I wonder what is happening in K drama land, I am noticing a sense of worry and disappointment, coming through whilst reading through the comments sections of dramas across all genres. If a drama is going well there is a fear that the writer will go rogue and ruin it. If the writing has deteriorated, frustration and disappointment prevail. I get the feeling that the impact of writing throughout the pandemic and the current financial fallout has finally taken its toll and writers like everyone else just need a decent holiday and want to fast forward to a time when this is a dim and distant memory.

I am keeping current dramas to a minimum and instead I am working my way through some older dramas based on recommendations from the DramaBeans Sunbaes. I have reviewed the recaps and comments made whilst it was airing. It seems that there are a few of us doing this as the comments section from something that aired years ago now has some comments from recent months.

My hope is there will always be at least one drama that is on point and the gaps between one finishing and the next starting will be a couple of weeks max. I miss the era of having most of the week covered with dramas I looked forward to.

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    I think we’re just a bit jaded. When we were new to dramas, unnecessary plot lines were bemusing or annoying or we just used to go with it. Now we just sigh and expect it. Another one with a prejudiced mother / unnecessary heartbreak / unexplainable ending.
    I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve lost patience with badly-written break ups and ‘happy’ endings where characters haven’t learned from their mistakes.
    That said, I’m so desperate for good vibes that I’ll slog through a lot to get it. ^^

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      I think it’s true we allow more when is it new however later it’s no longer cute or funny. When I first started watching dramas I noticed certain things kept happening and it was only later that I learnt the official name was a trope.

      I have always struggled with the ‘respect’ explanation when the chaebol mother calls on her son’s girlfriend and the girlfriend answers the phone, keeps it secret from the boyfriend, goes to the meeting to be insulted with either the water or envelop and then leaves without saying anything to the boyfriend. It just seems disrespectful that writers feel this is a short hand way to tell a story about the abuse of power in 2022. I think the audiences are questioning the use of these kinds of tropes and asking for more so when tropes are executed poorly the drop in ratings reflects this. However, the whole system needs to be called out for green lighting lazy writing/poor directing/production etc. when there are so many budding writers wanting to showcase fresh new ideas.
      I wonder if some actors wanting to cover their bills and stay relevant are taking on the lower quality dramas only because they are likely to be mainstream, attract the sponsorship and there is so little on offer that is standout good.

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        I’m not saying I hate dramas now – I’m still enjoying them, loving the characters, the talented actors, good relationships and twists I wasn’t expecting. It’s still my happy place and I think I gush more than I complain. If I’m not into a show, I drop it.

        I’m just not into idols who can’t act and shows which really fluff the ending. ( I’ve invested my time and you ruined people I cared about T_T )

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          Rom coms and slice of life light and fluffy K Dramas are my go to happy place and we have seen some great examples this year and there are more coming.

          I do think people are enjoying the dramas that meet their criteria I think the problem is most dramas are mixed genres these days so it’s harder to avoid the genres that we don’t like as much. This leads to people starting something and then discovering its not what they expected so they reluctantly hate watch or drop it in frustration.

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            True, though Link surprised me in a positive way! I wasn’t expecting the crime angle but it really works.
            The biggest disappointment / turn off that I can see is a show which doesn’t deliver on what it promises, be it rom coms where people have terminal illnesses, crime shows where the killer gets away or a “healing” drama where people don’t end up in a significantly better place.
            Recently I’ve wrinkled my nose at the endings of: Vincenzo (unexpected graphic violence), 25/21 (unexpected miscommunication), Beauty Inside (characters were miraculously “healed” of their quirks). If the tone of a drama suddenly changes at the end, I start to frown. If it strays in the middle, I’m more likely to stick in there…

            That’s probably why Dramabeans have started these alternative ending posts… ^^

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    I’m not finding that at all. I have more currently airing dramas I’m watching now more than ever: Link, Jinxed, Alchemy of Souls. Extraordinary Attorney Woo. To my star 2, and Yumi’s cells. I have several waiting in the wings as well (Bloody heart, Devil judge, Beyond Evil, and Pil Gu —if it ever gets subbed). I drop shows that I just don’t feel or become monotonous (Woori most recently). But this is how I watch dramas. Then there are times that I’m barely watching one drama.

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      Wow I remember those days when it was spaced out over the week. I am watching five that are currently airing but most are on at the weekend and I have one older one. I have just completed Pachinko and 20th Century boy and girl.
      Dear. M has been good as it airs in batches of 6 so feels like the best of both worlds.

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    It’s been like that for a long time, as viewers have been let down by past dramas or just lost that loving feeling for kdramas. I took a break from reading comments for quite awhile because it was affecting my enjoyment. I’m a happy camper these days though I still avoid comment sections sometimes.

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      Good plan. I use the same policy and avoid dramas designed to make the audience hate a protagonist as that means I am allowing someone else to impact on my mood.

      I think some comments are spot on and nuanced and others I am waiting for them to submit a drama so I can see what makes them so great that they can critique with such confidence! I have always had issues with critics who are not able to do the job they have so many opinions on.

      I try to focus on my taste rather than the writer so I am upset if I have taken time to choose a drama in a genre that suits my taste then some random plot line leads to a genre I can’t handle coming in and then ruining my experience. If that is something the writer wants to include thats fine but I want a heads up. Maybe we need a labelling system like food with colour coding and the equivalent of clear labelling of E numbers🤣

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        >I have always had issues with critics who are not able to do the job they have so many opinions on.

        You shouldn’t, it’s normal to critique heavily if you have a lot experience with something, even if you can’t do it, because you know what is the superior version. They are not being mean or egocentric, they just know more about the subject.

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    I feel like dramas are the same, so maybe people have changed.

    I watch/rewatch old shows all the time, and I don’t feel like they’re major changes now.
    Romcoms have changed a little, now we have more murderers/stalkers than usual, and nicer male leads.
    9 years ago I used to skip the male leads’ scenes (I don’t like tsunders) and now I skip the stalkers/murderers scenes. That’s it for me. 😂

    I miss murder-free romcoms, but I still enjoy new shows. A lot.

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      Either way you are skipping something love it🤣

      It’s good to have the perspective of that amount of time and to watch the dramas from that era through current eyes. I agree that the males are less likely to be stroppy and cold and even more gorgeous as fashion and hair cuts have changed. There were a few where that trope was not a feature.

      It’s the murder/stalker elements that distress me I can’t watch Suspicious partner because of that element but now I have got through Why her I probably could just fast forward through that like I had to forward through chunks of I can hear your voice.

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        Yep, shows like Secret Garden, She Was Pretty or You’re Beautiful make me want to scream. I can’t stand mean/rude MLs.

        The hair… if we compared to idols’ hair style of the same era, the actors where fine. 😂

        Why can’t we have something like Kim Bok Joo, Ho Gu’s Love, Couple or Trouble, Fight For My Way, Coffee Prince… There are so many cliches that can be fun, so why do we keep getting the “main couple bonding because of a stalker/murderer” trope? Even if the show is good and fun, I would prefer if it had less drama-thriller and more romance-comedy, that’s why they’re called romcoms. I already watch thrillers, makjangs, slice of life, etc. So I don’t need my romcoms to make me cry or solve crimes.

        I dropped Suspicious Partner and I haven’t watched Why Her, but I don’t think they’re supposed to be romcoms, aren’t those legal/crime dramas? I don’t think you can skip the murder/stalker elements from those shows because that’s like the whole plot, right? Maybe I’m mistaken I never read the synopsis, sorry. Hehe

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          Suspicious partner and Why her are based in the legal field. I can handle slice of life so I like legal dramas like Miss Hammurabi where the main characters are not being attacked but are supporting the defendants or victims so it’s a different legal disputes each week and they are not murder cases.

          I like all the dramas you mentioned apart from Coffee Prince and I tolerate the Oh my Venus, type drama but Fated to love you also had the most annoying laugh which killed it for me but I watched to the end hoping she would go off with the second lead.

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            I remember shipping a second lead in a Taiwanese drama and being beyond delighted when she actually ended up with him. Ah, good times…

            Or was I just being naïve and he was supposed to be the lead and I just didn’t realise it?

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            Oh, I get what you’re saying.

            Ps. I think you’re kind of describing Attorney Woo, haha. You said you’re gonna give it a try, right? I hope you enjoy it.

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    For me, as a seasoned watcher there’s always a niggling worry when a drama starts off with a
    ✅ particularly great character/cast
    ✅ incredible writing
    ✅ uncommon plot
    ✅ or one filled with twists and fresh takes on old tropes

    But that’s because dramaland has proven time and again it’s almost impossible for a drama to sustain 16+ hours of greatness. Or make everyone happy throughout its run. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the drama though.

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    For me, I have one major issue.

    Horror/Serial Killer/Zombie tropes – I can’t remember when it started but for years now, almost every kdrama had some element of either ghosts, zombies or psychotic serial killer/blood/gore. I’ll be happily watching what I thought was a romcom and then something would jump out and give me a fright. Some days I can take it, some days I can’t. Master’s Sun, Hotel Del Luna, Come and Hug Me, Mouse.. to name a few. Surprisingly, if I can accept murders/serial killer stories if kept at a minimum eg: those in legal dramas.
    Bad Endings – I don’t mean sad endings but bad ones. A drama would start out good but would fizzle out at the end. Like the writer ran out of ideas and lost his/her steam on how to end it meaningfully and just decide to throw the kitchen sink at it or give it a shock factor. These type of dramas are worse than the horror kind because usually by this time, I would have invested my precious time in it and I can’t get the time nor the emotions I poured into it back. I would feel so betrayed. At least with the first trope, I can choose to drop.

    So yeah, after being burnt so many times, I approach all dramas with fingers crossed these days and the minute I sense myself losing interest, I bail before it bails on me.

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    I always choose a drama to watch one at a time and it all depends on my mood at that moment. For example, I finished My Ajusshi just some time ago and now I’m watching… Don’t Dare to Dream (Jealousy Incarnate) for the first time! I believe you were the one who recommended me this show. I am happy to report that I like it so far! I just finished ep3 a moment ago, and I look forward to the next eps.

    Thank you for the recommendation! 🥺🌷

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      Yay, so glad its working for you so far. Please keep me posted on your final view, I am always interested in how my recommendations land.

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