Hooked: K-Dramas

A friend at college (soon to be roommate) took me to K-Pop club one evening. It’d been a long day, and I wasn’t sure if I had the energy to go to another activity– for those who don’t know me well, I am very involved with the campus life at Hollins– but I accompanied her and I ended up loving the experience. That particular meeting, the club leaders decided to play a drama called Extraordinary You, and from a single thirty-minute episode, I was hooked.

It took me about two weeks to finish this drama. I laughed, cried, and fell in love with the characters very quickly. The show catered to the writer in me and made me so frustrated that I couldn’t stop watching, that I couldn’t abandon the plot. I played the last episode on the precipice of spring break, and it was a heck of a time. For a moment, I had assumed it was going to end in tragedy, and I was sitting in my dorm room bawling my eyes out. But it was a bittersweet finale, and it tugged on my heartstrings.

I will never forget Extraordinary You as my first drama. And after a three-month break, after I had recovered emotionally from the show, I started another.

I don’t know what prompted me to pick this particular drama, but I believe it was a combination of factors that made me want to choose it. Firstly, it had come highly recommended from others. Secondly, it was about writing and publishing, and I couldn’t resist. PLUS, Stranger Things was about to come out (the very next day) and I wasn’t in the mood for anything dark. And lastly, of course, I had been excited when Love and Gelato, an adaptation of a cute romance book, came to Netflix. However, the first ten minutes were sorely disappointing, and I was browsing for any decent content that would satisfy me.

Romance is a Bonus Book wrecked me. Even though it was a happy ending. The way the show moved, the romantic plot boiling to the surface, the beautiful lines and quotes woven throughout– I finished it in a week. Cha Eun Ho will now forever live in my heart (AND the actor who played him), and Kang Dan Yi’s endless determination and optimism was inspiring to watch. There was one scene so powerful that I will never forget it, which I will not mention here because it has now taken up a sacred spot in my journal, and I think it’s safe to say that this has become my new favorite.

How long until I choose another? We’ll see.

And maybe people scoff at these kinds of things. Maybe they judge their friends and family for being so heavily invested in K-Dramas. But the shows are so refreshingly different from American television. There are all sorts of genres available, and it’s easier than ever to track them down. The subtitles force me to pay attention instead of scrolling on my phone. They’re an example of escapism and realism in their finest hour, working together to set even higher expectations for those who watch (I don’t want to date, but I think I could have a lovely relationship with this new drama obsession).

As for me? I can’t wait until I feel ready for my next one. Because there’s something magical about the world of K-Dramas.

Photo by Nothing Ahead on Pexels.com

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