[2017 Year in Review] Hitting the slump
by Guest Beanie
Maybe it was the vast number of oppas flocking to the military. Maybe it was this year’s trends that didn’t hook me much. Maybe it was because real life took over and I was left with only a few dramas I could watch. Maybe it was simply a lackluster year in dramaland and the slump bugs took over and infected everyone.
In real life, 2017 has been a struggling year for me—I moved to a new city, changed my environment, and daily life seems to be on repeat and overwhelmingly routined. Several times I doubt myself whether I’m doing the right thing, but regret was never an option. In other words, I just hit a general slump. In K-dramaland, I used to be able to watch a lot of shows, good or bad, sci-fi, melodramas, or romcoms. But if I were to weigh my 2017 in K-dramaland, I realized that the slump had followed me here too.
I only watched a few dramas, dropped a lot, and my to-watch list grows every month (I’m looking at you, Forest of Secrets, Tunnel, Rescue Me). I couldn’t get into any of those black-suited prosecutor dramas, no matter how fluffy or funny the premise sounded. I couldn’t get through all the mysteries and revenge dramas (apart from Buam-dong Revenge Club), as my head would hurt from all the thinking. I wanted to watch something light, something sweet. I wanted dramas that played with my emotions and tugged at my heartstrings. I wanted dramas that could make me cry without really trying, and make me skip without having to jump.
The Best Hit
When I look back at my list of dramas I watched this year, most of them were slice-of-life dramas which resonated with my life. I watched School 2017 reminiscing about those wonderful school days in my youth, and wondered whether I would make the same choices that they did. I watched Fight My Way and related to their struggles of finding their place in life, just like I’m doing right now—finding out where I am, and what I’m supposed to do.
Age of Youth 2 reminded me of the struggles to overcome self-esteem issues, and dealing with confusing attraction towards someone (Eun got my heart). And The Best Hit came around at a time when I had hit rock bottom at work, struggling to meet overwhelming demands, so it became a source of laughter right when I needed it. I really enjoyed all those funny moments that made me laugh out loud (remember the cardboard cutout of MJ’s head?), though that’s also why I got cranky when they played out the romance in the end, because I signed up only wanting the comedy.
And if I were to judge my drama year based on how many dramas really got my attention, where I spent hours rewatching them, analyzing them, and getting obsessed with them, only Chicago Typewriter and Because This First Life Is Our First fit the criteria. Chicago Typewriter started out pretty weirdly and confusingly for me, but grew stronger as it went on, and left me feeling satisfied with the ending. Because This First Life Is Our First started out strongly, gripped my heart along the way, and had a few hiccups towards the end, but it simply wouldn’t let me go.
What I love most about these two dramas is not only how they made me feel, but the indescribable excitement of discussing and analyzing them with fellow Beanies, laughing and giggling, learning new things and new perspectives along the way, and leaving the comment section with some really happy, satisfying smiles. K-dramas are not the only escapism that I look for, but being able to share what I love and turn it into dramas we love is what I treasure most, especially here in Beanieland.
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