de Akage Girl, Junho 24, 2020

Don’t be sad. Many have experienced show hole before…...and will again and again

Ever watched a show and been blown away by the last episode? Did the urge to watch it over and over, rather than move on to something else, stay with you for weeks... If not months (or gasp… years)? Do you wish that some characters would just come and visit you in quarantine, or hike with you to the Emerald Pools, or even watch other dramas sitting next to you on the couch while you both consume a package of double stuffed Oreos? Are there some dramas you just can’t quit?

WELCOME to the wonderful and tortuous world of Show Hole! (Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.)

FACT: There is NO getting over Lan Zhan and Wei Ying…..just embrace the obsession

As I’ve written before, the condition of the show hole is where a person experiences sadness after finishing a television series (especially after binge-watching the show). Well, folks, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is show hole is real, and I’ve experienced it more than once. The good news is I recently was cured of that dreaded condition only to find myself in the same boat months later, holding back the tears, my bottom lip quivering, as I contemplate living another day without Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji (and what a bad day that would be). That said, I’m getting better at pulling myself out of the pit of despair that is a show hole… And my tricks and stratagems might help others suffering from the same heinous condition. So, if you are languishing in this debilitating condition, Dr. Akage Girl has a treatment just for you. 


General Ye Zhao: Is there a more fascinating female c-drama character out there? (um no)

At the end of last year, I was in misery after completing one of the best K-dramas I’d ever watched, Goblin. Leaving the bromance, the romance, the laughter and tears behind was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done (well… Not actually the hardest…. But it was difficult letting go). My life just wasn’t complete without Kim Shin, Wang Yeo, Ji Eun Tak, and Sunny. And was there a funnier third wheel than Deok Hwa? (I haven’t seen one yet… Sorry, ghost general). For weeks (ok, it was more than a month, it was that compelling), I went back and re-watched episodes over and over because they were that delightful and heart-wrenching. A fairy-tale for the all the ages, Goblin stole my soul, and surely there was no other show that could replace it. But how to move on? Because there are other shows to watch, right?!?! Luckily, I found Oh My General, a complete and utter departure from k-dramas. The plucky little c-drama was somewhat interesting with an incredibly strong female, General Ye Zhao, (played by the AWESOME Sandra Ma) and a very interesting male lead character, Zhao Yu Jin (YOWZA… Peter Sheng).

There was something about the huge dichotomy between Oh My General and the K-drama Goblin that helped me to settle in and binge-watch anew... It's a c-drama, one with a kick-butt female lead (that helps… A LOT). Now, Oh My General was no work of art, nor did it provide interesting side characters (other than that awful mother-in-law, I just loved the two leads). For the most part, Oh My General was kind of forgettable when all is said and done. 

And well, it did drag in the middle just like other c-dramas (honestly, almost all of them do). Sandra Ma was just fabulous as the general, with her big gigantic clanking sword, supremely powerful disposition, and did I mention she even beheads someone?!?! Nothing like a little decapitation to distract one from pining over Gong Yoo with his poetic dialogue and broody good looks. It didn’t hurt that much at the same time as I bought the Goblin soundtrack and could listen and sob right along with “And I’m Here” to my heart's content or watch lots of Goblin fan videos found all over the internet (many of them were very funny).

 C-DRAMA SHOW HOLE TREATMENTIs there a better cure for Show Hole than the EXCEPTIONALLY funny Jun Ji Hyun? (gif courtesy of dpato2011)

Fast forward to this spring, I managed to find myself stuck in a show hole all over again. This time over a c-drama, one of the most spectacular ever created. My heart flutters at the very thought of it, The Untamed. As I mentioned before, I have seventy-three reasons why this show is one of the greatest masterpieces… Ever… Which means that the moment I completed episode 50 (for the 3rd time), I was shoulder deep into a bottomless show hole. Sure, I purchased the soundtrack (love that Lin Hai music!), and yes, those wonderful fan videos sure helped me to cope with the loss of watching The Untamed daily (if any of you reading this made any of those videos, please know… I JUST LOVE YOU!!!!). And yes, still to this day, I wish I could spend just a little more time with Nie Huaisang and Jiang Cheng. And truth be told, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are my new favorite characters ever created. I even like them better than the Goblin and the Grim Reaper (please don’t tell Gong Yoo or Lee Dong Wook). 

Would I ever escape the beautiful tentacles of The Untamed? Was there a cure? Did I truly want one? Why yes, actually, I really should watch other shows besides this one.  (After all, I didn’t find The Untamed until after I got out of my last show hole experience!) Enter The Legend of the Blue Sea. Of course, the best cure for show hole brought on by a c-drama is a k-drama (duh) and a funny one at that. The most important part of the drama, again, is the female. Not that Shim Chung wasn’t a strong female, but she was a powerful and comical female character (ahem, a reminder - The Untamed is, for the most part, just males). I confess I laughed out loud more than once in the first ten episodes.  Jun Ji Hyun just slew it in You Who Came from the Stars, but she sure was a queen of physical comedy in The Legend of the Blue Sea. Could she be more hilarious? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hun – show hole medication….no really, just look at them!

It didn’t hurt that this show came complete with the broody male (sure do love those), and Lee Min Ho did a wonderful job as the angsty Heo Joon Jae and his burning need to protect the naive and loving mermaid. I also found the side characters funny like Ahn Jin Joo, the silly socialite. The best side characters were Cha Shi Ah (played by Shin Hye Sun) and the very hilarious relationship she has with Tae Oh (Shin Won Ho), the younger man. I’m sorry, but each time these two had a scene together, I just giggled. And I can promise you that laughter is a FABULOUS cure for the sad sad condition of show hole.

Now, is The Legend of the Blue Sea a substitute for The Untamed? NOPE! Is it better than The Untamed? Not by a long shot, and I can’t even remember a single song from the OST. But the drama did pull me out of that dreaded show hole and towards the light. Or, actually, towards more binge-watching and maybe another c-drama as good as The Untamed (if that’s even possible?).

To recap, Dr. Akage Girl’s prescription for overcoming the dastardly show hole requires the patient to follow these important steps:

  1. Get at least one song from the drama so you can relive it over and over, even when the TV is off.
  2. Look for fan videos (Thank you, thank you, thank you to you who make them. You are so talented!)
  3. Most importantly, watch a drama from another country (China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, etc…You pick)

Don’t worry, this treatment is guaranteed effective (um...or maybe not)

Please follow this super-secret and patented (not really) cure and in no time, you’ll find another exceptional drama, you know the kind I’m talking about... Like Ashes of Love, Goblin, Eternal Love, Hotel del Luna, and sigh… The Untamed (and yes, I have songs from all of them on my playlist – and THEY ARE WONDERFUL). Those epic shows rip out one’s beating heart and serve it on a platter like some sacrifice to the gods of Asian drama-land (wow, that makes a grisly picture). These are the very stories that plunge one’s sorry life into the abyss of show hole, and it feels like there’s no getting out. Now, you know there is therapy, a way out. JUST TRY IT! What’s the worst thing that can happen? You find another show you love? Another Oppa? Another powerful female character? Another soundtrack? Another obsession? Sounds like heaven to me! 

What about you? Which dramas put you in a show hole? Have you found any dramas that helped you get over that appalling condition?

Edited by: Cookie (1st editor)