You get to spend a few hours enjoying a life or situation that could possibly be worse than your reality, go on an emotional roller coaster ride or marvel at good-looking people while wondering if there's someone like that out there, waiting just for you.Seems as though almost everyone has. From my silent neighbor (who watches with headphones on) to the vigilant but forgetful passenger on the bus who forgets that others can see what she's watching on her Smartphone on the way to work. Even the writer friends that I've recently met up with have in whispery voices confessed to having caught the bug.
Sometimes, I feel sorry for the Hong Kong movie and film industry. It used to dominate many parts of Asia. Occasionally, I think of the legacy tree-dancing and fierce-mission-impossible feats of Bollywood movies.
So many of us used to watch so much of TVB series, so much so that we, and countless others in other Asian countries, speak Cantonese because TVB series used to be our after-dinner (or during-dinner) staple. I wonder, then, what contributed to the rather sudden rise of Korean dramas (aside from cute guys and picture-perfect girls - as unhealthy as this obsession is). It's strange because instead of watching a show without the need of subtitles, we'd rather struggle with watching shows that requires splitting our attention between reading the subtitles and watching the actual show.
And honestly speaking, after watching as many as we have, the theme is sometimes recurring too. Aliens, time travel, ghosts, hearing voices, smelling futures, supernatural powers, deep and dark circles, love triangles, being forced to live in the same house, being forced to work in the same company...etc. In this respect, I sometimes think that TVB shows have more depth and the writers are required to do a whole lot more research while writing. But that's just IMHO.
Here's a list of why I watch Korean dramas these days, as opposed to watching my usual TVB shows.
- To escape daily life. We've gotten so used to HK dramas that it's become an 80s cliche. Kdrama is like the new 80s or something.
- Their life is almost always sadder than yours...every episode. If they're happy, it's only for less than half an hour, believe me.
- Cute guys / Cute girls, duh? I know some people have some jarringly too-honest things to say about South Koreans when it comes to the looks department but when we're watching a Kdrama, we kind of forget that for the time-being and gawk anyway
- Refreshing storyline - not your uncle and auntie taking away the millions and then sending your parents off to jail so that you will harbor hate for them for the rest of your life. Well, admittedly, some continue to have the same storyline but less so than other Taiwanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and Hong Kong dramas. I mean, time-travel, aliens and mermaids? Awright! I know it repeats itself but it is a nice breakaway that we welcome
- Almost predictability. Not all of them are predictable but when they are, you can watch it while folding your laundry and get to spend an hour or two just watching cute girls and guys prancing around the screen. It will reach a point you can do this because, even without the subtitles, you know what they're saying. Remember the good ole days when we needed English or Bahasa subs to watch HK shows? I am reaching a point whereby I can guess my way through un-subbed episodes (BECAUSE WHO CAN WAIT FOR SUBS THESE DAYS??!! - lol, sorry)
- Not too long, short enough. Most Kdramas lasts for about 16 to 24 episodes, with each being about an hour long. It also airs weirdly, as in 2 days in a week, and they air it at the same time they're writing and producing the series. Talk about living life on the edge of your seat. LOL. Somehow, that makes a difference because (accordingly, the producers and writers gets the chance to change the plot mid-way). It allows you to laugh (or cry) along with them for a period of time and then you can let it go and move on to another series.
- Diversity. It's not just dramas that you get. There's comedy, kick-ass police, hospital shows, ancient historic films (this, you cannot watch without subs; if you do, you're awesome) and magical ones that defies logic and facts.
- Song choice. Have you ever thought that one HK song sound just like every other at the beginning or after the show? Yup. At the very least, the songs are more awesome, if nothing else.
- Culture vultures. Kdramas are relatively new in the market and people are just starting to understand the wayward ways of the South Koreans through the dramas so, it's a little more intriguing than what we are used to. You'll get used to the ju-se-yo after a few series. It's like our lah and lor. Nobody got that in the beginning either, right?
It's not like I've stopped watching HK shows, I did, but I just can't get into it anymore. Some are too long ass that I've lost the plot along the way and gave up. And if you've just recently caught the bug, here are some differences found by Soompi between 'experienced' and 'rookie' Kdrama watchers, just for entertainment purposes.
Hope you'll have a splendid Monday ahead!
Credit : Woman Crying (Shutterstock)
Hope you'll have a splendid Monday ahead!