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by cityhunter on January 6, 2013
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 Cultivating an Addiction  
     Many drama addicts try in vain to bring friends and family into the fold.  These shows and movies are awesome, why do others have trouble seeing it?  My immediate love of drama was made possible by a lifelong adoration of anime and movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kung Fu Hustle. If you're like me though most of the people you're trying to convert have had little exposure to Asian entertainment, whether it be manga, anime or drama. If you truly want converts you have to foster an appreciation for the Asian style of entertainment.  Start with movies. A movie isn't a big commitment. It's easier to get someone to agree to sit and watch a two hour movie than a twenty hour drama.                               Only in drama land does the ghetto have such a lovely view.
Penny Pinchers - Funny is funny in any language and Penny Pinchers is funny. It's well done and  contains possibly my favorite "date on a budget" ever.  This will appeal to fans of No Strings Attached and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
 JJ!OMG IT'S JJ!!!!  ahem, I mean... This is a spectacular film.
Heaven's Postman -A beautifully shot and acted romance, Heaven's Postman has a wonderful premise and will appeal to people who are fans of movies like The Time Travelers Wife or The Notebook, only it's got JJ in it so it's better!

See, Beanie Magic.
Yuuki -  I don’t like movies that are going to make me cry the whole time, but some people do and one of the best Asian tearjerkers is  Yukki. If your potential convert liked My sister's Keeper or Sweet November, they'll  probably like Yuuki.
Is he brandishing a razor? Boss.
71: Into the Fire - Think, Saving Private Ryan and We Were Soldiers. This story about student soldiers at the beginning of the Korean war is said to have a very realistic feel. War is something that crosses all countries so there isn't a big cultural barrier here. 
I'd totally go back to the looney bin if Rain was there.

I'm a Cyborg But That's Ok -  Benny and Joon or Edward Scissor Hands are the western films that come to mind when I think of this movie starring Rain. Very well acted and certainly not your usual day at the movies, this is sure to get anyone's attention.

Once you get your beginner on the hook you can move on to dramas. The world of dramas is vast and the most important thing is to know your audience and present them with shows they are most likely to enjoy, but first there are a few things to keep in mind when suggesting dramas to a noob.

                                                       Things to Avoid
You have to work up to this intense level of cute.
1. ANYTHING in mandarin. Put down the rocks people! Give me a minute to explain! Some of my favorite shows are T-dramas, but if Fated To Love You had been my first experience with Asian entertainment, I probably would not have come back for more. Even the best T-dramas are rife with over acting and soap-opera-esque plots.  You have to be in the drama world for a while to realize that it's not that the production teams can't put forth a more realistic story with more realistic performances, it's that they don’t want to! For those of us who love drama that's part of the charm of T-dramas, but you don’t push someone who can't swim into the deep end, you give em floaties first.

Don't be fooled by the cute.  All they did in this drama was eat, clean and YELL.

2. Avoid dramas where there is a lot of spirited arguing. In dramas like Can We Get Married  and the original Full House where there is a lot of yelling between characters the subtitles can go by really fast and someone who isn't used to subtitles and doesn't know the language at all might have a hard time keeping up.
                                                         She did huh now?

3. Stay away from dramas that rely heavily on stereotypical Asian plot devices. "What is she talking about? They're ALL Asian! How can we avoid it?" you ask. There are some dramas that really only make sense if you're Asian or have an understanding of how the culture is presented through entertainment. In dramas like Creating Destiny new comers may be left baffled as to why these adults don’t just tell their parents "NO!" Why someone would need to pretend to be a boy might also be lost on noobs. "How can you sell someone's house or register their marriage without their permission  and WHERE is that kid's parents?" are question you want to avoid until your potential convert has a taste for the drama juice. 

Below is a list of Dramas that I find most suitable for a novice. Now this is NOT City's list of the greatest dramas of all time,  nor is it the rosetta stone of trying to get your room mate into drama. This is just my opinion.
If one of these dorks doesn't remind you of yourself in high school, then you were no fun.
1. Dramas like Reply 1997 and Nobuta Wo Produce are built around universal themes that will be easily accessible even to someone who has never so much as watched Pokémon.                                      

I see your Robin Hood and raise you Hong Gil Dong
     Show them Asian drama isn't so different. Dramas like Hong Gil Dong and The Princess' Man resemble the most familiar and beloved stories of the west. Exploit that!
                                                                                       Pretty people never hurt your case.

3.  Be mindful of production value. If something looks like crap or the costumes are really bad or you can't find good subs, no one who isn't into drama is going to want watch it, even if it's awesome. Protect the Boss and Rich Man, Poor Woman have the kind of professional polish you're going for.      

Follow these tips and you stand a good chance of watching your next Dramathon with a friend and not all by yourself!