Saturday, November 4, 2017

things I've learned in DramaLand

My Love From Another Star

Goblin: The Great and Lonely God

Secret Love Affair

You guys might know I like love to watch South Korean dramas.
*Sound of the majority of my readers immediately clicking away from this post*

For those of you who are left, perhaps you watch them too? I have a hard time explaining it to folks who don't watch them. To most Westerners who brave the subtitling, they might at first seem too slowly paced and too overly dramatic. At first. But you might hang on just because the story is intriguing, or you might be curious about Korean culture, or you might be sick of smutty American programming, or you might just like looking at impossibly pretty people wearing great jewelry.

The K2

Cheese In The Trap

I Hear Your Voice

Then somehow you get sucked into DramaLand and become an honorary South Korean! Chincha! So here are some things I've learned about South Korea by watching dramas. I'm 100% positive that these facts are as reliably true as what you learn about real Americans by watching American TV.

  1. The only city that exists in South Korea is Seoul. And sometimes Jeju Island puts in a cameo appearance. 
  2. 50% of the people in Seoul are rich, corporate heirs and heiresses or entrepreneurs. The other 50% are the poor but good-looking folks that the rich corporate heirs and heiresses will fall in love with in opposition to their overbearing parents.
  3. If you get a fever or a small cut you must immediately go to the hospital where there will be no waiting. 
  4. By the way, most fevers are caused by Love Gone Wrong.
  5. Moms and prospective boyfriends are super serious about your not skipping meals. If you have not eaten breakfast it's a cause for major alarm.
  6. Amnesia is a very common side effect of any kind of mental trauma or a car accident.
  7. If someone hugs you, the only proper thing to do is stand there looking shocked with your arms hanging down. DO NOT HUG THEM BACK. 
  8. If you are in love with the person who is hugging you, and that person knows it, and everyone else knows it, it is then permissible to gently pat them in slow motion on the back while looking embarrassed. But still do not embrace them.
  9. If you are sick, the man or woman of your dreams will make you rice gruel and hand spoon it to your mouth. You will immediately recover.
  10. There is a Holly's Coffee shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  11. High school is made up of cutthroat girl gangs in plaid mini skirts who roam the streets looking to take your money.
  12. The only thing most people fantasize about eating is convenience store cup ramen noodles. 
  13. Asking to eat cup noodles with someone late at night is the equivalent of asking to come in for a nightcap. *wink*
  14. It is a sign of True Love if it starts to rain and then you realize someone is silently holding an umbrella over you.
  15. All lithe young men seem to have a camera in their shower.
  16. If your parents divorce, you will be abandoned with a mean relative while they go get new families. And at least one of your parents will move to America and never be seen again.
  17. Birthday cakes are always presented on top of the box they come in.
  18. There is a fried chicken shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  19. It is a sign of True Love if someone notices a tiny cut on you, immediately consigns you to a park bench, sprints to a pharmacy, buys disinfectant and bandages, returns, blows on the cut, and spends minutes in utmost concentration putting on a bandaid.
  20. If you like someone unabashedly and openly and seem the perfect match for them, ALERT: you are the second male lead. You are deep in the FriendZone. And it's likely you will die in some sacrificial way by the end of the drama, so get your affairs in order.
  21. Nothing of consequence is ever discussed until you have one of the following beverages in front of each of you: 1) hot tea in fancy cups 2) iced cafe Americano 3) layered elaborate fruit drinks with whipped cream on top. Under no circumstances will you drink these drinks during your talk. 
  22. If you sit down to discuss anything of consequence with just a plain glass of water, someone will be wearing it in under five minutes.
  23. Marriage is not about love. It's about showing up your high school friends that you never liked but are somehow still hanging around with ten years later.
  24. There is an exclusive designer bag shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  25. If anything has gone awry in your life, group karaoke and a few drinks will fix it.
  26. A sign that you have made it big in life: you have a special glass display case for all your watches.
  27. If your oppa (male love interest) doesn't lunge for your wrist as you are walking away, it's not True Love.
  28. If your oppa grabs your wrist without even looking, it's Double True Love.
  29. Any 'American' in a drama 1) will mysteriously speak with a heavy European accent 2) will have never taken even one acting lesson 3) will likely be waving a gun or signing a multi-million dollar deal.
  30. There is a Subway sandwich shop every 50 feet in Seoul.
  31. If your oppa doesn't return your feelings and you find the focus of your life is now to kidnap/publicly humiliate/falsely arrest his virtuous love interest, ALERT: you are a mean girl. You will die alone. 
  32. If you are down on your luck, go spend the night in a sauna and wear a towel Princess Leia style on your head. 
  33. Good looking high school boys are routinely mobbed wherever they go by worshipful high school girls who keep snapping pictures with their phones and saying how dreamy he is right in front of him. He cooly accepts this as his due. 
  34. Good looking adult corporate heirs are routinely mobbed by female secretaries and underlings who keep snapping pictures with their phones and saying how dreamy he is right in front of him. He cooly accepts this as his due.
  35. It's True Love if your oppa reaches across you to put on your seatbelt.
  36. If your legs are tired or sore, ball up your fist and hit them two or three times. This makes a handsome oppa appear in a luxury KIA sports coupe.
  37. America is considered a land of milk and honey where lucky and/or rich people go to live the high life or get Ivy League degrees.
  38. America is considered a depraved and violent cesspool, where innocent people learn to be indiscriminate huggers and speak to their elders disrespectfully.
  39. There is an outdoor soju bar in a tent every 50 feet in Seoul.
  40. Accidental time travel happens all the time and never ends up anywhere but in the Joseon era in the royal palace complex. Usually in the royal bath house.
  41. The best way to peel a boiled egg is to crack it on your forehead.
  42. If someone kisses you, the only proper thing to do is stand there looking shocked with your eyes wide open and arms hanging down. DO NOT KISS THEM BACK.
  43. You know you are in like Flynn with someone's parents if their mom reaches over with chop sticks and puts some meat on top of your rice.
  44. It is not weird to have a kiss that lasts for the entire duration of a Kpop ballad, with no one moving their lips at all.
  45. It is winter three seasons a year in Seoul.
  46. High schools boys fall into three categories: 1) poindexters 2) street thugs or 3) painfully beautiful and gifted orphans with great hair.
  47. A sign of True Love is when someone grabs you and whirls you around so that a motorcycle doesn't run you down and/or splash water on your pretty dress. You should wear a shocked expression while this is repeated in slow motion two or three times.
  48. All mothers immediately and irrevocably hate the girl their son loves and will routinely offer her money to go away.  
  49. Under no circumstances clear up a simple misunderstanding by communicating properly. Wait three episodes before you do this.
  50. No one turns on the heat during winter. No one notices this even though their breath is crystallizing in their living room.
  51. It's True Love if cherry blossoms are falling around you.
  52. Any oppa worth having will cart you for miles piggy-back style if you 1) drink too much soju 2) break the heel off your shoe 3) have a fever caused by Love Gone Wrong 4) are a mermaid.
  53. There is a cook-your-own-pork-belly restaurant every 50 feet in Seoul.
  54. Young, good looking, and conservatively raised people will inevitably end up living with/spending the night in close quarters with the man or woman of their dreams quite by accident and under unavoidable circumstances. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

School 2015: Who Are You

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon

:-) I hope you enjoyed reading what I've learned from Korean dramas. (I posted a Part II to this here.) A few more things I've picked up from DramaLand: 1) a few Korean phrases 2) a new taste for Korean food 3) a burning desire to visit South Korea 4) the urge to bow to my elders. 

I watch my dramas via the DramaFever and Viki apps on my iPad and most of the time the subtitles are very well done. But as you may have gathered from the credits I've listed under the photos, they need serious help coming up with good English titles for their shows. Don't let the lame titles put you off. I've noticed that Netflix is getting quite a selection of Korean dramas, so you might try one there. (They change the titles. Hah! Good decision.) I don't love every drama that I've watched, but I find that a lot of them are worth a try. And the best thing is, they just keep making more! The pictures here are from just a few of my favorites but I have a Pinterest board with more if you are interested.

(Those of us who love the Kdramas can chuckle about the formulaic plot devices, ammiright? But seriously DO NOT mess with the formulas, people. It's one of the things I love about them. I certainly hope they never start making them more like American TV. Horrors! American TV is the whole reason I watch Korean dramas.)

Ready for more? See More Things I've Learned in DramaLand


  1. This post is hilarious! I'm a K-drama fan too and I particularly like the back-hug moment. I tried giving hubs a back-hug and he was like, what's happening? We in Singapore eat ramyeon too (we call it Maggie mee) but we never eat from the aluminum pot. I found these pots for sale at a Korean supermart here and I almost bought it just to experience...We have also gotten to love Korean fried chicken thanks to the many Korean restaurants that have sprung up here. Have you watched School 2013 - breakout roles for Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jong Suk. I love it for the bromance. I've discovered Signal and Tunnel, both time-travel genre but really well done and no Joseon nonsense. Reply 1988 and Reply 1997 are very slow paced but extremely rewarding - not your typical K-drama format. I really enjoyed this post!

    1. Haha, hi, Projects By Jane. Thanks! Back hugs! I forgot to include that one. Back hug = True Love. Classic. Yes, I was curious about the aluminum pot and eating the noodles from the lid. I wonder does that make them more delicious? :-) I wish there were more Korean restaurants where I live. Yes! I watched School 2013 and really enjoyed it! Their relationship was really cute. I'll have to try Signal and Tunnel and the two Reply shows. I've seen them on DramaFever but haven't watched. I do in fact like time travel dramas and the Joseon period dramas! Despite my poking fun at all the plot devices, they are what I love about the dramas. I hope they don't change them to be more like Western TV. Western TV is the reason I watch Korean TV. LOL

  2. I truly LOVE this post! And yes, I watch them too because they are FUN! Have a great day. HUGGGGGGGs

    1. Hey, Laura Jean! *double high fives* I love finding other Kdrama devotees. :-)

    2. Hi Larrisa and Laura Jean, Yes finding another Kdrama lover is always exciting. I am always tring to convince peoplecto watch. I only listen to K drama ost's o my kindles, so happy when someone asks what I am listening to. The most exciting thing haooened on my doctors visit when the new nurse adked me what I was listening too and when I told her she said her mother loved Kdrams too. crazy to get excited about soneone you may never even know. I love it all so much I am actually studing korean little by little with books from TTMIK. Lastly, add in thumb hearts, the white truck of doom, mother whobreceive bad news falling all over the place( curently watching Father I'll take care of you as to save up shows to marathon) lots of falling in that one, also leaving work snytime you feel like it, meeting up eith your nemesis to be called whatever, the guy who loves you not saying anything when mom calles you a disgracful social climber, and him calling you ugly all the time.Many more ,but that's enough. FYI you can whatch for free no commercials at make sure you scroll down to the second listing after you choose your drama. The first listing is for paid down loading. Also it gets crowded and you may not be able to watch the newer dramas, and it is only good on the first 2 feeds,the others get dicy. I hope this helps someone having trouble finding a place to watch. There are also some older dramas the are top notch and worth a try. Someone new can really have fun marathoning those( Kim Sam Soon, My Girl, Your Beautiful, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, City Hall, Coffee Prince, Queen In Hyun's Man( Joseon time travel in reverse), Greatest Love and the list goes on. Thank you for this fun post, came to see your awesome crafts and what an extra pleasure surprie. Gomapseumnida, Annyeonghaseyo.

    3. PattyC, or can I call you Unni? :-) For reals though. Thumb hearts, I was completely mystified by that for months and finally remembered to Google it. The music, meh. Sometimes those drama tracks get so tired when I hear them during every significant moment of the drama "LOVE IS THE MOoooMENT..." That the last thing I want to do is listen to them more afterward. LOL. Haven't run into the White Truck of Doom...WAIT unless you mean the ubiquitous speeding utility truck that runs down the hapless lead as he's crossing the street...the streets of Seoul are DEADLY I tell you. Falling out moms: I must have skipped those dramas. Yeah, that whole 'are you stupid?' push-pull thing they have for the flirting...haha. Drama Fever and Viki can be tried for free for 30 days. I really feel what I pay per month is worth it, since it's less than $5 and considering the shameless number of hours I stream. I pay more for Netflix and watch it less. Thanks for reaching out, my drama chingu!

  3. That was hilarious! My 14 year old and I were crying by the end of the list.
    Thanks for the enlightening information about Korean dramas, as I have never watched any of them. Maybe it's time to start.

    1. Hey, InnaC, you should try it. Slow burn romance is pretty awesome. They might hold hands by the 5th episode. Possibly they will kiss by the 9th. Then they break up. But by episode 16 they are usually married. Or someone dies tragically. :-)

    2. start with Drama World on Viki or Hulu, it's a great intro to kdrama, great starter.

    3. Thanks for the suggestion for InnaC, Lindy Stamper! For some reason I couldn't get into Drama World. I guess because I need to escape completely into DramaLand, not watch someone else escape into DramaLand. LOL. My first two were Secret Love Affair and My Love from Another Star, both of which I thought were so good I re-watched them a couple of times.

  4. Wow. I never knew. Are there episodes? or just like a two hour thing? i have never ever delved. I did not know.
    Now I want to. I will check your pinterest page and start learning. Thank you for the encouragement Larissa

    1. Hi, Rosemary! Yes, there are usually hour long episodes and most dramas have about 16 to 20 episodes. There are some that are epic with like 50 episodes and some that are light and quick with only 15 minutes per episode. It varies.

  5. I love and agree with everything in this post!!! Give me anything in the Josean era over regular tv any day. Oh, and remember to prick your finger with a pin for indigestion (that’s after pounding your chest view lently doesn’t work) hugs my Korean drama loving sister.

    1. Oh, yes, Terry, I love the period dramas too. I am astounded by the beauty of the silk clothes and elaborate hair ornaments. I could look at them all day. I would love to ask a Korean about the whole prick your finger thing. I have so many questions.

  6. OMG, totally with you, because I've spent days with minimal sleep just binging shows like crazy. And then you find yourself googling about the celebrity and their history and the ladies clothes, where they get them from and do they come in my size. LOL. So true... I also find myself cannot find any other topic to talk to my friends when it comes to talking about TV shows. I can't deal with American shows with no endings anymore, I'm totally content with the 16 or 20 episodes and everything is great for everyone type ending. Truly bubble gum for the brain. I was telling my friends to start with DramaWorld, a mini series on Hulu and Viki, that's basically an Intro to Kdrama for the newbies. Plus, the lead is easy on the eyes too, that doesn't hurt. So glad you posted about the topic. What's your fav or ones that worth checking out? I'm dying to find things to watch, I've re-watched a few already... so happy you posted about kdrama, I'm not alone!

    1. Hey, Lindy Stamper, yes I confess I've lost much beauty sleep watching them. I wonder if a Korean face mask will fix that? My faves are all on my Pinterest KDrama page, with the link at the end of the post ^ up there. I only pin dramas I loved! My all time faves have got to be My Love From Another Star and Descendants of the Sun. My latest fave has to be W Two Worlds because it's exactly like someone took the best music video ever made (Take On Me by Aha) and made it into a Korean Drama.

    2. W was so good, definitely a bit of everything for male and female viewers. I wish they have something like that in America. I still love Boys over Flowers, Heirs, and Goblin. I rewatch those. Def LOVE Do Bong Soon, so cute! And Oh My Goddess, so great. Currently watching While You’re Sleeping, Package and Revolutionary love just because of Si Won. You? Did you find that there are times Korean phrases slip out in daily life? Like when I talk to my kid, telling him to hurry- balli will come out. Or once in a while Otoke will come out too. >.<

    3. I feel like the only one in the whole world who didn't like BOF. Maybe I should try again. The female lead just turned me off bigtime and the over the top styling of the F4 just pushed me over the edge. I gave up after one episode. Currently watching While You Were Sleeping, Because This is My First Life, Goblin, and Shut Up, Flower Boy Band! I have managed to control myself re: Korean phrases. I use them on purpose and with great relish on my teen girls because they relentlessly hassle me for watching the dramas. I can restrain myself during other times but I often think Korean words now. (Yah! Chincha? Wae? Kenchana? Yoebasayeo? Annyeong! Daibak. Yogi! Noona. Hyung. Aigooo...)

    4. Aigoo and Aish!!! I do that too. So funny! Give BOF another shot, Jendi bugs me too but she’s loyal and the guys protects her and it’s cute. For some reason I can’t get into Flower boy band, and they are totally up my alley too. I’m waiting for Witch Court & My First Life to culmulate a few more episodes then binge. What a fun post! So glad I’m not the only one.

  7. Hmmm. Haven't watched any Korean drama shows yet, but the Korean movies I watched have all been excellent: 1) Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring 2) The Way Home and 3) Slave Hunter (that one might have actually been a TV series).

    1. I have seen only a few Kmovies, but what I've seen were very good! Slave Hunter was one of the first dramas I watched and I thought it was awesome! I still cant believe the 2nd male lead ended up with the girl. So wrong. :-)

  8. DYING OF LAUGHTER!!! I love everything about this post, thank you!!

  9. 55. If you are sickly or forlorn, your friends from school will insist on taking you out for MEAT to cure what ails you.

    I came looking for 12 days of Christmas ornaments and got so much more. From one homeschooling mom to another...saranghae!

    1. LOL re: the meat cure, Smith! And the fact that these slender girls can put away pork belly, beef, black bean noodles, spicy rice cakes and sugary drinks and never weigh over 85 lbs. *Thumb hearts* Annyeong, Noona.

  10. I have not watched a South Korea Drama, but I am hooked on Turkish ones, and see some similarities. 😄 What SK drama should a newbie start with?

    1. Hi, Hindsfeet, I'd start with Descendants of the Sun or My Love from Another Star. :-)

  11. Ha ha ha, this is the best list! So glad you caught the bug too, found this quite a bit late, but hope you're still watching dramas. My current favorite is Because This is My First Life - watching it slowly so I don't run out! :)

    1. Floresita! I didn’t know you were a KDrama fan! Cool! *fist bumps* I loved This is My First Life! It was so different. I’m watching a new drama with that same female lead called The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. It was a total mistake watching it when it is still on air. I have to wait a week between each two episodes. It’s really good so far!

    2. Also, I watch the original Gilmore Girls a lot when I sew because it’s so dialogue heavy that I don’t have to look up much. I just saw the episode where Lane Kim gets married and I actually could understand a few phrases from her Korean relatives this time. LOL #learning


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