Are you a fan of long(er) kdramas?

In the last 5+ years since  I started watching kdramas in earnest, I have  gotten really used to the 16-episode format, as you can see from MyDramaList. There are a few 20-episode and 24-episode dramas lurking on my completed list, plus a few odd ducks, thanks to last-minute extensions (or reductions). To date, the longest drama I have completed is Heard It Through the Grapevine, which topped out at 30 episodes. The next runner up is Brilliant Legacy, which I don’t remember being 28 episodes long, but hey, that’s what the site says, so I’ll believe it.

I haven’t really tried the family weekend shows, unless you count the utter disaster that was You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin! I got roughly 28 episodes into that one before I gave up in a fit of despair. Right now I’m trying to make my way through The Flower in Prison, but I’m about a month behind. (Soon to be rectifying that, I hope. I refuse to give up on this show for complicated reasons, and in the next month I only have one other drama that I plan on watching.)

So I’m a little in awe of the people who regularly watch and keep up with longer kdramas. I’ve trained myself to drop shows once they start making me unhappy, so I feel like the longer a show runs, the more chances it has to irritate me. (Like going in endless circles, constantly fixated on a single plot point. That was YtBLSS’s cardinal sin to me, plus so many parents determined to make their child’s lives miserable because pffft, who cares what grown up children want?) I’ve heard that some people just start skipping scenes when a longer show starts tanking so they can see how the plots they care about play out. But since I’m a completionist at heart, that idea makes me antsy for fear I would miss something crucial in a scene I skipped over.

So to those of you who have watched longer kdramas (30+ episodes), why do you like them? What keeps you engaged with them? Do you liberally use the skipping technique ? Which longer dramas would you recommend for me?

4 thoughts on “Are you a fan of long(er) kdramas?

  1. Bashful82 says:

    As the years pass, I have become like you – happily drop a drama which doesn’t appeal to me. It’s bit like big novels – there is something comfortable about sitting down and watching something that you really like.

    If you want a really good family weekend drama, I recommend “Life is Beautiful” – it’s filled with wonderful family members and doesn’t do any majang-type stories.

    Each character has their own storyline and it is known for portraying the first full gay relationship between Song Chang-eui andLee Sang-woo. However, I particularly love the interaction between SCE’s character and his step mother.

    My favourite character is the 2nd Uncle who is the grumpiest person ever (played by Kim Sang-joong – he was the villain in The Chaser and City Hunter).

    • Audrey says:

      I need to sit down and read more novels, especially since autumn is here. Curling up on the couch with a good book and a fuzzy blanket–sounds like heaven to me.

      Ooooh, I’ve heard about Life is Beautiful. Thank you for the recommendation! (KSJ just grumpy and not actually evil? I’d probably be suspicious of him the whole drama. XD) I definitely need more LGBTQIA representation in my kdrama consumption.

      And welcome, by the way! It’s always exciting to get a new commenter. It was an exciting to wake up to your comment this morning!

  2. Mariah says:

    In general I do not care for weekenders. I also watched YtBLSS, and then after about 20 eps FF’d to anything with the gangster BIL and Jung Woo (I’m an OG trash oppa shipper).

    I will say, I absolutely loved Jang Bori is Here, which is very weekend drama on the one hand, but kind of amazing on the other. While I wasn’t so into the whole virgin/whore thing (but I mean, I watch kdramas, so…), otherwise, the real draw for me was how intensely feminist it was in some ways. The story is around this extended family of women artists, and there’s never any talking down about how much they are artists and what a serious thing that is, and how they dedicate their lives to it. There’s some drama around birth secrets and romance, but the principal drama is around being a woman and an artist at the same time.

    It was a really weird drama. The Madonna/whore stuff is over the top and inescapable. There’s a heavy dollop of birth secret stuff, but it’s treated as an issue of identity, not just makjang BS.

    IDK, from the description, I can’t imagine you’d want to watch, but I thought it was a perfect encapsulation of how kdramas are feminist works that live in a repressive place. I found it super fascinating, and very liberated in the context of putting women’s work and intellectual life at center stage.

    (The first 10 eps are highly skippable though, and I did get a little tired around ep. 41-42.)

    • Audrey says:

      I’ve also heard of Jang Bori! Thanks for taking the time to explain some of its pros and cons–it sounds like one I’d be more interested in in if it were about half the length.

      –which is kind of the problem, huh? XD One of these days I’ll find a weekender that I love to pieces. Until then, I’ll probably just stick to my 16-to-20-episoders.

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