The islands of Aotearoa are much separated from the rest of the world, not merely spatially but also temporally. I’m taking advantage of this by posting at midnight NZDST on January 1st, thus ensuring this will be the first unread blog post of 2017.
In my end of year post, I mentioned hoping to tackle my backlog of unwatched Korean and Japanese Dramas. Writing that prompted me to see exactly what Dramas I had waiting to be watched. I was surprised to find that the queues are shorter than I expected.
Unwatched Korean Dramas
Unwatched Japanese Dramas
The lists from China and Taiwan are MUCH shorter:
Black and White
Lan Ling Wang
Ode To Joy
Twenty-seven Dramas in total, a manageable number. Checking out each and every one of them is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Another of my resolutions applies not only to them but to Dramas coming up in 2017, and entertainment choices in general:
If entertainment doesn’t entertain, DROP IT
That seems so obvious as to be axiomatic, but it’s taken a long time to reach the required ruthlessness. When I started watching East Asian Dramas, I wanted to watch as many as possible as quickly as possible. Now, I’m older and a little less naive. Hence my resolve not to waste leisure time finishing a Drama that is not entertaining me.
The same resolve applies to my reading. My 2016 Goodreads Challenge was a particularly humiliating failure, so the first item on my reading agenda is to get further into each of the books on my “currently-reading” list. I really want to read 50 books this year, finishing these eight would be a good start.
Most of the books on my currently-reading list and my “to-read” list are non-fiction, things I want to read for fun and mental exercise. That mental exercise is important for two reasons: (1) It’s a lot more fun than the physical variety, and (2) I have to seriously contemplate getting my brain in shape for tackling Korean and Japanese this year.
Here is where “the Native hue of Resolution Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Thought”. I want to at least try to pick up enough Korean to be able to follow the gist of a Drama or movie even if unsubbed. This is VERY important to me in 2017 because it’s the year that Wang Ji Won‘s debut movie gets released, hopefully. The odds of it getting subbed are not great, so if I want to watch it, I must learn to follow more spoken Korean. That will take time, hence the need to be ruthless about dropping Dramas if they don’t earn their keep by entertaining me.
The idea of even starting Japanese gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies. Any language that can say to itself, “hey, you know what? Having three writing systems is boring baby stuff, let’s add a fourth” is certainly a Satanically sadistic Sprache. But again, desperate times call for desperate measures. Increasingly, when I consider the “absolutely LOVE IT” Dramas I’ve seen, more and more of them are from Japan, a country whose approach to sharing its Dramas with the world can be summed up thusly:
Since Japanese Dramas are often not subbed, if I want to enjoy the short, sweet romcoms they seem to do so well, I may have no choice but to at least give it a try. The punster in me finds it apt that the phrase “morituri te salutamus” starts with a word that sounds vaguely Japanese.
Now that my resolutions and wishes are on record, what are the chances any of them will see completion? Any suggestions on how to tackle them will be VERY gratefully received, so please feel free to share your responses: Suggestions for which Dramas to tackle first, language learning resources for über-Dummies, opening a betting pool on how many of my resolutions last as a long as a week, you name it.
To any who read this, thank you! I wish you a satisfying and successful 2017. 2016 was a mixed year in many ways, including the quality of its Dramas, but it did save one of the very best for last. The excellent and under-appreciated Night Light features as a theme song for its male lead a song by Dire Straits. That song seems like the perfect way to conclude this post, some melodious good advice in the face of an uncertain future.