As stated in Part 1, my original objectives to write this series are to promote past articles, recommend article ideas, and give tribute to the writers. However, after three parts were published (see the links below), I have found another benefit: to motivate past writers to write again. As seen in some comments: "in fact, you're making me want to write again!" (Miss-lestrudel, whose article is featured here); "I'm not gonna lie, seeing you go through the process has awakened something inside me" (Lumiere, the article in Part 2); or "You've made me want to pick up a pen again" (Wandering_Queen, the article in Part 3). As some articles I picked are either the first article written by the writers or their one and only article, I would be thrilled to see past writers write articles again.
In this part, I compiled unique articles that are either reflective, informative, or entertaining from Seonsaeng and Ebisuno92, shaz22, Natsu2, Miss-lestrudel, Kairi of the Sky, KDramaQueen91, kez, Wiam Najjar, PickyMcpickleton, and Amy. 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. Any linked source is in italic. The ideas I came up with for future writers are underlined. When writing articles, please follow the Formatting and Writing Guidelines. This article can also be read in Dark Mode.
"Seonsaeng and Ebisuno92's introduction into dramas and movies from the Hermit Kingdom. "
This article is one of a kind, due to its limited products, resources, as well as the sensitivity of the topic. Without preaching the ideology of communism, the writers brought knowledge to readers about North Korea's entertainment industry, in which, no doubt it was used as a propaganda tool to their movies/dramas watchers. I particularly like the kidnapping story and trivia.
Articles on North Korea in MDL are usually about its relationship with South Korea that was depicted in SK dramas/movies. Even that I only found two: The first one is an NK-SK issue on the particular drama Over-Analyzing: Crash Landing on You (Ep. 1, Part 1). The second is a light-hearted one that touches NK-SK relationship and other inter-country relationships in dramas in The North/South Divide. In connection with the latter article, I would love to read more articles on global political relationships in dramas/movies. To write on a sensitive issue like politics, please "take extra care to be respectful and to notify readers of possible triggers." (MDL Article Guide)
In the past, I have also seen articles on dramas/movies from other Asian countries not represented in MDL, for example from India, Pakistan, Turkey, etc. It will be fun to see similar articles like that again, for example on shows from Vietnamese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian, and other Asian countries.
"A hypothetical analysis of Asian drama addiction. "
This article is a riot. The writer discusses a global yet localized disease she coined as "Drama Craze" (DC) that is "an infectious disease in men and women caused by the virus of the family dramaaddictionviridae, more commonly known as Asian Drama viruses (ADVs)". I won't talk more about it, just read it! Note also that the zombie-like article cover image really fits the topic. The writer also wrote other funny articles similar to this, please check out her list.
My purpose using this article in this section is simple: as long as we are not banned from laughing yet, everyone can write satiric or parodic articles on drama/movie topics, genres, or tags. As long as the topic is within the Writing Guidelines. It's freedom of expression called comedy. Since the Greeks invented comical plays in their ancient Greek theaters, the genre has survived until now. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle stated that comedy is "generally positive for society since it brings forth happiness" (Wikipedia).
For example on the genre: we read articles on 'my [x amount] favorite romantic dramas', but why not write on 'my [x amount] favorite romantic dramas to be laughed about'. For tags: instead of writing on 'my top arranged marriage/relationship dramas', why not write about 'my top ridiculous arranged relationship dramas'. For newbies, I wonder if any writer will take the challenge to write any comical article on a particular over-hyped, over-rated drama. Of course, don't forget to insert a disclaimer as borrowed from this article's writer that "my view isn't necessarily the same as others -- no hard feelings".
"Curious how schools in Japanese actually work? Natsu2 breaks it down for us - The question now is, how anxious are you to go and experience the Japanese school system?"
I haven't watched many school/college dramas, but I enjoyed reading an article that actually explained about a school system from a country which dramas I watched. It's nice to see the comments that readers also joined in explaining their own country's school systems.
I'm surprised that this is the only article that talked about the school system of a country which dramas/movies we watched. One of the article's comments requested anyone to write about the South-Korean school system, considering there are so many school Korean dramas/movies out there. We also want to know about the school systems in other countries which shows are represented in MDL. And how their highschool dramas and movies match or do not match with it. I want to know about school rules. For example, uniform. I had always thought that China only has public schools since I watched kids wearing tracksuits in their school dramas. I recently watched school C-dramas High School Big Bang and Her Smile So Sweet with private schools settings, and I was surprised the students wear pretty uniforms like in Japan and South Korea. Regarding uniforms, I wonder if in Thai universities there is a requirement to wear uniforms in the university. In Thai school dramas I watched college kids wear the same white top and black bottom uniform similar to their high school uniform, for example as obviously seen in Senior Secret Love: My Lil Boy 2, in which the college uniform is comparable to the high school uniform worn in its prequel Senior Secret Love: My Lil Boy. Since I watched more Cdramas, I am inquisitive about Chinese school rules that I assumed are very strict due to the country's ideology—for example, the mandatory military training in universities. Also in High School Big Bang, it was mentioned about a rule in the student handbook that prohibits dating, or what they called it 'puppy love'. Is it probably the reason we don't see much romance in Chinese high school dramas?
Side Note: I praise the writer's interest in the topic and the effort put in writing the article, regardless of his/her unfamiliarity with the school system prior to this. Therefore, I convinced anyone could write articles on school system from other countries. ;D
"Want a drama or movie that matches the mood you're in? Well, you've found the very first drama/movie mood ring!"
What interesting inception of the article, it tells us we can just come up with a writing idea from any source not connected to drama/ movie! And thank you for explaining what a mood ring is since I had no clue what it was. Anyone who wants to know more about mood rings can read the Wikipedia description and an experiment article.
Side note: Just in case it's still wintering when you read this, and you need something to watch in the wintry mood, there is an article recommending winter watch:
Deciding on what to watch next apparently can be quite daunting, especially after you get to know MDL website, lol! More and more dramas/movies are introduced and recommended, even just by looking at the homepage! MDLers even made pleas by creating voting lists for the help of others to make decisions. This is an example in which the voting list creator stated that it takes a significant amount of time to decide what to watch: Which drama should I watch next?
I have seen several articles on how to drop dramas, one of them was written by this writer (Letting a Drama Go). However, I have not seen any article on how to, not what to, choose dramas to watch. It will be great to see people writing articles with tips on choosing what drama to watch.
|"A MAN WITH DREAMS NEEDS A WOMAN WITH VISION :) "|
I haven't watched any of the power couples mentioned in this article, although General and I has been on my PTW list for a while. Since I am a sucker for seeing a couple that both strong in their own rights, I'm looking forward to watching that drama! I agreed with the writer about how tiresome it is watching dramas about annoying royal couples with a weak female lead who needs to be rescued most of the time. Gosh, any annoying non-royal couple with either bad ML or FL!
I wonder if the writer will make part 2 of this article since its publish date, there were more historical dramas released (especially C-dramas) with couples that do not only look good together, but they also form great teamwork.
Too many times, we see couples in which one is superior to the other. The cliche is usually the male leads are better looking, richer, smarter, are in a higher position, and/or stronger (physically or mentally) than the female leads. Someone becomes dependent on the other person. I think nowadays in romantic dramas we prefer to see couples that both the male and the female characters are at the same or similar level of strength, although they have different skills and talents they work together harmoniously. Therefore, we need to write articles on identifying power couples both in historical and modern dramas. Since power couples are not only in the royals (as discussed in this article), but also influential couples in their own right in politics, entertainment, sports, and/or business.
"KDramaQueen91 defines the two staples of subtitle theology, as well as some frustrating aspects of the art of subbing."
In spite of the fact that the writer might try to be serious in explaining how the difference of subtitles format (literal or modified) can either support or fail a drama, and the difference of recipients (first-time K-drama watchers and the veterans), but I couldn't help laugh reading it. This article is hilarious, even just by looking at the pictures shown how horrible the translation on certain dramas.
So the writer only wrote about weird subtitles in K-dramas and anime. Please don't make us start complaining about how horrible subs in C-dramas in 2020, due to the flood of releases after their 100-day ban in 2019 was over. Even some official channels that usually provide good subs were overwhelmed, used Google translation, or only translated popular dramas to appease the international audience's demands. Regarding translation from Chinese to English, another article below explains how difficult it is to translate Chinese OST to English, especially for the historical/costume drama.
The lack of English sub from native languages motivates some experienced viewers to brave themselves to watch the raw version. I am inquisitive how they were able to do that. Therefore, there is a need for an article explaining how viewers can watch in the native language and still be able to understand the plot, although they don't speak that language.
|"This is an open letter to all the K-drama fans like me. "|
I love this short and sweet article. It definitely urges the readers to take care of their well-being: sleep, time management, and get out of the couch the explore the world outside dramaland (aka the real-life). Although the writer only focused on Kdramas, the article applies to all drama fans who watch C-dramas that can have 20-60 episodes, Filipino dramas with 100ish episodes, Thai dramas that are only 12 episodes but 1 1/2 to 2 hours running time per episode, or Jdramas with 10 or fewer episodes that can be marathoned in one day/night.
Binge-watchers who only watch a drama when it completely subbed suffer easily from sleepless nights, messy schedules, and shut-in, as the temptation of watching 'one more episode' is strong. However, those who watch 10+ currently airing dramas may also fall into these traps. Unless you have someone who keeps an eye on your schedule (parents, for example), you are on your own on juggling between dramaland and real life.
More articles need to being written on balancing drama addiction, with topics like time management, self-control, smart-watch, healthy things to do while watching dramas (ex: exercising, socializing), etc. Have you ever been to a watch party? Tell us about it in an article, do you really make friends?
Another thing I want to mention is the short and simple format of this article. Any writer loves to pour out his/her idea(s) and emotion into an article and designs the layout as pretty as possible. Without realizing it, we can make our article long and complicated. And poor readers cannot view the article and/or comment on it due to the limitation of their devices and/or internet connection. The lack of pictures in this article is interesting, and without a doubt, was deliberately made so. By the end, not only that the writer was able to communicate her idea, but the readers also reflected on the bad habit of lack of sleeping caused by watching dramas!
by Wiam Najjar
"Let's take a look at some hot bad guys/girls..."
Unlike other articles where I talked about the topic, I want to talk about writing series. The writer is one of the few who wrote many series of her articles. Besides this series of 6 articles prepared in a year, she also wrote the series below:
Actors over 40 who never cease to amaze (7 parts in 3 months)
Korean Actresses Over 40 Who Never Cease to Amaze (6 parts in 6 months)
Schools in Korean Dramas and Films (8 parts in 4 months)
Korean Heroes and Heroines of the Year 1990 (8 parts in one year)
Blooming Genius: Korean Child Actors/Actresses (5 parts in 2 months)
All six series were published within 1 1/2 year, so I assumed the writing preparation also takes about the same length.
Writing a series takes more preparation time and dedication than just writing individual articles. Before collecting the resources, the writer needs to see the big picture of how many in total the person/character/drama or movie/topic will be presented and divided into parts, in which each part should be presented concisely. While collecting resources, all can be collected one time that takes less writing time but may need re-watching (if the theme is certain dramas/movies). Or else to be collected while the writer casually watches dramas/movies. The latter resource collection takes longer, so in this case, needs the writer's dedication in writing the series, or he/she may lose interest in the long run.
"Series of articles defending the so-called terrible dramas. I start with The Heirs!"
The writer braced herself to write in favor of The Heirs, a popular K-drama (by the time this article is submitted, it ranked #6 of popularity in this site with 82K+ MDL watchers) that received mixed opinions. She was fair enough to introduce the couple as "two very uninteresting leads" with a very outdated romance trope of rich guy/poor girl. However, she further defended the drama with some good features that you better read the article yourself since I won't spoil her article. Apparently, the writer can be a 'defense lawyer' in dramaland, as she also wrote another article Rated Horribly with Love.
As the writer titled her article as The Defense Series, hence she must have planned to write other articles under this series. However, none has been published since then. It's unknown whether the reason is simply tight real-life schedules or there were no more popular dramas to be upheld. How about Boys Over Flowers, everyone? Or the newer popular dramas like The King: Eternal Monarch that also received mixed reviews.
I'm glad that the writer decided to write this entertaining article, as when I read down further in the comment section, she stated that "this article was supposed to be deleted as [she] didn't think it was good enough". There were more articles written criticizing overrated/overhyped dramas but not the other way around. We need more writers who dare enough to write articles 'defending' popular dramas that received lots of critics ;D.
"This MDL'er attempts to translate Chinese Drama OST lyrics into English. See how it goes inside! "
I admired the writer, who is a native Chinese, therefore has learned Chinese at a young age, translated two of her favorite OST songs from The Eternal Love and Three Miles of Peach Blossoms. Although the writer modestly stated that the translation was "a horrible attempt", she still could capture the beauty of the lyrics into understandable interpretations. I think it's okay if we are not able to immerse into the songs, as long as we can capture the essence. As the writer stated, there are double metaphors ("one metaphor on top of another") in the lyrics. For someone who collected OSTs of the dramas/movies I watched in my completed dramas/movies in the 2020 list (and in the future 2021 list), I would love to understand the meaning of some of my favorite OSTs. I use the OSTs I compiled in the above list as background music while I'm doing anything else than watching a drama/movie. Though I may sing along a song with a terrible accent (since I'm not a native from either country which dramas I watched), at least it's satisfying being able to understand what the song is about. ;D
It has been a while since this article was written in 2018, and so far it seems this was the only one for Chinese historical/costume drama OST. and I wonder if there will be any future article similar to this one, explaining the meaning of the OSTs in some historical/costume dramas/movies. Several articles have been written describing the lyrics of modern dramas of any country, but it seems harder in historical dramas due to the poetic language used. It never goes wrong by looking up for OST ideas from great dramas in MDL's top shows and top movies lists. How about The Untamed, anyone?
TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 5 WITH DIFFERENT WRITERS
Acknowledgements: Thank you to all the writers who gave me your consent to use your articles for your support and excitement. Also, to Jojo for giving me advice and help during the writing process. Lastly, to 3GGG for giving me advice on the visual layout the second time.
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 to search, choose, and reformat pictures, I used their original article's cover images.