142

[Drama chat] The drama you initially dismissed as not your thing


Have you ever come across a wildly popular drama that you intentionally ignored while it was airing because, well, it just didn’t appeal to you? And then, for some reason, you decided to give it a chance? Well, that’s pretty much the origin story of my eternal love for Hospital Playlist, my current reigning favorite K-drama.

At first, I dismissed it as just another medical drama, and since I was a bit burnt out on the genre at the time, I avoided it. Or at least I tried to. But every time I got on Instagram my #kdrama feed was flooded with memes and spoilers from the wildly popular show. I continued to ignore them until I caught wind of the WinterGarden ship. You mean to tell me there was a slow-burn romance — my favorite kind of romance — there the whole time?!

So, shortly after the season 1 finale aired, I jumped on the Hospital Playlist bandwagon and binged the entire first season. I’ve been obsessed ever since. Like, so obsessed I bought two pairs of the officially licensed Hospital Playlist scrub pajamas, all versions of the OST, the Oxford Blocks set (like LEGOS), and the piano sheet music even though I can’t play the piano.
 

Have you ever prematurely dismissed a drama as “not your thing” only to have it become one of your all-time favorites?

 
Let the chatting begin!
 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: ,

142

Required fields are marked *

Hi Bye, Mama! Because it had ghosts I thought it would be too scary for me but watched it and loved the story. So so sad to think about the ghosts who can’t go enjoy the afterlife as too worried about those they left behind. Also, really funny in parts. I think they got the balance right and raised some important points about letting go and moving on and holding on and cherishing the memories.

5
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hi bye Mama made me cry buckets, even though I know there is no such thing as ghosts walking around in the midst of us. But this drama portray a very livid representation of grieve and that is so true. The Bible says those who died don't feel anything or know anything anymore, but those who remain alone and alive are the ones grieving and feeling sad. I sympathize with them so much... it was hard to watch. But I couldn't help it... I even watched it while airing...

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes I find the concept of people looking down from heaven weird as what kind of a heaven would it be if you have to watch your loved ones going through so much pain etc. and you can’t do anything about it. So the ghosts walking around is not something I believe in either but it’s the scariness of how they are usually portrayed and the implications that something taking on the form of a familiar face could convince you to do anything.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well, at least from the bible perspective, what we can do for our loved ones is not forget them, because they will resurrect... Come back to life and have their second chance.
Of course, that's a matter of faith, but how beautiful is that hope?
For me, I can't live without hope.
And of course, there is more than some scriptures assuring that the dead will raise up again, there is much more.
But as for the death in general, that is the good news. You don't suffer when you die, but you will wake up again from the death... And life will be better.
This is something that inspires me soo much that I myself write about it all the time. How great life will be in the future.

I wish you a good day! 🙋

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Faith is a beautiful thing and the hope and peace it gifts us 🥰 stay blessed

1

Such a gem.
This show was lovely.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beyond Evil for me. Didn't pick it up as it aired - seemed too dark and depressing and I tend to steer towards lighter things. But so much raving by other Beanies finally led me to pick it up and I was blown away. So tightly crafted, so compelling, so thought-provoking, so blindingly well-acted. Right up there in my top dramas.

16
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for selling this so well. I have not seen a bad thing written about this drama everyone recommends it as a top drama in all areas which is so rare which is why I am so tempted to watch but I know I really would not be able to handle it.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Personally, I didn't like it. The acting was great, the actors did really a good job. But a lot of things in the story didn't make sense for me. The writer focused on the mourning part and I have no issue with that, but completely forgot the characters were cops and had to act as such.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Knowing your sensitivity levels a bit better with every new comment, ah yeah, you would NOT be able to handle BE at all lmao. Like not even the first episode, let alone the rest of the show pfft.

(Although just to add to the controversial bug started by Kurama... I also didn't like it haha, although I thought it started well.)

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for confirming I called it correctly 😊and to add there are alternative reviews to the high praise it usually gets.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This reminds me that i have to finish this drama. Might as well start again from the beginning. I'm glad you like it

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beyond Evil was one of these for me as well. I avoided it when it aired because I'm usually not a fan of serial killer shows and then ended up loving it. This is probably in large part because it isn't a "who done it" in the traditional sense and the focus is on the survivors of violence, not the killers and the awful things they do to their victims. I know some folks disliked the fact that it wasn't a more traditional crime drama, but for me that was what made it so special.

8
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed. It’s not really about who the killer is but the aftermath - how lives are changed or destroyed and whether redemption is possible, accentuated by the close-knit community setting. It’s certainly a masterpiece in my book and had watched it twice already.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am currently watching Beyond Evil for a second time :)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Goblin for me.

I tried twice and it didn’t work. Felt like it was an utter waste of 8 or more hours of my life and couldn’t understand why it was raved so much. Wasn’t interested in the bromance between the ML and the SML.. and what? The ML is a goblin (what is that?) and the SML is a grim reaper? The FL who looks so plain? Urg no. Thank you.

Tried the third time, and OMG. I really liked it. Guess it was the right time, right mood, and the right thing thing? Adored it.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, @mmmmm, how did I not know you liked this show??? I loved it fr the first scene the first time. 😂

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just Between Lovers!
I'm so fussy this week because of this show. When this drama aired i intentionally ignored it because i heard it has sad story and the genre is melodrama. I knew it was famous back then and i knew beanies here love that show (i've lurked here for years). Even Junho's name wasn't able to change my mind.
My 2017/2018 self was still so happy, normal, and shallow and only want to watch something bloody like thriller dramas.

I decided to pick this up because of Link. I want similar shows like Link: painful, dark, a bit of trauma, and sometimes feels lifeless. JBL came out as one of recommended shows. Since i know it's popular, why not?
So so glad i decided to watch it. It has a lot of love and pain in the same time. Most characters are likeable and the actors are awesome. I still have few episodes left so i hope the show will finish strong.
I'm listening to JBL ost now😊

9
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Chief Kim! I had a hard time imagining how a show about accounting fraud could be interesting and broad comedy isn't usually my thing, but it turned out to be an all-around delightful watch. It finds just the right balance between silliness and seriousness, Namgoong Min is phenomenal, and it lets its ensemble be wacky without ever reducing them to one-dimensional stereotypes. Should not have waited so long to watch this one.

12
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

“I had a hard time imagining how a show about accounting fraud could be interesting” 🤣 I don't think you are alone doing a double take on that as a selling point! However, what we know from the office drama playbook whatever the focus of the work it’s just an excuse to see people working stupidly long hours, being available for phone calls at all times of the day and night and having to deal with a competitive co worker.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

There is definitely a pattern there, but I found this one actually delved much more deeply into the whole accounting part than most "office shows" which don't ever really get into the nitty gritty of the work that folks are actually doing. I got the sense that the writer had actually done his research which made it interesting, even if I didn't always grasp all the math-y details.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sounds like they did Forecasting love and weather levels of research which added authenticity to the presentation.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same same! I had to try twice, and then I was totally hooked. Defo a top drama for me... and I love Namgoong Min.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Forest of Secrets... and then it became my favorite piece of media ever created.

12
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I also wasn't sure how this one would go as the "cold genius male lead pairs up with spunky, warm female lead" trope is usually one of my least favorite things, plus I don't care for serial killers, but I also ended up loving it. A great example of how good writing and acting can turn familiar plot elements into something special.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I need to rewatch this...

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Very true..it was so unexpectedly well-written, well-directed and well-acted. I am glad they picked a well-established ahjushi actor and Bae Doona who really picks her script really well

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Now that i think about it, i did avoid Forest of Secrets at first. I think it was because i don't know the leads, haven't watched any of their projects. And i heard it's very procedural. Sounds not really interesting back then.
Oh i was so wrong.
Now i want season 3

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You feel this way about Hospital Playlist. Wow! I loved Hospital Playlist, but your loved is unrivaled.

The drama I dismissed but slowly up warming up to is Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Why? I didn't want to rewatch the savant syndrome arc in the earlier episodes of The Good Doctor (American version), and that it(Savant Syndrome) be romanticized, drawing attention away from the fact the autism isn't the same for all autistic patients, and the struggles of the parents. Well clearly it is not doing that at the moment, and I hope it remains so.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just like @daebakgrits , I also stayed far away from Hospital Playlist, because it was a medical drama, and I don't like them, at all. However, everyone was talking about it, about Shin PD's comeback (at that time I didn't know who he was) so I tried the 1st episode. It was sooooo long! I was like 'nah this is too boring'. Then one day I was scrolling through Netflix and stumbled upon this, and started watching again, out of boredom, and BAM! I just binged the whole thing and when I checked the time it was 5.30 in the morning! I made a Twitter account for the sole purpose of finding more wintergarden fan art and that was a huge leap out of the box because I really don't like hardcore stanning and fangirling and avoided Twitter like the plague. Oh the things I do for the love of HosPlay *sigh* 😂♥️

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@gimzy20 Yes, getting over the hurdle of episode one was difficult, but so worth it! I think it takes some getting used to because a lot of characters and names are thrown at you randomly, but at the same time it makes it a drama that's better during its second viewing. So many little things I caught the second time around that initially slipped past me.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@daebakgrits Cannot agree more! I think that's a characteristic of this writer - director duo, felt the same with reply 88' and Prison Playbook.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

For me it's Revenge Returns/ Boksoo is Back 😁
The synopsis was way over the top, even Yoo seung ho wasn't able to pull me in. Later that year, I had a lot of free time so decided to watch the first two episodes just to see how over the top the plot is, and surprisingly telling myself "Let me watch one more episode".
It's not that I will ever be rewatching any time soon but it certainly exceeded my expectations.
Since then Yoo seung ho, Kim Minjae and to a lesser extent, Lee Jung Seok are the ones I trust to select on a solid script.

Also a really old medical drama starring Lee Yo won named Surgeon Dal Bong Hee. I was so ready to drop in the first episode but persisted and finally reached the ending and even found a gem of OST. The ML is totally not the eye candy which we expect from kdramas and was so grumpy till the final week that my roommate ( who doesn't watch kdramas was curious enough to watch till the last episode because she was so certain that he would absolutely not be able to have a romantic scene with FL 😄)

Also Jejungwon! I initially wanted to watch because it was timed at such a critical point in Korean history; how the first modern hospital in Korea came to be but the number of episodes almost dissuaded me. Thankfully I persisted and enjoyed a lot!

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh wow, not many Beanies these days would have watched Surgeon BDH and Jejungwon! I’m glad to know these are favorites of another Beanie!

I became a fan of Lee Bum Soo and Lee Ye Won because of SBDH, whose PD went on to direct the Dr Romantics series and the current favorite of everyone - Extraordinary Attorney Woo.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I didn't know the PD was similar! No wonder they really took care in ensuring authenticity of the different medical procedures.
I'm a fan of these old medical dramas and I really want to learn Hangul so that I can watch the ones without subs like General hospital S1

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My Mister. I remember seeing ads about it on Dramafaver (RIP), but at the time I did not watch dramas live, so I ignored it. Then I read a very favorable review and I gave the drama a try. I am glad I did!

9
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I also waited quite awhile on this one - it sounded really heavy (which it is), but once I started it I realized that it was also incredibly well paced and engaging.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This was my experience with My Mister, too.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh god. i remember it took me more than a month to get through the first ep of my mister. took another 3 days for ep 2 & 3. by episode 4, i was hooked and binged watch the rest of ep within 2 days.

my mister was not the only show that i initially dismissed.
stranger 1, hot stove league, designated survivor: 60 days.
i almost dropped all these show from my watch list. it took me days, or month to get through the first few ep. but it always end up as my fav.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

All the shows you mentioned are top notch, not to be missed.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The way you watched My Mister was very similar than mine. There's so much pain in the first few episodes that i have to take a breather and i was not sure i can continue. But once i passed the first few episodes i was totally hooked and it's still one of my all time favorite.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Bossam: Steal the Fate. I was not into historical Korean palace stories. But I knew Jung Il-Woo and Kwon Yuri from their cooking shows so I just happened to give it a watch since I had not seen either in a drama. It turned out better than I expected even though the palace arcs were the least enjoyable parts.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Healer. 😂😂😂 The description on Viki was off-putting and the first scene looked like the set-up for a Tom Cruise action movie, which is SO not my cup of tea. I tried several times before getting past those first few minutes.

I have seldom been happier to be wrong.

10
24
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please can you describe what it is like as it’s the thriller element that is putting me off. Is it like Find me in your memory as that was too tension inducing for me and I had to stop watching.

0
20
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's not a thriller - there are plenty of scenes with action-based suspense ("oh no, how will they outrun/outwit the bad guys this time?") and some light psychological suspense, but nothing super scary. Mostly it's about the lead characters putting together the pieces of a longstanding, complex mystery. The fight scenes are pretty bloodless and cartoonish, which works for me because I don't love violence and can't handle gore. There's romantic tension, but it's also both swoony and humorous.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Healer is just like a comic book.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

@elinor and @midnight thank you♥️

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@reply1988,
After you watch HEALER you will ‘get’ my DB name (taken in homage.)

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh wow, that is intriguing…🕵️‍♀️

1

Healer is really hard to put in a genre box but the action is more caper-esque (think Ocean's Eleven) than hard-core thriller and the core relationship is pure rainbows and unicorns - takes a few episodes to get rolling but I found it a warm, fuzzy delight.

10
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you ☺️

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh no! Healer is a wonderfully balanced drama! Imo one of the better, or best balanced dramas, in terms of all its genres and pieces- the thrillery elements, the romance, the action, the caper-esque, the backstory- all the pieces work really well together and compliment each other.
Recommend with my whole heart.

14
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow! High praise indeed. Thank you for coming in on this.

With your seal of approval I will add it to the safe to try list and hope the thriller/action parts are manageable for my weak too easily scared self or can be fast forwarded through without losing the essence of the show.

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Well it is my favourite kdrama so... hahaha

Yay! I don't quite know what is
TOO tense or thriller for you, but I hope you can try it anyway.

3

🤣Most things are too much for me. I have sensitive childlike tolerance levels for tension activation levels.

I love riding in a helicopter but can’t go on a rollercoaster, bungee jump or parachute.

2

Ok knowing it’s your favourite means I will work hard to watch it fully.🫣

2

Hmmm I can think of maybe 5 parts of it then you might find too tense, off the top of my head, heh. And I can maybe even tell you what episodes they're in... if you wanted.
(And no but you CAN'T skip them, at least not all of them! And like I said it's so well balanced)

Tied for favourite drama of all time, currently! Ahaha but now there's extra expectation riding in it, as well as it being a beloved beanie favourite! Otteoke! 😂😂😂

2

Yes please let me know which episodes so I can prepare myself with before and after activities to get me through.

Also what’s it a tie with for all time favourite?

0
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

A lot of lesser ones I can think of are like intermittently sprinkled throughout the other parts.
But off the top of my head
- there's one in the first few episodes but I can't remember what episode it is, maybe 5ish?
- near the end of 8, but then the real end of 8 is adorable and cute haha
- 12+13, bleeding over into 14, but 14 is like one of my favourite and one of the best episodes of the entire show so no skipping!
- and then it gets more intense in the last quarter due to the plot coming to a head, but the bit I'm thinking of is in episode 16.
There's probably more, given your sensitivity levels hehe, but that gives you a rough guide.

And my current other top drama is the CDrama, When We Were Young 2018

1

@sicarius thank you these heads ups they are saved.

I looked up when we were young it looks like a Reply 1988 slice of life close friends vibe. Thanks for adding the year to avoid confusion with another Chinese drama by the same name 2017 which is based on K drama School 2015. Which is definitely not watchable for me.

0

You're welcome!

Oh it's so beautiful, and imo, so underrated.
It's a Youth drama, just so you know if those aren't your thing- but yeah, very slice of life, coming of age, a good balance between both the friendships joys but also the hardships and bittersweetness of youth. I call it my Kintsuguroi drama hehe; broke my heart and stitched it back together with gold.

1

@sicarius just to say rom com, slice of life and youth drama are my go tos. Youth drama works for me as apart from the bullying issues which are usually in there somewhere it is usually pitched at the level of angst I can handle🤣
I have watched a ridiculous amount of web dramas because of this genre. A-Teen, Blue birthday, Big mistake, Racket boys and 25, 21 and I will go into the uni days era too.

Have you seen the Chinese drama Go ahead?

1

Ehhhh! Oh that's so nice to hear. (You will probably love WWWY18 then as it's mainly the latter, with a very sweet, but very background little romance.)
I mean I know they're not for everyone and that's fine, but about half of my top 10 are youth dramas of some kind, so it turns out I like them quite a lot apparently haha.
I think only some of them would be okay for you though, as two of them at least are some of the darkest youth dramas I can think of woops!

I have not! Do you like it? I will look into it, run it through my Cdrama filter hehe.

1

@sicarius Go ahead is my favourite Chinese drama its all three genres in one. It has 2 dad’s living in an apartment block dividing caring for three children between them.

2

I started Healer and couldn't get on board the love line... Maybe I should try again... Also, for some reason I was put off by how young he looked! Suspicious Partner was just about right for me :D

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's funny, it was Park Min-young who looked too young to me at first - but she owned that role and really grew on me as the series went on. JCW looked younger than 27 in Healer and older than 30 in SP, but maybe that was also the makeup and styling in the two shows.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Healer is on my top 5 dramas and I’ve watched over a hundred!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Too many dramas to list, but I'll try it out and after 1-2 episodes, it's not working, I read DB and get over the hump, so to speak. Dramas I ordinarily would have dropped. This site is so helpful!

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

very first..
I am not a Robot... 3 times picked n dropped at 4 episode mark..
then finally 4th time determined to pass 4th episode at least and reach till 8th.. but then i dont even when i fell in love with this absolutely cute n awwwdorable show.

2. Just between lovers
first time when i started.. i wasnt in situation to handle a trauma based show. i knew if went in id end up as emotional crying mess.. which i couldn't able to manage.
so 2 years when things were manageable i picked and binged it (but for sure with tissues and buckets by my side)

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was so in love with INAR and I didn’t think I would be!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

same to same.. i dint think before starting that it would be such a lovable drama..

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Probably for many of us it was Korean dramas in general. What, watch a 16-20 episode series about another culture with subtitles?
Dubious start - now look where we are! ^^

- More specifically, Forest of Secrets, Chief Kim, Racket Boys, Life on Mars, Vampire Prosecutor...

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right now it’s Extraordinary Attorney YWY. No way I was watching it, lawyers and lawyering and a line about autism I was sure would be mishandled, plus I have never liked PEB. I caved to the Beanie enthusiasm and have watched 5 episodes this week, really like it and would recommend to all. I am also now hyper aware of whaledom and even noticed whales on wallpaper behind a talking head on CNN this morning (will post on fanwall)
🐳, fighting!

11
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@bbstl Oh my gosh! I just bought a new luggage set, and the interior lining has whales on it! It wasn't the reason I picked out this particular set, but I definitely thought of Extraordinary Attorney Woo when I saw it. I just know every trip I take it on will now have a memory of me opening my suitcase and thinking of that drama.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You will! You totally will think of that!

Last night I was watching a CNN special doc series called “Patagonia”, which is amazing and beautiful. Episode 3 started with a segment about Blue Whales and how they travel from equatorial waters to Patagonia every year so they can eat 4 tons of krill every day( and more). I thought, I wonder if YWY knows that? I bet she does.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

lol.. belive me i cant look at whale anywhere in the world without thinking abt PEB...🐳🐳🐳

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

There have been a few… I put off watching Shining Inheritance for ages because I don’t tend to like melodrama, and it was very old with terrible hair….then I watched the first few episodes and everything terrible happens to the heroine and it is grindingly depressing - and then it turned out to be great and I ate it up.

I wasn’t going to watch Mad for Each Other because it was about mental illness and kdramas tend to handle that poorly, but it was short so I tried it and it was so good (points off for the weird separation bit but I have come to accept there will nearly always be a quality dip towards the end of a drama).

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hospital Playlist was it for me too. Shopping King Louie was another one. I went in it blind, one of my initials K-dramas and the name and summary was not really helping but I watched it because I had a lot of time on my hand and Attorney Cha from "I can hear your voice" was in it.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have too many to list! I think the most recent one was Attorney Woo! I did watch a couple of dramas that had characters like YW and they just failed at writing them/handling the topic well hence I was apprehensive until I saw tiktok edits and I knew i had to give it a shot and here I am, completely in love. The way they handled the autism aspect of the show (which is really important for me) is fantastic and I hope they keep it up!

Another one would be Hospital Playlist. I initially wasnt interested at first & struggled to get past the first ep till I heard from my friends that I should give it a shot and I'm really glad that I did, I enjoyed it from start to end!

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A Business Proposal

I prefer slice of life and healing dramas over romcoms. Romcom isn't my fave genre, because they tend to do lots of fillers, and slapstick comedy that doesnt stick.

But with ABS, I did read some good things about it, and it was only after my cousin recommended it to me that I started watching it. It turned out to be one of the best thing I followed. It was an enjoyable drama.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

PRISON PLAYBOOK.
I watched this after it had finished airing. I wasn't interested at all because nothing about this drama was appealing to me. The poster, the casts, nor the synopsis.
But then I kept seeing high recommendation on this piece with highly review rate. It made me curious and gave it a try.
It turns out that it IS really good in many ways that I can explain. BIG WOW... AMAZING...
It is touching, funny, memorable an full of message of life at the same time.
Now... I recommend this drama to everybody who hasn't watched it, and I have repeated watching it numerous times, as well as watching the clips here and there every now and then.
Good beyond words for me.

10
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Far too many to count. There’s already a barrier for many of us here in dramabeans in making it easy to dismiss kdramas. Most of us are not Korean or of Korean-descent (I’m assuming, please correct me if I’m wrong) and so the very act of regularly watching television in a foreign language with vastly different cultural mores and shoddy subtitles could’ve been “not our thing”. I’m sure for many, it was a process of hearing about these shows, dismissing it as “not your thing”, reluctantly giving one episode a go and then the rest is history. I find it fascinating how once you get past these simple barriers, you can find a whole new world of entertainment. Bong Joon-ho was right about subtitles.

Anyway, my long spiel aside, I’ll go with a very recent “not my thing” pick: Alchemy of Souls.

In a fair world, Alchemy of Souls shouldn’t fall under this category for me. I am a lover of all things high fantasy and I especially love original fantasy worlds, so theoretically, this *should* be my thing. Alas, the issue is that it is being written by the Hong sisters, prime experts in crushing my hopes and dreams and nothing else. So when all the promos were coming up, I stayed firmly resolved against watching it. After all, the costuming looked haphazard, the cast was filled with mostly inexperienced idols and newcomers, and the wildly unprofessional behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the lead actress turned me off. I was finding reason after reason to avoid this. It seemed like a long shot that an original fantasy world drama can actually succeed in the kdrama format. However, as luck would have it, I couldn’t avoid it anymore. A friend wanted to check it out and so, we ended up watching the first two episodes. It was hook, line and sinker. Now I’m obsessed and in the “theorizing about future plot points and mysteries” phase. A big part of me is still incredibly afraid that the Hong sister will f*ck it up as usual, but ten episodes in and my only complaints are relatively minor. Maybe my current good opinion will age like milk, but for now, this is something not up my alley succeeding against all odds.

5
31
reply

Required fields are marked *

"and so the very act of regularly watching television in a foreign language with vastly different cultural mores and shoddy subtitles could’ve been “not our thing”."

Oh very interesting.
This was not me at all.
On the contrary, I don't think I even questioned the fact that it was in Korean for the first drama I watched- I think just went "yeah looks funny how do I find it".
Also I pretty much exclusively watch Asian television right now, and have done so since 2016, with the very infrequent and few exceptions. 😅

Ahhh- I'm still happy with my decision to avoid it, I think that was the right decision for me anyway, but- I'll be keeping an eye on your AoS journey lol.

6
24
reply

Required fields are marked *

"On the contrary, I don't think I even questioned the fact that it was in Korean for the first drama I watched- I think just went "yeah looks funny how do I find it"."

Exactly me. Except it was "looks lovely"

4
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wish more people consumed media the way you two did. I’ve tried introducing so many dramas to so many people who I know would’ve loved them - only to fail because they refused to step outside their language barrier to try something new. I’ve mostly given up now. My patience for “this is weird, how do you like this?” comments and worse, thinly-veiled xenophobia, is at an all-time low and I refuse to listen to that garbage.

5
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

You know what's funny, I have like a weird problem that's the opposite end of the spectrum to this- I listen to a lot of music in a lot of different languages, and part of the reason for this is because I LIKE listening to other languages, even if I don't understand them- I just like the different phonetics and linguistics audio properties of them, and what happens when you put them to music. And that's a major reason for why I listen to music in other languages. It bleeds over into television, but on a lesser scale- sometimes I decide that I have missed listening to Chinese, and so watch a cdrama hahaha
But that's something even my extremely musically minded younger brother has trouble understanding. He just doesn't understand the linguistic component to music that I listen for- so the problem becomes "you ACTIVELY seek out the language barrier?" instead lmao

5

I’m just like you on this! I also find listening to different languages fascinating because of the differences in phonetics and grammar/structuring rules. Trying to find ways in which it differs and sometimes, is similar to, from the languages I speak is something I find myself doing all the time, even when I’m trying not to. It’s just so interesting to hear sounds I can’t pronounce in my native languages. There is something beautiful in listening to a cluster of sounds completely foreign to your ears, yet realizing that it has structure, meaning, and history that is beyond you. Each language is unique and has something in that draws you in like no other. I even have this big poster in my room of each of the language families/subfamilies and how they are related to one another. Can you tell I seriously considered majoring in linguistics before chickening out? Looks like we have more in common than just our guilty pleasure love of Hwayugi.

Also I think I finally found an answer to why I listen to music in so many different languages, so thank you for that.

3

I don't mind reading subtitles but I confess it was easy for me to watch Kdrama because the language sounded very well to my ear, the same for Japanese. But I really need to like the story to watch Thai dramas, because the language is distracting me.

3

@ Ladynightshade

Hey, I seriously considered studying Lingy too! hahaha
I think music is such a beautiful way to engage in different languages also, because every language takes on such a unique form when sung- and I may not be able to read all the languages but I can hear how they respond to music.
Eyyy- so we do; the Monkey King and Language lol.

Ahahaha! You're welcome! Do you have any favourite sung languages or are they all favourites, and it's too hard to pick?

3

@kurama Thai is... *nods*... definitely takes a lot of getting used to.

4

@kurama, Thai is a really unique-sounding language that isn’t mutually intelligible at all with most East Asian languages - even more so than other Southeast Asian languages. I find it fascinating to listen to as I can clearly hear the Sanskrit, Pali, and other South Asian influences when I’m paying close attention and how that’s integrated into the more tonal sounds (likely a Sinitic influence). I just find it interesting from a linguistic perspective.

4

@sicarius: It *is* hard to pick just one language and I would probably tear my hair out if I had to seriously make a list or something. There’s something to like about everything, y’know! But at the top of my head based on music I’m currently hyper-fixated on, I’ll pick Arabic. There’s just something equally haunting and soothing when listening to it sung. As a Muslim, I also have a very basic understanding of the language from reading religious texts so maybe that helps as well.

2

Ooooooh Arabic! Not one I'm personally well listened in but I shall have to go find some!
I think Finnish is one of my personal top favourites- it has such a natural rhythm and melody that I think makes it really versatile across all kinds of genres.
(And then Estonian, which I think is to Finnish like Italian is to Spanish for some reason hehe!)

2

For me, that was also (mostly) not the case. But I think that’s because I was already a huge anime fan by the time I even heard about kdramas. I added in the language barrier and subtitle use as a potential “not my thing” issue because that’s something I heard from many of my other kdrama-watching friends. I thought it might be an interesting tidbit to add.

As for your Alchemy of Souls decision, you’re probably being smart. There’s still so much time for the Hongs to disappoint me again and this time, it’d be no one’s fault but my own. It could swing either way in the next ten episodes - top ten of 2022 or worst of all time.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually didn't grow up watching much television at all, no matter where it came from- and really only started getting into even Western television the yearish before Kdrama even. So I guess maybe being in an exploration stage, helped somewhat? Really it felt so natural at the time of "oh yes I guess we're getting into kdramas now", like it was the next obvious step! haha

AoS- so far you all seem to be enjoying it a lot but with many, many a caveat of "for how long" haha- but I read between the lines of the recaps of the first few weeks and spotted things that would annoy me right of the bat. I've been avoiding it since though. Hahaha.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

This has been a very interesting discussion.
I'll listen/read any day this kind of rant :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

re: Thai language.
Thanks for putting words on a feeling.
I like the sound of corean and chinese, but I'm absolutely put off when I watch a thai trailer.
I don't need to add on the drama-waiting-list anyway...

1
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

There's obviously a level of adjustment whenever you encounter a new language - I know even when I first started watching Chinese shows it took me a bit to adjust since I wasn't used to it.

It makes you wonder though how this period of adjustment changes depending on the listener and the language and why. (Why Thai! @ladynightshade pointed out some of the linguistic musings- but it's no more of a foreign language family than Korean)

And if there is a why that can be categorised or if it's a bit more relative to the individual- especially since I'm pretty sure every person involved in this Thai conversation for example, is from a different part of the world.
What other languages would we find equally in need of a longer adjustment period as Thai, I wonder 😂😂

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thai has heavy influence from certain languages that make up the roots for my native language. It’s still completely mutually unintelligible to my mother tongue (I can say some
simple phrases because I’ve been to the country many times so I be confident in this), but I wonder if that shared linguistic background makes it easier for me to adjust to it. That said, Thai is from a completely different language family so the structural/grammatical aspects are wildly divergent.

2

@ladynightshade I do not much experience* in listening to languages that have no relation with my mother tongue (French). I speak English and German. So when it's latin-based or Germanic-based I can recognise some words.
As @Kurama mentionned, there is few intonation in French so everything that is tonal is very difficult to apprehend.

* well appart from Corean and Chinese since last year obviously

2

As a French speaker too, I think Thai is disturbing because the sounds are very different. The French is kinda "boring", we don't accentue so much our consonants, it's very flat and quiet. I like it, it's quite peaceful :p

3
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Meanwhile, French is one of the languages I struggle with the most lol. From the sounds and pronunciation, to the structure and grammar, it is very different from every other language I know (except English and Dutch). I disagree that it’s boring though. There’s a lot of complicated stuff going on - especially from a foreign perspective.

1

@ladynightshade I meant boring when you hear it. But I think French is a beautiful language and I'm happy that I don't have to learn it because they are so many things that don't make sense 😅

On twitter, Loicsuberville has funny videos on weird things in French or in English.

1

This is so so true! I'm partly hearing impaired, and I rely heavily on intonation, accents, and any kind of "sing-song" if you know what I mean.
I have been trying to study French for many years, and for the life of me I still can't distinguish words when listening to everyday French.

I had never thought about it, but Korean is a very sing-songy language! Maybe that is why I immediately started picking up words and grammar since my very first drama.

2

@midnight: Modern Korean isn’t fully tonal like some of its linguistic neighbours (i.e. Chinese languages, Vietnamese, Thai) anymore, but there are certain regional dialects that retain old tonal aspects to this day. However, there are linguists who’ve noticed that the standardized Seoul dialect of Korean (the prestige dialect used in most dramas) has been slowly regaining pitch-like tones amongst younger generations since around the 1970s. Meanings of words haven’t started changing entirely depending on tone quite yet, but it is beginning to matter and will become more distinguished as time goes. Hence, the “sing-songy” intonations you picked up on!

I hope I’m not irritating you all with my nerdy linguistic rants. I just can’t help it when the topic is something so close to my heart.

3

@ladynightshade definitely not irritating 😄 I don't have a lot of knowledge about linguistics myself, but my brother is a die-hard nerd and I'm usually the happy receipant of his rants and raves.

1

This is me! “Also I pretty much exclusively watch Asian television right now, and have done so since 2016”. That’s me!!! Actually exclusively Korean dramas in over 10 years!!!!

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's AOS for me as well.
If anything, I never thought I would be this hooked!
I planned to avoid it because of the HS, didn't even check any of the trailers. But there's LJW. I seldom see anything particularly for an actor and I have skipped one of his drama too but he hasn't been on my screen since a year so just thought to give it a go. As of the current episodes, I'm genuinely impressed because the world building is rich though straightforward. It's an ambitious project so I hope it excels through and through giving way to more fantasy historical setting dramas.

4
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also thanks for mentioning the subtle xenophobia people throw at dramas and their unwillingness to watch them. Surprisingly all of this disappeared when the world was seeing Squid Games and they wanted to be one of them.

5
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

A lot of people watch dubbed dramas on Netflix.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Unfortunately, as @kurama states, there were a lot of people who watched the dubbed version of Squid Game simply because they disliked the idea of following subtitles. Not to throw shade at the voice actors, but I found it off-putting and unnatural compared to the original (this is an issue I have with most dubbed anime as well). The xenophobia didn’t disappear at all in my experience. A lot of people watched Squid Game and even My Name or All of Us Are Dead, then completely forgot about kdramas. I know people personally who thought Squid Game was like the greatest show ever, but absolutely refused to watch any other kdrama no matter how hard I tried to convince them that it’s good. Because Squid Game is “different” and “not like other dramas”, allegedly. Ugh, it’s frustrating.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The upside is that it gives information about the openness of these persons.

1

I'm French so you can add a layer of barrier language (for the people around me). :)
I've been (was) watching series in English for a few years _because it's easier to find something streaming when I'm not searching for French translation/subtibles_.
So switching to Kdramas was just going back to reading english subtitles.
And Dramabeans has been a great help for understanding some cultural elements. I love to learn about cultures, so it's part of my excuses to watch dramas.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I ignored Hospital Playlist, Dr Romantic, Sky Castle, Just Between Lovers…. and got so hooked years after. Glad there was season 2 for HP and Dr Romantic.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Prison playbook
Even though I heard some good comments about this show at the beginning, I never thought I could like it. But once I started watching it, i couldn't stop. Actually I have watched it twice already, because it is so good... and I know i would watch it a third time, if I had more time... LoL.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't see any drama... Maybe I'm too stubborn? 😅

I usually watch the dramas live (a lot of hours by train). So I choose the ones that interest me and still read the recaps of the first episodes of the dramas I didn't choose to see if they could be good. But usually, I make my opinion in the 1-4 episodes and won't change it.

I know I can have a very different opinion from Beanies, so even they rave about a drama, I won't change my mind because my dislike for a writer, PD, actors or story made me skip a drama and I think I know myself pretty well.

If I have time to watch something that is not airing, I tend to choose dramas I already watched 😅

4
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wracked my brain trying to think of anything for this category and also came up blank, so dw, it's not just you haha.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel less alone :P

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't have an entry for this post either.

I'm actually exactly the opposite of you, I never live-watch. But on the other hand I'm exactly like you in that I usually have a very different opinion from the beanies, and I think I know myself well.

Case in point, Into the Ring. I already knew from recap pics and IG clips that I dislike the tone, the weird silence, and the fish-eye view (is that what that is called?) But when I needed a light smart show a beanie recommended it and I decided to try it unbiased. I reached ep 5, I couldn't take it any more. And for exactly the same reasons I had guessed from the beginning.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

On the other hand I *am* like... the category right BEFORE this category:

I do have dramas on my watchlist that I'm apprehensive to start- but not because they're not my thing. In fact, several of the more hyped ones on there appear to be VERY my thing. But more that, as their reputations so precede them, so does MY reputation for not liking well recommended dramas, and those mixed with other apprehensions, makes me keeping putting them off and off!
(Also most of them are dark and heavy and I have to be in the mood for that lol)

3

Answering to your comment below here,

HA! I know EXACTLY what you mean! That is why I try to avoid too good reviews like too bad ones.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

49 days - it seemed too depressing but Jung Il Woo turned out to be so funny
Arang and the magistrate - it looked so stupid and kind of.... closer to chinese drama. Gimmicky. well, it was a bit gimmicky, I loathed the Jade emperor and his world, visually. kitch... But I enjoyed it because of the story, and Teacher has FANTASTIC posture, and he looked so suave
Tunnel I was sure I was not going to enjoy it, and it was riding a whole wave of time travel dramas so it felt worn out. but it was so passionate and sincere, and maybe the 80ies related settings are a draw for me as a child of the 1980ies

Believe it or not, I almost passed on Hello Monster, because of the title and I didnt like the poster. but then folks were talking about some sweater and broad shoulders and im like "ooh?"
ended up watching it 51 times in a row

almost passed on Uncanny counter because I thought it was about accountants (not the type that take their clothes off either)

btw why is there no drama about a demigender strippar who has a side hustle of getting revenge on cheating husbands / wives (no discrimination). Or finds missing property. and gets peoples money back from scammers.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Beyond Evil. I didn't read much about it when it was released, but for some reason, I assumed it was a thriller centered around a run-off-the-mill cat-and-mouse game between a cop and a serial killer. While I don't mind the occasional violence in my entertainment, I have seen far too much gratuitous things in the name of making "bad guys" seem "edgy". Especially when the content is focused on violence perpetrated against women.

However, Beyond Evil managed to surprise me on so many levels. I love mysteries, so I was delighted to learn that there was an actual murder mystery here. Then, the many twists. So. Intense. I can't imagine having to wait for new episodes each week, I would've bitten my nails clean off. Dong-shik and Joo-won are two deeply flawed, hurt protagonists who find some kind of purpose in each other (with queer subtext if you squint). Lovely to see. The fleshed-out characters. The human tragedy. The atmosphere. The scenery. So good.

I binged the entire show a few months ago on Netflix and... Wow. Definitely one of my favorite K-dramas ever.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I waited to watch Beyond Evil too for all the reasons you mentioned, and then finally did and it was amazing (for all the reasons you mentioned).

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think I would have to say My Ahjusshi. Down an depressing without a clear romantic payoff was not my idea of a good show. Even while watching it, I thought it was too melancholy, and couldn’t binge it properly. But it seeps under your skin and stays with you.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mystic Pop-Up Bar - I didn’t used to consume anything with fantasy or supernatural elements (books, plays, films, shows, etc.). I don’t even enjoy magical realism. But for some reason, I found myself watching MPUB, and it opened up my world! Now I love shows that aren’t pure realism and Mystic Pop-Up Bar remains a firm favourite.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mad For Each Other.
I don't like rude people, I hate fights, and I was so annoyed when they misunderstood the ML as a perv (I don't think that kind of misunderstandings are funny). But after a few episodes I started to understand our leads. It was a healing show and the couple was so damn cute. Loved it.

One the Woman.
I thought it was going to be some boring legal drama or makjang but it was so freaking hilarious and empowering. Honey Lee rocks!

Sweden Laundry.
People on Viki seemed to hate it and the first 10min felt off and it seemed like the story was cliche (the boring kind). But I was wrong, this drama is the best. It's also the show the made me convince myself that I could trust in anything with Song Ha Yoon unnie in it.

Zombie Detective.
Thought it was going to be serious and boring like Ghost Detective (sorry GD's fans) but it was so freaking hilarious.

Law School.
After the crazy editing in the first episode I was so damn lost. I was 100% I wasn't going to understand what was happening and get tired of it. Now I want season 2. My ship need to sail.

Be My Dream Family.
I don't know how to describe it. I don't even remember why I didn't love the beginning, all I know is that this is my favorite family drama. This show was such a sweet and warm journey.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nokdu Flower was a drama that wasn't on my radar, and I watched it after it had aired. I generally do not gravitate towards historical dramas because court politics aren't my cup of tea. However, I am glad that I did give Nokdu Flower a chance because it is a beautiful drama.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mostly every Beanie recommend ever? I will write them down then go hunt VIKI for the shows. I am committed to at least 4 episodes because that's how much I respect the B-wisdom.
As a result I have watched shows I would never have selected (Hot Stove; I Am Not A Robot; Healer). So I have a firm and fast rule - I will give any show at least 4 eps - except if it has zombies. I draw the line at zombies but you might notice - that comes pretty far down on the apha-order.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Law School for me. When I read the plot, I though it was going to be another heavy drama (and most of the times I do not have the energy for those). I did not expect to love this much though.
All the character were very well-written and progression of the plot kept me on my toes every time. The writers did a good job in portraying sensitive but important topics of modern day South-Korea. It honestly felt very realistic and the drama has become one of my all time favourites.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Kingdom - seasons 1 and 2 for me. I loathe any show with zombies. My sister raves about The Walking Dead and I’m like nope not interested. Not only did I binge both seasons of Kingdom but after watching 50 k dramas or so Kingdom is easily in my top 5. The acting is top notch and the pacing of the action is perfect. I especially enjoyed the character development of the prince and his relationship with his servant and the nurse.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

For me that I can think of immediately is Miss Hammurabi. I wasn’t interested in entering another judge lawyer law drama but from the first half of the drama I was won over. L convinced me from the get go and I fell in love with that drama!

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love that drama too especially as it was character focused.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Vincenzo. I looked into it because of Song Joon Ki, but it seemed way too over the top for me. Especially the Geunga Plaza crew - all those loud, weird, crazy characters made my head hurt. Plus, the episodes were really long, and this was early in my drama-watching career, and my husband didn't like it...
I did like the styling and the music, though, and after the 2 1/2 TODs in the first two episodes I had gotten a hang of how to watch this drama and enjoyed it enormously!

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same - I resisted Vincenzo at all costs despite the craze in the DB community. Then, during a slump, I clicked and it’s no return after two episodes. And I love, love the Geunga Plaza lot!!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This literally just happened to me with "Remarriage and Desires." I don't typically care for revenge dramas (they all seem the same to me) or plots that feature women who lied about sexual assault to line their own pockets (this archetype is too prevalent in popular culture as it is, imo, and does real damage to the majority of women truthfully reporting sexual assault). Plus, in the case of this drama, I thought the title was clunky, the premise one big eye-roll (a matchmaking club for the super rich? Gross), and the potential for makjang way too high.

But after seeing some positive reviews, I pressed play . . . and then literally could not stop watching. The main female villain being the embodiment of the absolute worst stereotype of an ambitious woman still makes me feel a bit ill, but the writing and pacing are so tight I can get beyond that. I'm so glad I gave this one a chance, and can't wait to see how it all ends.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Stove League
I was gonna pass this one because I thought they would focus on baseball and I thought I needed to understand the sport. The reviews were good and I checked it out. Man I ended up bingeing that thing. I enjoyed it. Well made drama.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

THIRTY BUT SEVENTEEN (2018) (Viki US)
NAVILLERA (2021) (Netflix US)
ON THE VERGE OF INSANITY (2021) (Viki US)
INSIDER (2022) (Viki US)
(All 5 stars.)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Romantic dr 2... I watching this drama just recently. I really allergic to medical drama, because I can't stand drama with too much blood and alot of focusing on surgery. So I skip it becausebI hate medical drama. They tend to has too much politic too. But I watched for Ahn Hyo Seop, bcause I start to like him in A business Proposal and he will be in Kim Jin Won PD drama, the leading man
So I end up watching the first episode, and i ate up the whole drama. Yo In Shik PD is so awsome directing this, despite it has so many dramatic moment, i love each character arc... Ahn Hyo Seop and Lee Sung Kyung is soo good here and deserved the award they get.

And Designated survivor 60 days just watched it last year because I want to get the impression of writers Kim Tae Hee previous work because she will write Song Joong Ki drama The conglomerate. I end up loving it and love Kang Ha Na performances.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

There are quite a few that I ignored when it was running but end up loving after..

Reply 1994
Misaeng
Find Me In Your Memory
Prison Playbook
Search WWW

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I will also add OTVOI and MPUB

0
reply

Required fields are marked *