So I’ve had this idea for a little over three years now. Every time I’d hear about an old drama or movie I’d look online hoping there was a recap or at least a good summary available to read before deciding whether it was actually worth my time to watch it. Or sometimes I wouldn’t want to watch it, but my curiosity was piqued enough that I’d at least want to read about it.
Every time my search came up empty, I’d wish that somebody ran a site with quality recaps of older Korean dramas and movies. One day I got this strange thought–maybe I could be that somebody– maybe I could start a blog and recap all those dramas and movies I’d looked for but couldn’t find. However, I immediately started thinking of all the reasons I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it. I don’t have the time. I don’t speak Korean. I don’t know enough about Korean culture and history to accurately interpret and translate what’s going on, etc. The excuses, though valid, were never ending. But a couple of months ago I decided to go for it in spite of those reasons and just see what happens.
In the last few months in my attempts to prepare to launch this blog, I’ve found that recapping is the least of my worries. I should have started a blog about trying to start a blog. It’s a lot more complicated and difficult than I thought, especially for a terminally technologically challenged individual like myself. I still haven’t figured everything out but my goal was to launch in January and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Luckily, I will probably have only one reader for a long time (my dear sister, who has been very encouraging and is the only person in my life who didn’t look at me like I was a nut when I said I was starting a blog about classic Korean dramas) so I can make mistakes and hopefully have the kinks ironed out by the time anyone else in dramaland knows this blog exists.
But eventually I do hope that this becomes a comprehensive site to discuss classic Korean dramas and movies. When I think back to three years ago when I first had this idea and realize how many dramas I could have added by now, it makes me lament the fact that I waited this long. But I’m here now and I am ready to make my small contribution to dramaland, a land that I’ve come to love since I first stumbled across a Korean drama way back in 2009 (it feels like it was decades ago).
The first drama on the block is what I consider (according to my research) the ultimate classic drama: Sandglass ! I’d tried watching it a few years ago but never made it past the first episode. But I’ve gone back to it as I prepared to start this blog and I’m finding that it’s actually quite good, especially considering it’s a few days shy of its twentieth birthday.
Sandglass was one of the early dramas that reached “national drama” status, i.e. its ratings surpassed 40% of the country’s viewership. According to the folks over at Dramafever and YesAsia, businesses and stores closed early so people could be home in time to catch this show. Its peak viewership rating of 64.5% lends some credence to these claims and the subject matter seems particularly poignant considering there was barely a decade between its airing and some of the actual events depicted in the drama.
After the Sandglass recaps, I’m not totally sure what I’ll be recapping. I have a tentative list in my head, but because the next drama I thought about recapping is another melodrama, I think it’s probably a no-go at this point. Korean rom-coms are melodramatic enough for my sensibilities. Authentic Korean melos can be much too depressing for me. Someone I really love always dies. And the suffering isn’t just the run-of-the-mill down-on-my-luck suffering. No, the characters have to be dragged down to hell and sometimes they stay in hell and die instead of being rewarded with happier times after all that pain. I think I’ll need something lighter after the heaviness of Sandglass. In that case, I’ll likely choose something fun and save the melo for the third drama series I recap here. Either way, I look forward to things to come and am excited to get started. See you next time!
Photo credit: ·tlc∙ / iWoman / CC BY
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