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?