Top 5 – Shows that Should be Turned Into K-Dramas

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Earlier I slogged through a Top 5 deducing the best dramas that could be remade for American audiences.  It kind of sucked.  Perhaps the trouble was I don’t think these hypothetical shows would turn out half-way decent.  Part of dramas appeal is telling a long form story with a set ending, so taking a 16 hour story and turning it into x amount of episodes in the American network system seems depressing in some way.  From the reverse perspective, it proves more interesting.  Not only could you make the plot more concise, but looking at a similar premise through the lens of a culture dissimilar from your own can put a fresh perspective on a show.

Part of my inspiration for this list came from the possible Homeland remake  for Korean television, which means anything ispossible as far as adaptations go.  In this day and age where original ideas are becoming an endangered species, might as well go with the adaptive flow and help out Korean producers looking for the next hit drama!

So that is the basis for this list.  With the shows given I am least acutely aware of the premise, and included show’s trailers to give y’all a better idea of the show.  To make things more interesting, I included some Korean casting choices I would make for the Korean adaptations.  Now, onward and listwards as here is number 5!

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Top 5 – K-Dramas American TV (or anyone else) Should Adapt

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The Much Too Long Intro

When I collected data from blogs large and small for my drama ratings, the one constant became the consensus of Answer Me 1997.  I didn’t find a single negative review, and of the 30+ dramas I’ve seen it had the highest averaged rating with 9.3 (out of 10).  So it comes as no surprise that a drama that was so universally loved from the international community would be adapted for other audiences, yet I remain conflicted with the prospect.  According to deadline, Fox is very interested in bringing the Answer Me franchise stateside, honing in on the year 1999 and all that NSync/Brittany Spears/Backstreet Boys craziness that occurred.  On one hand, I’ve literally had the exact same thought when watching  AM 97′.   The BB VS N’Sync wars were raging during my elementary school years (of which I was always a N’Sync and JC girl), and so eerily paralleled the H.O.T.-Sechs Kies battles that occurred I even wondered if American music producers saw the Korean b-boy shenanigans and produced such fan wars here (cause I’m nothing if not a conspiracy theorist).

Yet as much as I would love to have that rush of nostalgia bring me back to my old CD collection, bus-ride debates, and pop culture references I would understand in full.  I remain traumatized by the prospect.  Answer Me was a show that nailed its casting, from its stars (Seo in Guk  and Jung Eun-Ji being one my favorite drama couples ever) to the teenage ensemble, to the parents (ditto for Song Dong Il and Lee Il Hwa), in ways I’ve only seen one other show replicate (NBC’s Friday Night Lights).  But really the tone was the most important.  Not that it can’t be done (Freaks and Geeks, FNL, and Skins come to mind, though perhaps more serious), but when the people adapting AM are most well known for creating the 3rd Step-Up movie, its hard to tell if this is gonna become more about  fad-ish pop music instead of its fully-rendered characters.  All this is a precursor and inspiration for this weeks Top 5, because if a global audience can fall in love with a drama steeped in 15 year old Korean pop-culture, then adapting it for American audiences should prove resonant at least for those Americans aged 20-30??  But because I’ve already talked about AM at length , it will not be included in this list.  Mostly I will speak to American television as that’s what I know, but most of these choices seem universal for any TV market.  Also, it seems historical dramas and standard rom-coms wouldn’t really work due to the lack of Joseon eras and over-abundance of multiple season shows.  What’s more interesting (and provides more options) are shows Korean television should adapt, a future top 5 I shall be working on shortly.  But without further delay, here is number 5!

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Top 5 – Instances of Soccer being used in K dramas

This edition of top 5 is taking its cue from the beautiful game, which will be having a moment in this upcoming little known tournament sponsored by the Football Is Forever Always group.  So in order to spread the word, this post will be dedicated to the times when futbol, putbol, chuggu, voetbal, bola sepak, and yes even soccer became apart of K-dramaland.  Apologies to those who watch K-dramas to avoid watching the thirteenth repeat of a Bundesliga match highlight reel, but unlike 95% of Americans, I can’t get enough, so anytime I can share soccer and its culture I will partake! In fact, during a study abroad trip around Europe several years ago, my go-to small talk “in” was bringing up 2010 cup in South Africa, which did become a problem upon reaching the Netherlands and talking to the Dutch…

6b788__71403042_dutch_gettyBesides the fact Europeans were shocked an American girl wanted to discuss the unfairness of Ghana’s heart wrenching loss to Uruguay (I’ll never forgive you Luis Suarez), it proved a great ice breaker.  Which is also why if I suddenly dovetail into some soccer related story that snowballs into the last match of my high school career, just ignore.  Sometimes you never know when soccer team nostalgia pangs will hit, and when they do, I’ll just remind myself of the good ole days..

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Now onto the list!

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Top 5 – Best Western/English Music Used in K-Dramas

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The Unnecessarily Long and Winding Intro…

No, this will not be about the Muzak song selection used in the hotel chain’s elevators (sorry next time I swears), but will focus on English song choices in dramas. This was inspired from the drama I’m currently watching You’re All Surrounded which is perhaps the first drama I’ve seen that used an English pop song as the tune that’s played over the closing credits following each episode. The choice is inspired, as “The Black Parade” the 2006 hit from alt-rock band My Chemical Romance, brings back some serious high school nostalgia when I was rocking what I’ll call “light faux angst”. “Back Parade” is great because its a winking take on the “I’m mad at everything” emo cliche, and is also catchy as all get out. So this becomes the perfect anthem for our cold, emo puppy Dae Koo (Played by Lee Seung-Gi) who is dealing with the weight of his past and thirst for revenge, but you know you outside his harsh exterior is just an adorable misunderstood genius, like surely all My Chemical Romance fans.

You're all surrounded - LSG

Look at how both try to act so grown up with the all black.

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Guy-liner or guns, doesn’t matter. Both still adorable.

Whoops got sidetracked…. This list could also be called the Billy Joel “Piano Man” memorial list, as in an honest world Secret Love Affair’s excellent use of the song would be my #1.  Since I already discussed it as part of my wacky theory on an earlier post, I’ll just give it a quick mention here…Now on to the actual list.

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