Breathe, it’s okay. Dropping a drama is never easy.
I’m sure we’ve all felt pressure when considering whether to continue a drama or not — god forbid if it’s a drama that’s extremely popular this year. We just want to be strong. We don’t want to fail in the eyes of other drama-goers or in the eyes of the drama itself (or even just to ourselves). We just think — push through it, it’ll be fine. But watching dramas is about you; it’s about enjoying yourself and I’m here to help you.
1. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it.
Stand up! You don't have to watch it just because everyone else is. Maybe the theme just isn’t your thing and so much more. "But, lestrudel! Everyone on this planet has talked about Descendants of the Sun!” That’s cool, I’m glad everyone liked it, and probably for good reason, but if war themes bore you to absolute death, what’s the point? What’s the point of watching something everyone else likes if you don’t? Yes, you'll experience it and know what people are talking about but if it tortured you then it probably wasn't worth it.
2. Just because your favourite actor/actress/idol is in it doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it.
I get it, I too have fallen victim to Lee Joongi, Miura Haruma, Do Kyungsoo, etc. That doesn’t mean you have to depress yourself watching a drama with a sad ending or watch something that gives you no joy except for the actor/actress in it. Yes! Your fave could be in a bad, boring drama! It happens and it’s upsetting but if your suffering through a 40 something episode drama you're barely interested in just because Zhang Yixing is a side character, you’re not making yourself happy.
3. Start dropping some before you watch! (A.K.A. Spring Cleaning!)
Some of us (including me) have enormous and messy plan to watch lists filled with hundreds of dramas— some of which we can’t even remember the plot of nor why we added it in the first place. Take this chance to maybe clean your whole list! This article by Wandering_Queen is very helpful for doing that. I literally have it bookmarked to my task bar.
4. Shouldn’t I give it a chance? How long until I drop it?
I’m all for giving dramas chances. Sometimes ones you never expected to like from reading the summary become your favourite and sometimes ones you were excited for end up terrible.
Everyone should make up their own rules but mine are as follows: regular dramas I’d say give it about 4 episodes and extremely long Chinese dramas give it about 10 episodes (depending on the length). Of course, this varies from each person and I fully believe you should drop it whenever you want — first episode, fourth episode, thirtieth episode? It’s up to you! However, I think giving yourself loose rules will help make it easier to drop.
5. How to know it’s not for you
For many people, you just know — you just feel it. However, if you need some things to look out for, here’s a small selection to think about. (note some people don’t mind these things, these are just suggestions)
- Is the plot even something you’re interested in? Would you enjoy a show entirely about laws and attorneys? About silly men doing stupid things? About war?
- Are you only watching it for your favourite actor/actress/idol? Or do you like other things about it?
- Are you watching this because the internet/a friend told you to and aren’t enjoying it?
- Was the plot interesting but is now a complete mess? Are you wondering what’s even happening anymore? Do you just not really like where they went with the plot anymore?
- Is the drama going too slow for you? Are you finding yourself inching toward your mobile phone games each episode instead?
If you said yes to any of these, maybe consider dropping it!
And, if all else fails and you’re too stressed to drop it, do what I do and stick it in the on-hold list. It’s out of your way for now but, you don’t feel like you’re tragically cutting off a loved one either. It’s there if you ever want to come back to it. (This works for the drop list too but I think psychologically, “on-hold” makes it feel less sudden and definite).