An open letter to the creators of Secret Love Affair

Dear creators of Secret Love Affair: How dare you? As of this writing on Saturday morning, your show is more than 48 hours from premiering in Korea, and subtitles probably won’t be available for more like 72 hours. And yet, you’ve already driven me to the brink of obsession. First there were the posters, which were burnished and glorious. Then there was the 30-second teaser, which was dramatic and sexy. And then you killed me dead wi…

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Navel gazing and sweeping generalizations: Watching drama as an American

Heirs: No hot guy has ever gazed adoringly at me from a convenience store’s eat-in counter, because here convenience stores don’t have eat-in counters. (That’s why, right?)  Someone I follow on Tumblr was recently asked an interesting question: “As a western person, how does it feel watching Kdramas? I’m Asian so I like them because they resemble my life more than western dramas.” As a fairly average American, I can say the…

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Drama Review: My Love from Another Star (2013)

Grade: B Category Supernatural romantic comedy What it’s about Chun Song Yi seems to have everything: In spite of her reputation as an airhead, she’s a top actress. She’s got an angelic best friend, a closet full of designer clothes, and a kind, well-mannered chaebol heir who desperately wants to marry her. But everything begins to fall apart when she’s implicated in a suspicious death, reminding Song Yi that her life wasn’t so perfect in th…

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My love affair with Love Affair

Last December, I posted a wish list of things I wanted for the coming year in dramaland. The first of those wishes seemed the most unlikely to come true: I asked for a new show that I would love as much as Coffee Prince. In my three years of drama watching, no other series has gripped my heartstrings or my head quite so hard. I’ve rewatched it an insane number of times (six? seven?) and written tens of thousands of words about it, ranging f…

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Goodbye, my Love

…e Affair goes above and beyond. In a genre that’s so often composed of entirely close-ups, Secret Love Affair is full of real craftsmanship and visual intensity. There are long takes and distance shots and a common theme of scenes shot through patterned screens that, in hindsight, can only be meant to represent cell bars. Everything about SLA’s physical being is lovely and fully realized—from Sun Jae’s dilapidated but homey apartment to the…

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