Men love watching DramaFever too!
While there are many men among avid DramaFever viewers, we don't always hear their voices. However, by accident, we came across a famous person who admitted to being a DramaFever fan in a newspaper column he writes in Hawaii. Can you guess who he is?
He is Mufi Hannemann, the former mayor of Honolulu. He is married, stands 6 feet 7 inches tall, and is of Samoan-German-English heritage. He graduated from Harvard University and worked as a history teacher and basketball coach. The bulk of his experience is actually in public service. He served under four of the past six U.S. presidential administrations. He was the mayor of Honolulu from 2005 to 2010 when he resigned to run for Hawaii's gubernatorial election but lost in the Democratic primary.
Speaking of entertainment, I have become a huge fan of Korean drama in the 808. All 79 inches of me often is glued to my iPad, especially when I’m on the road, and on the DramaFever app. And guess what? I am not alone among the male populace of diehards in our community. For years, two of my former cabinet members, Tim Steinberger and Eric Takamura, often could be found talking up what they were following on KBFD-TV with the popular soaps’ female audience at City Hall. More recently, much to my surprise and delight, business executives including Walter Dods and Robin Campaniano, along with attorneys Bert Kobayashi Jr. and Rodney Veary and hundreds of others of the male gender, count themselves as devotees of K-dramas.
Dods and wife Diane easily could be dubbed “the first couple of Korean soaps” for the amount of time they spend watching their favorite series.
“I have a huge affinity for the historical ones, such as the tale of naval military leader Adm. Yi Soon-Shin, known for his courage and strategic brilliance in thwarting the enemy through his famous Turtle Ship,” explains Dods. He lists IRIS, an espionage series, as one of his all-time favorites. “I find the costumes and history of Korea so fascinating that if you see me on a flight riveted to my iPad, you know that I am busy watching you-know-what.”
Dods says he relies on Kobayashi and also on Jeff Chung, general manager of KBFD, a pioneer and expert on Korean drama, for hot tips on what he should view next.
Chung attributes the continuing popularity of Korean dramas to stories being “largely devoid of sex, drugs and violence, and core family values are a recurring theme.”
When asked why men are so late to the game in embracing these shows, especially a series with a romantic theme, Chung says, “Men don’t like to readily admit that they have a soft side because we are bound to cry a little bit at times.”
As one who shed a tear or two at The Sound of Music and at the ending of Splendor In The Grass, my favorite tearjerker is Stairway To Heaven, which is a classic that also was a big hit in Japan and the Philippines. If the title reminds you of an American song – yep, it’s the Led Zeppelin tune. In fact, the music is what I find extremely appealing. My favorite ballad is from Stairway-Bo Go Ship Da (I MissYou), which has me yearning to sing it in Korean – wishful thinking. My other favorite TV series is All In, shot in Korea and Las Vegas, starring Lee Byung-hun, whom I met through Chung at the 2005 Hawaii International Film Festival. Little did I realize then that Lee Byung-hun would break through on the American scene making a crossover to U.S. films.
So if K-dramas have started to pique your interest, make sure you set aside some quality time to watch them either at home or when you are traveling.
More importantly, be prepared to get hooked big time!
For more about Korean drama's growing popularity: