One of the things that drew me into watching K-dramas is the great fan blogs.
And one of the things that drew me into blogging about K-dramas is the great fan blog readers. I keep writing here because I’m thrilled when readers visit the site and get something out of it. Thank you so much! Kamsahamnida!
I was psyched a couple months ago to get a “Liebster” from one of my favorite readers and one of the most original K-drama bloggers there is, Muse at MUFO (I’m going with your acronym, Muse!). Thank you so much, Muse!
Liebsters are a fun way for bloggers to recognize each other and spread the word about small sites. But then I couldn’t think of how to answer the excellent questions Muse posed. So I procrastinated. (I’m good at procrastinating; this is why writing recaps is good exercise.) Forgive me for being a sloth, Muse! (As they say in the awesome animé Polar Bear Cafe, never ask a sloth to make a beer run.)
The fun thing about the Liebster is finding other small K-drama blogs. (And we’re all “small” by Google juggernaut standards.) I discovered a few great ones by following the chain backwards. Here are a few quotes from my favorites:
On plot twists:
Q: “Least offensive trope: truck of doom, undead significant other, or amnesia?”
A: “The truck of doom. It at least does not involve an emotionally draining trip back to square one. Unless the accident brings on amnesia. Or the truck driver turns out to be the undead significant other.”
—A Philosopher Chair
On artistic inspiration:
Q: “What is your favorite word?”
On how blogging is way, way, way more complicated than it looks from the outside, and we don’t realize it till we’re in the trenches of WordPress:
“My Mac literally broke on the day I launched this blog (due to my stupidity in choosing that day to stop ignoring the prompts to update my system). Since the update, despite paying money for Apple to fix it, my computer has only partially worked so I have to do a weird shuffle of typing, writing, editing, and grabbing screenshots between my broken Mac, my decades-old Dell, and my iPad.”
And on important life lessons learned from K-dramas:
I particularly like that last one. 🙂
The rules for the Liebster award are pretty simple. As a nominee, you must:
- Thank and link back to your nominator.
- Answer 11 questions given by the nominator.
- Nominate ** other bloggers who have less than *** followers. **I’ve seen a variety of numbers here, from 3 to 11. ***the way people define “small” also varies.
- Create 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
- Let your nominees know that you have nominated them via social media/blogs.
What is your favorite post you’ve written to date and why?
My uncap for the last episode of Kill Me Heal Me. I try to make the uncaps mini-essays that address something larger than just a single episode. For the last ep of KMHM, I wrote about why I consider creativity and energy more important than slick editing and camera work. KMHM had a modest budget and its production values were far from slick. But it had crazy energy and took us to strange and wonderful places. A lower budget can sometimes actually make people more creative.
I loved that show, so I was sad to write about the ending. But having the blog gave me a place to express my feelings of thanks to the cast and creative team. When Ji Sung and Hwang Jung-Eum thanked viewers at the end of the final credits, I think I waved back. It felt like we’d been part of some weird cult for ten weeks. My uncap was an answer to them saying, yes, totally, we got what you were trying to do.
Favorite drama ensemble?
Ji Sung plus six other characters played by Ji Sung.
Too many ___ not enough ___.
Too many lumberjack beards, not enough top hats.
Which ineffectual villain would you be the minion of and why?
This is tough because I dislike incompetence and I try not to be evil. I think I have to choose Light Yagami, from the manga/animé Death Note. He’s definitely a villain, but he slouches into villain-hood. He sets out with pretty good intentions. He’s an accidental villain. And when he runs into trouble, it’s when he’s totally outwitted by a worthy enemy. That’s the kind of incompetence I can get behind.
What are you listening to?
While I’m writing: Stuff without English words. Bollywood soundtracks or Australian group The Bombay Royale. Because they are totally awesome, I’ll play you the title track from You Me Bullets Love:[youtube https://youtu.be/uhePjBKX2wA &w=400]
While I’m not writing: Things with words. The Norwegian band Röyksopp, simple happy pop songs (yes, I can listen to Pharrell Williams sing Happy over and over) and almost everything from the OST for It’s Okay That’s Love.
Unpopular opinion: what drama do most people seem to hate but you love and vice versa?
You from Another Star! So many people adore it. I don’t actually hate it, I’m just kinda “meh.” It was funny sometimes, but other times I was on the edge of being bored. I had to keep watching because I was curious how they would solve the whole “he’s an alien” problem. And then they sprung the deus ex wormhole ending on us! Aargh!
For a show I love…hmm. I started blogging regularly because I loved It’s Okay That’s Love. I couldn’t believe the recappers at DramaBeans didn’t notice the things I did. And then I was watching was Blademan, which had an absurdist sense of humor that only a dozen of us in the entire universe liked. So I was starting to think I had unique tastes. But the internet is wonderful—I can always find others in the same boat.
I have one dark confession, which is that I secretly enjoyed Heirs. It’s a museum of K-drama clichés, but it’s a Big Budget Museum of Clichés. Even I can hypnotized by slick production values once in a while.
Maybe I was doing what they call hate-watching, but c’mon, if I really hated it, I would have stopped watching. Instead, I was like, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, this is so good and so bad at the exact same time. That was totally a form of enjoyment, even though my brain knows it was a pretty mediocre show.
Least offensive trope: truck of doom, undead significant other, or amnesia?
Undead significant other. Because we all sometimes wonder if the person we love is for real. And the undead are more plausible than those selective cases of amnesia. The truck of doom is believable, but totally depressing. Episode 2 of a certain show starring Sung Joon nearly killed me. (But I came back! Stronger!)
What’s for dinner?
It’s Tuesday!! Best day of the week!! Five dollars for a large pizza at the carry-out down the block!! Yes!! And I’ll have some leftover greens from a big community center dinner a couple days ago. I’m usually a vegetarian, but I make an exception for Southern greens cooked with lots of bacon. I think the Buddha said something about bacon in a lesser-known sutra.
Ji Sung. For all parts.
Pick any non-Korean form of entertainment you want a Korean version of and explain why.
I want to see the Korean version of the old show “Northern Exposure.” K-dramas are usually set in Seoul or Jejudo. But what’s the most remote place in Korea, and what’s it like there? I want to know. Even though it’s a small country, every country has backwaters. But so far I haven’t learned anything about the Korean mainland outside of Seoul. This is our chance to remedy that.
Basic plot: chaebol doctor from the big city finds job in tiny rural town far from high-speed trains and tourist resorts (I repeat, this is not set in Jejudo). He hates the boondocks at first but learns to love the wacky locals. Falls in love with a tough woman who captains a pro fishing boat (a bush plane wouldn’t make sense in Korea), but it might not work out because he wants to go back to the city. Townspeople also include a DJ with a great voice (a few actors could vie for that John Corbett spot) and some local non-actors hired on the spot for local color.
But they’d have to get a good screenwriter who can do dry humor. Otherwise it’ll turn out like the Korean version of the Andy Griffith show.
When evaluating a performer, what matters most to you? Real or reel?
Reel, definitely. Acting is one of the weirdest jobs ever invented. Most of us put so much effort into just acting like ourselves. So how do actors also invent all those other people? I don’t expect men and women who act for a living to have good personal lives. They do this weird project of pretending to be someone else. I figure that probably makes them a little weird themselves. I don’t want to know if they can’t get along with their parents or they’re allergic to the blue M&Ms.
That said, if someone breaks the law and/or hurts people, I can’t get past it unless they ‘fess up and show some remorse. If someone really screws up, they should do their time. I don’t care how cute your oppa is.
Noonas over Forks because your posts always make me hungry.
Kaede + Jun because your site is so elegant and you help me figure out the bits of Hwajung that I don’t get.
Jomo’s Findings because I totally agree about Kill Me, Heal Me and Hamlet.
Drama Queen Review for covering such a wide range of Asian dramas—from Taiwan, Japan and Korea. You win!
Drama Cream for giving me insight into the parallel universe that is Singaporean dramas, while writing about the Korean stuff too.
My questions for you
- What K-drama apartment or place of residence do you most want to live in (rent-free of course)?
- What drama did you expect to hate and then surprise yourself by loving?
- What OST song annoyed you more than any other? You know, the one that made you cringe by episode 16.
- If you could visit Korea, what place would you most want to visit and what food would you most want to eat?
- Did you ever catch yourself so absorbed in a drama you just read a subtitle out loud?
- What is a K-drama scene that made you cry? (I’m not much of a crier,but a few dramas have had me weeping buckets.)
- If you had to choose your favorite four leads for your dream K-drama cast, who would you choose?
- What are your favorite movies and/or shows that have nothing to do with Korea?
- What has been your hardest post to write?
- How has your drama habit affected the people around you in real life? Do any of them watch dramas now? Or do you keep your blogging top secret?
- What is something you’ve learned about blogging or computers thanks to your K-drama site?