Ahh, the year 2008. The year where the Beijing Olympics took place, the game MarioKart was introduced on the relatively-new Nintendo Wii console, and when the United States had a financial crisis regarding their mortgages.
The year 2008 was a totally different time too, in regards to society, on television, and around the world. No one would dare to bring up topics such as mental health or LGBTQ+, because back then, unfortunately, these things were still deemed as ‘not right to talk about/bring up in programming’. Thankfully nowadays these topics and are getting much more the air-time they deserve when being implemented in programming, but that’s why I made this article.
Which recent K-Dramas would have thrived more in the year 2008, and which recent K-Dramas wouldn’t have even seen air time back in the day? Let’s find out!
One drama that would have been more liked if released in 2008:
One More Time
Do I think One More Time is a great drama? Yes.
Do I think it would have been more liked by others if it was released in 2008? Yes, and here’s why.
In current times, even though Indie music is loved by many people, the rave for it has seemed to have died down by quite a margin in comparison to 2008.
One More Time is based around an indie band on the demise, but filled with tears and regret when the main vocalist Yoo Tan (played by Kim Myung Soo) breaks the band up and ends the relationship with his girlfriend Moon Da In (played by Yoon Soo Hee), and is then stuck in a time-loop due to his actions. Whilst in the time loop, he realizes he had lost the most important things to him: love and friendship. He tries to salvage everything by using music to try and bring back what he had destroyed (there is a little bit more to this, but I would highly recommend watching this drama instead.)
The reason I believe it isn’t the most liked drama is:
There are only eight episodes that aren’t that long.
The camera work and cinematography aren’t the greatest (although it would have been great in 2008).
By the time this was released in 2016, the relationship between the ML and FL could have definitely been viewed as cliche.
Put One More Time back in time into 2008 however, and you have a fresh show with some exceptionally underrated acting performances, great chemistry between the ML and FL, good cinematography, the genre of indie music which was on the rise at the time, and a great moral message of you’ll only cry when you’ve realized what you had lost (love).
One drama that wouldn’t have even seen air time:
Unfortunately, if you’ve already watched Itaewon Class, you will already know my answer to this one. This drama wouldn’t have even been considered as a thought on the chalking board back at the producer's headquarters in 2008. Bringing up topics such as transgenderism and racism and combining them with a television drama in this sort of way just wouldn’t have been created. Thankfully though, we are in a different time now!
Itaewon Class follows the life of Park Saeroyi (played by Park Seo Joon), and everything from the power play, death, racism, transgenderism, mental health struggles, love, love triangles, abduction, childhood to a multi-year plan is included in what I believe is one heck of a binge-watch! If you haven’t already, watch this awesome drama!
I am just glad that as humans, we are now taking the right leaps and bounds to include these real-life issues into the television and film industry that at one time would have been frowned upon greatly. And while we are at it, if anyone would like to message me, if they have mental health struggles, or are feeling down, or are struggling or feeling unhappy in any single way, PLEASE send me a message. I am seriously here for you all!
One drama that would have been globally popular if it was released in 2008:
I’m not taking anything away from Kingdom here, it’s more addictive than updating your MDL watchlist! ^-^. But I really can’t help but feel that Kingdom would be a globally watched show if it had been released before the U.S hit zombie show ‘The Walking Dead’. The Walking Dead would first air in 2010, (I know they had a graphic novel version prior to the television show) meaning there would be two whole years before that phenomenon had started. And no matter where I go online to look at reviews for Kingdom, unfortunately nearly the whole majority compare this drama to ‘The Walking Dead’ in one way or another when reviewing Kingdom. If anything, this is a better watch than The Walking Dead (hate comments incoming ^-^).
Kingdom is set in the Joseon period. The King falls ill to smallpox and rumors start to spread that he has actually died. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Lee Chang (played by Joo Ji Hoon) is labeled a traitor by the Haewon Cho Clan, the clan of the current pregnant Queen (played by Kim Hye Joon) and her father, Chief State Councillor Cho Hak Joo (played by Ryu Seung Ryong). I think you can guess why the King falls ill…
World-class acting by each individual member of the cast alongside stunning cinematography, a beautiful but subtle OST, and a thick and beautiful plot with remarkably inventive twists along the way make Kingdom a treasure to watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if this drama goes on for a long time, well, here’s hoping anyway!
Do you guys agree with my opinion on Kingdom?
If it was released in 2008, could you have possibly seen it as on the same level of popularity compared to The Walking Dead?
One drama that would have been perceived as more of a fantasy:
My Holo Love
We’re getting closer and closer to having an AI on your phone which will be able to respond to your every comment and commands but remember, in 2008, it had only been one year since the first iPhone was invented! How times change! ^-^.
For anyone unfamiliar with My Holo Love, Han So Yeon (played by Go Sung Hee) works at a glasses company when one day she meets an artificial intelligence known as ‘Holo’. (SPOILER: Whom she falls in love with). On MDL, the genre tags for My Holo Love are Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi, Melodrama. But I guarantee you that if this was released just over a decade ago, this would be classed as a pure ‘Fantasy’ drama. I guess this just proves how fast we have been able to improve our technology as human beings!
Do I think My Holo Love would be more popular if it was released in 2008? It’s too hard to tell. I think it would depend on the viewer. One thing I can say though is that I think actresses Lee Jung Eun and Kang Seung Hyun played their support roles to perfection, and, quite honestly, deserved more air time themselves!
One drama that wouldn’t have changed in popularity or likability:
No matter what time period, infidelity will always be something that will happen in some relationships. If the person who is being immoral is doing it on purpose, or as a “drunken mistake”, the victim will always have their heartbroken if they thought they were in a relationship of love and trust. Cheating isn’t something new, and that’s why viewers of any time era will feel connected to the sorrowful life of Park Dong Hoon (played by Lee Sun Kyun), and his struggles dealing with his wife cheating on him with his younger superior, whilst also battling with him in a colossal power play. Everything in My Mister, from the acting to the cast, from the OST to the camera work, was a slow-burning masterpiece. This wouldn’t have been any different in 2008.
Even if you weren’t cheated on or cheated, you never know what other people face in their lives. Take Lee Ji Ahn for example (played by IU), having to work two part-time jobs whilst forced to partake in criminal activity just to put such little food on the table for herself and ill grandmother. You may look at some people thinking they may be moody or they may be quiet, but their lives could be taking a major detour.
At the start of the article, I said that ‘mental health issues wouldn’t be brought up in 2008 television programming’.
So why would I think My Mister would have the same popularity and likability?
Because many people have experienced being cheated on, and are able to share their feelings and thoughts easier compared to being ‘down’ for no apparent reason. Like I said before, it’s great that we are in times where we can talk about our feelings and mental health, but in 2008, if television wanted to make their characters feeling ‘down’ they needed to justify it. With actions such as cheating, such as death, such as harassment.