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Drama crimes

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in dramaland. Pretty soon, with even just a few dramas under your belt, you’ll begin to think about drama crimes. Not the hit and runs, the hackings, the frauds, or the breaking and enterings. Not even the murders. Those are all well and good (so to speak), but the kind of crimes we’re talking about here are the crimes the drama itself commits.

How do dramas commit crimes, you may wonder? It’s actually quite simple. Whether it’s an editing flub, an unfortunate bit of casting, a script that nosedives, or a premise that never quite takes off, drama crimes are everywhere. They take many shapes, and many forms. Let’s examine a few, from mayhem endings, to pet peeves, to the most heinous crime of all.

Before we dig into some examples of drama crimes and look at their pernicious and pervasive nature — first, a word on dramaland as a whole. Everyone’s inner critic likes to rise up when they’re watching a show they know can be better. Disappointment over a drama often speaks louder than our praise. Indeed, wasted time and talent are two unfortunate things.

But when did criticism become louder than enjoyment? If we’re not enjoying dramaland, why are we here? I can be just as quick as anyone to eyeroll and groan over a lagging plot or terrible time jump, but at the end of the day, I watch dramas because I enjoy them — sometimes regardless of their quality level.

Everyone has her own level of Drama Forgiveness Factor, and I have to say, mine is pretty high. I can forgive a lot. My suspension of disbelief is readily at hand. Sometimes I argue that the greater the suspension of disbelief required of me, the more I actually whole-heartedly unplug and enjoy the drama (Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim 2 is a great recent example). Sometimes I will even argue why a drama’s poor decisions could actually make sense, if you look at it through a certain lens. And if that fails, I will defend the drama based on what it was trying to do, regardless of how successful (or unsuccessful) it was. In other words, I like dramas.

But do dramas care about my kindness and understanding? I don’t think they do. They rage on with a blind eye towards my forgiveness, continuing to commit crimes large and small. They don’t know “would,” “should,” or “could.” They simply are.

While everyone has a list of drama crimes that drive them the most bonkers, I’m sure there’s some common ground for commiseration in some of the crimes I’ll detail below. This list is by no means exclusive, and merely represents a few occasions where I’ve felt either slapped or laughed at by a drama when I was counting on it most.

One of the biggest drama crimes, for me, is when a drama defeats itself with its ending. With hours and hours of plot and character development (hopefully), and ample time for rhetoric and rules within the story to be developed, why do some dramas tank when it comes to their ending?

Two prime examples come to mind: Gu Family Book which I sorta liked, and W–Two Worlds, which I adored. Both had horrifying epilogue-like endings that destroyed whatever the drama had built. And all it took was five minutes. In the case of Gu, there was the cheap and unconvincing reincarnation(ish) reunion which squashed all the history and emotion that the drama had been building for 16 episodes.

In W, the death of the comic book hero, which was gut-wrenching, awful, and amazing, was similarly destroyed in an epilogue where he magically appears in the real world. Both of these drama-ending crimes tore up what the drama previously built — and didn’t even try to make sense of it. If I disavow the last five to ten minutes of both dramas, I can forgive them.

Speaking of destroying a story’s rhetoric, what about a drama that just keeps making bad decisions over and over again? Or, when a drama makes a poor decision, and then pig-headedly sticks with it, unwilling to change course? For me, a great example of this drama crime was The K2. It was bad, yes, but its baseline badness was underscored with a forced, canned, and uninteresting romance between the hero (Ji Chang-wook) and the waif-like heroine (Yoona).

I know I’m not the only one that watched this drama and felt there was not only truckloads more chemistry between Ji Chang-wook and Song Yoon-ah (instead of Yoona), but fantasized over the more layered, complex, and provocative drama it could have become if only it had made better decisions. However, this is a common drama crime — the safer and more familiar story is usually chosen. And in the case of The K2, this was pure drama crime.

Another drama crime that bothered me for a long time is the requisite time jump before the drama can conclude. In what has been a well-parsed and continuous storyline, all of a sudden when we reach the end of the tale, the drama can’t find its desired ending without a huge time jump.

In my early dramas years I felt utterly cheated by this. It’s a cheap trick, right? They can’t reach their resolution unless they jump ahead, and we’re seeing none of the satisfying growth or progression that gets our characters from the present to the future.

The time jump endings in a drama like Flower Boy Next Door and Oh My Venus made me feel disappointed at first. Why ruin the pacing of the drama and make the audience wait a random one, two, or even three years before everything is okay again? This bothered me for a long time every time I came across it — until I decided to forgive this drama crime.

Rather than looking at the time jump as a cheap trick to band-aid an ending and force a resolution, I began to look at it the other way: healing requires time. Maybe what these dramas were really trying to tell me was that you can’t always have a resolution right smack when you want it. Sometimes, you have to suffer, stumble, and wait it out. Sometimes, it’s not until years later that your scars have healed over enough for you to find the true equanimity we expect out of a drama’s “happy ending.”

Now, I refer to the time jump element as a “tesseract,” since we’re not only jumping forward, but gathering up everything that needs to happen for the story to be complete, and then delivering it when the time is ripe. Crime forgiven.

Another smaller pet peeve drama crime is the conveniently cut kiss scene. How many kiss scenes have you seen that actually stay with our characters, and the scene, after the kiss is over? There are precious few that do this. Instead, most opt for the convenient end-of-episode cut, where the romantic moment of the kiss can be suspended and prolonged without any real-life moments getting in the way.

The abysmal Forest was unique in its early kiss scene in that while the kiss did end the episode, the scene continued uncut in the following episode. Strangeness aside, it was actually refreshing to see our characters interacting after the kiss instead of jumping forward to several scenes/days later. However, we’re used to these jumps, because drama kisses are about a carefully crafted (or perhaps manufactured) moment, and the moment only. This is normally okay, and half of the enjoyment — until a drama like The Secret Life of My Secretary comes along.

In The Secret Life of My Secretary, we’re set up for episodes to expect the “true love kiss” that will alert our face-blind hero (Kim Young-gwang) of the true identity of his lady (Jin Ki-joo). I was so ready for the storybook correctness of this fairy tale-esque reveal — and then it didn’t even happen. The kiss scene cuts. The episode ends. We pick up scenes later, with none of the storybook elements having happened at all. Cop-out, tease, or drama crime? The jury is out.

Whether they range from the tiny annoyances, to the strangle-worthy tropes, to the drama endings that kill everything — drama crimes abound. I’ve shared a few of mine, but I’ve saved the most heinous one for last. And what crime is that? Being boring.

Ever since the dawn of storytelling, we’ve sought drama (in the classical sense) for enjoyment, for catharsis, and to help us understand the world around us. Though some might not believe it, we can still find all of those things in entertainment today, and especially in the wonderful little microcosm of K-dramas.

That’s why when a drama crime like boredom hits, it hits hard. Be ridiculous, make bad jokes, try something daring and have it fall flat, insert time jumps and hairdo changes and every chaebol trope we’ve ever encountered — but please, don’t be boring.

Of course, “boring” is a bit of an unfair word, being so subjective. What’s boring to me right now (Forest) and what excites me to my toes (I’ll Find You on a Beautiful Day) rings true for me, but could be the exact opposite for another viewer.

In the same way, I suppose drama crimes themselves are also a bit subjective — you might not find my drama crimes to be criminal at all, and instead you baulk at the sight of a many-job-holding-Candy and fast-forward through every piggyback scene you encounter.

Is there a threshold for how many drama crimes we can tolerate before we’re unable to forgive a drama, or lose hope in it entirely? And does losing hope in a drama mean abandonment, or stubbornly sticking it out? I think everyone has a different reaction to drama crimes, and a different threshold for what they’re willing to accept, the disbelief they’re willing to suspend, and the enjoyment that they can still extract from a drama — even when it’s lackluster. Because that’s what it’s about, right? Experiencing a story, getting engrossed in a fictional world, and taking that proverbial tumble down the rabbit hole of dramaland.

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Gu Family Book's last 2 episodes were a crime to the story that the writer achieved to ruin the whole value lessons built till then not to mention the epilogue that they filmed in the same day as back then Drama Awards and after going to the ceremony and knowing they destroyed it tried to sugar coat the fans with the reincarnatin and Will be Back nonsense...Still mad till this day for watching it so invested live back then to see a great story be destroyed in 2 episodes...

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Reincarnations ruin the connection we, as the viewers, had with the characters. As @missvictrix says, it throws out the history we have with them. Unless it’s something similar to Goblin where she still remembers him cause she never drunk the forgetting potion.

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Who knows,like they literally filmed the little epilogue in modern time before the MBC Drama Awards,Seung Gi went there after he finished filming it and that was done to make fans less angry with the way the story went south in the last 2 episodes...Origina was ending in the same timeline with the hero leaving all heartbroken ...Like all the stuff and character grown and lessons were tossed in the wind....Many fans were angry back then even after they put that,"will be back!"

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While recently my Drama Forgiveness Factor is wearing thin.. I'll admit it depends on the director actors and even the writer whether I stick with a drama or not, like I can stick thru the whole warm and cozy even rewatch (guilty pleasure) all bcoz I love the actors both of them... 😅so for me drama crimes are subjective

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For me the worst kind of drama-ending crime is failure to even provide an ending *cough*Netflix*cough*

And the worst kind of time-skip is the one where WE have to skip forward a year or two to see what happens next *cough*Netflix*cough*

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Netflix inflicting seasons on K-dramaland is a crime against humanity.

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I am holding out subscribing to Netflix for just this reason. When I break down and do it will only be for a couple of months at a time.

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Speaking of which, I have a feeling that the latest Netflix offering - Hospital Playlist - is going to be 12 episodes *spread over* 3 seasons (since only 4 are listed on the Netflix page right now), instead of the 12 each season that many have been speculating about.

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But Hospital Playlist is currently airing on tvN from March 12 to May 28.

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Hmm. My Netflix account is showing me only 4 episodes - till 2 April. I'm going by the logic that they list all the episodes for the season at one shot. But maybe you're right - Let's hope it goes on till 28 May!

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It updates weekly.

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as @canxi said, it updates weekly.

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My bad - I should have been clearer. I meant that Netflix is showing up only 4 episodes in total to be aired for this show (including the three remaining unaired episodes). Usually, Netflix shows up all the airing dates for the episodes in the season at one shot, and in this case, there are only 4 dates in total. Based on news about the show having 12 episodes and 3 seasons, I concluded that this would be 3 seasons of 4 episodes each. But I may well be wrong :)

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I get it, I really do, but in all fairness, how many KDramas has Netflix done that to?

(mind you, I say this, and waited a whole year for Kingdom season 2 to come out. it's HEEEEEERE!!!! *so excited!*)

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Seven? Kingdom, My First First Love, Arthdal Chronicles, Chief of Staff, Love Alarm, Vagabond, Hospital Playlist

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7 is barely the # of shows that come one each (earthly) season, so a very low % but, like I said, I get it.

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Isn't My Holo Love Netflix too?

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is it divided in seasons too?
All I'm saying is that the phenomenon of Netflix dividing KDrama into SEASONS is so a recent (started 2019) and infrequent...

but again, I get that it's a pet peeve.

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altho netflix is an evil company....look at how willing these stations are to do so. it's almost like it's more about $ than...story....

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Omg. Just thinking about Arthdal Chronicles still makes me want to cuss and throw things.

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That first screenshot...*shudders*. I felt a chill run down my spine. When you know that you're one of the last few standing. When you're honour-bound to uphold The Oppa Law: THOU SHALT NOT QUIT. Silent clams, mutant squirrels, ninja chipmunks, firehands, manholes...will this show ever end?

@leetennant @msrabbit @katakwasabi @skelly @stpauligurl @windsun33 @hebang

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You know, there is a corollary to the Oppa Law;
Thou Shall Remember!

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THOU SHALT NUMB THY MIND.

I strongly believe a bed scene is next. Uh huh. The only question is, how bizarre will it be? Will Dr. YJ do a drunk belly dance with her tuning forks? Will Oppa fight his raging lust? Will he grab his chainsaw? Saw the bedposts in half?

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She will have a deaf patient come into the hospital and will then come home with hearing aids and deliver a speech about how their love is like a cochlear implant. Just like those born deaf don't know sound until they get their first hearing aid so she never knew love until she got her first Oppa. She will demonstrate by wearing one set on high, he will then repair the damage to her ear drum. Oppa will fill all your holes he'll mutter as he tends to her ear.
She will perform minor surgery on his cranium to install a device that stimulates his auditory nerve. This will enable him to hear her screeches while bypassing the damage it's caused and also help him to hear the
Silence of the Clams.

The writers of Forest will then need to pay me for stealing my ideas.

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Laughed so hard.

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what on earth is going on in this show

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I'm afraid @boughtabride that what's happening in Forest bears little resemblance to what we say is happening in Forest. The show is actually boring and random and so our attempts to make the show interesting and coherent have.... gotten a little out of control. She does have a tendency to use props for her romantic scenes though and they usually relate to sound - a stethoscope, tuning forks.

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Honestly you should write s script and send it to the writer of Pegasus Market. they would eat that up!!!

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I keep forgetting the tuning fork scene... I wonder why.

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Do clams remember?

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With all those things that are absolutely, definitely in the show #canon, it's a mystery as to why the whole thing is so. damn. boring.

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Tell me about it. The most exciting thing so far was Oppa plugging those holes.

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Your comment brings up some rather disturbing images...

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We're still cheering you on!

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You are bringing much honor to oppa. As an honorable oppaling you will be gifted a super short bath rope and an oversized towel to compliment each other. Well done, WhyWhy, well done 🙇‍♀️

Will there be a sequel called Silence of the Clams? Maybe it will be oppas next next drama.

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Clam of Thrones. The official sequel.

A dark drama about a bunch of clams plotting and scheming and back stabbing to get to the top. A warning, though. This could put you into a deep sleep - think 100 years - because the drama will be filmed entirely in Clam Language. Expect heavy breathing, clacking and snapping.

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I am giggling so stupidly in front of my laptop...

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It will end soon YY! But it's still a long way for me. I'm at ep 17. I just found the hole in the ground 😆

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There are a few more holes waiting. Soldier on, young grasshopper!!!!

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Yo! I barely saw you at soompi as I am barely here. Busy so priorities, holding the fort there. A big problem when I am having probelms with the show is when I liveblog I lost interest in watching it with subs.

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I am chanting this everytime
The Oppa Law: THOU SHALT NOT QUIT

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The biggest crime in dramaland is the lack of lead roles for Shin Sung Rok.

*runs away*

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On the other hand...the best criminal in dramaland is also Shin Sung Rok.

*runs faster*

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*clears throat* *taps mic to get rid of feedback*

Yoo Jae-myung's portrayal of Lee Chang joon is the baseline and no one, no even SSR is at it.

*drops mic*

*runs for exit*

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I don't know why DB didn't report this, but SSR is about to work with the director-writer team of TLE again in a drama with a plot that sounds like another makjang fest. Allegedly the story will be centered around him. They already cast three FLs.

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Unfortunately SSR has declined the role. He accepted it earlier but had to step off because of scheduling conflict. I read the drama airdate has been changed from August to October 2020. Even the scriptread was postponed. Huhu

*cries in a corner again*

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Oh did he? Didn't follow up the news on Penthouse. That's a shame., since this looks like a very good offer, the kind of career boost that he could use.

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I've come to the realization that dramas really struggle with endings. Or maybe it's just my general feelings. Very few dramas really bring me joy with their endings. Most just leave me upset and annoyed or only slightly satisfied. I wish dramas spent more time on the HEA than the last 5 minutes.

And dramas need to give me more satisfying kiss scenes. Give me those hot and heavy kiss scenes please! How am I as a single introverted shut in supposed to live vicariously through drama characters if all drama characters act like shy and virginal teenagers? Give me passion!! Give me steam! Make me wear out the rewind button rewatching! 😫

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All I can say is, the only steam emanating right now in Forest is from Oppa's trusty cookpot.

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Not even from his fiery balls?

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Oppa obviously suffers no ill effects from his fireball condition. Oppa would be walking crooked if he were not okay. The lizard grew a new tail after losing its old tail. Similarly, Oppa grows a new set of b*lls each time they go up in flames.

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This is getting more and more interesting... Ur comments are making me more curious to watch Forest.. Than their trailers did😂😂😂😂😂

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Trust @yyishere on this one..... it's much more fun reading the comments and watching it without subs.
I simply cannot resist it!

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Ah yes, the cook pot - steaming the clams that oppa snagged for dinner. Of course this means the mutant squirrels will be coming after him - since the ToD is busy doing ToD things, they will need to reach out to other members of the family, like the Power Shovel of Harmfulness.

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Unpopular opinion: I like when OTPs get together in the last episode. Once the couple gets together, the drama becomes boring. That's if we're lucky Show doesn't break them up just to get them back together again.

I love the "will they/won't they" and near kisses, and "some's" are always more heart fluttering than the actual relationship. I get giddy dreaming up infinite scenarios of how the characters will finally get together.

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I don't know how unpopular an opinion that is, I hear that a lot. It's something I personally find frustrating. I prefer 'couple against the world' and want to see what the relationship looks like after they get together. Otherwise I find the whole thing a bit shallow.

But most people must disagree with me because they still make a lot of dramas to the formula you describe and I've heard the 'it's boring once they're together' a lot too.

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Both are right to be both frustrated and/or excited. I would say, some dramas do very good in this phase: "will they/won't they"... But some dramas also do good in the 'couple against the world'.
It will differ/depend from drama to drama...
I love almost every drama with Lee Jeong suk because they do well in both, getting the couple to fall for each other, and after that stay true to each other, together, until the end of the show. And they are not boring.

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See, the thing is, if they get together too early, like episode 6, something bad is bound to happen. And then they will break up. Spend the next 6 episodes brooding, crying, avoiding each other, or being mean to each other. It's annoying. I would rather they get together in episode 12, than see them go through the whole noble idiot route...but there are exceptions. Amnesia generally works for me. The guy forgets her. Winter Sonata and Secret Garden did it beautifully. Wrung a few tears from me, too.

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Typically, they kiss (and get together) in episode 8. Then the noble idiot breaks up with the non-idiot "for their own good." I would rather they get together in episode 16, then Happily Ever After. The End. I'm not a fan of the amnesia trope.

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I maintain it's episode 11 but i couldn't get enough data points.

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I am a sucker for amnesiac troupes. Winter Sonata hurt so bad. He forgot her. She remembered everything. I've watched it countless times, and it still guts me every time. Maybe it had to do with the snow and the soundtrack. And I love that he fell for her all over again despite losing all his memories. The same with Secret Garden. But while the heroine in Winter Sonata broke each time he said or did something that reminded her of the past him, the heroine in Secret Garden was just so indulgent and content, she was smiling, and waiting for him to remember her, and I loved that. I need great dramas like that, that make me feel and hurt. Not the bloodcurdling mess masquerading as romance that they're churning out in Forest.

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Maybe I'm a bad person. Amnesia gets a huge laugh from me, every time.

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Me too. But up until Stairways to Heaven. That made me cried buckets! I haven't found another replacement in recent years, not yet. T_T

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sO GODDAMN ANNOYING

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I thought they usually get together around ep 10, then the noble idiocy kicks in around 11 or 12 and we then wait until the last episode....

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@stpauligurl @leetennant My data points are You From Another Star: Episode 8, Pinocchio: Episode 8 (@javinne A noble idiocy Lee Jong-suk drama), and Kill Me, Heal Me: Episode 8.

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Are we kindred spirits @panshel?
One of my favorite independent American movies is "Expiration Date". The main female lead initiates a kiss but stops right before making contact as she talks about creating anticipation.
Kdramas are so good about building anticipation--all the moments you described above that make us hold our breath for them to confess or kiss.
On the other hand, I also love to see the "couple against the world" (which there is not enough of due to the cliched separation and/or noble idiocy. Ugh) like @leetennant.
For me the dramas that handle both the before and after are the ones that are exceptional.

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dear @trinpie
I hear you and trust me, you don't have to be single and introverted to want KDramas to STOP giving you platonic-virginal-teenager-like romances.
Gimme some normalization to skinship!
Gimme sweet pecks on cheeks and lips that are NOT shown in slow-mo and put on repeat, and could someone please stop zooming on that godforsaken pat on the back when someone cries!!
GIMME DEM PROPER HOT KISSES, DAMN IT!!!

*goes through lists of Best KDrama Kisses on Youtube for satisfaction*

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It sounds as though you may have SDS. We're here for you during this difficult time.

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?

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SDS - Skinship Deprivation Syndrome
An unfortunately too-common malady afflicting drama watchers.

http://invisibledragon.home.blog/2019/09/28/living-with-skinship-deprivation-syndrome-sds/

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Damn... I have indeed been rightly diagnosed... This is... Omg... What do I...
*broken*

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All jokes aside and my dislike of boredom, time jumps and K2-esque bad decisions involving Idols, my number one Drama Crime would have to be the reset.

Okay, so the Hongs and their "time jump, all conflict resolved offscreen" nonsense comes a pretty close second. But the reset, to me, is the ultimate offense.

Black is the most obvious and most egregious example that comes to mind (and the one that made people the most furious from my memory). When the writer ends with a reset, it's a way of saying that nothing you've seen so far matters. It's why the ending of Black had me about ready to destroy my television, almost as much as Big did.

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Oh definitely! Not only a reset, but a clumsy, nonsensical, stupid reset at that. A sense of total ruin and desolation. After enjoying the show so much, after having forgiven even the ridiculous transplant operation, I was annihilated by the erasure of everything the show has built not only for its characters, but for its world.

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It's like the writers popped up and went, "Oh yeah, those 18 episodes of television you watched? Yeah they're irrelevant. Nothing important happened."

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Because this life is our first ***Spoiler****
I loved they show us not only the kiss but what happened after.... nevertheless, they committed the crime of ruining the main characters toward the end, and make them do things unlike them, just to move the plot?? I don't know...

Time jump
Oh my Venus and Boy next door ****Spoilers*****
I agree with most people in that time jumps are usually bad done, not necessarily convenient for the story and cheap.
And whereas in Oh my Venus it became even upsetting, I have to say, I didn't hate it in Flower boy next door, because the characters kept the relationship even in the distance, writing one another and keeping contact like normal people in the modern world would do: emails, letters, etc.

There are many other dramas I could trash out within this topic and judge them badly because of their crimes, but I have no time! Lol.
Nevertheless, by the way, I must say I also have a high level of forgiveness. I feel the crime, but for the sake of what is good, many many times I end up forgiving them. Just like nobody is perfect, no drama is perfect (except maybe for "My Ajusshi", 😅😅😅😅. But that is one in a million and it is also a subjective statement)

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My Ahjussi was perfect.

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Totally!

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my bad lmao

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I believe that the problem with BECAUSE THIS IS MY FIRST LIFE is that they story of the two main leads was complete at the end of the fourteenth episode- and this is what lead the writers to make mistakes at the end of an otherwise truly great drama. Hid they stretched that story slightly and given more thought and time to the two secondary romances the show would have been prefect.

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Exactly! They could have had so much material with the lead couple just being happy and having him support her in her writing struggles, or having their real honey moon, or whatever else, and focus on the secondary couples... It would have been such a perfect drama!
But no, they have to ruin it making them lie and being cunning for no reason...
It was upsetting, so much I couldn't watch the last two episodes without fast forward some parts, for I couldn't stand it.... 😒😑😒😑😒

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Having a real honeymoon- and he supports her in her writing- both good ideas.

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BTLIOF is one of my top 10 heck top 5 dramas but the character change towards the end was a really weird choice. It would have been perfect otherwise.

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The time skip in Oh My Venus should be legally viewed as a true punishable crime.

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yep to all of the above.....

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The stupid time jump at the end of OH MY VENUS had as its sole purpose setting up a cheap visual joke. In the immortal words of Talleyrand "it was not just a mistake, it was a blunder".

Likewise, the final 30 minutes of GRACEFUL FAMILY could be compared to the ending of GU FAMILY BOOK: It effectively nullified what until then had been a fabulous story.

Bad endings kill but so do bad beginnings. Another drama crime is a beginning which poisons the whole show up front by permanently skewing the entire plot. The writers of the wonderful MARRIAGE NOT DATING committed this crime with the opening scene of SHY BOSS: Hint- if you are writing a romcom do not begin it with a scene of someone committing suicide.

How about the crime of fundamental inconsistency in your story: This can mar even an otherwise entertaining and watchable show like DAN: ANGEL'S LAST MISSION where the attempt to jam a Buddhist doctrine of fate into a Christian story of redemption and love could not possibly have been more jarring. Were it not for great performances by the two leads the show would have been a complete disaster. A writer should realize that if you need an actress with the extraordinary talents of Shin Hye-sun to make your show work you probably did not do a very good job with the script. FOREST is what you get instead when you do not have such a talented actress.

I would add just one more crime to this code: Loose ends. There were pairings that were simply left undone in PEOPLE WITH FLAWS- even though the intent was there in the beginning- and for no other reason than that the writers spent too much time having the main leads spin their wheels aimlessly. A similar effect occurs at the end of the otherwise excellent weekender FATHER IS STRANGE- we really were left with incomplete stories for two of the couples and were treated to a bunch of filler even thought the show got four extra episodes. This was an annoyance rather than a disaster- but it was still an annoyance.

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Shy Boss was ... I had to drop it. and it had more to do with the FL's personality than the actual plot.

Angel's Last Mission: dropped. The ML's acting was bad. bad. bad. Sorry, not Sorry L fans.

It made me a little sad that Father is Strange was on your list, but I respect that. It was the 1st 50+ show I ever LOVED to pieces.
:-)

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he rly is a bad actor so like. bad acting is one of the few languages we can all speak (give or take a preference) and whew.

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While I had some disappointment with the way the plotlines were handled in fact I loved FATHER IS STRANGE- perhaps as much as you did- it is one of the two best weekend family dramas that I have ever seen (FIVE CHILDREN is the other one). It has some of the finest character development that I have ever seen in a show: Like they transformation of sister-in-law Yoo-joo from a hateful bully into someone you want to cheer for by the end. And then there is the oldest sister lawyer who ACTUALLY THINKS LIKE A LAWYER (so very rare in any show in any country). Part of this article's point was that even when a drama crime is committed a show can remain very watchable but alas, could have been better. I include ANGEL'S LAST MISSION in that same category- despite its flaws it was actually a favorite show of mine last year. It may even be a shame that you dropped it because it is true that at the beginning L was not very good- but he steadily got better as the show went on. I have seen this phenomenon before when Sung Hoon was in FIVE KIDS. The common denominator is the actress they are paired with: Shin Hye-sun. She is not merely talented but dedicated to her trade to the point where she has a thorough understanding of not just the skills but the attitudes the create a great performance. Her male partners become her apprentices- and they learn or perhaps more accurately absorb from their master the attitudes and skills that make a good actor. Watching L become a good actor by the end of the show was probably as astonishing to me as to anyone else. Despite the flaw in the writing (and it is pretty fundamental) you might want to watch the show again just to see this happen.

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Shin Hye-sun is indeed brilliant ✨✨✨✨✨✨

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I have had Gu Family Book sitting at episode 18 in my Netflix list for months. It’s been so good so far and I’ve heard so much about the ending that I’m too scared to go on...but I want to finish it because I luff Lee Seung Gi and I am a completionist😅

I think the off the rails ending is the worst crime for me. So many dramas seem to abandon ship around ep 13 and it’s just a slog to finish them.

In terms of petty drama crimes, terrible hair can actually stop me watching a drama (or distract me from being really immersed, Shining Inheritance). I’m sure I’m missing some great dramas but if I have to spend the whole time wanting to get their hair out of their eyes.....😄

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You really made me laugh, a hairdo can stop you from watching a drama ?hahahaha

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Lol Not if I’m really interested, but it is so distracting! I really enjoyed the Taiwanese drama Just You but I spent most of it watching the hero’s hair because it was so aggressively spikey I swear it came into the room before he did 😂

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This made me just check out the hero's hair and yes it so spikey, I hope his hair was fine after being aggressively styled like that.

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Aaron Yan's hair in Just You started off okay but as the drama progressed his hair grew I think and so the spike at the front grew longer and longer until it started to look like some sort of offensive weapon.

Shining Inheritance made me laugh because Lee Seung-gi's hair was the same style as his grandmother's and looked like it wouldn't budge in a cyclone. It's like they got matching wigs but one was grey and the other black.

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Ways to make your grandparent leave you all their money: be hair twins!

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offensive weapon...hahahhahah...:D

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"heir hair" kkkkkk

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Nooooo, stay at episode 18. You're good. That's where the drama ended and don't let Netflix tell you otherwise.

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"I’m sure I’m missing some great dramas but if I have to spend the whole time wanting to get their hair out of their eyes.....😄"

Thanks for the company!

I have dropped or sped through quite a few shows for this reason. I still remember the 15 minutes of "Lovely,Horribly" I sat through, wishing I could cut off the hair or at least push it back, before deciding that I was better off dropping the show instead of waiting for the hair to change.

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The worst is when you’re enjoying a drama and suddenly their hair changes into something awful but you’re already invested 😅

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HAHAHAHAHAHA about the hair situation.
Your comment killed me.

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This is a key reason I don’t get into many Chinese historical dramas. All the men have the SAME WIG HAIRLINE. It’s extremely irritating.

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Your hair concern is not petty, I share tour feelings. It’s a crime to mar Lee Seung-gi and Sung Joon’s pretty face with terrible saeguk hair in Gu Family Book. Lee Jeong-seok got a ridiculously ugly wig at the beginning of Pinocchio and Jang Ki-yong seems to pick up similar one for his upcoming drama. It’s not related to the story line but it is distracting enough.

I didn’t watch CLOY, but saw the picture of Dan’s mother and still wonder how they make her hair that big.

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My drama crime or pet peeve is the arm in the way of the kiss scene/the well-angled head so that you literally can't see anything/and the super far away camera pan during the kiss scene. I didn't watch 7 (and probably) more hours to squint at what's supposed to be the moment where the characters finally get together. Don't do that. Lol.

Having a heroine that isn't an active part of the story is a big big crime. I want her to be a part of stuff and help and take matters into her own hands and figure things out. Sometimes they will have the heroine just react to stuff and it's very frustrating as a viewer.

And sometimes (not all the time) when they forego an ending for some type of twee narration that's supposed to be affecting and sum everything up...but it doesn't...

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You go look up old K-dramas from 15 years ago its a bit shocking compared to today. Real kissing! Sexy clothes! Cleavage! What country was this from? As much as I loved the 2018 series 'Matrimonial Chaos' why did they have to dress Lee El, of all people, in a baggy black nun's uniform?

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... Do I need to say anything? Would anyone LIKE me to say anything?

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Lol, I'm afraid, but yes.

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Can I say something in the morning?

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Yes Please!

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We're waiting.

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The clams are waiting.

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Glub. Glub.

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I always enjoy your missives from the front of the War on Drama Crime.

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Gu Family Book owes me the hours I spent watching it. I have usually forgiven dramas for endings I did not like but Gu Family Book is on an eternal time out for that crappy ending. It's not because it is the only drama that has committed a sin against me(I have watched crappier dramas just as I have watched dramas with endings that were unsatisfactory). The reason it doesn't get my forgiveness is because I loved the drama. I enjoyed it. I loved it so much I did not see any bad acting or plot holes. I spent hours dreaming of where we would end up, only to get whatever the hell that was.

Usually if I don't like an ending but love the drama, I will rewatch it to the point just before that and then write the ending myself. Gu Family Book does not and will not get that honor. They betrayed me and can just stay in the Hall Of Infamy with Melty.

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Your relationship with Gu is mine with Big.

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I discovered Dramabeans before watching Big, saw the reviews and backed away slowly from that one.

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Same, but I feel like one day my curiosity will win

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Not even Gong Yoo (and he's a powerful reason) made me watch the drama after I read a couple of reviews.

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I saw Gong Yoo.
So I watched it as it aired.
I regretted it.
Deeply.
#ForeverScarred

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Me too!

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The thing is, the first 4 episodes of Big were great and I still remember being fully invested and crying at the end of ep 4. Then it was ok till ep 12 or so... and then they totally screwed up... they should have had the guts to wake the hero up from the coma and let the young actor continue... I'm still convinced he was capable enough...

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Agreed! I was really reluctant to start Gu Family Book for a number of reasons. In the end I watched, just because I was bored waiting for YYS's next project. And I regretted it. I felt that I wasted so much time. Not because of YYS, but due to the very reasons I felt reluctant to watch. I am still sad with myself for my bad move.

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For Gu Family Book, I didn't really care about the end because they lost me way before :p

I think one of the biggest crime of KDramas for now is failling the preproduced dramas. I don't understand how they are doing this but they have more time for everything : writing, filming, pre- and pro-production and still we get Arthdal Chronicles (hey guys you forget the light), Vagabond (great action but some scenario could have been a nice touch) or Forest (...).

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Is there a threshold for how many drama crimes we can tolerate before we’re unable to forgive a drama, or lose hope in it entirely?
I am a mathematical illiterate, but I guess we could create an algorithm to calculate Drama Crime Tolerance Threshold (DraCriToT) factoring in Lead Attractiveness in the Oppa scale (1to10), Feels Factor (in a scale of 1 to 20) and Crack-tasticness in the Makjang scale (1 to 50) divided by the amount of Drama Crimes...

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Can you please include Thematic Maintenance (1to10) and Plot Coherence (1to20) to the numerator and ensure our Drama Crime definitions for the denominator are comprehensive.

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Don't make me want to actually create this algorithm pls... I have better things to do with my life.

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@sicarius, it is NECESSARY that you use your unique combination of Drama and Maths skills to create this algorithm (*rubbing pleading hands)

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The algorithm will probably require differential weighting of the parameters. And you'll probably need to create one or more versions since e.g. The Oppa factor will be weighted higher for some people while the Plot factor will be for somebody else.

We'll need a Fangirl version and a Plot version minimum.

But you do have better things to do...

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Umm my two cents as a mathematician, I think the case of fan girl is the easiest: they will watch the show and forgive it even if oppa made a cameo which also made no sense. You can take it as a definition of fan girl.
(even though my name says oppafangirl, I must be the most non-fan fan girl ever, lol)
On the other hand, the subjective factor of forgiveness also needs to take input in form of the expectations about the show.

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LOL. you guys are funny. When you get the algorithm totally ready, please include me in the list to get to use it😂😂😂😂

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Don’t. You’d need to validate the algorithm...which would mean critically watching/rewatching a broad sample...ugh!

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I know that you intended this as a joke but it might actually be a good idea. I have often said that Kdrama writers need an editor. If you create a DraCriToT it could serve as a useful reminder to writers and PDs to pay more attention to the story.

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@flyingcolours Fly Colours,
Please include a Bait-and-Switch Quotient for plots that toss their premises out the window, along with real-time demerit tracking for Incompetent Marketing (e.g., serial killings in a rom-com) and Criminally Misleading Synopsis. And don't forget some way of documenting Excessive Reliance on Suspension Of Disbelief. I can't tell you how many times my SOD has been dislocated because Writer-nim thinks everyone in the audience can be mesmerized into ignoring the plot holes. I may be an old fogey, but I still have a better memory than a goldfish. Hrmpf!

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My own pet peeves:
1. time jumps,
2. terrible moms and dads that turn nice in the last episode,
3. dramas that begin centered on a FL and midseries turn out to be all about the ML
4. seasons (Netflix, why can't we have nice things?)
5. Prepotent CEOs with a heart of gold that woo their subalterns
6. assorted peeves: people going to sleep dressed in sweaters and street clothes, people casually overhearing conversations happening 50 meters away, leads with unacknowledged drinking problems (hate it when they binge drink repeatedly alone to show that they're depressed), people coming to the rescue from faraway places in the nick of time (CLOY, yes), etc.

But, pet peeves and all, I'm in love with Kdrama! The Feel Factor totally make up for whatever Drama Crimes, and I usually watch crying and laughing and gasping like a kid

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Hahaha, you've got two of mine there - a) terrible parents "turned good" in the last hour - especially if it's accompanied by some head-scratching "explanation" of why they acted the way they did, that makes sense only in the writer's head; and B) finally somebody noticed the SLEEPING IN CLOTHES!!! Really, what's up with that?! I literally don't know what to think about that one, is it really just some style-over-logic thing in drama-making or WTF? And a bonus is when they spend enormous amount of time in someone's definitely well-heated house with fat winter jacket and slippers.

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Lol... in "boyfriend", at least one time, I liked they show Song Hye-kyo dressed in her pyjamas (at least she was getting ready to go to bed), doing videochat with her boyfriend (gorgeous Park Go bum) and he noticing she put the sweater in the wrong side -don't know how to say it in English-).
I loved it, because it sounded very realistic.

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@Javinne, I cheered at that scene too! In Her Private Life they also wear cute matching pijamas. It's telling that we notice it when characters are wearing sleep appropriate attire 😂 On the other hand, there are dramas in which characters seem to lounge in pijamas the whole day after they come back from work, but that I can actually relate to 😋

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Totally. When I come home from whatever, I immediately change and remain in pyjamas or comfi clothes😆

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I'm also starting to feel disproportionally happy when I see someone in K-drama in their pijamas...

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The sleeping in street clothes totally freaks me out. My first romcom was Clean with Passion, the ML in it was supposed to be germophobic, but it didn't bother him to sleep in super fluffy wool sweaters that he had been wearing the whole day, noooooo. Besides, wouldn't they sweat like pigs dressed like that under the duvets?

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Oh, and two more from the same department: 1. checking if someone has fever and/or putting cold bandages to reduce fever on someone's forehead, but not on their skin, instead, of course, across their bangs! and 2: "taking care" of someone's bleeding cut (and I'm talking at home, without any impending danger and with full first-aid box) without disinfecting it or God forbidd wiping the dried blood away, and instead just wrapping it up with a bandage. :DDD

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@turka, oh, and don't forget the bandages OVER the clothes, seeing that always hurts my brain

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Bleeding Character pet peeve:
#1 - when they decide to walk around with a bleeding wound all DAY, for no reason, like can't you clean this up before you go anywhere else???
#2 - when a character gets slapped and IMMEDIATELY gets a cut on their lip that NEVER gets looked at, UNLESS it's in one of those "let me help you with this because you can't seem to care enough to do it yourself" moment, which I equally harbor.

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@kethysk, #1 reminds me of our beloved stabby OTP in My Country! Those guys could get their livers stabbed by a giant ass sword, and still ride a horse and go into battle. Apparently painkillers were magnificent in Goryo times. No need for antibiotics when you're stabby OTP

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@flyingcolours Fly Colours March 13, 2020 at 8:30 AM

You're right about the painkillers in Goryeo -- and even further back in Koguryeo days. When CROWNED CLOWN was airing, I couldn't help but suspect that King Lee Heon was not only strung out on opium, but could well have been given mabisan / mafeisan for that nasty chest wound. It is a combination of cannabis and Datura, a potent hallucinogen related to North
American locoweed. (IIRC, it was supposedly invented by Hwa Ta -- the legendary "Great Doctor" in FAITH.) Mr. X's excellent subtitles for KINGDOM OF THE WINDS, which I re-watched just before ARTHDAL CHRONICLES and CROWNED CLOWN premiered, had information on mabisan / mafeisan.

I'm still wondering how uri Stabby OTP managed to survive being shish-kebab'd so many times. It's not like they had Dr. Jin in the wings to hook them up to his Joseon intravenous drips of homebrew penicillin and blood transfusions. ;-)

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oh my god lmfsiohfajpo this is such a peeve of mine. butu it's definitely production/time/laziness because of both. but fuck i cannot STAND the wrapping it up with a bandage thing i rlyc ant it makes me want to yell bc itlooks SO STUPID

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I've been asking myself so many times... don't they sell pajamas in SK?

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