Selling the drama

There comes a point in time when you begin to question your attachments to certain things. Like drama addiction. To be more specific, Korean drama addiction.

I’ve long been a Korean drama fan. My Girl started it for me. And since then, every spare (and not so spare) time I can scrape from doing other hobbies like reading, etc. etc. are used to watching TV series. It may seem like a lame way to spend “quality” time for some people. But to each his/her own, right?

Over the years, there have been several of those TV series that thoroughly entertained and taught me life lessons I think were worth learning. Lately though, I get this strange, iffy feeling when I watch some of the dramas I’ve been keeping tabs on.

Among many reasons, the following jump at me for making me rethink my drama addiction.

  • Excessive suffering is a way of life ~ Probably 80-90% of most dramas’ several episodes are solely about a protagonist’s excessive suffering. While it’s true that suffering is indeed a great character-builder, there still has to be a limit as to how much unpleasantness a person willingly takes. Somehow, watching someone playing the martyr for almost the entire breadth of the show can be tiring.
  • Crime does pay, at least until the last part of the show ~ Following Oscar Wilde’s train of thought that “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” (The Decay of Lying, 1889), then many dramas are giving lamentable fodders to emulate. Villains who succeed at causing unbelievable lengths of despair for the best part of the series don’t exactly inspire faith in justice and fairness.
  • Rewards are fleeting ~ In the end, goodness prevails and evil falls. But since this usually happens towards the end of the series, sometimes, you can’t help but think if rewards are really as fleeting. If measured against the time commiserating with a protagonist’s suffering, the endorphin rush of seeing that person prevail immediately ends a few short minutes after when the credits roll up. Again, it seems that dramas have some twisted sense of what’s just and fair.

All this musings make me wonder what’s the difference between real and make-believe dramas. Maybe the lesson really is living life for all its worth can be the best thing to do. And that there should be a limit to selling too much drama.


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