Timeout: Candid Musing on The Drama-Blogging Landscape.

The other night I’d ended up on a blog-hopping spree, jumping from one drama-blog to another without much thought or direction. I’ve been a drama-watcher for almost 13 years now but I’ve really only been a drama-reader for the past four, five years tops. And yes, while I guess I’m more or less a drama-writer now – this still doesn’t quite sit right on my tongue, ha – the truth is, it has never really hit me, until this moment, that there’s… so many drama-blogs out there now, as we speak.

When I first started watching dramas back in those heydays, VCDs were the In Thing … then came the DVDs, but I’m always nostalgic towards the former, you know? I wonder if it’s cos I’m really growing up and into adulthood, thus propelling me to be increasingly aware of this shifting landscape and to a degree, the limelight now thrust upon dramas. For instance, just the realization that subtitles are now so easily obtained and quick too, within 24-hours for many, as opposed to those days when I’d have to wait agonizingly and (im)patiently for weeks, months even, to just obtain subtitle for one episode – live-watching, now a common feat, was an advantage just five years ago, to say the least.

But here’s the thing and honestly, it’s a personal quibble – is mainstream truly a positive spectrum to be on? Additionally, does quantity equate quality? In the same context, surely there isn’t anything wrong with… fangirling, squeeing and their associated acts, right?

To be completely honest, after realizing I’d been in and out of a significant number of drama-blogs, I felt… weirded out, turned off almost. Which is honestly, okay, pretty obnoxious of me considering it’s not like I write about dramas, when I do, with so much depth. What I do enjoy however and am always looking for, is insightful dissections of dramas, whether in hindsight or reflection, through sarcasm, humor or very simply, good writing. But there’s also that aspect of writing and a writer’s character. Having been a blogger for 7-8 years now, I’m of course fully aware of the unofficial blogger’s oath: in a blogger’s personal space, a broad range of quirks are a yes-go whether they are in the form of narcissism, arguments, unconventional thoughts and most anything else, really. So yes, I’m aware that again, perhaps I’m being obnoxious by saying this, but I wonder if drama-writing is now somewhat a trend? The reason I am posing this as a question is because some of the blogs I’d ended up at seem to be trying very hard to be hip and insightful, or being of the polar extreme – fangirling to a degree that’s almost scary, with the kyaaaa! and oppa squealing and or thinking they’re Korean/Japanese/insert-relevant-nationality.

I was quite frankly… freaked out.

Now that it’s been a few nights since then, I’m wondering if my encounter with those blogs were really just a product of unfortunate lack of chemistry; clashes in terms of drama-interest and perhaps even, dare I say, Real Life age-gap. I know this sounds silly, but it’s also the truth: I’m the youngest of seven siblings and have always milked this position to my advantage and my entire life, I will openly admit that, thus the thought of myself growing older and hence, lots of other people being younger – I swear, I’m trying very hard not to have my mouth wide open in public at the revelation, every single time. The other day I realized that if a person’s born in 1997, he or she is thus… believe it or not, sweet 16 now. The reason I bring this up is because now that I’m putting it in perspective, I just – silly me! – realized that this means trends are changing both in and out of dramas, you know? Of course I’d now nit-pick on the newer dramas, marred by so-called experience and burned way too many times to count. Of course I’d find fluffy things now void of emotions or worse, annoyingly unbelievable. Of course now I’d tend towards shows with older-range characters, perhaps in 20-somethings onwards as opposed to the high school settings. Of course now I favor pathos and being emotionally invested over raining kisses and back-hugs – the latter which ahem, I admit is a particular weakness. Just as I am dynamic as a person, so is my drama-watcher self  and on a greater tangent, the drama landscape as a whole.

On a relevant note, I’ve been thinking about Jang Geun Suk somewhat. When I was putting together my Kdramas Collection, I kept thinking that I was being especially hard on him; he had of course popped up a fair bit, since I’ve watched a number of his shows including last year’s Love Rain. I’ll be the first to admit that that show was obviously flawed and tonally incredibly slow, but it was also a surprising heart stealer, winning me right where it mattered most. Apparently, recently he’d confessed to being burned by the show. I’ve read the same news from different sources about this and wondered if it’s a matter of being misinterpreted in translation, but regardless whether or not he’d outright dissed the show or not, this was clear enough: despite being the star of the show, he’d publicly admitted that it was a disappointment. Personally, I empathize with him but professionally, holy moly that was selfish and disrespectful, because that drama was not made up solely of him the actor, you know?

The thing about Jang Geun Suk, he’s what I’d coin as artistically eccentric. I’m not sure if he’s such by nature or product, having grown up in the entertainment industry and I don’t know how much that matters, really. It’s just that as much as I have mad respect for him as an actor, I’m turned off by this persona of his, despite understanding that it’s completely his prerogative. Does his Real Life persona reflect his ability as an actor? Hardly, I think, but it does influence his choices (not the best ones of late) and his focus (he’s clearly on his Asian Prince funk right now, with Willy Wonka fashion sense).

The reason I’m bringing him up is because here’s another case of uniqueness, you know? Originality. But – of course there’s a but. Is it then, obnoxious of me to single out or more accurately, be obviously turned off by what is simply a person’s way of expressing him or herself? In Jang Geun Suk‘s case, it’s his very self whereas in those blogs I’d blog-hopped, it’s through their sentiments towards the subject matter. Scrutinizing now, perhaps these drama-blogs provide the same sort of variety that appears in dramaland: there is a diamond in the rough, 1 in 100 probability perhaps and most importantly, that diamond will not be the same person to person. My favorite choice of coffee may very well not be yours, you know? Thus while quantity and quality are definitely intricately woven and must inevitably coexist, the highly plentiful and diverse landscape is really a melting pot of gold, offering a range of reactions (those written oppa squeals, for example), loose thoughts and everything in-between.

In terms of blogphilic specifically though, through this musing I realized that I don’t think I’ll ever allow this space to be a full-fledged drama-blog; there’s too much of myself already in here, from way back when and more to come. I love my dramas, but I love my Real Life musings just the same. But really, perhaps that’s exactly it, one in which I need to come to terms as an oldie drama-watcher, moderate drama-reader and early drama-writer: just as blogphilic appeals to some and turns others away, similarly and very simply, some blogs appeal to me while most others do not.

What’s important is I remember that this holds true: there’s indeed variety in diversity. Embrace it!

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5 thoughts on “Timeout: Candid Musing on The Drama-Blogging Landscape.

  1. Um I think your blog has some of the most insightful posts out of all the ones I follow. You are such a great writer. I am totally guilty of fangirling but I attempt not to go too overboard. >_< It is interesting to see how our tastes in dramas can change over time. I only realized that my tastes in dramas has slowly shifted after I looked back at some of my old posts.

    1. Aw Heisui, you’re too kind! Thank you though, for everything you said :) I’m definitely guilty of flailing at times too haha, but it’s blogs specially dedicated to ogle and such that flipped me out when I was blog-hopping. In small doses I think it’s very inevitable. I totally agree with you how much drama-taste has changed over the years! I feel the same too, though I’m adamant hahaha to keep loving some specific old ones even if in reality something doesn’t quite resonate in the same way it did last time.

      PS I see you’ve changed your gravatar picture! Are you watching JOJ full on now? :D

  2. The blogosphere really does offer up sooo many different styles of writing, opinions, taste, etc. And it’s HUGE! I swear it grows every day. It’s mostly just my view of it grows and expands, but you know what, it probably does grow on its own. I think in some senses, it is almost rather trendy – though I would say I started (and probably lots of other people too) not just to have a personal outlet, but because we’re just overflowing with things to say and there are only so many other people’s comment boxes we can spam a day :P

    Some sleepless nights I really have stayed up for hours pouring over one blog after another.. after another. I love finding the ones I can really mesh with. Chemistry is a factor I think – at least in our tastes and styles of writing. And/or just the personal touch. Plenty of bloggers I don’t share their opinion of dramas, but love more just interacting with their sense of humor. Others get all my little intellectual brain cells in a quiver, and some I just like to gleefully observe the K-entertainment world with. There’s a blog for every mood just about.

    On the subject of Jang Geun Suk… Lol, I don’t even know where to start with him. He’s a character, that’s all I can say. I usually do my best not include an actor’s actual self in the same thought as the character or drama in which they played. Many a movie/drama/show has been ruined because some part of the real world intruded in my happy fictional fantasies. Now it may be because JGS seems to always play such interesting roles, but I’ve never been able to really separate the persona of his roles from himself. More’s the pity. I just don’t really like the guy. This latest scoop about Love Rain though – I don’t really have an opinion. Who knows what he actually meant to say, but since I’m not really a fan, it doesn’t bother me too much.

    And, now that I’ve left such a huuuge comment (because I never discuss these things on my own blog, hehe) I’ll take my leave. xD Personally, blogphilic appeals to me. So, keep up the awesome work! – If, talking about stuff in general even feels like work to you. ;)

    1. Aw Rosie, you’re so sweet! :) And don’t worry about leaving long comments, I’m always up for discussions. Especially loved your take about JGS – I want to say he’s weird, but then I always feel a little guilty saying that out loud haha. The blogosphere in general – there’s DEFINITELY a blog for any mood you’re in and if there isn’t there’s amazingly always some kind of tumblr/gif/meme something to fit the bill. The world wide web and dramaland have grown so much!

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