So, I Started Watching a Korean Drama This Weekend

One of the best parts about living in America is the great assortment of entertainment available. Netflix offers a large selection of television series and movies. But, this entertainment isn’t free. As many of us know, Netflix requires a monthly payment of about nine dollars, and sometimes a choice has to be made between Dunkin’ and Arrested Development. Sadly, I don’t know of any banana stands near me. I’m too afraid to ask my parents to pay for the Netflix so I decided to forego it for a few weeks, which in retrospect was a good idea considering the fact that I’m taking multiple reading-intensive classes this semester. The Netflix abstinence was holding up nicely until Thanksgiving break. There’s no reason to work on things during a five-day break. It’s twice as long as a regular weekend and I usually do all my work on Sunday anyway. I should watch some TV. But where can I find it without Netflix?

My desire to be a potato overwhelmed me. I decided to take a huge risk. I had a few female friends (just friends — boys and girls can be platonic friends!) that were obsessed with dramas from Korea even more so than with shows like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Korean dramas are like soap operas in their dramatic content and are viewed worldwide, much like Latin American telenovelas. Turns out that a major online distributor of K-dramas offers various shows for free streaming, although there are the dreaded ads. Anyway, out of the sake of curiosity, I decided to watch one. Why not? It’s not like I wouldn’t have something else to write about for my blog this week. Pshh…I never get writer’s block. It’s not like the lives of characters in a simple drama would consume my thoughts. Also, watching the show might help me get a real job someday. Having the shared experience of watching a TV series builds solidarity, which builds friendship and connections, the whole nine yards.

So I started watching a popular, top-rated drama on Drama Fever from 2013. The particular show is called The Heirs (2013) and it runs for one season of 20 hour-long episodes. The show is about the budding relationship between a wealthy illegitimate, handsome son sent over from Korea and a poor, gorgeous girl escaping to America for a chance at a better life, and about how this relationship affects existing family ties of the wealthy family back in Seoul, the Korean capital. There’s even a love triangle. The handsome son has a wealthy, mean fiancée that he doesn’t really love. Some of the wealthy people on the show are pretty mean. It’s like a wholesome version of Gossip Girl without sexy scenes or Blake Lively. I’ve made it a few episodes in, and I’m already hooked. My friends back home were right — this is even more addicting than American television.

This was not a good experiment to undergo two weeks before finals. I now have another obligation on top of finals and doing my laundry. But, alas, good television is good television. I’m glad to have another guilty pleasure show even if I have to read subtitles the entire time. Netflix needs to keep its eyes out for this kind of stuff. It just lost my subscription for a little while. Now I can go spend the nine dollars a month on more important things, like a box of cereal, Snickers bars, and a box of tissues for that inevitable moment during which I start crying during this show.

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