by Brownie, June 30, 2021
69

Welcome, y’all! Brownie here.

It’s been some time since my last article, and since then, some things have changed with my drama preferences. 

There was a time in my life where I stopped taking recommendations from randoms, and that’s because I started to realise that I have way too many trigger points which were described opposite to what the drama actually contains, which meant that I would avoid certain genres like Thriller, Psychological, Family and even Romcom, etc.


FULL DISCLAIMER:

The following titles are NOT in any particular order.

There WILL be some unpopular opinions.

Mobile Users may need to read in Landscape Mode. 

I apologise in advance if my article comes across like I'm rambling, lol. It's not intentional, and I just enjoyed writing again. 

Let's begin!


Notable Keywords
Korean Style 
Not watching the last few episodes to avoid bitter disappointment, usually the last two unless I’ve been advised to stop sooner.

Slicey 
Dramas that contain but not limited to: no powers/magic, a lot of spitting, torture, drinking poison, sword fights, depressing love story, and too much talking, aka Politics. lol

NSFB 
NSFB stands for Not Safe For Brownie, which means the title contains something that may cause triggers, I dislike or makes me feel uncomfortable, such as telling lies, infidelity, rape, aggressive behaviour (grabbing wrists, forced kisses, Slap/Kiss, etc.) and all types of abuse. This may seem completely extreme to an “outsider”, but honestly, for me, it puts me at ease and makes watching dramas more enjoyable… and yes, there are still plenty to watch even with extreme measures. lol


Hate Watch
With my personal challenge of No Drop for 2021, I am finding myself do a lot more of this. It’s where I watch stuff only to find I don’t like it. Rant about it - respectfully, of course - and then continue watching. :)) This year has been pure torture.


REVENGE

I feel I should start with this one because I was never a “Revenge” type of gal cos the times I’d watched them, they were filled with Sexual Assault, which happens to be one of my biggest triggers. I've had people tell me that they’re surprised that I watched Lakorns because a lot of them have very questionable scenes, which if you‘ve watched, you’ll know that it’s true, but still there will be those where there are no Sexual Assaults. Plus, I watch purely by tags which means if there’s a Trigger Tag, then I won’t watch it. If I feel uncertain, then I just ask.

Fah Mee Tawan

Tags: Revenge, Weak Female Lead, Slow Burn Romance, Evil Stepmother, Hate to Love, Antihero, Hidden Identity, Murder

This came recommended to me for the MDL Challenge, and honestly, I was wary because Weak Female Leads are seriously not my jam. I’d told myself I’d watch more Channel 7 lakorns. 

With my personal rating of 2/10, it was pretty much a Hate Watch, but one I also felt was a guilty pleasure. I think this is the reason I wanted to explore more Revenge plots this year ~ obviously restricted to Lakorns only.

Duang Jai Nai Montra

Tags: Revenge, Reincarnation, Hate to Love, Calm Male Lead, Heart Disease, Past and Present Timeline, Kidnapping

I got interested in this one purely because of the Reincarnation side, but then I realised there was also going to be Revenge ~ bonus! Given that the Cold Man/Warm Woman tag was present and the fact that this is also lakorn lol, I expected someone handsy and abusive and whilst he did practically kidnap his nang’ek, which was a huge trigger for me, he absolutely treated her like his queen! The leads were a world away from being toxic.

This Revenge plot is honestly the calmest I’ve ever watched, and I really looked forward to each and every episode.

Ku Kaen San Rak

Tags: Revenge, Strong Female Lead, Hidden Identity, Single Father, Cohabitation 

I wanted to watch this Lakorn for the Revenge, but I hesitated because I didn’t get a good impression on the acting of the nang’ek when I first encountered her Lakorn some years back, so this was pretty much a second chance for her. I really enjoyed this, but I feel they kinda messed it up when it went a bit too “lakorny“. 

Given the feel of the earlier episodes, which were light and funny, I think the addition of obsession, murder and acid throwing was completely unnecessary, but at the same time for the characters, this was karma which is another reason I love Lakorns ~ 99.9% of the time, they always get the karma they deserve.


TRAGEDY

I don’t like the Tragedy genre, and because of the MDL Challenge, I was “forced“ to find something with a Tragic Past tag, but I didn’t know which ones out there were good, so of course, I had to ask on Feeds for some recommendations.

Be With You

Tags: Amnesia, Child, Calm Male Lead, First Love, Tearjerker

This was recommended to me by a fellow Feeds user, and I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, as stated previously, my experience of taking recommendations have been very unkind lol... until recently. I never in a billion years expected to enjoy something so heartbreaking.

Pawn

Tags: Unusual Friendship, Separated Family, Immigrant, Child

This is one of the few titles I’ve never seen being mentioned, but I saw it recently. This was incredibly NSFB. I did read the synopsis because it was so short, so there’s no room to basically watch the movie via synopsis but honestly, nothing prepared me for what I saw. Nevertheless, I was able to enjoy this movie, and it’s definitely one I’d recommend. 


FAMILY

My first Thai Family genre came in the form of One Year 365: Wan Ban Chun Ban Tur, and honestly, I’ve never regretted watching anything more! I skipped a huge amount of episodes because it was just so boring, unbearable and I have a tough time watching people being horrible, especially when the other person has done nothing wrong. Situations just put them in that position, so because of this one drama, I hated the Family genre, and I know one mustn’t tar all with one brush, but this one left such a horrible taste in my mouth I never wanted to see another Family drama for as long as I live!

Lady Bancham

Tags: Music, Cooking, Transgender Characters, Calm Male Lead, Smart Male Lead, Nice Female Lead, Found Family

It’s been about two years since I started to get interested in Music Lakorns, so when I saw this, I knew I had to watch it. I have never seen a Music Lakorn that centred around transgender people, so already, that made this a little different.

I think this is a Lakorn that revolves more around found family, which is basically a group of people who aren’t blood-related, but the way they are with each other, you’d think they were related. They had each other’s back 101 %, and I feel this is something that’s lacking in the Family genre. There is family conflict, but this is one that’s actually understandable and not just created halfway to fill empty episodes. I haven’t watched many Family dramas, but this is probably one of my favourites from Thailand, even if it did cause me severe headaches from seeing so many evils getting away with murder. The thing I probably loved about this the most is that our leads weren't completely stupid and actually communicated. Like how often does that even happen? 

There is NSFB content here for suicidewhich is probably the most upsetting, at least for me. I truly believed the person in question had changed their minds, so it shook me that they succeeded. Truly heartbreaking stuff. I don’t usually cry watching Lakorns, but this was unavoidable. This Lakorn is the first since Kleun Cheewit that succeeded in giving me a headache so bad I had to take a break from it, but of course, the second I continued, the headache came back, lol, so it will probably suit one who doesn’t mind getting the level of frustration I hear some people have gotten from watching the Korean drama The Penthouse, but everyone has their own tolerance.

The House Arrest of Us

Tags: Quarantine, Engaged Couple, Disapproving Family

Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Netflix and of course, the fact that it’s not 368 episodes played a huge part in me watching this. This was my first ever Family drama from The Philippines, and based on all their Family movies I’ve watched in the last two years, I had an idea of what to expect, but it wasn’t what I thought it would be, and by that, I mean the slapstick comedy and dramatic acting especially from the housekeepers lol but despite that, I found it very heartwarming and funny. 

On the Wings of Love

Tags: Immigrant, Hardworking Leads, Family Relationship, Filmed Abroad

Do you ever feel like romcoms always have that one thing that really shouldn’t be there, but writers add it to “spice it up”? For me, that means danger. I feel like it shouldn’t be there, so I asked Feed users for dramas without this element. Whilst I am a huge fan of Filipino content, I had no intention of watching this because 145 episodes sound like torture, but one night I wasn’t able to sleep and somehow, I found myself watching the first episode.

Long story short, I got addicted. I was able to relate to the subject of Immigration on a spiritual level. The thing that touched me the most about this drama is the community spirit, and I loved that the leads sang a couple of the OSTs. At the time of writing, I haven’t finished it yet.

Five Enough

Tags: Family Relationship, Nice Male Lead, Office Romance, Single Parent

Many years ago,  probably after I had watched Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, I made the mistake of trying to watch What Happens to My Family, and not only was it a big fail for me, but it succeeded in making me hate the Family genre completely! Fast forward to 2020, a kind soul with loves Family dramas recommended Five Enough for one couple and honestly, aside from the infidelity - side eye - which they warned me of beforehand so I knew who to skip, I really enjoyed this. It took me forever to finish it, but I loved it regardless.


MAKJANG

Unpopular opinion… I didn’t like Makjang before I had even had a chance to try one because based on the tag’s description, “A stylistic, tonal, or narrative element in dramas that chooses to play up outrageous storylines to keep viewers hooked despite how ridiculous the stories become (adultery, revenge, rape, birth secrets, fatal illnesses, and flirt with incest)”, it sounds very much like stuff that’s NSFB. I have no problems with birth secrets and revenge, but the others (highlighted) are non-negotiable. I don’t care if it’s “only TV”.

Watashitachi wa Douka Shiteiru

Tags: Dessert, Family Secret, Calm Male Lead, Smart Female Lead, Hate to Love, Revenge, Double Identity, Evil Mother in Law

This was another random watch. Many people were shocked I watched and enjoyed this, what with it being Japanese. I’ve been trying to watch Japanese content on and off for the best part of 5 years, barely even making it through their movies, but this year was really the first time I felt comfortable watching them.

They have a lot of NSFB content, but I wanted to watch this because I had seen someone posting food, but I didn’t remember the title because y’all know how Japanese titles are like, lol. I have found that the only way I am able to watch Japanese is if there’s a Nice or Calm Male Lead tag, that way, if he does raise his voice, I won’t be startled by the angry tone even if he isn’t angry, lol. I don’t really know if that makes sense, but this must be what people feel when they hear Thai. Whilst I loved the combination of Food and Revenge, Makjang is definitely NSFB, but it was good to experience something even if I never watch another one. By watching this drama, I found my new love in the form of Yokohama Ryusei.


HISTORICAL

I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with Historicals if I’m completely honest. Either I hate it to the point it feels like physical torture, or I love it to the point where I hope it never ends! I’ve realised that I really only like Historicals that contain powers, magic, immortals, dragons, unicorns etc. but absolutely NO SNAKES or anything that resembles them though lol. 

The Untamed

Tags: Smart Male Lead, Strong Male Lead, Family Relationship, Antihero, Rabbit (lol), Hidden Identity, Slicey

A very popular drama which I didn’t buy into. It took me a second go when it came to Netflix, and even then, I struggled with it, sometimes fiercely. It doesn’t normally take me long to feel what everyone else felt from the get-go - if at all - but I had never struggled with a drama the way I struggled with this one - until Word of Honor, but that’s for another day, lol.  It was so bad that I was falling asleep and pretty much went from Hate Watching to falling in love after a really, really long time. So yeah, this one didn’t get me immediately, but I am so grateful for those feed users who encouraged me to keep going and didn’t bash me because I didn’t like it. This turned out to be one of my favourites.

Love & Redemption

Tags: Nice Male Lead, Demon, Airhead Female Lead, Power Struggle, Lack of Communication, Torture, Blood

I liked this, especially for the magic and the nice male lead but obviously not as many Superfans. The issue I had with this drama was all the spitting and torture for Si Feng. This drama is the reason I rarely watch Chinese Historical. I binged this drama through all the physical pain I felt watching (the same reason I avoid illnesses and anything medical), and trust me when I say I almost dropped this drama because it was so hard to watch one person go through so much boo sheet! I liked both leads, but unfortunately, when the female lead “developed her senses”, I found her problematic and annoying and basically watched her remaining scenes with nothing but pure hatred and bitterness lol. I was told my feeling would change with her “redemption arc”, but nope, it never happened for me. Once I don’t like a character, it’s damn near impossible to change my mind, and this was an example. I think Si Feng deserved someone better, he was too nice, and that’s from someone who LOVES nice males lead.

Miss the Dragon

Tags: Dragon, Reincarnation, Nice Male Lead, Immortal, Weak Female Lead

Unpopular opinion... at least to me, but I liked this drama until around episode 18 - 19. After this point, it became unbearably painful to watch. I loved the magic, but then out of nowhere, it turned into a Slicey. I Mega Korean Styled this torture fest, but also because I hate disappointing endings way more than disappointing middles, lol.

Eternal Love of Dream

Tags: Xiana, Princess, Immortal, Age Gap, Slicey, Cold Man/Warm Woman

To end on a positive note, I had no intention of ever watching this. Like EVER, not even if it was the last drama left in the world!!!! Sounds negative, right? Lol, bear with me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was roaming the WeTV app and somehow found myself tapping on the title and ended up watching all of the behind the scenes clips that had been uploaded. 

Fast forward to the second week of June, and I randomly started watching the first episode. Just like The Untamed, I did fall asleep several time on just the first episode with the difference of actually enjoying ELoD. At the time of writing, I have watched 16 episodes and whilst it’s gotten Slicey, I am still enjoying it. I love the magic, the CGI, the leads, the OSTs… gosh, I sound like a Superfan right now, but I’ve realised watching titles out of random and not because everyone else is watching appears to be my method to enjoy, especially when they are titles that were super hyped at their time of airing. Hopefully, I continue to enjoy it.


Thank you all for getting to the end of my article cos I know I probably started rambling lol, again, my apologies. I also want to thank everyone who recommended titles this year, everyone who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone cos despite some of the tortures, it’s really been an amazing journey.


All images were found on MDL. 


Edited by: YW (1st editor), devitto (2nd editor)

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