I have always loved watching story in the forms of Feature Film or TV Series. Since my humble childhood, I remembered watching Japanese Cartoon, then Chinese Martial Arts series.There were also a point when my aunt and uncle introduced me with Bollywood movies.
As I grew up, I started watching more western (Hollywood and British production) movies and TV Series.
But over the years, my interests has broadened. First was due to the hugely popular Taiwanese TV Series Meteor Garden. At the time, I just came back from England. But, it was so popular that I quickly caught the fever.
Following that, Indonesia was hit by the South Korean Drama (K-Drama) invasion. The most notable among them is Full House. I did not know why I was immune to this drama. I never get to watch it fully.
My first introduction to K-drama happened when I coincidentally switch the channels of my cable TV. I came across a South Korean Drama called The Partner. I did not know who the actors and actress were at the time. But, just as I watched one episode I got hooked and end up watching the entire series!
Still, that was not enough to persuade me to fully embraced the K-drama fever. Partly because I tried hard to resist myself. I know once I watched a single episode I will get hooked and must watch them all at once. Such is the irresistible power that I prefer not to start at all.
I prefer to go back to my old territory of Hollywood movies and TV series. Until about a year a go. During our trip to Singapore, my younger daughter Hita got a fever. So, we ended up just staying in the hotel while Ratih went to Universal studio with her dad. Hita was asleep so I switched on the TV. I came across another K-Drama, Healer. And again, I just cant resist to continue watching. After that, I watched The legend of the Blue Sea, Suspicious Partner, My Love from the Star and Descendant of the Sun.
I often asked myself:
What is it about this K-Drama that made it so irresistible?
I think one of the main strength of K-Drama is the lightness and bubblegum feeling that the drama created. K-Drama series typically starred by good looking actors and actresses. Most of the time, they have very cute and sweet behavior (I wonder if the South Korean people also behave that way in reality?). The setting can vary from legal, movie industry, restaurant, hotel, architecture, you name it, they have it.
But the main feature is the believable characters. In Telenovela or Indonesian Drama, the characters are mostly portrayed as black and white. The good is very good, the bad is very bad with over the top acting. But in K-Drama, the characters feel like they are actually human being, just like us. The main protagonist can be seen as a little ditzy and dirty (Suspicious Partner) or self-centered (My Love from the stars). It is also often the case when the female protagonists involved in altercation with their competitors.
Then, the creator not just go to great details for the main characters, but also for supporting characters. In most of the drama that I watched, there are always extended characters from father, mother, friends, colleagues. Together, they created a world that we would like to join in.
Finally, the story line. Its not as dramatic as Bollywood movies, or explosive as Hollywood. But, I find that the typical story line is engaging and intriguing but also not too heavy. So, it is enough to get the audience engaged right away till the end. Owh, another thing is, the drama is usually 16 episodes or 20 episodes long. So, it wont dragged on and on (we know some Indonesia series that go on until over 200 episodes!)
Now, the title is Asian Drama and Series. So, its not just about South Korean. Last time after I finished watching one full K-drama, I tried not to watch another. So, I switched the TV on. I found one channel that shows selected movies from across Asia. I came across a Thai movie titled “I Fine…Thank You…Love You”. It was really really funny…and very light. Good if you want to escape for a while. I also watched another Thai movie titled “Single Lady”. Just like the first movie, it is equally funny and easy to follow.
After that, I kept checking at the channel to find if there are more movies that I can watch. I ended up watching two Japanese Teenage Movie called “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” and “One Week Friends”. Both movie’s story line are quite simple. Yet, I quite enjoyed watching them, because the way the characters behave are very Japanese. The emphasis on always tell the truth and be honorable are something that I really admire.
So, I am determined to watch more movies from other countries. That way, I can learn about the country’s culture.