Tdramas- a love and hate relationship

Taiwanese dramas, Tdramas for short, have been gaining in popularity, but Kdramas as of yet, are at no risk of being surpassed. Tdramas, at least in my opinion, have always suffered from a third act syndrome. For example, the first third of a Tdrama usually starts out strong, with a fun premise and characters, then in the next section the couple gets together, we see them have fun and the romance begins in earnest. Then in the last third, because the couple got together too soon and there are still many episodes to fill, the writers spend the rest of the drama keeping them apart, usually with such ridiculous misunderstandings, ex-girlfriends, cancer, blindness etc., that it strains belief and patience.

And why are so many Tdrama hero’s in advertising? I think Aaron Yan has played a advertiser/promotions at least three times now.

It also drives me nuts how the bad guys, especially a character who has done some truly horrible things, even tried to killed someone, sometimes even succeeding, is forgiven and patted on the head and all is forgiven. A friend of mine suggested that maybe it is a belief in redemption. If you have insight into this let me know.

Another thing that always bothered me was the heroine, no matter who the actress is, seems to overact in a high pitchy voice. When I’ve watched behind the scenes where the actress is talking normally I’m always surprised by how much they’ve changed their voice for their character and it seems to be the director who wants this silly over the top performance. Dear Tdramas, if you only allowed your heroines to act more naturally, have the bad buys get their comeuppance, and balance out the plotting for your couple, you would be truly formidable.

Enough with the negative, there are several things that Tdramas do right. I love that most Tdrama heroes are relatively nice guys. I’ve never been found of Kdramas TKJ’s (a term I coined about 4 years ago, an abbreviation of Typical Kdrama Jerk). I like nice guys that treat women well what can I say. I find it hard to believe any women would fall for a guy who is always putting her down, and in some cases is truly verbally abusive. Luckily in the last year or so that’s been changing, there have been some amazing heroes, and hopefully this isn’t a trend that will pass.

I love that Tdrama heroines can dress well and have decent hair; the Kdrama obsession with the rich guy falls for poor, shabby, ordinary girl (usually with hair only the devil could’ve created) has been played out. I’m sending out a big thank you to the Tdrama stylists…

Last but not least, one thing Tdramas do better than Kdramas is BRING THE HEAT.  I’m not sure if maybe it’s a different attitude towards sex or sexual situations on film, but when it comes to passionate moments Tdramas are hot!

Things you usually won’t find in a Tdrama kiss/make-out scene: wide open eyes, and stunned expression that lasts five minutes; concrete fish lips (see Park Shin Hye, in almost everything she’s ever done); heroine’s that act like kissing a hot guy that’s in love with them is a chore. If you want an example of Tdrama hotness just check out any love scene of Aaron Yan’s, seriously no one does a hotter love scene than Aaron. He definitely lives up to the Scorpion reputation as the passionate sex sign. That’s not to say that Roy Chiu of Office Girls and Miss Rose, nor Baron Chen  of Bromance are slouches in that department, far from it. These two will definitely rock your drama world. And Tdramas aren’t stingy with their kiss scenes, unlike Kdramas that may only have one or two (the first kiss doesn’t even count since the heroine is usually just standing there like a lifeless statue), I’m talking passionate full throttle kisses that are sprinkled like erotic spices throughout the whole drama. It’s no wonder that Tdrama actors can rack up so many ardent fans so fast.

While there are some changes I would love to see in Tdramas, overall they deserve their rising status. Keep it coming Taiwan.

For a little romance Anne Violet style…

Anne Violet Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

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Poseidon

http://www.viki.com/videos/147507v-poseidon-episode-1

I love this show, and it easily made it  into my top 10 Kdramas of all time. It’s like a great summertime movie. It has action, romance, intrigue and some great fight scenes. There are only 16 episodes so it’s got a great quick flow to it. I also love the OST, it fits perfectly with the show.

Here is a synopsis from an online source with some changes by me since it wasn’t explaining it accurately.

This drama is the story of  members of the coast guard. The drama is based on the special duties of the Korean Coast Guard officers (rescues, terrorism threats, and other special missions) and also their obstacle in life and love. The drama takes its name from the Poseidon Team,  two men within the coast guard. Using the strong bonds of humanity as a basis, and through the challenges faced by the protagonists and their spirit of self-sacrifice, the drama movingly shows the significance of life and the stories of how people overcome obstacles in life.

Kim Sun Woo, played by Siwon of Kpop band Super Junior, joins the sea special attack team. Sun Woo works as a promising commando, but he unexpectedly loses a comrade due to an undercover mission he wasn’t supposed to be running. He is demoted and is sent to a maritime police office in Gunsan city. Sun Woo’s passion cools down and he slowly loses his vision as a maritime policeman. Then one day, Jung Ryul, who lost his wife to the same people who killed Sun Woo’s co-worker,  has formed a new crime investigation section in Incheon city, visits Sun Woo and asks him to join the team. Sun Woo’s love interest is a co-worker who is a pretty and feisty girl who loves to box as a hobby. With time she knocks him out in every way. Literally.

It’s hard to lose with a Kdrama that has one of South Korea’s  great treasures aka Siwon. While you could probably be happy with Siwon just standing around, flashing some of the cutest dimples on the planet, luckily you don’t have to. Siwon does a phenomenal job as a good  officer who is willing to get a little dirty to get the bad guy. The heroine is one of my favorites of all the kdramas I’ve seen, she’s strong, passionate, and doesn’t take any crap from the hero. Poseidon has a great pace, attractive actors and actresses, great acting and writing. You can’t ask for more, and I really can’t think of any complaints. Oh there is one. No kiss scene…… Oh Siwon you are such a tease.

But I can promise there are some kiss scenes in my books…Anne Violet Amazon Author Page

poseidon

Warning–Kdramas and Kpop are addictive.

kpop

What are Kdrama and Kpop?

 

          The K is short for Korean in both words. A Kdrama is a Korean drama or better described as a Korean TV show that only lasts 16-50+ episodes. Don’t let the word drama fool you; it’s just a word that groups these, for lack of a better term, mini-series shows together. There are all types of Kdramas: historical, contemporary, family drama, comedies, rom-coms, etc.

 

Next you might wonder how Kdramas differ from American TV shows. Korea has many of the same type of shows as America: news, celebrity shows, soap operas etc., but Kdramas make up a huge part of their airtime as opposed to the rare mini-series in the U.S. They usually air 2 episodes a week and most foreigners watch them legally for free online. If a show is already finished and has English subtitles it will be available in its entirety. If it is currently airing you will have to wait for the website to sub it, unless you know Korean, but this usually only takes a of couple days. The popular websites to watch Kdramas are Viki.com, HULU.com, and Dramafever.com. Korea doesn’t have a rerun season like America; when a Kdrama ends another one begins, and all the major broadcast companies have their own dramas. Dramas are a huge business in Korea, and are internationally popular.

 

As to why they are addictive—First off, since there is a limited amount of episodes, each episode is working towards the end goal, and each episode usually ends on a cliffhanger. This leaves the audience feeling like they just have to see what happens next. If the whole show is finished this could lead you to marathoning the whole show. Add to that in many cases, great writing, beautiful actors, and no holds barred romance in many of the shows, and you have the Kdrama addiction. Just like in America they have just as many duds, but I’ve found myself pulled in and marathoning even the bad ones. I said they were addictive right? I will also warn you that there are a couple of typical story lines they use a lot, mostly the rich TKJ (my term meaning typical Kdrama jerk) and the impoverished, quirky, overly naïve heroine. As time goes by there has been a larger variety of strong heroines, and some very interesting story lines.  

 

In many ways Kdramas are the gateway drug to Kpop. As you are watching a drama, you’ll start dancing along to the soundtrack, and eventually you will start seeking out the bands whose sound you like. This is how it started for me. Damn you Kdramas; I rarely listen to anything other than Kpop now.

 

The only real negative to Kdramas is you may stop having a real life because of your addiction. Consider yourself warned.

And if you’re interested in reading my kdrama inspired novel Love in the Country of Wine, here is the link. Purchase Love in the Country of Wine