Playground Milestone Giveaway: Why Do You Talk About Dramas?

In my post about the Playground reaching its one year anniversary back in June of this year, I professed a reluctant to celebrate milestones. I still feel that way, but with an impending job move looming, chances are soon I won’t be able to write nearly as much and as often as I have for the past year. I wanted to thank everyone for playing with me, using as an excuse the Playground reaching 10 million hits today, counting from March of this year when I became self-hosted (though technically I hit this milestone a few months back if I add my hits to the total). I wouldn’t have written as much but for everyone’s encouragement, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much but for everyone’s involvement.

The Playground only exists because of two events. The first is that I delurked one day after watching City Hall and going insanely crazy over than drama, and the second is that my love for Time Between Dog and Wolf was so great it compelled me to write my first drama review for Thundie. Because my writing inspiration stemmed from CH and TBDAW, Thundie (thank you for the TBDAW header above!) and Blue have graciously agreed to judge this giveaway for me to thank my readers, where the two winners selected will get a DVD set of City Hall or TBDAW. The impetus behind the topic of this giveaway is simple – I want to know why folks talk about dramas.

The tagline for the Playground is “I’ll talk about dramas if I want to”. Yes, so very Cyndi Lauper-ish, I know. But if you strip away the ankle warmers and crimped hair, when Cyndi sang that it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to, she really was onto something. People want to express their emotions and opinions, but are usually restrained by fear of voicing an unpopular opinion in public. You don’t want to be the only one at the party wearing jeans and a t-shirt when everyone is in suit and tie, right?

The reluctance likely stems from a fear of being an outlier, of being in the minority, when in truth there is nothing wrong with that. When I first started watching dramas, and then later began reading about other people’s experiences watching dramas, I was content just to read. Lurking in cyberspace is the act of absorbing information without contributing to the discussion, under the guise of “but I have nothing to say” or “but I’m scared to say something that may sound stupid”. I think the true reason is that concurrence makes us seem like lemmings, and dissension runs the risk of being labeled having poor taste or judgment.

Yet what is so daunting about the very act of talking? No one can be a trailblazer, the first person to say yay or nay to any subject. We are all lemmings and dissenters from topic to topic, but it’s the act of voicing the opinion which makes said opinion unique, because it belongs to the person who voiced it.

I talk about dramas because I want to add to the discussion about something I derive great pleasure from. If that dog and cat above can find common ground, so too can drama lovers everywhere have a fun discussion even with differing opinions. So I wanted to encourage everyone to share an unforgettable memory of a particular drama discussion that really made an impact with you.

Did you make you laugh until you almost peed your pants? Did it make you cry like a five year old watching Old Yeller for the first time? Did it make you seethe with annoyance until you wanted to Hulk out and stomp on fictional miniature cities to release your anger because you know everyone else is wrong and you are right?

Thundie and Blue will each pick a winning entry that conveys a drama talk experience that really resonates with them. Or they might pick one that tickles their funny bone, or pushes their emotional buttons in the right way. I dunno, they have free reign to create their own winning criteria.

Maybe a Haiku about a marathon Lee Min Ho discussion will touch Thundie’s soft spot in her heart reserved for him. Perhaps a limerick about a dissection of gender barriers in Sungkyunkwan Scandal will wow Blue’s high standards in her love for that drama. Perchance a long rambling entry about how Boys Before Flowers is so underrated will impress them with its avant garde Joycean train of thought.

Could it be when you successfully won the age-old debate as to whether Lee Byung Hyun in Beautiful Days was hot or oily (answer: hot). Or was it when you defended the honor of your beloved drama that everybody dumped on. Or maybe all you did was lurk and laugh like a loony, a bystander to a rollicking good time had by all in the age old debate over whether Bora Must Die or Bora Must Live.

Be creative, be honest, and above all else, be you! Submissions will be accepted for three days from the time stamp of this post. So tell us in the comments section below – what particular drama chat experience has a permanent special place in your heart?


Playground Milestone Giveaway: Why Do You Talk About Dramas? — 66 Comments

  1. I’ll have to definitely come back and write an entry – but just wanted to firstly write, Congrats on hitting the 10million mark! that is great news!! (though i’m not surprised cos i pretty much check your site more than twice in the day! hehe)

    btw, it was in your site that I first de-lurked and started writing comments here and there! It’s been great fun hanging out in your Playground, and be sure that I’ll keep coming back to play! 🙂

  2. I will definitely write an entry when its not so late at night and I am not completely cough ridden and sleepy. But I wanted to congratulate you on the 10million mark. This is probably the only drama blog that I actively comment on, I occasionally comment on dramabeans but I am definitely a much more regular commenter here. I have to agree that City Hall and TBDAW were two of the very few dramas that kept me engaged thoughtfully and emotionally and will always have a special place in my heart for those dramas just because of how much I enjoyed both of them.

  3. Oh dear, but I really wish you good luck in your new job, ockoala unni! But you’re not going to completely leave or remove this site, right? I don’t know if I could submit one because of two papers that are due on Friday, dear me, and it complicates matters further as I now work, jeez. I never thought juggling work and studies is this hard. I’m still getting used to it. Good thing there are kdramas and this site as two of the reasons why life is still utterly enjoyable! But my head is reeling… I think I know my answer now…

  4. Congratulations Captain! May the “hits” keep coming. 😀

    I’d like to participate in your contest and so will try to submit an entry. For now, thank you for encouraging me to watch TBDAW last year. This was when you posted a holiday message from Lee Junki. Good thing I listened to your suggestion because I ended up liking TBDAW. I found the story and setting captivating and Lee Junki’s acting superb.

    Above all, thank you for your continued generosity with your insights and your enthusiasm toward the dramas you watch. They really make a visit of AKP a fun and an enriching experience. Congratulations again and Long Live A Koalas Playground! 😀

  5. please dont stop writing even if its few posts a month its fine …jus that i am nw gettin so used to all the overly delivered emotions on each of my beloved dramas that i seriously dont wanna let go off!!!!!
    anywayzzz CONGRATZ on the 10 million hits and i hope it goes to a BILLION :p
    have a good time in ur new job ….hopin for the very best for u n ur site …… OCKOALA….
    khumawoeyeo~~~~ @_@

  6. I love everthing about your blog, everything that you write here, because I knew it’s what you think your own personal opinion on dramas or movies or even an actress and actor that you fond of. Although sometimes I have to dissagree with you, hehehe.. but still your writing inspire me to find out more and increase my interest level on a drama/actress/actor/couples etc. Congratulation on your new job, I hope you can still make time to write or recap a new drama that you love to watch and share with us.. Thanks a lot for allowing me to play on your playground..

  7. Congrats for the 10 M hits Koala!

    I have so much fun playing in your playground with the rest of drama lovers across the globe… Your site becomes a must read site in the morning, midday and evening before I go to La la land… I’ve quit checking CNN or BBC since, hmmm, since I was enticed by your playground… 😀

    You wrote an updates, reviews and recaps of many dramas, from K to J to TW and to C, that becomes a reference for us who haven’t watch and/or another topic to discuss merrily here… Thank you for your endless dedication and love of dramas and writing, many-many thanks for that K!

    Also, thank you for allowing us to have a good time together in your playground. Many success in your career, may lots of love always fill your day and may your site reaches a billion hits soon…

  8. It’s a sad moment for all, especially those of us who live far away from Asia or U.S.
    and don’t have a local community to share our kdrama, cdrama, tdrama, jdrama passion
    with. Your recommendations and comments have made the road a lot easier for me
    to unwind. Had it not been for you, I would have missed watching many a joyful (and
    sometimes less joyful) drama/movie which have enriched my life. You have inspired
    me to learn korean, mandarin (OMG, what a hard time I’m having, but my professor is
    great), and get to know the asian culture, which I am in awe of. Thank you so much
    for all you have done for us without even knowing. You have changed many a life
    and introduced us to a world that now unites persons from all over the world. My
    best wishes for your future, because one should always have a balance in life: emotional,
    professional, spiritual and I am hoping this new move wil be beneficial and a blessing for
    you and your family. Much love and blessings.

  9. Congrats to the Playground and your new endeavor Sweetest Koala!!!!!! ^^ Wishing you all the very very best! We may miss your constant, terrific writing, but we’ll sure learn to savor more whenever u give us a treat here.


  10. I’d love to participate, but I already have the City Hall DVD. Congrats, Koala, on your new job. If you’re moving to NYC, let’s do lunch and we can talk about dramas. xxx

  11. Before I start Congratuations Koala for reaching a milestone or should i say tenmillion-milestone!!!

    Firstly, I must mention that I had made a pact with my friends, that our lips shall never pay utterance to another word about this particular drama. But since you asked for why i talk drama this pops into my head and my fingers are just itching to type out the prattle that rattles in my head. Spy. Myung. Wol. *facepalm* How could a drama with so much potential turn into arrrghaasdfgh!?! There is no limit to the amount of words that can comprehensibly tell you how much this drama irks me. If only then I knew what I know now, I probably would’ve taken travel advice from Google Maps for Pete’s sakes, kayaked across the Pacific Ocean to Korea and proceed to kicked Eric in the shin for making me travel so far *sigh* should’ve, would’ve, could’ve … but didn’t.

    But for old times’ sake, let me do a postmortem examination on Spy Myung Wol and try to comprehend why i talk drama at all even after this kerfuffle. I acknowledge that the drama had started off well enough and had a few gems and they’re the ones worth sharing like Hee-bok pulling Mission Impossible, Myung-wol practicing her seduction techniques and Kang-woo delusions of Myung-wol as various kick-ass females such as Sailor Moon. But regrettably, this bad boy came out in the end worst for wear condition, battered and bruised. This drama had suffered and boy it did!

    What had started as a fun fresh and quirky concept to drama land’s “spy drama” genre complete with pretty posters, exciting trailers, hilarious hijinks, screwball comedy and plenty of meta that kept fans (moi included) on their toes wanting more, somewhere in between nosedived off the deep end and had the proverbial bleep hitting the proverbial fan. Yes, I blame you “Sir Nobel Sacrifice” doing stupid things for the greater good which actually does no good at all and just frustrates the viewer to 1) Scream at the screen in sheer lunacy and 2) Propel evil thoughts of giving people a good thwack in the back of the head in attempt to whack some sense into them (Note: Violence is not the answer, but sometimes it makes for the best short term solution).

    To those sadists that stuck it out every week, with childish hope it will get better till the very end *hand up* we ended up with the bleep getting thrown back at us in the face. Off the screen, Spy Myung Wol also had its fair share of its own off-air dramas that left many talking drama “OMG did you hear about Han Ye-seul’s breakdown?” Diva or victim? You decide. Finally, to the writers and director “What happened???” You started off so well and suddenly it all went to the head and you lost the plot (pun intended). The ending was abysmal, leaving me (and many others) with just three letters and a question mark W T F? So after reviewing the report I must pronounce this drama’s cause of death… suicide. This drama has left me oh why do even talk about drama!?! ah forget it *throws hands up in the air and walks off to find a car to drive off an embankment to burn up in a giant fire ball*

    P.S Don’t worry i won’t disappear for a year with no explanation 😉

  12. Congratulations. I must admit I have been a silent lurker for some time now. Why must I talk about dramas? Why? Because I do not know anyone else who is addicted to Korean dramas. Every time I fall in love with a drama, my waking mind becomes completely obsessed. It is too difficult to debate with myself and too easy to agree with myself on a good discussion of my current obsession. I just want someone else to say, “Yes, she was so great, I miss her already.” or “Why can’t she just let that man go, his heart is already gone from her.” But no, I can’t hear that in words. So I will lurk through all of my blogs and read recaps. Is there some piece of insight to glean from another translator? What will happen next, where is this train taking us? So, I have found you because I could only remember koala from the SKKS live caps. But I have been lurking for a while. And through your links, you have continued to open my world. Now I must know who is Bora and should Bora die. And, so if for no other reason than to find a new obsession to steal all of my time, I continue to listen to you talking about dramas.

    I wish you best of luck in your move and hope your new business community greets you with open arms. Thank you for the recommendations, insights, and agreeing with me some of the time.

    Lee Anne

  13. This is my small gift to the playground that has brought me so much joy:

    I remember television before cable. I remember television before the internet. There were only two channels I could switch between – one Chinese and one English. I remember dramas being a nation-wide experience that happened at the same time. It was as if all of us rushed to the toilet together during the commercial breaks and all of us groaned when the drama ended right at the moment before Guy professes said love to Girl or Mum spills the great beans of TRUTH! It was agonizing, it was painful, it was exhilarating, it was love. I still remember all my schoolmates, huddling around each other’s tables, discussing about last night’s epic episode and guessing what would happen. Or no he couldn’t! Or yes, she would! We all watched and breathed the same dramas, a common language, a shared experience. Even now, when I trace my childhood memories, dramas are my markers in time – my first tears, the first on-screen crush, the first on-screen kiss. The first Video CD drama marathon at your girlfriend’s place and where you forget to eat, drink and maybe, even breath (confession: It was the Taiwanese Meteor Garden). Dramas broke my heart before my first real heartbreak and healed again with My Name is Kim Sam Soon.

    When I was younger, it never occurred to me that the older you grew, the harder it would be to connect with people. Funny how becoming an adult gives you the freedom to define yourself, but loosens those bonds you previously found burdensome but in actuality gave you roots. I am painfully shy but at the mention of any dramas I love, I break into action. Talking about dramas have helped me create instant bonds – that secret knowledge of having entered the same world and loving it. It is as if we both immediately recognize each other as kindred spirits. I worked the courage to talk to a colleague for the first time because she played the theme song from Secret Garden. In these world full of endless dramas at the touch of your fingertips, the odds of finding someone who like the same offbeat dramas as you become smaller and yet, all the more precious. How about someone who likes the favourite exact scene as you and launches into a re-enactment of it as the same time as you? It’s like the universe is giving you a hug. Dramas are one of the few doors left in my heart to my childhood – talking about them, sharing, recommending, discussing, giggling, fan-girling about dramas let’s me be a child again and more importantly, let’s me be a child with others (and where better to share than in a playground?).

    To kindly borrow Raymond Carver’s famous short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”? Dramas.

  14. Many times, more than i care to count, i’ve read one your reviews or somebody else’s review and felt like saying out loud “THIS is exactly what i think”. And other times i would say “I haven’t realized it but hell, this person has hit the nail on the head”. You have the ability to put into words these emotions and feelings that float around in our heads. You give them form and write them on your blog. I don’t have that ability. However, i love to write and to have fun with what i write. So i wrote a couple of entries of my blog about what ticks me off or what i love about k-dramas. Why? To enlighten other people? Definitely not. Even if my reviews and opinions are written on a space open to the public, i write them for me. It’s like my head is full of laughs and nods and facepalms and i need to get them out by writing a silly entry about a certain drama i watched and what i felt when i watched it.

    Despite this reason being purely egoistic, i also have another reason. If with my entries i manage to convince a friend of mine to watch certain k-drama or the occasional surfer stumbles upon my entry and find if funny and decide to give that k-drama a try… well, that would make me happy. I know it happened once and the satisfaction you feel afterwards is very rewarding. With my silly, little entry i opened a window to a world full of funny, intense, brilliant, romantic, heartbreaking stories to somebody. That’s why i talk about dramas. Because when a story makes you feel something so good and nice, it’s only fair that you return the favour by introducing that story to somebody else in the hopes that they will feel the same as you.

    Thanks for reading!!

  15. ms. ockoala, I would like to thank you for starting this lovely playground which I discovered while watching LTM because of YEH. Thank you for getting me interested in tw-dramas again and introducing me to gems like DTLY, Sunny Happiness and Office Girls. I am so glad that many people who visit and comment on this site share the same taste in dramas and I look forward to the recaps and recommendations of what dramas to watch.

    Good luck in your new job and hope the fans of this site will keep it alive.

  16. you must be doing right when you get 10million hits on a blog in a span of months. congratulations! i am going to be a little bit sad that i won’t read as much from you in the coming future, HOWEVER i am probably most excited about your new adventure for you. your career IS very important to your well-being and family life, so i can totally understand that you will need more time to focus on that. THANK YOU for the awesome recaps, previews, reviews and other little details that you’ve been able to share with your readers in the past year – THANK YOU.

    i will try to write something about why i talk about dramas.. have a pleasant day!

  17. Koala asks, “Why Do you Talk About Dramas?” and my mind goes blank. For over an hour I sit in my favorite chair drinking a hot cup of tea on a frosty morning and I ask myself “when, where, and how do I talk about dramas?” and the answer is – only online! The reason is simple: “I know no one who watches dramas.” This may seem impossible to some of your readers and perhaps familiar to others – so let me explain. I am a mother of two (note my screen name above), I am older than most people who contribute the the various k-drama blogs that I lurk and I live in pretty white bread part of northern Seattle. When my addiction to kdramas first began (thank you MNIKSS) I would tell friends, neighbors and frankly anyone who would listen about my new found love and they always gave me a polite smile followed by an almost imperceptible furrowing of their brow. It wasn’t that they thought my love of something that would be considered “unique” in my hood was weird it was that my ARDENT love was alarming. I quickly realized that I needed to dial back my enthusiasm.
    So I began to read blogs. Dramabeans was my first kdrama haven. I had a place where I could not only read fabulous recaps and reviews but also a community of like minded drama lovers that I could commune with. The only problem being that I soon realized that I was a little older than the average contributor. I was not going to do poorly on a final because I was marathoning “Secret Garden” but my daughter was going to have to put up with a grumpy mom when I was making her breakfast on 2 hours of sleep. I wasn’t going to get in trouble at my desk job because I was trying to sneak an episode of “Sungkyunkwan Scandal” during work hours but my husband was going to ask if I was ever planning on getting out of my pajamas after three days!
    But despite the differences one thing was the same we all LOVE dramas. So instead of contributing to these forums I lurk and lurk and lurk and I LOVE reading all the posts from the wonderful readers. And on occasion I will even be driven to comment – because how could you not have second lead syndrome with Yoon Kye Sang?
    This online community has been a real godsend to me. That does not mean that I wont try to chat up the sweet Korean Ahjumma that made my spare key in the hopes of finding a kindred spirit. Or that I wont say “kamsahamnida” to the taekwondo master at my daughter’s school in the hopes that he will chat me up and I will find that he is also a fan of “Protect the Boss.” I keep trying to find that face to face experience that will allow me to squeal like the 42 year-old fangirl that I am over Hyun Bin but until that time I am thrilled to have found a virtual world with so many soul mates.

    Cheers, Amy

    PS – Koala congrants! and thanking for turning me on the T-dramas with “Drunken to Love You.”

    • AND one more thing I am happy to know that there are other people out there that would RAGE – RAGE at Netflix for the cruel joke they played on me this month. I finally, FINALLY found a kdrama on streaming Netflix that I actually wanted to watch – “City Hunter” with the adorable jail bait Lee Min Ho and for the first time EVER! I was going to watch a series on the big TV and not on my little laptop. The joy I felt was overwhelming and my husband actually watched the first 2 episodes with me!!!!! Then I get half way through the series and Netflix removes CH completely. UUUGHHH!!!!! I am this close (holds fingers together) to canceling our Netflix after 9 years because price hike and splitting up the company aside THIS (unceremoniously removing City Hunter) is the LAST straw! OK Rant over.

  18. YAY 10 million hits!

    I love watch dramas because I can talk about it later with so many people. It connects us all – you, me, my cousins, my friends, and all the other netizens out there.
    We all love to watch them and relate to them, daydream about them, wait for them. lol. And there’s always something for everyone.
    I love laughing and relating characters to real life people I know!
    There are so many dramas that I love, some stands out more than others, but I don’t hate on any of them because no matter how ridiculous it is, I still watch it all.
    But I will always love the classic dramas that got me started – Winter Sonata, Autumn in my Heart, Spring Waltz, and Summer Scent <3 Then there's the ones that I have come to love – Iljimae, Jamyungo, Greatest Love, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho….and so on.
    I have a soft spot for rom-coms and era dramas <3

  19. There are times when things are so overwhelming you don’t know where to turn.

    You’re a mom, you’re a wife, you’re someone’s employee. It all piles up. When things just get too much, I’ll usually put in a lot of extra play time with my son or clean my house extra vigorously. I’ve been told the best thing is to go work out for an hour. Look, I have a little one. So how do I explain to a kindergartner, I need to leave you to unwind even though you haven’t seen me all day? I figure as soon as he hits his teens his gonna get to the ‘I have no parents, I was hatched from an egg’ period, so I better advantage of his wanting to be with me while I can.

    With that in mind, one night after everyone had gone to sleep, I was looking online to find something to make my mind go blank. I don’t know how I got to it, or even WHY I found it, but there it was. A website that touted the newly ‘subbed’ episode-whatever of Kim Sam Soon. I had no idea what a Kim Sam Soon was or why it wanted to be ‘subbed’, so I clicked on it.

    So since 2006, I stuck my head in the asian drama world and have never looked back. I can honestly say that 95% of my viewing is asian dramas. Star Candy and Biscuit Teacher, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, You’re Beautiful, Hana Yori Dango, Coffee Prince, Best Love…

    Somewhere in there I decided I needed to find other people out there like me. Quite frankly I was scared I was like some freak less than 1% that found this stuff great. Then I found a couple of blogs and video sites that made me feel no longer alone. That was a relief.

    I’ve never been one to post much, my one exception was when Sungkyunkwan Scandal came out. I was ALL over that bromance. It was the first time I had actually posted. I still much prefer to lurk and read others comments. Some people are clever and funny to read. Some people seem to take the thoughts right out of my head and slap them online.

    For me, the best thing about being involved in forums, is not matter what the drama is, we can all agree that the leading men are hot!

  20. I love City Hall and would love to win the DVD! It was my very first Korean drama that I watched in which I liked. When I first viewed the promotional picture that they had advertised, I was turn off by it because it looked to be a serious political drama. But an online friend urged me to watch it because it was crack despite the serious overtone presented in the photo. After watching the first episode, I fell in love with the series to the point where I marathoned through the entire series in two days and wanted more at the end of it all.

    I don’t really talk about dramas with my friends since they tend to watch American television shows rather than Asian dramas.

    The only way that I can express my love for particular dramas are with the people that I meet online. It’s a very awesome way to make and meet new friends who share the same interests as you. But it is a way to enjoy a drama and appreciate it more when you can talk and discuss about the events transpiring in the drama by crying alongside together with the main character as well as squeal happily when a joyous event occurs in the drama.

  21. Because I just cannot leave this page without dropping a comment, I would also contribute to the discussion. Why do I talk about dramas? Since I’ve conquered my fear of being called stupid and shifted from being a lurker to a “commenter”, I’ve enjoyed discussing dramas with other people. Sometimes, it’s because even if you’re from different parts of the world, you form a connection through a drama. On other times, it’s because you enjoy cultivating your mind and seeing things from other peoples’ perspectives. Many times, it’s because we share an appreciation for a great masterpiece. I have many different reasons for talking about dramas and I salute many sites for creating an avenue for us, dramalovers, to do this.

    Probably, a memorable discussion of dramas I had with my friends revolve around the Hana Yori Dango drama adaptations. I’ve started to really follow dramas after watching Meteor Garden. I was slightly younger then and with nothing much to do so it really caught me on. I’m not sure if I’m correct but I think it is the first drama that had a Taiwanese, Japanese, Chinese and Korean versions. It is an old battle among my drama friends which among the versions was the best, which had the most pretty boys or the best F4, which had a realistic take on the manga, which had a better ending and so forth. Even to this day, we still argue about this. It’s fun and heartwarming at the same time for us to be bickering at this age about this drama that started about a decade ago. For me, I still like the Japanese version better than the others because it really touched my young heart. However, when I think about it, the basis of all this dramas, the manga, is really not very sensible. Still I really liked it. 🙂 And that’s all I have to say. 🙂

  22. Firstly, Ms. Koala, congratulations on reaching 10 million! Here’s to 10 million more! And don’t worry about taking time away from the blog for your… life. Just know that everyone here will judge and hate you forever (JUST KIDDING!). And lastly, I don’t think I ever got to thank you for all your recaps (WOOT PTB!) and posts.

    As for why I talk about dramas: the same reason why I talk about any television. I am an avid television watcher, whether Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, American, British, or Canadian (Helloooo Being Erica!), and in my own mind at least, pop culture critic. As much as I love watching dramas, I am fully aware that it is a passive experience. I am literally just sitting and watching other people do things. But talking dramas, like Koala mentioned, requires attention, thought, and a little bravery. It is active, at least intellectually*. (*This excludes all comments I’ve posted to the tune of “Lee Min Ho… why so sexy?” or squeeing over the cuteness of Yoon Pil Joo, Cha Ji Heon, etc.) In order to say something of any substance, I must reflect on what I’ve just seen, thinking about what I liked, didn’t like, what could have been better and how, what something means socially or culturally, etc. Furthermore, getting responses on said comments helps me to grow and learn, forcing me to revisit earlier, half-formed opinions or strengthen my own arguments (like why I didn’t totally hate that In Young chose Sung Soo over Sung Hyun and why the last two episodes of You’ve Fallen for Me completely undermined the drama).

    Of course, all the above could just be a red herring, and really I talk dramas in order to not think about the fact that at that moment, I am not doing schoolwork – I discovered my first drama, BBF, this past January on Hulu when I didn’t feel like reading Enrique Dussel, and a couple weeks later, stumbled onto Dramabeans for the first time. Grades, meet toilet.

    Either way, talking about dramas definitely enriches the drama watching experience.

  23. wow. 10 MILLION. that’s what? like a small country’s population! and like any small community, Koala’s Playground become a place where drama enthusiast gather, all with something on common. A passion for a drama – whether it’s Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean. It became an international place to gather! ^^ Congratulations Koala!♥

    I first lurked the playground when Lie To Me started this summer, all because of YEH. It was the first time I watched a Kdrama live, though I love Kdrama since the Goong Days. And after Lie to Me, I vowed never to watch anything live anymore. I was dysfunctional- I became a zombie just like everybody else.I can’t function well in my work, my students always notice me as haggard as someone who haven’t had a good sleep for a month. Though what I learned from that experience is that it was more fun to discuss drama as it is being shown live- you will be caught with other people’s passion -about the characters, the plot, the script, basically about everything! And then suddenly a drama which supposedly only a mirror of real life BECOMES your life. Since that summer, one of the first tab that I open would be this playground where I get new updates not only about the k-entertainment but Asian drama as a whole.

    Because of this playground, I started to love Park Min Young, and the whole Joseon F4. (ooooh I love Ah In and Joong Ki~♥) then Park Shin Hye and Yong Hwa. Good thing that koala doesn’t discuss much of Kpop, or else, I won’t have any life anymore. My friends know HOW I become an addict when I started to ship something or someone. (e.g. watching Heartstring – loving Yong Hwa and Shin HYe – downloading OST- downloading whole CN BLUE album etc)

    Also, my understanding about kdrama had elevated to a certain standard. Before, If the cast and the story are ok, I will think that the drama is already good. But upon exploring the whole site, I figured out my knowledge is still lacking. And I am using the list of good dramas enumerated by Koala and Thundie as my basis what to watch next.

    Talking about drama is such a great experience. Whenever we discuss drama, people around us thought we are talking about real people based on our heated arguments and body gestures. Only to find out we are talking about fictitious characters. I learned a lot about kdramas, not only Korea’s culture, language, and traditions but I learned human life and philosophies as a whole. I think that’s why dramas are addicting, it lets us learn about things that we haven’t experience ourselves.

    Thank you so much Ockoala. Thank you so much for opening a door like Narnia – where these hot entertainers lurk. ^^ and these wonderful people that I hope to be around always. ^^

  24. wow..congrats for ur achievement Mz. K 😀 soo *throw confetti*

    Let me drop some of my thot, with my limited English Vocab, I hope you understand .. LOL

    Why do I talk about dramas?
    Dramas been the part of my life, Drama more or less for some level helps me and taught me how to become a better person from a protagonist (tho sometimes the characters way too much) who in every dialogues there is always a wise words.
    A drama is my escape from reality. It really helps me to keep on dreaming, smiling, addicting, angry, happy….in other word… makes me alive.
    I can’t imagine my life without a drama.

    This is my 1st place to drop off my comments about drama. All of people in here is very warm and welcome, even tho with my limited english I’d still feel soooo comfortable..kekekekek… AKP is a very fun place, informative and welcome. and because of drama, I met looootttsss of great people from around the world.

    I do rilli hope that you can keep writing Mz. K… I love your writing…don’t know why 🙂


  25. Congratulations on reaching 10 million hits! I love your blog. It’s my favorite drama blog and I check it everyday. Thank you so much for all the work you put into it!

    Why talk dramas?…..

    Well, can you help it? I literally can’t help it. I talk dramas with my sister– usually till my phone runs out of charge and the battery gets so hot it hurts to hold it. Sometimes I don’t even know I have anything to say about a drama till it randomly comes up and then suddenly 3 hours have passed by. We email too- 100’s of emails over months and months. My sister and I love dramas. And we talk about them ad nauseum. Our family members have learned to tune us out. From watching dramas, we have a whole alternate pool of pop culture references that have bred a million inside jokes.

    Some of my favorite discussions aren’t discussions at all, but the hundreds of quick jokes and hilarious small references only an avid drama watcher would get. Otherwise we have 1 long run-on never-ending discussion about every drama. We just pick up where we left off last time, sometimes mid-sentence! No context necessary.

    I’ve had many great discussions with my sister, but the one’s that stood out the most recently were about City Hunter (not at all my favorite drama ironically). We have this shared deep and intense love/hate relationship with City Hunter. Talking about City Hunter for me was like exorcising a demon. I just had to get it out. Perfect example of how a drama made me so obviously senseless and off my rocker, but still convinced I’m right– about everything! (I even got a Soompi account and fell into a very deep, dark corner of the internet. I’ve since come back to the light though.) I went to Crazytown for a moment. Many times while my sister and I were talking I would think, “I could be yelling right now, but I’m not sure if I am. Why am I yelling?…Who cares?! The president is his dad! ahhhh!!!” haha. I’m still not over that.

    We spent many nights begrudgingly loving LMH (is he hot, or is it the lighting?…”that’s not a stunt double– look at those legs!”), fangirling over PMY, nursing our respective ajusshi crushes on…well Ajusshi (she thinks he’s cute!) and Jin pyo- aka Mr. Judging You… yes sir, go right ahead! XD love him! oh wait, but he wants to kill people…facepalm), hating the President, and crying so much for our beloved prosecutor. City Hunter was the drama my sister and I loved to hate and hated loving, but we spent many memorable hours talking and yes, yelling about it too.

  26. ockoala, congrats on 10 million hits! I enjoy your most entertaining style of writing and my only complaint about your blog is that there just isn’t enough Bae Soo Bin in it !! I came out of lurkdom to comment on your recent post about BSB and HHJ in Japan, and am writing now to ask you to kindly consider writing more about BSB in future. 🙂 My fave BSB drama is “The Proof of Memories” (made by CCTV – no English subtitles but I managed to watch and enjoy all 29 episodes of it with my limited knowledge of Chinese) – early, manly BSB (2002). Have you seen it?

    Good luck with your new job opportunity!

    PS Love that pic of the cat and dog!

  27. My discovery of drama’s was completely accidental and a unexpected four year headlong addiction followed and hasn’t shown any signs of dimming.
    I am perhaps a very unusual viewer as I am not Asian but a white American. Believe me when I say my discovery was accidental, in my American ignorance I had never really thought about other countries movies and especially drama’s. A friend introduced me to anime in which I found an unexpected attraction. With my new found interest in anime I began to realize I could find some anime on youtube. In my search for a anime hana yori dango I to my excitement found out there was a life action version. I then bought my first foreign drama the japanese english subbed hana yori dango. As I did more research I discovered a whole new world of entertainment I hadn’t even been aware of, what a wonderful discovery. Everything was new and fresh to me I didn’t always understand the cultural references but overtime they made sense I even picked up language in the process. Korean dramas rose to the top for me, I loved the romance themes, I loved the innocence of the characters, in the U.S innocence and purity are not qualities that are admired and because I myself held values that were at odds with this I felt a little disconnected. I suddenly had this voracious addiction to these Asian drama’s and loved the complete change of pace they offered; I am not that young being in my thirties now starting my addiction in my late twenties, but somewhere deep inside lives a die hard romantic who has been longing for entertainment fare that would satisfy. Most of my friends and family find my addiction strange and I often long for a friend that I could have a marathon with eating junk food, sighing at the sweet moments, yelling at the evil characters together and passing each other napkins to wipe the tears. So when I read recaps or watch the streaming comments on viikii I get a sense of community an outlet to share my addiction which I don’t even completely understand. So yes I am that odd American white girl who is completely addicted to Asian drama’s and after four years I don’t think it will go away, but because of communities like this I feel just a little less alone.

  28. wow..for hitting 10 million…I fell in love with K drama from 2006 Goong…and I love when my hubby joined me with Dae Jang Geum..I found reading blogs by accident and your blog is the place where I want to decide to watch what drama that worth watching..I have mutual grounds with my daughter to talk the eye candy heroes and second lead syndrome..the eye contacts that make my heart skip a bit whenever the hero looked at the leading she blushes..When my son talk about strategic art of war like in Queen Seon Deuk..I escaped my daily duties as a mom and wife whenever the dramas are on either in TV..Net and Dvds…Finally Thank You Ockoala for all these months of purely entertaining me with this beautiful playground…All the BEST for you with your own life story of reality….

  29. Congratulations on 10 million hits and your new career move!

    Mrs. Koala, Thank you for talking about everything. Without you, I wouldn’t have gotten into BBJX, for example. Actually, come to think of it, your recommendations on books(海辺のカフカ is my all time favorite, can’t remember the English title), Chinese cafe, clothing & everything.

  30. First off, I’d like to congratulate you ockoala unni for the 10,000,000th hits. That’s a lot in a single year!

    Now, I’d like to have my piece, I don’t care about my two papers that are due on Friday. This is my self-imposed break and well, this is fun, and I would like to be part of it.

    Anyway, I was thinking about Lie To Me which I enjoyed because of my favourite OTP, but no, I would have to think back. Playful Kiss, the drama that brought me here was so enjoyable but I don’t think I was an active participant then. I was just new here I remember, and like all the rest, I was going crazy about what would happen next… I used to watch Kdramas on DVDs but I think this was the first few Korean dramas where I learned how to use streaming sites as the drama is still ongoing in South Korea (my first, I think, was You’re Beautiful, if my memory serves me right). When watching DVDs, I would tell myself, okay, just one more episode, or alright, just one more hour, but after an episode, I’d say the same thing until I realise it’s time for breakfast. Then after finishing all of the episodes, probably in one go or 81 episodes in roughly a week, withdrawal symptoms would set in such as a massive migraine, body weakness, nausea and vomiting, be rushed to the hospital, be given an IV, then a lengthy lecture by your Dad who makes sure that your tv is off at 9pm from that day hence. Then you started to become so grateful to the inventor of the earphones. But anyway, by watching in this manner, one would probably die of lack of sleep, but not by the suspense of watching the next episode, which is actually more lethal as one would wait for a century (at least it feels that way in waiting for episodes to be subtitled) racking your brains out on what would happen next, preoccupying your thoughts in the shower, in the classroom, everywhere, even in sleep. My cousin, who is an authority for Korean dramas, I should say, told me to go to this site as “there is a recap the morning after the episode is aired”. Hence, the discovery of this playground, where everybody is so happy reading the goings on in the house of the Baeks. I didn’t want to leave this place since then.

    Then M3 came along and I think it is the time when I started to become part of the active lurkers. I really enjoyed the ride but not as much as the one that came next, 49 Days, or maybe because when I was watching M3, I didn’t have any cares in the world. I was so pampered, I realised. Then I went overseas to study, actually went to another world, where I am alone, all the pampering gone, and Kdramas became a source of familiar comfort, not to mention your site, which delivers recaps with humour or delightful sarcasm, and with views so much alike as mine while hitting the right words so perfectly. The drama, 49 Days was on during that transition, hence, very memorable for me.

    The drama, 49 Days, is a drama that is so unpredictable that one could not help but be so drawn with each episode, and in this playground, one could not help but be so very “involved” and be passionate about it. I really thought you would give up on it but that wouldn’t be so much fun and I remember everybody pleading that you go on with the recaps please, me included aha ha. Therefore, I actually loved you more for continuing on with it.

    I also remember seeing an undesirable visitor in this playground who had the most appalling comments and I remember seeing red. I couldn’t help but be passionate with that too, sorry about that. I love this site and I just couldn’t let that go away without saying anything. I learned to love this playground because aside from the fact that your recaps are an enjoyable read, they are the quickest too and that means a lot for a full-fledged Kdrama addict like me. I draw a lot of pleasure from it and seeing one lambast this site was just unacceptable. It’s like seeing a bully in the playground and you just have to say something to make him leave, making sure that he would feel unwanted and not let him continue to spoil the fun you’re experiencing with your “playmates” in that place.

    I would lurk in this playground the morning after the 49 Days episode aired in SK, waiting for the recap. Reloading hundreds of times, before going to the shower, after the shower, before breakfast, after breakfast, and that I couldn’t leave the house without that recap. I was just not functional. It’s more of a morning vitamins for me. It didn’t feel like a supplement, not even just the dessert, but the main course, or the main meal, I reckon. So it is really like my breakkie, lunch and tea. I didn’t have that smart a phone then to have the comfort of checking on it any time and pictures were dismal in it and so I prefer my vaio. I didn’t have a car then too and would have to wait for the bus. But I would have to wait for it before I go for class. A number of times, I would be left by the bus, yup late for ingesting every word you wrote, leaving me waiting in the bench for another one, which will not come for another half an hour, while my nose bleeds from the cold and draft. I’ll sometimes be late or miss a class entirely. So sometimes, it’s just enough for me to read the first few paragraphs then come back to it later in the library, but I would just have to see a glimpse of your recap before I could move.

    In class, I would remember staring at the lecturer, thinking about where that darn tear came from. I was hoping for Han Kang but it wouldn’t be a typical Kdrama if the first tear would come from him, then it is from Han Kang! Well, it’s because 49 Days is not a typical Kdrama as it is! I really loved that drama. I laughed at the Scheduler’s antics, I cried buckets too, I seethed at Min Ho and the girlfriend, loved the cuteness and felt love for Han Kang (not to mention, the actor as well, nya ha ha). I was also amazed at Lee Yo Won as she has the chemistry with all the three guys. I am actually so happy with it even if I wished that Ji Hyun shouldn’t have died or the Scheduler should have left without that sadness, or wished that Yi Kyung should have ended up with Han Kang. I mean what about Han Kang? I felt so sorry for him. Well, I actually felt so sorry for everybody. Nobody was left with anybody. Where could have the Scheduler gone? What about Ji Hyun? Where does the soul go? I mean where exactly? What about those left? It ended with a very sad note. Still, I was happy with it. Although it was presented with so much fantasy, it actually speaks of reality. This drama stuck with me even weeks after I saw the last episode and thinking about it makes me feel so sad. But it was sadness that wasn’t really depressing such as watching Autumn Tales or Snow Queen or Mawang. Maybe because I felt hope that Han Kang would eventually end up with Yi Kyung. It is just not possible, in my world at least, that they will end up having separate lives after what they’ve gone through. The connection will always be there, and I don’t think they will be able to deny that fact for very long. Their relationship just needs time to grow.

    This drama was just so unforgettable. It really is so different from all the rest. I would actually not hesitate to watch 49 Days again. Well, I could actually watch it over and over again if I have the luxury of time in this busy world but where I still can find solace in this thing, which all of us love, called Korean Dramas, ha ha.

  31. Congratulations on the success of The Playground, Koala!

    I believe Bu Bu Jing Xin takes the cake in holding my favorite, most memorable drama discussion encountered thus far.

    Bu Bu Jing Xin is a drama I would have never watched without Koala’s recommendation, and it’s the first Mainland Chinese drama I have ever seen–let alone first historical Chinese drama. I confess that I’m a Chinese-American who has never studied Chinese history or Chinese culture at any length. I couldn’t even tell you the names of all the dynasties.

    I marathoned that drama, and I did so without pressing fast-forward and without grumbling of plot-pacing-problems. Now, it’s not the first time I marathoned a drama, but it’s the first time I did so and re-watched it immediately (multiple times) after to grasp what I may have missed. And I missed a lot, because that drama had such all-around great attention to detail. What’s more, even though I began re-watching everything, I went through withdrawal symptoms. Usually, I will read drama recaps to get my fix and perhaps only peruse the comment section whenever something ridiculously ambiguous happened. Maybe I’ll do it for the night or two after I finish it, or maybe I’ll just scan a few blogs for some excess thoughts.

    Needless to say, not here. This time, I was on a mission to appreciate and understand this drama as best I could. Luckily, Bu Bu Jing Xin discussions ran the gamut. The comments held details of novel and drama differences, debates on historical accuracy, and some serious questioning of whether or not it should have gone down the way it did. Did 4th deserve the throne? Were his measures to secure the position too extreme? I was enamored.

    I changed my opinion of characters multiple times after reading other people vindicate their thoughts. It was intelligent discussion going on, and not just gushing about whether “shipping this couple, because So-and-So is sooo drool-worthy.” (Don’t get me wrong, I love posts like that too and there was definitely some of that around, but those posts definitely don’t incite the same kind of thought processes :D) I also enjoyed when other people fell in love with the exact same scenes I did. Those comments didn’t necessarily gain me any perspective on anything, but I did feel like I found a kindred spirit. It always feels good to share some common ground.

    I discovered so much because of this drama, and I will always remember it as one of the best learning impetuses to date. Two weeks and counting, and I’m still going at it! Believe me, this is no small time-frame for somebody who day dreams at the drop of a hat.

  32. Ms K, I’ll definitely miss you buckets when you slow down on postings in future. Love your writings, love your recommendations, love your humor (pizza mining?? Lol!!), and all the great photos you posts. Love the fact you not only watch K-dramas, but C, T & J too!!! I may not hv watched all the dramas you hv since you started postings but ever since I found you during 49 Days, you’ve been my daily lurk. Thank you.

    As with many others, we lurk & read, enjoying all the comments n knowing so many others in the world are going through the same feelings you have. Once in a blue moon, we make our point but mostly we just read.

    Everyone has their own reasons why they’re here but I just want to say that you’re my fav. While you move to a new job n settle down in a new city, I thank you for introducing me to fellow bloggers via your links. Through them, I will continue to pursue all the Asian dramas.

    All the best! Take care! And a zillion thanks & hugs& kisses for BBJX intro!!!!!!!!!

    (no need for DVDs, just wanna say thanks for your company this whole year)

  33. Oh sis congratulations for hitting the 10mil mark! That is just pure awesomeness! And all the luck to your new career move. I will always be coming back to enjoy at AKP no matter what! Honestly, you were the first blog owner to actually respond to my mail and comment. It made me happy to no end coz I never really thought anyone would mind me. Thanks for paving the way for me sis and hope that it would be okay for you if i always call you sis. 🙂

    • Now, why do we talk dramas?

      I have this insane habit of hunting down every bit of write-ups, articles, blogs, etc. if I like a certain drama. That is how I discover blogs like Dramabeans and AKP. My first haven was Dramabeans. Then, from there I discovered AKP. AKP then introduced me to Thundies and Electric Ground. Electric Ground in turn introduced me to Softy’s Rebel Souls now Cadence.

      So why do I frequent this blogsites? I just lurk around the blog’s corners and read endlessly all the post and comments to whet my cravings for a certain drama. I had been a long time drama addict but my obsession with blogs started out recently. It was when I watched My Princess but You are Beautiful reawakened my K-drama madness. One week was just too long for me to wait for the next episode. I was apprehensive at the start. Like what you pointed above, I was afraid to say something wrong. I don’t know but after several episodes, I am actively commenting on MP at Dramabeans. Our drama watching makes us do things we don’t usually do. On the onset of MP, I discovered DarkSmurfSub alongside blogsites, and my bloglife as well as subber-life started. It was until after My Princess that I discovered late Sungkyunkwan Scandal. Again I had to devour anything about it. I had to stop myself from commenting on some blogs due to the fact that the last entry was so far off, I got cold feet posting.

      I was just glad that I find a drama partner at the office. She shared the same k-drama obsession but sadly not the blog hunting. It was very fortunate tho since with her I was able to talk, squeal with delight and swoon and even cry about my fave drama. Now my spazzing online got better cause I get to talk to it with a real friend. Sometimes, we got laughed at at the office but that is okay. It was Dream High at that time when people would always look at us and wonder like we were some kind of fools giggling over nothing they can understand.

      I am thankful you sis for introducing two of the most wonderful dramas I had ever watched, Bu Bu Jing Xin and Drunken to Love You. I watched DTLY later so I wasn’t able to actively participate in the commentaries. I did enjoy it so much. But BBJX was an entirely different situation. I was there when you were started about it and even the posts made me want to watch it. I got hooked! I bawled out a lot on this drama.

      So back to the question at hand, why do we talk about dramas? Why? Because we love this dramas we are watching. Because it just feels so right to talk about them with people who appreciate the same things as you are. I always get a fluffy feeling when someone agrees with me when I was talking about SKKS and DH and it irks me to no end when someone criticized SSH on MP. 🙂 We talk about it because we also want to hear what others think. At the same time, we talk about it because we want to share our thoughts. LOLS, one crazy thing I did was create a blog of my own, which up till now I had not written anything noteworthy. I made it because I wanted to write about my thoughts on the drama I am watching and had watched. What lead me to it tho is this incident. I wanted to click the LIKE button on Softy’s blog but cannot because apparently that was for bloggers. hehehe. So there I go, created one myself, just to like my fave blogsites. It all adds up to one thing, we LOVE dramas. (and I would love to have the City Hall dvd, I am obviously a CSW fan, 🙂 )

      • I left this out… for sis koala, you made me very happy with every BBJX post. BBJX was by far the most active drama you have featured here, even if not recapped. Talking about it with you and the rest of the AKPers was well worth our time… I am still looking forward for some posts. hehehe.

  34. Hi guys, just wanted to say thank you to everyone for posting a comment, whether or not to enter the giveaway. I really appreciate and tear up over all the well-wishes. Just wanted to clarify that I’ve been working full time the entire time I’ve been writing for the Playground, so it’s not like I’m planning start working. I’m merely heading towards a job switch, but it’s still the same job, just with a different company. I’m also not moving, so don’t worry about the Playground going dark. I fully intend to keep talking about dramas! Otherwise I’ll drive my real family insane. 😛

    Keep the entries coming, guys!

  35. Woohoo, congrats on the 10 millionth hit!!!!!

    I can’t say that I write about dramas because I mostly lurk on forums (though I have made a comment or two or three in the past). I am a wallflower even in the virtual world. 🙂 I will say though that I participate in the drama-watching because the stories and characters are so different from the predominantly white entertainment culture that is prevalent in my country. And the forum-lurking is to feel connected to a community. None of my friends watch dramas so it’s nice to go online and read what others are saying about my drama du jour. I love analyzing storylines/actors/actresses/writers, etc. And to silently squeal in glee when I see someone’s written exactly what I’ve been thinking about a particular drama. I get a feeling of camaraderie and joy from that.

  36. Dear Koala,

    Since i read your post i have been thinking of why anyone would want to talk, write or read about dramas… But i sat back and thought about it abit more and i realised myself thinking about why anyone would essentially want to talk about anything in the world – be it politics, music, science and in this case, drama…

    I think we are communicative beings thus we need to exchange information between ourselves; which leads to enrichment in our own lives… 🙂

    And just a few small pointers on why I love to read and write [though very rarely] about dramas:
    – They are fun to talk about – like how we talk about interesting things with our friends..
    -They address social issues that people sometimes ignore [like the elephant in the room].
    – They are realistic with the struggles; a good drama usually has a realistic plot that highlights the struggles that people go through.
    – But most importantly, i get to hear the views of others, like yourself and other writers on the forum.

    To be really honest, i have started watching Office Girls after reading your recaps and I must say that OG is an amazing drama – watched all 11 episodes in a day.

    These are just some reasons and pointers as to why I talk about Dramas.. I love hearing peoples views and analysis on a charachter, scene or plot – and I could read them all day!! 😉

    have a good week!!

  37. Woah! Ten million views! You deserve all the loving~ Cheers to this 10 million, and another to another 10 million that is shortly gonna follow. I sincerely love the way you deliver whatever you may have to offer us.  Haven’t had the chance to reply on every post like before :(, but I always check this site first thing in the morning, and before I sleep. Heh. Koala Unnie you know I love you right? I love coming to this site and seeing a variety of things. From photoshoots to recaps from Japanese to Korean to Bu Bu Jing Xin. 😉 And all the other wonderful stuff in between.

    Not sure if this is what you were looking for… But I just wanted to ramble on 😉

    Why do I talk about dramas if I want to? Well, let’s start from the beginning. The most innocent beginning. I was a wandering 15 year old teenage girl going through puberty. Back in the day, there wasn’t much to obsess with. Jonas brothers were too hollywood for me, punk-emo  music annoyed the hell out of me, “reality” shows tortured me to death. So my full attention went to Shojo Manga.  I’ve always loved  love traingles. And upon entering the shojo world, who knew 3-4 guys could all seemingly fall head over heels for the heroine? Since then I’ve always had a fascination with male harem: one lucky female surrounded by gorgeous guys. I have no shame in admitting it’s my fantasy. Wait a minute is this getting off topic? Whoopsies. I tend to do that fantasize- I mean go off topic. After reading just about every shojo manga out there, I craved for something more 3D. And so the journey begins.

    Thus I stumbled upon the live Japanese adaptation of Hana Kimi. A teenage girl disguises herself as a boy to enter in an all boys highschool.  Oh my.  I worshipped it like a little girl obsessed with Dora The Explorer. Rewatching episodes, singing along with the songs, throwing tantrums because people won’t leave me alone to watch in peace. Heh, put a little girl infront of the Tv screen while Dora airs and you’ll see how vicious they can be when you interfere. 

    Hana Kimi. I didn’t like it at first. At first glance, the first 10 minutes, I flinched at seeing the anorexic looking boys. “They look like twigs.” Is what I told my crunchyroll friend who introduced me to the drama. “Just watch, finish the first episode, you’ll like them more.” So the easily convinced me, decided to do so. Then something hit me. I just fell in love with them.  

     One thing led to another, and taada~ I’m currently residing in many drama worlds.

    Whenever I finished a drama. I just had to spaz about it. When I tried to get my other friends to watch dramas, I fail, and I become upset with them from judging a drama based on the synopsis – my poor retelling of the story, and not the oh so wonderful layers it had to offer. To this day they just don’t understand why I love dramas, and till this day I have never given up trying to lure them into my world that consists of hot chaebols, love triangles, & sweet second male leads.

    These are conversations between the unlucky friends I decided to talk dramas to..  (Slightly enhanced because of my fading memory. I promise the main premise remains true.) 

    Me: I finished another drama! It’s so gooooooood!
    Friend: What’s it about? <- Totally pretending to care.
    Me: It’s called Princess hours-
    Friend: She’s Cinderella?
    Me: No she’s Mulan. Let me finish. It’s about a girl who becomes a princess- Anyways the girl becomes a Princess after marrying the Prince. 
    Friend: Then what happens?
    Me: The Prince likes another girl. The other girl is a bitch. The Princess meets the Prince’s cousin. The Prince’s cousin really likes the Princess. The Prince is so cute! He hated the girl at first, but then he fell in love with her. The Prince’s cousin isn’t so bad either. He really likes the main girl- You should watch it!

    Me: I started watching a new drama! 
    Friend #2: ….
    Me: It’s awesome! My first historical drama! Anyways it’s about this guy. He used to be rich. He had a slave-
    Friend #2: What have you been watching?
    Me: He had a slave. The slave’s brother tried to kill him. He loses his riches, and he gets mad at her. So he transforms into a slave hunter. Looking for her to seek revenge but then in his heart he still loves her so much. It’s so… CUUUTE! The action scenes are awesome. You should watch it!

    Me: I finished another drama! 
    Friend: Another one?
    Me: About a girl who pretends to be a guy-
    Friend: Oh you told me about that one already.
    Me: It’s a different one.. But aww you remembered!
    Me: It’s my favorite drama so far! A girl who is an apprentice nun pretends to be her twin brother who is part of this band. The leader is arrogantly hot, the guitarist is sooo sweet, and the drummer is the cutest guy. 
    Friend: Let me guess, one of them thinks they’re gay.
    Me: Yea! So funny! Jeremy the drummer thinks he’s gay. Ah you should see his face when he finds out she’s a girl. Oh I’ll show you the clip later. Anyways all three of them fall hard for her. 
    Friend: I think you can pass as a guy.
    Me: Really?! Wait… I shouldn’t be happy about that… But you should watch it!!!

    I can’t explain in words just how much I love a certain drama. I’ve got a short vocabulary list in which the best word to describe good is awesome. I never know the right words to say. So whenever I lurk around sites and see someone that take the unspoken words out of my heart and type it up so beautifully I become so captivated with them *coughcoughKoalaUnniecoughcough* If I met them personally… Well let’s just say you wouldn’t want to meet me. I could talk about dramas the whole day with you, that you may never want to watch a drama again in this lifetime. 

    • Really enjoyed your comments I feel as though I come up against a wall when I try to talk about drama’s with my friends or family. I just get raised eyebrows, patronizing nods and eye rolls. I could so relate to you trying to draw in disinterested friends and family I’m in the same boat.

    • I totally enjoyed your comment! Had the same experience with some of my friends, it’s so frustrating! And convincing them to watch sageuks even if it’s SKKS is even more difficult. Hahaha. I’m lucky to have friends in the web to talk about the dramas that I want when my friends are not really interested.

  38. Hi Koala, congrats on your 10 millionth hit! It is a really great achievement! I must confess that I only found out about your website recently and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of content you offer. You have found a loyal fan in me 🙂 Hehe, you were the one who got me hooked on office girls, in time with you, and ring ring bell, and now I always make time for these 3 dramas even as my free time drastically shortens 🙂

    Dramas hold a special spot in my heart. I am a wallflower except when it comes to discussing about dramas. Somehow, when dramas come into the discussion, it’s like a switch has turned on inside me; I could freely express my anger, my anxieties, my happiness, all my fangirling that I usually suppress under my usual public self of seriousness and restraint. My friends often comment on the change in me when I talk about dramas.

    Dramas serve as a neutral platform where I can connect to people and feel closer to them. I remember reminscing about all the rofl scenes in You’re Beautiful with my friend, and we would get caught up in the perennial question of whether the first or the second male lead should get the girl. I’m of the first camp while my friend is of the second camp. I remember that my friend would always vehemently defend Shin Woo, to which I would always remind her of the golden rule of dramas (which is that the first male lead would always get the girl). But putting the rule aside, I could see the appeal of Shin Woo, him being a perpetual gentleman, who always lent a helping hand and shoulder for Mi Nam, but I would always support Tae Kyung, because of his tsundere (outwardly prickly, but inwardly a softie) character and his interaction with Mi Nam (Mi Nam would only show her true self, all her emotions, with Tae Kyung and she is just more comfortable with Tae Kyung than she would with Shin Woo). But my friend would always rebut that Mi Nam should go with Shin Woo since Shin Woo is a more of a safe bet than Tae Kyung if one is to consider a relationship that could be maintained for the long term and then mutter that Shin Woo should be repaid for all his sacrifices and efforts, which I would respond with rolling my eyes. The only conclusion we had that day was that both of us firmly stand in our respective camp and refuse to budge. Haha, when I bring this up to my friend now, each of us still support our own choice, and thus the neverending cycle begins anew, with the occasional mutual consent of a ceasefire by focusing on the great songs or funny scenes in the drama. Despite the conflict, I did enjoy the fiery debate we had and I wouldn’t exchange it for the world 🙂

  39. Hi Captain! 😀

    Congratulations again for reaching the 10 million hits milestone. Brava!!! \o/
    I’d like to submit the following entry for the contest. I hope you like it! 😉

    Five words…Mary Stayed Out All Night…That’s the drama that pulled me out of my bashful self and ushered me into the brave online community of fans discussing the dramas they’ve already watched or currently watching…

    The chemistry between Jang Geun Seok (JGS) and Moon Geun Young (MGY) in Mary Stayed Out All Night (MSOAN) was out of this world that I felt compelled to weigh in and add my praises for the awesome pair. I chose to join the discussion at “A Koala’s playground” (AKP) since it provided space for MSOAN fans like me who enjoyed the drama mainly due to JGS and MGY.

    Talking about MSOAN drama at AKP made me feel I belong. It encouraged me to exchange comments and share my viewing experience without feeling alienated by like-minded or unlike-minded drama fans. I can recall prior to the broadcast of MSOAN’s episode 15, the discussion on what was about to happen in that episode got very intense. There were speculations, counter-speculations, and passionate comments. But after episode 16 (final episode) was shown and recapped by Captain ockoala, I thought the participants in the MSOAN discussion were united in expressing their gratitude that they were part of an unforgettable and communal experience.

    Talking about dramas can also be educational. Aside from drama-related facts, it taught me new ways of looking at things. For example, when MSOAN changed writers between ep 10 and ep 11, I learned how this change can be advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. It also taught me that back hugs can be romantic. 😉 In addition, I learned new words or expressions just by talking about MSOAN such as: (1) Jagiya, a Korean term for sweetheart or honey; (2) Mero Mero, a Japanese expression, which means either madly in love or heavily drunk; and (3) choupisme, a French word, which means cuteness.

    The MSOAN broadcast has long ended. In fact, it was last December 2010. Even so, the chatter about this drama continued and was intensified by the awesome pair’s attendance at the KBS 2010 Drama awards. Captain ockoala had to setup a dedicated discussion page for the “GeunGeun GSI Team”. Thanks Captain! The participants in this community-building and educational discussion continue to share news, ideas, and opinions about MSOAN, JGS, MGY and dramas in general. I too participate in that forum because, aside from the reasons already mentioned, I find it fun! Hearing (or reading) that someone else share my opinions about a drama or learning new ideas or viewpoints is fun. (*^__^*)

    Thanks Captain for AKP. Thank you for enabling us through your blog to talk about dramas which gives us a sense of belonging, additional knowledge, and just plain clean fun! (^__^)

  40. Koala!!! Thank you for hosting the Playground and giving us drama-fans a place to talk, cry, obsess…and have conversations only WE understand! 😉 Congrats on reaching the 10-million milestone! Your contest really made me think –why DO I talk about dramas???

    I started watching dramas a few years ago becasue of a friend’s suggestion (read: drama-addicted friend wanted to share the obsession becasue that’s how SHE got started). I watched my first drama and was immediately hooked. Not only was I forgoing sleep and meals to see the next episode and the next one…etc, but the next day, my friend and I would have these great discussions – analyzing dialogue, gestures, squee moments for the OTP, hoping against hope by shipping the second male lead (Bae Soo Bin – Brilliant Legacy/Shining Inheritance…anyone??? What about Kyoya in Ouran HS Host Club?).

    Whether we agree, disagree, laugh or cry –through it all, we were (and still are!) constantly TALKING. Discussing dramas has become another anchor in our friendship. It’s like we’ve learned a new “language” and suddenly become part of this fantastic community that is as funny as it is honest; spirited as it is reflective.

    Sometimes my friend and I talk dramas for the romance-factor (Spring Waltz), the suspense of a good revenge thriller (Story of a Man), the snark-bait that is Runaway, or the tear-jerkingness of a melo’ (I’m Sorry, I Love You)…and yes, tear-jerkingness is a word. LOL! And out of nowhere we are fortunate enough to find a story where the plot is dynamic & engaging, characters are compelling, and the writing is out of this world! And the romances –blow you away! (BBJX. Need I say more?)

    I talk about dramas as a way to stay connected with a really great friend. We’ve been friends for 11 years and we’re at the the point that when I called her today and asked if she was going to watch the new movie “My Man is a Cat”, she *automatically* knew I meant “You’re My Pet”. hahaha! 🙂 It’s like we have our own shorthand!

    Talking about dramas gives us opportunites to do really nice things for each other. For example, knowing how much I love BBJX and my fixation with hair ornaments…guess who’s looking for the magnolia hairpin for me? And knowing how much she loved the pig-rabbit from You’re Beautiful, it was a given that I sent her one as a gift since she would never have bought one for herself.

    I started watching and talking dramas becasue of my friend. I’m still watching and talking because it’s become my (happy) obsession, too! And also BECAUSE IT’S FUN!

  41. Congratulations, Koala unni! The dedication and level of quality in your writing always impresses me. You have this command over words that I’m really envious of.

    I myself am still in the process of de-lurking. I started out as a rabid watcher of kdramas. I loved them to bits, whether they were silly fluff or meaty drama, they were all the same to me. I didn’t really have a critical ability to think about what I was seeing or to articulate it. Gradually, over the past few months, I started to look beyond my own experience of dramas. I read thoughts from people who loved a drama, those who hated it, those who liked it but could objectively criticize it. It was a funny revelation that something that had seemed good or bad to me could be perceived as the opposite. I joined the discussions too. I actually started to think about what I was seeing. Lazy writing, poor acting, disappointments. I remember the frustration on the Miss Ripley board as the main character started to get tamer and tamer and the story lagged into cliches. That was the first time I actively discussed a drama and its elements, and had the courage to put out my honest opinions.

    It didn’t dim my love for dramas – it actually made me love them more. Because now I could know my little dramas for what they were – little works of art, not just mindless entertainment. And learning to look beyond my own mental borders has brought me into an amazing community. I’ve always been a little outsider in my preferences; to this day, my family thinks I’m a little nuts when I go on and on about some television show from a faraway country. Everything is so much funnier when other people are laughing with you, and I cry more when I know other people are crying too. In fact, I love dramas more, now that I know that other people out there love them as much as I do. Plus, I learned how to lol and pwn and *headdesk*. And these, my friends, are things worth knowing.

  42. I realized I was in too deep when my husband said, “If you say another thing about anything Korean, I will get the duct tape.” In order to prevent spousal abuse and future marriage troubles, I came on-line, looking to see if anyone else had contracted k-alaria.

    It was the summer of 2008, I’d been reviewing Asian movies and dramas for a few years for a writer’s forum, but no one paid much attention to the posts, outside of a few faithful friends. And then it happened, I found DB, and Soompi, and Thundie’s Prattle, and everywhere all things were Boys Over Flowers. People were not only talking about k-dramas, they were fighting and there were so many of them.

    There were shipping wars, flower boy wars, can-they-act wars, hot mess discussions, laughing, crying, insanity, and I pulled up in my Legolas jammies and fluffy bear slippers and felt right at home.

    I watched What Happened in Bali, devastated, East of Eden, devastated, and my k-drama sisters were right there with me, sobbing and handing over cyber tissues and hugs. A few k-drama brothers even got in on the act. Then I discovered that there were even k-drama folks who loved Lovers in Prague — the first k-drama that truly, really, deeply “hooked” me.

    In all the ensuing Hong Sisters madness, Secret Garden, My Princess, City Hunter, Lie to Me, Tamra the Island, it just goes on and on — the laughter, the crying, the 6-packs of death, the secret k-drama folks facebook group that chats daily about any/all things k-drama … the nicknames, the special moments we’ve all shared, holding our breath, I’ve been there for 2 years.

    I think, for me, the crowning moment has to be something off-topic only slightly, when I posted a 1,500 word rant on Dramabeans about exploitation of women given the glaring mistreatment and double standard for actresses in the K-drama world. I cringed at the hatred spewed all over Han Ye Seul this summer during her daring exit and re-entrance from the Spy Myung Wol set. And my sisters cringed with me, right here and elsewhere, giving her hugs and wishing her the best and hoping for change. It’s inhuman to keep anyone working for 4 or 5 days straight with less than 2 hours of sleep a day, and no one I know in America would stand for it. This had all been building up, slowly, deeply, in me, this rant, given the suicide of Jang JaYun and Choi JinShil in such a short time, and for such exploitive reasons. It couldn’t go un-spoken, it can’t remain un-talked of, un-discussed. These women were treated inhumanly, and as a woman with a free voice, I had to speak up and say “stop this, this is too much, you’ve all gone too far, we must get this changed.”

    So why do I talk about dramas? Because they bring me to life, and they go into my soul, and come back out again, and in some small ways, some great ways, the talking over of dramas helps us to understand our own lives, our own motivations, know ourselves a little better, a little more, and in the end, bring about changes to the lives of others.

    • Congrats on the milestone, Koala, and here’s to the next 10 millions hits! And you know this, you were the one who told me to go watch Time Between Dog and Wolf and I have listened to your advice on dramas since! (Not always agreeing, mind, but more often than not!)

  43. Congratulations ockoala on your blog’s milestone. Your blog continues to feed my addiction and I love it.
    My asian drama watching experience have evolved over time. I started out when my south east asian college friend asked me to watch “My Girl” with her. I immediately fell in love with the drama because it was funny and different. It was my first time watching asian drama outside the hollywood/western perspective. From the credits at the end of the drama, I realized I could find more asian dramas online. I introduced my cousins to asian dramas and we discovered more websites where we could watch it online. And that was the beginning of my drama addiction. My drama watching experience consisted of watching “completed” dramas and discussing them with my two cousins.”completed” is in quotations because i thought when they were tagged “incomplete” on asian drama websites, the admin had no interest in uploading the complete series episodes for whatever reason. I did not know that “incomplete” meant it was still airing in korea, untill I found viki website and “Boys Over Flowers”
    I was immediately drawn to “Boys Over Flowers” because I wanted to see how koreans would do an adaptation of a Japanese story/drama. So BOF was my first on going korean drama I watched. I enjoyed the frenzy around the drama, and for the first time experienced the heartache of watching previews and waiting for subs to be released. I enjoyed everything about BOF, which consisted of kim bum, kim bum, kim bum, kim bum, and kim bum (sorry, I could not get over jan di’s bob hair and Gu ju pyo’s curls). I was animated with BOF but my experience was still only shared with my cousins.
    Then along came “Mary Stayed Out all Night”. I love Jang Geun Suk and he was playing a free- spirited rocker, which is right in my alley. The english subs for the earlier episodes were not coming out fast enough, that would be based on my anticipation and eagerness to watch MSOAN. So, I was looking for recaps, and I found this playground and dramabeans. I enjoyed reading koala’s and db recaps, previews, and comments. I fell in love with the geun- geun pair, and thier chemistry was off the charts. As the drama went along, I found myself discussing with passion thier love story and how well marched they would be in real life.I enjoyed the passion and the comments on msoan recaps that I found myself sharing my love for the drama, and wading off unnecessary comments of those who found it beyond their comprehension why anyone would love the drama. For sure, msoan was not the best of dramas in terms of writing, but the main characters were so adorable and it touched a place in my soul that no piece of performance art have ever touched. While I was aware of all of msoan’s fault and loved the otp, but what made it more enjoyable was finding a band of viewers who loved the drama as much as I did. We were not blind to the bad writing but held on to the fact that we could love any drama if we want to and not apologize for our love for the said drama. In short, it was a crazy party of gnashing of teeth and swooning. it is almost a year after msoan, and i still enjoy reading about the drama and comments from the msoan gang.
    For a gal who prides herself for navigating the world mostly through the fancy, I thought going crazy over a drama would happen only once in my drama watching life, untill the second coming of msoan a.k.a “Lie to Me”.
    “Lie to Me” had the same misfortunes as msoan, but Ltm had tougher and harsher critiques, probably due to higher expectations. Ltm had such a conventational yet different love story that only a few people understood and accepted it. The love story was so palpable that it blurred the line between reel and real. it was so out there, yet it was grounded. Even koala had to deploy Jane Austen’s “sense and sensibilities” to explain why Ltm captured the sensibilities of many but totally pooped on the senses in her amazing review.I felt the love between kang ji hwan’s character and yoon eun hye’s character. Their interaction was such a hot house that either they really had a thing for each other or they were that good at faking it, and the worst part, i could not tell which is which. Watching Ltm with the gang at the playground was so much fun, we swooned, laughed, and bemoaned its misfortunes. The experience of watching the drama and enjoying it with others was so consuming that it felt like my real life activities was getting in the way of my drama watching.
    Thinking about my watching experience of lie to me and msoan, i realize that regardless of the quality of the drama there is an added value or enjoyment in been able to share and watch a drama with others. it is akin to watching sports with others. Imagine watching the best game of the year (in the sports of your choice) by yourself or with others. Since it is the best game of the year, it will be fun to watch anyway. But, imagine watching the game with friends. When the game starts, you will have comrades, sworn enemies, and comfort food. Sharing the yelling(in a good way), the joy, or disapointment with others makes it that much enjoyable. There is a case to be made that sometimes our mood may call for watching something alone and it can be quite enjoyable, but you get the point.
    This point leads to the longing I had when watching “The Princess Man”. Tpm, for me, is the best drama of the year. I loved Park Shi Oh and Moon Chae Won to pieces. It was the first drama that I loved the secondary otp as much as the main otp. I loved the love story, the politics, ost, and writing of the drama. TPM can no wrong, end of story. However, most blogs i know did not recap tpm and they mostly did first impressions, which is quite understandable, since sageuks are typically harder to recap. TPM was so good that I wanted to enjoy it with fellow drama watchers in cyberspace. When I found blogs that were actually recapping it, either those blogs had few hits or people do not usually comment on the recaps, so i could not exprience the euphoria of virtual drama sharing that i had with msoan and Ltm. Regardless, watching TPM was beyond amazing.
    In all, the first call of dramas is to entertain the viewer. How we choose to find that entertainment is up to each and everyone. Enjoying dramas with others, whether virtually or physically, brings out a commonality of spirits, however cliche that may sound. And having a common spirit is one of the most beautiful attributes of humanity, and that is why i love watching dramas with others.

  44. Oh! What an interesting topic. Why do you talk about dramas, indeed! I actually had to think about it for a while. It’s been years since I got hauled into the world of asian dramas (8 years I think…) and it all started when I happened to stumble upon a Japanese drama (can’t remember which… I think it was a kimitaku drama) and then started plowing through that particular subgenre.

    In those early days it was all about Japanese drama, I barely knew of the other aspects of asian dramas and it took actually me a few years before I even tried out Taiwanese dramas and Korean dramas. I still remember my first Korean drama, the classic “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”. What an unforgettable adventure! The wit, the humor, the characters and the story. I was hopelessly hooked after the first episode and marathoned through the whole drama in a couple days. Lucky for me all the episodes were out and subbed already and I started hunting for the next complete Korean drama, which ended up being My Girl. It didn’t stop there of course and so here I am today, still as addicted to Korean dramas as ever. The only difference being that now I like discussing about dramas as much as watching them. When I first started as a total newbie in the fascinating world of asian dramas, there were plenty of dramas that had already been subbed and just waiting to be watched. So that resulted in a lot of straightforward watching, hardly giving pause from one episode to the next.

    I never talked about what I’d watched nor did I feel the need to, hunting for the next drama was more important and I pretty much tried anything that came my way. Of course after a good while, I pretty much ran out of completely subbed dramas and started to turn my attention to dramas that were currently airing. That’s when I discovered how excrutiating it was to wait a whole week for the next dose of the drama! I started getting even more addicted, thinking about the dramas and speculating what would happend next and making up a dozen scenarios in my own mind.

    It was frustrating not to have anyone to talk to about these things but finally I found a refuge in the marvelous forum soompi, the place where international korean drama followers like me gather online to discuss the dramas we’re currently watching. It was like a new world opened for me, expanding and enhancing the drama watching experience tenfold by being able sharing thoughts and theories with others. If I was bothered by some detail or I was confused about something in the drama, I knew exactly where I could go. Other times, I’d simply get an epiffany from something someone else so deftly observed. But most importantly, it was the feel of companionship that I craved and got. Talking about dramas is a way of socialising and the discussions not only broaden our perspective but also help develop our character. Because when you come down to it, a drama is like a book. You can learn much from it but even more so if you reflect upon it and discuss it with others.

    Well that’s all I have to say for now. I’d like to end this post by congratulating ockoala on hitting her milestone 🙂 Thanks for keeping up with this lovely blog.

    P.S. Time Between Wolf and Dog is an all time favourite! It’s one of the few dramas I rewatch on a regular basis XD It’s almost time for another rewatch!

  45. No I won’t post my entry yet. I just want to congratulate Ms. Koala for getting 10 million hits for this wonderful site. Hopefully you’ll continue giving us our daily drama fix. Thanks and God Bless!

  46. Congrats to Chesquared and carrot for winning this giveaway!

    And thanks to dearest Blue and Thundie for reading all the entries and selecting a winner~

  47. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog site?
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