Hello, fellow drama watchers! As we all know, MyDramaList has a lot of wonderful features - we can read articles, communicate with other drama enthusiasts on the feeds and comment section, we can play games, etc. on the forums, we can vote for our favourites on the voting lists, and we can also read and write reviews of the dramas and movies we like/dislike. There are a lot of reviewers here on this site who share their opinion on different dramas, movies, specials etc. and whose reviews often help us to decide whether to watch a show or not which is very important. And of course, these reviewers make MDL even better!
In this article, you'll be able to get to know some of the reviewers here and, hopefully, get inspired by us and decide to write reviews on your own! :)
THE REVIEWERS INTERVIEWED FOR THIS ARTICLE
Q1: Tell me more about yourself – who are you, how did you get into Asian dramas, which are your favourite dramas/genres, etc.?
Minarii I'm Minarii, but you can call me Nicks. I've been watching Asian dramas since February 2017, and I discovered them thanks to Goblin, which was my first drama. I'm a historical dramas enthusiast, I also love medical, law and psychological shows. My favourite dramas are Dr. Romantic and Six Flying Dragons.
Kate I'm Kate, what a surprise, who would have guessed! :) I've been watching dramas since... 2008? Good few years. The spark that turned me into a drama obsessed no-life was an anime "Chobits", kind of. I was watching it with my sister, and later tried to google some more titles and came across a website with Asian cinema. I have watched Hanazakari No Kimitachi E and fell into a rabbit hole, never to see the sunlight again. Lol. For the genres I watch more or less everything, except melodrama, though crime and horror are my top picks. Some of my favourite dramas: Chicago Typewriter, Life, Prison Playbook, Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People, The Guest and The Untamed.
Palak I am Palak from India! It's quite a story about how I got into watching Asian dramas. It started back in 2011 when I was in school. Back then, Facebook was all the rage, and there was this particular fan page for a Kdrama called I'm sorry, I Love you. Not only did it have over 1 million fans (a big deal back then), 110 of my Facebook friends were "fans" of it. So I became curious about this drama. But I couldn't find it anywhere. Finally, six months later, someone uploaded it on Youtube like a miracle, and I watched it. By the time I finished, I was in love! I remember crying all night after I was done with the final episode. My mom asked me the next day if I had eye-sty or something. But my eyes were just puffy from all the crying. LOL! And the funniest part, all 110 of those friends had liked the Facebook page for the phrase "I'm sorry I love you" and not for the actual show. Haha. But anyway, there was no looking back for me!
PeachBlossomGoddess I am just an ordinary person in a neverending quest for work-life balance. Been watching forever - as a kid, my drama addict technology challenged grandma bribed me with ice cream to change VCR tapes for her. Drama (and wine) is my escape from work, family, friends and just life. I love historical political, wuxia and xianxia costume dramas most but I also like mysteries and the really dark noir stuff only the Westerners (so far) do well.
Jeana I am Jeana. A sassy lil nugget who loves Asian dramas. I watch them for the fantabulous shower abs, folks. Yep, that's it. I got into watching them with Playful Kiss (yikes, I know. I was a kid, and Baek Seung Jo looked cute back then. Don't ask me the rest.) Favourite dramas have to be Empress Ki and Cruel City to this day. Badass men and women, emotions, story, intrigue, chemistry, great acting- what more do you want, hm? Genres? I'll watch anything as long as it has a good story line, writing and acting. Oh, and it doesn't bore me to death. That's important too! :D
Manicmuse I go by ManicMuse, and I'm from New York City. I got into dramas through my obsession with foreign horror movies. A friend heard me raving about A Tale of Two Sisters and asked if I ever watched any Korean TV shows. I had no clue what she was talking about, and she suggested that I watch Boys Over Flowers, but somehow I watched Personal Taste instead (Lee Min Ho's latest at the time). I didn't get it at first, but then I was losing sleep watching episodes. I was utterly addicted! This also explains my profile pic. It reminds me of that moment.
kingsqueen I'm an over 40 woman from the central US. Back in the mid-2000's my husband I were into Bollywood movies. We fell out of that when they started to become more westernized. A few years later, a blogging friend mentioned Korean dramas and seemed pretty obsessed with Lee Min Ho. Since I love different cultures, I thought I might give it a try. I watched part of one episode of Flower Boy Ramen Shop and was just not impressed at all. So I quit and didn't think much more about it. THEN, in the spring of 2015, I was hunting for something to watch on Netflix and came across Fated To Love You. I started watching and couldn't stop. It was a culture shock for sure. And not anything at all like Bollywood. So I started researching Korean culture and acquainting myself with some of the customs that I saw on screen. And as soon as Fated To Love You was over (and getting my husband hooked as well!) I needed another "fix". I tumbled down the rabbit hole of Korean drama and haven't looked back! I am, first and foremost, a romance girl. And contract relationships/ forced co-habitation tropes are my crack. LOL! But I've also got a taste for fantasy/supernatural romances and 'slice of life' dramas as well. I tend to avoid anything overly political and am not really fond of straight historical dramas (usually for the afore-mentioned political aversion). Historicals only have appeal if they are some sort of fusion or time travel. Fated To Love You is still one of my favourite rom-coms, topped by Oh My Venus. Both are so re-watchable for me because they were fun and gave me all the heart-fluttering feelings. Prison Playbook and Reply 1988 are a couple of my favourite 'slice of life' dramas. Both a little heavier, but made me so emotional.
xXabsintheXx I'm a medical assistant (changed my profession 3 years ago, I was a waitress before), 35 y/o and German. I got into Asian dramas because of animes. I'm a huge fan of Skip Beat. So, when I found out, there would be a live-action drama, I was head over heels for that. Well, after that, I couldn't stop and needed more "drama" in my life. My favourite dramas are Cain & Abel, Chicago Typewriter, King2Hearts, Money Flower, The Guest... and many more. There are so many great dramas out there, it's hard to only choose one as your favourite. I also haven't watched all the other dramas out there yet, especially the newer ones. I'm sure there are some gems I haven't found yet. My favourite genres are crime, medical (though in most dramas I cringe a lot because of the medical aspects), horror/sci-fi, romance, makjang and sageuk.
Q2: How did you decide to write reviews on MDL? What motivated you? Did you have experience with writing reviews before joining MDL?
Minarii I wrote my first review in 2018. Back then, I wasn't active here at all, but I thought "Oh, there are so many people writing reviews here, maybe I should try too?" I was very insecure back then hahaha, I didn't have any experience. My first review was of Beautiful Gong Shim, which surprised me quite nicely, so I decided to share my thoughts about it. Now I'm trying my best to review everything I finish, which is quite the challenge, haha, but I'm doing quite well so far.
Kate The first review I wrote was for Are You Human Too?. I was simply too impressed with how the drama handled the idea of self-learning AI and disappointed not more people were as impressed as I was, hence I wanted to share my views. I truly started to write reviews regularly only after I discovered feeds and the fantastic community. It made me want to share my opinions more since I had such a good time getting to know other people's views too. I had no prior experience in writing reviews (if we don't count that one time during English class in high school, lol). For 2020 I'm more ambitious: I decided to review every show and movie I will watch. For now, it's going well :)
Palak I joined MDL in 2012, and the first thing I did was write a string of reviews. I was super excited, and most of them were super spoiler-y reviews. LOL. Now that I think about it, I think a few members complained to Skye, and he sent me a message telling me to delete them. But I was so proud of my work, I just pretended to not understand the technology and the whole system of deletion, haha. To all those who I terrorized with my reviews from back then, my sincere apologies to you guys. Haha :)
PeachBlossomGoddess When I tried to rewatch classics I loved growing up, to my dismay I found I forgot why I loved them so much and just couldn't recapture those moments. So my reviews are like my diary, so I won't forget how I felt, what I loved and what I didn't. I haven't written reviews before MDL.
Jeana You know when you finish a drama, you're full of all these emotions and feelings. So, writing reviews for me is a way to freeze these feelings in time. It's a track record of how my mind and how I perceive things has changed over time. What I like now, I didn't like before. And what I love now, I didn't think I'd even look at a few years back. So, it's a way of documenting my own journey and seeing how I have matured over time. I go back and read them sometimes and see what I used to like and feel in a different time. I did have previous experience with writing reviews. I was already writing on Goodreads, MAL and IMDb but none got the overwhelming response my reviews got on MDL, and that also went a long way in motivating me to stick with it.
Manicmuse I found MDL on my quest to find new dramas to watch. I loved the idea of peer-reviewed and rated shows, which made it easier to navigate a world I knew so little about. I know how helpful these reviews were for me in deciding what to watch, so I decided to write reviews as well to help others like me. That's still my motivation when writing any review. It's also a fun outlet for me since none of my friends IRL watch dramas… except for the person who got me hooked. It's nice to have a space where I can vent, rave, and commiserate about these shows!
kingsqueen I started writing reviews of dramas pretty much as soon as I joined and added all my watched dramas to my list. I was so happy to have found a place to keep up with all the shows I had watched. I just enjoy writing reviews I think. I write reviews on Google, Yelp, and Amazon for places, restaurants, and purchases. I like sharing the experiences I've had, and I think I just enjoy writing in general. Plus, when I watch so many shows, it was also for me, in a way, as well -- sometimes shows start to run together and it's nice to have that little 'report' to remember why I did or didn't like a show.
xXabsintheXx I actually do have experience with writing reviews. I write a lot on Amazon, and I was also active in the fanfiction genre, where I wrote lots of reviews as well (and also fanfictions). So, writing reviews here on MDL was kind of out of the question, though it was the first platform to ever write in English before I only wrote in my own language. Thanks to MDL, I also got a lot better in English. It's kind of exciting to write on here. Sometimes a drama is so overwhelming that I just have to put my emotions into words before I can actually let go of the drama. Sometimes I really like a show, but it's so unknown that there haven't been any reviews yet and I kind of feel obliged to write one. Other times I watch something, and it disappoints a lot, but there are only positive reactions. I respect everyone's taste, but I also want to show that not everyone thinks the same. I also get motivated by other great review writers here on MDL (i.e. I love the reviews of (@manicmuse, @palak and @Jeana), and many more, of course). Sometimes it also feels like a contest (a fun one) which in the end enriches the review section and maybe also inspires other (new) writers.
Q3: Do you prefer writing long, detailed reviews or short and concise ones?
Minarii It depends. If I have a lot to say, then I'll write a long review. It also depends if I'm tired or not lol. My reviews of movies are usually quite short, while I write longer ones when it comes to dramas.
Kate Long, detailed reviews that I know many people won't read cause the length will simply scare or bore them. What can I say, I have lots of opinions to share. Usually, for the dramas I genuinely like, I try to keep the review shorter and avoid any spoilers. With the ones I might have struggled a bit while watching, I go full detail review on aspects I liked and disliked (looking at you TharnType). I'm just a control freak, and I want to be sure my views are well represented by what I write (even my comments are often essay long...).
Palak I prefer short and concise reviews. If they are witty, even better!
PeachBlossomGoddess Depends on the drama, its complexity and whether it resonated with me.
Jeana I actually like writing concise reviews that are both interesting and get the point across. Primarily, because those are the kind of reviews I want to read myself. But sometimes, there are dramas that I really love or really hate, and then y'all are subjected to my lengthy rants. Hehe
Manicmuse I honestly don't overthink about the length, although my reviews are often pretty long. I try to think of them like I'm talking to a friend. The stronger my opinion about the drama, the longer the review is likely to be.
kingsqueen The length of my reviews usually depends on the drama itself. If I loved or hated it, I'm more likely to be more detailed about my reasons and my thoughts. If I liked the drama but wasn't blown away by it, I'm more likely to be short and concise because there's just not as much to say about it. And if I wait too long to review the drama, it's likely to be shorter just because I no longer remember the finer details once I've moved on to something new.
xXabsintheXx Uhh, I always TRY to keep it short. But sometimes (most of the time) I tend to go into every detail. I don't know why, it just happens. I want to describe something without spoiling. And it's like diving into the story again, "note this, mark that, explain the invisible connection"—something like that. And then I need to come back into reality not to tell a whole new story... In the end, when I "review" my review, I try to shorten certain things which sometimes doesn't work at all though.
Q4: How long does it usually take you to write a review? And do you write reviews right after you finish something or after some time?
Minarii Depends on the length, but 1 - 2 hours at most. I usually write a review right after I finish the movie or the drama, but if it's too late or if I'm too tired/lazy, I leave it for the next day.
Kate Months, since I write reviews as I watch dramas/movies. :) Basically, I have this amazing google doc titled "drama reviews", and after every new episode of a drama I watch, I add my thoughts, ideas, observations. I gather all the information about my viewing experience, and when the drama gets close to the end, I start to work on this raw material, picking things that I find useful and important and rephrasing everything. That's when I work on the structure of the review. When the last episode airs (or I watch it, for the older dramas), I just add my thoughts on the ending, and I'm good to post :)
Palak It usually takes me an hour to write a review. Unless I accidentally close the tab. Then it takes me 2 hours and a lot of cursing in-between. (A/N: Accidentally closing the tab is a nightmare on a whole new level.) That can happen—a LOT. I usually review dramas after I am done watching. Except for this one time I reviewed I Hear Your Voice while it was airing. Because I just couldn't resist it, I was sooooo excited. It got me out of my worst drama-slumps, and it still is one of the best Korean dramas ever made. I regret nothing, lol.
PeachBlossomGoddess I spend quite a bit of time thinking about what I want to say, especially if it is a complex drama or something flawed that I loved anyway. But once I start, it doesn't take me longer than an hour or two.
Jeana It takes me around half an hour? It really depends on the length of the review. I have written a few in 10 minutes and then some in 2 hours because I wanted so much to say but couldn't find the right words. I write reviews as soon as I finish the show because I feel like that's when you are your most sincere. If some time passes, then you start letting your mind take over your heart. You start to nitpick and be more critical. And I really believe that's not how it should be. Dramas are meant to entertain so even if they are full of plotholes, but you loved them, you do you!
Manicmuse I usually write my reviews right after I finish the drama. I like it when my reaction is still fresh, although there are times when I take my time and wait. I usually wait when I have mixed feelings about a drama. I also tend to free-write my reaction, so it's easy to lose track of time.
kingsqueen A longer detailed review can sometimes take an hour or two to write and proof-read (and then I usually find something to re-edit directly after I hit "submit"! LOL). Plus, I need to think about it for a little while and decide if I'm being balanced and not reviewing purely out of "post-show glow" as a few of us call it. I like to write reviews usually within a day after I've watched a drama. Mainly because the details are still fresh in my mind, and I can be more detailed. If I wait, I start to forget all the little details because I've usually started something new.
xXabsintheXx I can say with certainty at least one hour... I also usually write a review right after finishing the drama. That way, the story and the emotions are still fresh. If a drama really moved me, I just need to write something immediately, because I need to express my feelings in some way (in these cases in a review), so that I can close with the story and its characters.
Q5: In your personal opinion, which is the best review you've ever written?
Minarii Hmm... I think I like my review of Tree With Deep Roots the most. I enjoyed writing it, too.
Kate Designated Survivor: 60 Days? I think it presents my thoughts on the drama in a concise manner (at least compared to my other reviews), pointing out all the good aspects without neglecting some parts that others might not like. But I don't really take much pride in my reviews, since for me they are more of a medium for me to just share my opinion, as sort of entertaining activity. :)
Palak For me, writing a review is generally a kind of closure. The more deeply invested I am in a drama, the more likely it is I would end up writing a review. I'm always emotionally-charged when writing a review, pouring my feelings out in a spontaneous burst (your regular Wordsworth). In that aspect, I think Moon Lovers is my favourite review. I get emotional every time I read it even though they might just be a series of ramblings. I also love my reviews of Jealousy Incarnate, Pinocchio, Crash Landing on you, The Good Wife and Marriage Not Dating because I feel I have made some valid observations that I still agree with. I also love my review of The Heirs because I wrote it as my take on a notoriously underrated drama.
PeachBlossomGoddess Gosh, hardest question - I am gonna bomb this one. Either Eternal Love or Rise of Phoenixes. They are both obviously flawed dramas that I was addicted to notwithstanding. I had to think for a long time before I could write, and I never felt that I truly found words that did justice to how I felt about them. So in terms of mind share and effort, they got the most, one of them has got to be the best. If I have to choose I would say Rise of Phoenixes just because I had much more practice doing reviews.
Jeana Personally, my favourite review is the one I wrote for Empress Ki. Not because it's mainly well written or anything but because I was really affected when I was writing it and I really wanted to express those feelings. But, my negative reviews are the ones most liked by you guys so... clever little devils, you!
Manicmuse I honestly have no idea. These reviews are such an in the moment thing for me that I don't really rank them based on quality (so sorry about any typos, lol). I do really appreciate it when people take the time to respond, and there are times when I change my mind about a show, or go back and laugh at an old review, but I can't say that I have an official favourite.
kingsqueen Oh, that's hard! According to my 'helpful' votes, it was for Mr. Sunshine. According to one of my MDL friends, it was for Temperature of Love. (the first one was a positive review and the second one a negative review) In sheer numbers of votes, it was for Goblin. I guess for myself, I'd probably also go with Mr. Sunshine. I felt like I was able to give as many details as I could without being "spoiler-y". I wanted to convey how amazing all the facets of the drama were for me, and I feel like I got that across pretty well.
xXabsintheXx Truth is, I don't like all my reviews. Sometimes it's like having a wall in your head which makes it hard to find the right words to describe a feeling or an emotion you've felt during certain scenes. But other times you feel full of energy and ideas in your head that makes it easier to feel connected with the drama through your review. I think I have one or two texts of that kind in my list, lol. In my humble opinion, the best one I've ever written is either Money Flower or Chicago Typewriter.
Q6: Do you get nervous before posting a negative review? And how do you react if someone leaves a negative and rude comment under your review – do you ignore/report them or fight back?
Minarii I don't get nervous at all. It's just my personal opinion, you don't have to agree with me, and that's completely fine. If I'm in the right mood, I'll fight back. But most of the time I ignore the comments, I should not waste time on other people's BS.
Kate I welcome all the rude and negative comments: they always spark either interesting or entertaining exchange of views. I always reply and try to understand the other person's point of view and make sure they understand mine. I have quite a lot of experience in receiving hateful comments on the internet (not necessarily on MDL), so things like that don't phase me anymore. I always laugh that I would rather have all the trolls and haters come at me than some of my friends, who might take their comment to heart.
Palak I don't mind sharing negative reviews. But usually, I don't review dramas I don't enjoy. I hardly have anything to say about them. One exception is probably While You Were Sleeping. As a huge fan of Lee Jong Suk, it was quite a shock to my system when I realized I did not enjoy this particular drama as much as the rest of his works. So I decided to pen my feelings out. As for the negative comments, it's a free world. Everybody has the right to say what they want. I try to put my point across and debate as much as I can, but sometimes I get sluggish about replying and stop responding.
PeachBlossomGoddess Heheh, I think my first review was a negative review of a trendy drama, but I was truly clueless and had no idea I was wading into a potential minefield. Thankfully so far, I have not had any awful experiences or comments. I would be ok with/welcome constructive criticism and would be happy to engage. If not, I would probably ignore it - I am a real person who has a life and better things to do than engage in online spats with strangers. If it is truly horrible, I would just report it.
Jeana Haha, I don't get nervous while posting reviews. It's like if I feel a certain way, I just have to say it as it is. It's funny because the dramas that mostly annoy me are usually ones that are loved by a lot of people, so negative comments and DMs are kind of a norm for me. What do I do? Ignore, if I can't be bothered, give 'em a little taste back if I'm in it for the tea. Hehe
Manicmuse I don't get nervous about posting, but sometimes I wonder if I missed something important, so I may revisit a review a few times before and after posting. I also have rarely encountered negative/rude comments. The few times I have, I try not to take it personally and try to remind folks that we are just sharing opinions. What I like about this site is that we don't have to agree on what's good or bad or fangirl the same things. If I hate something you love that's not an insult to you, it's just a different opinion. This site would be extremely dull if we all agreed. I know that I personally check the lowest and highest rated reviews when I'm checking out a drama just so that I can get varying perspectives.
kingsqueen I don't really get nervous posting a negative review. I don't think I have a large amount of negative reviews, though. There have been a few dramas that got me upset enough to leave a scathing review. Usually, if I hate a drama that much, I've dropped it before finishing, and I don't review things I don't finish. Rating is ok, but no dropped reviews for me. I really don't think it's fair to review something I didn't complete. I know other people do, but it's not for me. I really can't think of any rude or negative comments I've ever gotten under one of my reviews. I try to respect other people's feelings, though. As long as the person wasn't entirely hateful in a threatening way, I don't think I'd report them. If there were respectful negative comments, I feel like I would try to see that person's point of view. Maybe there were points I didn't think about. If they were just rude, without having any actual constructive criticism, I'd probably just ignore the comment.
xXabsintheXx Actually no, I get excited. Because I want to see if I'm the only one thinking that way or if there are some "soulmates" out there. If someone leaves a rude/negative comment... It depends on whether it's constructive or not. If someone writes "don't like, don't watch" I would undoubtedly ignore it. It's a waste of time to answer. If someone writes that he/she liked the drama and simply puts his reasons into his/her comment, I accept it and usually answer if there is something to answer. Back then, when I reviewed Man to Man, I didn't think much about it and thought I would vanish between all those positive reviews. But I was quite surprised that there were way more people who actually agreed with my critique. Depending on the extent of "rude" I would also report someone. But so far, nothing like that had happened.
Q7: Do you rate objectively or subjectively? Do you get easily impressed by dramas/movies and do you give 10/10 easily?
Minarii Well, I usually try to rate as objectively as possible, but it doesn't always work out. I guess it's best if you find the balance between your personal enjoyment and the overall quality of the drama. I don't give 10 out of 10 easily, and it's quite hard for something to impress me that much.
Kate Both. I believe it's 100% impossible to rate anything entertainment-related objectively. If a drama awoke some strong feelings in me, I simply rate it high/low but in my review clearly state it's as subjective of a rating as possible. There are some things I adore in dramas and some that annoy me and get my blood boiling. I cannot ignore how the drama made me feel, but thanks to reviews, I can explain better where I am coming from. Talking about the drama/movie gives way more information than just a rating itself. Many times I had quite similar views on a show as others, but our ratings were drastically different, simply because we prioritized different aspects of a drama.
Palak I hope I am subjective, haha. But I think my ratings are very objective and I don't consider much of the technical aspects. If I love a drama, I will easily give it a 10. I'm a generous rater for sure. However, there is some thought put into the ratings. Like, for me, what is important is WHAT the drama is making me feel rather than HOW is it is making me feel it. If a drama manages to move me, then it's a solid 10.
PeachBlossomGoddess I think all of the best reviews are ultimately subjective because we have to acknowledge that x-factor or "je ne sais quoi" that makes a drama special to us. And that is often very personal. That said, I think it is essential to start from an objective basis by taking the emotion out of it. So I start out trying to be as objective as I can be. And then I adjust my "objective" score by how it made me feel, and I am upfront about why I rated something above or below what I think the objective score should be. In fact, that is the guts of most of my reviews. I only have two 10s (Nirvana in Fire and Eternal Love), but I have a 9.5 that I really want to be a 10 (Rise of Phoenixes) but objectively, I just can't.
Jeana Most of my reviews are objective (or at least I try to make them as objective as possible.) I like to do a break down of the good, bad and ugly with a side of my personal opinion. Then, readers can decide based on what matters most to them. However, my 10s are very subjective. They are shows that touch me deeply and make me put down my granny glasses. In those cases, my emotions burst right outta the heart and splash all over MDL. Ugh, I'm definitely not easy to impress. I am a picky booger, and out of the 116 dramas I have watched I have only given 2 a 10.
Manicmuse I try not to give 10's too easily, but my rating is solely based on whether I liked it or not. I do keep the categories (story/acting/rewatch value) in mind when I choose an overall score, but I've also given a drama with lower scores a 10 just because I enjoyed it so much. When I read reviews, I want to know if you liked/loved it and why you did or didn't, and that's totally subjective. If the cinematography is great, but the plot is boring, don't expect a high rating from me. If a drama is full of the same old cheesy clichés, but I loved it, then It could definitely get a 10 from me. My rating will always be based on whether I think you should watch or not.
kingsqueen I'm fairly certain I rate dramas subjectively. I feel like opinions on dramas are very subjective. We all have different interests and things that draw us in or repel us. I take into account how entertained I was by a drama. It might not have been perfect, but did I enjoy the story-telling? Did I get bored? Did I get excited by it and look forward to new episodes? What emotions did the drama make me feel? How intricate was the plot? Those are the sort of things I consider when I write a review, and the things that are likely to be detailed when I write about them. I don't feel like I am too easily impressed, but I'm definitely not a jaded viewer that is super picky and hard to please either. Out of 190 dramas/movies watched, less than 10% got a 10/10. A much larger percentage (28 dramas/movies) got a 6.5 or below. I really try hard to be objective about my "10's", but a lot of times pure enjoyment over-rides technicals on the 10's I give out. Even with my 10's I at least try to be honest if there were things I didn't care for when I do a review or explain why I gave it a 10 even though there were some technical flaws.
xXabsintheXx I do have some 10s in my list. If a drama blows me away, I can't help but give it the highest rating. But all the other dramas I try to rate objectively, which is really hard. You know, you have your favourite actors/actresses and just don't want to give bad ratings. That makes it really hard. But it wouldn't be fair to give a show a high rating just because of a pretty face or an excellent performance of only one or two actors when the story is BS. If the story itself lacks, it would be nuts to give it a 10 or whatever. Imagine you've got a great drama (story, cast, everything is excellent), that deserves a 10. Compare it to a lousy drama with a great cast. Where's the logic if that one gets a 10 as well? Of course, this is only my opinion. Everyone rates at their own accordance. But this is how I put my priorities. So yes, I try to rate objectively, but if I really like a drama even though it had more than one flaw, I put 0,5 to 1 point on top (depending on how light/heavy the flaws are).
Q8: And finally – what advice would you give to the people who feel insecure about writing reviews on MDL?
Minarii Don't be afraid of what others will say, most people here are very cool! Write for your own enjoyment, every opinion is important!
Kate Don't strive for perfection. Make it a fun experience that makes you dive deeper into a drama you watched and truly think about the aspects you liked and disliked. The form is not that important. With the variety of users we have, you cannot please everyone, but at the same time, there will always be people appreciating the work you put into writing. Don't be afraid to ask some more experienced users for help and advice. They will be more than happy to talk to you.
Palak I would tell them to not care for validation. Simply put your thoughts into the review and write something you would enjoy reading after a while. Use simple language. If you are nervous about the structuring, just write according to the rating panel. Write about the plot and then the cast and then the music and so on. This is the easiest structure to follow. Also, if you have a theory or an idea, don't be nervous about adding it to your review. A lot of people might think the same way!
PeachBlossomGoddess Spend time thinking about what you want to say and how the drama made you feel. And then write from the heart, 'say what you want to say and let the words fall out' ("Brave" by Sarah Bareilles) re-read it once and then I just wanna see you be brave and hit submit.
Jeana Oh, I'd say just go for it. Like, I literally never knew people even read or responded on reviews on MDL when I first started writing. I had no idea that it could be so engaging. I just wrote them as mementos for myself and then before I knew it, people started upvoting, commenting and DMing me about them. Like, I still get surprised when I come across a review of mine that has more than a hundred upvotes. It's incredible to me how people care about what ordinary little me has to say! T.T And I can't even talk about the positive comments and messages, they literally make my day and feel so so good to read. So my advice? Let yourself write. Don't give a damn about anything and anyone and freely express yourself because it's an amazing experience. And let me tell you this, even when you feel like nobody's reading, trust me, I am reading because I read almost all recently written reviews even if they are on really old and popular dramas! So come on, start writing NOW.
Manicmuse Please don't get intimidated about writing reviews. Some reviewers are phenomenal writers, but others are just people with opinions they want to share. There's room for all of us on this platform, which is what I love! Every writer here should also embrace their own unique style without pressure. Just please actually watch the drama before reviewing it… that's my only pet peeve about some reviews. If you care enough to tell people why they should watch or avoid a drama, then that's a good reason to write a review. You may never know how helpful your review can be for someone trying to decide what to watch next. When in doubt, just imagine you're answering the question "Should I watch this, or not?"
kingsqueen The advice I would give to people that are nervous about writing reviews on MDL is to start out with either a drama that you either really loved or really hated, and just be descriptive about those things. Those are the shows that will probably be easiest to write about. Which actors or characters stood out to you and why? Did you love the music? Did the show give you the 'feels' or did it make you angry? Tell us your thoughts (but try not to give away spoilers)! I think the majority of MDL'ers are respectful and kind to reviewers. And no matter whether you liked it or not, there'll be some people that will probably feel just like you did. I think it's a way to connect with other viewers and make new drama friends. And I believe descriptive reviews help people decide whether or not a show is something they'd enjoy - so think of it as a service to your fellow fans! :)
xXabsintheXx Don't feel insecure. Just start writing, the rest will come on its own. The more you write, the better you get. And if you ever need help, just ask us, ask MDL. There will definitely be someone who can help.
FINAL MESSAGE FROM THE INTERVIEWER
Hello, I'm Minarii! I want to thank everyone who agreed to be interviewed and answered the questions in such a fresh way. I had a great time reading your answers, and I'm pretty sure the readers will feel the same. Thank you so much for the pieces of advice, I'm sure they'll be beneficial to the users who feel insecure about writing reviews. I found them very helpful, too. I hope you enjoyed answering the questions just as much as I enjoyed reading them. Once again, thank you so much!
And big thanks to the people who will read this article, haha. I hope you'll be motivated to write more reviews from now on because as I said, every opinion is valuable. If you need help with writing a review, feel free to message the other reviewers or me. We'd love to help you =)
Also, I'm sorry if there are reviewers who feel sad that they weren't interviewed. MDL has outstanding reviewers, but of course, I can't interview them all in one article. :( However, if you are interested in participating in a 2nd part of the article, you can send me a message. :D
- MDL Reviewers♡