par Aehsassy & laia, novembre 13, 2023

‧˚✩  Disclaimer ✧˖° 

This article is purely based on our opinion along with some online research. 

The duo is back with another article ~

This time, our topic concerns every drama watcher. So from our previous works, you may have guessed that we mainly watch Japanese dramas, and it makes us wonder every time that given the popularity of anime, manga, and J-pop, the J-drama community on the other hand thrives quietly in the shadows. It's a unique place, where fans lurk like ninjas, savoring their favorite dramas without drawing too much attention to themselves.  

We do want to promote our favorite dramas but also do not want to create chaos around them because with popularity come opinions, and sometimes opinions override actual facts. 

As both of us mainly roam around Japanese shows, we hardly get made aware of other good releases, and when the time comes for us to need something new, something refreshing to cure our slump, we can’t find anything beyond the same old, hyped shows plastered all over the place! They're like the flashy neon signs in a sea of darkness, making it nearly impossible to discover those hidden treasures.

This overwhelming presence of hyped shows can be a real buzzkill. Our expectations soar higher than Mount Fuji, and suddenly, we're nitpicking every little detail, like a connoisseur dissecting a gourmet meal. "Why did the main character's hair turn one shade darker in episode nine? Unacceptable!"

Some simple works that we would have enjoyed if we hadn't formed speculations around them result in a wave of aversion and kill little joys. So yeah, hype kills the mood.

In our opinion, every new drama viewer begins with mainstream shows, and the first time is just so exciting that they want to share their fantastic discoveries with everyone. 

But here's the twist: as you get deeper into the world of drama fandom, you start feeling a little lost in the crowd. Suddenly, you're surrounded by seasoned viewers who seem to have watched everything under the sun. And that's when the competitive spirit kicks in. You find yourself wanting to catch up, to prove your dedication, to say, "Hey, I'm a real drama enthusiast, too!"

I remember when I first got into this world, I used to check my drama count religiously, as if it were some kind of badge of honor. It was almost like a competition with myself, trying to reach a certain level of dedication. But then, I had to pause and reflect. Why was I watching dramas in the first place? Oh right, it was to be entertained, to enjoy myself, not to become restless and anxious about the number of shows I had seen.

My mother loves reading the newspaper, and she says that it encourages conversation among her colleagues and keeps her updated on current events. I may be perceiving this in a different way, but I think I've made my point. The internet has the same effect on us, consuming our way of life. Hyped shows are that common topic everyone's talking about and it's disappointing when we feel excluded from group talks if we haven't watched those. So, the majority of us watch those shows just for the purpose of discussing them with our friends or family. Sometimes, however, they prove to be so good that we add them to our favorites, although the contrary is a little depressing. For example, when I was new to watching Chinese dramas, a lot of people recommended me to watch Love O2O, and I didn't like it a bit.

The worst thing I did was share my opinion about it and receive a storm of comments about how immature I am in this situation because it's literally the best love story out there. I then assumed that all rom-com Chinese dramas won't suit my taste and I stayed away from them for quite a while, later to discover dramas like Our Secret, Le Coup de Foudre, and Moonlight.

You know that feeling when a new show is all the rage on the internet? Everyone's posting reviews and memes about it, and it feels like it's everywhere. So, you finally decide to watch it, but by the time you start, the hype has faded. People are saying it's old news now and not as exciting. Then, out of nowhere, the show comes back into the spotlight. Maybe someone remixed its theme song, or a new season is announced, and suddenly, everyone's talking about it again. But there you are, still stuck on the third episode of the first season.

This kind of thing happens all the time in our drama community. The buzz around shows goes up and down like a sine wave.

And if you think a show can never make a comeback because it's been around for a while, let me share a real story from India. In March, right after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of a new coronavirus, the TV show "Ramayan" was re-telecast on Doordarshan National. This show had originally aired 33 years ago! Surprisingly, it smashed records and became the most-watched entertainment program worldwide. Talk about a legendary comeback!

What do you think of the phrase "underrated drama"? It is certainly not speaking factually about its poor ratings but more about shouting from the rooftops, "Hey, this show is fantastic, and it deserves way more love and attention than it's getting!" 

Overrated, on the other hand, is just a term which comes handy when we are not agreeing with the hype lol.

To be honest, I think it’s okay to say any series is overrated or underrated. However, you need to keep in mind that the statement you make is a critique of people’s opinion of the show, and it’s not an actual reflection of the series' quality.

I sometimes let the hype get to me for a while, thinking "I'm going to be disappointed if this or that doesn’t happen." But, on some occasions I just say "You know what, I don’t care, I'm gonna plan on enjoying this movie/show because that actor/actress is playing a role in it, so that's enough for me." So, until it turns out to be a flop or a huge disappointment, I won't be unhappy. I started off disliking a few shows since they were always lauded as the most awesome and well done thing ever, but over time I grew to truly appreciate them for my own reasons, while sometimes acknowledging that they’re a little overhyped.

Even if everyone says a drama is amazing, an okay drama will always remain an alright story. Only the plot's elements were chosen by the writer, but they didn’t choose how people would react. The quality of a series' material does not suddenly deteriorate because everyone's perspective sets a larger value on it than it may be subjectively worth. I know for some people it's important  to write things down and assess how much you like something regardless of the anticipation or lack thereof, but it's difficult to discount the reasons you're checking something out while assessing your satisfaction.



1. Promotes beyond borders

Anime was originally created for Japanese audiences, but it went from being a niche interest to a global sensation. You'll find anime streaming on your screen, cosplay happening in your neighbor's garage, and Pikachu on your cereal box. Same with K-dramas; they are everywhere nowadays, and Korean celebs are getting recognized. So in a way, hype helps cultures get recognition.

1. Spoilers

It's like being at a magic show, and just before the magician reveals their big trick, someone in the audience shouts out the secret, robbing you of the surprise. That's what hyped shows can feel like sometimes. They generate so much buzz and discussion that it's hard to avoid hearing details about them.
2.  Raises industry/entertainment standards

Hyped shows can set a towering bar for quality  in the industry. This makes other productions strive for excellence, ultimately raising the overall quality of content available to viewers.  With one success, people want the saga to continue, resulting in countless attempts to recreate the magic of classics, among which we can get our fair share of success.
2. Creates toxic fandoms

Hyped shows create fandoms, but it's more like they're shoving it down your throat like pushy salespeople. Like eating the same meal over and over, but you can't complain or else be ready for a war. In the internet world, it's the meme war and full-length roasts.


Nobuta no Produce

Ok, this one is a classic, and I might get a lot of comments that, even after watching J-dramas for so many years, how come I am still not comfortable with the exaggerated concepts and the bizarre tone of it? 

But listen to me: My love for J-dramas began with a similar drama to this one, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (2010), and I was so fascinated by all of its elements, but with this one, I had higher expectations since almost every review has rated it a 10/10, but when I actually began it, it was just very dull. I loved Akira’s character, and I also found the male lead's character to be extremely relatable because we all pretend to fit in even though we aren't comfortable with some things. But I couldn’t handle those unreal ways of character development. As far as I remember, some girls ruined the female lead's clothes, but the idea was to not feel ashamed and even make preparators feel guilty about it, so she wore them to school, and it became a trend? I know I am judging the show too hard here, but with all those expectations, I wasn't able to digest its happy-go-lucky approach. 

South Korea

Our Beloved Summer was like a cupcake without frosting - sweet at first, but lacking that extra something to keep me hooked. The plot seemed stuck on a perpetual loop, with the main characters going in circles, their communication skills resembling two toddlers playing with walkie-talkies. It was plain boring, even though the story had an amazing structure. I don't understand the hype because the leads had more chemistry in their movie, The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion, which was an action, mystery and sci-fi movie and not at all romance-centric.


I mentioned it in the "to fit in" section. It was one of my earliest Chinese romantic dramas, and the way it made no sense whatsoever is laughable. Yes, I might be a little harsh here, but first, I didn't understand how the love story started. Maybe its prime theme was two popular, good-looking people making everyone jealous. So much sweetness, but I was left searching for the substance like it was a treasure hunt gone wrong. Seriously, where's the beef in this rom-com sandwich?

Art and criticism are both subjective. There is no such thing as an objectively flawless television show, movie or book. It's an impossible feat, and pretending that it isn't will do more harm than good in persuading people to enjoy what you like. I simply don't want people to be pressured into enjoying something they don't like because they're terrified of the consequences. I don't want people to feel terrible for loving something that it’s seen as overrated, thus hated. 

I'll also remark that we frequently need to ease up and just appreciate things without any pressure, excessive expectations, or anything else. And that frequently entails avoiding a lot of internet debate. And if you love something, it may be quite exhausting to go through almost every possible critique of it in order to defend what you love. It's unhealthy to approach something you love as a cult, but the opposite extreme of over-analyzing everything for defects and so on is equally extremely draining. Being so preoccupied with absurd standards of flawlessness that you overlook what it is that makes you appreciate what you love regardless of its shortcomings. 

We should relax, enjoy things without being overly critical, and let people love what they love without judgment. It's about finding a balance between analyzing and appreciating. Happy drama watching!

Some underrated dramas are our comfort shows because they're the gems we discovered. Without being super protective about them, here are some of our discoveries hahaha: 

(Click on the poster to view the drama page.)

Credits: We do not own any of the images/gifs. All gifs/images are linked to their sources. 
Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

jdramas hyped shows underrated dramas overrated dramas