Drama Grab Bag


I sometimes wonder how some long time drama watchers like kfangurl have been able to keep their interest in dramas intact. Many of those who were around when I got into dramas myself have disappeared from the internets, some probably moving on to other things. My own interest has sadly been slowly but steadily waning as the years go and the current RL situation with work has put another nail in the coffin. Apart from the very early years, when I watched just about anything I was able to get my hands on, I’ve always been kinda picky with my choices. But in the past couple of years it’s been uncommonly hard to find stuff to watch and even when I liked a drama enough to finish it, I often didn’t really have any deeper feelings for the story or it’s characters. In many cases I’d be hard pressed to recount what the drama in question was actually about. I watched it but wasn’t able to truly connect or care. I’ve also realised something while pondering upon why I’m enjoying Sword Snow Stirde. It’s sort of like a familiar, warm blanket I can wrap around me and feel content. The past year and a half have been mentally exhausting and I don’t have the capacity to process anything too complex or intellectually demanding. Comfort food is what mainly feels good right now.

Our Beloved Summer
I tried. I know a lot of people loved this one but it just didn’t work for me. It took me 10 episodes to finally give up as I realised I wasn’t enjoying what I was watching. It is possible that I might have felt somewhat differently if I’d watched this as it aired instead of dramathoning all 10 epis, when all the things that I didn’t paricularly care for became super focused. The first few episodes were fine, I guess. I liked the look back on the high school years of our main characters and how they’d met. It’s a reversial of the typical drama trope as here it’s the the female lead who is the kinda aloof, acrebic, over achiever and the male lead is the dreamer, with no real interest in academic achievement. A typical opposites attract situation. But as the story progressed it dawned on me that I didn’t really like any of the characters and found the main couple especially frustrating. It was pretty obvious early on that their parting had not been a good one and there was still a lot of residual resentment on both sides. By the time we got to ep 10 it was also quite clear that it had not been a particularly healthy relationship. There had been several break up and make up situations that had not resolved anything, mainly because they never really talked! Not about anything that mattered anyway. So many times things were left danging or not addressed at all. This continued when they finally met up again. Yes, they still had feelings for each other but the communication issues were just as bad, if not worse than before. I didn’t feel that these two really belonged together. It was more like they’d be far better off apart – after sorting out the excess baggage both had been carrying all these years. Show is listed as “drama, romance, comedy”, but I didn’t find it very romantic and the comedy was almost nonexistent. There are better examples of couples getting a second chance than Our Beloved Summer. Like Go Back Couple, that actually had something to say and was both fun and heartwarming, with the abilty to also make you feel for the characters and their struggles to figure out why/how their relationship turned sour.

Sword Snow Stride 雪中悍刀行
I’m quite aware this drama is flawed. It’s not anywhere near as good a story as e.g Joy of Life or Evernight but I still like it quite a bit. The main grumbles I’ve seen are the fight choreography and the fight scenes in general. Yup, the flak is merited, they are not very good but I’m not watching this for the fighting. The main actors are doing great and I don’t actually mind that the FL actress and some of the supporting ones are not on the same level at all. It’s not really their story anyway. The focus is on the Feng Nian, the male lead. It’s his journey from an unwilling heir who didn’t want to fight to becoming a great martial artist and the ruler of Northern Liang. Though this is only S1, so it’s just the beginning of his journey. I haven’t read the novel SSS is based on and it’s probably working to my favor as I don’t have any preconseived notions of how they should present the story or the characters. As long as nothing annoys or irritates me enough to make me sit up and take note, I’m fine with what I’m getting.

10 thoughts on “Drama Grab Bag

  1. I can so relate. My drama watching has decreased so much in past few years!
    It’s a mix of everything – time, other interests, too many options!

    I agree with OBS – I dropped it, I think after 2-3 episodes.

    • Yeah, so few dramas seem even mildly interesting these days. With everything else going on, I’ve mostly been watching gameplays in YT lately. 😂 I’ve found that those are great for stress relief, ha.

  2. I know it’s disappointing when you lose interest in something you used to love. It’s pretty normal though. Sometimes our interest wanes. Sometimes we leave it behind. And sometimes we return to it. I do hope better dramas come your way in the future, maybe at a time when your work situation is better and you can fully enjoy them more 🙂

  3. Timescout – I am rationing the last 6 episodes of SSS for two reasons – first, I do not want it to end, and second, I fear a bad turn in the writing, I did not know that this was only S1 so thanks very much for that info as I can approach the ending with that in mind, I am enjoying the sol-mo martial arts portion of the drama. It looks more ‘arthouse’ for lack of a better word. I hope that folks do not drop this in the first two episodes as there so very much more to this father-son relationship. I agree with you that they are one of the best features of this drama.

    • I suppose SSS will either end in a cliffhanger or they’ll stop at a natural cut-off spot. The original web novel is loooong, like most of them tend to be. 2nd season is by no means a given, so there’s always a chance that this is all we’ll ever get. Take Joy of Life for instance. Still not even a wiff of S2. I’m glad I did read that novel, ha.

  4. I haven’t watched OBS but I appreciated reading your honest thoughts on it. And I haven’t even heard of the second drama, but I might give it a go. Especially since you described it as “warm” & “familiar” — those are oftentimes my favorite dramas!
    Great post!

    • I’m not sure how warm and fuzzy you may find Sword Snow Stride. It’s wuxia after all, albeit a bit on the softer side. 😀 I guess it feels homey to me because the story has such a familiar framework. I also think that Zhang Ruo Yun brings understated and lovely warmth to his Feng Nian, which I like. The relationships pretty nice over all and I especially love that of Feng Nian and his father.

  5. Aw, that’s too bad that OBS didn’t work for you, Timescout.. I’m still enjoying it pretty well, but I’m only 8 eps in (I’m always behind! 😅).. so things could still change for me!

    Also, the short answer to how I keep my interest in dramas intact is that I basically don’t get bored easily. 😂😂

    • Well… I’m kinda used to being a contrarian. 😉 I’ve read that the main couple makes some progress in ep 11-12 but that’s just ‘too little, too late’ for me. I’ve moved on.

      That might be it, I get bored quite easily myself and now even faster with my ever shortened attention span. 😀

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