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[Drama chat] How did you get into K-dramas?


It’s always fun to hear people’s K-drama origin stories. Some are so organic and sensible; others accidental and even somewhat serendipitous. We shared our stories about how we got introduced to K-dramas in our recent Team Dramabeans staff AMA post. Now it’s your turn!
 

How did you get into K-dramas?


Let the chatting begin!
 
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My husband watched ‘My love, Eun Dong’ on Netflix and wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks. Even to our friends, which I thought was embarrassing! But here we are 6 years later, still watching! There’s a lot just wrong about that first drama, but it did introduce me to GOT7’s Jinyoung, and I think it was worth seeing just for that. 😆

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Hulu used to be free for some shows/episodes if you watched it on a computer, and my parents didn't understand streaming yet, so we weren't paying for it. I had watched all the free shows I wanted and was looking for anything new and free to watch. Boys Over Flowers came up.

Wondering what these overdressed, crazy hair teenagers with a pink background were all about, I started episode 1. Subtitles? Sure. Wow, that school is huge. What is going... wait, what... how... omg... this is crazy... this is great!

Needless to say, I couldn't look away. I'm pretty sure I watched all 25 episodes that weekend. I had to see more. I think there were 4 other Korean shows on Hulu. And I watched them all. Off to Google, where I stumbled upon Dramafever (RIP), and the rest is history.

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>""Subtitles? Sure. Wow, that school is huge. What is going... wait, what... how... omg... this is crazy... this is great!""

LOLOL you worded this perfectly!!

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Oh my gosh! You have the exact same experience as I did. This was also how I started watching dramas. It was on Hulu first and then dramafever. Although my first was personal taste then boys over flowers.

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Because of the crazy fan hype around that best-forgotten drama "Playful Kiss". Despite the very problematic leads and their romantic story, that was the one drama that managed to get a lot of my non k-fans friends tune in. Which means I eventually ventured out of my k-pop and k-variety comfort zone to understand what the hype was about.

Thankfully it was then followed by a much more winsome "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho". Though it's not until a year later when "I Hear Your Voice" aired that I got properly hooked to k-drama, to the point of surfing the web for the best subtitle-providing sites and also learning English outside of class.

That was the main reason I loved to point out that at least, the very first k-drama I watched was the great "Dae Jang Geum" back in my childhood days, Long, long before South Korea was even known for its TV series.

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I still remember how I got sucked into Kdrama. The memory is vivid.

When I was an university student, one fine weekend I was bored out of my wits that I started browsing channels one by one and came across this scene of an adorable looking girl with the most innocent look, holding onto to the bottom hem of this angry looking guy's shirt and pleading him to not leave because "He is the only human she knows". Right there, I was hit with feels.

Back then, I did not know she was an angel who lost her powers, but the dialogue was right, the background music was good, the atmosphere was wholesome and I could feel the dilemma in the guy's face and the desperation on the girl's side.

After the episode ended, I immediately binged on all the available episodes and was frutrated with the wait for remaining episodes. Flash forward to 8 years and here I am still impatient with the Live watch.

I know, the scene described here looks like a common trope in million kdramas, but it was from "High School Love On!"

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I loved Hi! School - Love on ❤️

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I put my tv in storage and used an iPad to watch Youtube or Prime while I exercised on a rowing machine at home. I was incredibly slow so it took ages to hit the distance goal for the session so I used to watch subtitled programmes to distract myself from looking at the monitor. I wanted modesty and no swearing so initially it was Indian films as I like musicals, then it was Chinese drama then Korean dramas came up on the suggestions and once I noticed the cinematography and family relationships I was in and gave up on all other programmes.

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I never liked guns nor gun fights. Sword fights are my thing because of its graceful execution. Gun fights are to simplistic for me, swordfights aren't. So imagine my joy when a see a drama of such nature.
So I came across Jumong and it began with this beautiful sword dance between Have Mosu and his friend, the then prince of Buyeo. I got entranced and made it a point of duty to watch other kdramas of that nature...Iron Empress, Gwangaetto, and Dae Joyoung. From there I got interested in Sagueks kdramas that had little swordfights and that was Fugitive of Joseon.

Then thanks to dramabeans I embraced the other side of kdramas which is modern kdramas and that began with Temperature of You. I had watched Glass Mask and Ruby Ring but it didn't really draw me into the world of modern kdramas. And like, I got the final introduction to the entire kdrama world.

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Jumong played a key role with me too.

Way back 50+ years ago I had classes in both Chinese and Japanese and then for many years I would occasionally channel surf the (many) small cable channels in my area that carried international shows and I somehow caught a few episodes near the end of Jumong. I was used to once-a-week Japanese shows and the cable channel listings were useless so I only caught alternate episodes. Sigh.
Then I caught Princess Jamyung and figured out that it was 2-a-week and the rest was history.

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Man, I wish *I* got into kdramas through swords alkfdhalkjh

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Ow! Don't say Sicarius got in through guns🤨

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LMFAO no, a meme of sorts pfft, equally apt for me though; see below 😂

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Jumong was my first k-drama as well - I've always loved historical dramas, and you throw in hot guys with swords, tons of scheming, a badass female lead, complex characters, tight plotting and archery acrobatics - well, I was sold.

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I was more of a politics/news follower before I found K-dramas, but I was finding the news so stressful after 2016 (I'm in the US). Not only was the real world stressful, but so was the entertainment that I was watching like "Orange in the New Black" and "Jessica Jones." A friend of mine sent me a link to a NYTimes article that was an introduction to K-dramas. I jumped right in and started watching most of the dramas in the article that were accessible. It was eye opening! They were fun, enjoyable and it was a pathway outside the stress I was feeling. While US shows had long turned away from romance stories and the more interesting (to me) inner lives of characters, the Korean shows embraced it. When I finished most of the dramas on that NYTimes list, I discovered this site. I lurked quietly for a few years, but jumped into commenting a few months ago, which is still somewhat uncomfortable to me. I am ever thankful to k-dramas. They added a richness to my life, giving me a pathway to entertainment from other parts of the world. I'll paste the link to the article, not sure if we can link here, but will see...https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/watching/k-drama-streaming-guide.html

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This is so relatable. I didn't realize it at the time, but I stopped watching a lot of shows in 2016 that I used to enjoy - they had become too stressful. I had other stressful things going on in my life too, so pretty soon even things like Great British Baking Show became weirdly stressful (the time limit! the rushing to finish!). Kdramas were a breath of fresh air for me. A form of entertainment that didn't automatically result in anxiety.

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My earliest Korean Dramas were almost all cooking/food related shows like "Let's Eat!" Food should be comforting! When the British Baking Show starts to make you stressed, it's time for a Korean drama!!! That works for me (I'm a really bad cook)!!!

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To me, a side-effect of watching k-dramas is that now it's really difficult to me to find a western series I like.
I'm trying to watch some western series every month, but they lack something. I can't explain. The only western series I have really loved was Shtisel (from Israel). I watched it before entering "k-drama land" but I think I would have loved it even if I watched it now for the first time.

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Shtisel is a really wonderful show!!!! I watched all 3 seasons (not sure if another is coming). It has much in common with many k-dramas as I believe it has a focus more on the inner lives of the characters. It allows feelings/love to be a motivation and has that slice of life format. It is also an introduction to a another culture which is really exciting. I am watching 2 US shows currently: She Hulk (which is very cute/funny) and Stranger Things. I probably wouldn't choose them myself but my family wanted to watch. Like many US shows they are well done and engrossing but also missing an emotional content that I get from K-dramas. I believe US shows have very large and global audiences so sometimes they kind of flatten it to make it appeal to the largest audience possible (worldwide). This may become an issue for K-dramas as their reach broadens. I think we are living in a really exciting time with so much content coming out of so many countries. And, as someone who grew up in the US in a big city, I had thought that only the US created interesting entertainment. I was so very wrong. I have to limit myself with so many dramas coming out---I'm feeling overwhelmed! But, that is probably a good thing and it keeps me from obsessing over the news!! I don't even want to watch western dramas, they make me too stressed.

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I'm glad to find another Shtisel fan here! :)
I feel the same about western series: they lack emotional content. We see characters who supossedly love each other but I can't feel moved by them. I think of a series like Virgin River, which I was seeing before entering "k-drama land". I enjoyed the first seasons but the last one has been so boring! (Yes, maybe it is because now I'm in k-drama land and it has changed it all XD). The same thing with Outlander or even Stranger Things, which are great series but now it seems to me they lack something.

Greetings from Spain!

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Pretty wonderful to find someone else that liked Shtisel on a Korean Drama site!!! I hope there will be another season, but I haven't heard. Greetings from New York!!!

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You guys made me wanna give Shtitsel a try! And I also couldn’t finish Virgin River ss2! Yes! Something is definitely missing there, but I still like Sweet Magnolias! I am really looking forward to ss3, but I haven’t heard the news of its making yet. :(

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2010 ish, we went to a friend of my dad and he had a daughter my age (15). We start talking about our intrests and hobby’s and dhr mentions Korean drama’s and shows me Playful kiss. 15 year old me didnt see anything problematic with it 😅. Next was boys over flowers and you’re beautiful. I’ve been watching kdramas since then but im glad my taste evolved 😂

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I grew up with Japanese animes like Saint Seiya, City Hunter, etc. that I watched on TV. But after I started to watch them on internet with Naruto, Bleach and others. I watched Nodame Cantabile in anime and discovered there was a version with real actors. I think I was very lucky that it was a very good adaptation that could balance the craziness and the classical music very well. Juri Ueno was incredible in this role.
I started to watch others Jdramas like Hana yori dango or Hanazakari no Kimitachi e and discovered great actors like Shun Oguri or Maki Horikita (I miss her).

But it became more difficult to find Jdramas so I turned to other countries. It can sound weird but Korean sounded very well to my ears when I had a lot of difficulties with the Thai. Thai dramas had too much violence for the couples for my taste too. I tried TW and Chinese dramas. I prefered TW ones.

So I watched Que Sera Sera and I really liked the actors. So I tested the classical KDramas I could find. At the beginning, I was watching with French subtitles but there was less choices, so I watched them with Eng subtitles. I began to watch them in real time too and not binged them because they were over.

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You’ve got great taste! I ended up with a similar trajectory - I miss all those wacky, hilarious Japanese dramas! And Oguri Shun and Maki…

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Until two years ago, my experience of the Korean entertainment industry was limited to two films, Oldboy and Parasite.
Then my brother recommended Squid Game to me. I found the series quite entertaining, but nothing more.
After that, however, Netflix suddenly suggested other Korean series to me, including Oh, My Venus! I was in the mood for a romantic story, watched it and that was the beginning of it all.

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My first korean drama was Playful kiss. My best friend was reading manga's and heard there’s a tv version and made me watch so she has someone to talk about it. The culture was so different from ours (European) that we started casually watching more dramas. Mostly we were watching for the craziness of carrying someone on your back, the alien sounding language and the 100 different ways you can call someone, a totally different world from ours.
Then came Healer a drama for which episodes I stayed up waiting all night to watch raw and my kdrama addiction was born.
And so couple years ago we (my best friend and I) visited Korea and travelled everywhere we could in 6 weeks.

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Ahhh, watching Healer without the subtitles. What a time we were all having!

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Haha, true :D I think I watched every episode at least 5 times as it was airing and numerous times since then …
there’s not many dramas I’ll do that for (can’t really remember the last time I watched something raw)… but all the watching without subs helped me to get slightly by in Korea when people understood but didn't speak english… so all the hours wasted waiting for raw episodes were totally worth it ;D

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My all-time favorite!

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I admit I have couple I want to sometime revisit and I love all of them them for different reasons…. Healer is great for healing sadness/emptiness/helplessness of every day life :D

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Short answer: Boys Over Flowers

Long Answer:
A friend I met in college was really into Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese dramas. She had me watch things like ISWAK, Why Why Love, Devil Beside You, and Hana Yori Dango with her. I then watched Hana Kimi, Love Contract, and, eventually, Boys Over Flowers by myself. I realized very early into my solo East Asian drama watching that I liked K-dramas more, and now I watch them almost exclusively (of the non-English language media I consume).

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I was a hybrid like this! Omg i remember feeling sick at school because an episode of Devil Beside you had ended on a cliffhanger and I was desperate to get home and watch more. I appreciate the humour of J-dramas, the thoughtfulness of well-written T-dramas and the budget (and number!) of k-dramas…

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I broke my wrist a while back and had a lot of down time. My sister suggested kdramas and my very first was "Secret Garden". Ha Ji Won and Hyun Bin! I was hooked from the get go. American TV was boring and overly violent. I needed something fresher and more wholesome, certainly more creative than the usual. What impressed me the most was the drama fandom, which would analyze episodes and story movement, characters and development of story lines. Kdrama fans are so invested in the stories. It was only natural for me to get involved in K-Ent stars, OSTs, Kpop, language and history.
Kdrama even instigated my first trip to Seoul! So, I'll be happily watching noble idiots and white trucks of doom for a long time! Fighting!!!

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The first k-content I watched was movie Seducing Mr. Perfect on muy friend's insistence. As you have guessed it I completed it because of Daniel Henney.

It took me while to watch k-drama though. I used to dabble in anime which lead me to Hana Yari dongo then Boys over flower popped in my recommendations. Thank God , I never touched it but it lead to me other Korean dramas. I do remember watching Cinderella and four knights , Coffee prince and Heirs as part of starting pack of k-drama.

In hindsight it gave me idea that what k-drama can offer - good, bad and ugly.

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Winter of 2004 or 5, I was watching a soapy Irish series on BBC every afternoon. One day while ironing, I hit one digit wrong for the channel and when I looked up I saw Seoul! (It was a cable channel named AZN that broadcast a completed kdrama 5 days a week.) I had traveled for business in East Asia and I recognized the location (the Sheraton Walker Hill, the drama was Hotelier). What is this? I sat down, ironing forgotten because I had to read subtitles, and that was the beginning. Next up was Phoenix, which was completely addicting. By the time they showed Rooftop Attic Cat it was clear I had to know more, so I googled “Korean soap opera” 🤣, learned they were called dramas, thank you very much, and ended up on a discussion board with other fans where I met my now best friend! It was just a matter of waiting for Javabeans and Girlfriday to start DB, and here we are! But for the slip between channels 112 and 113, I would have missed my favorite thing in the world 😮

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While ironing!!!! That's great!

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Yeah, I’ve been much less well-pressed now for 15+ years!

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Oh, and the best friend in my story, a US Midwesterner with no connections to Asia, found kdrama because she had insomnia and she could watch/read in the middle of the night without waking up her husband. She loved what she saw, so started watching during waking hours with the sound on and discovered the OSTs (!!! 🤗) and became a huge fan of Korean alternative rock.

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My husband and I stumbled across episodes of Age of Warriors airing every night on an independent public television station back in 2007 or so. We only caught 5 or 6 episodes and at the time streaming wasn't a thing, but it was interesting enough that I kept an eye out for similar shows. Several years later, this lead to Crunchyroll and DramaFever and the rest is history.

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...and someone from way back!
I have also watched every kdrama I could find online.
Difficult times they were!😅
My sister and I used to call them "korean telenovelas".
(She was the first one, she discovered "Escalera" which was "Stairway To Heaven. Great OST, by the way)

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Love it, “Escalera” 😀

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My progression was classic Japanese films / current Japanese films / current Korean films / Korean TV dramas. Basically, it was me searching for more content after I had watched all the Kurosawa films. I believe my first K-drama (that I recall) was 'Dating Agency Cyrano', 2013. With a VERY young Choi Soo Yeong. Wow, nine years ago.

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It started with two K dramas I accidently saw in a friend's USB back in 2013. Those two dramas were PSH's "Heartstrings" and KTH's "My princess". I remember enjoying both of them and I began exploring the other dramas of the cast and the process went on. There was no turning back from then. But yes over the years the easy availability of dramas has helped me in increasing my watching range which was initially limited to dramas available in Youtube.

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A Korean student came to live with our family nearly 20 years ago - and brought a box set of Full House as a present.
What a gift…

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Oh, awesome! Shortly after my start, a Korean-American friend gave me “Winter Sonata”. Omg, the tears, the scarves 😭🧣😭

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I'm not sure if I recall fully, but I think it may have been because of Rain. I was a kpop fan, though I wasn't a huge fan of him. I liked him, and I was curious about him. I think it was either Soompi or some other site that had links to download or stream - in low video quality- Full House, which Rain starred in. I clicked on it and got really into it. I was already a fan of romance novels and kpop, and Full House with its amazing OST won me over.

Luckily, I was in college at the time and had access to a fast connection on campus.

Of course that also led me to watching Snow White Taste Sweet Love, Delightful Girl Chunhyang, etc. And there was a community of commenters on the Soompi forums.

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My kid was in a dual-language Korean program at school. I’m not Korean, so I was trying to learn, too. A bunch of people recommended that I watch Kdramas, but I had ZERO interest (for whatever reason).

One day, about 7 years ago, I was trying to find a Korean cartoon for my kid to watch, and I happened upon “You’re Beautiful.” For some reason, I thought it was a cartoon based on the cover (I wasn’t really paying attention), and I put it on for her. Once I realized it wasn’t animated, I was going to turn it off, but my kid asked me to keep it on. We started watching it together. She got bored and wandered off… But I was completely hooked at that point. I spent the next 2+ years binging nothing but Korean dramas. About two years ago, my kid was 10, and we re-watched “You’re Beautiful,” and she was obsessed with it! But, other than watching “Weightlifting Fairy,” she’s still pretty uninterested in kdramas.

My boyfriend is Korean & refuses to watch kdramas. He finds them mildly traumatizing.

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Oh no! That’s so funny.

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Ooh, I have so many questions!😁 Is your Korean better than your daughter’s now? And why does your boyfriend find kdramas mildly traumatising?

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My son was very fortunate in being able to take Mandarin in High School. To help him remember what he had learned we started watching C-dramas and T-dramas, on DVDs from the library. During this time American show were losing their luster. Then I discovered that two T-dramas that I had really liked FATED TO LOVE YOU and IT STARTED WITH A KISS had been remade as K-dramas- so I brought those DVDs home too. Of course, with Jang Nara and Jung Somin as female leads how could we not be bowled over? Next was FULL HOUSE and the rest is history.

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I got into K-Dramas 10 years ago. I was always looking for new romantic shows or movies. Be in a historical British mini series or Bollywood. So I stumbled about KDramas. I have a terrible memory and I am not sure, but I think it was the gender bender story of Coffee Prince that I decided I had to watch a Kdrama. I slowed down over the past several years, but every now and than I check a new show out. But it is a lot less as it was in the beginning, where I watched a lot.

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My story is kind of all over the place, our local TV station here aired painter of the wind around 5/6 am in 2010, i remember i would get up early to watch the really pretty boy painter (i didn't know it was a korean drama until 2014,and i didn't know the title until i joined DB), they stopped airing that abruptly then aired Jewel in the palace 2011/2012 on Fridays by 1 pm in the afternoon (this got cancelled as well.....scene i always remember was where she lost her sense of taste),I saw man called God around this period as well ( was smitten with song il gook and didn't still know it was korean), fast forward to Uni and the craze of boys before flower went through my school and had girls in a choke hold, i probably would have lost interest but my roommate at the time was a big Kdrama fan from home and had a laptop with oldies...….the rest like they say is history.

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I’ve always liked languages so watched shows with subtitles since I was at school but mostly French and Japanese. Then at university my roommate was an international student and she brought with her a wide range of (likely pirated 😅) dramas and films on VCD, which we watched together. I don’t even remember most of them, but I enjoyed them.
Then I saw none for years because I didn’t have access to them.

Then when Netflix and fast internet arrived here, I found Playful Kiss. It was fun and tropey and everything was so over the top and I loved it. This all coincided with me being pregnant and really sick so I couldn’t do much other than watch TV, and I couldn’t watch shows my husband wanted to see too without him 😄 so down the rabbit hole I went.

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Accidentally.

Like the Doom of Truck coming towards me out of nowhere.

March 1, 2015. That's when it hit me. And that truck was Boys Over Flowers.

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It’s great to see some that have survived the ToD. I’m glad you survived! Not many did!

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My parents came to visit for the first time since the pandemic began and I was showing them around the area. It was right after I had finished my graduate degree (and I was still in recovery from the burnout) and they casually mentioned this show that they had stumbled across on Netflix about a woman accidentally crash landing in North Korea and falling in love with a soldier there. My dad is totally becoming a softy as he gets older, and he was completely taken by it (and always responds to a good soundtrack), and my mom is always here for a good romance, so they adored it and recommended it to me.

A few weeks later I was looking for something to watch and remembered enough of the title to find it on Netflix. There followed a couple of weeks where I wasn't sure if I wanted to binge through the whole thing because I loved it so much or savor it in small bites. (This is also the point at which I found Dramabeans! I needed a way to interact with it more, so after I watched an episode, I would read the recap on Dramabeans to make sure I didn't miss anything, to relive it all, and to tell me when someone was speaking in a North Korean accent or talking down to someone.) I just didn't want it to end. But! After it did end, Netflix helpfully recommended a bunch of other Kdramas, so I did some research and picked another and 13 months later here we all are!

They just struck a chord that no other kind of tv did, and I loved that they told a complete story in one season. They were so much more dramatic and cheesy and sincere and fun than anything else I had found, I was totally taken by them. I've learned so much about Korean culture and history and language. It's been an awesome and rewarding experience.

Also - if you knew my parents you would know how truly strange it is that they got me into kdramas. I'm WAY more into dramas now than they are, though I've recommended some to my mom and she works her way slowly through them.

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Awww, I love remembering that fizzy feeling that’s like falling in love! And you were swept away by one of the tsunamis of kdrama, it’s hard to top that feeling again 🥰

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A set of screenshots from Pinocchio on a même page on Facebook 😂😂😂

This sequence of screenshots specifically:
https://www.dramabeans.com/wp-content/uploads/bpfb/214_0-55180500-1515821171_hlp.jpg

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And when you find out the voice of the navigation system is an Easter egg reference to another great drama 💯

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aaaack! 😆😆😆

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My sister has watched k dramas for years and I always thought it was quite amusing. Fast forward to last year and she kept pestering me to watch Crash Landing on You. I finally gave in and was completely hooked about 40 minutes in after I got over the silliness of the FL being blown into North Korea. It was like nothing I’d ever watched before. I laughed, I cried and laughed so more. I quickly followed CLOY with It’s Ok to Not Be Ok and Vincenzo.

Fast forward to 2022 and I’ve watched over 50 Korean dramas and 95% of what I watch overall is Korean. I find a lot of American content (which made up a lot of my viewing before) to be so flavorless and dull now. My only regret is that I did not start watching dramas in 2020…it would have made the year of Covid much more bearable.

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Your story is so similar to mine...
And now I get bored with almost all Western show I watch 🙈

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2012
Friend: I am watching a Korean drama right now.
Me: ???
Friend: It is about a plastic surgeon who travels back in time.
Me: ??!!
Friend: Let's watch it!
Me, after one episode: !!!

The rest is history.

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I feel you!!
The same story, different kdrama!

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Around 20 years ago, one of the cleverest school friends in my class mentioned Autumn in My heart.

Around that time, one of our main, public TV channels here aired Dae Jang-geum, a dubbed version, as a weekender. It was a total hit here in Thailand and I still remember its ost. Nearly everyone watched it. It was long, consisting of many eps, but it was very fun to watch.

Then, if I’m not mistaken, that channel also aired a dubbed version of Goong and almost every girl my age went crazy about it. 🥰 It was so famous, many of my university classmates started talking about it and other Kdramas (such as Personal Taste), and people started visiting SK, buying SK beauty products which were available in many places here then, and becoming K-pop fans. I guess we were one of their very big markets for Hallyu wave since then.

But I’d say the real beginning of it all began about 7-8 years ago for me. I was going through a rough patch, and these dramas gave me comfort (eg Healer) and their characters often gave me words of wisdom that I would ponder on later on. I watched more and more and discovered this site. And yes, the rest is history.

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I remember the OST of Dae Jang-geum, too. For me it's all in gibberish but I remember! :D

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LOL I can only sing along as “loo-loo-loo-loo-loo” but boy, I belt out that melody like crazy!

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The comfort and wisdom, and beanies are also what keeps me from straying too far or for too long. It’s such a safe and happy place for me!💗

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Unrelated but i was always jealous of Thailand cos 2PM always goes there or Singapore. I discovered them in 2013 so i missed the one time they actually came to my place.

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Around 2008. I was hooked by a medley clip of Princess Hour my friend showed me. After watching the clip, I asked to borrow my friend's Princess Hour DVDs and ended up watching the show for three days straight (over New Year's Eve) with my sister.

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Began from local TV, it was actually a new TV station which bringing lots of overseas drama. Starting with Japanese drama (Beach Boys, Hana Yori Dango, GTO, etc.)...then they bringing dubbed version of Winter Sonata. It was a huge hit in our country and they even had a local singer to translate the Winter Sonata song into our own language 😅.

Then, we had Autumn in my Heart, Dae Jang Geum (never know Korean has such a beautiful historical drama like the Chinese one), Full House, Goong, Lover in Paris, My Lovely Samsoon and the list are going on 🤭. Being watching Kdrama with my family, then with my university colleague, until now with my husband 😁 (I corrupted him alot 🙈).

Nowadays, I am so picky about watching my Kdrama as I felt that I watch them since ages 🤧. I missed Jdrama but rarely encountered much in current platform. Mostly involves anime one and less about real life (I mostly adore KimuTaku 😄). Having said that, today is much better in getting access on watching real-time on-air drama compared those years where superspeed internet is like a gold bar and Netflix isn't a thing ( we have to burn CD/DVD to watch it in record player 🤣).

P/S: I sound like an ancient person here then 🙈 but I'm not begin my life yet 🤭

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Oh my gosh, the PILES of cds downloaded with kdramas 😂 I have to bite the bullet and just toss them, it’s hard to find a way to get them recycled.

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Oooops, I meant dvds. Shows how old I am! ☺️

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Heh. A long, looooong time ago not knowing why I was into the idea of Draco and Hermione as a pairing. That's how I got into reading fanfics. The author of one of the numerous stories I've read provided a link to the fanart that inspired them to write it. It was a super cute pic of the ship from a certain anime. And that's how I got into watching anime. Once the episodes of this certain anime ran out (I learned that there is something called manga that is ongoing - and that's how I got myself into manga, lol) I found many, many other shows to follow, and among them was Ouran - ❤️ - and I was so into it that I started reading more about it (and of course read the entire manga), and found out about live adaptation. That's how I got into J-dramas. From there I smoothly found about Taiwanese dramas, and finally at last - K-dramas. What a bumpy ride to the destination, and what fun memories...

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When did all that happen if I may ask? Because you know, I think, all those who got introduced to the K-drama world before the social media impact, Netflix and all that, had a bumpy ride. We all kinda got into it after one thing lead to another.

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As a person who's really into writing down stuff, and making notes about everything, I'm sad to admit that I'm not sure when it all started. I would say my anime/manga phase came around 10 years ago, and since dramas were soon after that would give us anywhere between 9-7 years ago.

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During the late 1990s and early 2000s, there were not many options on TV. We watched whatever aired, mainly Chinese, Taiwanese historical series and Hongkong modern series. Then Korean shows came as a breath of fresh air. It seemed close and relatable (because it was from another Asian country) and surreal (because of all the makeup and fashion) at the same time, and we got hooked. One of my first Korean series was Feelings. First Love was phenomenal during that time too but I didn't get to watch it. After about 10 years since my first Kdrama, I started to feel tired with the cancer trope, and that came my almost 10 year hiatus. I was occupied with changes in my personal life and work during that time and totally forgot Kdramas existed, until everyone around me was talking about CLOY and their Hyun Bin - Ye Jin ship. I subscribed to Netflix, Viki, and most importantly discovered Dramabeans then, and got hooked all over again. There have been drama slumps but Kdrama watching and Dramabeans visiting have been my oasis ever since.

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Let me see, so I remember that I first got introduced to the world of K-drama by watching "Dae Jang Geum", they used to show it on our national TV, then came other K-dramas and that was how I got to know about the Korean entertainment industry. After that my Sister introduced me to the world of Kpop and through that, F4, though I never really watched that drama, I got introduced to KBS, and used to watch its shows. But the one that got me into dramas and made me regularly follow the schedule was "Bread, Love, and Dreams", you know the baker king Kim Tak-gu? Now that I think about it, it was a good one... :)

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A friend told me that she had watched a kdrama (thanks to a Netflex proposal when she was pandemy blocked at home in dec 2020) and that it was fun and interesting. Her 1st was 100 day my prince.
I did some reseach on recommended titles to try this new genre of tv-serie (we do not have the same taste), and choose Healer. By ep5 I was hooked.

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It was March 2014 and I had a bad cold. My younger son said I should watch Coffee Prince to distract myself. I don't remember my cold after that. But I do remember debating with myself if I should watch yet another episode that day. I wanted more but didn't want it to end too quickly... After the final episode I RAN upstairs and bought it from amazon. My DH has joined in with daily watching. Fortunately we discovered there is a whole world of kdramas! I wondered briefly if I was obsessed but that feeling has passed - this is a healthy addiction!!

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The last film I saw at a cinema before the UK went into lockdown was Parasite, I left knowing I had seen something very special and unique… Fast forward two weeks and I was advised by my GP to isolate for the foreseeable future ( boring health issues!) and so my deep dive into all things Korean began, first Kdrama was CLOY and now, just over 2 years later I can comfortably say I have caught up!!!!!! The ultimate culmination of that fateful cinema visit will be my landing in Incheon Airport on 13th October 2022 to begin a two week solo real life Korean adventure!

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Wow!! I hope you will have a safe and fun visit to Korea!!

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Thank you so much, I am nervous and excited in equal measure!

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Oooh, what a great day to be at Incheon Airport. Have lots of fun!

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Thank you! Arriving on Jimin’s birthday!!
( by accident rather than design!) hoping to see some fan installations and HUGE billboards 😀

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My bias right there. Yes, it's his birthday that day. Same as mine. Hehe!

Are you going to Busan as well for their concert? If not for a concert, try to take a day trip to that city.

You are going to have a blast there.

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Wow hope you have fun fellow UK resident 😊👋

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Thank you so much! Yet to meet a a like minded fan in deepest darkest Dorset🤔

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I am in Beds so no easier in the Home Counties. I keep telling colleagues it’s great stress release and then if they do watch they go for genres I can’t take so I still can’t compare notes😞

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Hello UK beanies, would you be interested in meeting up some time?😊 Perhaps when there’s something worth seeing in the cinema or theatre? Or just for a tea/coffee? I’m not often in deepest darkest Dorset, but I visit in the summer to be near the sea. I love Dorset!

Hope you have a wonderful time in Korea @janie!🥳

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Yes I am definitely up for that if we can get a list of contacts we can work out where will be central. I am sure early on when I joined people mentioned Scotland and Ireland.

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Ooohh i hope you have a fun and safe trip! I bet just getting off the plane would be exciting, i know i was psyched to see the 1st lee Min ho billboard at the airport (despite not being a fan at all 😆)

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Thank you all, I am basking in the validation from people who understand the compulsion!! Workmates and friends are dumbfounded when I tell them where I am going!!!!
@dramadillo Yes, Dorset has the best of all worlds, sea, countryside and proximity to the New Forest.. now if only I could drag myself away from my latest drama obsession to enjoy it all 🤣
I would LOVE to meet up , open to any scenarios..

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Hi @janie, we (@reply1988 and I) wanted to ask how your trip was, and to check that you got back safely! We hope you had a lovely time, and can’t wait to hear all about it!☺️

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My mom was watching 'Jewel in the Palace' and my brother also was following "Coffee Prince", when a local tv network started to air Kdrama. I did not pay too much attention until my roommate began to get DVDs of Chinese ultra-long dramas. I suggested we check out Kdrama and found "The Princess's Man". It was "The Moon that Embraces the Sun" the one that really got me into Kdrama. I set myself out to watch the most popular ones (following a list from Dramabeans) and the rest is history. We were so into it that we watched all the classic sageuks, a huge commitment! I have a soft spot for "Boys over Flowers", while at the same time loving "Six Flying Dragons". While I have become more selective, I still find a lot to love and enjoy in Kdrama.

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I was introduced to KDrama (more like a movie) when my brother forced me to watch "My Sassy Girl". I didn't expect to like it but it was so simple, yet so good. My friend gave me a copy of My Girl with subtitles. I watched it because I had the time but ended up liking it. =) Subtitles was a rare find then so I had to read through recaps from Javabeans (which then became Dramabeans). So glad that KDrama became really popular and I am able to continue to enjoy watching them for more than a decade now.

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While I started watching Korean Serials relatively recently. (2017). I am a big fan of Korean Cinema for more than two decades now. And "My Sassy girl" was my first Korean film. (It was followed by "My wife is a gangster".

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My earliest recollection of the first kdrama that i've watched was All About Eve starring Jang Dong Gun, Chae Rim, Kim So Yeon, and Han Jae Suk. It was sometime in 2002 when I watched this drama. It wasn't until Lovers in Paris in 2004 though when the floodgates to that addiction burst wide open and stayed open to this present day 😂. Those were good ol' times where waiting for a single episode subtitle takes anywhere from a week or more, there weren't any legal streaming sites yet, crappy video quality, buffering... recaps were our lifesaver during that time... yep, good times 😂🤣😁😍

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I still love All About Eve to this day.

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I'm so happy to see Kim So Yeon's success after years of playing 2nd fiddle to the more popular actresses.
WITHS2's sub-squad sometimes took over a month to sub a drama, but it was worth it. IIRC, JB was part of it before she started Dramabeans.
I think "Queen Seon Deok" was one of the first dramas to be subbed on the same day @viki. I love that era.

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Ahhhh... yes, WithS2 was great with all their high quality subtitles... TBH i still have copies of kdramas that has their subtitles 😂😂😂

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Same here. They are part of my K-drama treasures. I still have "Conspiracy in the Court," etc.
My biggest regret was not making a copy of "Eyes of Dawn." I can't find it anywhere with subs, and I doubt I ever will.

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avistaz

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You're beautiful was my first ever drama ... and I never looked back :)

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For some crazy reason, I was suggested "The Korean Odyssey" by Netflix algorithm. I watched one episode and I got suggestion of "I can hear your voice" in Youtube.

I watched a couple of them and searched where I can watch that. Found Viki. (I watched the whole thing before taking the paid subscription which means with ads) and thus the first ever episode I watched was for "Hwayugi" but the serial which I finished (in two days of binge watching) was "I can hear your voice".

So for all practical purpose it was match made by AI.

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TLDR: Anime & manga -> Jdramas -> Kdramas -> TW & Cdramas -> Cnovels

The Long Version:
I think it was 2007 - my 14 yr old daughter had discovered manga and anime and fanfiction. I was a nosy mom and wanted to know what she was reading, and that was my introduction to Inuyasha and the world of fan-subbed anime and scanlations of manga. In 2010 I heard of this strange being called Jdramas - there were live action adaptations of manga I liked so I found places to download the hardsubbed videos...and I was hooked. But after about a year, I had watched all the Jdramas I could find that interested me, so I gave Kdramas a try - I started with You're Beautiful and followed up with Boys Over Flowers. Right after I watched these 2 dramas, a family in my church began hosting an exchange student from South Korea. I'll never forget that first Sunday when the host parents introduced "Joanna" (the American name she used) to me and I told her I was watching Korean dramas. She was shocked and wanted to know how I even knew about them LOL. She and my daughter and a cousin became close friends and we had lots of fun traveling 2-3 hours away from our small, rural southern town to visit Korean markets and restaurants and having drama watching parties at my house. That was also the year we discovered Big Bang; in 2012 we flew to New Jersey to see them in concert.

I found DramaBeans early on and I loved the hilarity, snark, and fangirling of the recaps, and the recaps and articles played a huge role in helping me to understand the culture and nuances I would've missed otherwise. Commentors on DB encouraged me to give TW dramas a try so I did.

In 2014 my dad passed away and my mom was diagnosed with metastasized cancer in her spine after being cancer free for 4 years. I quit my jobs to take care of her full-time. She passed in 2017. Between 2014 and 2022, I think I watched a total of 3 Kdramas - Descendants of the Sun, Another Miss Oh, and Leverage.

Early this year, my daughter's online friend in Canada discovered Kpop and Kdramas and began spazzing over them and pic-spamming my daughter LOL. Daughter would tell me about it and what her friend was watching, and that had me fondly reminiscing over my old favorites...in less than a month I was back in the Kdrama world and here I am.

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My journey was: Kdrama=> TWdrama=> kpop/Kvariety show => Jdorama=> jpop > anime => Cdrama => a little Thaidrama

In all the phases that I went thru, kdrama has always been consistent and ever present since I fell into it close to 20 years ago...Cdrama and Jdorama has been on and off over the past 15 years 😂

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In a roundabout way: American network TV became tedious so PBS was airing British shows, which lead to exploring the high number channels on cable to find an "international" channel which showed random European episodic murder mysteries, which lead to watching the French miniseries, Domen (2005) which lead to moving up the dial to find a Korean KBS channel to watch Alone in Love (2006). Subtitles did not bother me so I continued to watch foreign language channels but basically landed on Korean shows.

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I believe I shared this before. My son came back from a college semester in Korea and recommended that we watch the drama Reply 1988, because it was so popular with his fellow college students there. It took us a few months to sit down to begin it, but once we did, we were hooked. We were moved by the portrayal of familial love. Reply 1988 is still at the top of our favorite kdramas.

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The portrayals of familial love and relationships are one of the main reasons I love kdramas. 💗 I especially relate to the dynamics shown amongst siblings from big families. There is nothing quite like seeing my own lived experience reflected on screen in ways that evoke greater understanding and empathy, both of which can be less accessible when I’m in the thick of it, in real life.

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Agreed the family stories are so well written and give the warm fuzzies. Some of my favourite actors are the mum’s, dad’s and grandparents that support their children and their friends through some tough times.

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so nice reading these comments here...for me, it was back in October 2018...it was my first day after i had quit my job...i was browsing Netflix, casually when Boys over Flowers popped up, i started watching out of curiosity, i had never watched kdramas before, wasn't even familiar with them..and while i never finished watching BoF, before i knew it, i tried watching more kdramas on Netflix & through the next one year, i binge watched many kdramas of the past years (and i was still in between jobs, so i had the time to watch back to back eps)...still watching kdramas predominantly...definitely addicted to them i would say:-)...

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fall 2010 - bad flu, stuck in bed for a week with fever. high school aged daughter tells me to watch kdrama on my laptop to pass the time. she tells me her friends liked Playful Kiss... loved it, especially the nosey mom and her affinity to record every life moment in pictures (i'm guilty also, but i never went incognito with hat and scarves)!

she pushed Boys Over Flowers later, i hated it. she pushed Full House, i resisted for a year or so like an idiot. watched 71: Into the Fire because daughter was into Big Bang and TOP was in it. discovered Kwon Sang Woo - searched/watched all his dramas. searched/watched other actors/actresses dramas based upon seeing them in a drama. scrolled thru the library of any available dramas as far back as they posted for streaming... daughter (who didn't watch back then, but friends did) made me watch Autumn Concerto - loved the little boy *sniffs*...

Tally since October 2010:

451 finished Kdramas, 138 dropped Kdramas (took me years to stop torturing myself to finish bad dramas), 282 Kmovies,
32 reality Kshows.

137 finished Japanese dramas, 31 dropped Jdramas, 209 Jmovies, 6 reality Jshows.

17 finished Taiwanese dramas, 6 Tmovies, 3 Thai movies, 2 finished Chinese dramas, 12 Hong Kong movies and 1 Singapore movie (was cute about a kdrama fan wanting to go to seoul).

all this prompted me and my daughter to attend KconLA in 2015 (told my husband during my Eric/Shinhwa phase that if Shinhwa came to the US that i would be GOING and i did get to see him/them - fan meet and in the mosh pit during the concert!), before going to Korea and Japan 2 months later. spent 4 nights in seoul (husband and daughter attended a taping of a Kpop music program), 2 nights on jeju island (The Seaes Resort in Secret Garden) before flying over to japan (daughter saw Big Bang's MADE concert in the Osaka Dome) for the remainder of our 3 1/2 week trip.

but shame on me, i missed Rain's fan meet in vancouver BC, found out 2 days prior... and i am a card carrying fan club member... *sniffs*

but that would be the SECOND TIME i would've been the OLDEST PERSON in the fans (as i was at KconLA)... wait, i forgot about flying from seattle to LA with 2 girlfriends to see TVXQ perform in 2013 cuz our friend was a superfan and we wanted to see what the hoopla about kpop was all about.

but hey, you only live once, right? it was total FUN, i'd do it in my next life cuz i'm too old to do it again in this one...
; )

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Me as a 43 yr old at the Big Bang Alive concert in New Jersey in 2012; bought the tickets to get in line first, get inside first, get the back pack of goodies, and be on the floor in front of the stage. About 2/3 of the way through the concert, I am forced to leave my spot (there was only 3-4 people between me and my friend and the stage) because I was getting too hot and was about to pass out. At the end of the concert I'm standing at the back of the crowd in front of the stage when Daesung comes over, takes off his jacket and throws it. I catch an arm and I'm immediately yanked forward because 2 other girls have a hold on it. All I could think was that I really didn't want to read online the next day about some old ajumma who got into a fight over Daesung's jacket, so I let go. I turned around and my friend was there, coming to help me but it was too late LOL.

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: O

oh NOOOOOO!!!!! those damn young 'uns!!!!
: [

do they even know the toll it takes on our bodies to do that at our age??? may karma catch up to them...

btw, i was elbowing a giant tall heffer woman who was pushing her way up to the front of the mosh pit. she tried to get between me and my daughter, we were 2nd from the front. i told her to GET OFF OF ME as i was shoving my elbow into her stomach to keep her back...

i shoulda been there with you, i'd have knocked those girls off of your daesung jacket.
*harumph*

i'm sorry that happened to you! but i'm glad you got to go and enjoy the concert!!

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Heh, I am a giant tall woman...and I started to say that wasn't me but then I realized you were probably talking about the Shinwa or TVXQ concert :D

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KconLA 2015 concert w/Shinhwa. it was great - super junior was the other 2nd gen anchor group for the second concert.

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Thanks for sharing this image it made me laugh out loud. Such a great way to start the day. 👉 ‘ All I could think was that I really didn't want to read online the next day about some old ajumma who got into a fight over Daesung's jacket, so I let go. I turned around and my friend was there, coming to help me but it was too late LOL.’

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I lived in Japan on and off from late 2003 to late 2007 when kdramas got really big there. In 2004, Winter Sonata was everywhere! I watched My Girl and My Name is Kim Sam Soon during their Japanese broadcasts and have been watching K-dramas ever since. (Hyun Bin, Lee Dong-wook and Lee Joon-gi are a convincing introduction.) My interest drifted a little in 2007-2010 when they were harder to find in the US, but Sungkyunkwan Scandal revived it and I've been watching them regularly since.

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