So what is it that makes us Asian girls grip the edges of our computer screens and scream NOOOO when the rich guy gets back with his bratty rich ex-girlfriend and the underdog unfortunate mademoiselle is left in the corner sobbing? What makes us drool as we gaze for hours on end mindlessly at the male lead, fantasizing our own happy endings with Mr. Tall, Rich, and "Handsome"? What makes us sit through 24 episodes only to find out that we wasted all of break watching the same cookie-cutter storyline, plus or minus a few different spiky haired celebrities and a slight twist on how-he-hurts-her-again-and-again-then-they-kiss-and-make-up (not to mention with 5 different zoom-in's on that fated kiss and ladida music rolling in the background)?
Well, I have certain theories about the mystifying reason why Asian girls all over the world tune into dramas religiously:
Yes, the spikier the better! Above, I have a lovely picture of Jiro Wang, a Taiwanese pop star/actor (Fahrenheit). Take an Asian boy, send his head through a shredder and voila! There you have it, an Asian drama sensation. Now, give him the girliest - sorry - metro clothes available on the market and it's even better. Automatic fan base and screaming doting girls who plaster 5 foot pictures of your face on their walls, ceilings, pillows, their boyfriend, I mean ... It's all about the gel, baby.
However, there have been cases where hair has gone incredibly wrong in my opinion, but it doesn't seem to stop anyone:
The new star of Boys over Flowers 2
If Asian people don't fight enough in real life, they certainly name-call with added gusto in dramas. Personally, I can't stand the bickering (Meteor Garden, Love or Bread) but it seems like a good way to stretch out a 5 minute argument into 50 minutes of showbiz. Sometimes it does happen to be funny though, with the angry mother beating up the rich, handsome businessman who impregnated her poor, socially awkward daughter (Fated to Love You). Other times, it turns a good actor like Joe Cheng into a turn-off when he goes from quiet, disgruntled genius Jiang Zhi Shu to big-mouthed, unscrupulous Cai Jin Lai (Frank).
It makes me sad that a lot of Asian girls are afraid to try dating real boys. I don't know whether it's because of the doom factor on grades, the lack of a good pool to fish from, or just non-existent chivalry in the 21st century - they're all waiting for their Prince Charming (Tall/Handsome). Thus, they project all their feelings onto these dramas and live out their romantic scenes through other actors. Tough luck girlies, but you know this is just TV, right? You probably won't meet a guy that horrible in your life, and he probably won't be a successful businessman with girl problems, and even if you have managed to make it this far, you won't be able to change them that easily. I know, reality sucks. Just ignore my rantings and go back to episode 573.
So, you've beasted through 40 hours straight and your eyes are bloodshot and you're ready to see some smooching. When it happens, the producer repeats the scene for the next hour with close-ups from every angle possible and you gush and open a fresh new tissue box. They finally love each other! After all that hate and fighting and meanie-poo, they get along. This is the moment you've all been waiting for! But wait ... the kissing wasn't that good, and they merely mashed their faces together long enough before CUT and both parties probably wiped furiously at their lips and mouth. Ewww cooties. Where's the passion? I don't know about you, but I like immediate gratification. I can't stay up for 2 days straight without feeling slightly disappointed when the kiss finally happens.
So if you must continue pulling out your (spiky) hair while waiting for next episode's english subs to load, power to ya. Mysoju has the most popular Asian dramas all subbed for your viewing pleasure, along with Korean, Canto, Mainland, Taiwanese, Japanese movies.
Some dramas are worth it, but usually only the most popular. Check ratings before you commit or quit! My favourite of all time has to be Fated to Love You simply because it was quirky and cute, with some great acting and hilarious mother character. I rate it 10/10 because it made me wait for every Sunday like my life depended on it, and I did beast through 17 episodes in a row. I was in love.
They're cute and you know it! *gush*
- Fated to Love You
- It Started With A Kiss
- It Started With A Kiss 2 (wish it could have continued too!)
- Princess Hours (not a fave though ...)
Dramas I haven't been able to sit through:
- Meteor Garden (too much yelling, disgusting hair)
- Smiling Pasta (too excessively cute, Nicholas Teo looks weird)
- Hana Kimi Taiwanese version (first drama ever - not bad actually)
- Love or Bread (too slow)