So I am posting about my visit to Comic Con, which is not usually the place you would think of for a Korean drama addict like me. However, since comic con focuses on comics and television, and Japanese culture is such an important part of the Anime Fest, and since Korean entertainment shares a link with Japanese entertainment as well… I guess it makes sense!
I didn’t get to take photos of the entire panel (boo) because in my excitement I forgot to take out the camera. Please don’t throw tomatoes at me.
But yes – I met javabeans and girlfriday.
I attended the “Asian Entertainment Trends in American Pop Culture” hosted by dramafever.com. The panel was a hefty one, and I was expecting there to be a huge discussion on Korean drama and Japanese drama trends. Instead, it became an enlightening, and intellectual, conversation about the increased interest in Asian entertainment, and the declining sales of Asian entertainment (thanks to downloads and online viewing).
For example, there was a discussion about how Hollywood had once wanted to get a lot of Asian import films at one point (during the craze of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”) but it ended up ebbing away and now we just get remakes of those Asian films. Samuel Jamier of the Japan Society had mentioned that these films were promoted if they had a “tie-in” to Hollywood or vice versa. For example, “The Departed” is the “Asian Infernal Affairs,” while “Infernal Affairs” is the “Asian Departed.” And yet, Korean dramas in its rawest form (with no tie-in whatsoever to any American series) are the most popular. Dramas like IRIS and Road No. 1 are meant to be the Asian versions of 24, Alias, and Band of Brothers – and yet they do badly internationally. However, dramas that have no comparison in the States – such as You’re Beautiful, Personal Taste, Coffee Prince – do so well internationally. And I think that’s exactly why.
Without a tie-in or point of comparison, people can enjoy and consume the dramas as they are. I think that’s what makes it so popular – because they are just Korean dramas. They’re not “the Korean version of Lost” or “the Korean version of Glee”; though these dramas may lack originality in its formulaic plots, American TV shows do not have the chastity or the simple angsty storyline that Korean shows do have.
It was also mentioned that the Korean dramas really cater to female sentiments, such as the feeling of falling in love for the first time and always falling for the bad boy. It’s true – and it’s probably why there are more women interested in Korean dramas than men. However I know plenty enough of male fans who enjoy dramas too. While females may focus on whether the guy is a jerk or cute, the males may focus on whether the girl is endearing or a bitch. That, or the males just tend to go for the sageuks. But in my experience – they can get caught up in the angst and makjang-ness of some dramas as well.
OK – enough on the panel’s discussion – on to javabeans and girlfriday!
The two of them are so sweet and so nice; I was so hyped on adrenaline and anticipation before meeting them, and then even MORE hyped AFTER meeting them, because they’re even better than you could ever imagine. (And so, negative commentators beware – remember, you are bashing REAL PEOPLE – not computers.) Also, Girlfriday-the-person does not match Girlfriday-the-sarcastic-commenter-on-recaps. People mobbed them for autographs and photos after the panel too – they were like rock stars who didn’t even know they were rock stars. I know they’re not too keen on exposing their photos to the world wide web – so if photos of them surface, IT’S NOT MY FAULT!!! Plus, the photos I took have my face in them…and I’m not too keen on showing the world my face. 😀 Hope you understand.
The CEO of soompi.com – Joyce Kim – was dressed up as one of the SNSD members in the “Genie” outfit. I must say – quite impressive and high-quality! She too was a fun and animated person to speak to – never a dull moment talking to her.
It was fun to geek out and gush over Korean dramas with them – and I also officially staked my claim on Park Shi Hoo and Uhm Tae Woong with them already.
I wish they’d come back! And I wish this could happen all over again!