Hello! I’m back again with a pretty long post. I’ve been meaning to do this 30 Day Asian Drama Challenge for a while now but I’ve been lazy and plus I’m a big procrastinator. I decided to do it a bit differently, instead of having 30 different posts for each question or day (which will look super cluttered and overwhelming on my blog) I decided to cover a whole bunch of the questions in a few posts. I’ve looked online and saw there are two different versions of this challenge, but I decided to pick and choose the questions from both lists to answer ones that are most relevant to me. So here we go, here’s Part 1 where can get to know a little bit more of my Asian drama journey.
Day 1: First Drama you watched?
This question is a bit complicated for me because for as long as I remember I’ve been watching Asian dramas since birth or whatever age that my parents let me start watching TV (which was pretty young). I don’t exactly have an correct or exact answer, but from my memories that I remember watching and that stood out the most was the very famous Hong Kong drama The Bund (上海滩) starring Chow Yun Fat. I don’t have much memories of the drama itself besides a young Chow Yun Fat shooting his gun and the iconic opening theme song by Francis Yip. Anyone who’s grown up watching Hong Kong dramas surely would have seen this classic!
Day 2: Your first Japanese Drama?
This is also a tough one because I’ve watched many Japanese dramas when I was younger as well but I sadly don’t remember the title of the dramas nor the names of the actors. However based on more recent years and with the help of the Internet, I’d say the very first Japanese drama I actually remember is Nobuta wo Produce (野ブタ。をプロデュース). It was from there I was introduced to the hottie Yamashita Tomohisa aka Yamapi. I thought it was a really cute drama about friendship where 2 guys help a new female transfer student who’s extremely shy to become more popular after seeing her get bullied.
Day 3: Your first Korean Drama?
My very first Korean drama was All About Eve (이브의 모든것) starring Chae Rim and Jang Dong Gun. It’s been so long since I’ve watched the drama so I don’t really remember all the details, but you can say it has all the stereotypical elements of a Kdrama. You know with the typical overly nice female lead, evil jealous best friend, handsome rich chaebol and your childhood oppa thrown into the mix.
Day 4: Your first Taiwanese Drama?
Again if my memory serves me correctly my first Taiwanese drama was Devil Beside You (惡魔在身邊) starring Rainie Yang and Mike He. I remember watching it halfway and for the longest time I didn’t go back and finish it until maybe a year or two later. I think I wasn’t that into the story or I felt bored… don’t exactly remember why. However I thought visually Rainie and Mike made a gorgeous pair. Rainie also looked super cute with her adorable hairstyles and wardrobe. Also you can’t forget the very famous song Ai Mei 曖昧 (Ambiguous Love) sang by Rainie for the drama. It’s a top favorite song at karaoke, even my friends always sang this song every time we went.
EDIT: Oops I realized my first Taiwanese drama was actually Meteor Garden (流星花園)!! D’oh this is what happens when you become old. How could have I possibly forget the crazy huge phenomenon that was Meteor Garden and F4?? Back when I was in high school, F4 (Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vaness Wu and Ken Zhu) was the shizz and it created a huge craze all across Asia. I remember back in university I met a friend from Thailand and she told me after watching the drama she started to study Mandarin super diligently. Haha isn’t that kinda like now with Hallyu Wave and people learning Korean? In high school I forced my friends to watch the drama after I started it and became hooked, we all went crazy over F4 like everyone else at the time. Zai Zai (Vic’s nickname) was my bae back then keke! This drama spawned remakes from Japan, Korea and China and yes, I shamelessly watched all of them!
Day 5: The last Asian Drama you’ve seen?
The last drama I’ve watched and completely finished would be the Korean drama I Remember You ( 너를 기억해) that just finished airing last month. It was an excellent drama that I highly recommend to watch starring Seo In Guk, Jang Nara and Park Bo Gum. I’ve also written a drama review for it so you can read it here.
Day 6: Favorite male character in an Asian drama.
I have 2 favorite male characters actually. The first one being Yoon Dong Ha from Witch’s Romance (마녀의 연애). For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while now, know how much I gushed about Park Seo Joon and the drama. Anyways as a recap, Yoon Dong Ha is probably the closest to my ideal type in a leading male character in a drama you can get. He’s the perfect boyfriend/husband material who’s super sweet, caring, earnest and adorably cute. I think any girl must be blind to pass up on a guy like him, he’s a total catch. Do guys like him even exist in real life? Yeah but they’re usually taken or already married *weeps* but honestly if a girl meets a guy like that in real life, they’d be dumb not to snatch him up right away.
My other favorite male character is Kim Boong Do from Queen In Hyun’s Man (인현왕후의 남자). This drama is also one my top favorite dramas as well. I was super crazy over this drama when it aired back in 2012 and it made every fan-girl shipper’s dream come true when the OTP (Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Na) of the drama went from reel to real. I followed their romance right from the beginning ever since their rumors of them being super friendly on set, Ji Hyun Woo’s public confession and right down to Yoo In Na later admitting she decided to give him a chance and they started to date. Sadly though the couple did not last, I was even hoping for marriage in the future but alas it was not meant to be. But Queen In Hyun’s Man will always have a special place in my heart with many fond memories.
Anyways I sort of went on a tangent here when I’m supposed to be talking about Kim Boong Do. It’s too bad I wasn’t blogging yet when Queen In Hyun’s Man was airing because I’m pretty sure I’d have a zillion posts about the drama and the OTP’s whirlwind romance that had happened. Anyways back to our lead Kim Boong Do who is our time-traveling scholar from Joseon. Seriously what a great man and probably the first male leading character who has all the best qualities: incredibly smart, patient, skilled fighter, morally upright, great fashion sense, romantic, and most important of all just an all around kind-hearted guy. Really, he’s almost perfect. Kim Boong Do is such a refreshing male lead character because often times the male lead characters are stereotypical chaebols who are just plain jerks and meanies most of the time. For all of us who watched the drama, Kim Boong Do was just a fresh of breath air and we all just fell in love with him. It’s characters like Kim Boong Do and Yoon Dong Ha show how leading male characters can be nice and show that it’s cool to be a nice guy. Also, on a side note what made me love these two dramas can also be attributed to the fact that their romance wasn’t this whole love to hate relationship that is often found in Asian dramas but it’s just simply about two people who are attracted to each other and slowly fall in love.
Day 7: Favorite female character in an Asian drama.
To be honest, if I did this challenge a few years earlier I probably wouldn’t even have an answer to this question. Sadly, but true most female characters, especially the lead ones are usually always the generic cookie-cutter candy types (poor, happy-go-lucky, overly nice, naive, etc). However in the recent years, there have been some better well written female characters. For this question, I also have two characters like the males. The first one being the most recent would be Cha Ji An from I Remember You played by Jang Nara. Since this is relatively new drama, you can read in more detail about why I love Cha Ji An in my review here.
My other favorite female character is Choi Hee Jin from Queen In Hyun’s Man. I like her for similar reasons as Cha Ji An because she’s very honest with herself and her feelings, plus she’s a go-getter. She may not be the brightest cookie around but she’s an adorable character with a great heart as well. She was just so honest with her feelings with Kim Boong Do and wasn’t afraid to show it. I just like girls who can take the lead instead of being the usual shy demure types. But honestly, if you suddenly meet a wonderful man like Kim Boong Do, I probably wouldn’t hold back either.
Day 8: Which Asian drama genre do you mostly like to watch.
Definitely hands down romantic comedies. I love romance and hey I love to laugh, so it’s the perfect combination for me. I’ve watched my fair share of melodramas (i.e I’m Sorry I Love You, Autumn In My Heart) which are great if you really want all the angst and go through endless boxes of tissues. However for me, after a long stressful day I want something fun, light and that can give me a good chuckle. That’s why I’ve always been a fan of Hong Sisters dramas who produced some great hits in the past (Fantasy Couple, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho) but lately they’ve had some misses like Warm and Cozy. Besides rom-coms being my #1, I also do enjoy crime thrillers/mystery/action genres too that don’t always necessarily have romance.
Day 9: Do you watch Asian dramas for their storyline, actors/actresses or both?
For me I’d say both. It really depends on the story or the actors/actresses involved. If say my one of my favorite actors is in an upcoming drama I’d be more inclined to be willing to watch or at least check it out. However depending on the genre or plot, even if my favorite actor is in it, I may not watch it. For example I’m not a fan of historical dramas and I rarely watch them (probably because I’ve watched so many growing up and they all seem the same to me after a while especially the ones involving kings, emperors, and all the politics etc). Also melodramas is also a genre I tend skip, oh and the really long ones too like 40+ episodes. To give you an example, I love Park Seo Joon but I couldn’t get into One Warm Word, it was too heavy for my taste and I’m not a fan of extra-marital affairs type of story-lines. I also didn’t feel like watching I Summon You, Gold! either because it’s 50 episodes. There’s also Seo In Guk who I adore and I’ve pretty much watched most of his dramas except The King’s Face which is an historical drama. However, there’s always exceptions as well. like Joseon Gunman (조선 총잡이) which I watched even though it was historical drama but I liked the plot and I also like Lee Jun Ki as well. I’ve also watched dramas just for the plot and I knew nothing about the lead actors or never seen them in any dramas previously. One example of the top of my head was I Hear Your Voice ( 너의 목소리가 들려) or the Taiwanese drama The New World (新世界).
Day 10: Describe Asian dramas in one word.