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[Drama Chat] Dramas stuck in time

Much like how novels you read or music you loved during certain times of your life can bring you right back, I have found that it’s the same with dramas. There a few that when I think back on, they whip me through space and time to another season of my life. And somehow, whatever I was living through, and whatever the drama was about, entwined around each other and I can’t seem to separate them, ever.

City Hunter and living alone for the first time. Happiness and stuck in bed for a week with the flu. Heck, even Gu Family Book and going through a particularly awful time at work. I’m not sure I can explain how reality and stories stick together in this way, but it always happens like this for me. Anyone else share this experience?

Do you have particular dramas that bring you back to a certain season or experience in your life?

 
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I'm Sorry I Love You - I watched it for the first time in autumn, after moving to a much colder location. The drama itself was filmed in autumn too. To me, this drama represents November, the most melancholy time of the year. (In the Northern hemisphere)

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I love this. And when dramas carry a seasonal feel to them. It makes them a whole world unto themselves.

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For me it was :

Lucifer (The Devil)
Iris
Giant
Secret Garden
My Love from the Star

I watched each of these while i was traveling extensively for work (Different Jobs) , living out of a suitcase had become exhausting, strangely enough these dramas were my one bright spot during those times, they were also the dramas i used to convert my sister into a fan, we still rewatch them from time to time

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Ah, that must have been tough. I'm glad you had these hope bubbles to soften that time. Iris and Secret Garden have been on my list forever and I still haven't gotten around to them. One day.

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Descendants of the Sun was the first show I watched on my phone and that happened because I was caring for a relative in the hospital and I needed my drama fix in the long hours that she was asleep. To this day I remember DotS as being somehow small! 😂 Although I have watched many dramas after that on my phone, still any mention of DotS brings back that feeling of a small screen in the dark strange room.

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I can picture this. Sitting the dark in a strange room and I can imagine some of the emotions 💛 Dramas seem to punctuate our lives in meaningful ways, don't they?

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Twenty Five Twenty One
Takes me back to a time where I hung out with a group of friends and I took that group for granted.
A time before cell phones and actually talking on the phone.
A time with anonymous chats over dialup internet.
A time where we all got our first cellphones
A time where we learned how to drive and went places.
A time where we continually fought our parents.

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Incredibly nostalgic. A time when we continually fought our parents 😊 Reply 1988 did this for me too.

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Yumi’s Cells 2 and the death of my dad. It was my one-hour escapism from caregiving.

All 2020 dramas, but especially It's Okay to Not Be Okay and Record of Youth, and the stress and futility of the Covid pandemic and lockdowns.

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That one hour escapism must have been everything to you at such a difficult time.

It's Okay To Not Be Okay always takes me back to that covid time too.

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Oh gosh, sounds tough😞

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My Madeleine de Proust in Kdrama...

I don't think I have one. I usually watch several KDramas at the same time and I can't link one with a specific period/moment of my life.

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I'm guilty of this too. But there's usually one that captures more of my heart than the others.

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What a great prompt, @missvictrix! This happens to me all the time, and I can think of so many examples, but I think the most vivid one for me was watching Thirty But Seventeen while I took my comprehensive written exam (the last hurdle before starting my dissertation). I had been "saving" Thirty But Seventeen for a rainy day, because I knew I would like it, and I wanted to be in the right emotional place for it. I timed it out so that for my 17-day exam, I would watch one hour of this drama every evening. It was absolutely perfect. The themes of being grown-up but not feeling grown-up, being in a liminal in-between stage of life, and finding the people and work that bring you joy were so cathartic. This drama completely represents that time and those feelings for me. ❤️

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Such a nurturing idea to have timed the show that way and at a time when you needed it the most. I love that.

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Tell Me That You Love Me.

I was writing my first semester final undergrad exams. Try not to Cry and To Your Home became the soundtracks I played on repeat whenever I went for walks at night.

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Isn't that soundtrack just beautiful? And perfect company for a walk at night.

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I’m a watch baby, only been in my life for 16 months but I know forever the show I will look back on with the most emotion is The King:Eternal Monarch.
I had watched it early on, about month 3, in my kdrama viewing and was mesmerized. I knew my husband would like it- but he is very stubborn when it comes to watching anything. But he could see I was excited about it and so for 2 weeks every night we watched together. And rewatched a lot because you do with that show. It was the only time I actually have had someone to talk to about a show.
He has never watched since although I have a list of ones he will like.

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A spouse you can watch kdramas with is a different kind of feeling.

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It's lovely to have someone to talk to about a drama 🥰

You're making me want to watch The King. Not the biggest fan of LMH but the bits I've seen of the show are visually striking. I should give it a chance.

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SCHOOL 2013 I had to travel to Korea during the height of the Covid Delta variant surge. Upon arrival, I was sent to a random hotel in the exurbs of Seoul, sprayed down (or was it fumigated?) with disnfectant by people in full hazmat suits, and then placed in quarantine for 10 days. During that time, I couldn’t leave the room and was fed inexplicably bad food (why did they put ranch dressing on the banana??). I think I lost 5 kg during quarantine. However, it was Korea and there was fast wifi, so I watched shows. The one I remember most was School 2013. The bromance between Lee Jong Suk (I think this was my favorite role of his) and Kim Woo Bin, the very distinctive cocky speaking pattern of Daniel Choi, and the passionate earnestness of Jang Nara kept me entertained in that very small crowded room. I half lost my mind, but the show and the stories of the student’s struggles made me also realize how I was lucky to have been able to travel during this difficult time in the world and that weirdly, it was a privilege to even to be in the quarantine that I was. Thinking of that show immediately puts me back in that room.

GREAT BRITISH BAKEOFF. I know this isn’t a drama, but this show was such important company for me when my mother was in her last stages of life. She wasn’t strong enough to do much, so I would spend time with her in bed and we would have the British Baking show on. The show was a good companion for us—there was really no plot to follow matter so if one or both of us dozed off it didn’t matter, the voices and music were pleasant, and there was just enough to keep you interested if you wanted to watch. It also made time slow down in a sense, which was funny because all the challenges were timed, where I could just be with my mom in those moments where nothing was happening really other than being with her and that was enough and felt precious. So I will always treasure that show for being friendly company during those days.

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Beautiful story about your mom. That truly was the perfect show. Just listening to the British speaking is comforting. 💜

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I agree with @23new2kdrama. Such a beautiful story about your mom and slowing down.

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What a beautiful experience to share with your mum, thanks for sharing with us.

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I tried to respond to this but then the comment wouldn't stop growing. 😆
To not overshare I will just say that they're too many dramas that apply. Idk if that's because I put too much meaning and feelings into stuff, but I feel like at least one drama per year has that effect on me, and I've been watching dramas for 13 years so yeah, too many.

One that has a really funny memory is Dream High.

We (family) were new to kpop, and very much obsessed. Especially tabong. So this drama was pretty much just me hating on Kim Soo Hyun for ruining my (Miss A x 2PM) ship. I didn't know who he was and I didn't care. Him being the second lead didn't help that much either. It took me centuries to get over it (I was a kid, don't judge please 🤣).

So thinking of Dream High means thinking of my beginning as a kpop fan, that leads me to my bestie, and then that leads me to my entire childhood... and then it just reminds me of how much I used to hate on KSH for no damn reason. LMAO

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If putting meaning into stuff leads to frequent misunderstandings, that may be "too much". (Or you have cold, deceiving people around you. I hope not!)
But if it makes you laugh and cry more at dramas, and maybe feeling the connection to cry-able and laughable things in you rown life, that's just you understanding exactly what K-drama is about.

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Imo, the real thing about misunderstandings isn't what you feel or think but what you do or say. Wtv is in your head can probably be solved by saying or asking something. Most times, you already know the answer, and all you have to do is wait for confirmation. You suffer through the whole process, but that's it. LOL

Aww, thanks! That's a sweet way to put it.
 

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Haha, I think that's a pretty legitimate reason to hate KSH 😅

Putting meaning and feelings into stuff is 💛 Very few truly sensitive souls now and the world needs them (us 😍).

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That was actually a really bad habit I had as a kid. After I watched My Best Friend's Wedding, I hated Julia Roberts' roles in every single one of her movies. My SL aversion comes from that era. LOL

I'm more in the "exhausting" category, but I'll take it because it sounds like a wonderful group and I bet all beanies are in it (don't want to be left behind). 

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Lol, we definitely won't leave you behind 🥰

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You're Beautiful - reminds me of youth and happy times
Our Beloved Summer - I adore this show and made me happy during difficult times
Stairway to Heaven - I marathoned the latter episodes when I was sick for a couple of days. It was cathartic.
Reply 1988 - this reminds me of the happy youth and family ties that I dearly miss now that i am older
There are others butthese are the most memorable.

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That's how I feel about Reply88 too 🥰

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Hyena was the second kdrama I watched, and I did so because I needed, desperately needed something to whisk me out of the reality I was living in at that time - my father had had a stroke and had been admitted to a hospital, during Covid lockdowns (we're talking September 2020 and following here). This was a very sudden situation. We couldn't establish contactvwith the doctors in the hospital while we were noticing that things were going seriously wrong. We tried our best from the outside to improve his situation, but to no avail. The thoughts were going in circles (how can we help? What can we do? Are we doing enough? How does he feel?), and it felt like drowning. Watching Hyena propelled me out of this situation for some time, plus it provided a heroine that just. Wouldn't. Give. Up. When I was through with it, I started again right away. I have watched it since again, but mostly during that time of year when it all happened, and it always brings back those memories.

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I just love how Hyena (I am in love with Kim Hye-soo!) mirrored perseverance for you and eased you through such a tough time. There's nothing harder than not being able to help a loved one.

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Flu? Ha! I watched HAPPINESS live while having covid (and being the only somewhat functioning person in the house atm, so few hours with the show every week were my only true rest time). That was memorable indeed...

Also once famously binged PRINCESS' MAN in 24 hours during super high fever (I was alone overseas and genuinely afraid to sleep in such state). To this day attribute my fast recovery that time to all the tears shed in process - must've been one hell of detox)))

There's also super fond memories of 2012 - so many good shows, new and old, so many heated discussions over them on site I used back then... Great times and best kdrama year overall to me.

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Aw, high fever + foreign country + tearful detox (😊) = memorable indeed. I'll have to look what dramas were aired in 2012. I do like going back in time and watching some of the older dramas.

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There were so many! Try this for recommendations: https://www.dramabeans.com/?s=2012

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Thank you! 🥰

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You watched Happiness during Covid and found it restful - you win @gikata 😍😂😍

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It was a super cathartic watch. Aside of finding ML's actions in Ep11's ending all too relatable, he-he, but in my defense I've only been this feverish and sleep deprived a very few times in my whole life^^

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It's Healer for me. It was one of the first kdramas I watched. Growing up, we watched Filipino dramas and Mexican telenovelas. They were so addictive and when I finally weaned myself off them (thanks to boarding school!) I promised myself that I'd never attach myself to dramas ever again. Ha.

Fast forward many years. I had moved countries twice. And as an immigrant stuck between places, home stops being an actual place. Instead you find it in things that connect you back to yourself. Kdramas became that for me. Two friends had been trying to get me to watch them for years and I held my ground. But that year, I was feeling a little lonelier than usual, so I caved. It was that beautiful transition period between winter and spring. The light is different, the sun is starting to stay out a little longer but the darkness still has that heaviness to it. I'd come home from work, make dinner and watch an episode in my quiet apartment. It was beautiful and nostalgic. It took me to places in myself I hadn't visited in a while because of school, work and trying to find my way in a newish country. Needless to say I'm now addicted to kdramas, but that's okay. I watch shows very differently now.

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Lovely response. One of the best things about reading posts is seeing the individual journey. So many stories, all beautiful and meaningful starting from the same place, a certain drama. ☀️☀️☀️

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Yes, my favourite thing about the comments 🥰

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Yes, I agree these types of posts bring out really interesting stories.

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I particularly associate some dramas to our one week family holiday trips in July (to different places, so each show takes me to the camping we were staying).

July 2022: Because this is our first life and the minidrama Four kinds of house.
July 2023: Sh**ting Stars and Are you human too?
July 2024: Racket Boys (watching it these days, but we started it while being on a trip).

(No drama associated to Summer 2021 because I started watching dramas in Autumn-Fall that year).

And C-drama Meet Yourself takes me to January-February 2023, when I used to watch it after lunch, on the sofa and covered with a blanket.

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Dramas and travelling/holidays. I like that very much. And what a perfect way to watch Meet Yourself. That show is a masterpiece.

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Meet yourself was the perfect drama to feel rested like a holiday trip.

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Watching Meet Yourself is like travelling through a wormhole. I was at home but at the same time I was in that village.

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The last few years have been a blur, but it's the dramas from these last few years-- and very few from way back when that have stuck with me and bring me back whenever something comes over me and I decide to revisit them.

C-dramas:
The Untamed
Parts of Where Dreams Begin
The Longest Promise
Parts of Ace Troops
Forever and Ever
Lost You Forever, Season 1 (about to start S2)
Meet Yourself

K-dramas:
A Piece of Your Mind
I'm Not a Robot
Marriage Contract
Save Your Last Dance for Me
Winter Sonata

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There's always a time like that in our lives, isn't there? When everything is a blur. I like that the dramas from this time have stayed with you.

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Now that I look at the list, it seems that the ones which have stayed with me are the melo ones or the slice-of-life ones XD

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That tracks. They're the best in my opinion.

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They really are.

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So many of us have memories related to the death or illness of a parent, and I am the same. Those times have such heightened emotions, they become part of your soul. (Grandma in Lovely Runner was not wrong- the death of a loved one, how can you forget it) I watched quite a few dramas after my mother died, but the one that will always be entwined is
Romance is a Bonus Book.
A parent-figure sick with dementia. Eating mandoo in a family restaurant. The beach in Korea. The countryside. Books.
It was not just the particular time, it was the drama itself with all the little tentacles reaching into my life, my mother's life, our family...

A smaller association, but still real, Is Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Every time I watch that title sequence, I am back on a train going across the Han River...

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Beautifully said.

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BOF and Secret Garden take me back to my college days since I binged those shows with my Mom.

Also, whenever I see clips of Twenty Five, Twenty One, Hometown ChaChaCha, and Law School remind me so much of the pandemic days.

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Angel's Last Mission and Business Proposal
Summer school was miserable. 6- to 8-hour crash lectures, every. single. day. But every Wednesday and Thursday evening, I would rush out of my pre-calc class to download ALML episodes, subs or no subs, follow my friends to get dinner, bulky laptop and shitty headphones in hand.
For Business Proposal, I was staying in my guy best friend's hostel room bc I didn't like my own, and I managed to rope him, a non-kdrama watcher, into watching it. It was to the point he would run to grab me, get dinner, hurry off campus and watch me while I downloaded the episode for the day, no matter how long it took.
I don't miss uni, but I do miss times like these

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Extraordinary Attorney Woo : I had already watched it a few times, but this was the:
a) first drama my husband watched, which sparked his love for K-dramas.
b) drama my friend (let's call her Jane) and I picked to introduce another friend (let's call her Doe) to K-dramas. But that's not what made it special. Jane was visiting from Michigan, staying at Doe's. I packed a small bag and stayed at Doe's for two days. All we did was watch Extraordinary Attorney Woo, take Doe's dog for walks, eat food, and then watch some more. We even had a playful argument about watching it in English (Jane's preference) versus Korean (my preference). Ultimately, we rewatched a couple of episodes so Doe could decide. She chose the Korean version (Yay!). We went out at 1:00 AM for a midnight coffee, came back, and finished the drama. I don't remember having this much fun with friends ever after leaving college.
We soon formed a small group of hours called Woo Group (we are a sub- group of a very large group of friends). During her next visit, Jane gifted this to each of us.

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What a great gift to cement the memory of the drama and all night binging with coffee☺️

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It was wonderful. These moment to me are what Jung Woo said in Doctor Slump - candies in a salt pool of life.

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💜💜💜💜

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1. Reply 1988 - On university exchange for a semester and the first time I was away for my family for so long. I did not feel homesick until I watched this and bawled in some of the episodes. Everytime when I rewatched this, I would still cry in the same episodes.

2. The Snow Queen - the first k drama that I ever binged watch. I had to sit on the floor to watch this on TV while changing the DVD after every three episodes. Everytime I saw this, I always remembered how my butt hurts after sitting on the floor for so long.

3. Drinking Solo - this drama brought me back to my uni days. I watched this while having lunch at home after class. It was my solo food time too. Good vibes 🥰

4. Dr Romantic Season 1 - this reminds me of 4am and refreshing streaming sites constantly for eng subs. Eng subs will only be out at around 3am on the day of airing and I would feel empty at around 4am when I finish the episode.

5. City Hunter - one look at the screenshot in the post, it brought me back to 2011, after my national exam and watching it on my laptop during my overseas trip. I recalled searching about Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young, and found out that they were one year apart and Park Min Young was the noona. I remembered how stunning Lee Min Ho was when he first appeared in the last few minutes of the first episode.

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