about javabeans

I love Korean dramas and I write about ‘em. (And write about ‘em. And write about ‘em. You may have noticed that brevity is not my friend. I want to be ITS friend, but it shuns me regularly.)

I’ve been watching Korean dramas (on and off) as long as I can remember, for almost two decades. My first Korean drama was the 1992 hit Jealousy, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Man does that make me feel old.

I started this site because I couldn’t find a site providing meaty (or any) analysis for K-dramas, a longtime guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoy marveling at the pretty as much as anyone, but also wanted to express appreciation for quality that didn’t automatically dismiss something for being popular. Or, on the flipside of that same coin, to discuss something popular that went beyond surface discussion of the plot or hot cast. (Although, let’s be honest! Hot cast = a nice bonus.)

My underlying modus operandi: Just because it’s pop culture doesn’t mean discourse has to be shallow. I’d like to sustain a fun but hopefully substantive level of conversation, mixed with some irreverence. Because it’s not worth it if it’s no fun.

I occasionally tweet (@javabeans). And even less occasionally blog (elsewhere, that is). There’s also a Dramabeans Facebook that gets ignored a lot.

 

about girlfriday

I’m 50% writer, 50% couch potato. I lean left; politically, not footwise. I like to make snap judgments, then reconsider them to a pulp. I enjoy grammar, if only to break some more rules. I’m a tv junkie, a critic, a fan, but mostly importantly, I’m a writer who likes to procrastinate by watching k-dramas. The fact that I can do both now blows my mind.

I feel very strongly that people can have thoughtful discourse on just about any topic, and that art—mass, pop, high, pulp, whatever it may be—can and should be discussed intelligently for the thing it is.

Hence, I thought Dramabeans would be a good place to exercise my brain. Or was it exorcise? That would explain the confusion.

About the name: A Girl Friday could rule the world, if she really wanted to. You know her—the best friend smartypants, the plucky assistant who always knows exactly what the private eye/cop/secret agent/superhero needs? She’s cute and clever and sassy and loyal, and pretty much smarter than everyone in the room. I mean, could Jack Bauer have saved one day, let alone eight, without Chloe O’Brien?

My favorite Girl Fridays are of course ones that break the mold. Willow Rosenberg and Veronica Mars are the contemporary evolution of the classic character, and give us all hope that the geeky outcast can and will save the world.

Just think of me as Dramabeans’ girlfriday: the Miss Moneypenny to javabeans’ Bond.

I sometimes tweet things I shouldn’t. And ramble on in a blog.

Meet the rest of the Dramabeans staff.

 

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756 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 651 Bielle

    I’m a Netflix addict and recently decided to watch some Korean movies and shows that Netflix kept suggesting I watch (I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to the foreign stuff). The first drama I saw was “Secret Garden” and I absolutely loved it. Then I saw “Playful Kiss,” “Boys Over Flowers,” “You Are Beautiful,” and now I’m watching “City Hunter.” I’m still new at watching these dramas but I’m totally hooked. I’m from a little podunk town in Georgia and I don’t know anyone else who’s seen Korean dramas or even a Korean movie, so I’m really glad to have found your site!

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  2. 652 TokyoDogz

    Hi there, its like 6 in the mornin and i cant just sleep, so what do i do? Go to a site called dramabeans. Yes since a year or two ago i stumbled on your site and since that day i visit this site like 2 or 3 times a day. Its unhealthy i know, but i just cant help myself. I like reading your recaps and most of the times theyre freakin hilarious, i really enjoy them. Its nice to know that there are other people like me who freakin adore kdramas and movies. Yeah im gonna type a very long message here just for fun. How i started watchin asian dramas. Well it all began when i first started to watch anime, from anime i went to Jdramas, i had no idea how that would be cuz at that time i was used to american series and such. At the time i was 16 when i started, then i saw a korean movie on tv and started korean dramas as well, i was 17. And now im almost 20 and in those 4 years ive seen all sorts of Kdramas and movies. Im an freakin addict. Its very unhealthy i know but hey i still have a social life, kind off haha. Tho the sad part is that none of my friends are kdrama fans as i am. So yeah that sucks. Well i live in holland in Amsterdam and im a Turk, so if anyone out there wanna chat about kdramas and movies and such feel free to do so. Seriously im gettin sleepy so this is helpin, gonna type more. Thanking you guys for making this site. And its freakin amazing!! No seriously it is, the layout and the colors. Oh and ive watched on taiwanese drama called autumns concerto, lovely and kinda sad story. I never watch taiwanese dramas cuz the video and audio kinda suck. But this drama got me, i dont know how but it did. I freakin love chinese, HK, Korean, Japanese movies. Especially chinese and korean. Chinese with their awesome martial arts and good actin, korean with their good actin, freakin love their comedies. Yeah im gonna stop typin, im half asleep. Well good day to you all! ZzzZZzz. What would we do without comedie in our lives hu. It would be freakin dull! Jeej comedie! Toedelss

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  3. 653 Waca

    Hi! I am new on this site and I forgot to present myself, so I’ll post a little message here!

    Thank you so much for your blog, I was really happy to discover that people with humor and good sense of criticism existed!

    I discovered Korean dramas three years ago and I am now hooked! However I felt a bit lonely ’cause my family and friends don’t watch them, and I just love talking endlessly about things I watched, but couldn’t talk of it with them :(. I enjoy criticizing too…people say I critic too much, but well, that’s how I am…I just think we can’t keep on just swallowing whatever we are being given. If something is bad, it’s bad. Period. I also believe that criticism is necessary to keep improving oneself. And if it’s done with humor, like in this blog, then it’s perfect!

    So yeah, this blog is HEAVEN!!! Thanks again! :D

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  4. 654 Bea

    Hi! I’m a Spanish nuna/eonni soon to be called “ajumma” (bah, in two K-years, I still have youth left :P) and love K-drama among other things. My friends (and everybody I know) don’t understand why I fancy the “Chinese” Gods in them (really…) and of course they don’t want to listen to me when I try to introduce them to this mouth-melting world. I wonder how I can still have friends… and a mother, just the other day I showed her Psy’s video Gangnam style…

    Therefore, I’m glad I found you, because now I can share my opinions and see if other people felt the same way I did in crucial scenes. And not feel that I’m the only person interested in “weird” things. So please, keep going, you’re doing an almost necessary job!

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  5. 655 JNJ

    Truly enjoy your site. Just got into the drama watching mode couple of months ago and I’m totally addicted to both K and J dramas. I’ve watch 9 Kdramas and 4 Jdramas in past couple months. I was wondering how the Korean actors/actresses are selected for a part. I’ve seen an actor I like in a past drama or film and then cannot find him or her in any other drama or film. What’s the “shelf life” of an actor/actress in drama land? 1yr? 5yr? I’m from the USA so I speak/read no korean or Japanese so subtitles are my life line. I do however enjoy these drama’s.

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  6. 656 JNJ

    Hey there GONEINSANE! and all the other Kdrama addicts.
    I’m in same boat, I’ve fallen in love with Kdrama and nobody in my immediate world can understand the addiction.
    Javabeans greatly appreciate your work on your website it’s great reading your reviews and getting to see other’s thoughts about the various dramas and actors. Thanks so much! Keep up the good work!

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  7. 657 MIKEY

    Was curious if the mods had their list of favorites dramas or a list of “Don’t watch this” dramas.

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  8. 658 lolly

    I love dramabeans.

    The end.

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  9. 659 george

    i,too,love dramabeans.jb and gf,u both r my heroes.i go to ur site and read ur blog when i want to escape from the real world and when i want to claim my sanity back.

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  10. 660 Jasmin Rice

    The Banner said now that you are accepting compliments.
    You all are superb in writing and review the drama.

    Aja, Aja, keep pinkies crossed and High Fives.

    I learned from Faith Episode 19.

    Have I said thank you.? And once is not enough.
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  11. 661 fara

    hey can you plzzzzzzzz upload my daughter seo young pllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!

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  12. 662 Sara

    Thanks for putting up a YEH header. For a while now I’ve been avoiding your blogsite because of so many anti-YEH fans. She is my ultimate bias, and for some time all your posts (or comments sections) seems to me, are always against her. I agree that some of her recent projects are not well accepted in Korea but was still viral for her international fans. I for one dropped “My Fair Lady” and jumped right into the last episode just to know the ending. Artists that we like just won’t have epic projects all the time,sometimes they are bound to fail but, seeing them bad-mouthed by people just because they have those projects really hurts us fans.

    I just checked today your site for something new and seeing YEH as a header made me realize that “maybe there is hope really for readers of this site” .

    I just hope your readers would be a bit more cautious with their comments.

    Thank you.

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  13. 663 derdo

    javabeans, you really write so well and in such great detail. I’m glad I discovered your site!

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  14. 664 Debs

    Hi to everyone,

    I have to say that your community does a fabulous job in keeping tabs on dramas as well as initiating invigorating discussions. In fact, a lot of times, when I have a particular issue going round in my mind in relation to some kdrama or kmovie, I check your posts and usually someone else out there seems to be voicing the exact same concerns that I felt instead of only appreciating a film because of its popularity. It’s nice to know the varied opinions out there and I especially like the nuanced perspective and humour that you guys (javabeans and girlfriday) infuse into your recaps. I am a relatively young kdrama addict in comparison to everyone here (only came to know about them two or three years ago) but I think it’s here to stay for a long long time considering the sad state of the hindi soaps in my country i.e. India as well as the banality and repetitiveness of the American sitcoms. Or maybe its just me who’s just bored with the sensibilities of these two cultures when you’ve got hot korean actors to drool over?!…..Whew….Just had to get all this off my chest with this incredibly loooong post.

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  15. 665 Hailreign

    One word.

    AWESOME!

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  16. 666 JAE4NOW

    HI, I’M A KPOP JUNKY. BEEN AN ADDICT FOR ALMOST A DECADE MYSELF.. WHAT CAN I SAY KPOP IS PART OF MY LIFE. NICE TO MEET EVERYONE.

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  17. 667 Hedaya Barqawi

    its not the matter of korean drama or hot korean stars its all about being satisfied of the amount of situation you may turn to be in although those koreans make it really enjoyable to know! plus i guess its hitting know by all its power ” as a country i mean”to be a noticeable country and i take that in an eye of respect i love the idea of the blog anyway

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  18. 668 Shantoo

    Hi, i am a great admirer of kdramas from India.I have been watching them since last 5 months and to be honest i am totally hooked over them..a few things are similar to Indian soap operas but k dramas are superior in terms of content, location and they end up quickly unlike indian dramas which drag on for years!! I love Hwang seon hee and Moon chaewon..saranghamnida!!!

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  19. 669 Wendilynn

    I was introduced to Kdramas last november and fell in love immediately. I’m so sick of American TV and this is a wonderful discovery. Dramafever does a great job of subtitling and I’ve been a happy girl ever since. Your recaps are pretty good. I interpret a few motives differently but over all, you are an excellent read. Especially for some of these first episodes that I can’t stand to watch because the characters are too stupid until their stories get really started around episode 3.

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  20. 670 bakaotaku34

    Finally I can show my appreciation here ! To all dramabeans’ staff, you guys rock, to be honest I just discovered your blog not so long ago, and said to myself finally something relevant… wow I’ve been looking for this kind of review a long time ago!
    First I love all those summaries and all the reviews at the end of each episodes and the ratings as well, it really help me to not waste my time looking :)
    So thank you and keep up the hard work! People form France are also following you lol ^^

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  21. 671 Radhika

    JB and GF
    i love love love love love your recaps and comments.
    they are always so passionate and so insightful!!
    keep up the passion n goodluck in whatever you both do!

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  22. 672 Radhika

    just out of curiosity:
    what do you both do for living?
    and im guessing both of your have korean heritage but live in US?

    very much appreciate all your hardwork :D

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  23. 673 mija

    hey
    i simply love ur work, the covered dramas are very well written. i m not a Korean but proudly a kdrama addict i do watch k dramas since i cant watch every i depend on ur recaps and believe me i m never disappointed on ur work..
    so than you n keep up d good work…

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  24. 674 kdramakrak

    I am a relative newbie to the kdrama world and recently came across your site. AMAZING! I’ve become addicted to kdramas and your site. I am awed by the insight and talent expressed in your content. Your writing (javabeans and girlfriday) is really witty and very knowledgeable. Have you guys considered writing your own drama? I am also awed by the sheer commitment required to put all of this together, especially your recaps. Do you have day jobs? If so, how do you manage? There couldn’t be enough hours in the day.

    Anyhow, keep up the great work!

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  25. 675 sietorito

    felicitaciones .
    gracias a ti entiendo la dinámica de algunas series.

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  26. 676 ina

    wohoaaaa..i always like ur review on k-drama..the coolest thing is that u like veronica mars …(i like her ,too) :)

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  27. 677 Shantanu

    Great job by javabeans and girlfriday..thanks to you i can keep tabs of dramas that i cant watch..a huge fan of kdramas from India!!!

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  28. 678 Cininta

    hi! i just would like to say that i enjoy your recaps very much.it really helps me understand parts that confuses me be it because of the culture or the translations aren’t so good. i love the opinions and little remarks you put in it makes it even more entertaining! it seems we have similar taste and opinions. your “american-ness” really shows in your writing and makes it even more appealing :) i look forward to reading more of your recaps! ^_^

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  29. 679 Myrtle

    I bumped into this website accidentally two weeks ago. I was so thankful that I am now reading blogs of dramas I have finished watching. Since I have a Korean family neighbor, I usually ask them for meaning of words I don’t understand. Thank you so much there is a glossary of terms in your blog to help us.
    I got hooked on KDramas when I was in Malaysia. My first was “Coffee Prince”. I even bought a CD of this and borrowed the CD of “Jewels In The Palace” from a friend. Now I can read and watch at the same time.
    More power to you I enjoy your blogs and you comments and opinion…Keep it Up…Bravo..

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  30. 680 Annie

    I started watching Kdramas 5 years ago. Most were historical and interesting. I watched a few modern ones which were interesting. The last 2 years kdramas have lost theri appeal. Its more about the actors/actresses looking like cut out models. The acting has gone down the hill and the scripts are turned into garbage just to keep the ratings up. These days its either some rich girl who is in love and wants her dad to force the guy she loves to marry her or some abused girl who has these two guys fighting over her. These dramas seem based in “love” novels that were popular in the 80s where there was a handsome rich guy who fell in love with a poor girl and had to reject some rich girl that his parents had promised to make an in-law. Kdrama seems lost nowdays.

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  31. 681 Eli

    Hi. I am so interested in Korean language. That’s why I watch these dramas. I have seen almost all the dramas on the rating list. Is there any other drama you think would be good for me to watch?

    Thanks and keep on the good work :)

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  32. 682 crocotears

    HI!
    I just wanted to tell you that i really appreciated your blog and the way you write, most of the post I’ve read so far are really good and never fail to make me smile. I’ve just started to watch korean dramas and I found my self compleatly addicted, your blog is fantastic to find infos and details, thing that resulted very difficult for me since the fan base for this kind of tv show is mainly korean (obviously) or somehow hidden. So thank you very much for your hard work! =*v*=

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  33. 683 ritzy

    Am a korean drama addict….seriously,the action and taekwondo aspects drives me wild..their love scene kinda funny,dramatic and romantic..after watching boys before flower,i became more passionate for the big kdramas and hancinema…lol..i havent forgotten my best korean epic,legend of the four gods…am a huge fan of almost all their actors and actress,especially one(name withheld)..from ANNANG tribe(akwa ibom state) RICHARD AKPAN writing from the giant and most populous country in africa….NIGERIA….

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  34. 684 Passant

    I would really love it if you guys have other writing works (stories, novels, poetry… anything). Your writings, regardless of the content, is quite mesmerising, I have to say!!

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  35. 685 Ali

    OMG! You guys are sooooo hilarious with your comments in the recaps! They’re even more entertaining than watching the dramas themselves! I may as well skip watching them and just read the recaps here alone! LOL!! I’m new to the K-dramas so I’m entering a new world here. I don’t know if I will become a complete convert because my lifestyle may not allow me to spend all my time watching dramas and I’m not sure if I’m completely sold with the style and recurring themes. I’m not really a drama / soap type person to begin with anyway. It’s giving me some interesting perspectives and insights into Koreans attitude to love & romance and ideals of that nature though. At least it’s a window into Korean culture that I find interesting. The men has to still be macho and protecting the little lady. Even the strong and independent heroine ultimately in the relationship will have to display some sort of female weakness of inconsistencies and helplessness that requires rescuing by the man. Some of the dialogues between the man & woman in a romantic relationship still takes me aback a little as I find that it tends to put down the female sex in a rather patronizing way. Although Asian myself I’m mostly influenced by western culture and attitude towards sexual equality having grown up mostly in the west (the UK in my youth and now the US as an adult). But the most entertaining part I’ve found with K-dramas are the comedy stuff as well as the storytelling and plot. I feel that they mostly do a great job with inserting some little element of mystery that is only revealed slowly towards the end of the show. It definitely keeps ones’ interest. One rather annoying thing they keep doing with all the dramas I’ve watched so far is the lengthy minutes of theme song being played while the characters just speechlessly stare at it other in silence. I think if they cut out all of these scenes I’m sure the shows could be done in way fewer episodes. They do irritate me to no end. LOL! And why oh why do the women always have those scenes where they make these blank — deer in the head lights — stare that seems to last forever?! It tends to reinforce the female image of being helpless and clueless. Ugh!

    I’m going to read all your recaps of Faith (the latest drama I’ve just finished watching) for pure entertainment. Thanks for all your hard work!

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  36. 686 madzline

    I go to Dramabeans everytime I’m in need of a KDrama. Really addictive esp if u cant understand subtitles. I wish u could feature Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy.

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  37. 687 Sue

    Thanks for the pages :). I love it. Thank you!

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  38. 688 Cspring

    hi JavaBean,

    I am grateful that I found dramabeans and you, when I was trying to search something about Mandate of Heaven and Song Jong Ho.

    I was surprised you favorite JH and WY’s loveline and believe JH is a nice guy ever since. that excited me too.

    I myself is from China and has been addict in K-dramas for quite a lot years. I always share my views and feelings with Chinese only, as I dont know Korean. But this site is great for me that I could share feelings with friends from overseas as it is a pure English site.

    I will keep following this site from now on. Thanks for such a great website and your recap on Mandate of Heaven and so much focus on Jung-Hwan. I just love it.

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  39. 689 POPSMISSION

    Thank you for all your hard work and your cool site guys!!

    I have been following you daily for about 2 years now since I first discovered this blog and now wouldn’t know what to do without my daily dose of Dramabeans.

    Originally I was a bit of a lurker but now I find I can make comments too which is heaps of fun as it makes me feel a little more involved in this community!

    I love the updates, gossip and photoshoots, but there is simply nothing better than being able to read an in-depth recap and review on a drama you are obsessing over, so……. thank you so much!

    You both make a lot of people very happy :)

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  40. 690 Margo

    Hi, I’m from Uzbekistan. I like korean dramas. Here in Uzbekistan a lot of people watch korean dramas on TV or DVD. Your site is very useful. Thank you!

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  41. 691 TinSanti

    YOU GALS/GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!!

    Thanks for the recaps! I really love reading them and your comments are hilarious, makes it all the more enjoyable!! :)

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  42. 692 sam

    I’m indian and ‘m a k-drama freak. I just love them and I can’t believe there are so many Indians like me crazy for korean dramas. These are far far better than what we have here in India, gosh! Saas_Bahu daily soaps and Korean people, actors to be precise are so cute & hot at the same time.
    Lee Min Ho he’s like shahrukh for me.

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  43. 693 Rosalia N. Thantaviriya

    “Winter Sonata” got me hooked on k-dramas, and Ive been an addict since then. I’ve watched almost 200 dramas to date, and have a DVD of all of them. Though not everybody loved “Winter Sonata” as much as I did, being a “romantic” kept me glued and bawling at every dramatic scenes. I was envious of Choi Ji Woo’
    s romantic scenes with Bae Yoong Joon, and swooned everytime I saw his close-ups on the screen.

    Although I don’t agree with some of JV’s reviews with some of the k-dramas, it’s, of course, a matter of opinion and personal preference.

    Anyway, watching k-dramas make me experience the beauty and culture of Korean and dream that someday I may be able to see the places where my favorite k-dramas were shot.

    Here’s hoping you will continue giving us reviews and recaps!

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  44. 694 reeyateenceu

    why your name is javabeans…?

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  45. 695 silver

    Hi i am glad there are so many indians who agree dat indian daily soap are idiots, they drags their storys too much, i stopped watching indian telly series, i only watch k drama series and movies, girlfriday i envy you, you can watch all k drama’s, but i can’t really watch all of them, still i try my best to catch them if i can, i love javabeans, u no what girlfriday, you are so witty, i can feel it through whatever you write, love you so much…. pliz rply

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  46. 696 Jessica

    I know this might be a huge undertaking, but would you consider moving the comments over to Disqus or some other system where we’re notified if someone replies to our post or if there are new comments in a thread?

    I would love to be able to follow up on discussions.

    Thanks so much for a great site!

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  47. 697 Prajna kotian

    hi everyone… i was jst checking out a place where i can get recaps of korean after a difficult i found dis page felt very happy…..
    we get only kbs world in our tv so i enjoy watching it…
    thank u 4 making dis site realy made me easy to get to know the dramas…
    i 4gt 2 introduce myself…i m frm india..i thought i ws d only one who is crazy abt korean dramas luking at these many comments i felt like 2 give mine 2…<3<3

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  48. 698 mia

    I like LMH but this drama depicts bullying which I am totally against it. This should be a romantic comedy but it seems more violence is being shown here. It can influence more the minds of high school kids seeing the show wherein to bully is OK because it is shown on TV. I hope they should put a twist to stop violence in school.

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  49. 699 Julia

    It is so good to find out that I am normal and that watching Kdramas is a part of everyday life for so many. Last December, I started watching and have even given up cable television. The only language that anyone passing by my apartment door can hear is Korean. Besides the shows are so good, I’m learning Korean, exploring the countryside via Internet, eating new foods, etc.

    Dramabeans is great and I appreciate your effort. I’m from the U.S. and am a Kdrama addict.

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  50. 700 John

    Help finding name of Drama: Hello javabeans, I wonder if you can help me find a drama? The basics are: FILM1: A little girl has a fatal illness, her mother seeks to find her birth-father to let the little girl meet him before she dies. The father is very irresponsible, but in time develops into a loving and caring person. Pretty sure this was a Korean drama. FILM2: I don’t think this one was Korean, but just in case you know it: A buddhist monk yearns to live in the USA and makes efforts to get there, but overlooks the rich and nurturing world he currently lives in. His private lifestyle is carefree and irresponsible-smoking, drinking, playboy type pictures, etc, but his public job persona is one of being responsible. While trying to travel to the USA he learns how great his world really is.

    – Thank You for any help in these, I also LOVE Korean films and also other great films from other Asian countries.

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