Alrighty, it’s been a while since I updated my list haha. Maybe I should just change the title to ‘the last six months’ or something to be more accurate, but I’ll leave it as is haha. We cancelled our Netflix subscription in protest of a film that Netflix added, and unfortunately, since Netflix hasn’t removed that film, we aren’t re-subscribing for now.
I haven’t actually watched many dramas these days anyway, and I’ve primarily just been reading recaps for the ones I thought sounded interesting… apart from one. Ohhh boy. This one is an absolute gem. This one, I do watch.
I typically refuse to watch ongoing dramas but I cannot hold back with this one. My hubs even likes it so much he watches it with me. We also recommended it to his parents a couple of weeks ago and his mum binge-watched all the released episodes in one day (9hrs worth! Lol!)
It stars one of my favourite actresses of all time and I just love it. I’m disappointed there aren’t full recaps so I’m kind of tempted to write my own, but I don’t think I have time or dedication to do that these days, so I’ll just talk about it a little here for now.
It’s no secret that I am a huge drama fan. I’ve loved watching Chinese dramas (too many to count), British series (Sherlock), US sitcoms (The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother), Japanese anime-turned-dramas (HanaKimi) and, since about 10 years ago, I got into Korean Dramas too.
I am well aware that I have an addictive personality, meaning once I get into something, I immerse myself into it so fully that often it consumes too much of me. I like to watch things once they’re complete so I can binge everything in one go.
Subsequently, I go through phases of being really into dramas, and anime, and TV series, and Cpop, Jrock, Kpop etc. followed by phases where I completely don’t touch them for months or even years.
That’s one of the reasons I am a spoiler queen. Not to say I give out a bunch of spoilers, but I actively search out the entire plot line on Wiki or some other review site so I can ensure that what I’m getting into will be worth my binge-time (awful, I know), otherwise I just won’t watch it.
The other reason is because I have a very specific type of drama that I like to watch. I am basically a 12-yr-old chicken in a 30-yr-old body. I can’t handle blood or gore, I can’t watch thrillers, I definitely can’t watch horrors or even anything remotely scary (Hotel del Luna scared the CRAP out of me. Heck, Harry Potter scared me). I also don’t have the mental capacity to handle depressing themes either (I think I had enough of those during my days studying WW2 Germany at Uni).
As a result, I’ve found that it’s better for me to just read the drama recaps to get the plot instead of actually putting the time in to watch the drama. After all, it takes a lot less time to read through even a detailed rundown of each episode than to invest my 16-20hrs into actually watching.
I’m currently at a stage where I’m very happily not addicted to any drama, haven’t really been following Kpop for a while and I think I’m taking things more in moderation where I can. That said, I’m still curious about what’s out there, as well as interested in the hype of certain shows. Now with Netflix adding a bunch of international shows, they’re even more readily available. Plus I have a Viki subscription for the rest of this year.
Here’s a list of the dramas I’ve been watching/reading so far this year, in alphabetical order under each heading, as well as my thoughts on them. Most of them are Korean dramas, many of them will be read-only, in which case I’ll have read the recaps on Dramabeans.
I’m thinking of doing a monthly “What Am I Watching” post and add some recommendations for ones I’ve really enjoyed. If I ever find the desire to, I may write my own recaps for ones I really enjoy.
Without further ado, here are my Dramas of the Month (#dotm). Let me know if you’ve seen any of these and what your thoughts on them are!
I’m going through a hard time for no good reason. I can’t pinpoint why, and I can’t say for sure when it started. I have a few guesses though:
1.A result of major burn out Even after — by God’s grace — I was let go from my job with severance in late August, I hadn’t had a break. I was already severely burnt out from my job and thank God that I had almost 2 weeks to rest before getting married (very small religious ceremony, we are having a wedding vow renewal ceremony and reception in late Feb), and due to no longer having a job I was able to travel up north to be with my new husband and spend time with him there.
But I still didn’t have a break because church needs increased, I had to seriously start planning more for our wedding in Feb, when I went to visit Jacky in NorCal we were apt hunting, then moving, then buying furniture, then putting the apartment together. It’s finally done now, but the burn out is already strong, and recovery is slow.
2. A subtle but persistent spiritual attack Typically the onset of depressing feelings alerts me to demonic activity around me. And of course, why not? I had been entrusted with increasing serving responsibilities with youth and worship team and was also working hard to welcome newcomers. I’ve also been there before (depression), and it’s easier to relapse.
The one-off off day isn’t anything to be afraid of, but when the heaviness in my heart persists and the lies of “nobody loves me, nobody cares” don’t stop swirling in my mind it’s obvious something is wrong. Logically I know this. In my heart and in my brain I know this. But it’s like an outside force is trying to drag me down and I have to fight so hard not to internalise these thoughts. This is especially true when I go out and interact with my friends and church family who, often through no fault of their own, say or do things that hurt me deeply and end up reinforcing this lie, and, if I had somehow managed to move forward a couple of paces in this battle, these things just knock me straight back to where I started — or sometimes even a few steps further into darkness. It’s exhausting. I’m so tired. I hate being overly sensitive. I just about have the strength to fight my demons to stay afloat right now. I can’t face other people outside of this.
I’ve been going out to meet with my wedding coordinator (who’s been a life-saver in all things related to our wedding planning) and some vendors. Outside of this, maybe a conversation here and there with UK friends over the phone but I’m otherwise too drained to leave the house or even read anyone else’s messages let alone respond to them.
I haven’t been able to face my church family at all this week. I’m struggling with finding the strength to go to fellowship tomorrow. I want to go; I should go, but I don’t know if I have the strength to go. I don’t know if someone will make another off-handed snide remark or snarky joke that regularly I’d laugh along but right now can’t handle again. I’m scared. It’s sad.
3. The weather One of the reasons I wanted to move away from UK was probably a degree of seasonal depression. Rain outside and dark days tend to get me down. It got better in LA — we don’t have many seasons outside of sunny and sunny with the occasional cloud — but it rained a lot in NorCal. That said, I wasn’t as bad in NorCal and LA has been very sunny recently, so I’m not sure this is as big a culprit. Maybe I’m just missing my hubby and the NorCal apartment space that is ours. Having him around to remind me of his infinite love (and a reminder of Christ’s love for me) made things much more bearable.
4. Lack of exercise This one might be a bit more chicken and egg. I don’t think my depressive state is related to lack of exercising, but I have noticed a marginal improvement on my mental state after exercising (I just did a little now and finally have strength to write something here, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time). But I need enough mental strength to push myself to do the exercise in the first place.
Either way, it’s been hard. So, I’m into dramas right now. They help me to escape. It’s not the healthiest, but it’s making it easier.
My goal is to escape into God’s Word and prayer. These two things have been lacking recently and that’s probably why I’m on the losing side of this battle right now. I was moved to pray hard yesterday against demonic attacks and for God’s protection and today I am feeling the strength of prayers (also from others, as I am sure there are at least 3 others praying for me). I thank God for them.
I’m trying to do more reading these days, but it takes a lot more effort than just sitting in front of a screen and escaping reality through entertainment and feeling the rush of happy endorphins or relieving stressful tears through empathy. Please pray for me, it’ll come slowly. Please don’t rush me, I can’t handle that right now. My mental state is weak. There’s not much more than I can bear these days. Please be patient — God’s not finished with me yet.
On the bright side, I discovered Viki’s “Learn Mode” in dramas and have actually been able to learn some Korean through it. I purchased an annual subscription because they have a 30% off sale (ends 2nd Jan, 2020) and since I have watched The Tale of Nokdu for the 6th time in a row (up to ep. 8 at least) I can now confidently have a basic conversation with you in Joseon Korean heh heh. Kidding. But not really kidding. I’m trying to watch some modern day dramas so I can actually learn some usable Korean now.
Thanks for reading, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to you recently. Please keep praying for me.