I don’t know if I’ve gotten pickier or if the Korean dramas have dropped off in quality, recently, but in contrast to least year, when I watched a bunch of series beginning to end (Arang and the Magistrate, Nice Guy, History of the Salaryman, The King of Drama…), now I’m dropping the current ones after a few episodes. It might be genre – I’ve been trying out spy stories, and gotta say – worst spies ever. Let’s have loud conversations about state secrets while someone’s lurking behind a pillar a few feet away. And a ditzy lady spies accidentally fire their guns and moon after other spies like schoolgirls. And male spies who moon after female spies and cover for them repeatedly if they happen to be traitors. And not all of these shows are comedies.
Also, the cliches – I was a newbie last year, so everything was fresh and wacky, but now, amnesia again? The patriarch of the family just got bad news, so get ready for the heart attack. And the heroine is about to step into traffic without looking so the hero will pull her back into a deeply moving hug (they should put up warning signs showing high-heeled women staggering into traffic). This feels wrong, but I’ve started laughing at the sad moments in the melodramas.
Still, there’s one current series I find absorbing – That Winter, the Wind Blows. In episode 8, the meaning of the title is explained, sort of, but it still sounds weird and cryptic. Nevertheless, the show’s got good acting, a cool almost noirish vibe and I haven’t laughed inappropriately, yet (despite a few familiar drama obsessions like blindness, brain tumors, parental abandonment, orphanages, birth secrets and corporate machinations).