Sunday, November 25, 2012

Three Notes




Note 1.  When I was bitten by the Kdrama bug, Soompi was one of the first websites I started visiting regularly. It’s huge and frequently updated, and the scope of its coverage is amazing: from dramas to Kpop to celebrity gossip, Soompi’s got it all. So I’m tickled pink to report that I’ve been invited to contribute commentary and reviews to the site—the first installment of which has already gone up, as shown in the fangirl screen grab above. I’ll be posting there once a week (although the material will probably all go here, too).

The thing I find most amazing about Soompi is how long its been around: It was founded in 1998 by an American fan of H.O.T. (How Answer Me 1997, eh?) Back then I had only the dimmest awareness of Korean entertainment, largely gleaned from a friend who was attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Although she was always reporting things like “The Korean Britney Spears is in my composition class!,” the concept of Kpop was mostly a curiosity to us. We were too busy following our favorite American boy band around the country to really care, and I was in fact founding my own website devoted to them. That website—and the whole fandom, really—is long gone now, so I appreciate how special it is to create something lasting on the Internet. When its age is calibrated to Internet fandom, Soompi is probably the equivalent of a thousand years old. (For fun times, check out the old versions of the site archived on The Wayback Machine. Note, in particular, the first item in the list of updates on the left.)

As a newcomer to Kdramas, I’ve found Soompi’s amazingly active forums to be an endless source of fascination. They’re the place to go for behind-the-scenes photos and news updates for current shows, but even more interesting are the threads devoted to old shows. During the depths of my obsession, I swear I read every single post in the 650-page Coffee Prince thread, which made me feel as if I had traveled back in time to experience the show’s original fan reception. It’s bizarre yet wonderful to read post after post debating whether this mysterious Gong Yoo guy would be a good actor or not—looking back five years later, I think it’s safe to say he was a success in the show.

Someday I’m bound to run out of things to say about Kdrama, but that day has yet to come. So in the meanwhile... Onwards!


Note 2. The next time I say something like ”Oh, Korea’s not that different from America,” I would like someone to remind me of the below photo. It’s from a prayer ceremony held earlier this month for the upcoming drama Alice in Cheongdam-dong. Most notable in the image? The head of a decapitated pig, all blue-tinged and...decapitated. Also, the fact that it appears have something into its mouth. What is this, the silence of the hams?




Note 3. There’s a fox in my neighborhood, and I can see why the real animals may have inspired the gumiho myth. I kept being woken up in the middle of the night by an unholy wailing that sounds thisclose to human. I’m not sure who’s more freaked out—me or my cat.

14 comments:

  1. 1. Congrats! We always knew you were awesome.
    2. Hmmm.... least its eyes are closed.
    3. That is rather weird and 'unholy'

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    1. I'm not sure that "awesomeness" really comes into play, but I'll take it ;)

      And now I'm envisioning the pig's eyes *opening*, ala Eun Gi mid kiss. Yikes.

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  2. Congratulations! I was three seconds away from commenting in Soompi and accusing them of stealing another blogger's article when I realized that it was, in fact, you. Awkward...

    Say whut? A decapitated pig? What kind of a ceremony is this really?

    Now that you mention it, I too heard strange noises last night. We have a suspected that a marten is living in our attic, but now I'm kinda hoping it's a gumiho instead.

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    1. That's actually why I decided to post about the Soompi thing...I didn't want it to seem shady ;)

      To be filed under "God, I love the internet," here's more information about the pig head business. As sad as I am for the pig, the whole thing is kind of lovely—it's all the Korean sincerity coming to the forefront.

      Watch out for your liver if it's a gumiho! They're only cute and cuddly when they're written by the Hong sisters.

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  3. Yay!! Congrats!!

    I was just laughing at some of the strange superstitions in Panda and Hedgehog. There's a scene where two of the girls burn the briefs of the guys they like because its supposed to guarantee a successful relationship or something. There's also a scene where she buries the villain's picture with a rock because they are "evil spirits that need to be buried" and somehow literally burying them will bury them in real life?

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    1. We have some weird superstitions in America, too—it's just that they're hard to notice because we're so used to them. The drama I'm watching now shows a nursery with each cradle labeled with a three-digit number...including 666. That would never fly here. (Well, outside of a horror movie, anyway.)

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  4. Aaaaaaa! Congratulations! Now I have a way to start getting into Soompi. I'm always overwhelmed whenever I go there.

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    1. If you're a drama-only girl like me, you can always just read the drama category. And I only visit the forums for really specific things—I worry if I started really getting involved, I'd never, ever tear myself away.

      I'll post everything here, too...

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  5. Okay this has nothing to do with your post, but I have to say it, and will probably be gushing about it soon on my blog. But I am now watching, Smile, Don Hae which is quite an undertaking, but I am on episode 5 and am completely and utterly in love so far!!

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    1. I've been eyeing that drama, too. But 159 episodes?!?! That's crazy talk. Are they at least short, instead of a full hour?

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  6. They are 35 minutes each so it's really not as much as it seems. I am already on episode 15. It is so good!!

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  7. Hey Amanda,
    Im a new visitor to your blog and im having a blast reading all your articles here.
    Acc,i was browsing through soompi (which is now my daily routine along with dramabeans and allkpop) and i came across your article,i loved what you wrote and i noticed you were a new writer in soompi so i decided to check ur main website. So now i discovered another kdrama website which i realli liked nd gonna browsr through daily.
    I hope to read many more fun articles in future. <3

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    1. Thanks for the kind words! I hope you enjoy your time here! ;)

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