So this is my first time doing this. I don’t know if it will be the last. lol. Jandoe@dramaphilic nominated me for the Sisterhood of the world blogger awards.
First of all, I will thank Jandoe once again for nominating me. I rarely comment on her blog, but she’s one of the most articulate and well-spoken person I’ve met during all these years of my fangirl life. Her fangirling on Twitter reminds me of myself back in 2009 and I would literally tweet anything in my mind. Haha. I’m in my chill phase now, but it’s always adorable to see peoople spazz.
I will now answer her questions. I am too lazy to try and find screencaps and pictures to make a nice post, but do believe that I put my heart into this.
Name a show you don’t necessarily love, but would totally recommend to others.
Recommending something that I don’t love… I had to think hard. I would actually name the only French tv show that I’ve been following diligently for the past two years, but no one would know what I’m talking about. So for a US show, I’d say… “Fame” (all episodes are on Youtube). It’s an old school show. I decided to marathon it last year and I had such a bittersweet feeling because my memory kept only the cool factor of “oh my gawd! i’m in high school to receive training to become an artist”. While the show dealt with some serious issues, some of the characters I used to find so cool were… not that cool for the adult that I am. BUT that’s what makes “Fame” timeless for me. They were brats, they were teenagers and 100 years from now, teenagers and brats will still be able to relate to them. Okay I make it sound like I really really love the show. I’d only keep the first two seasons.
Now on with a K-drama, I’ve been out of it for three or four months and it turns out that the brain gets quickly rid of the few memories you have. I spent two days thinking about the answer. I’d say “Nine”. It was an intriguing drama. The plot was really… wow. The actors nailed it. However, it’s really a guy show as in there was only one female character. She started out fierce but turned out to be just a damsel in distress with our hero being rude to her all the freaking time. I did understand why the rudeness was necessary at some point around the middle of the drama, but I was so fed up with the lead guy at this point that when we reached the ending, I just didn’t care at all if they got together or not. So really, it’s about the plot and not character’s development here. I’d also say that it should be marathoned. The plot is well-structured, so it’s easy to miss out on important details if you take too much time between two episodes.
Honest opinions about the recent upswing of idols in Kdramas?
Well, I think people tend to forget that there are actually a lot of idols who joined the industry because they wanted to be actors. If anything, I think musicians should be upset that people who want to be actors use singing as their way to get there. It’s actually something that I talked about a few years ago with one of my Korean teachers who didn’t understand why idols in dramas was something that stood out for me from my Westerner point of view. And there were not even as many idols as we’ve been seeing for two or thee years. To her, idol turned actors were already a natural thing and that is because the Korean entertainment industry is based on versatility. If you just look at how many TV actors are also musical actors (and I insist on actors, I feel that actresses struggle more to cross over between musicals and TV… but I haven’t researched about it enough, so let’s keep this as a “feeling I have”), acting and singing aren’t two opposite fields in the Korean entertainment industry. Where I live, the entertainment industry is structured by categories and there’s the prejudice that a singer should only sing and an actor should only act because it is impossible to be good at both. That would be another debate on the meaning of the word “entertainer”, but to stay on track here, I’d say that the idol system today is based on the fact that idols are seen as potential actors since the beginning anyway. So to me, the problem isn’t that they’re idols. The problem is their talent. It’s not because you’re an idol that you can’t act. To me, you’re a bad actor because you’re a bad actor. Some bad actors can improve, though.
At the end of the day, people have been criticizing idols for the past two years, but if it weren’t for Kim Woo Bin and Lee Jong Suk being so successful for the past two years, I’m pretty sure that the influx of models turned actors we’ve been seeing for the past year would have created a bigger debate because, unlike idols who can rely on their vocal skills (even if some of them are bad singers, but they’re officially singers), models can’t pretend that they’re models for any other reason than their physical appearance. There’s one thing that Kim Woo Bin has been saying for the past 2 years: he got lucky because his unusual looks matched the trend at the right time. Forgive me to use Lee Soo Hyuk as an example, fangirl alert, but I really think he debuted too early as an actor OR maybe he just didn’t get or didn’t choose the right opportunities to make him stand out in a good way because he or whoever gave him advice just didn’t know any better. I feel like Kim Woo Bin and Lee Soo Hyuk were in the same range in terms of acting when they debuted, and the turning point was 2012. In 2011, people were able to watch Lee Soo Hyuk in three different roles at the same time because the airing dates of his dramas overlapped. That does not happen quite often except for veteran actors who are courted for supportive roles because they are veterans who have nothing to prove and who already got recognized for their talent. I don’t know why he didn’t get to capitalize on that, but this was a good opportunity he missed out on. Maybe he was afraid of being typecast? I don’t know. I feel like his choices didn’t match what he was able to play at that time. On the other hand, Kim Woo Bin’s career took off in 2012 with rebellious but complex teenagers characters that took him out of his comfort zone. And he got to act with veteran actors early in his career. He had a good mentor to show him what acting was about whereas Lee Soo Hyuk, at least from the impression I get in his interviews, he figured out a lot of stuff by himself and had no real guidance… So, yeah, model turned actors also bring competitiveness to the acting field. It’s not just idols.
My point IS being an idol or a model doesn’t determine if you’re a god actor or not. If anything, being able to sing or to move in front of a camera are just skills that can help you in an acting career. To me, the problem is the system itself that doesn’t give room to rookie actors and it pushes aspiring actors to be idols in order to become actors. And the few successful idol turned actors like Im Siwan or Lee Joon (the only female example coming to my mind is Eun Ji from A Pink, BUT only her role in “Reply 1997” really stood out, so does she count for this argument?) reinforce this vision. However, I’m saying this now, but dramaland is changing. Sponsored webdramas, the fact that cable dramas are getting praised for their quality, the fact that people would rather watch reruns at their convenience and not sit down in front of their TV to watch a drama will probably have an impact on how actors are being recruited. For instance, if idols were mostly cast for webdramas, rookie actors would get a bigger chance to be on TV? On the other hand, agencies are also strenghtening their acting department, they produce their own dramas… So… We shall see the evolution in a couple of years.
Of all the shows you’d reviewed and/or expressed opinions about before, is there one that you wish or plan to rewrite differently?
That one French soap opera that I’ve been recapping. I actually like the show, but there are problematic aspects in characters development, so I was probably too harsh on season 2. With that said, I decided to keep the negativity out of this blog, so I’ll try to be more… indulgent about the stuff that I don’t like because who am I to judge?
Do you feel like you live in the wrong era and/or location? Why?
That’s a tricky question. I’d like being able to travel around the world and experience other cultures, but no money for now, so I can only dream. I’m glad to live where I am, though. I honestly don’t see myself settling down in another country for the rest of my life. Living abroad a few years because of my job or to do research, why not?
Now about the era, from a subjective point of view, I would have enjoyed the Classical Antiquity (Roma and Greece) for its culutre, although as a woman back then, I don’t know how much of a culture I would have had access too. For more recent times, I’d say the 1960’s. The music, the fashion were so cool and I feel like it was a great period for humanity to stand together and make the world a better place. From an objective point of view and as a Black woman, living in today’s era, as problematic as it is, is still better for me than any other era, compared to the past 6 centuries. Overall, I wouldn’t see myself living in another era. Each era has great and bad aspects. I’ll just deal with what I know from my personal experience and stay in my era. ^^
Share the love! Reveal your must read, go-to blog and/or website.
Like I said, I don’t read many blogs. My internet routine can really be summed up by Nate for Korean entertainment news, TV shows and Twitter… Once again, after thinking about my answer very deeply, I’d say that for K-related stuff, kimwoobineyebrows@Tumblr gives me my daily fangirling fix. For non-K-related stuff, I’d say that I read Jenny Trout’s blog once in a while. I found out about her through her 50 Shades of Grey recap. While I may not always agree with her opinions on other matters, I always enjoy reading her thoughts. And there’s also the Snarksquad. They recap books I read when I was a child and also TV shows or movies. I think they’re hilarious. It’s snarky and quirky.
The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Awards
Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
Put the award logo on your blog.
Answer the questions they have sent you.
ten five new questions for your nominees to answer.
Nominate five blogs and make sure they are aware they are nominated.
When you have responded, leave a link in the comment of the person who nominated you.
Questions to nominees
1) Why do you blog? And how do you find the balance with real life?
2) Would you call yourself a fangirl and what does the term mean to you? (your fangirlism can be about anything, it’s not just about celebrities)
3) Do you have an OTP? Tell us why. (can be a pairing from tv shows, novels, real life)
4) Do you think you’re living your life at its fullest?
5) What would you like to change about this era?
I really don’t know about my nominees because most of them have already been nominated by others, so… Tumblr is microblogging, but blogging neverthless, so I will nominate a few people from there as well. I’d like to know you guys better, so if you’ve already answered someone else’s question, feel free to just answer in my comment section if you have time. 🙂