Sometimes when you start an Asian drama, it is love at first sight. You start marathoning it with no problem, eager to see what happens in the next episode. Then, there are other times when you start a drama, and you let those unwatched episodes languish in your queue. Here are some of mine!
Sometimes, it’s not you, it’s me. That’s the case for Ryomaden, a Japanese historical drama about Ryoma Sakamoto, key figure in resistance to the Tokugawa shogunate. There’s nothing wrong with it. I like Fukuyama Yasaharu as the titular samurai (that curly hair doesn’t hurt!). The child actor who plays the younger Ryoma makes for the cutest baby samurai ever! Yet, I’m just not feeling live-action samurai culture right now. Maybe it’s because I’m completely messed up by the insanity that is the Gintama anime series. At any rate, I’m stuck at episode 1.
I fully intend on giving Ryomaden a shot. Sometimes, though, I hesitate to finish a drama for absurd reasons. It took me weeks to watch Divorce Lawyers because…..I felt the opening credits were too long! C’mon, I could go the kitchen and get several snacks during it. However, I eventually got past them, and finished the show. It was pretty good, and I picked up a favorite new leading actor, Wu Xi Bo!
Other times, it’s definitely the drama. I try to make it work, but the drama just doesn’t deliver. I wanted to dropkick The Fierce Wife, a 2010 Taiwanese drama. I stuck it out for NINE episodes before I realized that the wife really isn’t all that fierce. I suspect that this happens in later episodes, but it is painful to see how her husband is cheating with her cousin IN THE HOUSE and our wife doesn’t even know. Plus, she’s uber nice, making it that much worse! I know this is my Western bias talking: I want the wife to kick her husband to the curb. But at the same time, it’s hard to watch. The Fierce Wife is on indefinite hiatus.
No drama is immune, even ones with your favorite actors. I was excited to watch Two Weeks with Lee Joon Ki. He’s been a favorite of mine since his performance in Iljimae. But, I was not too keen on his character in Two Weeks. Dude has issues. I couldn’t even stick around to see the solving of the mystery that surrounds him. Sometimes, it is the way the drama treats your favorite actors. I’m almost always up for a sageuk, and was super-excited to see Uhm Tae Woong in Sword and Flower. I liked how this K-drama looked in terms of how it was shot. But I was NOT having the way the female lead’s character treated my bae Tae Woong, so I never finished it! I also didn’t finish the other “flower” K-drama that was out at the time, Cruel Palace: War of Flowers.
Then, there are dramas that I know I’m obligated to finish at some point, lest Asian drama police come and get me. This would include Jumong (don’t judge me, Jewel in the Palace (DON’T JUDGE ME!), Bridal Mask, Sign, Brain, Secret Door, Queen of Ambition, ST: Scientific Task Force. . . You know, now that I’m listing them, I realize I need to get back to my Asian dramas! Bye!
This Goes Out To All My Asian Dramas That I Haven’t Finished by CeeFu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
One thought on “This Goes Out To All My Asian Dramas That I Haven’t Finished”
Mmm. Uhm Tae Woong in Sword and Flower. Mr. Coca Cola eyes. You are right, that show did him a great disservice. I always think of him as the Keanu Reeves of Korean acting – a lovely, blank slate that other actors can project onto. Unfortunately, no one was projecting to him. I watched halfway, then skipped to the end and watched it in reverse in order to make it though. I’d recommend that technique. I have only completely dropped one or two (Ghost, Jewel in the Palace) things – the others will remain until one day when there is absolutely nothing else to watch.