So I meant to post this months ago. It feels a bit outdated now, but I started it so I might as well finish it and post it, right?

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안녕하세요, 여러분!! 👋

I’m fairly new on here and thought I ought to introduce myself 😀. I’m a girl 👩 in her early 20s, but I feel like I’m still in my teens. I hail from the southern United States 🇺🇸. I have social anxiety 😳, and I really love cats 🐈. And this is the story of how I discovered K-dramas:

In my life previous to K-dramas (that existed?) some of my favorite things to watch were period dramas like BBC’s North and South 🏭, Jane Austen 👒 adaptations, and Anne of Green Gables 🏡. I first learned about K-dramas on a site called Silver Petticoat Review which is primarily dedicated to period drama series like these, but they occasionally post about shows in a similar romantic vein, including K-dramas. I thought it was interesting that they were posting about Asian shows amongst all the American 🇺🇸 and British 🇬🇧 ones, and took a mental note to maybe look into it sometime in the future. The main reason why I initially put it off was a reluctancy to deal with subtitles.

…….Fast forward a while to the PyeongChang Olympics ⛷🥌🏂. Getting a little taste of Korean culture while watching the games was enough to make me finally check out a K-drama. Sometimes during the coverage they would show South Korean fans going into the venues, and they would be wearing these big puffy parkas 🧥 smiling, waving, and doing the heart ♥️ on the head thing which I had never seen. I remember thinking, “These people are so cute!” Anyway, I decided to jump in.

I started with BOYS OVER FLOWERS 👦🏻/💐 because Silver Petticoat recommended it for beginners. I got about 15 minutes in and decided I was not feeling it, so I switched over to MASTER’S SUN 🔅. I gave this one a chance despite my hesitancy about the paranormal 👻 aspect because Silver Petticoat claimed it was possibly “The Most Romantic Show of All Time.“ I’m not one to pass up romance.

You guys. I watched it on YouTube. I had not yet discovered that there were free and legal sites like Viki and DramaFever (RIP) or even not-so-legal sites with decent resolutions. I don’t know how familiar you are with pirated 🏴‍☠️ content on YouTube (hopefully not very), but in order to not have their videos taken down, up-loaders get a bit creative. By creative I mean they post the drama as a little square in one corner on top of a large background that moves. So while you’re squinting to see the tiny little drama in the top left 🔍, you’ve got giant blades of grass waving in the breeze in the other 8/9ths of the screen.

Despite the dismal viewing conditions, I had an absolute blast watching that show. Just like that I fell hard and fast into the world of K-dramas. It was like the TV 📺 of my dreams had materialized in front of my eyes. I was beside myself that something like this actually existed.

From there I went on to watch 22 more K-dramas, 5 drama specials, 4 movies, as well as a couple of Japanese things 🇯🇵. I have not watched anything from Taiwan 🇹🇼 or China 🇨🇳 yet (I’m obviously behind the times), but I plan to soon. If you asked me what my favorite drama is so far, I would give you the stink eye. But, if I HAD to pick, I would probably go with HEALER 🧢👓. (MLFAS 👽, SUFBB 🎸, INAR 🤖, JBL 🏗, Signal 📶, and AMAE 🏫 were great too…)

Before I started watching K-dramas, I knew shamefully little about Korea 🇰🇷, but since discovering dramas I’ve had so much fun learning about the country, its culture, and its language. Along the way I accidentally fell into K-pop 🎶, dipped my toe into variety, and have come to appreciate inside jokes about trucks of doom 🚛, amnesia, and noble idiots.

I lurked 👀 around on DB for over a year before creating an account and becoming (somewhat) active. This is actually the closest thing I’ve ever done to social media. You guys are a lot of fun. I love how DB has its own unique little culture complete with interesting characters, hilarious inside jokes, and a supportive community. I remember last year catching a glimpse of Love, February. I mostly stuck to the main articles and recaps back then and only occasionally ventured into the comment sections and fan wall. I skimmed a couple of posts and was confused because I didn’t know what was going on. I felt like an outsider, so I left. But this year I’m back as a participant, and I am loving it. Thank you for all the beautiful posts. You started a good thing @hotcocoagirl.

So, to finishing things I started and introductions 6 months late, to new things discovered and communities found, to broadening horizons and learning new things, to squees, laughs, tears, and common bonds, to dramas, Dramabeans, and the Beanies therein:

Love, February ❤️

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      *Feel free

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      Kdramas came to me through local TV stations. Autumn in My Heart was my first crack drama. I stopped for a while when I moved and didn’t have access to it for a few years. Then my friend gave me a set of Full House. I watched it. Craving for more. Searched the Internet and it’s down the rabbit hole ever since.

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      I’ve told my story before, so I’ll just give the cliff’s notes version:

      Hubby watched first—on Netflix. My love Eun Dong, and he became obsessed. I was annoyed. Then he convinced me to watch Love Rain and I was hooked. Then my Korean friend said I should watch this drama that was currently airing that her friend was in. I was skeptical, but it was Seo Hyun Jin in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim and I fell hard. Then Goblin came soon after this and that’s my favorite drama to date. I’ve seen upwards of 50 dramas, movies, short web dramas. Oh, and I have seen Other Asian dramas as a child, but Korean dramas were brand new to me in 2016. Goblin spun off a kdrama watching club for me called freethekimchi.com and though we’ve neglected it for several months, we still get together. Dramabeans came when I was watching RDTK, to see if I could understand the hierarchy that they called each other. The rest is history. I pretty much started commenting the moment I found this place. The Open Thread used to be my home and I still lurk there. I posted over 100 stories/comments there initially. It is amazing how this little part of the internet seems utopian though. Glad you introduced yourself!

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      Welcome and glad you finally came out of lurker mode! I got started watching kdramas when an Indian friend of mine said quite casually “oh you should watch Korean dramas”. I think it was in 2014 I happened upon Secret Garden with hyun bin on Netflix. I would watch at night and end up falling asleep. So one Saturday morning I started fresh and binge-watched the whole series over a weekend. I was hooked!
      I think it was sometime around then I discovered DramaFever and watched Oh My ghostess and fell even harder. Whenever I’d talk with her we’d spend time spazzing over our most favorite dramas.
      Don’t know when I discovered DB – maybe 2015 when I was watching Oh My Ghostess – I lurked on this site for so long but the past year or so I too came out of lurking and joined the crowd.
      This is my online family and I’m always reading everyone’s posts.
      Oh – and don’t I repeat, don’t try to even start watching The Untamed…. you will never watch cdramas the same. (I just finished the special series and still can’t get enough of them)
      But the beanies here are the BEST!!!
      Love, February

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        Aw, that’s great! One of these days I’m going to find me an in-real-life friend that will spazz over dramas with me.

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          They are kind of hard to find. In fact she stopped watching kdramas and instead switched to watching Turkish and Pakistani dramas. So we went back to talking about the ordinary mundane things about our lives. Then around Christmas she called and asked for some recommendations of kdramas again. I was so excited! But I haven’t checked in. She lives in the midwest and I’m in the PNW.
          It was fun while it lasted.
          In the meantime you have all us beanies to spazz with!!!

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      We’re happy you’re here! I fell into dramas because I was lucky enough to have KBS World as a cable channel for a few years. I caught bits of several dramas (mostly makjang which didn’t appeal to me) and then Mary Stayed Out All Night caught my attention. It was crazy, wacky and fun. I was totally hooked. I found Dramabeans when I was looking for recaps to help explain the historical dramas.

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      i don’t know if i’ve shared this before…maybe i have…seems like i would have…anyway, i started watching dramas a few years ago, when i was pregnant. i was confined to bed for a week or two and pretty depressed about it, and then in the mail out of the blue i got a package from a friend. it contained the DVD of FAITH (with AWFUL—you guys, i go back now and look and they are AWFUL—subtitles). she knew i was going to be stuck for a while and thought the series might help distract me. she could not have been more right. i got hooked almost immediately (well, it took a few episodes. at first it was just fascination…i didn’t have much experience watching non-western TV/movies. and i also found that i loved the sound of the korean language, so it was pleasant to watch and i laid in bed.)

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        That is a great friend you have 😀.
        I didn’t have experience with non-western shows either, so everything was new and fascinating. And while I’m still totally in love with K-dramas, I sometimes wish I could go back and relive that initial excitement. It was so much fun!
        I’ve also fallen in love with the sound of Korean language. I could listen to it all day (and sometimes I do!)

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      I began watching kdramas after asking on Facebook to my friends to some recommendations for TV shows. I had dropped many and I wanted something different and if possible not with endless seasons or with open endings.
      I got many recommendations (I’m also into period dramas, as I’m a reenactor, but also because of that not all period dramas are ok for me), and one friend told me: Why don’t you try Kdramas? and she recommended me two, While I was sleeping and Goblin.
      I watched Goblin, and of course that was it.
      I began to search for more, and more, and recommendations.
      I also got to DramaFever, and when it closed, I looked for another site to find information.
      And that’s how I ended up in DramaBeans.
      I also spend a year and a half visiting the site without registering, reading the recaps and main articles, and nothing more, even I visited nearly every day.
      Only in December last year I decided to sign for an account. So glad I’ve done it, as I’ve found a wonderful community.
      Beanies are the best.

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    I came across a kdrama one day (on KBS World) while browsing through the channels that my TV could capture. That’s how it started for me.

    I don’t remember how I found DB. Maybe while googling about kdrama? I’ve been a DB reader since 2007 or 2008 or 2009? I don’t remember. But I’ve only been active on the fan wall since last year.

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    WELCOME Snowy Owl!!! Even though you’ve been here for a while hehehe.
    My name is Sica, I am also a girl 👩 in her … mid 20s… I hail from the fair land of Melonia. I mean Middle Earth… I mean Narnia… I mean New Zealand.
    I also have anxiety 😳 arghhhh, and I ALSO really really love cats. A lot. I am 99% cat myself.
    And THIS 😉 is the story of how I discovered K-dramas:

    IT ALL STARTED when the fire nation attacked… I’m sorry I have ATLA on the brain again *ahem*
    The fire nation, also known as a meme page on facebook that I followed at the time (Jan 2015), attacked by sharing THIS screencap:

    And THE REST IS HISTORY!
    Nah I found it very amusing and wanted to know what it was from. The comments section told me it was called “Pinocchio” and was a Korean drama. (They may even have mentioned where I could watch it I can’t remember-
    but either way I googled it and promtly found it on a not-so legal site, and along with the first few episodes, I also found… dramabeans. Because if you google a show by episode, guess what comes up.
    So yeahp… found them pretty much at the same time.
    DB was extremely beneficial for helping me learn the jargon of dramas, and I would for the first year and a bit read recaps after every episode, in case I missed anything in translation.
    It was also very instrumental in helping me find new things to watch, thanks to it’s old rating page.
    I am pretty new to TV in general, as we didn’t grow up with it, and I only started watching American (and British) Shows regularly in 2014. I only watched a handful of kdramas the first year as a result (including Healer which I have now seen 5 times)
    But I soon got sick of Occidental shows (for many reason of which deserve another essay) and switched almost solely to Kdramas from 2016 onwards.
    I was only a lurker on DB until Sept/Oct 2016 when I first started live watching AND commenting on recaps.
    And I’m still here. Lol.

    I have not watched anything from Taiwan 🇹🇼 or China 🇨🇳

    I recommend When We Were Young 2018 for Chinese dramas. Although it’s kinda spoiled CDramas for me (currently tied with Healer for my top rated drama…)
    I would unironically recc Meteor Garder 2018 if I didn’t think someone would try throw something at me… nah I’m gonna do it anyway- Metero Garden 2018!!! Do it for the pineapple hair! *dodges eggs*

    HEALER 🧢👓. (MLFAS 👽, SUFBB 🎸, INAR 🤖, JBL 🏗, Signal 📶, and AMAE 🏫 were great too…)

    Are you me???? Healer my love <3 (but what is AMAE???)

    Along the way I accidentally fell into K-pop 🎶

    *nods in sympathy* hwaiting for that one. Although I am trying to follow it less and only listen to it now, if you need reccs… 👀

    I RAN OUT OF ROOM TYPICAL

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      Fast forward a while to the PyeongChang Olympics ⛷🥌🏂
      Did you get into Yuzuru Hanyu at the same time… I’m just curious… 😛

      Pro Tip of the Day though: comments can only take 3000 characters before they don’t like you. And no this is actually old news to me… -__-

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      😄 I thoroughly enjoyed your long comment, weird formats and all.

      I have not seen Pinocchio (lol we just talked about this word and how I don’t spell it often and here I am spelling it), but that is a funny screencap.

      I realize now that I asked you guys to tell me how you found Dramabeans when I didn’t even tell that myself. Pff. But, yeah same. I found it by googling about dramas. That was back when I needed to know everything that there ever was to know about K-dramas and spent as much time researching and reading about them as I did actually watching them. Healer was the fourth drama I watched, and I think the first recaps on DB that I read. Since I started off watching older dramas, I was mostly reading JB and GF recaps which we all know are great for explaining cultural nuances and references. And that ratings page is one of the main places I used to start building my (now insanely long) to-watch list as well.

      I did grow up with TV, but I was never a big watcher. After outgrowing the kids shows, I just watched whatever my parents were watching and never cared much about taking control of the remote myself. What my parents watched consisted mostly of home renovation shows, game shows, food shows, documentaries, American Idol, the occasional sitcom. They never watch scripted TV dramas. I grew up Sheltered (I don’t resent it), and they were leery of the contents of these kinds of shows. So you’ve probably seen more Western dramas than I have (and if you ever get around to writing that Occidental show essay, I would like to read it). British mini series and K-dramas were pretty much my introduction to this kind of TV.

      I have seen you list When We Were Young as one of your favorite dramas before which led me to put it on my to-watch list. I admit to having a bit of a fascination with shows that you like. I know you have high standards, so when you say you like something I think, “Wow, it really must be good if even Sicarius likes it.” 😅
      Meteor Garden. Maybe I’d survive it longer than I did Boys Over Flowers?

      Hint: You’ve seen AMAE 😉

      Oh, K-pop. K-pop. I distinctly remember coming across this article by girlfriday (http://www.dramabeans.com/2017/10/17-signs-that-youve-become-a-k-pop-stan-again-against-your-better-judgment/) and thinking to myself, “This looks like something I should avoid getting myself sucked into.” heh. I had previously had brief encounters with K-pop like the time I caught a 10 second glimpse of BTS performing on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2018 before my mom declared that “this doesn’t look like my kind of thing” and changed the channel (lol). I thought they were kids and later googled to find out they were a boy group from South Korea and almost all of them were older than me. I found it interesting and may have gone and watched the full performance but didn’t look into it much beyond that. A couple months later I saw EXO perform at the Olympics (which my mom did sit through).

      —I’ve hit 3000—

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        …Afterwards I added the K-pop station to my Pandora. It was a bit of a shock to the ears at first since pop was not my usual genre, and I mostly listened to indie/folk type stuff back then. I could only listen to it for a few minutes at a time. And then came K-dramas. And K-drama OSTs. And a fascination with anything and everything Korean. And K-pop happens to be a big part of Korean culture, and it seemed to have a significant international following. So out of curiosity, I kept exploring it, and it eventually conquered me against my will.
        But really, there’s no keeping up with it. There’s so much of it and it moves so fast. So I’m mostly a casual listener too. I occasionally go down K-pop rabbit holes in between the drama watching, but these days I mostly stick to Spotify listening. My deepest dive was BTS. They are the group I know the most about as far as individual members’ personalities and such. Other groups I like a lot but don’t know as well “personally” include: SEVENTEEN, Stray Kids, TXT, PENTAGON….(Honorable mentions: ATEEZ, EXO, INFINITE, Day 6, The Rose, various solo artists…etc. etc.).
        I don’t know why this just turned into me telling you my entire history with K-pop, but there you have it 😆. I’m always up for reccs so feel free 😀.
        .

        “Did you get into Yuzuru Hanyu at the same time… I’m just curious…” Lol. Uh…yes.

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        AMAE = A Moment at Eighteen

        *whispers* what is ATLA?

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    “It was like the TV 📺 of my dreams had materialized in front of my eyes”
    – It true

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    Thank you for your introduction! It’s a great read!
    I started watching k-dramas in 2013. One of my colleagues kept asking me about the English subs for Hotel King (which I have never watched). The bits she told me about were intriguing…
    I live in France and pretty much stopped watching any TV when I came here, so this was something new. She kept recommending shows to me and I finally found a legal site in France with French subtitles. That’s when I watched Secret Garden and Boys over flowers. But my friend was watching shows AS THEY CAME OUT, NOT A YEAR LATER…!
    I finally asked her about it and the rest is history.
    I was first drawn to the aspect of learning about another culture and it took a while to figure some things out. But other cultures are always fascinating to me.
    I’m not sure when I stumbled on DB, probably about when my drama watching became more varied in 2014. I was a lurker for many years. I had started trying to join discussions in about 2016, but no one ever seemed to be on-line when I was. *sigh*
    I love this little corner of the internet and am very proud to call myself a Beanie. 😊

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      I still have the e-book that JB & GF published about Korean tropes. I also have saved their old articles. Treasure!!

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      I too love this little corner of the world via the internet. Can you imagine if we had a meetup somewhere and everyone wore a shirt or cap with their screen name?
      that would be soooooooooo much fun!
      Beanies are the best.
      If DB needs extra cash – try selling caps and cups and shirts with the logos et all!
      hello! I’d walk around proudly as a beanie!!

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        “Can you imagine if we had a meetup somewhere and everyone wore a shirt or cap with their screen name?”

        That sounds both amazing and terrifying at the same time (I did say I have social anxiety 😉).

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      Thanks for sharing, Rukia! I find other cultures fascinating too, so that’s been one of the best parts of discovering dramas 🙂

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    Thanks for sharing snowy.owl!

    I first came into kdrama because of Goong or princess hours. Before that what my local tv show only mexican dramas! But then, Meteor Garden happened (its taiwanese) and the asian drama fever just took over.

    I have been watching kdramas for a long time before i discovered DB and its recaps. I forgot what drama it was, maybe Rooftop Prince? But i found a good site that recapped a drama and also give information about cultural backgrounds. I have been a lurker for a long time until ‘because this is my first life’ that I just can’t help myself but made an account to comment. And little by little i discover all of what it can offer, especially the fan wall!

    And the rest, they say, is history 💕

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      I wish our local tv channels showed K-dramas. That would be cool. The closest thing we’ve got is Arirang.

      You’ve got the main articles and recaps, and then you’ve got the fan wall. It’s like a whole other world! I’m glad I finally checked it out properly.

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    Welcome snowy!
    I started with taiwanese dramas after getting tired of anime and manga, I was contemplating re-watching Itazura na kiss or reading the manga, I went to wikipedia to figure out what episode/chapter to start and there was something called a live action.
    No idea what that was,it turns out the anime had been adapted into a drama with real actors! I watched Joe cheng and Ariel lin in It Started with a Kiss on youtube or daily motion. This must have been 2008-2009 because I was watching on the family PC and it took forever to load.
    I ended up watching a lot of other taiwanese dramas with my sister and our love for asian drama started there. I have a feeling my first kdrama would have been 18 vs 29 because I would look on mysoju or kimichidrama, click on a-z list and start reading the synopsis to see what sounded interesting.
    I think I came across dramabeans in the same way, by searching the name of a kdrama and reading the recaps. I lurked on and off for a couple of years, commented on open threads, recaps. I’ve been more active on dramabeans in the last two-three years.
    My sister and I still watch kdramas and rant/rave about what we are watching but she isn’t active on db.

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      Oh, the YouTube and Daily Motion days…the things I used to put up with 😆.
      Unfortunately I wasn’t around to witness the mysoju days, but I’ve heard great rumors.

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    yaaaaay! hello! welcome welcome. thanks for this awesome post! you and i sound similar in the most important ways: in that we love period dramas and somehow found our way to kdramas, too 😉 so glad to meet you.

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    Welcome!! I was pulled into K-Dramas in college by my then roommate, now best friend! She had started watching My Girl on a DVD someone had given to her. She was on episode 3 when she turned to me and insisted I had to watch the drama she was watching. At that time, I was more into J-Dramas and didn’t know or care much about K-Dramas. So to humor her and to procrastinate (my middle name, btw), I said yes. To show how much of a great friend she was (still is), she started the whole series from episode 1 with me. Some episodes later, at approximately 2 in the morning, our resident admin had to come knock on our door because apparently we were yelling so loudly at our laptop screen reacting to whatever that had happened in the drama at that point, you could hear us all the way down the hall. She didn’t want to hear our explanation. We learned to yell and squee in hushed voices as we finished the series over the next few days. I actually didn’t see another K-Drama after that until I was in the working world and just stumbled upon You’re Beautiful on YouTube of all places, and haven’t stopped since 🙂

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      You and I share that middle name 😉.

      Thanks for sharing! What a great memory!

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    Welcome to Beanieland. The hotbed of island music, octoberinar, love feb, gif central – among other exciting things happening!
    I started in the early 2000s when a friend brought over a DVD – and if I am not mistaken – it was Winter Sonata.
    Been down the the drama, variety and kpop hole since then. My very first variety – X-Man, my very first kpop group – Shinhwa.
    (heh heh – have I revealed my age?)

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      Ok, so I know what Love, February and gifs are, but I only have vague notions of what island music and octoberbinar are. Correct me if I’m wrong:

      Island parties and island music seem to have spawned out of the A Poem a Day live watch (which was apparently something else). There were islands of neutrality and Duct Tape drinks and things?

      Octoberinar seems to be a yearly rewatch of INAR?

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    I discovered kdramas on Netflix. I was looking for something to watch and decided to try Dramaworld, a show about a girl who gets sucked into a kdrama. It pokes gentle fun at all the kdrama tropes and after watching it I wanted to see how accurate its depiction of kdramas was so I clicked on Tomorrow’s Cantabile. I quickly found that Dramaworld had been veeeerrry accurate with one exception. Dramaworld had guaranteed that all kdramas end with true love’s kiss but in Tomorrow’s Cantabile, the leads never kissed 😱💔😭 I googled something like ‘why don’t the leads in Tomorrow’s Cantabile kiss’ and the DB recap popped up. After that, I rewatched all the episodes and read the recap after each one to understand all the cultural differences.

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      Ohh, is Dramaworld good? I’ve heard about it but was afraid it would be cringey.

      “I googled something like ‘why don’t the leads in Tomorrow’s Cantabile kiss’”
      😂 Pretty sure I’ve googled similar things before. And far stranger things. I really hope no one ever gets a hold of my search history.

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