7 pieces of advice from a fangirl to Kdrama writers
We love Korean dramas for all of their twists and turns, but do you ever groan when a plot suddenly veers into Crazyville or the characters just gaze at each other for three episodes straight? What if you could sit down with your favorite Kdrama writers and give them some advice? What would you say?
Here’s my list of advice to Kdrama writers everywhere:
1.Amnesia ≠ A normal relationship hurdle
According to Kdrama writers, amnesia is the natural result of basically any negative experience. Car accident? Amnesia. Illness? Amnesia. Tripped over your own shoelaces? Amnesia. While I love a lot of the unrealistic things that happen all of the time in Kdramas (like millionaire makeovers and piggyback rides), I roll my eyes every time an amnesia plotline rolls around. Sometimes it can be done well, but more often than not, it’s just a way to kill time for a few episodes.
2.There’s nothing wrong with a little skinship
There’s something to be said for the built-up tension that eventually explodes onscreen when the characters finally confess their love. That being said, once we reach that point, it’s kind of nice to see the characters interacting like normal couples do. That means holding hands, snuggling, and yes—kissing like they mean it. We shouldn’t have to wait 7 episodes between each time they kind of brush fingers.
3.Women can be good at stuff too
This one thankfully doesn’t apply to all Kdramas, so the writers have plenty of good examples to follow. I love when female leads are smart and sassy and confident. When they are sad puppy dog doormats for 16 episodes straight, I start to scream at my screen and tear out my hair. Even the girls who start out with low confidence should learn to love themselves and stop putting up with other people’s nonsense before the show is over. It’s even worse when they start out confident and become emotional punching bags by the end of the show.
4.Throw the second male lead a bone.
I’m not saying that every kdrama has to end with a tidy love square, but please, please give that guy something by the end of the show. It breaks my heart to see the nice guys gazing into the distance, sad and lonely forever. Maybe Ji Hoo wasn’t meant to be with Jan Di, but did you have to kill the guy’s grandpa too?
5.More shower scenes
Do I really need to explain this? I think we all get it.
6.Use flashbacks wisely
A flashback can be a fast, easy way to help us understand what characters are thinking without making them talk to themselves like crazy people. But flashbacks start to lose effect when they appear too frequently. When 25% of an episode involves reminiscing or when characters start to reminisce about the last time they were reminiscing (like a dream within a dream), it feels more like lazy writing than effective characterization.
7.Give us closure
No ambiguous freeze frames. No completely forgetting about secondary plots in the last episode and neglecting to wrap them up. No opening a brand new problem in the last 15 minutes of the show. When we’ve spent 16+ hours watching a drama, we want a solid ending. We want to know what happens to the main couple. We want to know who’s dead and who’s not. We want to know if our favorite side characters ever found true love. If you don’t feel like you have the time or space to do this properly, please refer to points #1 and #6.
So that’s some of my advice for Kdrama writers, but what would you add?
Vivi is an unapologetic Korean drama addict and blogger. She blogs with her kdrama best friend Coco at Kdrama Fighting! In her free time, she likes to bring her commentary to the DramaFever crowd.