Wrapping Up My 2016 Dramas

Just like that.

Another winter is here and a brand new year is upon us. And that means hundreds of hours spent drama gazing, weeping, laughing, cherishing but also sometimes eye-rolling, chastising, and growling.

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In total, I watched 13 full-length 2016 dramas this year: 2 Chinese, 1 Taiwanese, 1 Chinese/Korean collaboration and 9 Korean. Ah. So — kdramas still reign supreme.

As a whole, none in my 2016 trough made it to the holy grail of my masterpiece mount but a few got pretty darn close.

So, here’s an alphabetical run-down on my 2016 finds.

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Bucketful of Tears: Loving, Never Forgetting

I don’t remember the last time I cried this much over make-belief, fairy-tale characters and story-telling. Over the years of drama watching, there were many, many moments where my heart fluttered, my voice cracked and the tears threatened but rarely over and over, and over again.

And yet, Loving, Never Forgetting managed to do just that.

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First Impressions: Jealousy Incarnate, The K2 and On the Way to the Airport

Fall’s here, the rain’s back and time to bid summer adieu. As far as drama watching goes, yours truly is back to kdrama-watching after an experimental few months with Chinese and Taiwanese dramas.

This time I’m joining the masses devouring what’s currently airing, shows that are talk of the town and contenders making a push on the ratings game.

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My Intro into Cdramas: Far Away Love, A Mobile Love Story and Love 020

It’s hard to imagine I’d managed to avoid the cdrama bug until now. Though I speak Mandarin and Cantonese, albeit in broken form, I’d had very little interest in cdramas. Superior perhaps for its wuxia or historicals, where action packed fighting sequences reign supreme, but alas, its contemporary counterparts felt cheesy and overly dramatic. Or so I thought.

Until… the day my twin came across a cdrama that caught her eye while flipping through channels after a tiring day scouring the sights of Beijing. Except for Boss and Me where the swoon-worthy Darcy-like Feng Teng held my interest, I had stayed away. But when Park Hae Jin gleamed across the small screen looking dreamy and ever so handsome, that was enough to make me sit up and pay attention.  

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“That’s the Korean dude from My Love From Another Star!” I exclaimed from my sitting position on the bed. A quick yahoo search later confirmed that yes, this was Park Hae Jin in his cdrama Far Away Love which was filmed in 2013 but aired in 2016.

So here begins the birth of my sustained interest in cdramas.

Perhaps, cdramas are slowly emerging as a legit contender in the saturated Asian drama world. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Korean drama craze in China is forcing the Mainland studios to step up their game and copy the same successful formulae that won drooling fans all over China and overseas.

So, here’s a brief look at the three cdramas I completed in recent months.

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Passing Time on a Jet Plane: Assembly and Signal

May 22 was my last post just before I took a whirlwind 4 weeks off, traveled across multiple time zones, logged over 30,000 flying KM, ate six meals a day like the Hobbits, walked until my feet ached, immersed in local cultures, and snapped countless picturesque pics, mind you, with a few selfies thrown in. But since this is not a travel blog, I will dispense with the details. And now back at home, real life is catching up; new work responsibilities have peeled away the time and energy I normally would have left in a busy day to indulge in reading, writing and blogging.  

But, one thing I’ve continued to pamper myself with is drama-watching; it remains one of my few avenues for escapism from an already heady life.

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Kdrama: Is the Shine Starting to Wane?

So, barely fifteen months into my blogging adventure, I’m already struggling to make a once a month post. It used to be an ambitious once a week routine. Notwithstanding, the dwindling number of dramas I’m watching these days makes it difficult to find something fresh to write about.

2016 marks the sixth year I’ve watched kdramas. Compared to many other kdrama bloggers, six years is nothing. Many of my fellow bloggers have been at it for many more years with hundreds of dramas under their belt. And so are their blogs. On the same note, many personal blogs have also disappeared during this six year stretch. Sad to see since some of these bloggers are really good at it. But unfortunately, such is life and people move on.

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Quoting a seasoned, delightful drama blogger whom I follow, Timescout recently commented on one of my posts, “many in the community have become disillusioned, become more selective, tropes start to annoy them and they’ve become grumpy curmedgeon.” Her humourous but blunt takes on dramas in general is what makes me read her blog even though these days kdramas seem to have little staying power on her very selective list. 

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