The Thursday Three: September 6th

Kdramas – with their condensed, singular seasons and lack of compunction about creating a drama that focuses strongly on love and romance – are quite unlike anything Western television has to offer. When first you stumble upon – or are introduced to – the world of kdramas, for many of us, it’s not unlike falling in love for the first time: your pulse quickens, your mind is so full that it’s all you can do to concentrate on daily conversation, and all you want to do is see more more more. (No, not in that way. Gutter brains.)

Today’s question is two-fold and was inspired by a recent conversation on Twitter, and will likely be a wee bit easier for those of us who’re left wracking our brains for an an answer each week (and yes, I’m including myself in that number)… or perhaps not, depending on the strength of your memory. This Thursday, I’d like to know: what were your first three kdramas, and how did you find/who introduced you to that first one?

Happy answering, folks, and as ever, I’m contactable on Twitter and on email.

28 thoughts on “The Thursday Three: September 6th”

  1. Unbelievably easy question to answer! I have always loved mini-series! You name it, I’ve seen it! One of all time favorites is Far Pavilion which I think made my transition to dramas very easy!

    Thanks to Netflix, I first saw Boys over Flowers just over a year ago. I absolutely loved it and waited with bated breath for like shows to be introduced. Had not discovered the true world of Korean dramas yet. The next was City Hunter. I loved it at the time and I remember where Netflix only had the first 10 episodes and I ended up searching the web trying to find it and immediately looking on YouTube. The 3rd was my introduction to my fangirl crush of LJK in Time Between Dog and Wolf. Again, I rented the first DVD and once I saw the first 3 episodes, I went and found it on Amazon and bought the DVD set BEFORE I finished it! Once Hulu started making Korean dramas available, that is where I learned about a little site called DramaFever! Once I saw my next drama, I instantly signed up for Premium service!

    To say I have an addiction would be an understatement! Every single one of these I marathon watched from start to finish! I’ve marathoned some many now, I’m starting to keep track of them on Pinterest! That truly makes you realize just how bad your addiction is!

    1. Boys over Flowers was one of my first kdramas, too! I found it so incredibly addictive and I think it may’ve been the first drama I marathoned (but not the last, heh).

  2. Oh Jukes , you outdid yourself with this one. I’m pretty sure a lot of us have been dying to let everyone in on when their addiction on kdramas began.

    My first Kdrama I ever watched was Secret Garden, first time in a long time that I wanted more episodes from a show then of course I was semi-hooked but not a full blown addict just yet until Boys over Flowers, oh yes this show turned me into a full-time crack fiend. But what sealed my fate was Lie to Me and Romance Town, both two crazy shows that introduced me to ” I want to tell the writers to go jump off a bridge with no water underneath it” statements.

    So I do thank you Kdrama gods for helping me become an avid Kdrama druggie.
    Good news Twinklings, I’ve learned to control my habit and now I have finally started noticing the time of day and going outside to get some sun, YAY!

  3. My story..hmmm, I can really begin with very cold winter evening…hahha.
    Year 2011., I’m bored, surfing on net, watching MVs on You Tube *old habit, and suddenly I saw Playful kiss video. Then I started watching Special You Tube edition, Googled up, found drama and rest is history. I had Kdrama world in front of me, shiny, pretty, lovely, entertainy…
    SO next drama was My princess, SSH oppa addiction begins there. I watched it, read recaps, watched MVs. For the 3rd I can’t say for sure, was it Personal Taste or Prosecutor Princess.
    So after that comes new drama in the way of 49 days, then Royal Family…and the list goes on. Year and the half is already passed but my love for dramas seems doesn’t lose it flame. Recently with TK2H I stepped in new phase, watching, ranting, analyzing and sometimes raving, but most of time squeeeeeing with my dear Twitter friends. Kdramas, Jdoramas, Tdramas catch you and don’t let go *yet!

    1. mtoh, you replied! Welcome! *hands you flower for your hair*

      OMG, I started with music videos, too! And Playful Kiss was my second kdrama. 😀

  4. My very first k-drama was Dae Jang Geum/Jewel in the palace. I don’t quite remember how I stumbled upon it, since I was pretty young back then and the Hallyu wave was still at its first stage internationally. I’ve probably heard tons of people talking about it on and I decided to give it a try. At the time, streaming online or downloading episodes was an unknown concept to me, so I went to the video store and brought back a huuuuge pile VHS tapes of it. Dubbed in horrible Vietnamese xD I don’t remember being madly in love with it, but I always wanted to know what happened next.

    The next one was Full House. All my friends were raving about it, even my mom and aunts would talk about it non-stop. So i naturally picked up the DVDs (yep no more VHS tapes!)that my mom had to watch them. I didn’t like it as much as I though I would, but it was pretty entertaining. I was still far from watching subbed drama though, since the version that I was watching was dubbed by one person (for the whole drama) it was pretty horrible.

    Finally, my love for Korean dramas have solidified with Goong. One of my friend was telling me how she would wake up at 5am to watch it before school because she couldn’t wait. I picked up the first few episodes and was madly in love. I still have a soft spot for it until this day, since it was the first drama that I was truly obsessed with. It was also the first subbed drama that I’ve watched.

      1. Jewel in palace I saw on my national TV, that was around 2009., so probably that would be mine 1st Korean drama,but I don’t count that way seen dramas. I remember I was squeeing with my cousin because of JJH, ha was perfect in his role, haha.

    1. Full House… I watched it and found it to be totally cracky, even as I knew it wasn’t good (and her best friends had me screaming at my TV – if I had the power to make heads explode, it would’ve been a verrrry different drama, let me tell you).

      Goong! I marathoned Boys over Flowers, but Goong… Goong I watched in record time. It took me about a day and a half to finish it – I don’t think I actually slept. *g*

  5. Just wanted to add my story too, and pardon me for the length.

    I got into kdramas in college. If my memory serves me right, Stained Glass was my first drama. It was being aired on one of the TV stations in my ctry (Phil.) before What Happened in Bali. Since I hated the furry coats that Jo In Sung was wearing in WHIB, I never really paid attention to the latter, while the less dramatic scale of Stained Glass was nice enough to tune into every night.

    However, I clearly remember the first 3 kdramas that I marathoned in DVD. The first was Love Story in Harvard. I just went home from class 1 day and my brother was watching it and I joined him. Being a newbie to kdramas and a teenager at that, I had no problems with the “horrible” acting that other reviewers say about LSIH. This show made me very fond of KRW and LJJ. Also, I was very envious of their Harvard uniforms. I badly wanted one for myself, especially the gray sweater that LJJ wears, and the sweater/vest that KRW and KTH was sporting.

    This was followed by Kim Sam Soon and Lovers in Prague. These ones I borrowed from a friend whose cousin was an English tutor for Koreans and was given the official boxed copies by her students. I laughed and cried to KSS and LIP. What I clearly remember from LIP was questioning the business attire in SK coz seriously, I can’t picture the female lead’s dresses as acceptable corporate wear.

    And therein started my addiction. For now, I still am addicted to kdramas but more than watching, I find myself more interested in reading blog recaps. More often than not, I would have read a series (i.e, City Hunter, PP, YAB, 2010 – 2012 dramas) than watch it. Sometimes, I will buy/download the entire series after reading the recaps but I end up not watching them at all or watch but not end up finishing (QIHM, SUFBB)..

    1. I sometimes envy the clothing (and shoes! and jewellery, in the case of Full House. her earrings were just gorgeous.) more than anything else in kdramas. And sometimes it makes me facepalm, because what were they thinking? (like In-hee’s office wear in Personal Taste – how is that appropriate?!)

  6. Hmm i think we’ve discussed this on Twinkie’s blog before 🙂 its friday, so yeah im late (like always now ughh -_-;)

    My first drama evrrr!!

    1. Coffee Prince. Introduced by my very own curiousity on Crunchyroll (where I usually would watch anime) a very short and fond memory i had while watching this drama: Kimchi. It was my first time seeing kimchi and i was fascinated by it! I didnt know what it was or what it tasted like but it looked delicious. Now i know what kimchi is and more xD also, when i first heard the word “saranghae” i got it stuck in my head and was going around my house yelling it, whispering it, trying to pronounce it but butchering it so badly hahahaha

    2. My first dramas were restricted to my Crunchyroll lists. So next was “My Name is Kim Sam-Soon” – I think….i was baffled at how she was suppose to be “fat” but….wasnt really. Ahhh korean weight standards – how you make me feel obese and need to lose 9 lbs…

    3. Im unable to look at the list on Crunchyroll sooo im trying to do this from memory…not going so well. Pasta is all i can think about (the drama, not the food lol) i learmed so much about pasta (obviously i would…) and what it REALLY takes to be a cook/chef. The pretty food was nice to drool over also ^-^ heehee and the romcom elements were a nice touch 😉 but what i can really recall is the fact that her bangs were annoying me -_- they werents neat and her hair wasnt either! I was like “GAAHHHH PUT SOME FRIZZ CONTROL ON OR SOMETHINNGG” buuut…after oh-about 8 episodes-i got use to it and it kinda grew on me….i even wore my hair like tht a few times. All-nat-chur-ell (<<natural) i figured my hair needed a nice break from buns,ponytails,braids,curls, and hot irons of the like hahahaha its not tht bad, since my hair is naturally straight

    1. Wol! *tacklehugs*

      Hee, I know – when I first started watching kdramas, I’d go around muttering random Korean words. I started saying ‘aish’ a lot, but sort of trailing off at the end and once I ended it with a different word and didn’t realise I’d accidentally sworn (and a hard swear at that) until a group of Korean students (I’m in a university town) glared at me. Um, oops? :D?

  7. Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I last commented, but got caught up in a wave of real life.

    Oh, I’d heard of Kdrama addicts in my neighbourhood before, but I’d never thought I’d join them! Humble beginnings – my very first Kdrama was Brilliant Legacy/ Shining Inheritance, as it was broadcast on national television. I started watching from the 5th or 6th episode, egged on by my mother-in-law who kept telling me how good it was, and I was hooked. I actually went and bought the DVD set before the end of the series; I couldn’t wait that long to know how it ended.

    Because I didn’t yet realise the incredible treasure of online resources, my next Kdrama was what followed BL/SI on national tv – Dong Yi. And, yes, I rushed off and bought the DVD set of that before it ended, too! (making the excuse that my husband really wanted to watch the series from the beginning, oh yeah)

    Next to be broadcast was Queen Seon-deok. I skipped the first couple of episodes, joined the happy viewership when Bidam (Kim Nam-gil) came on the scene, and then – oops – rushed off to buy the DVD set, because, you know, my husband really liked the drama.

    Hook, line and sinker. Nowadays, though, like oozzeee, I read more recaps than I watch kdramas, having discovered wonderful blogs like this one. I am also thankful for sites like kimchidramas and mysoju, where I get my online fix when I need it.

    Hey, ST and Jules, we wanna hear your stories too!

    1. shl, hi!

      I was familiar with subbed shows as I’d watched anime before, but I don’t think I’d really ventured into live action (well, live action Sailor Moon, but that’s about it). Then I found kdramas and I watched as many as I could because in the beginning, I thought I had to watch them *all* and I became quite depressed when I realised that it just wasn’t possible. Ah, poor me. 😉

  8. All right…So here is the list of my very first three Kdramas:

    1. Jealousy (1992): I think there may have been one more before this…or not…but I do recall watching this. You have to remember that back then (I was a senior in high school and didn’t get to watch much TV. Most of my free time was spent on either reading or trying to get into the best college possible. AND, we only had one set in the house that was closely monitored by my parents.) I only got to watch this because it was released during a non-school time, and my parents graciously rented the VHS tapes from the local Korean video store. Yes, this is what we did to get our Korean drama fix during the 90s. Needless to say, I absolutely loved the Korean drama even though the nature of the story was centered on older people (aka non-teenagers). This was also the drama that made me realize that, although I speak Korean at home with my parents, there is a limited number of words we speak. Thus, I started to watch Kdramas to learn more Korean. Yup, that’s my reason, and I’m sticking with that. 🙂

    2. Feeling (1994): It totally fed my teenage appetite for the nerdy guy who gets the girl. LOL. I think you can still find it online, and this is when I first found Kim Min Jong (Yoon of Gentleman’s Dignity) absolutely adorable. In all honesty, he’s aged quite well. The show also starred Lee Jung Jae and Ryu Shi Won and served to catapult a number of careers. I begged my older cousin to record a copy of this on VHS for me. You still remember those, right? 😉 And the funny thing is that I STILL have those tapes and a VHS player on which to play them if I ever want to watch them. LOL

    3. Star in My Heart (1997): I think I must have watched some of these episodes repeatedly I don’t know how many times…nor do I wish to try to remember. I adored Choi Jin Sil (She was the “It Girl” of Korean dramas for most of the 90s), and equally loved Ahn Jae Wook and Cha In Pyo, both of whom have killer smiles. The music was so hauntingly beautiful to my teenage ears that this was again another drama that I scrambled around to record on VHS. By this time, I was a bit more technologically savvy and could record things on my own. It required hooking up two VHS players and recording on one while the other one played the rental tape. Does this ring any bells for anyone out there? Of course, I would NEVER recommend this type of behavior to anyone now. LOL. Needless to say, over the years, I’ve been able to track down the OST on CD and a DVD boxset of this series just for old time’s sake.

    Whew~This comment was definitely longer than I anticipated, but I hope you enjoyed reading about the humble beginnings of my grand adventure into Kdramaland. 🙂

    1. Wow, you *are* a kdrama veteran! Did you stop watching kdramas for a time, or have you been watching when you had time since 1992?

      And heh, your VHS story brings back memories… I would record my favourite shows religiously and in fact, I think my mum still has old tapes of Buffy in a box somewhere. 🙂

  9. Dang, this question made me have to think really hard. I started K-dramas at such a young age – I would say 4th grade or 5th grade? I know…so young. I had to ask my mom for help with this one because she was the one who would watch it with me when I was younger and translate, of course 🙂

    1. Star in My Heart – My very “first” drama. I emphasized the first on purpose. I learned what mini-series were after this drama. I probably saw this in the 4th or 5th grade and when it ended. Oh boy – I gave my momma the biggest crybaby tantrum. Because this was my “first” drama, I didn’t know mini-series ended after a certain number of episodes and up to this day, I still remember the day when this drama ended. I cried hysterically and asked my mom to somehow bring it back. LOL. I remember crying at my after school program, too, in those little playhouses by myself. Oh man, something that will always be in my memory. Since I was so young, my memory of this drama is very vague, but the one thing I do remember is Ahn Jae Wook and his H.O.T. hair, haha! After this drama, my k-drama journey began!

    2. Autumn in my Heart (Ga Eul Dong Wa)- Another one where I watched it with my lovely momma! Probably one of my ALL TIME favorite dramas and another one where I cried hysterically at the end but this time, it was because of the ending 🙁 And I STILL cry when I watch this – biggest tear jerker! I watched this so far twice. I want to watch it again, but I know I’m going to go through 3 boxes of tissue. I loved the story, but I felt the ending was a bit… eh. I don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give bad expectations for those that haven’t watched it yet. 🙂

    3. Piano – I fell in love with GO SOO. This was again another one my mom and I watched together. This was when my Go Soo infatuation started, haha. But now, it is gone. HAHA.

    This was a fun question! I realized I started dramas at a really young age, haha. It made me realize dramas were much more melo-dramatic back then, or at least all the ones I’ve seen, and these days, the dramas are much more happier and definitely funnier, haha. Bye!

    1. Autumn In My Heart is on my list, too, though it seems super-melo (and I know how it ends… but that’s probably a good thing, given what happens *g*).

      Go Soo! I only recently fell for Go Soo as I started watching Will It Snow for Christmas? so my love is still strong and true. Hee. 🙂

  10. It’s taken me a full week to answer (computer issues, eep!), but okay, here we go.

    I first stumbled into kdramaland through the looking glass of fanvids. I think I wanted to vid to a certain song but before I did, needed to check to see if it’d been done before. While I was searching, I came across a fantastic vid about teens fighting for their dreams, and fighting each other, and falling in love (and fighting it, ha) and I thought, Man, I have to see this show! And that’s how I found my first kdrama…

    1) Dream High. I know it’s not perfect, but it gets me in the heart every single time I watch it: the friendships, the romances, the growth of the characters, their unwavering hope for the future and in each other… ah, I love it and it’ll always, always have a special place in my heart.

    2) Playful Kiss. The same vidder created a Ha-ni/Seung-jo vid and I blinked and knew I had to watch this one, too, because their romance was weird and painful and sweet and Ha-ni was awesome and 100% too good for Seung-jo and yet… I still kinda shipped it. Not one I could rewatch, but the one good thing about it, is that it introduced me to Jung So-min – though, come to think of it, as she’s the reason I started watching Standby, perhaps that’s not a good thing… 😉

    3) Boys over Flowers. Again, because the vidder had created a SoEulMates vid and I thought the show looked pretty. And it was; it most certainly was pretty and cracky and I inhaled it in (almost) one sitting. I still find something about it sort of addictive – I blame the awesomeness that is Lee Min-ho and SoEulMates. *g*

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