Oppa Syndrome

*Dramatic music

The room is dark. The screen casts a glow on the pale fixated face. The bloodshot eyes blink slowly as they say, “Only one more episode.”

There is no time or meaning during a kdrama binge.

I feel like a zombie coming back to life. Sortof. I can’t make any promises.

 

I’ve been immersed in the land of Oppa’s. Watching kdrama after kdrama and kpop reality shows. My sleepy mind cleared for a moment while watching the documentary from BTS this last week. I’ve come to think of the men called Oppa and the ideal built around this them.

As far as I know no other country comes close to the Korean Oppa as far as idols are concerned.

Lee Jong Suk

So what/who is Oppa? In the Korean language it would be what you call your older brother. But there is a different connotation to this word, and those who watch kdramas are probably familiar with this, it would be what you call the man you are dating in Korea. A term of endearment like we in the states would say “honey.”

In facebook groups and all over social media women call out to these men as their “Oppa” or their stan.

I am fascinated about what exactly makes this obsession with these men so successful.

I mean you may remember me and my whole deal with abs…

Park seo joon abs

haha but it is way more than how these men look. Even though it is a large part of it. All the idols in Korea have to be very careful with their appearance and weight.

Something struck me while I watch the BTS documentary. RM was talking about how he “has become RM” and it is hard for him to “remember who he is” They are putting on this character for the crowds.

So what makes an Oppa?

They don’t date in real life. That is part of the fantasy they sell in Korea. That these men are single and devoted to their fans.

They are kind, thoughtful, the real life prince, and available.

This isn’t an act for just the kdrama or the stage. Every social event this is how they act. There is even more pressure for them to act like the perfect Oppa. Because if they falter the fallout for these men is enormous. Up to even “fans” protesting that they leave their kpop group or not act in another drama. I know I’m just talking about how it is for men but honestly it can be worse for the women who are idols in Korea.

Why is it so bad? Sure in the states we have tons of scandals concerning stars but they generally don’t suffer forever (depending). But in Korea they are selling the “Oppa” and it isn’t just supposed to be on screen. It takes over their lives.

bts

Taking the Disney prince to the extreme real life version.

Maybe you can think “Well, they knew this is what would happen.” Maybe so but I still find it a bit sad.

There seems to always be a cost for achieving extreme success. I wish that these actors and singers could have a bit of a normal personal life.

I’m thankful to them and the escape they give from the real world. They make it seem better somehow and I hope that they are happy even though it is probably hard to even go down to the store just to grab something to eat.

Happy watching!

Take care in these strange times 🙂

 

 

 

An Issue of Class in Kdramas

I lost my way from anime land. I fell into kdrama land so I guess I can’t complain much. I’m having a hard time trying to focus on anime so I just let this happen.

Kdramas have their own weaknesses even though they deal with the same tropes over and over I find them more refreshing than normal TV shows. It may be to the fact that I didn’t grow up watching them so the tropes seem new… Well newer.

They tend to be very dramatic. A theme pops up in Kdramas often and I don’t find it dramatic at all. It deals with the difference between the characters “class” to be more specific the socioeconomic status.

This is a topic that is very near and dear to me. I’ve notice in all three series that I am writing that is a common theme. It gets to me when those who are born into more privilege seem to get away with anything. We’ve come to face facts that money is power. This is a common theme in kdramas. Those with money bascially can do whatever they want. We see it in the news and we see it on TV. The truly frustrating part is all I can do it seems is write about it. Those with the gold make the rules. Right?

Itaewon Class is a kdrama that is recently airing on Netflix (in the states at least) and it really hammers home the difference between those who are rich a poor. There is only one lesson that the heir of a corporation learns:  That he can get away with anything, including murder.

Life isn’t fair. I think this is something we learn at a young age. However, it tends to seem to be more fair to those with money. I think if you see this anime you will feel the injustice along with me. It is horrible but this is also an issue we see everyday. People get away with fraud, rape, murder, drug use… Mostly because they are born to a life we will never understand or have.

In the first episode I think I cried at least three times. This may be an old trope but the actors/actresses especially Park Seo-joon hit each note with perfection. Park Seo-joon portrays the main characters rage and secrets that you can’t look away from him. I want to know what is going on behind the mask that he puts on for the world. He has a plan and you hope that he completes it.

Each character is unique and they all have their own goals. Most of them you don’t know what is going on behind their eyes. I think that this one will keep me guessing until the end. My heart might just break a bit…

This drama isn’t finished airing but if you start watching be warned the week long wait is hard to handle. I hope for a happy ending with these characters but the great thing about kdramas is sometimes you never know what you will get.

Itaewon Class Run

Even though I miss anime land I’m in good company with my kdramas. Take a moment to check out Itaewon Class if you have time!

Happy Watching!

 

A Tragic Journey

I’ve branched out to being a bit obsessed with Kdramas. There is something very addictive about them so proceed with caution.

One Kdrama that I’ve been wanting to watch for a long time was Goblin or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. I think to save my fingers a bit of pain I’m just going to stick with Goblin.

I only had Netflix for awhile and I couldn’t find anywhere to watch this show that was getting all these amazing reviews. Finally Viki came through and they have it on their streaming platform.

I heard it was good but I wasn’t prepared.

Goblin K drama

This drama hits all the notes of a good kdrama and then leaves you wrecked.

“Well dang Kimchi, I don’t know if I want to watch this if I’m going to be in tears.”

Let’s just follow the good advice of Aristotle who says it is good for us to purge our emotions. This drama doesn’t just have tragic moments but it also has so many humorous  ones as well.  I’ve always picked my favorite stories based on this balance. In my opinion good writing tries to hit all the different emotions.

Our souls need a break from the sadness in shows. We need to laugh and this drama is a perfect balance. Mainly due to the relationship between the Goblin and Grim Reaper…

 

I honestly cared so much for them and I found their relationship so sweet. It is the perfect bromance.

Also my favorite part…

Goblin Reaper gif

I may or may not have played this scene on repeat…

Then in the funny moments you meet these characters who are fragile all in their own ways. The life they have now is dictated by their past mistakes or trauma that happened to them not by their choice.

You want these characters to be happy. You the watcher forgive them for what they did. But they have to live with themselves and sometimes that is the biggest punishment.

Regret something? What if you had to regret it for hundreds of years? What if what you did not only hurt yourself but others? What if your choices caused the death of others?

Goblin

There is a strong element of romance in this kdrama but for me it was more about how all these people/beings came together and formed a really strange family. One family where they were accepted for who they are. Then giving them a chance to forgive themselves.

I don’t want to tell you what to do with your life, but if you love a good story try this one. If you only ever watch one kdrama– let it be this one.

jumunjin-in-drama

There is beauty in the characters brokenness but in also their redemption.

Happy Watching!

And Happy Halloween!

A bit of romantic fun

So for better or worse I have started to watch kdramas. I am finding them about as addicting as webtoons so this can be considered a warning of sorts.

However, you would be doing yourself a great disservice if you never watch the kdrama “Oh My Ghost”. It is really delightful, funny, and a pretty sweet romance.

It looks like this story had been remade a few times. I found a Thai version that is also on Netflix but honestly I can’t say if it is better or worse than the Korean version. I did find the acting superb in the Korean version. In other kdramas sometimes the acting is a bit overdone, but honestly that is part of the genre. I didn’t find really any of that in this series and if there was it came from the side characters and it really made sense with their character.

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These guys were the true stars

So in this story a ghost named Soon-ae is a virgin and is holding a grudge. She has to stay on earth until it is resolved. The answer to her grudge? Well, she has to have sex. The problem? Men can’t handle her negative energy so when she possess a girl to have sex with a guy the guy ends up passing out.

Then she finds Chef… A man loaded with positive energy… (mhmm energy).

She possess Bong-sun a woman who can see ghosts but then she gets stuck in the body sense their energies are to similar. I did find this part of the plot a bit silly since later on it seems likes she could leave whenever she wanted.

So Soon-ae in Bong-sun’s body tries her hardest to seduce the chef. Kind of scaring the guy in the process.

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Everyone around her thinks that she is going crazy from going from the shy quiet Bong-sun to the loud and brash Soon-ae. The guys in the restaurant are pretty funny and adorable in their reactions to her. They didn’t treat her very well at the start but it is funny to see how they act when she starts talking back.

oh my

Soon-ae is now building a relationship with Chef and it is adorable. I just love the Chef’s characters. He is such an awkward sweet character. I really think the actor did a fantastic job of portraying him. I think with this type of guy it could have come off as him being a stuck up jerk. The way that he would deliver the lines “Of course I am. Or I am handsome” came off really well since you could see the insecurities behind the characters. Really such a great acting job.

And there is a bit of eye candy too 😉

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Chef is taken? How about this sweetheart?

I don’t really want to give away anything in the show since there are quiet a few plot twists. I did find parts of it truly tragic and it is a sign of a good show that can make you laugh, cry, and go awww.

Another great thing is that is is all wrapped up. No waiting for season two! Another great thing about kdramas!

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This moment was my favorite. I about died laughing.

Take some time to watch this little gem. You won’t regret it.

Happy watching!