Guess Who Had an Anniversary?

And completely forgot?

April 7th was the second anniversary for this site, which I had forgotten about, oops. Me and dates just really don’t get along all that well. Time to rectify that now if I can!

I looked over last year’s anniversary post, and to no one’s surprise, this year was pretty much the same as the last. At least I’m consistent? I feel a little bad that DL has basically been abandoned again and that there are so many ambitions of mine that have gone unfulfilled because I haven’t been putting in the effort. (Or have felt too burned out to be able to muster up the effort as the last two months have shown me.)

But spring may actually be here now I’m ignoring the snow forecast this week, and it seems as good a time as any to set some new goals and contemplate some new ambitions for the year:

I need to finish Mother. Emotionally taxing shows are always difficult to watch, but doing so on top of professional and familial burnout is a new level altogether. I’ve been procrastinating because it’s clear that our heroines are going to be caught and torn apart sooner rather than later, and I haven’t been ready for the heartache. I need to just sit down and knock this out in the next week or two.

I want to watch more movies. I watched a movie and a special (and re-watched a special) with Gwynne when I visited her, so I need to write up some commentary on those. Besides that, I have made exactly zero progress on the list of movies I wanted to watch from last year. There are also several drama specials I should get around to. In theory, these should be easy to get through because the lower time commitment, but I never end up reaching for them when I have the spare time.

I want to do a recap. And right now I’m facing a gap of dramas I’m interested in (until mid-May), so if I can finish Mother in a timely fashion, I may turn to that for my next project. Time to resharpen my summarizing skills.

Thanks for sticking around for another year with me! Here’s hoping I can provide you with even more (and better) content in this next year. <3

The movies on my to-watch list

Like I said a couple days ago, I have been compiling a list of drama specials and movies that I need to watch at some point. The drama specials list is short and easily managed, but I’ve got eighteen movies on my list. Frankly, I’m not even sure where to start.

So help me out! Tell me (in comments, via tumblr, or on twitter) which three movies on this list you think I should start with:

The Admiral
Architecture 101
Death Bell
The Face Reader
The Handmaiden
Hot Young Bloods
Like for Likes
My Annoying Brother
Penny Pinchers
Silenced (The Crucible)
Time Renegades
Train to Busan
A Werewolf Boy

You can even suggest movies that aren’t on this list, provided they’re available on Viki, DramaFever, or Amazon. (Sorry, I don’t have a Netflix account.) Whichever movie gets the most votes will be the one I watch first!

The next ten days

Now that Circle is over and I’ve dropped SDQ, I’ve got a bit of a gap in my drama-watching schedule. I’ve got two episodes left of Naked Fireman, which I ought to finish this weekend, barring unexpected ridiculousness. That still leaves me with ten days before anything I’m interested in actually starts.

Luckily, I’ve kept a list of movies and drama specials for just such an occasion. I’m hoping to make a significant dent in those or Running Man (now that I’m seven months behind…) and maybe catch up on some music rec meme stuff and other miscellaneous items. Maybe if I get my shit together, I’ll be able to write the next chapter of DL.

The first half of the year has been kind of bleh when it came to kdramas, though at least I managed to finish two currently airing shows (Solomon’s Perjury and Circle) and one non-current drama special (Splash Splash Love). That actually puts me right on track to finish four currently airing shows this year. A low goal, I know, but I do hope that the second half of the year is much better than the first.

What upcoming dramas are you looking forward to in the second half of 2017? How many have you finished this year?

Happy anniversary to me!

Today marks the first anniversary of this blog, which I personally think is pretty cool. I wasn’t sure I’d ever make it this far, but I’m glad it has. Blogging more formally than on tumblr has reinforced a couple things for me (and taught me some new things, too). Here’s a quick look back over the last year for me:

  • Blogging regularly means more hits. This one’s obvious, but looking over my year-end stats really hit it home—adding new content daily meant people coming to my site consistently. My absolute best month was October 2016. Currently airing show posts were very popular, but—
  • List posts did surprisingly well. I don’t haven’t looked too closely at the numbers, but there were a several list posts that beat out actual commentary. Which is hilarious to me because I typically thought of my list posts as being cheating when I had nothing more coherent to say, but hey. Numbered things are more attractive than my rantings about the same five topics every time a new drama comes around.
  • People are still reading my fanfiction. I don’t get a ton of comments, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of hits the chapters get. Yay, I have more than three readers! XD
  • Link roundups don’t do very well. At least, not many people actually click through to read the articles I’m linking. Oh well. I have fun doing them, so I’ll keep it up. Plus, I like the structure of having Fridays be music, Saturdays be news, and Sundays be fanfiction.
  • The drama calendar attracts a lot of strays. The number of people who google X DRAMA episode WHATEVER and wind up at my site is larger than I expected. I hope they’re getting some use out of it.
  • It is so much easier to post when I’m watching a show I actually like. Surprise, surprise, but bitter loathing is not a consistent fuel source. I get tired often (like tonight—hello cocktails and video games and books for the rest of the weekend), and I can only imagine that the rest of you get tired of it, too. Now, don’t worry, I’m not about to lie about or censor my feelings toward a drama, but god, it’d be nice if dramaland pitched me some shows I could be enthusiastic about.
  • I worry too much about whether or not something has already been done. I’ve honestly had my mind made up about which drama I want to do my first recap for, but every time I think about doing it, I google that X DRAMA + recap and end up being discouraged by the fact that so many others have done it. Get over yourself, Audrey, the internet is filled with redundancy.
  • While I like the challenge of long-form commentary, I still struggle with the voice I present to the world. Again, get over yourself, Audrey. For some reason I seem to prize hilarity a great deal despite being remarkably not funny. That’s just not you. Let go of it. The people who stick around are here precisely because of your cranky, irritable commentary and complete willingness to yell at badly behaving male characters as if they could actually hear you.
  • I am really bad about creating and maintaining a buffer. This, however, you should not get over. GET BETTER AT IT, DAMMIT.

Anyhow, thanks for sticking with me this past year. <3 Here’s hoping there will be some awesome things in store down the line.

Watching solo vs. with someone else

One thing I’ve found I’ve been missing lately is being able to watch kdramas with other people–not just with as in a bunch of internet people I know are all watching the show and commenting on it, but with as in having someone right next to me on the couch/floor as we watching something together. In times past, it was my roommate; occasionally, friends visited on vacation or (if local) were roped into a show or two; still other times one of my sisters would decide she’s ready for another kdrama and asked for for recommendations.

It’s just fun to watch things with others sometimes. I enjoy watching something new with a partner so we can speculate together about what will happen or clutch pillows when we get wound up or shriek at the screen. I’m equally fond of introducing one of my favorite shows to someone so I can split my attention between the drama and their reaction to it. Watching people flail over shows it the best, honestly. It’s especially fun when we’ve got food, whether that’s a full meal or just something to snack on. It’s a different kind of community than the internet and its discourse–which I also love.

Watching stuff solo has some great benefits, too–like the fact that I can pause every minute or so to take notes or get up to do something or text someone. It’s also nice not to have to wait for someone else to watch an episode. Things go by my schedule, not by ours, which has gotten complicated and/or inconvenient in the past. Sometimes it means I don’t keep up on shows, though. Ooops. I definitely think I write better commentary when I can pause to take notes.

So I want to know: Do you prefer to watch kdrama by yourself or with other people? Do you mix it up? What’s your current setup? Your ideal setup?

You know what would make me very happy?

Is if all of you went and filled out Viki’s request form for upcoming kdrama Solomon’s Perjury. The moment I heard about it, I knew I would desperately need it in my life. It is giving me so many White Christmas vibes, only this time, the main POV is a lady, so I am very excited. Solomon’s Perjury is also the last drama this year that I have any interest in. If you’ve got a Viki account, you should follow the fan page, too, to show your interest.

It’ll take you no more than 90 seconds to fill out the request form. Pretty please? *puppy dog eyes*

A quick question for you

As 2016 winds down, I’m trying to sort out what goals I ought to have for this site (and connected tumblr) for the next year. I have some personal items in mind, of course–like keeping on top of the music rec meme, creating a new fake drama and finishing the first one , and creating some blogging/tumblr challenges–but I’d like to get some feedback from you, dear readers.

Is there anything new you’d like to see me do (recaps, movie reviews, etc.)? Is there anything you’d like to see more of (recommendation lists, drama commentary, music, etc.)? Is there anything you’re not enamored with? Now’s the time to let me know!

Heading into the final stretch

I took a moment today to take stock of what my drama year has been like, and I’m a little sorry to say it hasn’t gone as well as I’d hoped. According to my drama list, I started thirteen different dramas this year; of them, I only completed two and am currently trying to catch up on a third (Flower in Prison).  Which I think was better than 2015, but that really isn’t saying all that much, especially considering the two I did finish ended up being mediocre.

So far as I can tell, there are only three new dramas on the horizon for December, and of those three, only one interests me. (I’ll be adding all three of them–Goblin, Solomon’s Perjury, and Hwarang–to the drama calendar tomorrow.) There’s the White Christmas (Re)Watch at the end of December,  but otherwise my kdrama landscape is pretty barren.

There are a couple of 2016 dramas I missed out on the first time around that I’m considering checking out (Age of Youth is top of the list). What about you? How has your year been so far? Will you be joining the White Christmas (Re)Watch? Do you have any suggestions for 2016 shows I ought to give a chance?

How do you rate your dramas?

I’ve found that I don’t really like numbers (1 to 10) or stars (1 to 5) very much, though those are very popular systems across the board. Mostly because they don’t seem all that helpful to me, with the way my mind works. What is functionally the difference between a seven and an eight? Three-and-a-half stars versus four? An eight-point-five and a nine? Are you rating how good the show is on a technical level or does the score simply reflect how much you enjoyed it? If someone is looking for a recommendation, where’s the threshold of yes, watch versus don’t bother? How do you capture the difference between something that was was given three stars because everything ground to a halt in the last third and something that was given a three stars because  it was an addictive but terrible mess?

Text-based reviews would be able to capture more of those differences, but long reviews can be tedious to write, too, especially for dramas, which are typically 16+ hours of content. Do you need to write a thousand-word overview of every drama that you finish? How do you handle spoilers? How many people are actually going to read the whole thing if they haven’t already watched the drama, too?

My compromise is to do a little of both, though I avoid the numbers. My ratings system basically tells you what I think you ought to do about the drama: marathon it now, bump it up your watch list, check it out on a slow day, I would advise against it, and I’ve already suffered–why should you? I couple that with mini reviews that usually spell out what I thought were the pros and cons of the shows. I’m slowly making my way through the list to finish up those reviews. One of these days…

How do you rate your dramas? Do you use MyDramaList? Do you have your own personal ranking system? Leave a link in the comments–I’d love to see what you think of some of my favorite shows!