Episode 5 – Ratings rant, awesome drama grannies and Bechdel tests

By Wednesday, March 11, 2015 5 0



n this episode we focus on women.

I’d like to say that it was all a part of a grand master plan (it being the International Women’s Day when we recorded the episode). However, it was purely coincidental.

What we ended up with though, was a pretty female-centric episode. We rant about the Korean ratings system, about awesomely layered female characters… and that took us into another rant about whether or not K-drama would pass the Bechdel test (a way to measure gender bias in movies/TV-shows).

Hey, wait! Where are you going?
It’s not as boring as the description sounds. We talk about a lot of FUN drama stuff too! We promise.

What we’ve been watching

These are the dramas we talk about in this episode:

Other dramas or movies we mentioned:

K-drama news (Starts 1h 1min in)

We round things off by talking about some K-drama related news.

  1. Orange Marmalade
    A new drama starring Seoul Hyun (from Gangnam 1970) and Yeo Jin Goo based on a popular vampire webtoon.
  2. Jeju Island Gatsby
    The new Hong-sisters drama is courting Kim Woo Bin and Kang So Ra to join the cast.
  3. Producer
    The writer of “You Who Came from the Stars” will collaborate with Kim Soo Hyun once more, on a new drama set to start in April. IU, Cha Tae Hyun and Gong Hyo Jin and also cast in other roles.
  4. Last (Or Last Man)
    Another webtoon adaptation about a man’s downfall and journey back up again.

The next episode

Don’t forget to comment right here on kdramapod.com if you have a question you want us to tackle in the next episode.

You, as a listener and fellow drama addict, can be a part of this podcast too. We want to hear from you! We’ll do our best to answer and talk about topics and questions that you bring to our attention. So don’t hesitate to ask.

Our next episode should be out in 2 weeks from now. On March 25th. See you then!

  • kittyflumpin
    March 13, 2015

    Regarding well-written, woman-centric shows, if you two are open to J-dramas I HIGHLY recommend the currently-airing Mondai no Aru Restaurant. I had planned to watch it based on the strength of the cast (which is fantastic, btw) but based on all the pre-airdate synopses I’d read, I was honestly expecting a pretty standard “War of the Sexes” rom-com in a restaurant setting. What they actually delivered, though, is amazing. While there is in fact a little bit of romance in there, it really takes a backseat to the women’s interactions with one another. The show addresses a lot of issues that women face on a daily basis, such as: sexism in the workplace (from dismissive attitudes & lack of opportunities/advancement to outright sexual harrassment); unreasonable social expectations (such as being expected to be friendly to unwanted advances, only to later be accused of “leading him on”); the unreasonably personal scrutiny women undergo when they seek legal justice; and even the devalued status of homemakers and all the unpaid labor they provide, and… oh my god, I could write paragraphs about how much I love this drama but I’ll spare you. But if you’re looking for strong and realistic female characters, this drama has them in spades.

    Also, thanks for putting Orange Marmalade on my radar! Yeo Jin Goo has been an amazing in the handful of roles I’ve seen from him (mainly early episodes of Warrior Baek Dong Soo & A Tree with Deep Roots, but especially the beginning of The Moon Embraces the Sun). It’s one of those situations where I’m thinking, “If he’s this good an actor already at 14-15, how utterly amazing is he gonna be as an adult?!” So even though Orange Marmalade sounds pretty light plotwise, I’ll still check it out just to see him tackling his first proper lead role.

    Looking forward to ep.06!

    • Sofia
      March 17, 2015

      Sorry for the late reply! I’ve been completely out, with the flu. 🙁

      Oh, I am sooo up for a women-centric J-drama. I don’t watch as many J-dramas as I used to, but your description of it has definitely peaked my interest.
      Thanks for the tip!! I’ve added it to my “plan to watch” list. 😀

  • vie
    March 13, 2015

    for the rating system
    It basically acceptable as what most ahjumma (older people) watch
    but what most believable for me is online in tv ing and the upvote for some certain drama that air
    people don’t always watching drama on tv but also watch reality that got better rating that most drama

    for online
    as I observed KMHM leading from 36-40 % range and the buzz get around 10000 upvote
    HJM is 8-10% with upvote mostly 5000 at most
    unkind woman 10% with upvote is around 7000

    the popular will show in the impact in SNS/media, and most Korean people is not that fond of mental illness
    they generally love a family shows so even it’s okay it’s love got not so good rating

    IMO HJM is loosing the viewer, even if KMHM start after, people still gonna jump shift/ship
    cause before HJM there’s another drama, King’s face have 10 % and when it ends, that 10% is just vanished
    it go to special drama 8% and they go to another show, it’s not adding KMHM or HJM
    so I think HJM just doing bad than any other show (not just drama) at the same time range
    when the twist is not that shocking so people can watch it later and not as priority

    HJM is inconsistent with the plot, people who wait for rom-com doesn’t fit well with mystery
    people who like mystery got confused over replied plot and logic,
    people who watch is mostly Hyun Bin and Han Ji Min fans
    and the dialogue is so cringe-worthy and shallow in Korean, that is not a well written dialogue at all
    there’s no basic solid reason in DID (maybe later) and they talking lot more that it needed to explain the situation

    in comparison, KMHM is giving the enjoyment people wants, some stay for the couple chemistry
    some stay for mystery, some stay for yo-na or even perry park
    Ji-sung, HJE and PSJ is acted so well in comparison to HB and HJM
    they establish their own title, give meta all over the place (it is so good), give fun moment on lunar holiday
    they explain all things that sound so shallow at 1st and they have the shocking twist more than HJM
    they balance the episode and they deliver it in more way people can understand
    the dialogue is so good, and the way their differ how family change a kid mental is obvious and how they are related

    for HJE act, I think comedy in Korean used to be loud, as I observe more show and people there like it
    and they feel han ji min is underacting

    that;s what I observed about the 2 dramas, hope it helpful and I did watch some drama you guys watch, but then I want to show that actually HJM didn’t deserve 3 % mark just like KMHM deserve 10% but it’s clear that
    writing, twist, dialogue, people favorite, acting, KMHM is the winner since the online diff is more than 30%
    I certainly favorites KMHM over HJM since I watch both at the same time, (start KMHM late)
    but HJM is bland porridge, someone like it but it’s not a delicious meal generally
    well KMHM is delicious complete meal (not perfect but balance) that you can eat graciously

    • Sofia
      March 17, 2015

      Sorry for the late reply! I’ve been completely out, with the flu. 🙁

      I wonder if Koreans really love family shows as much as you say… or if family shows are so popular because they air on the week-end, when people have time to watch.
      What would happen if the Networks shook things up and aired something different on the week-ends, I wonder? 🙂

      Haha! Love your “bland porridge” analogy. As with food… people’s tastes are different. Me… I liked the over the top characters of KMHM. They certainly added spice to the show. However, I’m more intrigued by the moral dilemma that is unfolding in HJM. Questions like: What makes a person? Does Robin have rights?
      At this point I’m liking both shows equally. Simply for different reasons (seasoning). 😉

      • vie
        March 19, 2015

        thanks for replying, I have short time to read so hearing podcast review is kinda work better for me

        imo, based on some experience too, they generally favor family-theme more than drama that arise some problem or conflict that hard/new to understand/related, or series they familiar with, ex: saeguk drama or makjang plot, like bel ami/pretty boy got 2.9 5 in 2013 while other drama still on 20–%
        the weekend also have something to add but reality shows/gag show got better rating and there’s series called my heart twinkle-twinkle that got like 5% in weekend and they cut the ep to 26,
        just like the super popular reply series, despite the raving fan-wars for 1994, it accepted well as nostalgic element to more people,
        audience is more diverse now, and they can’t tied up with some show when they can find something better, their work time is so late and it mainly mom/auntie or grandma that watch tv on weekday,

        they try to shift the air now for weekends but I don’t really knew what had change
        before,it suppose to be 40% for weekend as comparison to 20% on week-day, now they both decrease, I think online view is what change them since not every household have tv and the buzz actually can determine a popular series, and we can watch it after it aired too
        there’s is CPI index and it shows what people search the most every week, as I knew, HJM got on 2nd on their 1st week and KMHM got, 2,3,2 in like 3/4 weeks, other shows that have high CPI when it aired is misaeng, MLFAS, Running man, infinity challenge and etc.

        there’s new series called unkind woman with 30-ish ep and it got better rating 12% and still increasing, it is so good so far and it is really like weekend-drama, the plot is around woman that try a better life.
        the angry mom about mom-daughter things got 7% on 1st day
        I already finish KMHM and ep 17 of HJM, but HJM still stuck at 3,5%, I do feel bad for the comparison but it is so unavoidable, and I am really sorry that I can’t really get HJM point, I tried but it just not working

        I really think they need a better way to determine the rating,
        but even with the rating system now -however low it is- still can represent what is popular and what people watch

        thanks for reading, ^^

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