K-Drama Watch – Romance is A Bonus Book

If you are on Netflix, you would have seen a new Korean drama title on air called Romance is A Bonus Book. Aired once a week for 16 episodes, it has just ended its run and I have just completed watching all episodes.

Unlike the typical K-drama story line of a rich chaebol (heir to a fortune) and a poor woman working her way up in life, this drama tells a story of a single mom returning to work due to financial constraints. Having a 7 years gap in her employment history is definitely a big disadvantage in an environment that is already biased towards her decision to look after her family full time.

What sets this drama apart from current dramas is its artistic flair in its story line. It shows passion about the making of books and the people who eat, drink and breathe books in a publishing company.

I like that in each episode, they incorporate a little life lesson. Story telling that focuses on what matters in life.

It’s sort of like a coming-of-age movies or dramas, but for adults who needs a realignment of priorities in their lives.

Truth be told, I was only watching this drama because of the male lead, Lee JongSuk, who played the character Cha EunHo. Little did I know that despite its light weight story line, it is impactful and brought me to tears in some episodes.

The moment Cha EunHo realises that Dan-I has mutual feelings.

The drama resonates well with me because like the female character Kang Dan-I, I too wish to be in paid employment again after a decade of home-full-time-gig.

At the end of the show, the company decided to implement a blind recruitment policy, whereby new staff will be interviewed and recruited based on merit. Too good to be true for that to happen in real life, but I get my happy ending which is all I want in my dramas.

Beautifully written.

Perfectly executed.

A definite good watch!


K-Drama Watch – Familiar Wife

Today I am going to talk about one of the many K-dramas that I’ve watched and if you have not watch it yet and don’t want any spoilers, stop now.

This drama is about a married couple, JooHyuk and WooJin who has been married for many years.

Life is a daily struggle for both of them as they had to balance work and family obligations.

It got too much for WooJin who felt that she shouldered more responsibilities to a point that it impacted her mental health.

Meanwhile JooHyuk felt like he has been in an abusive relationship and began to question if life could be better if he did not marry WooJin.

He went through a magical toll booth using a magical coin and he found that he was able to travel back to the year he first met WooJin. The next time he woke up, he would be back in his present time, but for a minor thing that he changed in the past, he could see the effect of that action.

So then he decided to change the one thing that he thought was making his life miserable, which is his first encounter with WooJin.

When he woke up, he found that his first encounter with WooJin never happened and he is living a life that he thought was the best he could ever have.

Apparently WooJin has a good life of her own too and JooHyuk began to learn the reasons why his wife from the previous timeline behaved the way she did.

JooHyuk finally understood that he was equally to blame for how bad his marriage was in the previous timeline and in the end he tried to return back to the past so he could go back to the life that he desperately longed for. But he couldn’t.

Did they end up together again?

Well, yes.

How you ask?

They fell in love with each other again.

Now, the moral of the story are:

  • Respect your partner, communicate and listen well.
  • Take responsibilities together.
  • Appreciate what you have and make the best of it. You may not get another chance at it.

Ending was good and deserving for a romance, fantasy drama. The couple restarted a timeline where they had a fulfilling life with ups and downs thrown at them, but they kept supporting and loving each other.

Personally, this drama resonated well with me. Life isn’t all about the destination, but the journey to get there.

Well worth the 16 episodes!

Malay Dramas – A Complex Love/Hate Relationship

One wholesome meal, never disappoints, unless served without the iconic sambal, that is just blasphemy! Pixabay image.

Watching a Malay drama brings out many emotions in me.  I grew up watching many malay dramas. Malay dramas of my time could not be compared to the ones being shown on tv now.

Right, the dramas that I grew up watching had these elements in them:

1. Had different genres and are distinctive of each other. Comedy, romance, horror, slice-of-life kinda thing, religious.

2. Comedy dramas are light-hearted and relateable, non of the slapstick of the current generation. Never try to be politically-correct, which sadly contributed to the many stereotypes or common misconceptions about the many different races in Malaysia (including Sabah & Sarawak) Hahahahahah!!!

3. Common settings ; lives in the kampungs, struggles in family relationships, younger generation leaving the elderly to look for jobs in the city.

4. Mystical elements and people using dodgy practices to ruin other people’s lives.

Malay dramas nowadays…..

Most definitely flashy lifestyles, people/family with high social status, lowly main character being paired up with someone from a higher social status, desperate attempt for wealth accumulation by a second wife for her child/ren, characters being made to date/engaged/married by force by their family and later on fall for each other only for their past lovers come back into the scene.

I try to catch up with malay dramas just as much as I watch other foreign language dramas – Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese. But the selection on offer is lacking in diversity.

Now this is why I think why this is a problem and also not a problem.

Problem : Audience are going to eventually feel some sort of a fatigue with this stereotype storyline. No new ideas or growth of creativity in the industry.

Not a problem : Popular dramas will draw more audience and more revenue. Not a bad combination.

Film makers don’t make stuff that people won’t watch, and people expect to be served with a certain type of drama that will induce a certain happy feeling inside.

Movies or dramas are a type of escapism.

People want to escape from the harsh realities of life.

Some people have complained in the past about how degrading it is to be watching current malay dramas just because it does not reflect realities of life.

This is what I think how things could be done.

1. If you don’t like what is on the tv, just turn it off and live your own life.

2. To experience diversity in viewing selection, be more open to different views.

3. Audience and popular preferences might change, but don’t hold your breath.