After a while I found my true netflix and chill combination in the least likely of all the things I have tried – Korean Dramas. And the best part is that I didn’t even spend time picking them out. I just picked the first few recommendations. I am on my third drama now and I am ‘hooked’ is the least I can say.
Path to here wasn’t straight-forward though. It is not like one day I bit the pill and started watching K-Dramas. It was a very gradual transition, I’d say. I think it started with Suits. I started watching Suits because I wanted to give the legal drama genre another chance. We originally watched a couple of seasons of “The Good Wife” – a series I found increasingly hypocritic and useless. Suits, on the other hand, turned out very delightful. It carefully morphed from a monotonous legal drama into a very engaging relationship drama. The character sketches of Louis and Harvey really matured through the series and at S9, I was wanting a lot more.
After Suits, I went back to my usual dose of crime and politics. Even now we are watching a crime series – “The Blacklist” for our usual dose of dystopia. But to me, the western series lack something. But I was never able to put a finger on what. I like the science, the politics etc, but it definitely falls short someplace. So I started searching until I landed on “Doc Martin“.
Doc Martin is a brilliant drama of a surgeon struggling with haemophobia, his struggle to express himself to Louisa and keep the relationship working and his love-hate relationship with the fishing village near Cornwall where he’s come to settle down. Its a brilliantly paced drama that really works all the angles. Interestingly, I picked Doc Martin for Katherine Parkinson. I saw Katherine as the Jen Barber in the brilliant comedy – “The IT Crowd“. But I started enjoying the series a lot. Especially, Al and Bert large – a father-son duo that we surely have met in our lives.
But once Doc Martin was over, I was back to searching. I didn’t find a good replacement in Netflix; you could say I didn’t search harder. That’s when I decided to try a Korean Drama. I’ve heard a lot of people say these dramas are very engaging. I assumed they engaging the same way the tamil soaps were engaging. By the way, tamil soaps are not engaging but quite the opposite. But Korean Dramas (K-Dramas) reminds of a very beautiful time in Tamil dramas – a time we used to make 13 episode dramas. If you are aware of these names, you know what I mean: Mel Madi Gaali, Flight 172, or the few KB serials, or any of the Ravi Raghavendra dramas. They were short, sweet and explored a single line of thought very well.
As I started browsing, I came across this series by name – “What’s wrong with Secretary Kim?” When I try something new, I always start with a comedy. For instance, I started watching British series with “The IT Crowd”- a hilarious comedy. I’ll not count the other British comedies before because they were pure comedies – Monty Python or Bean or even Sir Rowan Atkinson. Brits have a sense of humour that completely aligns with my idea of humour. You’ll get a taste of that in Doc Martin as well. American comedies don’t quite get there actually. I’d say the flag bearers of American standup are an exception – but that’s for a different post.
So I was looking for a comedy and the title seemed to suggest a comedy. As it turns out its a really breezy rom-com. RomCom is a genre I’ve greatly missed. There was a time in college when I sought and watched all rom-coms. I think I am a bit of a romantic in my head. I easily emote to certain situations and light hearted stories delight me to no end. I guess that is what I was missing in the western series. The thrill and story telling is one thing, but the light hearted fragility of life is completely lost in most series. In that sense, Whats wrong with Secretary Kim was a refreshing change. But it was a straight forward romance as well. There was very little surprise beyond a point, but its the one that makes you feel good.
When I watched this series, I learnt something very interesting about their dramas. Almost all of their dramas are about 16 episodes long. Each episode is about 60-80 mins long. And since they have to tell their stories in as little as 20-24 hours, they have a very well-drafted storyline. And they have a tonne of romantic dramas to choose from. Oh, they have gorgeous music setting the tone. Boy do I love their music or what!? So I went on searching for the next one – purely based on the plot synopsis. And that’s how I found “Clean with passion for now“.
Clean with passion is a much more mature romantic drama than my first. It is the story of a germophobic grandson of a conglomerate who runs a cleaning company finding love with a simple city girl. There is a resident psychiatrist forming a triangle love story. At some point, I loved the psychiatrist more than anyone else. Nevertheless, the story is told in a very engaging manner. The sparks between the lead pair are absolutely visible and yet they never muster up enough words to tell each other how they feel until much later. And they break up – thanks to the grand old man – and do they ever patch up is the closing episode. I can’t express how much I loved the story. Frankly, I might just rewatch this one.
Once this got over, I started searching again. I am now watching this series called – “Chocolate“. This one is even more mature than the first two. And I am loving every minute of it. I guess K-dramas are engaging after all!