Though I am an inveterate reader, I also do other things with my time. Since my interests are, obviously, of interest to me, I thought it might be fun to share a little about them. So, over the next couple of Ruby Randomness posts, I’ve decided to share some of them with you. This week is part one of the television version. Yes, television needs many parts. I like to think I don’t watch a lot of TV because I don’t have cable, but Hulu and Netflix keep me in the loop. So well. Too well.
The first step is admitting you have an obsession.
I’m obsessed with Korean Dramas. There, it’s out. I said it.
What a relief.
The whole thing started during a long, dry summer (dry of good TV, I mean). I was trying to find something on Netflix Instant Watch and I stumbled across Boys Over Flowers. It’s 25 episodes of compulsive, confusing entertainment. And pretty boys. Did I mention the pretty boys? Pretty boys abound in Korean Dramas.
I can’t say that Boys Over Flowers was good, exactly. It’s just that it was the first Korean Drama I ever watched and for that reason, it sticks in my mind. Because Boys Over Flowers came first for me, it was the spark that lit the candle-flame of my obsession. It’s got a lot of the elements that I was to learn to were endemic to Kdramas:
- A plucky, middle-class heroine.
- A rich, handsome, spoiled, hero, who begins the story as a jerk but turns out to have a heart of gold.
- A love rectangle that isn’t, really, since you know that the central couple is meant to be.
- A lot of of delectable-looking Korean food. I’ve been obsessed with ramen since I started watching Kdramas.
- Cinderella stories (since I like Cinderella stories, this works for me).
- A mix of the modern with the traditional. For example, the characters always have the latest cell phones, but seaweed soup is de rigeuer on birthdays.
Once I finished the long haul that was Boys Over Flowers, I was pleased to find that Netflix started releasing more and more Kdramas on instant watch and so did Hulu and their subsidiary, Dramafever (which specializes in foreign television). After Boys Over Flowers, I watched:
- Goong: In an alternate Korea, where there’s still a monarch, a normal girl marries the nation’s prince and heir. Too bad he’s already in love with someone else.
- Secret Garden: A cold, wealthy business-man falls for a tomboyish stunt-girl who wants nothing to do with him. During the course of their “romance,” they switch bodies. Hilarity ensues.
- Shining Inheritance: Girl loses her father (or does she?) and is abandoned by her stepmother to fend for herself and her autistic brother. Despite her poverty, she takes in an old lady, who turns out to be rich. Her kindness leads the ajumma (grandmother) to disinherit her lazy, spoiled grandson and leave everything to the hardworking girl.
- You’re Beautiful: When her twin brother is injured, a girl leaves the nunnery to take his place in a boy band. At first the band thinks she’s effeminate and sexuality is questioned, but the truth is soon revealed (to the band, at least). Romantic drama ensues, and the girl and the surly band-leader fall in love.
- Vampire Prosecutor: Famous for its guyliner, Vampire Prosecutor is part police procedural, part paranormal and all fun. I highly recommend this series–it’s more like American TV than the other Kdramas I’ve watched and it has an excellent slow-burn romance. I have yet to watch season two, though! I’m looking forward to it.
Of course, like anything else, I have favorites! I enjoyed all of the above dramas (as a matter of fact, I’m re-watching Shining Inheritance right now), but you’ll have to wait to find out which dramas I love most next week!
Are you a Kdrama fan?
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