Alone in Love is a gem of a show. It is thoughtful, gentle, and entertaining. The more I think about it, the more I’m struck by just how quietly and unpretentiously awesome this show is. I’m so grateful that there are treasures like this show in our archives. Just as I find myself getting harder to please and grumpier as a k-drama viewer, I watch a show like this and I fall in love with k-drama all over again.
(This review is non-spoilery. As usual, I’m more interested in the show than in its plot.)
Thundie is very touched by your responses to her farewell. She would like to convey her love and appreciation to all of you.
And to say that this blog will not be completely shut down. Thundie will be checking in on the community here and reading comments occasionally, even if she can’t be active on this blog right now. Her guest bloggers such as myself may also continue to post. And who knows what the future holds: Thundie may yet return. So don’t delete us from your bookmarks just yet!
2011 has made me ponder my relationship with K-drama. Why do I spend so much time watching? Why do I expend so much energy writing about it?
I’m in a contemplative mood at the end of 2011. Not because it has been a great year in k-drama for me, but because it’s been the worst year since I started watching in 2008. This is probably due to my taste shifting and my becoming somewhat more demanding of my k-dramas, but perhaps it’s also the case that 2011 really hasn’t been a vintage year. It was not altogether hopeless; there were enough wins to keep me from abandoning k-drama altogether. But it seems beyond doubt that for me the flush of k-drama first love, when anything might be forgiven, is long over.
Suspension of disbelief is essential to the enjoyment of dramatic art. Most of the time we roll with things that don’t quite make sense. I know that a silencer doesn’t actually silence a gunshot (it just makes it somewhat less deafening), but I don’t check out of The Bourne Identity as a result. I know that the waving of swords does not make a swishing sound, particularly not when they are pulled out of leather scabbards, however manfully, but I still love The Lord of the Rings. I know that Il Trovatore has the dumbest plot on the planet, but unless I want to waste a hideously expensive opera ticket I mustn’t quibble. After all, if I want hardcore realism and accuracy I should be watching a documentary.
Admittedly, k-dramas sometimes conspire cruelly to stretch our powers of suspension of disbelief. But most of the time we are able to play along. What would be the fun of watching k-drama if we couldn’t believe in impossibly good-looking, haughty but secretly tortured, genius chaebol heirs (with washboard abs)? Once in a while, however, we encounter an obstacle we just can’t get over. We may have been blithely handing out free passes for logic fail and dodgy science, but suddenly something gets our goat so thoroughly we just can’t enjoy a show anymore.
I have been known to whine about shows which are not realistic. But when I tune into a three-episode cable tv show about a girl assassin, I’m not really looking for realism. No siree. What I am looking for is badass. And Girl K (or Killer K) is BADASS.
An action thriller has to be, above all else, exciting. Realism isn’t really the point. But the story still needs to be grounded in some kind of reality. We’ve all watched the action movie with explosions galore, but were left quite unmoved because (a) the story was stupid, (b) we didn’t care about the characters, who were stupid, (c) the non-stop action was loud and dramatic, but unrealistic to the point of mind-numbing, or (d) all of the above. An action thriller needs to balance compelling action (for which, hang realism) and engagement (for which, bring realistic human interest).
I was recently at a workshop where the ice-breaking question was “What is your favourite snack?”. I said potato chips (or crisps, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on). I love my crisps. I scoff them down in an exuberant rush and feel happy. But they’re not exactly classy food.
In my fridge, I have a stash of high-qualify chocolate. I don’t snuffle them up like I do my crisps. I resort to them with restraint over time and savour each morsel.
In my computer, I have stashed a high-quality drama. I don’t marathon Flames of Ambition the way I can zip through a pleasant romcom. I watch it with restraint and savour each episode.