all of it. “invisibility” was always something i feared as i started getting older, and i appreciate so very much the twist you put on it—particularly the freedom it affords and the variety of perspective it enables. your words and message are comforting and encouraging to read. i’m bookmarking this. i know i’ll want to reread it many times more. thank you so so much.

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Thank you @anothernicole. I'm so happy you enjoyed reading it.

There's that famous question of which superpower you want: flight or invisibility. We just don't get to choose. But it's a cool one nevertheless. I no longer worry about 'what people will think of me' - something that used to hold me back from trying out new things when I was younger. Now I just do whatever I want, wear whatever I want, stop colouring my hair because I think grey hair is cool.

It's a lot more fun to live like that. Honestly.

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so much love for this!

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"I would like to point out that a quick chicken-bone death would be preferable over having to spend decades with some of the male characters that dramas like to serve up."

I'm 57, and this was awesome. So true.

I've been happily married for 37 years, but my husband also travels for work from time to time. Sometimes I join him. Sometimes we move to another country together. Sometimes I let him go by himself for a few weeks (sometimes I don't have a choice, depending on the job). I miss him when he's gone but at the same time I enjoy my time alone doing my things.

I dropped 12 nights because of the irksome draggie romance, but I *adored* the photographer character so, so much. I think I may pick it up again and recalibrate my viewing filter to 'Making Your Art.' Thanks for that perspective. And he's travelling again right now, so it's a great time to pick it back up!

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Invisible or expendable. It's a problem.
If they're ever powerful, they're witches. Or evil. Or evil witches.
But you've made me put 12 Nights further up my list.
Congrats on being published.

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Congratulations @cloggie from another TWELVE NIGHTS fan on being published. Bravo! I fondly recall sharing comments with you during its run. There were wonderful performances in that drama but like you I thought Ye Soo-jung as Photographer Lee Ri was outstanding.
What an interesting career she is having. From the little I can find out it seems her first movie credit is around age 46 and her first TV drama credit is around age 51.
Oftentimes I have seen YSJ where she is playing the older mom or grandma so when she showed up in TWELVE NIGHTS as a rather sexy professional photographer on her way to the Serengeti I thought, "wow". In a way she was cast against type. I hope she continues to get offers for these type of roles.
Also, o/t but there is a scene in SUITS where YSJ (once again playing grandma) is visited in a hospital or rehab type place late at night by her favorite grandson Yeon-woo played by Park Hyung-sik. After grandma falls asleep, grandson (PHS), needing a place to crash for the night, snuggles up (on top of the blanket) with grandma in her hospital bed. My first thought after thinking, "what the hey?" was
"I wonder how many texts YSJ got the following morning after that episode aired. Lol. PHS and YSJ really looked liked they enjoyed their scenes together in SUITS.

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