— W.T. Purksier
Happy Turkey Day everyone! This has been an incredibly lazy day for me and I’ve practically done nothing but eat, read and sleep but somehow, it feels like that I’ve found a new magical world in Narnia. My immediate family is extremely small and one third of that isn’t in town, so, there’s been no cooking, no cleaning, no hustle or bustle. Absolute low maintenance— The pearl of my life. But, that doesn’t mean, that I didn’t want to take a moment to drop in and share my thanksgiving joys. Last year, I did a post consisting my Thanksgiving Top 5 (relieved/grateful versions) and I thought I’d try to tackle it again this year. Of course, I have tons more that I’m grateful for but I think I can always scrounge up 5 of anything(or do my darnedest trying).
Thanksgiving TOP 5 of 2012 (relieved version)
5. Arang and the Magistrate ended well.
This year I’ve been pretty pleased with dramas, not because there were tons I loved but several, I just plain liked, and Arang is in that list. However, with dramas no matter how you feel about them, they can make one false move and ruin everything you held dear about them. For many, Arang began to lose stem somewhere in the middle but for me, it remained the same, a likable glimpse into the fantasy worldview of a writer and the opportunity to pretend I was watching a reality costume show about the romance of Shin Min-ah and Lee Jun-ki. The overall subject matter of Arang, admittedly, left me weary to the outcome and I was resolved that one or both of them would perish in the end, which I was fine with, but I knew for certain, I didn’t want to relive the disappointment Rooftop Prince left behind. Therefore, when the most boring drama finale I’ve seen in ages, came to it’s last few seconds, I beamed with joy at how cutely appropriate and unilaterally endearing it was (I’ve replayed it too many times to count). Though I felt that RP‘s ending was realistic and appropriate, something felt off balance, lacking, and dismal, whereas Arang,though equally, realistic (within it’s world) and appropriate, also ably oozed satisfaction and hope. One truth about life, is that we as humans have the opportunity to view anything and everything in a rationally positive manner, if we so desire and when thinking about the world of dramas, that translates into the prerogative of lists encompassing any one moment a drama depicts. Thankfully, this one is pretty simple— Arang by far, makes the Top 5 Best Drama Endings of 2012.
4. Ishihara Satomi and Nose Karina finally did a drama role I liked.
I watch all types of dramas throughout a calendar year, new ones, old ones, and all in several languages. Oft times it’s easiest to catch the mainstream, then trickle down to what makes my main, stream. That said, I’ve seen the work of these ladies on several occasions and each time, they left a sour taste in my mouth. And it’s especially upsetting, for I find Ishihara Satomi absolutely adorable in real life. It has always pained me to be indifferent or fuming at the characters she embodied on-screen. Now, it’s no secret that respectable or endearing females characters in any drama in any country is virtually impossible to find on a regular basis, however, the overall roundness of a character also rests on the actors’ shoulders to give a performance that resonates despite a script’s shortcomings. I won’t say that this needs to occur in every project but in the body of work I had seen, there was none– until this year that is. Karina in Priceless~Aru Wake Nedaro,n namon and Satomi in Rich Man, Poor Woman, has done nothing but make me rejoice and applaud and in one fell swoop, diminished my innate reluctance to check out their projects. i probably shouldn’t even been this blissful or pleasant surprised, for the dramas or just likable, not anything to gab about (in coherent non-fangirly sentences) but well, I am. I’ve always felt that my approach to dramas and actors, is much like mine to food— Just cause you hate it once, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it again, to be certain. And like my love for food, my love for dramas and those that bring them to life grows, based on that one tiny principle.
3. Song Joong-ki got a leading drama role (and it was a hit).
I, like everyone else has kept a close eye on Song Joong-ki since he made himself known in Triple. Since then, he’s found a way to steal the spotlight in every role he’s taken and it was only a matter of time before he swam up to leading man status. The question was, how much time? And would he be believable, once he got there? I never had doubts that his acting was solid but unfortunately, the kid has a baby face and I was biting my nails in anticipation for him to break that persona and rock the hearts of grown women everywhere. So when Nice Guy was announced, I was pleased to say the least. Now that it’s ended, NG owes my weekly watch, solely to the performances of Song Joong-ki and Moon Chae-won. If not for them… well, that’s for another post. Ultimately, Song was perfectly cast, for his physical appearance worked in his favor, to give him the range to depict a character that transitions through time and circumstance, growing older but maintaining a youth that left a gentle reminder of who he once was. Song infused Kang Maru with a quality that begged me to care for him, eventhough personal conviction and experience raged against it. Maru by all accounts was a damaged character, but there was never a time I didn’t completely understand his motives, desires and actions. He was also able to play the range of time/age believably throughout the majority of the drama, which more than I can for most. All in all, as a viewer it was just wonderful to finally have the reality and the on-screen presence of Song merge. For, I’ve always known that he is a grown man, with manly qualities but in this role it’s no longer intuitive.
2. Not as drama jaded as I thought.
I’m sure I’ll speak more about this in my grateful list, but I’ve truly enjoyed practically every drama I’ve watched this year– in every country! When you inhale buckets of dramas, over time, everything runs together and though there’s never anything “new,” it becomes disheartening when nothing feels fun or fresh. But this year, I picked dramas that made me smile, threaten to shake and break things, laugh, say words I rarely speak in a calendar year, warm my heart or cry. This might sound like a bad thing but it was all genuinely for the love and appreciation of dramas. I’ve sat back and watched older dramas, reminding me of why I began this love affair and made weekly time for new dramas, solidifying my reason for staying. I can’t say that I have a newfound love for the genre, or anything but my enjoyment and criticism have plateaued to an easy gentle medium, and for that very fact, I can only let out a slow coo of relief.
My top reason, on both lists will always be, the friends I’ve met and cherish online. Whether, I’ve met you through my blog, your own or another, I’m relieved that I have you in my life to get me to ponder, spazz and chat about things we see on our screens. If it weren’t for you all, I would definitely believe I’m insane or absolutely quit embracing the opinions of others. This year has been trying, while watching dramas with others, for several times I’ve felt the quality of viewers has nose-dived to dunces who only want to be spoon-fed and refuse to think critically. I repeatedly found myself wondering how wide is the great divide between drama viewers that flip their brains on cruise and those that engage with their chosen stories and characters. Because unfortunately, regardless of genre, entertainment is never mindless, no matter how much it pretends or we would like it to be. Therefore, it makes discovering others, that take the time to listen and mull, stop short on rampant criticism and examine what is before them, worthy of genuine, heartfelt gratitude. I sincerely want to thank you all for being an encouragement and a looking glass—and as always, I wouldn’t want to drama drool, daze or discuss without you.