Wahhh hooooooooooo!!! For this video, saying that I have a creative imagination is an understatement!
First off I wouldn’t make a video like this at all if I didn’t know that Korean dramas have certain trends. Korean dramas are unique in that they follow trends, and this is part of why they are so popular. They have a formula and they stick to it. Often, doing the same theme multiple times with slightly different changes is a recipe for success.
For example, around 2009, it was all about strong queens and flower boys. Then, in 2012, it was the year of time travel. You had Time Travel Dr. Jin, Faith, Queen In Hyun’s Man, and Rooftop Prince. Four time travel dramas in one year! You would think it would get a bit old, but it didn’t. As the year progressed, so did the quality of the time travel drama. Faith came out in August, and was what most consider an instant hit for this theme of drama.
Occasionally these themes tend to carry over to the next year. Take 2013 for instance. We already have another time travel drama. It appears unlikely that there will be even several more coming soon since the theme seems a bit played out for now…….. but don’t count 2014 out! 😉
In other words, even though there are more than five themes in Korean dramas, I chose the five most fashionable and prominent themes.. in my opinion of course. ☺
One thing I hope to see more of are TVN’s Flower Boy dramas. This started in 2012 with Flower Boy Ramen Shop and Shut Up Flower Boy Band, and again in 2013 with Flower Boy Next Door. Flower Boy dramas are virtually guaranteed to be instantaneously popular.
Another theme that just had to be included is school dramas. High schoolers like dramas that appeal to them. Adults like watching dramas that remind them of their high school years. And apparently, Korean drama writers know this. Thinking back to high school isn’t wonderful for everyone, but if high school could be idealized, even I don’t mind going back.. in my mind anyway haha^^ It’s not surprising they are popular across the world. For me, the real draw for including this theme in the video was Kim So Hyun. She came out with a lot of dramas in 2012. In every one she totally rocked it and basically upstaged her fellow actresses to the point where some of the dramas all I wanted to watch were the parts she was in. Someone give this girl a leading role!
As well, how could I not ‘create’ a drama for Jang Geun Suk?^^ If you’ve seen any of my former videos at all, then you may already know that I’m a huge fan. I don’t think I’ve seen him in a drama that I didn’t like him as a character. He always brings a certain panache that isn’t cookie cutter at all. The boy is just a damn good actor! I’d love to meet him some day, but I’m afraid I might be tongue-tied worse than that time I met Kim Hye Su (that’s a whole different story). I like him better than Lee Min Ho, though because of Lee Min Ho’s popularity, I sometimes become bashful to say it out loud. But there I just said it. It’s officially out in the universe to stay.
I put him in a historical drama because it’s been such a long time since the last historical drama he starred in. I figured I’d give him a little bit of a challenge. He’s in there with Shin Se Kyung. To me, she’s a much better actress than his co-star Yoona in Love Rain, and is cuter than his co-star Moon Geun Young from Mary Stayed Out All Night. She’s also much more age appropriate than Kim Ha Neul who he was paired up with in You’re My Pet. And she’s popular right now, so why not?
How could I not include melodrama as a theme? When we watch these dramas, we laugh, we cry, and we never know what is going to happen next. For this video I chose what I thought might be the most obscure combination for a melodrama: a kindergarten teacher character paired up with a mafia character. You don’t really see kindergarten teachers a lot in dramas, since I was the one writing this, I thought ‘how perfect would this drama be if..’ and teacher character was added.
Once I came up with this concept, I had to start developing who I wanted for these roles. Hands down, Shin Min Ah would be my pick for the kindergarten teacher lead role. All of the characters that she has played have had such a youthful, charismatic quality to them. While I’ve never met the girl, she seems to have a really fun personality.. on screen anyway, and her dimpled smile is heart-melting. I think she’s one of the cutest Korean actresses out there. For the guy, I chose Bang Sung Joon because I liked him in Shut Up Flower Boy Band so much. His acting showed a real depth of character, and had an abrasive edge to it. It reminded me a bit of a younger Johnny Depp if you will, but that may be stretching it. And, I really want to see him in another drama, particularly one that will increase his star power, which melodramas have a tendency to do.
Oh, and did I mention these two would be so cute together? If they ever got married, they would have the cutest little babies.
And if I’m going to make a video about a list of dramas I would love to see but that they are not actually planning to make (as of now anyways), how could I not include Lee Min Ho in one of them? I put him into the supernatural theme I created opposite Han Hyo Ju. She hasn’t a done a drama since 2010, so anybody who has seen her older stuff knows she’s an amazing actress and is waiting for her to make a comeback. She’s only 26, and she’s made such a name for herself that she’s sort of semi-retired at this point. Lee Min Ho, while he may not be yet at the top of his game (I sure hope not at least), he is the top actor everybody wants to see in Korea. I don’t know what the outcome of putting these two together will be, if it would create a whole new level of dramaland experience or what. But it definitely wouldn’t be a flop! It would bring in ratings and money and everything that drama producers want… I’m assuming anyways.
Background to this Video
At this point I get a decent amount of recommendations every week for TOADs and Top 5 Friday videos. Most recommendations are really good ideas, and truth be told, I actually want to fulfill them all! I will be watching Secret Garden within the next month or so, definitely! And, I totally want to do TOAD reviews on King 2 Hearts and Reply 1997. I also want to continue to balance Korean drama reviews and Top 5s with Japanese and Taiwanese themes dramas as well. I’m trying to make sure that I’m creating videos I really enjoy making, while also bringing about videos that all of you really like watching.
Because I’m so new at this, I’m still figuring all this out. The truth is, I put a lot of effort into each video. I get super excited when I make something that a lot of people like and watch. On the flip side, if I make something that isn’t very popular and not many people watch it, I can get easily discouraged, because it takes just as much effort to make the good and bad videos. My husband and I are constantly discussing this topic, and analyzing which types of videos we want to make moving forward, while throwing out new ideas all the time. Since dramas mostly exist in the made up of world of dramaland, recently he came up with the idea of making our own set of ‘dramas’ for a Top 5 Friday video. The idea that, with a certain set of themes (see above) I could create any drama I wanted to, with any actors that I wanted and even choose the title. This idea was too juicy to pass up! You mean, ANY ACTOR OF MY CHOOSING?!?!!!! Instantly my wheels began turning and immediately I started writing.
As an avid drama lover, the more I watch them, the more I develop expectations. Take Jang Geun Suk in You’re Beautiful, where he played the popular lead vocalist of A.N.J.E.L.L. I really wanted to see him in a more gritty Indie musician role after that, and then he played the Hyundai street musician in Mary Stayed Out All Night. Or, how about Lee Min Ho in Boys Over Flowers. Yea, if you read the manga you knew what was going to happen. But, we were all still anticipating how the delivery was going to take place, and what the final scenes would look like. With Heirs, we already are obsessed. Many of us have read all there currently is to know about this drama on the web already and they haven’t even begun shooting it yet. Are we still going to watch even though we’ll probably have a good idea of what the plot is before it comes out? Of course we are! We can’t get enough!
People want to see these actors again and again. They want to see them as much as possible. I know that I do, and I’m pretty sure I am not alone. Virtually no one who watches Korean dramas regularly is immune. Netizens are always dying to see more of Lee Min Ho, anticipating what his every move will be in the drama world. Are many of us who feel this way a little bit nutty? Some might say yes. But we are fans of Korean dramas and the actors and actresses that star in them. This is part of what the world of dramaland is all about.
In other words, with this video, in a small way I attempted to make my dramaland dreams become a reality. I’m a dreamer, and always have been. I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve heard people say ‘Stephanie, get your head out of the clouds.’ But the truth it, this is where I reside sometimes. People may not like me for it, but that is how I am. This is why I made this video, and gosh did I have fun doing it.
Am I concerned that some may not like the fact that I made a video about imaginary dramas that don’t exist, when all of my previous videos have included only real dramas? Maybe a little, but I’m not dwelling on it. Many out there can agree that there is always a risk with being creative. The videos I make on YouTube are simply a way for me to express myself. This video in essence was me expressing myself and what I would absolutely love to see in future Korean dramas.
I mean, c’mon – who could ever disagree with two Lee Min Ho characters in a single drama?
Drama list from the video:
Title: “Mae Chang”
Theme: Historical Drama
Actors: Shin Se Kyung, Jang Geun Suk
Title: “The Making of Ji Young”
Theme: School Drama
Actors: Kim Soo Hyun, Kim So Hyun
Title: “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
Actors: Shin Min Ah, Bang Sung Joon
Title: “Paperbag Princess”
Theme: Flower Boy Drama
Actors: Suzy, Moon Joo Won
Theme: Super Natural/Historical Drama
Actors: Lee Min Ho, Han Hyo Ju