After wrapping up Taxi Driver this week, I had some thoughts that kept rolling around in my brain, circling mostly around this idea: is it possible to know TOO much about what goes on behind the scenes of a drama? Join me as I try to work it out, would you?
Remember when The Lord of the Rings came out, lo these many years ago, and supergeeks everywhere were nerding out over the extended versions of the DVDs? They were packaged beautifully to look like leather-covered books, with detailed maps inside. (Yes, we own the trilogy. Yes, I am that supergeek. Moving on.) One of the perks to the extended versions was getting a disc or two in EVERY case, full of behind-the-scenes footage and commentary from the cast and crew. There were details about forced perspective and using people of short stature to make Gandalf and his crew look taller than the hobbits, a trip into the WETA studio where they used CGI to create the massive armies, and so forth.
Supergeeks everywhere rejoiced as they learned about the magic — and the effort — that went into making their favorite series. My husband and I eagerly consumed all the content and learned more than we ever thought possible about the science of movie-making.
But then we watched the movies again. And while my husband happily appreciated the story just the same, I personally could NOT turn off my brain. “Is this the guy wearing the rubber mask to look like Frodo? Does every soldier in that army ACTUALLY look like they’re moving independently?”
And on and on and on. It was terrible.
Now that I’m over a decade removed from that experience, I’ve forgotten enough of the details that I can finally sit back and enjoy the movies again. But it got me thinking — what happens when we know too much about what goes into making a kdrama?
In the case of River Where the Moon Rises, knowing the story behind Na In Woo becoming On Dal was important, especially if you were watching the drama as it aired. On Dal changing faces was kind of a big deal.
But knowing that a writer changed in the middle of the drama? I’m not sure that’s necessary information.
Granted, we know that I am a special case, because it becomes my obsession to see the differences. I can’t help it or turn it off — it’s just who I am. In the case of Taxi Driver, I would have LOVED to have learned about the switch AFTER the drama had aired — then I could have pinpointed why it suddenly felt different, instead of trying to see the difference as I watch.
In any case, the story did remain solid, which was a good thing. There was a shocking event after the writer change that may have not been originally planned, but I think it was necessary, because Kang Ha Na needed to have some empathy for the Rainbow Taxi gang and the people they helped.
I missed the more creative revenge cases, but it was time for the drama to ramp things up anyway. Overall, the change didn’t feel that noticeable, but it did affect my opinion of the drama as a whole, and I ended up giving it 7.5/10 stars.
So where do you fall, drama fans? Are you really good at separating the behind-the-scenes from the drama in front of you, or do you need to live in ignorant bliss to truly enjoy the story? Drop down in the comments below and let me know!
Until the next great drama, I remain —
Karie the Maknae
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi