SeRose's life changed a year ago, when she first started watching Asian dramas. Since then she's watched as many dramas as time allowed, and made tons of drama-watching converts (about five).
So you've watched your first drama and your world has changed forever. What now? After ten, twenty, or fifty, (even a hundred!) dramas, it really comes down to this: we all need a drama-watching buddy.
Image from Kdrama Coffee Prince
Most of us are all too familiar with that droll looking stare from our friends and family. If we're lucky we get this dumb series of questions. "You're watching what?" "What is K-Drama?" "Do you speak Japanese?" "Are there subtitles?" "Is that like anime?” "Why do all the guys look like girls?" Sometimes our friends don't even bother to ask questions, preferring instead to give you that 'smile and nod' treatment. It's generally accompanied by a roll of the eyes and a quick subject change. You can just see their brains spinning: "Not this again! It's just a phase, right? Please let it be just a phase."
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a drama loner: I have all of you! Seriously, how long could any of us last trapped in our own little bubble on the fringes of Dramaland? Half the fun of being a drama lover online is the thrill of meeting more fans out there crazier than we are. The day doesn’t end just because you finished watching the last available episode of a currently-airing drama, at least not until you’ve spent another hour or two perusing your blog roll for recaps and episode analyses.
Image is from Kdrama You're Beautiful
When it comes down to it though, we all crave that personal touch: friends who can come over and spazz out on the couch with us. Some people are just born with natural drama-watching buddies. Some are superbly lucky and have friends who love dramas just because we told them to love it, or else! However, most of us live like social outcasts, marginalized for our great wealth of knowledge and “aiiigo”-like sound effects. Don’t they understand that watching dramas makes one conversant and culturally informed? Not only can I name all the members of CNBLUE like a true squealing fangirl, but I also know what life is like in a rooftop apartment in Seoul. Try learning about that in your history books!
So how do we make drama converts of our family and friends?
· Don’t hide in your bedroom. Flaunt your dramas openly. The more readily available you make it, the more they’ll notice and be enticed to watch. (Pasta, for my husband. Who knew ‘The Voice’ was such a palatable male role model!)
· Persuade/coerce a relative to at least try a drama. Choose a good genre, and handpick the actors/actresses you think would entice/seduce the most (Lee Min Ho works for most girls, case you didn’t know).
· Ignore the first round of idiotic questions: ‘Why doesn’t he just say he likes her?’, ‘Didn’t they use this plot device in the last episode?’ or ‘What is he/she even wearing?’ (You’re Beautiful, anybody?)
Image is from Kdrama Secret Garden
· Don’t push them too much. First promise a meal; then say, “Hey so you want to watch one (or twelve) one-hour videos?” (Secret Garden, suckers! Bonus points if you can keep the plot twist in episode 5 a complete secret.)
· Define the ‘brooding shower scene’. Emphasize how awesome the plot of a particular drama is (anything with Park Shi Hoo)...
· For your significant other – Simple. It’s sixteen to twenty hours of possible togetherness time. Just think of all the money saved from movie tickets (because Coffee Prince is completely fun and non-awkward to watch with your significant other)!
Beware of Backfire
· Extra long dramas (24+ episodes)
· The middle stretch of just about any drama – Don’t let them give up!
Image is from Jdrama Hana Kimi
The best advice is to know your friends well enough to anticipate what they’ll like. Always recommend dramas you have seen before. Imagine the catastrophe if your first conversation went like this: “Hey there’s this new drama airing soon called Fashion King. Want to watch it with me?”
Keep in mind that short dramas are good starters. Jdramas are ideally paced and executed (check out Nobuta wo Produce for sheer perfection). Never underestimate the benefits of a well-sculpted plot, a good-looking and talented cast, plus the power of a drama marathon to get everyone pumped! Chocolate and caffeine also help.
Image source: http://donnapie.tumblr.com/
Sadly, your friends’ entertainment choices may just be incompatible with yours. In this dire situation, do not fret. The online community will still be there. We’ll give you a virtual hug, yet another drama recommendation, and a secret treasure map with the location for our communal drama-watching BATCAVE. Just remind yourself that there is still hope in the world, and sometimes it’s more fun and efficient to marathon dramas all by yourself. Your support group at MDL will be waiting.