I’ve fallen in love with Korean Dramas (which is appropriate considering their subject matter). Before watching them, I’d been aware of Korean cinema for a several years – thanks to my undergraduate degree I got to study films like Bin Jip by Kim Ki-duk. I loved Bin Jip so much I quickly consumed as many of Kim’s films as I could find at my local video store (I miss you Casa Video!). And of course, I’ve seen the classic Old Boy from Park Chan-wook – I think the film is now a mainstay on the Cinephile Must Watch List, especially for those with an interest in what comes out of Asia.
When I was an undergrad, I spent one of my summers working for University Conference Services. It was one of those great campus jobs where you get to live on campus with the rest of your fellow employees. During the day, we would go through the different dorms on campus and get them ready for various summer programs that housed people on campus. You know, sports camps, astronomy camps, etc. For whatever reason, a majority of my coworkers were Korean. They were all U of A students from a variety of majors who needed summer jobs to meet some specific requirements for their exchange program. Maybe there were people from other places, but everyone in my wing of the dorm was from Korea and I spent most of my time with them. I will never forget all of the ladies running home after we’d finished working to watch dramas together in their rooms. I really wanted to join in, but none of their shows were subtitled and I was too shy to ask to join them, especially since it added the burden of them having to translate everything for me. They were so passionate about their shows, I didn’t want to do anything to lessen their enjoyment. They were serious about these stories. Right around the time I was working up my nerve to ask them more, I ended up quitting the job because I was having health issues.
The idea of watching a Korean Drama always appealed to me ever since. What was it that had so many of my friends absolutely entranced in their shows? It seemed like it was right up my TV obsessive alley. I don’t exactly remember when I finally decided to take the plunge – it was at least a summer ago, if not two. I couldn’t remember any of the shows the ladies had been watching that summer, so I logged into my Hulu account and selected Scent of A Woman completely at random. The title jumped out at me, since it’s also the name of a 1992 film staring Al Pacino and I wondered if the show was somehow inspired by the movie. Without going into detail about the show, I will say that yes, the movie plays a role in the drama.
I really don’t know what I was expecting, but I loved it. It was amazing and it made me cry. My friends will tell you that I’ve used the phrase “I like things that make me cry” more times than I could hope to count. I’m not an easy crier, but when I do, it’s like a river. And something doesn’t have to be sad to make me cry – it can be happy, inspiring, funny…(the list goes on). I ran the twitter feed for Educating [Geeks] during Cosmos this season and it’s pretty obvious that I’ve emptied an entire box of tissues over Cosmos. So…yeah.
Since Scent of A Woman I’ve watched about 5 series and so far every one I’ve picked I’ve liked. I’ve been desperately looking for someone to watch / talk about my dramas with, but so far no one is interested in joining me. Since this kind of crap is what the internet was invented for, I figured I’d take to the airwaves. Come find me drama fans! What shows have you watched? Which have you liked or disliked? Which are your favorites?