Hi, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. I gave you a weak smile, then jumped straight into the awkward small talk before we ever even exchanged names. I’m Halaure. No, I don’t really know how to pronounce it either. I just took a look at my name and then rearranged some letters. But seriously – it’s great to meet you. I like long walks on the beach, and I watch way too much television, and sometimes I forget to put away milk. But that’s not really what you’re here for, right?
I’ll start from the beginning. I’m not Korean (I’m actually a Chinese adoptee), and I wasn’t raised on dramas. I grew up loving anime and Japanese culture, but I’d never watched any sort of Asian live-action series. I stumbled upon Korean dramas in a very roundabout way, but long story short, I watched my very first episode of Boys Over Flowers because of YouTube. And there was really no going back.
I remember watching the opening episode and wondering if Geum Jan Di’s ridiculous mouth shapes were a Korean culture quirk. Then the F4 entered the school in all of their Paradise glory, and I was hooked. At the time, I tried to argue myself out of continuing the series. I told myself that watching twenty five hours of a single show could not be healthy, and I reminded myself that watching an entire cast of beautiful Asian actors could not be good for my self esteem. But I’ve never really followed my own advice.
I continued to reach for episode after episode, ashamed at the time I was wasting but unable to stop. I could hardly keep the character names straight, but I’d never come across such an addicting conflict in the television shows I usually watched. Long before I knew anything about drama recaps, I was keeping my own episode summaries to organize every twisting plot device into something I could remember. They look a little like this:
Episode Two: saved by Red Hair, kidnapped by Curly Hair Episode Eight: compromise, Red Hair date, break up, Curly Hair date, sleep over. Episode Twelve: saved by F4, mom vs. mom, ski trip, necklace drama, Curly Hair’s dad illness Episode Twenty: maid in Curly’s house, Pretty Boy and Childhood Love meet, Doctor moves in with Red Hair
It’s ridiculous now, but I chalked up every imperfection to cultural differences. Overacting? Repetitive soundtrack? Crazy plot twists? Must be a Korean thing. It was a bit odd, but I definitely liked it, and after I’d finished up the last episode, I eagerly sought out more of the pretty faces I’d come to love. So I went from F4 to Playful Kiss, Personal Taste, and The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry. I transformed into panda-mode as I gobbled up drama after drama, and by the time I began Coffee Prince, I’d realized that I was in some pretty deep shit.
About a year and a half later, I’ve got a mountain of dramas to watch piled at least a mile high, and the angel at my shoulder still tries to convince me to run away from this crazy time commitment as fast as I can. But I’m good and addicted now. At the moment, I feel a bit like I’m having a conversation with myself, but I’m hoping to eventually use my blog to discuss dramas with other addicts. Encourage each others vices and whatnot. While I’m certainly no drama expert, I hope at least some of my criticisms (and gushings) ring true.