Boys Over Flowers

Hulu’s first recommendation for me was Boys Over Flowers. After the beauty and amazing cinematography that was Cheese in the Trap, I had kind of high expectations. The first episode was loud and rough. Some of the sound effects were very game show like. I almost didn’t finish it because I thought it was just too silly. I’m glad I stuck with it though. Although it could be a little ridiculous at times, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The female lead is an unlikely heroine. She is obnoxious and LOUD. The more I came to know her, the more I loved her though.

As cliché as it may be, I love me a bad boy turned good through the love of a girl, but that’s not exactly what happened here. I feel it can be argued that the male lead experienced some growth before he had won the love of the girl. It was this change that helped him win her loyalty.

I adored how fiercely loyal she was. Even when things were difficult or appeared like they may never be together, she still remained steadfast and did not waffle between male characters as is typical with a “love triangle.”

Another thing I really liked was the male lead’s friends. They ended up coming to love the female lead in their own way and were her greatest champions. Even if it came to protecting her from their own friend, they were there for her.

So if you’re looking for a show full of growth that focuses on friendship, this is the one for you.

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Cheese in the Trap

This was the first k-drama I watched. (Talked about in a previous post)

At first, I just thought the title had been poorly translated, but the intro features little blocks of cheese, a cat, and a mouse. So Cheese in the Trap it is. I decided to watch it because I was reading the webtoon it is based off of and saw someone had made a comment comparing the main male character’s looks to the drama. Once I knew there was a show, I started searching across the platforms available to me at the time. I checked my then go-to of Netflix first, but no luck. I checked Hulu next and found it! I was beyond excited.

It consisted of 16, hour long episodes. That’s all. Just one season. I was actually a little discouraged at first because that just didn’t seem like enough. I felt there was no way the entire story could be told in that short amount of time. I mean, in American dramas, hour long shows don’t often tell us much and we’re lucky to have a season long plot arc. These shows have sections of fluff and filler that can be missed with no real impact to your understanding of the story. K-dramas however, are not like that. Each episode is packed full of so much that if you miss some, you will be confused during the next episode. Also, there’s so much to them that sometimes, during the credits where they replay scenes from the just finished episode, I have found myself going: “Oh, yeah. I forgot that happened in this episode,” because there had just been so much going on you forget it’s only been one hour. This drama has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Because there is only one season, the writers knew exactly what story they wanted to tell and didn’t waste any time or space when telling it. It’s very refreshing.

Cheese in the Trap is the story of Hong Seol, a student just returning to college after some time off to save money for tuition. She has adorable and lovable friends who are beyond happy to have her back in school. She meets the enigmatic Yoo Jung and the foolhardy Baek In Ho who both help and hinder her at times. It is a story about growth and communication. It made me laugh numerous times, every time I’ve watched it. (CJ even really enjoyed it – and the only thing I can get him to watch with me on a somewhat regular basis is America’s Got Talent.) I was glad to see a female character stand up for herself in a relationship, stating that she can’t be the only one to make changes. All female role models should be that strong.

After finishing, I could not believe just how much I loved it. I followed Hulu’s recommendation and tried another. And then a third. The very few TV shows I still watched, I have basically abandoned. They cannot compete in content. This also led me to the discovery of k-pop and DramaFever. I am a happy girl lol.

K-dramas

So, I started with the k-drama based on the books I was reading. LOVED it. Watched it a second time. Decided to try out another one. HULU recommended a few so I picked the first one. Thought it was also great. Found and watched a third which had the same main male actor as the second one. He wasn’t as happy in the third one and I missed his smile. So I watched the second one again (just the good parts). Now I’m watching the third one again.

Before you judge me too harshly, let me make it clear that k-dramas are only one season long. It’s not like I was binge watching multiple seasons or anything.

What’s so amazing about k-dramas, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Just like anything else, of course, k-dramas have their issues. First of all, they are in a different language. This poses a problem not because I can’t stand subtitles (honestly, they’re always on in our house anyway), but because you cannot multitask while you watch. It’s hard to do chores or even have a casual conversation when you are dependent upon reading to understand. This also means I have to know where my glasses are. I’m terrible about wearing them, but it’s a necessity if I’m going to be doing that much reading, especially at a distance.

I think the best thing about these shows is that they aren’t explicit. And I’m not just talking about language. Even though these shows are geared for an older audience, I am not afraid to watch them in front of my kids. I truly appreciate this fact. Many a show I have watched for multiple seasons  lost their way and resorted to a storyline that had lost its plot and I’ve given up on them.

Since k-dramas are only one season, they have a clearly defined story they wish to tell and they don’t have to resort to anything else. Plus, it feels like they always end. I mean, I know I’ve only watched three, but it feels like every character and story arc comes to some sort of completion by the finale. It’s a great feeling. No cliffhanger until next season. No unexplained storylines because of an early cancelation. Honestly, I think I prefer it. It almost feels like a really long movie.

I feel as though the silly little cons against k-dramas are far outweighed by the pros. I plan on watching quite a few more if you check my watchlist. Also, they’ve led me to some really fun music. And I have yet to come across a music video I had to skip because of content while we had dance parties in the living room.

So if you have the time and inclination (and you don’t mind subtitles) seriously, give it a try.

Lately, my newsfeed and even places I go are full of pregnant bellies or teeny, tiny babies. I try my best to be the right amount of happy for the situation, but pushing pain to the side doesn’t mean I won’t feel it later. Some people still seem to struggle with supporting me in this. So to them, I’ve just stopped mentioning it. But it’s hard to pretend everything is okay. I just feel like I’m pretending an awful lot lately.

I pretend I’m happy when I’m not. I pretend I’m fine when I’m really upset about a situation. I don’t want to continue seeming “irrational” and “emotional.”

I feel like the only one I don’t have to put on a show for is CJ. But even then, I don’t want to overburden him when he’s been nothing short of a rockstar lately. I know this has been hard on him as well and I hate feeling like I’m one more thing he has to deal with. He has been so reliable and amazing. Encouraging therapy for the things I can’t talk through with him and helping out around the house.

For being unbelievably amazing, I thank you. Ten years together has not been enough. I hope it’s many more.

I have neglected my writing as of late, and sought solace in reading. I know I promised, but give a girl a break.

I honestly can’t remember how I came upon it, but I started reading something serialized. Only one chapter per week is released. Normally, this would SUPER bother me as I don’t like waiting for the ending, but as I was so far behind when I started it, it was okay. I had plenty of chapters to catch up on.

People would leave comments each week and it was through these comments that I realized I was reading a translated work and a live-action drama existed in its native language. I searched around and HULU came to the rescue. They had the entire series there and I was stoked!

So here’s the deal. The original story and the drama are in Korean. At the time the drama was made, only three out of the four books were done (it is also serialized weekly there), so the drama is open ended. Now in Korea, they have the complete story (end of book four), but the English translation is about three years behind. Yes, you read that correctly. Three years. So when I first watched the drama, it actually passed where I was up to in the story. I am on book three, chapter 45 and have still not caught up to the end of the drama (which remember, was just up to the end of book three), so for now it’s okay that I don’t have the full story. Once I no longer know what’s coming and I’m waiting week by week for the chapters in book four, I know it will be a different story. It will be so hard to wait for the ending!

Another post will follow with what I have discovered about these “k-dramas.” Because frankly, I love them.  🙂