When I was first introduced to kdramas, I was a completionist. If I started something, I kept with it all the way to the end. Sometimes it was because there was enough promise peeking through, like occasional glimpses of the sun on an overcast day, so I stuck with it in the hopes the show could prove itself worthy of my time. Other times I hate-watched, determined to experience every second of the show so I could definitively say why it had been utterly awful.
As I got more and more into dramas, I started to drop them. In the beginning, it was never intentional—usually a different, more engaging drama would start airing and the one I had been watching before would get put on the back burner. The less interesting drama would get pushed further and further back on my priority list until it fell off of it altogether. My old roommate and I would watch dramas together, so anything that didn’t catch the attention of at least one of us frequently suffered this fate.
When I started regularly blogging about kdrama, I thought it would be best to stick things out to the end. I couldn’t just drop a show in case someone was actually enjoying my commentary! How sad would I be if one of my favorite bloggers (oh, my ego) just stopped writing about a show I was enjoying? By writing about it, wasn’t I committing to see it through to the end to my followers/readers? That kind of thinking got me through some shows that I absolutely loathed. Thinking about some of them still makes me angry.
In the last two years or so, however, I’ve shifted my thinking. Drama-watching is now a hybrid between a hobby and freelance project. As a hobby, it means that I’ve got to enjoy what I’m doing. Even if I’m not in love with a show, watching it needs to be a net positive experience. (See The Flower in Prison, AKA the sageuk I will totally catch up on one of these days but probably not before it ends.) As a freelance project, writing commentary for the drama needs to be worth my actual time. That worth is nebulous right now, but it’s a murky calculation between frustration levels, whether or not I feel like I’m constantly repeating myself, and hit stats on posts.
If I would rather be taking on actual paying work instead of watching something, that’s my cue to bow out of a drama. Wasting my time on something I’m enjoying is just fine—wasting my time on something I hate (and don’t enjoy hating) and not getting paid for it, just seems to pointless. To date, I have dropped 50 dramas, including two during finale week because I just couldn’t be bothered anymore.
What about you? Why do you drop (or complete) dramas? How has that changed over the course of your drama watching? Do you ever circle back around to complete shows you never finished?