[As an early Christmas present, I’m pleased to introduce a new guest blogger to you. A familiar voice on the Dramabeans Open Threads, leonardswench is an avowed kdrama addict who also happens to have a job that makes me green with envy: reviewing kdramas! Please welcome her! --thundie]
I am a sucker for cops. You might as well know now, if he is Korean and flashes a badge, it’s too late, there’s already been an ovary meltdown. I’m saying all this to preface my personal k-drama train wreck.
Are you game for possibly the hardest kdrama game you might ever play? (What? There are kdrama games? No one told me!)
A game that requires you to think, to remember, to dig deep. A game that needs you to be BRAVE, because you might make some friends but more likely than not you will make many enemies, haha! *cue evil laughter*
A game where something else (and also someone else) will be the winner, not you.
So we’ve been rather ranty of late (see the two uproariously funny posts, Finis Origine Pendet and Irrational Impediments). Justifiably so, because kdramas can be infuriating, no? Endings that make us rage. Plot devices that make us roll our eyes.
Yet we continue to watch. Because once in a while a drama comes along and it’s as perfect as a drama can be.
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.
The End Depends on the Beginning –
Except in K-dramaland, where sometimes the end is a truly confounding or bizarre event that has viewers scratching their heads or fuming years later.
I was reminded of this recently when I happened to link back to an epic series of posts on dramabeans about My Love Patzzi, which revolved in part about whether Jang Nara ended up with Kim Rae Won or no one. Years and several hundred comments later, the camps are still divided on that question. (For the record, Kim Rae Won FTW!).
I must have a thing for punishment. In the last few days, egged on by a harebrained idea that refuses to die, I’ve been pulling out one drama after another (old and also recent ones) and revisiting selected scenes that make me bawl my eyes out. As I tweeted yesterday, I will go blind at this rate.
But oh, never has crying felt so good!
An unbridled imagination, it goes places. Just ask me.
So three days ago I was watching Episode 5 of Tree With Deep Roots. Rather listlessly, I confess, because I was still bummed about a certain someone’s exit the previous episode. Friends raved about Han Seok-kyu’s acting and how it was helping them to be, you know, more forward-looking about the drama. Backward-looking me, however, didn’t think his King Sejong was exceptional; he was solid as expected, nothing more and nothing less. I also found the characterization of the two Sejongs to be so disparate as to be jarring. Yawning even though the night was still early, my drowsy mind half-contemplated two thoughts: Bail now. Bail after Episode 6.
And then it happened. A flashback that jolted me awake.