kaigou: (1 olivia is not impressed)
Remember my rant about feminism? I know there were several replies along the lines of, "I do believe that men and women should be equal, but I'm not a feminist" or "...but I don't call myself a feminist" and even a comment about not being a feminazi.

If you've ever said or thought that, or know someone who has, watch this, because it explains why such disallowance matters. Pass it on.

kaigou: It's dangerous to go alone, Alphonse says, and holds out a cat: here, take this. (2 dangerous to go alone)
Well, No.6 is over. Le sigh. Great series, if you ignore the fact that a) it was too damn short, b) the final episode was one big honking deus (dea?) ex hornet, and c) it was too damn short. Now if someone would just translate the novels, there might be hope. (Note: not the same people who translated the 4th volume of Twelve Kingdoms, please. Or at least not the same copyeditor. Or maybe just make sure to hire a copyeditor, and not your neighbor's 10-yr-old.)

Break Blade finished a while back, but so incompletely and abruptly that I had to go digging to make sure it was really over. It might not be -- Production IG was going long and inconsistent gaps between hour-long OVA-like releases -- but it seems to be. Over, that is. And it ended on kind of a "well, uhm, let's end it here," note. Actually pretty disappointing, especially the way it sank in the last episode or two into the law of adaptations. I was hoping it'd hold out, but apparently not.

And Natsume Yuujinchou is now complete, but in three months the fourth season will begin. Woo, and may I add, hoo, although I'd have to say that if you'd asked me at the end of the first season, I never would've expected this series to continue. It's so episodic, with so much weight on character development over any truly over-arching arc, with limited bad guys (and oftentimes, no true 'bad' guys so much as opposing protagonists). It's so well-written and animated and voiced, that I would've expected it to remain a hidden, unappreciated jewel. Still. Waiting three months is gonna be hell.

Rambling commentary on finished series, dropped series, new series, and upcoming series. Expect several comfy chairs. )

Cripes. Three months until more Natsume.
kaigou: first I'm going to have a little drinkie, then I'm going to execute the whole bally lot of you. (2 execute all of you)
Yesterday I read Warchild, then Burndive, and quit a chapter or so into Cagebird, and then read reviews to see if I was the only one feeling the lack. (Far as I can tell, I am.)

When I was a teenager, I read Majipoor Chronicles, which was a collection of short stories within a framework (honestly, the only kind of short stories I'll tolerate; entirely unconnected short stories just aren't my thing). Several of the stories in that book dealt with, or implied, things like child prostitution, rape, and/or abuse -- as have other SFF books I've read over the years. While I've rarely read full-on-id all-the-details page-time in mainstream SFF, I've also rarely read truly oblique glossing. A good writer can let you know that two characters had sex (consensual or not) without wallowing in it.

I've learned to ping on when a work is ex-fanfic (or the author is). The id gets page-time (often deep emotional)... and then it's wiped with no warning. It's like the story's voice/flow was suddenly truncated by an embarrassed author, censoring lest the story show its idtastic origins or influences. The narration loses its honesty; it becomes evasive. The author doesn't just require me to read between the lines; I'm being forced to insert lines that aren't there, before I can even read between those deleted lines.

Unreliable narrators, storytelling pattern-breaks, Barbara Cartland, word of god is not my canon, aliens vs Asia, and geisha as the final straw. )

Now I'm reading Eleanor Taylor Bland's Done Wrong. It's not the first book in the series, but I already have five books reserved on interlibrary loan and I really wanted to read Bland's series, so I picked the earliest in the series that was actually on the shelf. It's another genre-jump, as Bland writes present-day Chicago homicide investigator mysteries, but already I'm sucked in. Will report back, next time I come up for air.

(After this, it's onto Anita Rau Badami's The Hero's Walk.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 hobbes attacks)
Pursuant to kdorian's wonderment about the apparent lack of tags on the US-version of the wearing-the-juice mansplaining crap from SurveyFail, I went and looked. Turns out there are just so many tags, they're hidden. (Sheesh.) Click on the link under the section title, and suddenly you see the first twenty or so tags... with five more pages of tags behind that.

For my own entertainment (and yours), I bring you: THE ENTIRE LIST. )

Oh, fandom, never change.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
This is entirely starscream/recession's fault. Probably in retaliation for the APPLESAUCE.

Is that guy in the middle Matt Damon? Same smirk.

Long tunnel is long. Be foreboded! And just in case, the music reminds you.

Don't these people realize burning brands right near a horse's ear would piss off the horse?

Oh, look, it's what Hadrian's Wall wanted to be when it grew up.

Where is this filmed. No, seriously, where is this filmed.

So far, love the dialogue! Very snappy. That is, none at all. Hard to improve on silence.

Obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl. It's like adding salt to bread. I wonder if Hollywood knows how to makea movie without obligatory faint echoes of wolf howl when it's a forest.

...and more. )
kaigou: (1 Toph)
Man, the gender!fail on some of the stuff I've been watching recently... it's like, it's great as long as I just forget that any character has any gender at all, and then I can enjoy the pretty pictures and not have to think about the constant message that girls are weak, that power makes girls crazy, that the only agency it's okay for a girl to have is in the act of choosing her lover (of the opposite sex, natch).

Seeking a break, I went to see what anime's now available since the last time I checked, and wah, two more episodes of Break Blade (sometimes translated as Broken Blade). Yay!

Yes. It's mecha. (What did you expect? This is me, after all.) It's SF with a slight edge of the extra F, at least in terminology (people can operate quartz as a power-source or power-channel; the very rare souls unable to manipulate quartz are known as non-sorcerers). It's political, in that several countries are embroiled in a current war that seems to be heightened due to little-mentioned history (low-key on the exposition, which is actually rather nice). And, being mecha, it's unsurprisingly running about 7:1 on the fanservice, with one of the main female characters getting plenty of screen time in a gauzy cropped (and open) jacket with artfully placed long hair just so.

[Have you ever known anyone with long hair who drapes the hair just so, and for whom the hair will then actually stay like that, instead of falling to either side? Mangakas: it's called gravity and it don't work the way you're drawing. Just sayin'.]

Fine, it's the usual shonen-mecha, but for once the boys don't take up quite so much space. )

When I look at all that... I'm willing to forgive the superfluous fan service. Still wish the mangaka would up the male-character fan service, but 1 is better than 0, I suppose. As long as I keep getting so many moments of crowning kick-ass from female characters, I can live with 7:1 of panty-shots and cleavage vs bare chest.
kaigou: when in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. (3 when in doubt)
(If you're not familiar, "shounen" means "boy", and is used as the genre-name for action/adventure stories geared towards boys, usually aged about 11-16 or so. "Shoujo" is the genre for girls of equivalent age.)

From endersgirrrl's review of Bloody Monday:
The shounen manga Bloody Monday was the brainchild of prolific writer Agi Tadashi (credited as Ryumon Ryou), who also penned the manga Kami no Shizuku [...] And it’s interesting how the shounen vs. shoujo genres play to two fundamentally disparate adolescent yearnings: shounen manga panders to every hormonal teenage boy’s most basic non-sexual fantasy, which is to be a Superhero (but — in disguise!!!), while shoujo manga puts a premium on an adolescent female protagonist realizing!her!relationships! — be they romantic or platonic.

Shounen manga is much more result-oriented, i.e. the teenage Hero with a small but loyal band of like-minded friends saves something or someone close to him, with the highest aspiration really being to SAVE THE WORLD. [...] In shounen manga, character development takes a backseat to plot (and plot is really all about Accomplishing!the!Mission!), while in shoujo manga, character development supersedes plot action as the protagonist/s are more focused on working through their feelings and experiencing inner growth — and all that sappy SweetValleyHigh-ish stuff, lol.

[In Bloody Monday, all] the staples of the quintessential shounen manga are here: a teenage Hero with “special abilities” (in this case, hacking and, uh, looking unbelievably good in hoodies); the Hero’s brainy best bud, who has his own “special-but-not-AS-special-as-the-Hero’s abilities” (in this case, archery skills and spouting random useless trivia — like when Christmas Day is really celebrated in Russia); their loyal friends (usually of the same age bracket — in this case, the Newspaper Club at school); the token Hot Chick on the side of the Baddies; a Mission that only the teenage Hero can accomplish (natch!); the techno-gadgetry and gizmo-geekery galore! galore!; and oodles of HardyBoy-esque action — chase sequences! messy explosions! and rooftop standoffs! (oh my!)


If [the show/manga plot] sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall the Aum Shinrikyo (now Aleph) terrorist cult that perpetrated the well-documented sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 12 commuters and injuring hundreds. [... Given] that the real-life Baddies’ shenanigans are obviously no child’s play, you understand why the manga writer would want to dull the edge of their depravity by sketching up these cartoonized (read = shounen-friendly) versions.

And the best way to dumb down all the crazymonkeybaddies? Is to make the TRUE ringleader… well, just like our teenage Hero. No I mean, literally just like our teenage Hero. So in the end, the Uber-Villain is revealed to be not a 50-year-old barefoot mystic, or a twentysomething math genius, but… oh, just another kid. [...] It’s stupid as sh*t, but you kind of understand how it also reveals the true heart of a 12-year-old manga-wanking fanboy: by vicariously channeling the story’s Hero, he can ONLY save the world IF the villain is just like him – in age, stature and abilities. This really is the ultimate shounen-manga satisfaction: by leveling the playing field, the inherent absurdity of a hormonal teenager saving the world becomes much, much easier to stomach. Whoopeeee. Long live the 12-year-old fanboy, may his precious manga collection never get eaten by termites, may mummy never catch him – uh, doing funny sh*t inside his closet with a stash of ecchi comics, and may he never turn into a sociopathic whack job later in life, lol.

I adore Ender's Girl's reviews, partly for often having some crucial insights I missed while watching, and always for having a completely torqued and spastic sense of humor that clearly loves the shows while skewering them mercilessly. (Even if you haven't seen the show, thus, EG's review is worth the five-minute read if you need a bit of levity in your day.)

Beyond that, though, I was thinking about something I was told when first writing urban fantasy... )

In a semi-related vein, I want to save this somewhere more reliable than just my email inbox, just because it's important to remember. From a thread on femslash, another Branchian piece of brilliant observation:
We can step around the boys, the same way slash steps around the girls, but we have to step wider because they’re taking up more space.
kaigou: (1 Toph)
Plenty of spoilers in this one, so if you haven't seen Love Fight and plan to, or just prefer to avoid spoilers just in case, then skip. Otherwise, read on.

About Aki, and a handful of pictures. )
kaigou: Kido says, shun the unbeliever! shunnnn! (2 shun the unbeliever)
I won't go into any irons I may have in the fire (but I will say it's long since died past embers), but it still surprises me -- and disappoints me greatly -- to discover that this conversation in the pagan world is only now occurring with any significant intensity. It's 2011 already, people. This debate is long overdue.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Continuing with shots from Love Fight, but still minimal spoilers. (Basically, you won't see anything here that isn't covered or implied in the synopsis.)

Lotsa more images behind the cut. )

...and that's where I'll leave it. The rest is for you to watch, unless you already have (or will and don't care about spoilers), in which case read the next post, at http://kaigou.dreamwidth.org/417316.html. If you'd rather avoid spoilers, stop here.
kaigou: (2 earned my way out)

If you weren't crazy about Fly Daddy Fly (or were just as ambivalent about it as I was), here's another one to sink your teeth into: a little Japanese coming-of-age movie called Love Fight.
Minoru (Kento Hayashi) has spent most of his life being protected by his spunky female best friend Aki (Kie Kitano). Fed up, he decides to take up boxing. However, just as he manages to get stronger than Aki she becomes obsessed with boxing herself.

Image-heavy behind the cut; minimal spoilers. )

Second part in next post.
kaigou: sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (2 flamethrowers)
I don't even know why I snagged a copy of this movie in the first place (except that I snagged the Korean version because the J-version has no English subtitles), but in some ways, it worked well, because I'm still thinking about it, a few weeks later.

The film, Fly Daddy Fly, is ostensibly about a middle-aged salaryman's attempt to find justice for his daughter. When the story starts, we get a litany of the salaryman's life: he still smokes (despite promising his wife and daughter he'd quit, repeatedly), he has seven years left until his condo is paid off, and he's middle-management. A rather fuddy-duddy, if good-natured, existence, but hardly anything to write home about. Anyway, the salaryman introduces himself as once having the nickname "Jjang," which I seem to recall is also a mafia term adopted by high schoolers to indicate who's basically Big Man on Campus (but with gang/boss overtones). No one calls him that now, though, he admits.

Then he's called to the emergency room: his daughter has been beaten brutally.

It shouldn't be a surprise that of course the explanation becomes -- in the mouth of the school principal who attends in lieu of the "too busy, highly-ranked state-related parents" -- something along the lines of what kind of girl would go for karaoke with a guy she'd just met? What eventually comes out, though, is that the high school senior in question, Kang Tae Shik, is also a boxing champion, and he apparently had no qualms using her as a punching bag. Because, as the principal implies with a shrug, she probably caused a fuss, and, well, things got out of hand.

Too subtle for a wink, but the nod is there: of course the boy would get angry. No mention is made of the fact that as a trained fighter, he'd have weight and muscle to spare, yet he took it all out on a girl who couldn't possibly defend herself. Jjang is just plain in shock; the principal is only marginally apologetic, and most of his apologies seem to amount to, "I'm sorry you had to discover you have such a bad daughter."

When you finally get to see the girl... well, they didn't cut any corners on showing that a lot of the damage she took was to the face. (Also a quiet visual implication that the anger was very personal, too.) What the k-version doesn't say was whether there was sexual assault, but I'm not sure whether this is because the Korean film industry is too squeamish to mention such explicitly, or if culturally it's supposed to be obvious whether "things were done", or if lack of explicit mention really means she was only beaten. Or maybe it's to side-step audience members who might judge the daughter unfairly (as in, "she deserved it") too quickly, if the explanation was too concrete.

...and when Jjang makes a mistake that costs him his daughter's respect, he realizes he can't just accept the hush money and do nothing, and so begins the story. )

Any way I look at it, though, the race against the bus in the third-quarter of the film is still an awesome thing.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 life is pain)
One of the other threads in Where the Girls Are was a discussion of one of Bette Davis' earlier melodramas (co-starring a young Humphrey Bogart), Marked Woman. Loosely based on real-life case, Bogart's character convinces Davis' call-girl ("hostess" for censorship purposes) character to testify against a big mob boss. Over the course of the film, it becomes apparent that there's a strong attraction between Davis' low-class character and Bogart's upper-class prosecutor character. Yet at the end, when Bogart's character obliquely suggests that they try and make a go of it, Davis' call-girl turns him down.

The book's assessment of this was that the introduction of reality -- that there was no future in a relationship that crossed such class barriers -- actually turned the film into a subversive work. By showing all the potential of such a relationship, and then reminding the audience of the reality (and thereby removing any chance of a Cinderella-like unrealistic happy ending for the sympathetic female lead)... it actually pissed women-audiences off. It made them say, "why must it be like that? why can't she finally get a decent guy?"

I was reading that book while also working my way through one of the kdramas -- can't recall now which -- but not like it matters; many of them run together when it comes to the Cinderella themes. (Per my previous post, especially when it's poor-girl-who-works-hard manages to snag the chaebol/rich-boy prince. Hell, if you watched kdramas and mistook them for reality, you'd think chaebol-boys grow on freaking trees.) Over and over, the dimwitted but hard-working and well-meaning poor girl gets chosen instead of the highly educated, cultivated, and ambitious rich girl.

The reality of that is... well, it can happen, but it's so rare as to rival hen's teeth. )

Which is better? To watch the fantasy and have it fire you up to believe the world could be like that? Or to see the reality and get really freaking pissed off because you hate living through that yourself, and want to work for a day when that onscreen misery is nothing but a distant memory?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 break out of prison)
Back when I was reading the book on women in media (Douglas, I think it was), I recall a chapter that discussed Charlie's Angels in-depth. I'm pretty sure I quoted that section at length, but one part I didn't quote but has stuck in my head was how Charlie's Angels -- the show, not the characters -- attempted to have its feminist cake and eat it, too. Or maybe I should say: to eat the cake while denying the cake existed.

Here's the logic: patriarchy is, in simplistic television terms, when men as a sex, a gender, and as a rule, strive to keep women in the position of second-class citizens. Okay. Demonstrating/illustrating the patriarchy in television, therefore, is showing men being male chauvinist asshats. So far, I'm still with the logic.

But here's what Charlie's Angels was arguing, by having the consistent villain of the piece be a sexist asshat: they were reducing -- Douglas argued -- the concept of 'patriarchy' as 'something all men buy into and intentionally (or unconsciously) support, engender, propagate, and generally make sure men stay the only sex with any significant rights or privileges' to 'here are some guys who are asshats". In short, the reduction subtly undermined the feminist argument that the patriarchy is a problem with men as a self reinforcing whole, by positing that if you could just get rid of these (specific, bad) men, there'd be no patriarchy. Rainbows and puppies for everyone!

Which is where the having the cake -- men are sexist! -- and denying it -- but only certain bad men! -- comes into play: and thus into commentary on women-in-media of kdramas, jdramas, and tw-dramas. )
kaigou: Toph says: hell yeah, meeting adjourned. (2 meeting adjourned)
Per the poll in a previous post, I'm clearly not alone in being more likely to do the teeth-gnashing when it's a badly-written story with a theme I'm normally pretty invested in. And pursuant to that...

Dear screenwriter(s):

It's episode 14 of a 16-episode series, and I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. I get that you really wanted Miss Female Lead to be something other than a damsel in distress, and that's great. And I also get that you didn't want her being the usual thriller/action Action Girl, either, but just to be a relatively normal person stuck in a tangled web. That's fine. We could probably use more relatively normal people stuck in tangled thriller/action webs. But here's the problem: apparently in your dictionary, "agency" is spelled S-T-U-P-I-D-I-T-Y.

Let's review what Miss Female Lead knows to be the facts on the ground, shall we?

1. Her (biological) father is a Mafia boss in Thailand.
2. A guy, who works at some nameless IT corporation, likes her.
3. The guy has a brother (adopted) who works at the same company.
4. Adopted brother turns out to be her childhood sweetheart.
5. She likes Brother better than Guy.
6. Also, Father works at the same nameless IT company with his two sons.

What she doesn't know -- at first -- is that "nameless IT company" is really NIS (the kdrama's version of FBI/CIA/whatever, National Intelligence Security, I think it is). When Brother gets fired for mucking up his first mission, he realizes he now has time to actually, y'know, be a human being and possibly show some emotions (as opposed to continue being eaten up by the usual kdrama I Must Have Vengeance For My Parents' Deaths rigamarole). Anyway, somewhere in there, Miss Female Lead finds out that all three men in the family work for NIS. Then, tragically, Brother dies in Horrible Car Accident! Much grieving abounds.

...Three years later, Mafia Boss Dad comes to Korea, and in tow, is a guy -- we'll call Undercover Guy -- who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend! I'd say it's a kind of coincidence that only happens in kdrama land, except that I've seen the same thing in animanga, Hollywood, and probably one or two Brazilian soap operas. ANYWAY. So she briefly lampshades that this bizarre coincidence could only happen in dramas, but what does she do now?

Stab stab stab stab stabbity. )

Sorry, show, I know I stuck it out with you for this long, but I can't take it anymore. Stop loving me. REALLY.

kaigou: Zoë from Firefly (2 bang)
I don't know who originally said it, but the current furor in USian politics over abortion, rape, and federal assistance reminds me of some wise words my mother once told me, when I was still too young to understand the depths of it all:

"If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Japan's Cinderella Motif- Beauty Industry and Mass Culture Interpretations of a Popular Icon — Laura Miller

Too much evo-psych but still important observation, from Psychology Behind The Cinderella Complex:
...there is also a division between the smart and the pretty girl. “We can’t do both, evidently,” Fraser said. “And if you are both, then you’re universally hated by both men and women; women because they’re jealous of you, and men because they don’t know what to do with you.” She said that a woman “who is living up to her potential is often cast aside or becomes a social outcast.”

From Wiki's entry on prestige (sociolinguistics):
Some instances of contact between languages with different prestige levels have resulted in diglossia, a phenomenon in which a community uses a high prestige language or dialect in certain situations—usually for newspapers, in literature, on university campuses, for religious ceremonies, and on television and the radio—but uses a low prestige language or dialect for other situations—often in conversation in the home or in letters, comic strips, and in popular culture. Linguist Charles A. Ferguson's 1959 article "Diglossia" listed the following examples of diglossic societies: in Switzerland, Swiss Standard German and Swiss German; in the Middle East and North Africa, Standard Arabic and vernacular Arabic; in Haiti, Standard French and Kréyòl; in Greece, Katharevousa and Dhimotiki; and in Norway, Bokmål and Nynorsk.

Although those (I gather) are significant linguistic differences between prestige and standard, couldn't a situation like Southern/non-Southern be considered a kind of diglossia? My understanding is that code-switching is when you mix two languages (dialects?) in the same sentence/breath, like a kind of maladapted or hyper loanword use. Diglossia sounds more like a complete switch, like what I do when speaking with relatives versus the way I speak at work. It also sounds like what people are talking about for Black Americans, who switch easily from Standard American at work to Black American while with friends/family or non-work situations. As others mentioned on earlier threads, that as long as you use those structures and expressions, you're still speaking "Southern" even if your accent is soft (or non-existent), the accent of Southern American, like Black American, is not the key feature. It's the significant differences in the grammatical structure as well as the idiomatic expressions.

Now I am reminded of that segment from Airplane: "Oh stewardess! I speak jive."

Tangential note: out of curiosity, I just looked up jive, wondering where the name itself (jive) originated. Still no idea on that one, but I did just learn that linguistically, African-American Vernacular English (AAVE, or what I was calling Black American) is a creole. The bit about prestige dialects remains at the forefront of my lizard brain right now, so that popped back in as I got to the section about Ebonics... and I gotta say, I loathe that term. The political ramifications aren't helped by a strange kind of verbal synesthesia, where the capital E + the bon looks... I don't know how to put it. Like something you'd call a child's music toy, or something. Not quite plastic-cheap, but that kind of reaction. Hard to qualify/express.

However, it seems to me there's a prestige, of a sort, when a dialect is known as a creole, probably in part because of the association with "creole" and "New Orleans" (in terms of cultural import/impact). New Orleans is, and hopefully will continue to be, a huge cultural value for America. So maybe we have an association, thanks to that, that lends prestige to "creole", regardless of whether the listener understands the linguistic differentiation. I think maybe it's also because most people are aware that "creole" (unlike the maligned notion of 'pidgin') is a dialect-into-language. Credibility, perhaps, that isn't granted by a bizarre and frankly stupid invented-word like Ebonics?

Strange, to be reminded yet again (as though I could forget) that words really do make all the difference. Instead of Ebonics and its ridiculous assumption that the non-Standard English is a sign of Black American childrens' lesser communication skills (oh please)... by emphasizing the creole aspect, the truth becomes: Black American children are actually gaining a skill many Standard-American speaking children don't gain: multilingualism. There are huge benefits to having that kind of multi-linguistic exposure as small children, not the least of which is a facility to learn other languages, because the brain is already used to switching back and forth -- and we've got more than just American-English vs non-English languages, we've also got computer languages, these days.

Too bad I'm never a hiring manager, or I think this would be a valuable trait in potential developers. Someone who can code-switch (or use diglossia) between a creole and Standard American is possibly also someone who can do the same with computer-language syntax. It's just one more way of adapting and working with language, and long experience in code-switching gives you the tools to apply the same in a new area. I think that'd be incredibly valuable (especially in industries like mine, which are always stumbling over and into new developments that then need to be integrated with the old).

Then again, I'm not a hiring manager... nor has any hiring manager ever given even a moment's notice to the languages I've studied. Or maybe it's just that as far as I know, I've never had a direct manager who isn't mono-lingual. Maybe you only recognize the value when you're multi-lingual yourself, or spend most of your time in multi-lingual environments, enough to realize that mono-lingual is... well, it's a drawback. It's not something to be proud of.

Also, awesome quote: "A language is just a dialect with an army."
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 get down from there)
50 Things You Learn from K-Dramas - reposted by tashiichaan from a d-addicts thread

Archetype and Stereotype Writing Prompt by Christina Chang, Jaehong Park, Nina Lim
As Korean audiences ourselves, we realized that most Korean dramas have certain stereotypical ideas and values in their basic storylines. It is apparent that most of Korean dramas implement stereotypical formulas because those formulas usually guarantee success, as certain things are more likely to attract audiences proven by ratings of different dramas and stereotypes that were shown before. Although Korean drama industry has remains very conservative and reserved compared to many Western, American, or even Japanese dramas, we could cleary see that the Korean drama industry did make quite a bit of progress, becoming much more expressive. While many of the ideas and genres for a certain fixed audiences will continue to prevail in Korean dramas, with the sign of progress that has been shown, it is fair to expect innovative, more expressive, and exciting themes to be introduced in Korean dramas for a wider range of audiences for the future.

Why Everybody Should Watch Korean Dramas (Even If You Can't Speak Korean and Hate Kim Chi) by Homegrown Social Critique
The joy of the Korean Drama lies in the lingering look, the hand that almost touches, but never does, and the enjoyment of an experience through the repetition of flashbacks. Wallace Stevens once wrote, "I do not know which to prefer, /The beauty of inflections/Or the beauty of innuendoes." In Korean Drama, it is definitely the latter.

Shafted, shafted, shafted: A Story of Female Second Leads by sevenses
This is just something I’ve noticed, but the amount of hate towards female characters almost always beats the hate for male ones. And while on one hand it’s seriously not cool, on the other hand I think the tired old tropes women keep being thrust into have something to do with it.
kaigou: pino does not approve of where the script is going. (2 pino does not approve)
If you haven't heard of the Bechdel Test (where have you been), here are the requirements for a movie, television show, book, play, etc to get a passing grade.
  1. It has to have at least two women in it.
  2. Who talk to each other.
  3. About something besides a man.
Given the plethora of dramas, movies, anime, and manga/manhwa I've watched or read in the past six months, I'm starting to think this just isn't enough. For instance, a lot of the k-dramas pass the Bechdel Test... on total technicalities. Women discuss: what they'll wear out that night; what make-up they use or their nightly moisturizing routine; doing housework; what kind of food to make or how to make it; how their current diet-fad works and whether it's working. It's a lot of women-are-talking ... about things that are stereotypically "okay" for women to discuss: all the things that, in one way or another, are part and parcel of the requirements society pushes onto women for being women.

Shorter version: there's a lot of Bechdel-Test-passing in which #3 is satisfied by conversations that, basically, revolve around the trappings of femininity. The resulting message is that if women aren't focused on men, then they're focused on what could make them attractive to men.

Thus, I suggest we need multiple levels of Bechdel. )

ETA: as usual, see comments for further discussion.


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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