Random Musings

Reading through the posts @ Dramabeans this past week, it seems like Drama Slump™ is an epidemic within the intl drama community. So… apparently I wasn’t the only one. I’ve of course had the Drama Drought going for several years now but it’s only recently that I’ve arrived in the Slump territory.

Now, one might think that Drama Drought and Drama Slump are the same thing, but this ain’t so. Drama Drought is when you’d still be actively watching dramas, if only you’d find some to catch your fancy. Or you pick up a show only to realise it’s not what you wanted/expected, which repeats with the next fiew shows you try. Kdramas not doing it? Well, what about the offereings from the other Asian countries? Or finally weening down that List of Doom? Usually you’ll find something to sink your teeth in. Drama Slump on the other hand is this –> 18 signs you are in a drama slump. LOL! Well, I might not be quite that far gone yet but there is more than one bullet point in the list that hits home – painfully. Depending on one’s preferences and the ongoing dramaland trends, Drama Drought can hit just about anyone but imho, it’s us more ‘seasoned’ drama fans that are more likely to get in the dreaded Slump.

Poor javabeans, the Slump really has hit her bad. šŸ™‚ But it has resulted in rather fun ‘existentialistic’ list making. Like 12 dramas I thought Iā€™d watch if I only had time, but turns out that time was just my excuse. Yeah, I have fiew of those as well, gathering dust in some corner of my HD. Maybe it’s time to admit defeat and just get rid of them. Because that particular ‘rainy day’ will never come, will it? Then there’s 21 times Oppa let me down (Bad dramas I have watched). Yup, been there, done that. Not recently though. I’ve since wised up and I’ve become quite adept at spotting the ‘bad dramas’. If I happen to get fooled in to start one, it gets Das Boot very quickly indeed as soon as I realise what is going on. Of course there isn’t much you can do to avoid dramas that start out fine/great but go off the rails later on. Pox on them! I do have a shortlist of actors I like but none is such a fave that I’d watch them in everything they happen to act in. Not anymore. Grew out of that too over the years.

I have almost 10 years of drama watching beind me and sadly, Kdramas don’t grab me the way they used to, in fact haven’t done that for a fiew years now. I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve started only to quit after couple of episodes as I just wasn’t feeling them. Lately there hasn’t been too many interesting alternatives either as I haven’t bumped into many noteworthy c- or jdramas. There are times I wish I was still the Drama Noob I once was. When almost every show I picked up was an exciting possibility and the stories swept me along, making me giddy with anticipation. Sigh. Too many dramas and I guess too many years watching them has watered down that giddy feeling and in big part killed the excitement as well. Seriously, I sometimes wonder why I’m still at it and contemplate if I should take a proper break. Hasn’t come to quite that yet, though.

Like I said, I’ve been around the drama-block a fiew times. ;P I have also followed several dramaverse bloggers over the years. Many of those who were around the time I started watching dramas, have quit or moved on to other things. There really aren’t that many old timers left anymore. Reading the comments @ Dramabeans has lead me to think that majority of the commenters are realitively new to the drama world. Whenever there is talk about fave dramas, drama recs or something similar, they almost without a fail are those from the past fiew years. There might be some well known older fare like BOF, Coffee Prince, Goong etc but they seem to be more of an exception than the rule. It makes me oddly sad as there is lot of good stuff among the oldies. The dramaworld ‘grandma’ that I am, I started with the oldies. Subbing took a lot longer when I was a noob, so there was plenty time to dramathon the already aired dramas while waiting for the next ep of the current hot item to be subbed. *g*

I’m quite aware that my taste in dramas often does not follow the trends or what seems to be popular. Which is why I feel like I’m forever the one outside looking in and wondering “what’s the fuss?”. šŸ˜€ Nothing made this clearer that reading through the Dramaland Catnip part of the monthly ‘Theme of the Month’ posts @ DB. My inner commenting was along the lines: “Nope, Gosh, no!, No, Don’t think so, Nah!, No way in hell!…” LOL! I had to think really hard to figure out what my Catnip was, or if I had one in the first place. Turns out it’s *interesting premise, well written, well directed, well acted*. Gimme that and I’m there with the bells on.^^ I also realised my tastes have not really changed over the years. I still like the sort of shows I’ve always liked, even before I started watching dramas. The genres have more or less remained the same, only the order of what’s most appealing at any given point of time, rotates. The degree of annoyance that some tropes elict may have changed but the annoyances themselves are still the same as well. I guess what has changed is that I can’t do overnighters anymore as those tend to give me a horrible migrene. I’ve also had to drastically cut back on binge watching. Come to think of it, there is something else that has changed. In the beginning dramas were escapism for me. I was going through a bad patch and dramas provided an ‘out’ of the realities of life. That was when I was still able to watch OTT melodramas and makjang without getting hives, ha. SO relieving to watch imaginary people having far shittier lives than I. XD These days I prefer to have a certain degree of realism in all the dramas I watch. E.g the more unrealistic, trope filled and lighter-than-air romcoms bore me to tears. I also can’t with all the eye rolling I inevitably end up doing.

Well, looks like I had quite a bit to say about some topics this time around. Anyone who bothered to read this far – have a virtual cookie. šŸ˜€

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10 thoughts on “Random Musings

  1. Well said! Not quite 10 years for me unless you count the days when I was watching HK dramas in my teens. And there were a few years where I watched exclusively British period dramas. I think I’m edging towards Slump with kdramas when even my favourite actors don’t keep me glued anymore. But not letting go just yet. Kdramas still have that sweet spot somewhere in my heart. Just have to look harder to find it. šŸ˜€

    • Well, as it is mine was justa a “mini slump”. The new batch of kdramas surprisingly had more than one show I ended up picking. Haven’t dropped any of them so far. šŸ˜€

  2. I’ve been watching dramas since I was a kid, but I’ve rarely been in a slump. Drought yes, but not so much of a slump. I find there is always something to watch, even if that something is old or I’ve seen. And there are so many dramas I haven’t seen, so it’s more of picking a drama or film that suits my taste or mood of the moment. I’ve seen a lot of crap over the years, so there’s less I am willing to tolerate, but I always give old favourites a whirl if I feel the new offerings aren’t quite cutting it. Sometimes when I check out an (over)hyped show, I usually end up cutting it down to size, but people are less willing to read about a contrary opinion because how can you denigrate oppa’s hard work??? (I dropped DB for reasons along those lines, among others)

    My limit is four or five episodes if I have too much time, otherwise I am happy to make do with one or two per day. I usually watch the penultimate and final episodes together, so the suspense doesn’t kill me, but I never do marathons or all-nighters (books are different, though!) because that will ruin the watching experience for me.

    • I haven’t been in a proper slump either, until recently and it seems I’m easing myself out of that now. It was strange not being in the mood for watching anything at all. Pressing ‘play’ felt like an insurmountable hurdle.

      There’s always been those fans who just can’t take any differing opinions of their oppa’s talent or lack there off, but they used to be a minority. I’ve been a ‘silent’ reader of DB since it was just javabeans and girlfriday. There were definitely more real discussions about dramas in the early days and less mindless squee. People were less likely to get butthurt too and could take critique where it was valid. IDKN what has changed in the interim years.

      • What changed was the site got more popular, people flocked to it like bees to honey, praised it to the skies and made it the definitive place to get anything k-drama: recaps, reviews, opinions, news, etc. More people = more opinions about what they want from the site, and the revamp just encouraged the popularity contest.

        Anyway, you’re watching Nothing Gold Can Stay? I can’t stand Chen Xiao, he looks like Sun Li’s kid brother.

        • Yeah, that’s probably it. DB sort of turned into another Soompi, which is kinda sad. Oh well, times they are a changing.

          Yes, I’m still watching as I couldn’t keep up with the episodes. Drama is way too long, they could easily have cut it in half. I don’t actually mind Chen Xiao, he’s pretty good in the role and age differences, seeming or real, never really bother me. I’m not sure but I think Shen Xingyi is supposed to be younger than Zhou Ying and very childish to beginning with too. He does get some gravitas once he grows up and does some actual living. Still sad that Wu Pin had to exit so early on, he was lovely. šŸ™‚

  3. I hit my 10-year drama anniversary about 6 or so months ago, and the *experience* definitely affects the drama watching! šŸ˜‰ I find myself having less patience with dramas, and you’re right, the story & cohesiveness is THE most important thing to me now. I can’t watch a bad drama just for a bias anymore either. I think I did have a bit of a slump, when watching dramas didn’t feel that appealing, and other activities felt more exciting. But now, I’m back to watching dramas more, and am noob enough in the J & C drama scene, to feel like I’ve got lots to explore. So I guess I’m good for now? šŸ˜…

    I actually think that part of the reason JB’s got the slump that bad, is because she’s made drama watching & blogging her job.. I think alone adds a layer of responsibility & pressure which makes you power through the droughts & mini slumps until you just can’t, anymore. I also think that because DB’s purely focused on kdramas, that the limited pond (albeit a big one) is a factor, coz that rules out the really good dramas that other countries have produced. I’d recommend NIF to JB in a heartbeat – except that besides giving her 54 eps of drama bliss, it’d also create a post NIF drama slump coz NIF does ruin you for other dramas for a while. šŸ˜›

    • Yup, ‘seniority’ does make a difference. šŸ™‚ I seem to be getting out of that mini slump myself now. I’ve actually been able to finish some of the the dramas I had been stalled on.

      I think you’ve got something there, Re. JB.

  4. I’m still unsure if i’m in the Drama Drought or Drama Slump, but if even JB starts writing those posts, then i’m thinking that K-drama’s quality or offering truly is underwhelming lately. Or maybe we’ve watched too many dramas that the new ones hardly feel fresh or exciting anymore. I too keep dropping K-dramas after a few episodes especially this year that i find myself checking and watching a lot more J-dramas.

    I wonder if my taste/preference has changed over the years, but one thing for sure, i can’t marathon dramas anymore either, let alone pulling an all-nighter, although i think the latter has more to do with age. LOL

    • Probably both. This has been an uncommonly uninspiring kdrama year so far. But… it’s also true that once you’ve watched enough dramas, it gets harder to feel excited abut them anymore. Unfortunately this year I haven’t found many jdramas to watch either. I keep checking but so far the pickings have been rather slim.

      Oh yes, not being able to pull all-nighters is definitely an age thing. šŸ˜€

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