Jan 5, 2011

My Name Is Josh, And I Have A Problem

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Lucy, playing the role of psychiatrist, tells a depressed Charlie Brown that "as they say on TV, the mere fact you realize you need help indicates that you are not too fargone."

I'm here to say that I need help. Why?

I think I might have an addiction.

To Korean Dramas.

There, I said it. KDramas have grabbed a hold of me. Terrific.

But what is a KDrama, you ask?

In Korea, TV shows are done in a different way than in the United States. In the US, we have a show that runs for an undetermined number of seasons. Each season has roughly 22 episodes, usually unplanned for the entirety of the run. That is, when season 4, episode 1 begins, season 4, episode 22 isn't yet written (though writers may have a rough outline of the season's progression). Additionally, there is no specific ending point. A show gets canceled (or its writers get bored), and in response, the writers create a 'series finale' to tie up any loose ends. This means that many shows limp along for an extra season or two instead of ending on their highest and most plausible notes.

Korean shows, on the other hand, begin with a predetermined number of episodes and a prewritten story. This allows them to be full and contained. Instead of a 'what silly adventures will our favorite characters have this week?' It is 'in what way will the characters develop in this episode'. The difference seems subtle but is actually pretty major. It's basically what we would view as a long miniseries in the States.

I'm currently in the middle/end of my first one, and I'm hooked. It's called Coffee Prince (or 1st Shop of Coffee Prince), and I won't ruin the details, but the basic premise is: what happens when a tomboy girl pretends to be a guy to get jobs but then falls in love with a man she works with who thinks she's a guy? Follow that? It's full of angst (girl wants guy to know she's a girl but is afraid to tell him, guy thinks girl is a guy and starts falling for her and is dealing with the possibility that he's gay (even though he's always liked girls), guy has to deal with altering his view of girl when it is revealed that she's a woman) and some great side stories. I would totally recommend watching them.

It also displays a lot of differences between American and Korean culture, such as the importance of respect for your elders, the complexity of traditional women's roles vs. modern women's roles, and the nuances of familial/romantic relationships. It is all insanely good, so you should watch it. In fact, here's the link. Click it. CLICK IT.


londonamethyst said...

Josh, this post made me so happy. I also sent the link to Sarah, as I do not know if she knows about your blog.
Let me know when you're done with CP!

bluepenguin said...

Sarah here ^_^
First and foremost, it is wonderful to find Josh's blog! I greatly look forward to reading new updates and the backlog. Josh is a dear friend, and it's exciting to read about the things he likes to ruminate on.

As per this entry, I am beyond happy that you're enjoying coffee prince! It is a wonderful little story, and to hear that it's given you so much joy is a blessing! I am pretty serious about kdramas, seeing as I grew up with them, and to be able to share this part of my world with some of my closest friends... it gives me so much joy. My heart felt like bursting due to a mixture of happiness, intense satisfaction and validation when I read this entry. Because... it means you, my friends, are that much more closer to understanding me.

I'm glad that CP is your first. It's a wonderful bit of sunshine in this grey January.

감사합니다 (kamsahapnida) Josh, B and L! Hopefully we can get E to check out CP at least. ^^

laurend4iv said...


Joshua. Welcome to the light, and all that is good and beautiful in the world. Congratulations.


That's All.