I’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes when I’m watching Asian dramas, I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m not talking about watching some cracktastic drama RAW the night it airs, but dramas with complete subtitles. This is why I’ve only watched a handful of jdoramas. I think there must be some cultural gap, mostly on my part being that I’m American and I don’t speak Japanese, that sometimes leaves me lost and confused as to what’s happening.
This most recently happened to me on episode 1 of Sapuri, a jdorama about a 28yr old office worker who ends up in a relationship with a younger part-timer at her job. This is my exact cup of tea. Work-place drama plus older girl-younger guy romance, and opposites attract etc. I should have loved it, but I didn’t even finish the 1st episode. I couldn’t follow the fast paced, pun-filled, colloquial dialogue popping up at the bottom of my screen. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it’s true and I’m convinced I’m not alone!…How many of us are out there watching and loving dramas despite knowing we don’t completely know what’s going on?
The past year and a half I’ve spent watching Asian dramas has opened me up to a world I didn’t even know existed. I could never have predicted this lasting obsession with Asian dramas would arise out of trolling on HULU of all places, where I happened upon Personal Taste. And now, mostly because of Lee Min Ho’s over-exposed collarbone, I know more about Korean and Tawainese popular culture than I could ever have predicted, though not enough to never be confused when watching dramas.
Thanks, Lee Min Ho… Take responsibility! ;)
So this winding road leads to the question of writing about and especially recapping Asian dramas. To blog or not to blog? To recap or not to recap? Those are the questions that have plagued my mind this holiday season.
There are so many reasons for someone like me not to blog and especially recap Asian dramas. I don’t speak the language; I usually don’t watch things twice; I tend to be long-winded; and I don’t have that much extra time. “Puh! Small beans for an insomniac, drama addict like myself!” I think defiantly… But the one reason that gives me pause is that I may culturally misinterpret something and end up totally off the mark about what is really happening on my screen. Worst yet, I could be completely offensive because of my ignorance. Horror. of. ultimate. horrors. in my book.
I’ve decided to blog though and I may soon try my hand at my first recap. In thinking about all this, I concluded that I am participating in a great cross-cultural exchange that’s been going on long before I paid attention or realized I was part of it as we all are.
Each one of us has a place in this incredible cultural exchange. It’s by no means one-way, and our distinct interpretations and understandings of the dramas we watch and love are as valid as what was initially meant by those who created it.
Think about it. This may be a controversial statement, but I believe it. So I’m going to relax and blog away.
…More to come later on cross-cultural exchanges, kdramas et al., K-pop, and American popular culture.