Hey! My name is Brandy. I'm a college student and my major is English. I have a passion for reading and writing. And I LOVE watching dramas. It started some years back when my obsession with TOP started. I saw he was in a drama called I Am Sam (I hated that drama so much) and decided to watch it. Even though I hated that drama, I continued to watch more and became obsessed. I started off with Korean dramas then branched off to Japanese and then Taiwanese.
Please don't be a stranger :) I love talking to new people.
Dramas I Watch
I watch Korean, Taiwanese, and Japanese Dramas. I also watch Thai Lakorns and some Chinese dramas.
If I had to rank them by how I preferred to watch them, it would go:
Korea - Japan - Thai - Taiwan - China.
I started off with Korean dramas and that might be why I have a preference for them. They also have produced some of my favorite dramas. I love Japanese dramas as well. I don't really love lakorns (or am I lying to myself?) and if you look at my ratings you can see that I have never rated any of them over an 8.5. But I'm starting to think I'm lying to myself considering how many I have watched. They have many problems in all areas, but they're a guilty pleasure for me. I don't watch Chinese dramas often, but if you've watched any good ones recommend them to me, please!
What do I think makes a drama good?
- Good Story and Plot. No, I don't think a plot has to be mind blowing but I do think it has to be good and make sense. If I'm noticing a bunch of plot holes and certain things don't match up, it will take me out of the story. I have seen dramas that have the most simple plots but work really well and tell a great story. I have seen plots have an interesting idea but the writers complicate it and ruin it.
- Good Characters. And that's not just based on them being 'likeable'. I base good characters on how well written they are, so it does not matter to me if they are 'likeable' or not. If a character has good motivation then I'm sold, bad personality or not. They should have motivations, goals, character growth, and back story. Even if the drama is not complex, the character should have these things because why else would we care to watch them even if it's your favorite actor in the role. With that being said, it is a thin line between your character being 'unlikeable' and being downright despicable that no one cares to watch him or her, even if the character has all the things I listed before.
- Good Cast. I do think an actor can make or break a drama. They are the ones who have to bring the characters to life and if you have a bad actor who has trouble conveying emotions or can't do anything with their facial expressions, they will ruin the drama. I have seen some dramas taken down in quality because of bad actors. I have seen some dramas that are really not that good plot wise, be great just because of one actor alone.
- Good Pacing. Okay, when I first started to watch dramas I use to think to myself "Why is it only 16 episodes? I want more!" I'm from America so of course I'm use to shows lasting for seasons. But once I got use to the format which is usually 16, 20, or 50 episodes (There are sitcoms that go over a 100 but I have not watched any of them.) I realized why the format is that way and why some dramas are meant to be 16 episodes, while some are meant to be 20. With that being said, if a drama is 20 episodes but it drags really and it feels like the story could have been summed up in 16, it's very problematic. There is nothing more annoying than watching something that feels like the story is going nowhere and is stuck. Pacing matters. I actually find this to be the problem with many lakorns. Some of their episodes can be close to 2 hours long or more. That's a movie. I find that they linger on things or focus on pointless suft that could have been cut. Again, pacing matters!
- Good Chemistry. Most dramas, if not 97% of the dramas I have watched have romance in it. Chemistry is very important, especially in a romantic drama. If the male lead and female lead have no chemistry it will be noticeable and ruin the drama. And sometimes if a drama is lacking story wise, a good pairing that has great chemistry can make the drama seem ten times better than what it is. Chemistry must be there because if it's not, viewers will notice.
- Good Directing. So, this is a thing that I really only notice if it's really good or really bad. I do think that the way a director portrays a drama is very important though. I have seen some dramas that were gorgeous or hauntingly beautiful. I also have seen some bad dramas where the directing is so horrible that I can't notice anything else. I especially notice directing with action dramas too.
- Consistency. I use to rate my dramas as I watched it but I have not done that in years. Why? It started when I watched Wild Romance. The first two episodes were great. I just knew I was going to love this drama and with that alone I rated it a 10. I bet you can't guess what I rated it with when I was completed... I gave it a 7. I gave it a lower rating because once it got halfway through there were many problems I had with it. By the end, I wanted to give it less than a 7 because of how disappointing it was and how pissed off the ending made me. I really wanted to give it a 5 but I decided to acknowledge that the first half was actually good until the writers forgot who the female lead actually was.
- Enjoyable. Last but not least the drama needs to be enjoyable. It has been times that I watched something that might have a good story but it's missing elements that make it enjoyable to watch. You have to enjoy what you watch. If you are completely bored by it despite it having a good plot, cast, and other things, it won't be as fun to watch. No, that does not mean that it has to be funny. It can be a more serious drama like a melodrama too. It just needs to be enjoyable to watch, because if it's not, why would I watch it?
Things that I don't pay attention to?
- OSTs/Music. I will admit I usually do not pay attention to the original soundtracks unless they are really good or really bad. If it's in between I will not pay much attention to it. But if it sucks and does match the drama at all, then I will notice it and be bothered by it. Perfect example is Anego. I did not like this drama for many things but the one thing that stuck out to me was the opening song that did not fit the drama at all. It was really jarring and I was so confused as to why they would choose to pick a song like that.
- Re-watch value. I do think re-watch value is important but it's not that important to me. There has been dramas that I have given lower than a 6 but I have gone back to watch it more than something I rated a 10. Why? Though the latter maybe overall superior to the former in every way, it could be a possibility that there was something inside of the former that I did like or I just found it to be more entertaining. Love Keeps Going is a drama that I rated a 6. Though there was things I really liked about it, there were a lot of things that I thought were really bad. Padam Padam is a drama that I rated a 10. I thought the drama was well written and told a great story. If one was asked which drama I watched more than once based on my rating, they would assume it's Padam Padam. But it's not true. I have watched Love Keeps Going more. I've actually never gone back to watch Padam Padam. So this is why though I think that re-watch value is important to me to a certain degree, I also know that it does not truly effect how I rate my dramas.
My Favorite Dramas
Top Korean Dramas *in no particular order.
Signal, Secret, Stranger, Coffee Prince, Biscuit Teacher Star Candy, Que Sera Sera
Top Japanese Dramas * in no particular order.
Pride, Long Vacation, Liar Game Series, Kimi wa Petto, Last Cinderella
Other Top Dramas (Taiwanese, Thai, Chinese)
The First Half of My Life, In a Good Way, Devil Beside You, Samee Tee Tra, Roy Ruk Raeng Kaen
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