What to do when you don’t know what k-drama to watch?

Note: I realized I abandoned this series after the first post in June of 2014. As my continued effort to keep this blog constant, I will try to keep pumping out these kinds of posts between dramas and reviews.

What should I watch next?

I feel like this is the million dollar question. This one, seemingly simple, question is full of endless possibilities that depends on a variety of factors.

Have you watched rom-com after rom-com and are now sick to death of them? Maybe you binged a few too many psychological thrillers and now you can’t sleep at night? Maybe you’re sick to death of a million and one doctor dramas? Or maybe your biggest problem is the selection? What the heck do you do when there are so many k-dramas on your list that you can’t decide where to begin? Otoke?!

Never fear drama fans, I’m here to help!

These are tried and true methods that I’ve actually used. Maybe one of these options will work for you. After Strong Woman Do Bong Soon wrapped up, I’ve been in a serious drama lull. I just couldn’t find something that appealed to me, so I thought what would be better than looking through my ‘to watch’ list and employ some of the below methods.

  1. If you’ve got a long list of dramas that you haven’t touched and don’t know where to start, assign each drama a number. Say you have a list with 50 dramas on it. Number each one 1-50. Plug in those numbers at Random.org and let fate decide where you begin. This method is especially useful for those of us who are indecisive. May the odds ever be in your favor!
  2. If you’ve found a new actor/actress that you adore to pieces (and they’ve been in more than one drama) put together a list of their oldest to newest dramas and start with the oldest and work your way to the most recent. There’s nothing more thrilling than seeing your latest bias back-to-back with binge-watches.
  3. Pick any trope you love, commit to it, and find a drama on your list that fits the bill. Does your heart soar for a good Gender Bender drama? Maybe a Rom-Com? Maybe doctor dramas are the key to your heart? Whatever it is, find a trope/cliché that you never get tired of and find your next drama that way. Love Gender Benders and Gong Yoo but have never watched Coffee Prince? There you go! You’ve got your next drama.
  4. Maybe you’re pressed for time and you want to binge-watch something without the huge commitment? There are plenty of web dramas out there that are pint-sized and easy to finish in one sitting without feeling too bad about your life choices. (We’ve all been there!)

If you’ve got any tips for choosing your next drama, let me know. I am always looking for new methods to keep my drama addiction alive.

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What To Do When A K-Drama Becomes Difficult To Finish?

frustrated minho

As far as any series goes, no matter what country it’s from, there are bound to be dramas that drive us crazy in all the worst ways. Maybe the protagonist is a complete idiot. Maybe the drama has the worst plot devices, ever. Maybe the central romance is a total crock and the better choice (occasionally the second male lead) is dumped like yesterday’s garbage. Whatever it is, I think any television or movie fan can understand my plight. Sometimes it happens, and when it does happen, it makes it very challenging to find the will to finish a drama.

Case in point: I am currently watching Cheongdamdong Alice on Netflix and I’m running out of plausible excuses to keep watching. I thought the main character was going to be someone I could really root for, but all she’s managed to do lately is test my remaining patience. I keep thinking that I want to shake some sense into her.

I really have a small threshold of tolerance when it comes to characters who blatantly make the conscious choice (more than once) to use other characters. Plus, her change was so radical that I’m still feeling whiplash. All it takes is for your ex to run off with your bank book and suddenly you want to find a sugar daddy to have ridiculously overpriced purses, clothing, and other accessories? It’s all so shallow and demeaning, especially for a character that prides herself on a strong work ethic. She is honestly a good person, but she’s making wrong choices for reasons that don’t even fit the personality that we’ve seen the show establish.

Maybe it’ll get better, but I’m feeling she took the cheap way out. Also, the lead actress? She feels like the American version of Kristen Stewart to me. She’s a blank canvas, and I wish she could show some more expressions and facial features. I just can’t do it — at least not without a few days to recoup from this train wreck of a series. Maybe a few days will give me the added strength to power through the back half of Cheondamdong Alice.

So, what do you do when you’re watching a hopeless k-drama? Either you can stop watching, take a break for a few days, or you can force yourself to continue with the hope that things might improve. It’s very easy to give up on a drama, but it’s difficult (and a true test of will or insanity) to stick through a bad one. I have every desire to give up on Cheondamdong Alice, but I’ve never been one to take the easy way out if I can help it. If I’m going to hate this drama, I am going to finish it so that I have the right to complain about it if it turns out to be a massive turd in the end.

Also, try to find something you like about the drama — anything at all. When you find that something, cling onto it desperately. I’ve found that this method helps me get through some pretty awful plot devices and plot twists. At the end of the day, what you decide to do is entirely up to you. Weigh the pros and cons. If you can’t even find something you like (as a lifeline) to grasp onto said drama, then maybe it might be time to throw in the towel and walk away. But if you’re going to hang in there, hang in there well and take it one episode, one day at a time. Fighting!