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Are Kdramas as good as they were back then?


Sleepy Owl
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Are Kdramas as good as they were back then?  

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  1. 1. Do you think current dramas (aired in or after 2020) are as good (or even better) than the ones aired before them?

    • Yes, I think they are better than the ones aired before.
    • Yes, I think they are as good as the older kdramas
    • No, I think the older kdramas were better
  2. 2. Why have you lost interest in Kdramas? (Choose as many as you like)

    • There are more high quality international (non-kdrama) series available than before and prefer watching them.
    • Boring and unoriginal plots (I've seen the same formula used multiple times before)
    • Too many clichés and kdrama tropes used
    • Too many different platforms to watch dramas.
    • Too many dramas with many seasons.
    • Kdramas are overproduced nowadays. Too many to choose from.
    • I just seem to drop most dramas I start nowadays.
    • I require shorter dramas (8-12 episodes tops)
    • The episodes are too long (90 mins)
    • Dramas get draggy at some point and feel slow paced.
    • Bad quality writing
    • Poor acting. Too many idol and model actors get lead roles without proper skills nowadays.
    • Not enough star power (famous quality actors) in dramas nowadays.
    • Too many dramas produced of the same genre (sageuk/law/crime/rom-coms)
    • Not enough diversity with regard to physical appearances (not just beautiful & skinny actors) and/or sexual orientation (not much LGBTQ+ shown)
    • Too many dramas/cast end up in a scandal/controversy.
    • Too many manhwa/webtoon adaptations instead of original writing.
    • Somehing else. Please mention.
    • I still find kdramas interesting and enjoy watching them.

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  • Poll closed on 07/01/2022 at 01:00 PM

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Are Kdramas as good as they were back then?

 

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Chingus, we all have been watching Kdramas for sometime now. Some of us have just landed in the kdramaland, and some have been part of it for several years now. Over the years, the Kdramas' popularity has increased worldwide, thanks to their quality, and also several streaming platforms that saw the potential in their worldwide viewership and made them more accessible. 

 

But, for the past few months, or maybe even a year, I have had this constant feeling that "Last year's dramas were a lot better than this year's one". This surely does not take away the fact that I have had some dramas from the recent years (even this year) among my list of top dramas, and enjoyed them a lot, but, looking at them overall, I don't really think I felt like last few years had many very good dramas.

 

ji-chang-wook-thinking.gif

 

 

So, we EOs have decided to have this event to ask you guys your views on this topic. Do you think you enjoyed the older dramas a lot more than you are now? Do you feel the current dramas are maybe lacking something that the older ones had? OR do you think otherwise? Have you lost interest in Kdramas lately or do you find yourself constantly dropping them? Tell us about it. Also, I have a prepared a small poll which is part of this event, where you can choose a possible reason for why you don't enjoy the kdramas as you used to do before. Or, if you think otherwise, tell us why you feel current dramas are better than the ones aired before.

 

Also do tell us Chingus, what do you think would make kdramas good enough to bring back your interest in them :fullofhearts:

 

 

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Please feel free to reach out to us anytime with your suggestions for events :biubiu:

Your Friendly Neighborhood and Resident EOs

@partyon @agenth @confusedheart @Sleepy Owl

 

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Too many manhwa/webtoon adaptations instead of original writing.

i kind of like this additional source of drama ideas though..

 

also, its a good way to give recognition to the creative manhwa/webtoon authors and help reach out to more viewers on their works.. although sometimes how it's been directed or edited as a drama might not turn out as great as when its in manhwa/webtoon format.

 

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cr.: owner

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I don't think the tropes is an issue at all. tropes are there for a reason and can be entertaining. if you think about it, some tropes are legendary because they exist throughout literature. here, it comes down to packaging I feel. maybe the idol actors or just the direction -- there is a lack of sticky factor. basically you watch on auto pilot and there is a lack of reaction where you want to tune in to the next episode and post all your thoughts on the forum. for whatever reason, the older dramas had that sticky factor where people loved chatting and posting their reactions. now we watch with half eye closed. 

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I still love kdramas and watch them but I am choosy. I generally like dramas that are emotionally wrenching and with a trope of revenge stuck in the middle of it. I think that as modern thinking  evolves, the stories also evolve with them. For example, the role of a female protagonist has evolved as the laws of the country and gender awareness has evolved. There was a time when adultery was against the law and in Kdramas or maybe even other Asian dramas it was the female who loses even if the man was the adulterer and there was more angst in my opinion for the females in the older dramas. Also, female leads are being given a stronger stance, and they are actually the ones moving the story as in the present drama I am watching, Eve, and recent past dramas One the Woman, It is Okay Not to Be OK, and dramas that sometimes everyone hates and no one watches but myself :grin:. For me, K dramas are still my favorite. Just my thinking here but as the dramas go international, the writers maybe adjusting there storytelling to the western/international mindset and that sometimes loses the K flavor and the sticky factor of the older dramas.

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Er, I don't consider dramas before 2020 as "old," that's too small a time period to evaluate a trend. Been watching for a number of years now (and I went back and retroactively watched many older ones that came out prior to my introduction to Kdramaland). I think that it's easier to find less-tropey ones now than before. Some of the early classic ones (I'm thinking early 2010s, not 2020) are so very cringe in the trope sense, lol. Newer ones feel more emotionally realistic to me, and while of course some tropes will never die, you can still find examples where they are contested or dropped or at least acknowledged with a smile as tropey. What I don't like is the Netflix effect. I'm glad that Netflix makes some otherwise hard to find shows more globally available. But I haaaaaaaaaaate multiple seasons. The whole reason I'm watching Korean media and not western is because it guarantees me an actual story, with a beginning, middle and ending. I HATE the western way of doing TV shows, where it just runs season after season until people get bored and the show is dropped (with no ending). Aside from wanting basic good storytelling, I also think it's better if actors can do a project and finish it and then try something else. This way they are less likely to get typecast as well. I love the variety that one single actor can show in Korea, and I don't want to mess that up.

 

The other thing in the Netflix effect is to jack up the edgier elements in dramas to be more like western shows. I think if you want something with a ton of sex and violence on screen, then there are many western shows to choose from. But having the option to explore serious topics without relying on on-screen shock value to keep interest is important. I've always admired the way Korea can explore some pretty deep/heavy topics while neither infantilizing the subject nor putting shock value above story. Sometimes the Netflix end seems to push that line a bit, though. 

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The episodes are too long (90 mins)

 

Although I can sit through more than 180min movies, it just doesn't feel right for me if it's a drama episode. Somehow, missing one episode would mean missing so much of the drama. It even gives the feel that too much is squeezed in an episode.

 

And yep, bad acting especially by the main cast would be major turn off, and a very good reason to drop the drama. 

 

I would see a drama that has nothing new in its plot if the acting is on point. There's just so much pleasure watching an actor or actress who becomes the character they play.

 

As for the other reason not mentioned among the choices, the speaking voices of some actors/actresses would sometimes grate my nerves. Hence, even if the story is very interesting, I'd rather drop it than be irritated further.

 

I'm not really a fan of too much dubbing of voice artists as they mostly do in costume Cdramas (reason due to getting the correct accent for a certain era), but if the actual voice simply doesn't sound right, the producers should know what to do.

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As someone that grew up watching all major Asian dramas: Chinese, Thai, Indian, Japanese, and Korean — if you watch long enough - you’ll start to get realllllllly picky. It seems creatively - they hit a ceiling and it takes a year or so before something really new, innovative comes along. What I do personally is to take a break and switch over to another one while a new series may catch my interest. 
 

i did this for Cdrama and only started to watch again after Nirvana on Fire - now I watch 1 or 3 series if they get my interest but I will still drop any drama like a hot potato if it isn’t just for me. Like I watch maybe one Thai Lakorn a year now because nothing is appealing to me. Ditto re Japanese dramas and for Indian drama - I perfect their films lately - long enough lol. 

 

for K drama I find recent gems are truly wonderful and couldn’t have been made before or in an earlier time. Like I live Kingdom and it def couldn’t be made before its time and it is a very good production, writing, cast, and all that. Move to Heaven and series with strong social commentary too. 

 

That said - there are soooooo many Kdrama now - so you should be selective - there’s no way to watch them all. It’s the same for Western shows. I am really more selective re the melondrama, love affairs, and such - they don’t interest me much. 
 

older drama have the benefit of nostalgia but also how to say simpler stories - I would still watch Dae Jang Geum every few years just for how happy and satisfactory the story was - characters included. 

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The draggy to-fill-in- the-time episodes just turn me off. 
The usual hackneyed story of awful MIL, rich-poor leads and the simple minded good characters who win only in the last few episodes - of course i am talking mostly ahout dailies. 
The 16 -20 episodes shows are better but they still have draggy scenes and often unneccessary flashbacks. Cheap?

Webtoons are a mixed bag, good and bad. 
I do watch kdramas because I don't have to think. Just rant when I don't like it. Some are really enjoyable - minus the boring slow parts.  Old or current ones can be good or bad.
One has to think before commenting on serious plays.

 

One thing that I noticed was a 'current' trend. During the Autumn in my heart, Stairway to Heaven time, they seemed to compete in making them as miserable as possible. Then the sageuks with old Korean kings, I always got their names mixed. Not that it's good or bad, then or now. Just gets tedius.

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6 minutes ago, Yinye said:

As someone that grew up watching all major Asian dramas: Chinese, Thai, Indian, Japanese, and Korean — if you watch long enough - you’ll start to get realllllllly picky. It seems creatively - they hit a ceiling and it takes a year or so before something really new, innovative comes along. What I do personally is to take a break and switch over to another one while a new series may catch my interest. 
 

I mostly agree here, you do start to get picky Lol.

 

But keeping that aside, I do get bored of kdramas, 2021/22 Content is better than 2020 FOR SURE.

What happened in 2020 was the Return of Hallyu Men and that led Netflix and other platforms to bet on their stardom and fandom rather than concentrating on the story itself. Also yes Genre Repetition. 

A Big turndown for me happens because of :

  • BGM and lack of chemistry between the actors.
  • Often times in Modern drama The ML FL just are In love like makes no sense why <Doom At Your Service, TONT, Lovers of the Red Sky, TKEM> to name  a few, I am ok fall in love or show the audience that you have to but the main Plot goes down the drain bcuz of that I feel. They HAF TO BE the Endgame hence They are in love
  • insertion of random Love scenes not at all needed in the show...I mean...
  • Also the chemistry and situations aren't half as good like older kdramas had. <My Girl had chemistry and its major point was the OST, Coffee Prince had chemistry, MLFAS Had chemistry with cliche troop, Heirs had the Actors playing teens and their interpersonal chemistry worked, Dream High had the story and the SML/ML characterization was good.>
  • Older kdramas focused on 40-60 Love story to Story now a days its 80:20 Love Story to Story which annoys me. Those were the ones in 2020/2021 which made me mad lol.

Also Fantasy took a big dive in 2021...

  • TONT - First half was so good, the moment they made the villain go on the redemption arc and topped the Love part, it went downhill and was anti-climatic
  • LOTRS - I still dont know why they were in love, the buildup was not believable.

Now 2021 and 2022 had Good Dramas with STORYLINE. Most of them were Slice of Love still Lol.

  • Hospital Playlist..How you do Unit Stories and Main Story brilliantly, also Break into seasons and get a successful one too < S1 was still better lol>
  • Mr Queen ... How to do Saeguk+Comedy and Own it ...
  • Our Blues....EXCELLENT and Deep
  • Home Town Chacha Cha,,..did not have the most novel story but the Interpersonal Chemistry and Execution Worked
  • Pachinko...STORY and Content is the BOSS!
  • Its Ok not to be OK ...You can be famous yet be interesting..again the Love story and CP wasn't the main focus to loose the Plot.
  • 25/21 ...Reminiscent of Reply 88 and 94 lol
  • Yumis Cells S1 ;,,,,How a slow show can still work if you had chemistry and flow..S2 however is Not the same it lacks there big time...

 

My love with Kdrama is convoluted it seems lol.

 

 

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Hi everyone and thanks for this really interesting subject of discussion :).

Since I'm quite a new Kdrama viewer, with only around 20 dramas I've actually watched ( and most of them were broadcasted after 2019), I suppose I'm not that qualified re the matter:D.

 

However I should say I find all recent Kdramas I've watched very entertaining; I haven't dropped any of them. I think to be really happy with your dramalist you should just carefully choose dramas - the genre you like, the actors who are your favorites, stories thst you find captivating and intriguing, etc. ( do not torture yourself with the drama simply bcs it is super popular and everyone around is raving about it).

 

This won't give you 100% "viewership satisfaction" guarantee:lol:, but  for me it really works so far)). 

 

 

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:waves: guys!

 

Thank you @Sleepy Owl chingu for the tag! I've always been late to vote lately. :D

 

To be honest, I've watched only few K-dramas in the past few months/ years because my father was severely ill. And he passed away last month so haven't tried many dramas recently either! :bawling: But I am gonna try my best! My favorite korean actor is coming back to the K-dramaland next month! So looking forward to see him and recharge myself! ♥

 

Hope you guys will have fun! See you later! :heart:

 

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I still love k-dramas (all types as I'm now even watching weekly dramas instead of just dailies or weekend dramas) but I have to admit the idol actors thing bugs me. Not all idols are made for acting. There's definitely an overproduction of the same genres, like sageuks and rom-coms. Even daily dramas are actually worse today than they used to be back then... and that's saying a lot!

 

I've started watching American soap operas again, Bold and the Beautiful's recent storylines are getting good. Daily drama writers need to take notes! Or watch Filipino teleseryes or Spanish telenovelas. THOSE are the levels of makjang I wanna see in all the makjang dramas I watch, not just dailies. Bring back the stars to dailies, bring back good writers, dark dailies, good storylines, and great acting.

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I think kdramas these days are more diverse and yet, I can`t watch as much as I used to watch. I even have difficulty watching kdramas that I like. I don`t have a mood to watch anything.  I am tired, I am getting old.... I don`t know. I hope it is just a phase

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7 hours ago, sadthe1st said:

although sometimes how it's been directed or edited as a drama might not turn out as great as when its in manhwa/webtoon format.

 

Uhm, like in Tomorrow? :kicks:Poor Lee Soo Hyuk oppa! :crybaby:

They should have re-written his role in such a way that he would have been the lead, because based on the ratings and the feedback from both k-netz and i-netz, the director and writer totally missed the mark on this one.

@joccu @philosophie and @rocher22 surely agree? :handsup:

 

4 hours ago, MayanEcho said:

And yep, bad acting especially by the main cast would be major turn off, and a very good reason to drop the drama. 

 

4 hours ago, Sky Kang said:

I see poor acting topping the poll :joy:

 

Hardly a surprise. Too many cardboard oppas and unnies in kdramas nowadays. :bawling:

 

2 hours ago, leo2020 said:

I haven't dropped any of them.

 

I drop 95% of all dramas I watch nowadays. With over a decade of kdramas behind me, I just cannot spend even an extra second watching something I know is gonna be a disaster. I guess I have become better at also predicting which dramas won't turn out to be satisfying - since all dramas are so similar in nature, it's clear which ones are duds.

 

All the dramas I have dropped during the last month like a hot potato:

tenor.gif&f=1&nofb=1

(about 12 of them)

 

4 hours ago, Yinye said:

Like I watch maybe one Thai Lakorn a year now because nothing is appealing to me.

 

@Lmangla @joccu and I watch Thai lakorns from time to time to get our barf drama fix. :D Thai lakorns do that really well. :D

 

Except for the latest lakorn @joccu and I are currently watching. That one takes the cake in barfiness. :scream:

tenor.gif?itemid=3556274&f=1&nofb=1

 

 

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8 hours ago, sadthe1st said:

also, its a good way to give recognition to the creative manhwa/webtoon authors and help reach out to more viewers on their works.. although sometimes how it's been directed or edited as a drama might not turn out as great as when its in manhwa/webtoon format.

 

 

I think I agree with @maribella Chingu on the webtoon based dramas being either hit or miss. 

 

6 hours ago, Lmangla said:

I don't think the tropes is an issue at all. tropes are there for a reason and can be entertaining.

 

While I partially agree with you Noona, I seriously think that it is time for some tropes to stop. Its like we see them in almost all dramas, multiple times, and it kinda makes the writing feel repetitive actually. I do totally agree that most of the recent dramas have had lacked the sticky factors like they previously used to have. 

 

4 hours ago, lila21 said:

Also, female leads are being given a stronger stance, and they are actually the ones moving the story as in the present drama I am watching, Eve, and recent past dramas One the Woman, It is Okay Not to Be OK, and dramas that sometimes everyone hates and no one watches but myself :grin:.

 

I actually love "Female Centric" dramas Chingu :piggydance:. I enjoy watching dramas with very well written characters. 

 

4 hours ago, Yinye said:

older drama have the benefit of nostalgia but also how to say simpler stories - I would still watch Dae Jang Geum every few years just for how happy and satisfactory the story was - characters included. 

 

 

I am a simple guy, I see Dae Jang Geum being mentioned, I have to share this, 

 

6b9cfa0244b4b0b711123e44b6166571--dae-ja

 

4 hours ago, Sky Kang said:

I see poor acting topping the poll :joy:

 

Too many Cardboard Oppas, Unnies and Noonas nowadays :sweats:

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5 hours ago, maribella said:

Then the sageuks with old Korean kings, I always got their names mixed.

 

I just find sageuks tedious because of all the politics. Period.

 

Me watching a sageuk:

200.gif


Poor @ferily chingu who really tried to get me to like them... :tears:

 

4 hours ago, madmad min said:

Older kdramas focused on 40-60 Love story to Story now a days its 80:20 Love Story to Story which annoys me.

 

Preach Peyton List GIF by Disney Channel

 

Too much love story nowadays. :rage:

 

4 hours ago, madmad min said:

My love with Kdrama is convoluted it seems lol.

 

Like most kdrama plots nowadays, chingu.... :smashes:

 

53 minutes ago, Sleepy Owl said:

While I partially agree with you Noona, I seriously think that it is time for some tropes to stop.

 

I vote for the Truck of Doom to stop!!!!!!!!!!!!

:evilelmo:

 

 @agenthremind me again, why even @LeftCoastOppa doesn't like Truck of Dooms anymore? :D

DifficultChillyDeinonychus-size_restrict

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7 hours ago, frozentundra said:

Er, I don't consider dramas before 2020 as "old," that's too small a time period to evaluate a trend. Been watching for a number of years now (and I went back and retroactively watched many older ones that came out prior to my introduction to Kdramaland). I think that it's easier to find less-tropey ones now than before. Some of the early classic ones (I'm thinking early 2010s, not 2020) are so very cringe in the trope sense, lol. Newer ones feel more emotionally realistic to me, and while of course some tropes will never die, you can still find examples where they are contested or dropped or at least acknowledged with a smile as tropey. What I don't like is the Netflix effect. I'm glad that Netflix makes some otherwise hard to find shows more globally available. But I haaaaaaaaaaate multiple seasons. The whole reason I'm watching Korean media and not western is because it guarantees me an actual story, with a beginning, middle and ending. I HATE the western way of doing TV shows, where it just runs season after season until people get bored and the show is dropped (with no ending). Aside from wanting basic good storytelling, I also think it's better if actors can do a project and finish it and then try something else. This way they are less likely to get typecast as well. I love the variety that one single actor can show in Korea, and I don't want to mess that up.

 

The other thing in the Netflix effect is to jack up the edgier elements in dramas to be more like western shows. I think if you want something with a ton of sex and violence on screen, then there are many western shows to choose from. But having the option to explore serious topics without relying on on-screen shock value to keep interest is important. I've always admired the way Korea can explore some pretty deep/heavy topics while neither infantilizing the subject nor putting shock value above story. Sometimes the Netflix end seems to push that line a bit, though. 

 

Well said. I also hate the netflix effect on kdrama.

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1 hour ago, partyon said:

 

Uhm, like in Tomorrow? :kicks:Poor Lee Soo Hyuk oppa! :crybaby:

They should have re-written his role in such a way that he would have been the lead, because based on the ratings and the feedback from both k-netz and i-netz, the director and writer totally missed the mark on this one.

@joccu @philosophie and @rocher22 surely agree? :handsup:

 

 

Yep, so true..  but even though he was the SL it was a good role.  :D

 

 

original.gif

https://weheartit.com/entry/127717654

 

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6 hours ago, partyon said:

Uhm, like in Tomorrow? Poor Lee Soo Hyuk oppa!

HAHAHAHA chingu, i knew this would be coming!!

also how the production team shortlist the team of leads and co stars..

sometimes good plot+bad casts.. or bad plot+good casts makes a huge difference

 

Seth Meyers Whatever GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers

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