Category Archives: KDramas

A Dream Come True

For as much as I hate on group projects, 7 years ago a group project basically changed my life

As a sophomore in college, I took Personality Theory (unfortunately, a class covering actual psychological theories and not personality tests like I thought.) The professor required group presentations and after we finished studying, my two group members asked if I wanted to stay and join them for, “a Korean soap opera.” 

And, oh, my life has never been the same since. 

We started with Dream High 2 but did not make it very far. 

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Korean dramas usually range from 16-20 one hour episodes. They are one season. After studying together, we would sit on someone’s bed and watch an episode. After giving up on Dream High 2, we switched to Personal Taste (the first drama I ever finished.) 

I remember vividly one scene where we squealed so loudly an RA came into check on us. (And by we, I probably mean me.) 

Meanwhile I started watching Boys Over Flowers on my own. I basically spent the entire Thanksgiving break that year binge watching.

And after that there was no going back. I became obsessed with Korean dramas!

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And I remain obsessed. 

Meanwhile, I began to get everyone around me into Korean drams. My sisters in turn discovered K Pop and quickly got me addicted! 

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Of course, you cannot watch a show about another culture without becoming obsessed with the food. I now consider kimchi more important than dairy. (And I love dairy.)

As for bulgogi, bibimbap, and tteokbokki…my mouth waters just thinking about them. Korean food went from a nonentity in my life to a dietary staple. 

All this to say, for the past 7 years Korea has influenced the food I eat, the shows I watch, the music I listen to, and even the clothes I wear. 

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And tomorrow, I get to visit one of the friends who got me addicted to Korean dramas…IN KOREA!

Can you imagine anything more amazing? 

 

 

 

(As I previously wrote, however, you will have to wait to hear about the experience till I am on a flight back to the U.S. Until then, enjoy the story of my vacation in Krabi with another college buddy!) 


Chicken Feet

If you somehow missed it, I love Asian entertainment. Dramas, manga, anime, I appreciate it all. Consistently in Korean dramas in particular, the heroine eats chicken feet. 

This always baffled me. I’ve SEEN chickens. Their feet do not look edible. 

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Walking back from class today, I saw a food stall with chicken feet! I did this cartoon-ish double take because I could not believe my eyes! I did not think such things existed outside of Korean dramas!

With great enthusiasm, I bought a stick from the baffled chicken woman and practically floated all the way home. I, Amy, was going to try chicken feet!

Eagerly I bit down and found…bone. Cartilage. Skin.

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I Googled – and then YouTubed – “How to eat chicken feet” and watched in amazement as people wolfed these things down. Turns out, these things are supposed to only consistent of bone, cartilage, and skin. 

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It took me 75 minutes to get through the first one. I gnawed on the second one for about 20 minute but my more aggressive approach meant I got more mouthfuls of cartilage and it crunched like a bean sprout. 

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And, um, as much as I wanted to like chicken feet…I really didn’t. I put the rest in my fridge but I do not think I will get to them. I’m just not that big a fan of cartilage and crunch. 


DramaFever Is No More

My favorite Korean Drama streaming service no longer exists. 

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This is quite heartbreaking. I’ve been watching Korean dramas for 6 years now and DramaFever was the best. I even paid for a premium membership. Besides being a source of excellent shows, DramaFever usually produced fun content, from celebrity gossip to drama promotions. (My favorite was an ode to Lee Min Ho when he starred in Gangnam Blues by two YouTubers but I can’t find it anymore so I’m wondering if it got taken down with the site.) Also the K-Drama LoLs videos but they also gotten take down. 

In summary, DramaFever did an amazing job uniting fans from across the world with our shared love of love Korean dramas and it is now no more. 

I guess this means we all go watch on Viki now? 


180 Days

Exactly half a year ago, I was sitting between classes trying to find a Thai language app. I figured it was good to get a jump on it what with my new found interest in Thailand.

Unfortunately, I did not find one. I did notice that Duolingo finally had Korean, though. So I started there.

Today marks 180 days of doing Korean for ten minutes a day! I don’t actually know if I am learning anything, but it is fun.


Credentials

Today I attended a fascinating lecture at the law school titled “Escape from Developmentalism” by Dr. Taekyoon Kim from Seoul University. Unfortunately, only two law students actually showed up, and I was one of them. (Otherwise, the room was full of non-law students.)

Afterwards, the Wisconsin law professor behind me asked if I had a background in the subject that drew me to the lecture. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I told him the truth, 

“I watch a lot of Korean dramas.” 

He replied, “Oh.”

Then walked away. 

I need to work on my international credentials. 


Can’t Wait Wednesday

I love following kattiescottagebooks…I learn about so many different weekly spotlights (like Teaser Tuesdays) and now, Can’t Wait Wednesday! If you like reading about books, you should definitely follow her here.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here, at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

This was an easy pick for me. I can’t wait to read…

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Title: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publishing date: May 30th, 2017

Plot: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

 

KOREAN DRAMAS AND YOUNG ADULT FICTION.  It is the combination of two of my favorite things; I’m psyched. There is no way this book will live up to my expectations. It just isn’t possible. I also know this because the synopsis says, “where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten.” That is a blatant lie. Everyone knows that if the heroine is in her true love’s arms in episode ten, something horrible is going to happen because there are 6 more hours to go. HOWEVER, I’m super excited anyway. Hopefully this won’t be the next Girl Online


Stars Falling From the Sky

Two years ago, I put together a list of my favorite k dramas. The list is fairly out of date and I really should put together a new one soon. However, there is one drama on there that has stayed my favorite despite an influx of really excellent shows lately.  It is Stars Falling From the Sky. 

When a self-absorbed, 25-year old woman finds herself the sole guardian of five, adopted younger siblings, her world flips upside down. With no money and no place to live, she takes a job as a live-in housekeeper for her long term crush and hides the kids in his basement. Chaos ensues…

I rarely finish the k dramas I start, much less re-watch them, but I just finished watching this drama for the third time through. I found it as endearing as ever. This just might be my favorite drama. However, I do not think it is a drama most people will like. Filmed in 2010, it lacks the polish of more recent shows. The characters spend over half their time drinking or crying. The usual k drama stereotypes are all present, including the love triangle/square thing, and everyone is in a constant state of angst

Everyone, that is, except the heroine. She doesn’t have time for angst. She is trying to feed and house five siblings. Her character arc is incredible. I love her affection for her siblings. She isn’t the only one with that arc, though. Re-watching this drama, I was struck by the fact that for a “romantic” drama, the real love goes to the siblings. There is an interesting contract between the characters with siblings (even just one), and those who are only children. Maybe because it is so rare to find big families or sibling love as the focus of pop culture, this story line really appeals to me. 

The romance in this drama used to throw me off. Spoilers in this paragraph. The couple finally gets together in the second to last episode. In the last episode, the hero proposes…and gets turned down. This is not an uncommon move in k dramas. Usually the previously weak willed heroine then goes off for two years only to return within the last five minutes of the episode for an inconclusive reunion scene. (Thankfully this trend is less predominant in recent dramas.) However, the heroine in Stars Falling From the Sky is hardly weak willed. She doesn’t disappear. She is as determined as ever to provide for her siblings. In this sense, while the last episode is full of dramatic kidnappings and shocking discoveries, it provides a level of realism. Not everything becomes perfect because you’ve found a man and he proposes. In this last episode, we get to see the heroine standing on her own two feet while also learning to rely on the man who loves her. It isn’t Disney ending, but it is a satisfying one I appreciate more now that I am older. 

Like I said earlier, I don’t expect most people to enjoy this drama nearly as much as I do. However, it was a pleasant surprise to re-watch it and discover I like it even more than I remembered!