Timeout: An Obligatory Update, Unfiltered Snark Included.

It’s 149 AM as I am writing this.

This evening while working on my homework, I found myself tearing up for a second there, out of the blue. I had to stop typing and compose myself. Just minutes ago, I lost it at my computer – its been acting up for the past year since it turned two but as I held my breath to watch the performance of Team A of WIN: Who Is Next, it had to choose that moment to freeze every ten seconds. This repeated for almost a good half hour and the residential WiFi frankly sucks once it’s past midnight that I had to keep refreshing the page and all that nonsense. What gets to me is this: the moment I screamed at it, “Fuck you!” with such strong reverberation and anger in my tone. As usual, I was sitting in the darkness of my room so you can imagine the tension at that specific moment.

Moments like these… They haven’t happened in a very long time. As far as I can recall, I don’t do sudden outbursts and I sure as hell don’t do it when I’m by myself – there’s no drama if there is no audience, correct? The alarm’s going off in my head – something is clearly amiss with me at the moment. I’m a few screws loose, I suspect.

But I… wanted to write this because I feel like if you’re sticking around my space for the drama-related write-ups, I think an update is necessary. Lots of anger though, I think. You’ve been warned.

In Kdramas, this is fact: this slump is persistent. I think this is the longest I have experienced this feeling and mental/emotional block feeling, the one that leaves me uninterested to pick up anything new or old.

Empire of Gold (2013)
Empire of Gold (2013)
  • I am still watching Empire of Gold and made it through to episode 20 last weekend. I have been telling myself to finish it because I desperately want to know the ending (don’t give it away) but when I’m not feeling dead-tired during weeknights, I’ve been emotionally stunted that I end up just going to bed early. I attempted to pick up episode 21 last night and made it through perhaps the first five minutes before my eyes drooped and my focus whittled away; another failed attempt. What else is new? I’ll get to it. Someday.
  • I last left Thorn Birds at episode 16. Last weekend, I fast-forwarded through episodes 17 and 18. I’m trying to watch the show to its completion but without my partner-in-crime (dad) when I was home, I’m clearly no longer invested to be watching by myself. There’s no one to snide and snicker with! I’ve dropped so many dramas like flies this year that it’s unsurprising if this one ends up in that list too.
  • There’s so much hoo haa about Heirs and especially so because it’s premiering next week. Frankly, I don’t understand why all the drama-bloggers whom I follow are making such a big deal about the steady, arguably excessive, promotional materials. In dramasphere where anticipation builds curiosity and piques interest, plus with a cast so vast and popular – I don’t get it, isn’t this a good thing? Maybe it’s because I’ve been so removed from the Kdrama world of late but I am just not getting the source of the complaints, bitching, groans, sarcastic or snide responses and more. People, relax can we? If you’re not interested or have had enough, then don’t click the damn links. Don’t even bother writing about them! Don’t do or say anything until it friggin’ premieres!
  • Although I’m not watching anything, I’m still keeping abreast with updates – I know what’s premiering, I’ve watched some trailers and I’ve read plenty. Perhaps the only upcoming drama I’m genuinely curious and wanting to check out is Unemployed Romance. I confess it’s because I watched the BTS video of the script reading in which Lee Young Ah surprised Nam Goong Min with a kiss on the cheek. He totally flustered while she smiled gleefully; too cute. Apparently the show has been picked up by DramaFever and it only runs once a week so who knows? Maybe this will be the one to lure me back into the black hole that is Kdrama addiction.

In Jdramas:

Nodame Cantabile (2006)
Nodame Cantabile (2006)
  • When I’m feeling down or emotionally funky as I obviously do now, if you don’t know already – I tend to find comfort in Jdramas. I’ll do a marathon of old favorites or pick a reputable not-yet-watched show. This hasn’t always worked in the past honestly and it’s not working right now. A few nights ago I rewatched Nodame Cantabile the movies to great success, and that Nodame entry is my most favorite write-up in a long, long time; I totally enjoyed and genuinely had so much fun writing it. Hope you enjoyed it too.
  • But… its been a declining trend ever since. I gave Tatta Hitotsu no Koi a rewatch a couple of nights ago but ended up fast-forwarding so much that I stopped completely. Then I picked up PRIDE, arguably one of my most favorite pick for Jdrama rom-com, but that didn’t do the trick either.
  • Here’s what I feel – what I’m feeling -: I’m feeling this insatiable kind of hunger, as if I am missing something or someone except I don’t know what it is. You know moments like this when you’d try to fill that void by reaching out for your go-to comfort food drama? Except I’ve no inclination at all to pick up Orange Days or the rest of my oldie-goodies like say, Beautiful Life. I’m scared I won’t like them as much anymore if I give them another spin now because I’m channeling so much negativity it’s downright unhealthy.
  • I’m sorry I went off on such long tangents; the short story is I’m not watching anything in this sphere either. I tried, but so far nothing’s sticking. I’ll probably still keep trying because I have zero interest with Kdramas at the moment, but personally I’m not putting my hopes high on this.

In Kvariety:

YG_WIN_TeamA_2013

  • Now this, I am watching. Two, to be specific. The first is of course WIN: Who Is Next. Today I thought to myself, I am so angry at YG CEO. I am so fucking angry at him for this open exploitation and blatant, shameless role in playing puppet master to these boys who are fed with so much pressure, expectations, do-or-die mentality and stunted perspectives when it comes to the measures of what defines success in life. They are too young to think that there’s only one chance in life that they’ll ever get – untrue. So fucking untrue.
  • Then I thought of myself as an audience and all the other audiences in the world who realize these facts and yet come back weekly anyway for our feed, equally as shameless and almost agreeing by proxy to this. Is it that it has always been this way culturally, makes it acceptable? Just because the hard work pays off mentality that’s practically brainwashed and ingrained in their minds is a cultural norm and perhaps even definition, does that then make it okay for them to be pushed to their limits in this way? Big questions, no easy answers.
  • I am Team A all the way and what the fuck was the loss this week all about? They fucking poured their heart out in that performance – the lyrics were sincere, packed a punch and melancholic. I love the concept they took because it is so true and in their current situation, those sentiments resonate even more powerfully. Here’s the video of the performance though apologies I couldn’t embed the one with subtitles – you’ve got to scour for that one yourself – but if you just give this a watch… It’s an imperfect performance but hot damn, their hearts are practically bleeding wide open in this stage than any others they’ve done in the past. You can trust my word on that. Well done, boys and thank you for such a moving performance.
  • More on WIN: Who Is Next – yes I’m ranting, forgive me. I didn’t like the first set of performances last week (both teams had their moments but were in general, all over the place), but I’m glad to hear that Team A won the viewers vote. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Team B is musically or rather, swag-wise and tonally more superior and I’m happy to give them credit where due but when I think of stakes, it’s still Team A that does me in. Someone on YouTube commented that it’s like the show’s actually geared to make us pity and sympathize with Team A and that they’re basically riding on the existing fame of both Kang Seung Yoon and Lee Seung Hoon. I beg to differ – not on the first part at least, but the second.
  • My two cents about the first point – maybe. It’s definitely in the conceptualization and editing, that I’ll say and this is a reality show: dramas equal material, which then equals audience’s attention and translates to profit. It’s business, plain and simple. Plus, who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
  • But that riding on the fame of the two boys… Please, don’t even. Maybe that’s true but over the course of the show thus far, the other three (okay, the exception being Kim Jin Woo but I’ve developed a soft spot for him from Day 1 that I’ll notice him anyway) have really stepped up into their own. Song Minho for instance is oozing with appeal and I like Nam Taehyun‘s self-assurance. Both these guys have this quiet kind of confidence in themselves as persons and in their respective crafts. Having Kang Seung Yoon in the team is totally bonus because not only is this dude mighty talented and takes the reign well (he totally stepped up in episode 7 as the leader – great job!), he’s also such a sweetheart. In short, him being supposedly famous is irrelevant. Even if he were to have hypothetically started off in this show as a newbie like the rest, he’d gain his traction anyway because personality and talent always speak for themselves, period.
  • I’m also watching We Got Married. So far I am really, really digging the new couples. I am in love with both – they are adorable in their own ways – and I’m also really enjoying the contrast in their appeals. Truthfully I feel like the Jung Yu Mi-Jung Joon Young is a couple that makes for good reality show material onscreen, but terrible once the cameras stop rolling. They’re the kind of couple that has everything going right externally but in reality, are all kinds of wrong. I feel like had this been a real relationship, they wouldn’t have lasted for very long not due to being opposites in interests but more so that they’re at completely different levels of maturity. But I’m always up to be corrected and proven wrong so please, you two – prove me wrong.
  • The second couple though… They are too cute for words. Theirs play out somewhat too perfectly but hot damn, they’re just so compatible together physically and if the show’s to be believed – personality-wise, too. I did read about how Yoon Han had apparently treated a news anchor or someone he went on an onscreen blind date with (part of some recent variety special) exactly the way he’s treating Lee So Yeon in this show, but after watching the first three episodes, personally I think it’s just his personality. He seems to have that Prince Complex or ‘tude, like he’s God-given gift to women (at least that he thinks this of himself) and seems like he was brought up very prim and proper – all manners and sophistication. In other words, it really just who he is. So when I’m watching their scenes I try my hardest to really read between the lines of his self-commentaries and his gestures – not the ones towards her but the kind where he lets out a little squeal, or laughs quietly, or is genuinely surprised by her. These little details… They give a lot away, in my opinion.

In KPop:

BIGBANG (credits to YG family)

  • Who else is tired of G-DRAGON? I love BIGBANG, we’ve established this fact and okay, at this point in time the entire world probably loves them (and him) too. But what happens when you’re totally aware you’re being loved? What happens when meta suddenly isn’t just meta anymore but practically a brand, a swagger and an attitude? I like the tunes in his new album – this is when I didn’t read the lyrics – but frankly, I’ve had enough of him singing about how great he is. One more “I am wild and young, bitch” or “swag-check” or anything along the lines of this is the G-world and so all other motherfuckers can whittle away – GD, calm the fuck down.
  • You’ve always been defined by your ego and swag, I agree – I did backtrack and watch BIGBANG documentary and you’ve had the swag even way back when – and it’s true you’re insanely talented and the world is your oyster right now, but there is a limit to the inflation of ego. There’s a distinct line between self-assurance and being obnoxious. We’re nothing alike that I’m aware I’m in no position to judge him in this way, but for the love of reality check, his fans need to stop acting like he’s God-incarnate. He’s a big, talented package in the form of a pint-sized human who’s as prone to blunders and mistakes as everyone, that’s what.
  • If you want to defend your oppa because of my statements above by the way – please do so elsewhere. I’ve no strength and interest to argue and counter-argue about something so trivial. Moving along.

I’m obviously seething in deep, unsettling anger. I am cursing way too much and bitching about everything and nothing, right? My apologies. I just wanted to let you in on where I stand on these things because the way things are going now, there will be no write-ups on anything new and it’s simple: I am not watching anything new. I haven’t been in almost three months now, really. Unfortunate?

At this point I don’t even care – not about feeling left out and out of the loop, not about my friggin’ blog stats which I used to obsess over, not about feeling obliged as I used to and not even about perceived notions online about me lately because yes, I did notice that my jandoe page received a surprisingly high number of hits this week.

This week just needs to end. I hope yours were significantly better.

It’s 259 AM right now – I’m signing off, good night.

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11 thoughts on “Timeout: An Obligatory Update, Unfiltered Snark Included.

  1. Random and unexpected outbursts when no one’s around always scare me too Lol. I don’t do it very often, but it’s actually funniest when I’m watching something by myself, and there are people around me but they’re not paying attention to what I’m doing/watching – once while watching a drama I suddenly shrieked and flipped my iPad a couple feet. I literally had every family member come running to see if I was dying. Then I had top explain (or not explain) why I did that. Ahhh so embarrassing.

    Switching topics, I get your slump. I’m in one too but I’m in denial (haha). You know, I almost want to skip Heirs just to say I did, but I know curiosity will get the best of me in the end. Last night I was feeling particularly blah about everything (despite the fact I’m currently watching Nine and I think it’s the best thing ever), so I started watching Tatta Hitotosu no Koi. Only I wasn’t on my computer so I had to search it on Youtube and the best thing I could find for a while was a version subbed with what I hoped would be Spanish subs (which I can halfway understand). Only after 10 minutes or so I realized they were probably Portuguese… Yup. I watched the whole episode with Portuguese subs. Then I found a version that had Eng subs and watched ep 2 that way.

    WIN – I still refuse to get involved in any way or form. Sadly, I’m biased and I’m not even watching the stupid show – just because Mino was a former Block B trainee and so when I check my idol tweets and I see Zico say something like “Team A fighting!” I’m like nooooo I don’t want to be biased just for something like this! But it doesn’t work. I still refuse to watch anything of it though. I just sit and get angry at YG and read about other ppl getting angry with YG and that’s good enough for me.

    Btw, I would defend my GD bias… but, since I sort of agree with you about everything – I can’t. Lol. I sort of want GD to take a personal vacation, rest, and get out of the spotlight for a while. Then write some killer songs for a real Bigbang comeback (not this promised single crap). Then I’ll get all hyped up again and return to being a VIP.

    1. Hahaha omg that story of your iPad flipping over is sooo funny, I can just about imagine it! The closest, craziest I’ve done is when I’d laugh out loud but don’t realize I’m actually being really loud cos I’ve my headphones on – the siblings sitting around me would send glares or “Are you serious? What the hell are you watching?” faces. And then they’d of course, roll their eyes once they took a peep of what’s on my screen. Oooops.

      I have heard so much about Nine and I have it sitting here in the laptop, ready to be watched or through DramaFever on the iPad but I just… can’t seem to budge. I feel like I’m not in the right emotional state, so to speak, to watch it right now – the level of enjoyment will possibly be marred. Ah I’m so sorry to hear about your Tatta no Hitotsu Koi watching experience! Pretty funny that you ended up watching in Portugese subs, but at least you managed to find the English one! I actually like the show – it’s slow and tonally very mellow, but I thought they had so much chemistry and the story dealt with the rich girl/poor boy ergo social class difference very believably. Unfortunately my second watch just the other day didn’t give it justice though.

      WIN… Ugh I’m terrible, honestly. I feel like I’m agreeing by proxy to the dude for doing this – and I’m a person of strong principles so if I feel like I’m morally compromising, it’s a huge deal whether or not anyone cares and know – but the teams, the boys, they are SO TALENTED. And such sweethearts (though I confess much like everyone else, I don’t remember half the boys of Team B). I had no idea Mino was a Block B trainee! I just thought his buddy got recruited and he didn’t. Aw shucks, that must’ve really sucked though. I like this kid (can you believe he is younger than me? HOMG I just found out last night he’s only twenty. Twenty! Not even legal!!!) because he seems very level-headed and humble – he’ll get upset, but not dramatic about things. And that voice, homg. But really – all power to you girl for not watching in the name of principle and all that! You’ve my support on that. I’ll provide you the side banters instead, heh.

      Hehe apologies, but I’m a firm believer of calling a kettle a kettle (and I tend to be in the minority when it comes to KPop, ha I’ve no idea why). I’ve always been mixed feelings about him – he’s too “out there” rad and artistic for me, the science-driven goody girl in Real Life ha – but I’ve always acknowledged his massive talent and skills. Except now… They feel excessive. They feel pompous, rebelling literally without a cause. It’s my personal opinion but it’s like his art starts losing value because he’s so all over it and himself. Can’t… just can’t. I agree with you about him taking some time off to clear his head and gain some perspectives outside of his world and realms (like go travel, backpacking or something? Get back down to the basics of human element or something to internally grow) but with the BIGBANG comeback coming soon, le sigh that’s unlikely. In some ways I’ve to just take what I like and dump what I don’t because this group’s always in the spotlight but not due to new materials that I dunno, should we be grateful they’re releasing a new single? Should we be ecstatic or is it possible for me to stay this way – quality over waiting duration? Okay I’ll admit it.. I am a difficult fan, haha.

  2. I think slumps are totally understandable. Especially when you’re going through such huge changes (not just a physical new location but deeper stuff going on, too) I can completely understand why stories — which are about other people going through their own changes — might not hit the sweet spot anymore. Either it’s too easy and it trivializes stuff, or it’s too hard and it’s depressing, or it’s too close to home and scary, or not close enough and frustrating… or just not the thing that pleases you right at this time.

    There are blocks of movies and tv-shows that I just missed. Because at that point in my life that kind of entertainment just wasn’t entertaining. (It’s kind of cool now, in retrospect. I’ll run across something I haven’t seen which I totally would have seen because it’s right up my alley and then I’ll see the release date and remember, “oh yeah, that’s when we were…” — it’s like a little nostalgia tag or something.)

    My advice (if you want it and you can totally skip it — I won’t mind a bit ;)) is to just let the slump be the slump. The dramas won’t disappear. And later on, when suddenly dramas are exactly what you need, you’ll have a lovely little backlog of missed gems (that have been recced as actual gems so you don’t have to worry about sorting them yourself — bonus!) just waiting to be watched.

    Instead, enjoy what does work for you. (In this case it sounds like various Variety shows — could be other stuff too — there may be a home-improvement-show love just waiting in the wings, or in a completely different direction, a whole lot of good books… who knows?) Someday you may find yourself bored with Variety and itching for an angst-filled drama. But that day doesn’t have to be now.

    1. Betsy, thank you so, so much :) You hit the nail right in the coffin when you said this:
      “Either it’s too easy and it trivializes stuff, or it’s too hard and it’s depressing, or it’s too close to home and scary, or not close enough and frustrating… or just not the thing that pleases you right at this time.”

      It’s… all of the above, which just makes it doubly (triply?) harder.

      Of course I won’t skip your advice :) And such thoughtfulness too. You’re totally right that I need to just get over the fact that I’m in a slump – the end, full stop. Let it be, ride it out and like you said hopefully when I’m ready to jump right back in, I’ll be greeted by missed gems! Here’s to hoping.

      I’ve gone back to books, you hit it right again! Just bought my copy of GF & JB’s ebook to support them and then I’d bought Jhumpa Lahiri’s (my favorite author, the way she prose leaves me in tears every time…) new novel. I’ve also been rereading some of my Young Adult novels (did you read the Traveling Pants?) whenever I’ve some free time. Mostly variety works just because my attention span is terribly short lately – it’s easy to pick up and let go whenever and whichever. I’ll jump into random episodes or chunks of an episode – the fact that there’s no need for commitments makes it easier.

      And then there’s the writing I do here. I realize I’ve jumped from so many different topics at random, just goes to show what a clutter of a mind I have at the moment. And funnily, there’s more that I want to purge, of course but I’m beginning to feel like I’m sounding a tad like a broken record.

      “But that day doesn’t have to be now.”

      You’re right, absolutely right. Thank you :)

      1. Irony is? I’ve been in a book-slump. :D Which had been bugging me. But, after I did some good reading on my last trip (and then had to finish up what I was reading while fighting off life-demands — hence the radio silence, sorry), I realized that I need to be in a pretty specific headspace to enjoy reading. Which is currently hard to find.

        K-dramas fill that void very well at the moment, though. And I figure I’ll enjoy books when I have the time to let myself enjoy them. So I’m taking my own advice! ;) And thanks for your recs, btw. I’ve not read Jhumpa Lahiri’s books — but I’ve heard good things about her so she’s tucked even more firmly away as a good author to check out in the future. (The books that pulled me in were by Guy Gavirel Kay, fyi. The Lions of Al-Rassan, and the two books in The Sarantine Mosaic. Because one good rec deserves another. :))

        1. Haha I’m just gonna jump into hour conversation and take Betsy’s advice about slumps, because I too have been in a book slump and it completely bothers me. But as you say, they’re not going anywhere (and I know, because I’m looking at hundreds of unread books on my own bookshelves). And btw, the Lions of Al-Rassan… Fabulous. Most things by that author are.

          1. Isn’t he good? I don’t know how I missed him for so long… But now I’ve got a lovely backlist of really good books to read. When I’m back to a place where reading is doable and I don’t feel like there’s a ticking clock over my head every time I pick a book up. ;)

  3. I love reading your thoughts on WIN because they make so much rational sense and is similar to mine lol. But seriously, its great how you can judge them like a normal viewer rather than a fangirl. KSY totally stepped up to the leader challenge, though poor mino, i felt so bad watching that part.. And yes, drama is totally being edited a certain way on the show. But thats what makes us want to come back for more.

    So my question is, what’s your personal opinion on if they debut as 11 members? I was wondering the other day and wanted to get a second opinion. Do you think hanbin would be automatic leader? would his aggressive personality clash with taehyun and seungyoon’s more sensitive/quite ones? Would bobby and hanbin be too hip hop?

    love your blog and comments on kvariety shows. please keep posting them! :)

      1. Hey Mel, thanks for dropping by and for the kind words :) I just posted a mega-long post about my thoughts on Team A (and here and there about ep 9), but I touched upon the team of 11 concept – which I’m totally not for. BUT the questions you posed are interesting, really! I’m gonna answer them in an entry when I can, cos I already know that my answers will be long hahaha. Don’t know how soon I can write it, but definitely before the finale airs!

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