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Bean for your thoughts

The new year seems like a good time to shake out the rugs, do some dusting, and think about the direction of our content for the year ahead.

We can’t make any promises yet — so take this as putting out feelers more than anything else — but please do take a moment to let us know the sort of content you’d like to see more of on Dramabeans.

If you could only pick one, and your oppa of choice was holding you by your sleeve to save you from a dangerous fall, which would it be? Answer below!

Note: Poll will be live for two weeks. Ready, set, go!
 

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Voted for "Hangouts", but I'd like all the others almost as much, especially editorials/essays, especially if those essays explained aspects of Korean culture that might not be obvious to foreigners.

Among the very pleasant surprises that I don't expect to see would be old-JB-&-GF-style drunk podcasts and Beans of Wisdom.

As for the Hangouts, if writing coherent summaries takes too much staff time, you could just resort to a canned one-sentence intro with spoiler warning like you use for What We're Watching. All we really need is a place to hang our comments.

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One vote for drunk podcasts.

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Hangouts would be great, but they need to have a feel for the show from the comments to determine whether it's best to make it a weekly or one thread.
Sageuks like BOSSAM and RED SLEEVE would have benefited from a weekly hangout thread instead.
Start from episode 1 and see where it goes.

I think more beanies will be willing to support this site if there's something more than just keeping in contact with friends on the wall.

Surprise us? JB and GF's era can not be replaced for lack of better words.

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I agree with this. It cant be replaced and it cant be duplicated. One of the many things that made that time great was they were constantly trying new things while maintaining the old stuff that we all liked. Try something new! And if it doesnt work, try something else

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I second this comment! Bossam and Red Sleeve would have benefitted from a weekly hangout thread.

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Where did JB and GF go?

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Had to get "real" jobs to support themselves, and eventually sold the site...

http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/11/welcome-to-our-new-editor-stroopwafel/

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They're the editors of The Swoon

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Oh! I like watching The Swoon.

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On a similar note, I’d be up for more weecaps. They’re always fun but yunno - I’m open to new stuff (as long as it’s not full of ads haha)

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Damn! It's quite hard to choose one because all the choices aren't exactly related.
Drama Hangouts are good for beanies to leave comments because tbh the korean drama landscape is becoming a lot like the Chinese one. There are way too many dramas and I don't think it will be realistically possible to leave even a weecap for every single one. But hangouts give beanies what they want, a place to spazz or rant about the show.
Theme of the Month helped in building the community here. While we do have the beanie wall now, it was a way to know a little more about the people who frequently visit this site. I may have not read all the entries while it was regular for a year, I guess, I definitely missed it when it was gone.
Does staff editorial cover all of the weecaps, recaps or general essays you guys post? I think the recaps can be replaced by weecaps for all the shows. The recaps were great when there used to be some time till the subs were available. With the arrival of Netflix, iqiyi and more platforms that provide subs within an hour or so, beanies just need a place to discuss the show. Though yes recaps do help to understand the cultural context better. So I'm hoping not choosing this option doesn't mean that there will be no recaps or weecaps at all. There's reddit for only leaving comments, we'd like to hear some from the staff too.
All of this has left me confused lol. So I'll reserve my vote for now and ponder over it later!

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Are you not going to do editor's pick for 2021?

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Waiting for editor's pick as well.

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Same here!! I have been checking every day for 2021's Editor's Picks since 2022 started... I really really hope they have not been done away with.... it's how I decide which old shows are worth going back to...

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Honestly, all of the options sound great. I voted for theme of the month though, mostly because I love writing and I love reviewing content, but I'm the only person in my close circle who watches kdramas, so never have anyone to rant to outside of dramabeans, haha. It also would give more opportunities for beanies to write more fleshed out things, without being limited to a theme (if there's no inspiration for one theme, then it's easy enough to wait for next month)

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This is my first comment ever on Dramabeans after lurking for quite a few years. But, what a great question to ask---it finally motivated me to comment. My preference has been to watch older dramas, or dramas that have stood the test of time. And, one of my favorite references to find dramas has been this post from 2017 from Dramabeans----A 10th anniversary list of 10 best dramas of all time. https://www.dramabeans.com/2017/02/top-10-favorite-dramas-of-all-time/ This list has introduced me to dramas that I may not have found without this list including: Return of Iljimae (Moon River), Que Sera Sera, Miseang and White Christmas. So, I would love to see Dramabeans use some of the knowledge and experience they have accumulated over the years to make some recommendations that go beyond the most current dramas. Recaps can be fun, but I don't need them except for the more complicated historicals. If I do decide to watch an airing drama, I am often disappointed when it is not recapped because of the lack of community discussion. So, hangouts would be nice, but perhaps they should be broken down so it is not just one hangout for an entire show. Weecaps are also nice. Great to meet everyone, and thanks so much to Dramabeans! You have given me so much to read over the years.

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Totally agree with you Amfalula, and thanks for the link to favorites of all time. I don't watch many new dramas but even if I watched more would never look at a recap except to see what other Beanies are thinking. Are recaps necessary or a waste of time for the writers?

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Good question.

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Hope you enjoy the list! It has been great for me! I've wondered if recaps were done when translations were harder to find or took longer. I didn't start watching kdramas until 2016, and by that point translations were easy to get within a few days. I found the fact that shows were recapped really interesting and have found recaps fun when they are more editorial then just factual---and not really needed (for me) unless it is a more challenging (historical) or perhaps confusing drama (some world building dramas). I'm so glad to read all these comments!

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zombies. I want more zombies.

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The comment caught my eye a second before your name but I already knew it was you, redfox!

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All of the above, actually.

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Simple.. i wamt to see more coverage given to saeguks of all kinds, such as King of Tears, Yi Bang Won, Bossam and Red Sleeve. These saeguks are the real winners when it comes to ratings! Instead of those that belonged in the fushion category only.

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Personally, I don't see the benefits of Drama Hangouts because with the exceptions of Bossam: Steal the Fate, The Red Sleeve Cuff, and unofficially Just Between Lovers, the threads rarely stay active after the first week, so if I want to comment on current episodes, I just post in this week's What we’re watching.

Does the staff converse on shows or news or oppas because conversation posts were a highlight of Dramabeans? https://www.dramabeans.com/tag/conversation-post/

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If you're looking for other ideas too: Something that I know I'd enjoy would be along the lines of the "name that drama" posts. It seems likely that these posts can't happen very often because you're waiting for enough submissions first, but I found quite a few totally random, totally awesome shows this way.

I ended up finding Stars Falling From the Sky in a Name that Drama post, and I was mostly moved by the "all the siblings have colors for names" part of the description. It's one of my all-time favorites now.

Also, I only watched A Love to Kill because of the comments calling out *that kiss*, which I obviously needed to go watch to see what people were talking about.

I think if there were bite-sized descriptions of what was most memorable or compelling in a drama, rather than a synopsis, it'd be a great way to snag others who find the description intriguing. Could be gamified like "name that drama" is, or could just be a fun way to re-up old favorites without writing long posts about them.

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The gamified point! I second that! <3 <3 <3

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I loved Stars Falling From the Sky! 🙂

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More recaps, less celebrity gossip. Recaps are especially helpful for non-Koreans because sometimes things get lost in translation (or the subs are too westernized) and we may not get all the culture reference. Even the weecaps help with bridging the gap. Also, there are other places to read tabloid fodder and the kind of reader comments that go with them.

Along those lines, drama hangouts tend to be pretty useless. They get buried under more recent posts and forgotten. Besides, everyone comments under the What We're Watching posts, so save staff resources by dropping them. Or, make weekly hangout posts for each show. For those of us who aren't e-friends with other beanies, we don't have a place to go to (like a personal fan wall) to discuss dramas that aren't recapped.

Hire more moderators. There was a time on dramabeans that spoilers were forbidden. You could only talk about the show up to the point it had been recapped. Now everyone talks about both weekly episodes in the first post, and other people share spoilers from the source material.

I say this with love because there's still no other kdrama recapping site that can compare to here, and this is the first place I go to follow a drama. Looking forward to any updates and changes!

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I see your point about spoilers, and I agree that there should be more mods (especially to deal with trolls like those who popped up in honour of Park Shin-hye). But because some recaps take a while to appear, the spoilers might be an almost unconscious effort to fill in the gaps ourselves. Perhaps there should be separate open threads for shows that need more time to be recapped.

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Re your trolls reference and need for mods. Two things.
1. It was depressing to see such vitriol makes its way into Dramabeans. There are also a couple of other actors I won’t name that were easy targets and I found the tenor of comments about them depressing. I don’t want to be a jinx but I can’t recall that sort of negativity here for a long while.
2. ONTH it was kind of fascinating to actually see an example of ‘sudden onset mass hysteria’. Once was enough for me however.

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For the record I voted: (Pleasantly) surprise me.

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It was more in reference for spoilers between episodes of the same week. It makes sense when the recaps are way behind, but it's annoying when, for example, episode 1 is posted on Monday and episode 2 is on Wednesday, but beanies can't wait two days to make comments about episode 2 on Monday.

Another example is when they post episode 1, but then beanies post about the source material (book, manhwa, movie, whatever) ending. Not everyone knows what's "supposed" to happen, especially if the source was written in Korean and not translated, and beanies shouldn't share that info early on just for conversation. Use the fan wall for those types of comments.

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Yes I was referring to recaps that were way behind, especially those of the second eps of the week. I remember a lot of accidental spoilers in the comments under the first ep recaps, cos while waiting for the second ep recaps viewers got confused about what had appeared in which of the two consecutive eps.

Anyway, I agree spoilers generally shouldn't be allowed, though sometimes I can see why viewers bring up the source material or other versions when discussing the relative merits of the various productions.

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Do you mean celebrity gossip that’s generated by Beanies on the fan wall? I don’t think of DB as a site for celebrity gossip at all except when it shows up as part of the fan wall.Then again, I have no recollection of anything happening re: PSH. 🤔

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No, I'm not talking about the fan walls. I don't visit them because I don't know who to follow. But if someone wants to post stuff on their own fan wall and have a discussion, that's fine.

I don't want to draw attention to the posts that generate some vile comments, so I won't. I just recommend that this site sticks with factual and drama-related news posts instead of sensational headlines. There are enough tabloid and click bait kdrama and kpop websites that "report" on the personal lives of celebrities.

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Thanks for explaining.

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If you click on "Beanies" on the top of the page, you can access to the last comments on the Beanies walls without following them or in the different topics.

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Thank you!

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Yeah, plus, the following button on personal beanie profiles doesn't actually work, so it wouldn't really matter if you did know who you wanted to follow.
Scrolling through the Beanie Wall in its entirety is the only way to see everything really.

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I also would appreciate to time to time remind the non-spoiler rule - discuss only events up to the recapped episode, regardless of the actual airing. Not all of us have the luxury to follow the show live... plus sometimes I watch a show much much later.

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This is also true. I watch completed dramas when I'm in a binge watching mood, and I still enjoy reading the comments weeks (or months or years) after they were posted to see how my thoughts align with others!

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Thanks for asking!

One feature of weecaps I like (over recaps) is authorial voice - there's far more personal reaction and comments in a weecap which always gets me reacting/thinking/posting. I appreciate recaps are useful if you're struggling or want to catch up, but on the whole, if we're watching, we know. It's the response that is interesting.

Agree with others about weekly hangouts (rather than just one, and rather than on a fanwall). I missed out on a lot of good discussion just by not knowing when these had been set up or by not being connected to the person fanwalling. People theorising/guessing/disagreeing (politely!)/linking to other dramas is so much of what makes Dramabeans fun - and this most often happens when people are focused on one week's worth of one drama at a time.

Love it when people are able to correct subtitles or explain the nuance behind a phrase - non-speakers miss out on so much here.

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All of this!

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Yes to aurthorial voices. That’s what made javabeans and girlfriday so effective. They had very original writing voices. They were not afraid to put their opinions, as strong as they were, in their recaps. I miss that.

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Javabeans was terrible. She’s out of line in many occasions. Girlfriday was all right.

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My point is that her writing was strong and she wasn’t afraid to appear controversial. These are just shows after all. Fictional characters. It was more fun when there was some dissension.

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I would like to see more coverage on current kdramas somehow.

Changing from full recaps to weecaps could be good. It might encourage more discussions and quicker comments when the weecaps are posted soon like a day or so after the live episodes. I feel bad that some shows' recaps are not getting much attention after all the time and effort that must have been spent.

I think weekly hangouts are good and can be more organized instead of one general hangout for a drama because I might be some episodes behind, but I don't want to scroll through one hangout thread and read a spoiler. There would need to be a drama hangout link/button/icon on the website because they are hard to find after the thread gets buried by news/articles, etc.

Because I'm often behind and that I'm not watching many shows, I don't visit the What We’re Watching threads much. I might skim a few comments, but I don't want to accidently read spoilers about other shows.

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Yes, it makes me sad to see so many recaps (including wee caps and open threads) with so few comments. I wonder if it's a an issue with workload and deadlines because some recaps come very late and the audience (us beanies) have just moved on at that point. I know how time consuming and labor involved writing recaps can be, and just hope there's something out there to increase beanie engagement. I really miss the commentary from everyone!

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Same, it was sad when Mouse was being recapped but the recaps weren’t appearing until after the following week’s episodes had aired, it was really hard to comment without spoilers. I totally understand it taking so long because the episodes were hugely long and quite detailed, but with a mystery plot it didn’t work at all in terms of being able to engage with the post and share theories etc. it switched to a hangout in the end but then that got lost in the mix of all the other posts (I think hangouts have to either have their own section or be posted weekly to avoid that).

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Yes, I really wanted to follow the conversation with Mouse! Even though it went off the rails in the second half, I really wanted to talk to other people about it.

I also want it to be okay for recappers to "tag out" on a drama and switch to someone else who is okay with the content. Mouse was a heavy and gory drama, so I think that also contributed to the delay. The recappers should be comfortable, too!

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Yes it was quite a lot to have to watch in depth if you don’t do gore!

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Honestly, I think it's very hard to choose which drama recap or weecap because we learned from 2021 that big names meant nothing in the quality, synopsis neither... So the important is to represent different styles (sageuk, romance, thriller, etc.) like that everybody can find at least one drama that he/she likes.

Hangouts is a good solution but it gets lost in other post, so maybe one for each week would be better.

A new type of post I would like is a Korean point. I think the thing I miss the most in the recaps now, it's the Korean details that I can't understand as a non Korean, words play, cultural differences, explications of the names, etc. Sometimes, there are some comments about it that are very interesting.

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Yes, I also wish for more Korean cultural references because I know I’m missing so much. Access to that kind of “insider” information used to be my favorite thing about DB.

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It's something that set DB apart from other sites. So did the moderating (reminding people to be civil and to not post in comments about the next episode).

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I’m in for More recaps/weecaps and essays.
Also a bit unrelated but I don’t mind a like button for the posts - sometimes you enjoy reading a recap/essay but don’t want to comment anything, so having it would be another way to show appreciation.

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I think plain and simple weecaps would be great!, and yes to the authorial voice that many have pointed out here. I feel there is limited value in recapping the entire story for readers, who basically want to comment on what's happened in the past week. Some might want to "watch" through the recaps, but I think that weecaps serve that purpose very well. They're quick to read (and I imagine, quick to write too?), and succinctly capture the shenanigans of the week in the drama of choice. They're better than hangouts because hangouts get buried under, and tend to be forgotten; a weekly reminder of the show is useful.

A lot of the other features are also nice and worth retaining/returning to, e.g., TOTM, editorial team essays, but I think those require greater effort, if that is a constraint.

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I would also like more hangouts. I’ve watched several dramas this past month that we’re not recapped, and missed the discussion. Although, not sure I would have had time recently to engage as fully as I would like to. One of the great things about Dramabeans is engagement of Beanies and strong writing. That’s what made it stand out. Just having more content would just make this like so many other k-news and drama sites. I like the writing the most here. I’m for abetting that shows that off. Writing of beanies and staff.

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My Favorite segment is What are We Watching - anything else covered in DB is the cherry on top, for me. Greatly appreciate this blog and the community 💜

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Definitely appreciate places for engagement (e.g. hangouts, weecaps) that come quickly after the episode. The things I really appreciate in recaps are
- if it’s a really elaborate set up and there are details I might have missed
- pointing out cultural/language connotations/jokes an international viewer won’t automatically understand.

I really like the old curated drama recommendations posts (eg top 10 favorite OTPs), I have found so many good dramas from them,and it’s nice to see which classics still hold up/how more recent hits stack up.

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Personally, I don't really need or even want a full recap if it is just going to be a dry retelling of what happened in an episode. What drew me to DB was that in the past the recap writing made it feel like you were watching along with the recapper. I want personalities. I miss the authorial voices that were fun, engaging, and informative. I knew if such and such recapper thought this about a drama, then I was likely to agree with them or not, depending. Which isn't to say that the current recaps are not good. They're fine. And I know it's a lot of work to put a recap together, but you asked, and I'm saying I miss that certain something something that used to sparkle here. Maybe it will take some magic bean fairy dust to bring that back (or would that be gas? sorry, so sorry), but well, that's what I've got.

Oh, and I vote to bring back Theme of the Month. Maybe doing it monthly is too much for the editorial staff, so perhaps a quarterly theme might be more tenable. The themes brought a sense of connection and belonging to the site that further built the community here. It allowed people to proudly flex their writing and share their stories in a more formal manner than a comment can provide. They allowed for an even wider cultural viewpoint on the shared experience of drama watching, and that was very valuable in shaping my own drama watching experience.

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Completely agree about fun/informative recaps with an authorial voice, which were what drew me to this site in the first place. At their best, they reminded me of the glory days of Television Without Pity, where stuff like drunkenbee's recaps of Supernatural season 1 made me tune in just to see what she was being so funny about. In the case of K-drama: imo Beethoven Virus is a pretty terrible show, but Sevenses' Dramabeans recaps were essential reading for me and often made me LOL.

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Agree on all point, especially this:

"What drew me to DB was that in the past the recap writing made it feel like you were watching along with the recapper. I want personalities. I miss the authorial voices that were fun, engaging, and informative. I knew if such and such recapper thought this about a drama, then I was likely to agree with them or not, depending."

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Also, to add, I vote for more writers like @leetennant to be added to DB writing team. Theirs is a fantastic writing with delightful authorial voice and many, many insights that I absolutely love to read and reflect on.

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I really like the recap, they cover the show the way the editor sees it. I like to compare what you guys felt/saw/think and what I saw. The best part of the recap being the Editor comments ;)

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Re-caps are obviously a huge investment of time- and sometimes the best airing shows are not re-capped. More Wee-caps and Drama Hangouts would be the way to go. I get a great deal out of reading the comments.

I liked the recent News-bites as well. News about upcoming shows is one of the most valuable things that Dramabeans does- along with the What We're Watching articles.

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First, thank you to Dramabeans for listening to our voice. We care, that’s why we want the site to continue to be relevant.

Relevance is such a elusive goal but we kinda know if we’re hitting or missing the mark. Do we miss out on the most important drama once in a blue moon (understandable) or more frequent? (eg 2021 Baeksang top nominee and winner Beyond Evil and fearless forecast 2022 Red Sleeve will have its share). Are we timely in publishing? Publishing a recap > a week after finale of a top buzzworthy drama is not timely ( in fairness this has improved significantly kudos to DB! The only outlier I recall is for CLOY and that’s 2 years ago! I know! It’s just a week, but by social media standards, it is a lifetime). Is the recap fun to read? Recaps with personality and editorial are fun! Sometimes I despair when even the comments section is simply a discussion on the story/plot vs true editorial (so do you love it?) which for me is the guidance I find useful. It’s not that I blindly follow every editor, but over time you get a sense which editor mirrors your taste ( in the old days - HeadsNo2 for me then Javabeans/Girlfriday).

Net, I’d like to discover new dramas on this site or celebrate together whether the current drama was as good for you as it was for me! (Or the reverse).

A full recap takes a lot of time and I feel bad whether people are really reading blow by blow. I do rejoice on the weecap innovation.

I depict here more a smell of the place of what a relevant site would look like. I don’t have the answers exactly. I do like most of the comments here. Just to know I’ll be cheering on the side!

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Amen to everything that you said, especially this:

"Relevance is such a elusive goal but we kinda know if we’re hitting or missing the mark. Do we miss out on the most important drama once in a blue moon (understandable) or more frequent? (eg 2021 Baeksang top nominee and winner Beyond Evil and fearless forecast 2022 Red Sleeve will have its share)."

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I look forward every year to your editors' picks - and I'm hanging out for the picks of 2021!

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I do vote for the weecaps , hang-outs and news bites / news about upcoming shows. I am with the other beanies re timeliness of the recaps. I remember a couple of shows in the past, where I had lots of things to say and share after watching , but since the recap went out after the next week's episodes are already shown, there is nothing much to comment anymore. So, since I recognize that this takes a lot of time and effort, weecaps should be the solution - or weekly hang-outs.

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I like the variety of beanie brains for Theme of the Month, but hangouts are cool, too (hangouts fill the more drama coverage in another way than full recaps). Thanks, db staff!

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One thing that would have been good for me as a new beanie would have been a guide to how the fan wall is supposed to work. Maybe I’m just not that bright but it took me ages to realize it was even there 😅

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It took me a long time, too. I finally figured it out because that’s where so much discussion about the shows was actually happening.

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Here’s my wish list. I want more information about the Korean context of dramas, from the language nuances to inside jokes and references. I’ve always wanted to know more about what Korean viewers are saying about dramas, do we like the same things they like about shows and performances? What are they complaining about that we can’t even recognize? What parts of the show are catching fire, creating trends, making buzzwords there?

My other unrealistic wish is that we didn’t use the fan wall for discussion that belongs on a recap page. I believe this is why the recaps generally have low total comments (and what feels like low interest), because almost everyone has said what they want to say on the fan wall already. Even for timely recaps, people just can’t wait. There was a time when this was not so and Beanies self-disciplined, but it got out of hand long ago and I suppose there’s no going back. (It was also a time when you knew recaps would be there in one or two days.)

In the real world, I’d pick weecaps to cover more shows (with editor’s comments). Covering more shows will make the site appealing and significant to more fans. Hangouts are very difficult to keep hold of as the drama goes on. I guess I’ll classify that as “surprise me” with my vote.

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I agree that the fanwall has taken up a lot of comments that used to appear on the recap pages. Fanwall posts are not as visible as recaps/weecaps, they are dispersed and they get lost in the void, so it feels like there is low interest in a drama while in fact the opposite may be the case. For example, the fanwall is currently flooded with OUR BELOVED SUMMER posts, and there are some lengthy discussions. The Open Thread weecap, in contrast, has only 34 comments.

I wonder if a Hangout thread could be created right before the episode airs with "a canned one-sentence intro with spoiler warning" (to quote @lordcobol), so that beanies can spazz there instead of on the fanwall? The weecap could be edited in 1-2 days later.

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I voted for more editorials.
I'm an African born in UK, so the cultural differences are often explained with your excellent editorials.

But I still have some questions.

For example, I can understand why the romantic male lead wears a lip covering. If they have to repeat the kiss scenes hundreds of times, it would stop lips sticking together.......but why does it have to be so red? Why does the heroine open her eyes to the extent they almost bulge out of their sockets when she is kissed for the first time? I've never seen that reaction in films in any other cultures than Chinese. And the male lead approaches the kiss with such glacier-like deliberation she has ample time to either accept or refuse the kiss so the horrified shock seems rather exaggerated. I've never been given that much time with a first kiss. Thankfully! I don't want to die wondering! And I would think that the man's face, growing larger and larger millimetre by millimetre as he approached you would be a real turn-off.

Why do modern Korean parents seem to care more about prestige and money when their children want to marry than whether the person is a nice person or not. It seems to be a thread that runs through an awful lot of dramas, so even allowing for poetic license, it must be a reality even in modern Korea.

Could we have a quick line on the deposit system for renting a flat or house? It seems to be hugely punitive, but nobody ever says quite how much it is relative to income.

Otherwise, I've been a complete addict for five years now. I pay a small fortune for regular subscriptions to an English and a US newspaper, plus a couple of international magazines. None of them give me as much pleasure as your site. Why don't you charge us a sub? it doesn't have to be US$150 per annum, like the Washington Post, but I'm sure we could all afford something to keep you guys doing such a great job, or even adding more staff so we get more recaps???

Meanwhile, good luck to all of you and thank you, thank you, thank you. May 2022 by THE YEAR!

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Ok, I will make a stab at some answers and invite Beanies to please correct me.

Korean men wear cosmetics, it’s a big business for real. I can’t think how many times I’ve seen the lip color on an actor and cringed but apparently it’s seen as a plus to their look in Korea.

Kissing as a novelty. I’m gonna stretch out here and say it relates to Confucian mores of modesty and morality. Kdramas have been like this the whole 16 years I’ve been watching, like the girl has not only never been kissed but never seen such a thing as a kiss 😮 And may be quite fearful of it 😂 Some actresses even have reputations as “goldfish” (is that the term?) kissers because of how their eyes bug out and they stiffen up when kissed. In the old shows it felt like you would be lucky to get one kiss by the end. I found it extreme while at the same time refreshing that people weren’t falling into bed before the first date was over, like on US TV. Lots of viewers like that about kdrama. Now when I see western tv I’m actually taken aback and think whoa, slow down there with the sex! Btw, Korean movies don’t skimp on the sex ☺️, just dramas.

I can’t explain the housing costs thing, it’s confusing to me. You’d have to do research and there’s def been stuff explaining it.

it’s not been that long , maybe 3 generations at most, since it became acceptable for Koreans to find their own matches, since they stopped automatically entering arranged marriages. Everything has always been about strengthening the family by all means possible, be it by education, by marriage (with strategic and material benefits), by showing familial piety. It’s part of Confucianism to sacrifice the personal for the collective good, starting with the family unit. I think in dramas that gets exaggerated for dramatic effect.

It would be great if everyone contributed more money to the Support Dramabeans fund. It’s easy to make additional payments beyond the small monthly contribution but we are on the honor system. And more money would fund the changes we are all asking for. I can’t help recap since I don’t speak Korean so the only way I can help is to give money and encourage everyone to do the same as they are able
💰💵💴💶💷💰
Dramabeans, fighting!

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...you see, this is exactly what the previous poster is *not* asking for. Not supposition, nor "this is what I've gleaned from watching kdramas as a fan". They are asking for- very relevantly- historico/socio/cultural context from someone who actually knows the real, factual basis for even the smallest details of what we see on our screens, and for that information to be presented so us international kdrama fans can understand it right away.

I love recaps. In the olden days it was about getting spoiled before subs came out. Now, with subs coming out at lightning speed, I still want recaps because despite years of exposure to Korean culture, there is still stuff I don't understand. I come here for that, but I always leave disappointed. Sorry to be harsh, but the recappers know way less than I do...and it shouldn't be that way (...in an ideal world...)

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Oh I see just above you made a similar comment. I apologise for not seeing it first (I'm reading the comments backwards)

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best you are an absolute star, thank you SO much for your time and trouble, that really is hugely helpful. Where African culture and Korean culture are in perfect agreement is that the strength of the family is everything. Unfortunately, where I live this can mean literally selling off a daughter to increase the family's strength in the area, but this is a dying practice.

I totally agree that the lurid sex scenes in US dramas and some British are absolutely revolting and thank goodness for the fast-forward if it is a recording, and a lot of the time they have little relevance to the story.

I love Korean drama. I love the way characters develop throughout the drama, and I have cried and laughed more through some of these dramas than I have ever done at Western sagas (well, obviously not all of them!). Some of them are so compelling I watch them before the subtitles appear and then again with subtitles, and then I read Beanies to find out if I have understood things correctly.

Once again, thank you bestie for your time and trouble, it really does help!

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Hi @jayton sifimoyo, you are most welcome. We all pick up a lot from recaps, recappers comments and Beanie comments over the years. Many Beanies have been inspired to deep research into Korean history and culture and share their knowledge with us.

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DB is a site where kdramas are put into context. In society, principles control behavior and order while culture implements values. Korea is no different.

In conservative Korean society, status and class rank were important. Marriage was not viewed as a bond between couples but a merger of families. Today, Korean culture has worn away those customs for couples to marry without permission and even not marry at all (which in the past was to dishonor your parents).

The Korean Key Deposit rental system is where a renter deposits 50 to 70 percent of the market value of an apartment with the landlord for a two year lease term. The landlord takes the money and invests it. After two years or any extension, the landlord gives back the deposit but retains any interest/profits on the money. For the term of the lease, the tenants did not pay rent so they could "save" their earnings to later buy their own house. The landlords could deposit the funds in high interest rate bank accounts to gain a good return. However, the economy has changed the real estate market where there are more monthly rentals with a security deposit. Property owners are now more concerned with appreciation of land values than holding deposits in low interest rate accounts.

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Oh wow, finally I have some clarity about these rent deposits issues I see in dramas. Thank you, welh!

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I really miss recaps for sageuks and am finding myself spending more time on other sites that are willing to go the extra mile. It's a shame because I'd rather be here discussing each episode with other sageuk watching beanies.

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I was torn between "more show coverage" and "editorial/essays", and I went with the latter as I'm a sucker for insightful last section of re-caps, "comments". I like reading recaps, but sometimes I just really have no time for 1,000 words re-telling of a plot but I always (always!) read comments section. Missvitrix was able to fuse the two -- meditation on the material and recapping of the actual material -- which is fantastic. I'm not advocating for getting rid of re-caps but I feel like recaps are getting longer and more dense on DramaBeans, I'm just not sure if anyone (except hard-core fans of the drama) has time to read all of that. The recappers' opinions on the actual show, however, are always fun to read, it's that what prompts some of my own insights. I NEVER skip reading them. So I chose more "editorial/essays" but I want to see them more in the context of the actual drama. That's what I was alluding to in my earlier comments, nurture diverse opinionated pieces from beanies -- I think this is what brought us to this blog in the first place -> instead of dry re-cap, we got an insight from re-cappers on a variety of things about the dramas we watch. Finally, there needs to be more coverage of truly amazing shows, which were for some incomprehensible reason missed this past year. I think there needs to be someone "at the top" who can understand the quality of the drama and its overall potential for "award buzz" and long-lasting impact (whether through their own editorial lens or through consumption of the dramaland media), and assign this drama to be recapped, even if there are no voluntary takers.

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This!

Someone at the top who can understand the quality of show. Maybe it wasn’t apparent at the start. Maybe you only realized it mid series. Or maybe you only realized it at the end of the series.

No matter. Better later than never.

Example - Javabeans had a series recap at the end of The Princess Man. TPM is one of the best 100% history and 100% romance that I’ve ever watched. I came across it 2 years after the airing, and my selection of the kdrama was influenced by Javabeans beautiful review. It remains one of my top favorites.

I did see this attempt with the series recap of Squid Game. Love it, hate it, you cannot ignore a global phenomenon. So I was happy there was a series recap / series weecap ( or in the future, even just a series review!)

Promise! We will Not take it against you to stop recapping a train wreck. So that you can shift attention to truly worthy shows. And if you missed it at the start.. better later than never!

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I vote for: more recaps with an authorial voice. I think DB should stick to its description of a "Trending KDrama Recaps and Reviews" site. In other words, I would like a return to what made DB unique.

Consider your audience. It includes beanies and non-beanies who are live-watching dramas and those who will watch them in the future.

For example, after the success of RED SLEEVE CUFF, you can bet that viewers who were waiting for it to finish (like me) will watch it and look for recaps to navigate the historical stuff. Other viewers who discovered Junho will watch his previous works. I'm still getting replies to my comments on the CHIEF KIM (2017) recaps so obviously people are still reading them.

Recaps will keep getting views long after the show has finished airing.

Case in point: I recently watched TAMRA, THE ISLAND, and after each episode I read the recap + comments on DB. It was as fresh as if the drama had aired today. @nattacatta's passion and love for the drama shone through, and I could gasp, groan, swoon, and punch the air along with her as easily as when it was written in 2010.

Hangouts would serve the immediate need for beanie spazzing (without flooding the fanwall), but recap posts are more likely to receive views and remain relevant in the future. What are the stats for the recaps of HEALER or COFFEE PRINCE? You can do a bit of research DB Staff. What are your most viewed posts?

As well as fun and informative recaps, I want to hear the editor's voice more in posts like 2021 Editor's Picks or Top 10 lists

Dramabeans is a reference point for many viewers because it helps us choose dramas to watch. Consider it as marketing for your own site too since viewers will check out content on those dramas.

Realistically, I know the kdrama scene has changed because there are so many dramas aired at the same time nowadays. It is time-consuming to write recaps so it would probably be impossible to recap every single one. I have a suggestion: implement a "Beanie Request" form like on VIKI to ask for recaps on upcoming or currently airing dramas. While DB Staff should be free to choose the drama they want to recap, it's also good to know your audience and how many readers might tune in.

Furthermore, I wouldn't expect a recapper to stick with a show for all 16 episodes if it turns out to be a trainwreck or barely has comments. I like the "This is a Episode 1 recap only" custom, but I'd also be fine with "Recaps will be discontinued after this episode and a final series review will be provided at the end."

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YES, yes, yes to all of it! The one thing I caution against is "beanie request" and I'd suggest for DM finding a balance between popularity and impact of the show. In my opinion, DAYS did NOT need 16 episode recaps here on DM, but it was wildly popular on VIKI with mostly younger girls, who absolutely destroyed you if you dare say a single morsel of criticism of the show. Yet such relevant shows as Red Cuff, which might not have been as wildly popular with a throng of kids might be more relevant to recap due to its lasting impact. So, I caution against the "like" button or "request". Imo, people who are passionately devoted to this blog and who stay here long-term are not looking for a fan-fueled "like" fodder that burns out as quickly as it started. They are looking for insights into /outlet to discuss the variety of topics on society, culture, relationships, etc.

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Sure, in the old days "beanie requests" were anathema, as stated in the Contact Form:

Got a comment? A question? Send us an email!…unless it’s to ask for recaps. Or complain why we don’t have recaps. Or call me a poopyhead for not doing recaps. Then don’t send that email. We don’t recap based on requests.

However, times have changed. There are too many shows, and DB no longer has that personal touch that Javabeans and Girlfriday gave it. So I'd say that having an official way to contact staff about shows we'd like to see recapped isn't a bad idea (and by "we" I mean registered beanies).

By the way, I haven't watched many dramas lately... what does DAYS stand for?

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Oh, very interesting, I did not know that. DAYS=Doom At Your Service.

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*inserting a plug for timely recaps* because if we want to avoid spoilers all over the fanwall, the watchers need a place to discuss the weekly episodes shortly after they're released.

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Yes, agree to all this! I regularly visit recaps of dramas from 5+ years ago - I don’t know that I would visit an old open thread unless I was REALLY interested.

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"What are the stats for the recaps of HEALER "
Ooooh ooh ooh, I know! I know! hahaha

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I myself would welcome more shows... preferably covered via Open Threads / Weecaps... in Our-Beloved-Summer style (excellently written by @missvictrix ❤)... I'm currently more interested in recappers' thoughts (and extra insightful information) than in a description of what's happening on the screen. (I also think, maybe naively, that they take less time than recaps, thus hoping that we could get 2 OT shows instead of 1 show with a regular Recap?).

I think the classical recaps were great during times when we had to wait 1 week for subtitles (big thank you to the subtitling teams!)... I still remember watching many shows (Secret Garden, Best Love...) first raw, then reading Javabean's / Girlfriday's recaps and then watching with subtitles when they got available (and sometimes even comparing different subtitles to get the nuances). However, times have changed...

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I noticed a comment from someone who couldn't see the point of recaps which were simply a dry re-telling of the story. But I often start a drama based on the recap, or decide NOT to watch one based on the recap, so in that sense they have huge value.

I rarely find the recaps dry. They often explain the nuances of Korean culture that add richness to the storyline for foreigners. Most of the recappers have a great sense of the absurd, and I'm often laughing more at the recap than at the drama itself. So please give us MORE recaps and MORE editorials.

And if it's a drama I am really enjoying then I ALWAYS read the recaps, in case I have missed some points

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simply, this site needs more timely and engaging content. (think: asap and fun)

That has been lacking on this site for many years now. The content is dry and out of touch with the fanbase. The community who use this site keeps shrinking, and this site failed to retain the fun users and commentors who become the reason for new users to stay.

it's really easy to see how to make this site better, and as fun and as vibrant as it used to be. But I feel the management won't be doing anything.

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I think you guys should try to hire someone to give this site a management overhaul. Someone with fresh ideas who’s willing to try new things out to see what sticks. Tbh I think if you advertised, you could get a drama fan with experience working on website editorial as a volunteer or hell, even as a consultant. People here have some fantastic ideas in these very comments.

I’ve always thought it was the biggest tragedy that DB and GF didn’t open up to the community about their financial troubles and ask for donations or set up a patreon or something. At its peak this site was thriving and I think they could’ve easily survived because people loved it so much. I also wasn’t sure why they had to completely leave. Like…. in another multiverse maybe, DB and GF, if they want to, could start a gofundme or something to buy the site back, and give the damn thing an entire overhaul from scratch, come back guns blazing. No lie, I’d give them half my monthly paycheque.

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Thank you DB Staff for keeping this site alive for years. I personally think the comments are sometimes not where it’s supposed to be? The comments and thoughts for a show used to be mostly on the recaps, but now it’s also on What we’re watching and Fanwall. So when the actual recap post are up, I feel like people who already posted somewhere else would be reluctant to comment on the actual recap/weecap post.

I still remember watching dramas years ago and went to Dramabeans to refresh this site multiple times to see if the recap has been posted. And it was mostly on time. So I know when to expect it. I love reading educated explanation about stuffs I don’t understand as a non-korean and I love reading the sarcastic comments (both by author and commenters). Nowadays if I want to read deep thoughts about a show, I go to kfangurl, because I feel like I don’t really get that insight from Dramabeans anymore. I’m so biased but I did really hope there will be elaborate recaps for Red Sleeve (for how the show is in a way more traditional than nowadays saeguk and for my love for Junho lol).

So maybe it’s possible to post more recaps/weecaps? And will it be possible to let us know when the post will be up? So we can restraint ourselves from commenting on other places? Not sure if my rants make sense, hopefully some do.

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Uh ... Guest Recappers and a new Satire Article series? :P
Ah keep dreaming, Sic.

Most of what I would say otherwise has been said already to be honest.

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I'd love satire articles and I think they would be a hit. However, k-fans are known to be a bit crazy with whatever k-media they like, so satirizing their favorite shows might pose a risk of doxing, lol, no?

+1 for guest recappers!

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Omg.. I'm late to the party.
Personally, I found that many of the most interesting discussions in the past year happened on our Fan Walls, but then the same thoughts never made it to the recap page (it feels weird copy-pasting). And if you don't login to DB for a few days, it's almost impossible to keep track of what happened on the fan wall. Maybe we need to do a better job waiting, or is it possible to preemptively post the show's page before the recap/weecap is posted? It seems like non-Korean beanies need full recaps for the context, but posting sooner than later seems to be the way to get more participation. 🤔
Also, I swear there were 20 different, disjointed conversations about BE.

Finally, I second a comment from above that DB should not post celeb news, even if it's tangentially related to dramas. I still think posting about SJK and SHK was a bad idea..

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But really, there were so many times I read something on the beanies' wall that I felt was a shame that only a few people would get to read.

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Just thinking about other sites that I’m a long time reader of, and the things that keep me coming back are regular features that I know when they will run (mixed in with the other content of course!). The regular “What we’re watching” post is one of those for me here - other ideas I’ve enjoyed elsewhere have been things like prompted chat posts (like the one up today) and curated round up posts of things from the site and around the web.

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Two things would make a big difference for me and make me more inclined to participate more again: timely posting and a more flexible platform. Writing recaps takes time and energy, and I appreciate the recappers for doing it! But for excited fans who want to talk about it, waiting days to a week for a recap to appear means that we'll have taken our discussion elsewhere and by the time its posted, we'll have talked it to bits already. I hate to say it, but a recap (or a weecap/quick few-line summary and some initial observations from the recapper which can be later built out) would at least respond to the need to enthuse/rant/discuss, etc. while the ep is still hot off the grill.

The site itself is kind of clunky - hangouts would be great, but they need to be posted on the main page so they don't get lost as new content is added. The Fan Wall seems to have become a free-for-all - it would be great if the following feature worked, or if there was a way for us to better curate the content we were most interested in seeing from the Fan Wall. There are lots of things we Beanies are interested in, so this would help us both browse and connect quickly with the things that interest us the most.

And an edit button, too - so I can correct all my typos! :-)

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