When Part 1 of this series was published, someone sent me a message asking how to find previous articles. Well, unless you have time and patience to browse thru pages as I did with this project, it's easier to find them using Advanced Search feature. For example, you want to find an article about 'second lead syndrome'. Type in the keywords in the search box. If it's a phrase like this example, highlight and copy them. The search generates zero results, as the regular feature only looks for people names and drama/movie titles. Scroll down the screen, and on the left side, you will see Advanced Search box with the words you're looking for. Click on the 'Articles' option. Still, no result is given, but you will see more options under Articles and the words you're looking for disappearing. Type in again. This is why copying the phrase is an advantage since you just paste what you have copied. Then click 'Search'. Voila, the articles come up!
In this part, I compiled unique articles that are either reflective or informative. Clicking on the picture or the title takes you to the article. Clicking on "Writer's articles" takes you to a list of the articles they wrote. Clicking on the writer's name takes you to his/her profile. The ideas I came up with for future writers are in green words. When writing articles, please follow the Formatting and Writing Guidelines. This article can also be read in Dark Mode.
|"Addressing the many issues of having a love triangle in a drama. "|
I like what the writer defined love triangle in a romantic drama as "the most complicated non-existent problem". Indeed in our normal real life, how often have we ever experienced or heard about love triangles from people in general (noncelebrity) around us? What I meant is the real love triangles, not the one-sided love. The writer described how love triangles could negatively affect one party involved AND the watchers. Moreover, she and the commenters had a good discussion about the topic and provided some example of romantic dramas that don't have love triangles or have them done right.
Having read the article, I wondered on which romantic drama have what is considered as a 'good' love triangle, and which one has no love triangle? And what is considered a good love triangle? Is it the one that strengthens the main couple's relationship or character growth? I have read articles in MDL on second leads or second lead syndrome, but I don't recall any article on good love triangles or no love triangles. In many romantic drama pages, I read people asking: "Is there any love triangle? Between who and who? How bad is it?" Those repeating questions gave us a general idea that drama watchers would love reading articles discussing romantic dramas with good love triangles or no love triangles.
"Ebisuno92's retrospective looks at Godzilla's history, movies, and more, 65 years since the monster's conception."
I was educated while reading the writer's article, especially the origin part. Although I had heard about Godzilla and watched a movie about it when I was little, I did not really understand the 'historical' background of the Japanese monster. I thought it was just like the Loch Ness monster that is believed to be a survivor from the prehistoric era. But Godzilla's origin creation was deeper than that, as the writer stated it's "an allegory of nuclear holocaust and World War II trauma".
We know there is no way to compare Godzilla The King of Monsters with other Asian fictional monsters, but it will be fun if we as Asian drama fans get to know more about the lesser-known 'evils'. Many of them are sourced from Asian culture beliefs and folklore. For example, Thai has a long list of ghosts that are introduced and preserved in their movies and dramas, and I just came across one of them called kuman thong in Mue Prab Khao Saan Sek. How about the globally known zombie culture with Korean flair in Zombie Detective, where our handsome, hilarious, and humane zombie is created from illegal dumping of medical waste? Or the jelly-like monsters that are completely created out-of-nowhere as a residue of human desire, that make many watchers flabbergasted in The School Nurse Files? Watching monstrous fictional creatures in dramas and movies is always a fun experience despite their scariness. Tons of them were produced in Asian entertainment industries, and many of them are unknown or less known, waiting for you to discover and write about.
"Have you ever had SLS (Second Lead Syndrome) before? Well, now it's time for the new thing, the SRS (Supporting Role Syndrome)! If you ever loved a character just to find out, they are only an extra; this is the article for you. "
I love how the writer created a new term of SRS based on the popular term SLS. I am a drama watcher who is 'guilty' of not paying attention to specific supporting roles. Although I have never missed any drama's main plot, I might have missed great acting of some awesome supporting characters. When I think the drama becomes draggy, I tend to skip or speed up scenes when supporting roles are on screen, especially the ones who are boring or annoying.
Some comments of this article expressed their wishes to see future articles on supporting characters from different countries like China and Thailand. When I searched to find whether articles on Chinese or Thai supporting roles have been written since then, I did not find any. Chinese dramas usually show plenty of supportive supporting characters. Meanwhile, Thai dramas maybe lack them, since they love creating villains and unsupportive characters out of the main lead's own family members. I remember while watching the extreme lakorn Sawan Biang, at some point, no one supports the Female Lead, that I wanted to jump into the screen to rescue her, lol! So, if there are awesome supporting characters in lakorns, they are definitely worth to be written about. In general, there are many awesome supporting characters who we come to love and wish they have their own stories in the form of sequels or second seasons.
Informative by Mitta
"Six outstanding K-Drama Ahjussis whose faces we've all seen before. But do you know their names? "
Initially, I planned to use the writer's article on children characters until I read this article and the writer's amusing poem. Just in case you don't read the article, you got to read this:
"They don’t make our hearts go pitter-patter.
They don’t have to-die-for washboard abs.
They don’t grace the drama posters or highlight reels.
And, they definitely don’t get the leading lady."
The writer was right stating that she saw the particular ahjussis everywhere in K-dramas. Even a commenter stated that her non-drama-fan husband recognized a K-drama ahjussi who frequently appeared in many K-dramas. Often times, when I watch a drama, I recognize one or two familiar face(s). They tickle my curiosity to look through the actor/actress's profile and check which of his/her other dramas I have seen. There are also veteran actors and actresses, who although never got main roles, their acting is superb, and they can play multifaceted characters. In a way, I think they are more experienced, as they have acted in various characters in a shorter time than the main actors/actress have. Sometimes their roles were conflicting, on one filming day they played a villain in a drama and the next day they played a good character in another drama. Drama watchers need to know more about these "unsung drama heroes" (as the writer coined), either more ahjussis and ahjummas from newer K-dramas, or from other countries: the Chinese uncles (叔叔 = shū shu) and aunties (阿姨 = ā yí), the Thai uncles (ลุง = luŋ) and aunties (ป้า = P̂ā), and Japanese uncles (おじ さん = Oji-san) and aunties (おばさん = oba-san)
Reflective by Tae
"Is it merely a slump, or is there much more to it than that? A breakdown from falling in love with dramas to falling out of love with new dramas."
Is Romance Dead In Kdramas? (Falling Out of Love With Dramas: Part 2)
In this article and its sequel, the writer wondered why she no longer has the same passion watching K-dramas (particularly the romantic ones) as she did before during her 4-5 years journey in dramaland. I admired her long time dedication of K-dramas, I don't think I would have the same loyalty since I get bored easily. I have only been in dramaland for only one year, and I already tried out dramas from other countries than South Korea. I was curious and adventurous.
I would be happy to see more articles from other drama fans out who have been in dramaland for many years or watched hundreds even thousands of dramas: do they still have the same dedication, preference, and views on certain features of drama? I wonder myself where I will be in five years from now, will I still have the same drama preferences? At this time, my preferences are romcoms, romances, and/or comedies. Will I go down to darker and scarier places with crimes, horrors, thrillers, and/or tragedies? Who knows, and I may write an article about it on my 5th MDL anniversary.
"Do your friends love Asian dramas? Do they have a wish list for this season? Get your gift ideas here! "
Only last year the MDLers were able to enjoy items connected to dramas they loved thru product list compiled in this article. There were also links to where we could buy them. Some items were quite relatable, such as drama channel subscriptions and merchandise from specific dramas. Some items looked like PPL we watched in the dramas, mainly the beauty and personal care products. Others were quite unique, such as cookbooks and language learning books. And I specifically loved the last one: the fandom guidebooks from several countries and Kpop book. I am looking forward to see an article of the 2020 compilation of gift ideas, hopefully, published early enough to give some time for purchasing and shipping (this article was published on December 17, 2020). Some of the comments in the article asked on information on drama merchandise from other countries, for example: the Female Lead's earrings from the famous Chinese drama Eternal Love.
One article idea that would be interesting to write is a collection of gift ideas based on what drama characters presented to their loved ones, either they were bought or self-made. In this case, the occasion can be birthdays or Valentine's Day. Several times I saw drama characters made and decorated their own sandwiches, cakes, cookies, or candies. For example, there is actually a cookie recipe for the Hana Yori Dango drama franchise called Domyouji Cookies (Japanese version) or Dao Ming Si Cookies (Chinese version). Or a gift perfect during COVID-19 pandemic: a self-made mask as seen in My Dear Lady.
Informative by noona
"Most movies have the entire plot perfectly planned out with different points to the story leading to a solved ending, just like a story. But there are some movies that are just simply raw, they don't have an exact beginning or ending. "
I have to admit, the longer I'm in dramaland, the fewer movies I watched. I'm not sure why but probably the short duration of a movie leaves me unsatisfied. For example, as I was writing this comment, I just finished watching the action movie Vanguard, and I was disappointed and questioned the lack of plot. Before 'dwelling' in dramaland, I was highly entertained by every Jackie Chan's movies I watched. Another reason for not watching movies is the long waiting period for the subbed versions to be released.
But I think even if we are avid drama watchers we absolutely need to watch movies in-between dramas to avoid drama slump. Particularly movies that are different than our preferred drama features or genres. For example, we tend to watch dramas with real endings, either happy or sad. Therefore, movies with unsolved endings as listed in this article may become good choices to watch. We need to know more about unique movies like these ones. Another unique idea future writers can get from reading this article is the track of songs the writer provided that match the tone of the article. I have never seen it in other articles! I actually played the track as background music while reading her articles!
Reflective by Unnie25
"My initial thoughts when I first started watching these dramas vs Now and how my viewpoints changed. In order to get my new viewpoints, I had read recaps to refresh my memory. "
This article is quite unique as the writer was fair on the rating of the dramas she rewatched. Some new ratings are either higher, the same, or lower than what she rated before. I actually envy everyone who was able to rewatch his/her favorite dramas. I haven't gotten the privilege of rewatching (in full) any drama. I was only able to watch some dramas partially to get information or screenshots for my articles. If I ever have a chance to watch a drama fully, then Strong Woman Do Bong Soon will be the first come to mind.
To satiate my 'envy', I would love to read articles on the 5Ws and 1H of rewatching dramas: What drama or what genre? Whose dramas did you rewatch? When did you rewatch: right after you finish it or there is a certain time period? Where did you rewatch it: in the same channel or different, the raw or subbed version? Why did you rewatch a certain drama? Lastly, how did you rewatch: binge-watching or taking your time? Future writers can also use the similar idea as this writer's idea: comparing their favorite dramas watched the first time in the past and again in the present. Another writing idea is rewatching dramas that were rated 10 when watched the first time, will you still rate them 10?
Informative by Kyle
"A look into various interesting instances of the above mentioned within Sky Castle."
Usually I don't pay attention to filming techniques while watching a drama, unless the technique used obviously annoys me. For example, shots of a kissing scene from too many different angles, lol. So, this article became a good source of fast learning on filming a drama. As I haven't watched SKY Castle, I also got to know about the drama, as well as the technical features discussed here: motifs through tracking shot, symbolism through gestures, and mirroring through foreshadowing.
Even without any formal educational background on cinematography, future writers can write 'technical' articles about drama. You can pick either positive techniques used in which enhance the watching experience, for example, the ones discussed in this article. As the writer concluded: "There is always something about seeing a well-written drama also be well executed...". In the negative side, we can write articles on anything technical in drama making, that makes dramas draggy or boring. For example bad editing: I have seen a tiresome shot of five minutes of a character walking along a hallway without anything happens. Or overuse of a shot/scene I have mentioned above (kissing scene from many different angles). Another example: overused of repetitive flashback of the character's past. Another subject to write can be the overuse or wrong placement of background music (BGM) and sound.
[not the original article cover]
In almost every drama that received several to a lot of reviews, we see reviews that make us think: "Why the reviewer only watched a few episodes, reviewed it, but never completed it?"; "Why the reviewer gave a 10 rate but dropped the drama?"; "Why there is a review though the drama hasn't started yet?", etc. This writer must have similar questions in her mind, that she conducted a survey to ask MDLers on drama/movie reviews: why read reviews, spoilers, time taken to write a review, and why write a review. The writer then reported the survey results in this one-and-only meticulous article on review writing. I love the message written by the writer that she hoped that drama reviewers "keep in mind what to effect and how the people who will read it will be affected".
Articles about MDL reviewers have been written in a concise manner, for anyone, who is interested in writing a review, may want to read these two 2020 articles:
However, writing articles that review movies/dramas is an entirely different thing than writing reviews, as more aspects need to be taken into consideration. So knowing the experiences and ways of any article writer reviewing a drama/movie is quite interesting.
One uniqueness of this writer I wanted to point out was the use of a survey to gather information for writing an article purpose. She also conducted a survey for her other article, Drama Rating - An Emotional Topic. Future writers can also gather information by conducting survey for their articles.
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 4 WITH DIFFERENT WRITERS
Image credits: I do not own any of the images used. Credits go to the respective owners. The cover image is an official film still of Chicago Typewriter. To honor the writers' effort in searching, choosing, and reformatting pictures, I used their original article's cover images. Last article image is from dreamstime.com.
Edited by: YW (1st editor) and Jojo (2nd editor)