Although Korean dramas have lost some of their addictive quality (thank goodness, sleep is important too!), what emerges from a slower watch is sometimes far more interesting, comparable to a whirlwind romance that later settles into a more familiar and comfortable rhythm.
The downside is that I’m not all that driven to write about the new dimensions, but that may change if another Six Flying Dragons comes along.
For now, I’m slowly watching The Lonely Shining Goblin, and for the third time, My Name is Kim Sam Soon. Both are meaningful, but the contrast between the new show and one of the oldest I’ve seen is striking. Even with plain sets, common dilemmas, and bad hairstyles, Sam Soon feels emotionally resonate and enduring in a way Lonely Goblin does not.
I’m not so sure there has been emotional benefit to K-drama popularity across the world. Couldn’t they have just made their way to me, without adapting much otherwise? 😉
What I notice, is how much freedom the actors were given to find the most sensitive places in themselves – not just for a few scenes, but for most. There seems also less emphasis on physical perfection, allowing for a wider range of expression. They weren’t afraid to include ‘ugly’ in the range of human emotion.
With newer dramas, one can too often see the gears moving from inside the editing room. Rarely can the audience lose sight of calculations in pace, or suspend the tendency to predict when peak moments are about to occur.
Even so, I’m taken in by the metaphors in The Lonely Shining Goblin, and the way high notes are played in non self-serious ways,. It can be moving in the way one is touched when a live musician adds little surprises to a song you thought you knew very well.