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[Drama Chat] The mysteriously disappearing desire to watch

Here’s a strange case for you — and I wonder if I’m the only one who faces this (please say no). This is the scenario: there is an upcoming drama that I’m really excited for, and the premiere is oh-so-very on my calendar. But, when the drama finally drops, my desire to tune in has utterly vanished. For no reason.

Sometimes, I’ll wind up not watching the drama at all (example: Doctor Slump); sometimes I’ll force-watch the first episode and then give in to my malaise and pull a quick-drop (sadly, this happened with Castaway Diva despite having every reason to watch).

Occasionally I’ll return to these dramas at a later time, but it’s never with the same fervor as when I first awaited them.

Are you ever pumped for an upcoming drama only to utterly lose your interest, for no discernible reason, right when it premieres? What is this strange phenomenon?

 
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That is one unique case indeed. I don't remember experiencing this scenario, but I am curious to hear from fellow beanies if it happened to them.

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Nah, I can ALWAYS name a reason why I'm dropping this 198349875th show in my watch list, no matter how small and/or petty said reason may be. Even if there is no glaring problem with the drama, it can be just not that interesting for me to keep going, so why should I then?

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Two words: time management. Everyone needs a diversion from their daily grind. Entertainment takes importance to get away, escape, process and brain release enjoyable chemical balance in order to re-charge yourself for the next day. But what happens is that daily priorities get shifted and entertainment may be set-aside to give way to another more urgent task. And once a premiere time slot is lost, it is often hard to catch back up especially if you are live watching.

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You dont really need a reason, its possible to simply lose interest even if there isnt a legitimate cause.

Same thing with any other forms entertainment such as books, films, manga etc.

Some people will use that time and energy and channel it into another aspect of life, like work, marriage, children, studies, health, religion etc.

After some time, you can simply return to dramaland a catchup on what you want to watch

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This is the reason why I rarely ever read drama news, and try to forget them quickly, so as not to get too excited too soon. Because I know being excited too much will either get my expectations too high, or result in exactly what you have described. I try to go very easy with the flow and just take notice of shows when they actually starts.

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I get excited for a drama because of an actor, storyline and/or interesting preview. I do usually watch an episode or two. If its not to my liking due to one reason or another I will drop it. If there is another drama more interesting to me and I either lose interest, i will drop it. The reason may be something small or a glaring problem to the drama imo. I do not thing its strange. It happens and its okay.

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The mood is very important. Sometimes, I want something light and funny and I get a melodrama that I would have loved in another time.

The genre and plot are important too. We already know that Kdramas like trend, so during one year we get a lot of law dramas, then destiny ones, time travelling, sageuks, etc. so I'm exhausted by this theme and want something new.

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Recently happened to me with QoT. I know the leads are gorgeous to look at. The ratings have been skyrocketing. Beanies are raving about it all over DB. But when I heard its episodes are long, I balked.

I remember when CLOY was talked about everywhere I went, I didn’t plan to watch it. That was understandable because I had stayed away from Kdramas for almost a decade then. But when it reached episode ~10, I decided to start it out of boredom, to see why everyone loved it so much. And I was hooked from ep 2. I marathoned and caught up in a couple of days, and live-watched from then. It became my favourite show for a while. Until it was no longer my favourite. After CLOY, I kept watching a lot more shows, and got to know my genres, know what I look for in a show.

What detached me from CLOY was: not very captivating romance except that the leads are gorgeous to look at, chaebol related plotline, too much slow motion, cheese, not very well emoting ML.

So although I have no well defined reasons to NOT watch QoT, I guess I hold certain prejudice against it, the same ones I retrospectively realised about CLOY. While it is obviously pointless to give my opinion when I’ve only watched the first 10 mins of the show, my premonition is that I would feel the same as javabeans said in her WWW’s input this week. I would be entertained, but not emotionally deeply stirred. That’s the main reason I would stay away from a romance story, especially when it requires an investment of 16+ hours.

(All the above applies only when the leads are not my favourite actors).

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This precise thing happened to me re: QoT except that I did go ahead watch parts of episode 1, to ensure that my fears had some foundation (they did!)--but then I also didn't like some other aspects of the writing, which puts me more in "quick-drop" that @missvictrix references above, rather than a "can't quite ever click play."

I've never been able to click play on CLOY, and you've totally convinced me to remain in that camp here, @claire2009!!

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@Healer: Btw, I know someone whose family became refugees from NK because of the war. They told me Hyun Bin’s NK'n accent was woeful but some of the other others did a much better job.

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Thank you, Emma, it's interesting to know. It's the same with my native language, some people are very good at switching between the North and the South accents, but some people, like me, are very bad at it. If I had to do it, it would sound very fake.

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This does happen to me. Most frequently it's when the promo materials are interesting, but closer to air time "something" tells me that the tone of the actual show will not match either the promise--or as we all have experienced--the actual PLOT suggested by these materials. It's like a K-drama-spidey-sense that there's been some promotional bait-and-switch at work.

Besides, there are so many other dramas to watch that one can just wait and see if one should simply pick it up later because your so-called "spidey-sense" was actually just apathy or distraction 😉

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This is Queen of Tears for me. I watched the first couple of episodes and then haven’t gone back. I like both of the main actors and like CLOY well enough, so I was looking forward to this show after going through a kDrama drought post-Like Flowers in Sand. I know some of it was Chaebol fatigue and experiencing big star Netflix drama (that “da thump” Netflix intro now invokes slight dread in me) disappointments with SamDal-ri, Dr. Slump, and Castaway Diva, but it doesn’t explain it all. QoT just didn’t grab me (or was it hold on to me?)—and now it seems like a huge pile intentional
tear-jerking to get through to catch up. I haven’t had the motivation to pick it back up, so it goes in the classic dramas to consider watching list, which takes all the pressure off to watch on any time table.

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Personally this phenomena happens more with Korean films. For example I remember back in 2013 I was super hyped with all the promo for SECRETLY GREATLY and the fact that it was a massive hit made me even more impatient for the movie to come out on dvd/streaming. Anyway when I was finally able to access it (through not so legal means) I lost interest. I think it took about seven years for me to actually watch it lol

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I have one peculiar reason that stopped me from watching dramas i have genuine interest in and that is hype. If a drama is getting too much hype, i lost interest. I don't know why but rarely do i see people with this problem. For example is Start-up. I love Suzy and i love uncontrollably fond and while you were sleeping. But then i see on social media people raving about Start-up, i lose interest. Like i am for one is okay with spoilers and i see a lot of them at the time. I put Start-up on my list so i can binge them after they're done. But i never did until now. I don't even know how the story ends, i just lost interest mid-wait

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Precisely this happened to me with Castaway Diva and Dr. Slump. Also Queen of Tears, the dog drama with Cha Eun Woo, Goryeo-Khitan War, Island...
I started C.Diva once it was finished, but I dropped (or left it on-hold) after the second episode. Too much second hand embarrassment in some sequences, I guess.

This phenomenon is the opposite to the one which makes you start a drama which never was on your radar or on your list and it happens you love it.

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This is happening to me right now with Queen of Tears, which was one of my most anticipated 2024 dramas. When it released, I suddenly had no desire to watch it. And even with all the raves and all the fan wall posts and the all the record-breaking weeks, my interest level remains at 0. Perhaps it's an unconscious state of mind that pushes a drama away. Or spidey-sense as @attiton mentioned. But it's like a magnet that turns to "repel" and nothing seems to change the polarity.

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So many dramas has fallen into this category.

The most recent ones on the chopping block are Doctor Slump and Midnight Studio. I was all geared for it and I just fizzed out.

I can't say this or that is the reason why. Most times, it is due to time management and scheduling.

Sometimes, it is due to reading the recaps before watching the premiere episodes. I could already tell this wouldn't be for me despite being geared since I now know what's in store. That's what happened with me and Celebrity and Mask Girl.

And other times, there's no reason to point out. You.just.didn't.pick.it.up. I think that was me and Midnight Studio.
If I go back to the dramas already aired section on DB I might find the specific reasons why a drama I was geared for wasn't picked up by me.

I remember another. The premise of the drama was interesting. I liked it on paper. I liked it in the teasers and news. But I knew I wouldn't like them on my screen. That's me and Chicken Nuggets, A Time Called You, and Glitch.

I'm also not a fan of single drops like that. Once a drama is a single drop, it has to be set around something that interests me and not just a random story. I watched Juvenile Justice because it was themed around law. I watched Love to Hate You because I wanted to see the wonder that was Kim Ok-vin. Both cases, I was well rewarded with what I got into. But I wouldn't have gotten into them if they were just on the list of dramas set to air this week or this month. They were dramas I pursued for a reason.
Relating this previous paragraph to the discussion, the likelihood of me watching a single drop series despite being geared up for it from the beginning is very low if it doesn't go beyond excitement and squee.

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Good point with the single drops! I plan to watch so many of this type of drama, but then I don't have time to binge it when it all comes out, the conversation on here moves on quickly, and I just forget about them. It's a bummer because I've missed some that I'm still trying to find time for now!

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Sadly you're not alone,here is another one having the same problem...I don't really have a reason per se why my intrest goes on holidays when an anticipating drama finally airs but i think somehow as for some time now i always come tired from work i just don't have the energy nor want to watch anything and maybe some drama slump goes in there on a more subtile level...

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It's been a recent phenomenon for me. It happened with Marry My Husband. Everyone waited and raved and ranted - and I lost the urge to live watch it. I didn't pick up QoT for a long time, and I regret not listening to my inner voice.

I think for me it's always the leads and an engaging story. And to be honest, something has to click in the first episode - something, even though I always know it's not a good measure.

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This has definitely happened to me, and I have only two explanations for not starting a show I had looked forward to:

First, life events simply changed my mood. You know that this is the case when instead of hitting the play button what you are actually thinking is: This is probably a good show, but I just don't feel like watching it now- maybe I will it watch later.

The second reason is that one simply has too much on one's plate right now- and it is simply easier and makes more sense to stick with what one is currently watching rather than start something new.

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I sometimes get this feeling that gets me to start an anticipated drama a little later like you might save your favorite dish or dessert to savor as a reward or for the right mood. I often start a little late and catch up.
The beginning of a show is also an energy investment to understand the characters and the world. I think dramas are getting better at being more interesting in the first few episodes than previously, with more quick hooks, but it always takes some suspension of judgment. Sometimes I don’t feel like getting over that hump.

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This happens to me most often when I have to delay my watch of the first episodes for some reason. If I just don't have time for them right then and have to wait a few days, it makes it way harder for me to push play overall. Nowadays, I've been adopting this as a legitimate strategy because I can only really live-watch two shows at once, and I think it saves me from lots of dramas that take a serious nose-dive at the end. Most recently this happened with The Impossible Heir - I was so excited for it and so relieved it was going to be available, but I didn't have time to watch the premiere, and then when I could have started it later, I just found myself wanting to watch other things. Probably a good call in the end, with everything I read about it!

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Oh I forgot about the Impossible Heir. Same with me. Switching to Hulu seemed a chore, so I postponed, and then the reviews started coming in.

Actually right now it's happening with Nothing Uncovered as well. I want to watch it, but lack of time and an inexplicable lethargy about tuning in has taken over.

Same with Wedding Impossible. I meant to return to it, and then suddenly the will vanished and I never made it back.

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Same happens to me.
Timing is very important while live-watching shows.

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I fall much more into the 2 categories previously designated by @missvictrix in other drama chats--that is, watching and dropping quickly, or just losing interest about episode 8 and fighting through to the finish. I avidly read @tccolb news columns, and always approach the premiere of the dramas discussed there with great eagerness, most often to be disappointed (sometimes, though, to be pleasantly surprised, like Flowers in the Sand; or the recent Lovely Runner, although who knows, that one might fall into the lose interest and struggle to finish at episode 8. )

However, when I lose the desire to even start dramas I've filed away as promising, its one factor and one factor only: the number of episodes.
Most recently, the one in that category was The Crown Prince is Missing. The romance premise appealed to me, but then I thought-- 20 episodes. At best it would be another Blooming Youth, which I was enjoying until episode 12, then struggled to get to episode 16, and finally lay prostrate on the floor, staring dully up at the t.v. screen, uttering an occasional groan, for the last 4 episodes. I I think the show ended semi-happily, but don't take my words as spoilers, because I have trouble remembering anything about those episodes except how long and unnecessary they were.

I have written this several times before, and I know many here have different tastes, but I have never seen a t.v. show organized around a single story line that can sustain its narrative momentum for 20 hours.
Of course, I realize that when it comes to weekenders, the number of episodes and the fits and starts of the story are part of the fun. But then, I also know some ultra marathoners who don't enjoy a race until the 50th mile, when their feet start bleeding.

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This definitely happens to me! I did force myself to watch Doctor Slump but wasn't able to continue. And I still haven't watched Knight Flower even though I probably should give it a chance.....

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For me, this happens most often with shows that I can't access legally when they initially air, and by the time they finally do pop on a service I have a subscription to, I'm no longer as excited about them.

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Same here. Networks seriously need to release their series on as many services as possible. I'm tired of not having access to many new releases even though I subscribe to THREE major streaming services that carry K-Dramas (Netflix, Disney+/Hulu, and Viu).

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Yeah, it used to be that you could find pretty much everything in one place (or two places at the most), but that's definitely changed.

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That's me.
I was soooooo excited for Kang Ki Young's first lead role, and then when the drama premiere I decided to take a two months break of kdramas. LMAO

That happens to me ALL the time.
But that's because I use all my energy in "the waiting", so when the gift (drama) actually arrives, I don't have anything left to give to it.

But I wouldn't say it's anything about the drama. I'm just like that. I'm literally that friend that makes plans for stuff and then cancels.
I just get excited about the excitement, in other words, I get excited about what I think that's going to excite me, not the "thing" itself.

That's why I don't wait for dramas. I just watch them. If I wait, then it's impossible for me to watch it. Unless it's something that I'm genuinely obsessed with.

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I was waiting for both "Amazing Troubleshooter" and "A Time Called You" for years (since announcement) and when they released .... 🤷‍♀️

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Oh I didn't know that Queen of divorce was called Amazing Troubleshooter before. I think the first title was better adapted because the show wasn't really about divorces...

You didn't watch Rowoon and ASH's cute scenes? 😱

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Oh! I watched both dramas. Just meant the excitement was somewhat tempered after a few episodes more so for Queen of Divorce. I liked A Time Called You well enough ... and *ahem* how could I miss out on Rowoon. 😍

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Oh oki!

I feel reassured now 😂 They were such good scenes, it would have been sad if you missed them.

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Going by the title Amazing Troubleshooter I was sure that Kang Ki-young would be as amazing as the title. When they released the publicity stills his character seems to have waked out from Attorney Woo's set so I was confused. Then the teaser had him hit someone with a flower pot so I was enthused again. Finally when the episodes released I just kept on looking for my promised Amazing ML - and we all know how well that went.
I think karma bit him back and his 2ML did to him what he's been doing to many a ML.
Well at least it was a billed ML role. Hopefully he will be doubly amazing in his next one.
Actually QoD was more of a let down coz after Uncanny Counter 2 (which again I was very excited for pre-release) I thought KKY will get a good role.

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^^ No way!!

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I feel you, but I'm with Kurama. You HAVE to watch their scenes, ☺️ even if it is only those scenes and not the entire drama. I don't think they need context anyway.

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Thank you for making this post/opening up this discussion thread, because I'm so glad to know it's not only me that this happens to!! I get this feeling far too often than I'd like, and other Beanies have pointed out, there's probably a subliminal reason for it whether it be just general life exhaustion, mood or something else.

Regardless though, it does feel really bizarre to feels feelings on level 100 for a drama, only for it to dissipate one random day (or on the day of premier) with no clear or obvious reason why. The most recent example I can think of is Queen of Tears, which I'm still watching on x2 and using the FF button, but I'm not really excited for it or by it - not as much as I was during the pre-release promo period.

Conversely though, the opposite also happens to me where I've got zero interest registered for a drama, I get bored and click play on ep one and then suddenly I can't stop writing love-sick rambles on my wall and in threads here (looking at you Dr Slump).

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Re DR SLUMP, I was looking forward to it for the actors but was apprehensive since I rarely like doctor dramas. So colour me surprised when the show was about burnout, mental health and healing. I think the actual hospital scenes were less than a quarter of the show which blew my mind since I’ve never seen a kdrama dealing with doctors not solely focus on the profession and workplace

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I'm the exact same as you!! I was like eh medical drama, but then found it so much more my thing partly because the medical part of it was so minimal!! Which is rare you're right!

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I usually only have this happen because I will hear so many people report how bad it is - Latest example- Missing Crown Prince.

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This had happened to me many times over. I will be super excited for the drama but the interest fizzled out when it start airing. The problem is that I tend to wait for the drama to finish before binge-watching it. This means I will be swayed by any negative review or lack of review of the drama. For the popular dramas, there will be many spoiler clips that will be all over social media.

I also agreed with some of the comments on time commitment and the mood that you are in. Hence, I became very picky with what dramas to watch. I missed the days where I pick a drama to watch by the synopsis or actor/actress. I will be pleasantly surprised by some of them (e,g The Vineyard Man). Unfortunately, many of my favourite actor/actress are either not active, picked makjang/daily dramas or became 2nd leads.

Now I try to live watch a drama so that I can get ahead of the spoilers and also keep up with the hype.

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You are not the only one… and I am refering to Doctor Slump amd Castaway Diva. They are just not something that I eagerly want to watch and definitely no regrets if I miss out certain plots. The only highlight is the singing part by Park Eun Bin.

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Since the pandemic, I tried a ton of new dramas, even the very popular ones that doesn’t appeal me cast or story wise without hesitation like TWOTM, most of the Netflix originals, even Sisyphus (ugh) because I had THAT much free time and wanted to maximize it.

These days, I pretty much limit the dramas I watch based on the cast and personal appeal. At this point of my life, it’s definitely better to just watch the ones that I’m really invested in and the ones that I will surely have no intentions of dropping. There’s no need to force-watch everything even if there’s a little tempt.

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After much anticipation, a loss of interest in the drama, is not at all uncommon. It happens even for your favorite stars, or should I say, especially with your favorite stars. Example, I like ju ji hoon since his princess hours days. That drama about him being a lawyer with his ward-niece, I could not continue beyond few minutes of first episode. But I watched most of his dramas. The build up or hype of anticipation can be a turn-off, I am finding out. There might be a term for it, psychological reactance. May stem from not wanting to be pressured or controlled. It’s like the same reaction one has with pushy salespersons. I guess in general one likes to be independent. But for this community, I find that going with the flow, for most times, I’m in sync, when all other factors are considered ( story, writing, chemistry, novel or new).

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I've felt this sometimes. It could be a fear that the drama would not meet my expectations, perhaps because my initial excitement was very high and then I did not want to be disappointed (the preview made me feel I could be disappointed) so I avoided it altogether. It happened to me with Castaway Diva and with Marry My Husband. The hype sometimes puts me off. I dropped some highly ranked dramas midway, so those don't count, I suppose.

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It happened to me all the time; excited for it but dropped it after watching ep. 1 or 2. Or sometimes after dragging till ep. 6 or 7. I envy you guys who will return to the drama at a later time. Me on the other hands, once dropped, it stayed drop forever 🙈

The first drama that came to my mind is Marry My Husband; fortunately I managed to complete it in between clicking the fast forward keys, and I was so desperate for it to end quickly 😭 This happened simply because I think I can't watch Park Min-young anymore.

The other 2024's kdramas suffered the same vanishing desire: Love Song for Illusions, Flexx Cop, Captivating the King, Queen of Divorce and Branding in Seongsu.

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I usually drop lots of dramas and there is this great amount of dramas that I don't even start to watch. But I always know, why I'm doing this (ok, sometimes just vaguely). The most important reason? Not enough chemistry between me and the drama 😀

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I have had this happen before. Like a lot of other here it comes down to mood. Sometime I’m really anticipating a drama, but if my mood is low I don’t want to watch a melodrama that in a diffent mood might be just up my alley.

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Relatable.

I kind of chocked it up to the same satisfaction that I get from scrolling through options, but never landing one what to watch. Like I get something out of the hype that doesn’t translate to pushing play or necessarily enjoyment of a show

Lovely Runner was one I was afraid would be this way… I heard about the drama and got so excited that I found the translated webtoon (sadly unfinished) and then found the fan translated chapters (sadly unfinished) and then paid for the Korean version of the book and am MTL/using it to practice Korean lol. And with so much hype I thought I wouldn’t care once the show came out but NOT SO! I’m 100% here for every episode, and so happy that my enthusiasm didn’t die down

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I have felt this for a while now to an extent that I thought I lost my MOJO. Foe the current airing dramas, I felt it with Queen of tears (didn't finish ep.2), Hide (lost interest at ep 3). Like I was so hyped up with My demon and yet, I couldn't get myself to watch it...for no reason. If this is a sickness, then I'm worse...hehe

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Absolutely! I've actually been struggling with this issue for more than a year now on and off. I've dropped many dramas and still have a long 'must watch' list that I'm nowhere near completing.
Thank you for this cause thought it was just my problem.

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That happens to me, Castaway Diva, for one. Love her but never tuned in, just didn't seem that I'd like. There are many wildly popular but I need to like FL and if I don't, it's a no go.

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👋🏾Welcome to the comments we hope you will find the right drama for you to join the banter in the comments.

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This is me with a lot of dramas. I can be interested in them when they're announced, but be unable to bring myself to watch them, or even care about them when they finally drop.

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This is me pretty much for the past year. For me I’m chalking it down to a big life change which has pretty much disregulated my nervous system- the ability to look forward to something and the. Execute it seems like too much effort. And also I’ve noticed that scrolling through reels/tick tok/ shorts one can pretty much watch an entire drama. Like these days queen of tears all the highlights are everywhere it’s hard to avoid. Technically I can say I’ve watched the drama. And when one is already feeling so blah it can be too much effort to watch the whole story when I’ve already seen the high points.

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That's a really astute point about reels/tiktok/edits - I've inadvertently kept up with a lot of dramas this way too despite not actually watching them. Sometimes they make me want to go check the show out but like you you said, sometimes it's like 'oh I've already seen the high points so why bother with the rest'

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100% yes about the reels & shorts! i think i watched half of Castaway Diva through this.

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Yes, I am familiar with this. It's because you aren't really interested in the drama. You are addicted to that feeling of anticipation. You are addicted to the feeling of waiting for something. It's like being excited for Christmas or your birthday. It's like waiting for a delivery of something from Amazon. Then once you open the package, you lose interest. The entire excitement phase releases dopamine. It's also akin to people who are addicted to shopping. It's the acquiring part that is fun, not the thing that was acquired.

I've struggled with a form of this all my life. I'm someone who will spend a lot of time shopping for a new hobby, paying hundreds of dollars to get all geared up. But in the end, it almost always turns out that I like the idea of something more than doing the thing itself

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Oh this happens a loooot with me. I've dropped a lot of dramas and can't even sit through the first episode until years later, when I finally am in the mood to give it a chance again and I finally finish it. The only difference with you, OP, though is that I don't really eagerly anticipate the drop of a new drama. I let it simmer and get at least 6 episodes in first.

'Moving' is the most recent drama I can think of where this happened. Except that only took months. I think it was either Replay or Hospital Playlist that took me years to start watching.

I do have a list of these 'I'll come around to watching it' dramas:
- Move to Heaven
- Twinkling Watermelon
- Call it Love

Then there are the dramas that I really did totally drop because I just couldn't connect with it: Hotel Del Luna, Taxi Driver, The Producers...

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Me with Queen of Tears. I was so excited for this and now I force-watch episodes right now chopping it up in blocks throughout the week. I don't even know why but I keep loosing interest. I think I may be in a general slump.

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i usually end up not watching a show i was excited about due to:
can't find where to watch it
watching too many other shows already
or i just plain forget :)

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