It’s something that almost every Korean drama fan has to deal with it at some point in their lives: the dreaded Kdrama Slump. Things have been going along just fine and then suddenly things begin to change. The dramas you’re watching just aren’t as interesting as they used to be, and new dramas aren’t catching your eye. You’ve fallen into a Kdrama Slump!
Well, never fear! I’m here to offer 8 tips to curing your Kdrama Slump. While there are plenty of fans who have been watching longer than me, I have a pretty decent sized list of dramas under my belt. I’ve seen more than enough to relate to many of the experiences we drama fans have.
And while there is no full proof way to avoiding or getting out of a Kdrama Slump, there are a few tips I would recommend to hopefully minimize them in your life:
1. Re-watch Favorite Dramas
There’s nothing like revisiting one of your favorite dramas to stir up your passion again. Re-watching your favorite characters and stories can help you reminisce and remember exactly why you love kdramas.
2. Alternate Genres
This is something I do to prevent a drama slump from even beginning, but it can definitely be useful if you’re in the middle of one. Try to vary the genres you are watching. Just watched a couple comedies? Switch it up and watch a melodrama, action, or saguek drama. Vary things as much as possible so that you’re not always watching the same types of stories back to back.
This tip is especially important if you’ve just watched an amazing drama that has left a giant void in your life upon its conclusion. Our gut reaction is usually to search after something just like the awesome drama to produce the same wonderful feeling. But many times this sets us up for failure. By switching to a completely different genre, you avoid that direct comparison.
3. Alternate Live Watching vs. Marathoning
No, I’m not saying you should go back to your early days of drama watching and stay up all night watching a show. But if you typically watch your dramas week to week, consider choosing a completed drama or two and watch those during your regular drama hours for a few weeks. I prefer to do this anyway since I stay more engaged in a drama when watching it in a shorter time period.
Alternatively, if you usually do this, try switching to live watching. Maybe the anticipation of waiting week to week will make things a bit more exciting for you.
4. Check Out Variety Shows
Switch things up by focusing more on some of the wonderful Korean variety shows out there. Shows like Running Man, 2 Days 1 Night, and Return of Superman can offer a much needed break from the serious dramas by giving you plenty to laugh about. There are also a lot of good music shows out there such as King of Masked Singer. Find something that interests you.
5. Branch Out to Dramas from Other Countries
If you’re primarily a kdrama watcher, give Japanese, Chinese, or Taiwanese dramas a try. They’re similar to kdramas, but they have their own unique aspects to them. It can also introduce you to another culture and language which can definitely be an interesting experience.
You can even try dramas from other non-Asian countries. Bollywood dramas from India are extremely popular. Maybe check out Spanish, British, or American dramas. Anything to change things up.
6. Take a Break
Sometime absence makes the heart grow fonder. Kind of relating to the tip above, you can either take a break from just kdramas and branch out to other countries, or you can take a drama break completely (Gasp!). Find other things or hobbies to do for a while and then revisit kdramas later. Sometimes a break is all that is needed to get things going again.
7. Avoid Negativity
We’ve all been there. You’re loving your latest drama and eagerly anticipate it each week when suddenly it goes off the rails. For whatever reason, the drama you were just in love with now has you enraged that you just wasted so many hours of your life on it. Sometimes that happens and you just need to vent about it with other fans. We all understand.
But other times it feels like it is some people’s mission in life to steal away your drama happiness. Some people are on the hunt for drama flaws from the moment a plot is announced, all the way through casting, trailers, and then throughout the drama. I tend to avoid certain forums and comment sections that are particularly negative.
Negativity breeds negativity. And while it is 100% your right to your own tastes and to voice your opinion in whatever way you choose with whoever you choose, this sometimes sets up negative drama expectations right from the get go as well as makes minor flaws seem bigger than they are. If you come to a point where all you are doing is looking for flaws in a drama, that’s not a fun place to be in.
Find people online or in real life who are excited about dramas and chat with them. Let their excitement spill over to you. Sometimes this can make a huge difference in recreating the excitement.
8. Manage Expectations
I consider this a big one for any drama fan who wants to stay a lifelong fan. For most fans, kdramas are shiny and new in the beginning. They are something completely different from what we are used to, and that is exciting. But eventually that first love wears off, and it boils down to this: do you like Korean dramas for what they actually are?
One thing I’ve noticed that many kdrama fans seem to forget is that dramas follow a certain pattern or formula. Korean drama storytelling typically involves clichés, tropes, cookie cutter plots, and even angst in comedy dramas. They have been this way for many, many years. While there are always dramas that will rise above the rest in terms of minimizing some of these things, they are not the norm.
I know all of us are always on the look out for the next amazing, fantastic drama that blows us away. But these are not typical. They never have been and never will be. And this applies to dramas and shows from every country. Most shows are not hits, and only the best of the best are usually remembered.
Every country has a way it generally tells stories and has certain tropes it likes to use. Something that happens with many kdrama fans is that we seem to start getting annoyed with many of the things that cause conflict in a drama be it amnesia, trouble-making mothers or second leads, rich guys, poor girls, not communicating with each other, noble idiocy, incompetent police officers, or a comedy taking a more dramatic and angsty turn later in a drama. Even staples of kdramas like wide-eyed kisses, innocent romance, childhood loves, etc. can start to annoy some fans.
But the purpose of these things is to further the story, create conflict, and some are just part of what makes a kdrama a kdrama. They are meant to cause problems and make you root for the hero. And just because a drama makes use of cliche plot devices, it doesn’t automatically make a drama bad. A drama can still be wonderful even when using these things.
If you want to avoid disliking kdramas or falling into a slump, try to manage your expectations and accept these elements for what they are. They are a large part of what makes a Korean drama, and they should be embraced.
No one should ever be miserable in their drama watching. If none of these things work for you, it may be time to re-evaluate and look for a change. Find something else you can love and enjoy. As wonderful as kdramas and the community that comes with them are, it’s okay to move on and find other things you can love.
But hopefully, if you employ some of these tips, you can minimize drama slumps or dig your way out of one that’s currently happening. You’ll be back to that drama obsessed fan who suffers from serious addiction to their latest drama. And there’s no better place to be.
I am passionate about Korean dramas and love sharing that passion with others. I hope this article can help you keep your kdrama fire burning. Best of luck in your drama adventures.
Happy drama watching to everyone!
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